Apr 032017
 

I read with interest that this past Saturday, April Fool’s Day, was International Tatting Day. No kidding. Now, I realize this may not be momentous news to you, but since tatting is on my list of needlework techniques to learn (yes, it really is), I had to look up who started this special day. And for those of you who don’t know what tatting is, it’s a type of lace created by a series of knots and loops using a shuttle that looks like a little boat. It’s not surprising, then, that in Germany tatting is known as Schiffchenarbeit, or “work of the little boat.”

This beautiful ebony tatting shuttle with rosewood inlay, crafted by Banyek in Hungary, is available on Etsy. Tatting shuttles are typically available in plastic or metal at your local fabric store or needlework shop.

Here’s a photo of a tatted Christmas ornament I bought some years back.

But before I researched the answer to who started International Tatting Day, I couldn’t help wondering whether there are also special days for crochet, knitting, weaving, embroidery and other fiber arts. Here’s what I learned; you can visit the links to learn more about each fiber craft celebration:

But back to my question about tatting—when did the annual celebration begin, and who started it? According to an article titled International Tatting Day, the holiday has apparently been around for 44 years, and it’s a day when tatting enthusiasts introduce the art to newbies, and eat chocolate. I guess that’s as good a way as any to start a tatting club!

If you missed International Tatting Day, as I am afraid I did, you can still catch up with more experienced tatters everywhere by stopping at your local grocery store for your favorite chocolate (mine is Lindt Classic Recipe Hazelnut).

Then, enroll in a Craftsy video tutorial called Shuttle Tatting with Marilee Rockley, and settle in for a nice, long watch. Alternatively, you can enjoy both a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate while browsing through Karen Cabrera’s library of YouTube tatting tutorials some Friday night when you’d rather stay home. If you’re not feeling that ambitious, you can still enjoy some chocolate and browse through these photos of tatted items available on Etsy—probably nearly as satisfying!

Clockwise, from top left: Tatted lace bracelet, by BardarSvetlanaLace / Tatted earrings with beads, by DescoTru / Tatted lace collar, by Felt Zeppelin / Tattered heart ornaments, by SnappyBirdCrafts

Clockwise, from top left: Tatted snowflake, by GracesLaces / Tatted bridal necklace, by Silhuette / Silk bridal purse with tatted lace, by Silhuette / Cotton bridal handkerchief with tatted edging and hand embroidery, by LaceAmour

P.S. Writing this post was more enjoyable than cleaning up the dishes after tonight’s dinner.

P.P.S. All chuckling aside, I do believe we fiber crafters take secret glee in having our own special crafting calendar. If you know of other fiber art holidays, please add them in the comments below.

© 2017 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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Feb 142014
 

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my readers, wherever you may be! My day began with a lovely bouquet of flowers from John, which is looking as good today as it ever will, given my history of botanical failures. I take a photo of John’s bouquets as soon as I can so that I can preserve the flowers in their best state.

Valentine's Day 2014 Flowers

In return, I sent John a dancing JibJab card. For $18 a year, you can have a lot of fun, uploading your photos and inserting them into ridiculous cards and videos that you can share via email, Facebook or—if you pay an extra fee—that you can download to your computer or upload to YouTube. Click on the image below to view one of two cards I sent John.

Brazilian Samba Valentine

Whether you have a special someone with whom to share Valentine’s Day or not, it appears that everyone can enjoy a Valentine’s Day gift, courtesy of the Internet. Take note of the following offers:

1. Download a free sewing pattern from Craftsy to make a cute Be Mine Tote designed by Melissa Stramel of Lilac Lane. Easy enough for a beginning sewer to assemble, the finished tote bag measures 10 inches x 19 inches x 4 1/2 inches.

2. Television sewing celebrity Nancy Zieman offers an adorable paper-pieced Fabric Valentine pattern you can download. Transform it into a special handmade card, incorporate it into a tote bag design, stitch a mini pillow, or add it to an apron or bib pattern. Use your imagination! And by the way, Nancy just published her autobiography, Seams Unlikely, which is a fascinating read. You can purchase the paperback version or the Kindle edition on Amazon. I purchased the digital version for $5.99 and am reading it via my Kindle app. If you have an Android device, you can download the book for $4.61 via Google Play.

3. Scrapbookers will appreciate Deena Boese’s journaling cards and border that appear in the February issue of Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking.

DSCN81634. In the same issue, you’ll find Jaimee Kaiser of Just Jaimee’s journaling cards. These are perfect for gift bags, scrapbooking or handmade cards.

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5. Need a gift or candy box? The designers of We Love to Illustrate for Children have five too-cute-for-words gift boxes for you to download, print and assemble.

DSCN81626. Other Valentine projects to download include:

Hopefully at least one of the above projects will appeal to you, but if not, here’s one last “dancing card” for you to enjoy. If you have trouble imagining John and me as flower children of the sixties, rest assured that you are not alone. Click on the photo below to view the video.

John and I were in grade school when Sonny and Cher sang the song in this video.

John and I were in grade school when Sonny and Cher sang the song in this video.

© 2014 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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Jan 062014
 

“Yeah, sure,” you tell me. “Haven’t you looked at the calendar lately? Christmas is 12 months away!”

Yes, I know that. But today is January 6th, Epiphany, officially the last day of the Christmas season, the day when all of my holiday decorations will be taken down. We’re experiencing a polar vortex according to national news services (or -11 degrees, with a wind chill factor of -36 degrees), and somehow it seems appropriate to close this season with some holiday gift tags that can be used next Christmas. Besides, a few weeks before Christmas 2014, I will be doing jumping jacks because I had the foresight to get all of my tags made early!

In that spirit, I combed the Web for 12 appealing gift tags that you can download and print. Some of the designs were released in 2013 and others are older ones, but all of them are great accents for your holiday packages. The small round ones, of course, can also be used as cupcake toppers. You can even decorate a tree, window or mirror with them, make a fluttery mobile, or hang a paper garland made of gift tags on your tree or over a mantle. Click on the photos to download the digital file(s). Please note that photos do not show every tag design included in the digital file.

1. Free Printable Set of Christmas Tags you will LOVE, by The Cottage Market

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2. Christmas Cupcake Toppers Free Printable and Cupcake Recipes, by The Cottage Market

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3. Free Shabby Cottage Style Retro Tags and a Junkin Joe update, by The Cottage Market

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4. Free Printable Download – Christmas Kraft II Gift Tags, by Vintage Glam Studio

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5. Christmas Chalkboard Labels {free printable}, by How to Nest for Less

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6. Printable Christmas Labels for Your Edible Gifts, by Lia Griffith

DSCN81317. Woodland Christmas Gift Tags & Labels, by Lia Griffith, with matching paper HERE

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8. Chalkboard Christmas Gift Tags & Labels, by Lia Griffith, with matching paper HERE and HEREDSCN8127

9. Hand Illustrated Holiday Labels by Emily McDowell

DSCN812610. {Freebie} Christmas Gift Tags! by Claire of Fellow Fellow, with matching paper HERE

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11. Primitive Christmas Tags, by Off the Beaten Path DesignsDSCN8120

12. Free Printable: Holiday Tags in Three Color Choices, by Creature ComfortsDSCN8121

Need more gift-wrapping ideas? Visit one of my past posts:

For even more gift-wrapping inspiration, you can find more than 100 free gift box templates and tutorials, along with overlays and digital papers, free tags, DIY flowers, 3-D houses, and much more, at Mel McCarthy’s blog, Mel Stampz. When I don’t know where else to look for a box shape, her blog is my number one resource.

Happy Ephiphany, and Happy New Year!

© 2014 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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