Thursday, September 30, 2021


Subbing has been crazy this week! There's a terrible sub shortage, and this week I have subbed for multiple teachers in addition to doing my own job each day. I'm happy that I'm able to help out, but I sure am glad that I don't have to do all the planning. I just show up, go where they tell me to go, and follow the teacher's instructions. Luckily, we have great kids in our school district, so there are seldom any problems.

I have been tatting while subbing, something that's easy to do at the high school level.

Yesterday I subbed in the middle school, so there wasn't as much time to tat.

Today I'll be subbing in the elementary school, so there will be no time to tat.

I guess I'll just have to see how much I can sneak in before and after school!

Monday, September 27, 2021

Bottle caps and buttons


Yesterday was a slow tatting day, but I did manage to complete one bottle cap ice drop!

Today was another busy sub day, but I was able to tat quite a bit since I was with high school students who were busy writing essays that were due by the end of the school day. Good planning by the teacher!

After school, I worked on another bottle cap ice drop. I wonder what I'll be inspired to work on next?

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Tollway Tatters Zoom!

Thanks to sweet Sue in Michigan, Tollway Tatters were able to meet via Zoom today. We were quite the international group! In attendance were Sue from Michigan, Jenni from Australia, Ines from Germany, Bernice from Canada, Karen from Virginia, Marilee from Wisconsin, Sue Anna from Illinois, and me from Illinois.

While it is very sad that we have lost our gathering place, the Hinsdale Oasis, it's wonderful that we can gather with international friends!

While we were chatting, I finished the button ornament on the left. I also found the finished ornament on the right tucked into my tatting bag. It looks like I accomplished a lot today, even though all I really did was complete the last section of chain and then the hanger.

As I've been reorganizing and decluttering the sun room, I keep uncovering buried treasure! I found my baggie of Russian nesting doll bottle caps all ready for tatting. A new box of perle cotton was right next to my chair, and I saw a perfect match!

This afternoon I went out to do a little more reorganizing, and I came across some supplies for decorating more bottle caps. At first I was just going to put the supplies back in the box, but then I decided it would be better to go ahead and assemble them so they'd be ready for tatting. It looks like I'm in for some fun tatting!

Friday, September 24, 2021

Hinsdale Oasis

Long, long ago... July 22, 2011 to be exact... Sue Anna Scribner, Marilee Rockley, and I met at the Hinsdale Oasis for a day of tatting. We had connected at the Downers Grove Lace Day on June 18, and we decided that it would be fun to get together. Marilee lives in Wisconsin, Sue Anna in northern Illinois, and I'm about an hour south of Chicago. 

The Hinsdale Oasis was the perfect meeting place for us! We quickly learned that if we drove to the next exit past the Oasis, we could turn around and be headed in the right direction to head home.

Even on a dreary day, there was plenty of light. Food choices were abundant. Rest rooms were easily accessible. Seating was abundant. The best part of all was that it was easy to find for those who wanted to join us!

I don't remember exactly when it happened, but I can tell from the date of the photo that Sue Anna had us wearing tie-dye t-shirts by March of 2012. It was a great way for new people to find us! By that time, Denise and Barbara had joined us for our meetings. We were also calling ourselves the Tollway Tatters!

The Hinsdale Oasis officially closed on September 13, 2021. We will really miss meeting there. For now, we're meeting via Zoom on the last Saturday of each month. We start at 9 a.m. central time, and people come and go as they are able. Sue from Michigan has been setting up our Zoom meetings, and she posts the link on our Facebook page. It's not as easy to share ideas, books, threads, and shuttles, but we do have a good time. We would love to have you join us!

Thursday, September 23, 2021


I received a phone call from Richard Brown last night. His wife Carollyn suffered a massive stroke on Tuesday, and was taken off life support Wednesday afternoon. Richard asked me to gently share the information with the tatting community.

Carollyn and I followed each other's blogs for quite a few years, and we greatly admired each other's work. If you followed Carollyn's Tatting Blog, you were one of the lucky members of the tatting community. Her creativity was amazing!

Carollyn and I were able to meet in person the summer of 2018, when Lisa Adams hosted her first Tat Days event in Indiana. I'm so happy that I was able to meet Carollyn and her husband that summer. 

One of my favorite memories of Carollyn comes from after we met in person. We had been bouncing tatting ideas around and decided that it was easier to talk on the phone than to go back and forth with emails. Then we wound up playing phone tag! Carollyn accidentally reached me when I was shopping in Walmart with my daughter. We laughed, because Carollyn was also shopping in Walmart and had somehow dialed my number while trying to reach someone else. Believe me, there's nothing like shopping in Walmart while chatting about tatting with a friend!

I thought of calling Carollyn this past weekend. I was thinking about her beautiful tatting embellished keys, and realized we hadn't chatted in quite a while. I'm sorry I didn't take the opportunity to call her when I thought of her. I'm glad for the friendship we shared, and I will always remember the sparkle in her eyes, her contagious laughter, and her beautiful smile!

Enjoy tatting with the angels, Carollyn! 

Update: Richard called around 4:20 on Friday, September 24 to tell me that Carollyn had passed about a half hour before. Rest in peace, dear friend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Back in business

It's been very quiet around here. Our Internet went out Friday, came back for a very short time on Saturday and Sunday, and then went out again. Of course, I waited too long to make the service call, so I wasn't able to schedule service until yesterday afternoon. Luckily, the tech guy was very knowledgeable and had us back in business in about an hour. Something was wrong with the cable between the receiver on the shed and the house. A new line has been run, and I can easily access the Internet again!

I'm really enjoying working my way through Gina Barrett's boo, Dorset Ring Buttons. This one is Templar Cross - traditional in #8 perle cotton.

Next up is Encased Star, also in #8 perle cotton.

This one is called Open Star. For some reason, I found this one especially difficult. The spacing of the spokes looked even when I started, but by the time i was finished, everything looked off center and unevenly spaced. I didn't quite get the look of the pointed spokes, either. This is one I will definitely try again!

These two buttons are failed attempts at Swanston - M. Howitt 1985. The gray or silver one shows what happens when I use a ring that's too small and thread that's too thick. I've been working my way through my bag of 18 mm stitch markers, and this ring was mistakenly in the package. I decided to use it anyway, without changing to a finer thread. I was only able to complete two rounds of the pattern, so the spiral affect is not evident. For the last of the 18 mm stitch markers, I switched to Sulky Blendables 12 wt. The thread size was perfect, but I should have used a solid color. I lost the spiral pattern very quickly. There was just too much going on for me to be able to see what I was doing. I think I'll save the multi-colored threads for simpler designs!

These buttons won't go to waste. I've been talking to our art teacher about Artist Trading Cards (ATCs), and she's thinking of a school wide project for students and staff members. I've started gathering materials and ideas for my ATC, and I hope to have time to work on it this weekend. If the project goes through, I'll be sure to post pictures!

Before our Internet went down, I watched some more YouTube videos from Gina-B Silkworks. I was fascinated by the Hishikazari ornaments and Yubinuki thimbles, so I ordered the kits. I saw that there was a small book on Sashiko, which I've admired for years, so that ended up in my shopping cart as well. Now a I need is the time to do it all!

Subbing has been keeping me busy. The sub shortage is greater than ever with the pandemic still looming. When I'm subbing at the middle school or high school, there are times when I am just supervising as students work on their assignments. That allows me time for tatting. However, when I'm at the elementary school, there is no time for tatting. I don't mind that at all. The little ones are so much fun to work with!

I keep my tatting bag in my purse, and when I have time I do a little tatting. I was able to complete these five button ornaments over the past week... not bad for tatting while subbing!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Flower Type Three

Most of my day was spent cutting and sorting quilt blocks, but I did find time to work on the next Dorset button in Gina Barrett's Dorset Ring Buttons, Flower Type Three.

I'm getting close to using up my box of perle cotton, but I'm not concerned.

I have another box waiting in the wings!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021



I decided to add a little sparkle to my tree with some chandelier crystals. I also moved two of my ornaments, because one has a shorter hanger. The one with the shorter hanger fits perfectly inside the star at the top of the tree. It doesn't show up well in the picture, but there's lots of sparkle going on!

After cleaning up another of my Christmas trees, I decorated it with Dorset button ornaments and crystals. I love it!

The next button in Dorset Ring Buttons is Petal - traditional. This one was super easy to do!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021



My sister Janet came to visit for a couple of days and since we both enjoy doing puzzles, there was more time spent puzzling than tatting! To be fair, Jane completed the majority of this puzzle. This one was only 500 pieces, and it was fairly easy to complete. Now that the picture has been taken, the puzzle is safely back in its box and a new one is taking shape. The new one is 1,000 pieces, and I have done nothing with it so far. Janet, however, has done quite a bit of sorting and has started working on the border. Dave might get more involved in putting the new one together as it is a Thomas Kinkade picture. Just last week, Dave said that he would be more inclined to work on a puzzle with me if it wasn't craft related. He suggested Thomas Kinkade, so that's what I bought!

I'm back to working on Dorset buttons from Gina Barrett's book, Dorset Ring Buttons. This pattern is Flower Type Two. I really like the look of this one! Maybe that's because it's such a pretty shade of blue!

I'm feeling the urge to start decorating trees with button ornaments, so yesterday I cleaned up one of my trees and decorated it with the ornaments I made with my size 10 Cranberry Spice thread pack. I love this tree for displaying ornaments! My thinking is that some crystal drops would really make this sparkle. What do you think?

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Back to the book

Now that I've accomplished my mission of creating Dorset Crosswheel button ornaments with all the color combinations in the Cranberry Spice thread pack, it's time to get back to working my way through Dorset Ring Buttons by Gina Barrett.

This is Flower Type One done in #8 perle cotton.

This one is Double Flower. I didn't pay attention to what was used for the sample, so I started right in with #8 perle cotton and an 18mm ring. There wasn't enough room to finish the pattern, so I switched to 50/3 linen thread. The thread worked fine, but I actually did better with the first button than with the second. 

When making these ornaments, I try to choose what I think looks best to go in my button tin. My theory is that the tatting will help hide the less attractive button. I'm not sure it worked in this case!

Mission accomplished!

I finished the last set of Dorset Crosswheel button ornaments made from my Cranberry Spice thread pack.  I'll have to find the perfect Christmas tree to display them!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Nothing to show

I've had nothing to show since Monday. I've been busy with subbing and cutting out fabric for a quilt, so Dorset buttons and tatting have been on the back burner... until last night!

I had one color left from the Cranberry Spice thread pack, Cranberry bush. I started on the Dorset buttons last night, and worked on them whenever I had a few free minutes. A little bit here, and a little bit there meant that I was able to finish my set of six just before dinner tonight. Now it's time to add the tatting!

Monday, September 6, 2021

Labor Day tatting

Labor Day is always low key at our house. After all, we are supposed to be resting from our labors!

 I rested by finishing another set of Dorset button ornaments!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Finishing day


Today we finished this puzzle that my sister-in-law gave me about a year ago. It took us two months, probably because we're out of practice! We'll let this one sit for a few days, and then I think we'll start another.

I finished another set of Dorset Crosswheel button ornaments... three color combinations down, two to go!

Saturday, September 4, 2021

I couldn't help myself!


I had to see what Lizbeth #169 Autumn Apple Pie would look like in the Dorset Crosswheel pattern. I remember tatting with this color when it first came out, and I was not impressed with it. However, I love it as a Dorset button!

Now I need to catch up with the tatting part of the ornaments!

Friday, September 3, 2021

Ready, set, go!

I'm ready for my next round of ornaments! I'm sure you've guessed by now that I'm making sets using each of the Cranberry Spice threads for the Dorset Cartwheel buttons. I'm really enjoying making these, and I like the size 10 thread for the buttons. However, I'm eager to get back to finer threads. They're much easier on my hands!

Wednesday, September 1, 2021