Tatting is FUN Again!

Greeting card with tatted flowers and butterfly

For the past few weeks, tatting hasn’t been as much fun as it used to be.  I attributed it to burning myself out by rushing to get my tatted Christmas gifts done on time.

But for some reason it felt like I was fighting the tatting instead flowing with it.  I just wasn’t enjoying it very much anymore.

Then last evening I decided to pick up my neglected little Clover shuttles just because they looked so cute.  I started doing the tatted Briar Fragments from Mary Konoir’s Visual Patterns.

The old magic was back!  The tatting flowed with the soothing rhythm I remembered.  And it was FUN!

I had switched to Aero shuttles back in November because they seemed so practical.  They have removable bobbins, so I wouldn’t have to tie up a shuttle with unused thread from a previous project.  I could just wind a bobbin with the new color, pop it into the Aero and go.  Or I could pop in any bobbin that already had thread on it and start tatting.  The little hook was perfect for tight joins that I couldn’t do with the Clover’s pick.

So even though my hands felt awkward working with the Aeros, I stuck with them because they just made so much sense.  But their length was a continual irritation.

I ended up cutting the bobbin winders off two of the Aeros to make them shorter.  They worked a LOT better that way.  Comfortable tatting.  But still no magic.

My small collection of shuttles: Sew Mates, Clovers, modified Aeros, and Aeros. I've ordered 10 more Clovers.

So last night, as soon as I realized how perfect the Clovers are for my style of tatting, I ordered two more packs of 5.

I still have to keep an Aero handy when I use the Clovers so I can use the hook in tiny joining picots.  But considering the joy I feel working with the Clovers, it’s worth having to keep an extra tool in reach when I use them!

Galveston

An oil well in Dayton, Texas

Although it was overcast yesterday, it was warm and balmy.  Driving to Galveston, we passed a bank thermometer that read 74 degrees.

Since I had never seen an oil well, Mike drove us by one in their town so I could take a photo.   And on the 90 minute drive to Galveston, we passed several huge refineries–to me, an unsettling reminder of the Gulf oil disaster, but also a reminder of how grateful I

Gail

am for the gasoline that fueled our truck on our trip.

I love beach towns. My elementary school years were spent on a beach in Florida.  So I feel a profound sense of belonging when I am around salt water.

I was surprised at the dark colored sand and muddy looking water.  But even though it lacked white sugar sand beaches, Galveston held all the familiar magic of

Mike, Gail and Ron

a beach town to me.  We sat on the seawall and soaked in the sights and sounds of the ocean,  walked along the seawall, and enjoyed browsing for wonderfully tacky beach souvenirs.

We ended the tour with dinner at the oceanside Salt Grass Restaurant where Mike and Gail treated us to a scrumptious dinner.  There is nothing so special to me as eating seafood in a restaurant by the ocean.

Gail and Mike at Murdochs

Ron and I

Ron on the porch at Murdoch's

People enjoying the beach

Views from car

There were pelicans perched on the posts in the water, but the camera didn't capture them.

Gorgeous architecture. Someday we may return to tour the botanical gardens.

And we also all realized just how old we are all getting.   Growing up on the beach, we felt so wild and free, with dreams and endless horizons stretching ahead of us forever.  But seeing clothes in the shops like those we felt so beautiful wearing decades ago — that would look cartoonish on us now — reminded us how irretrievably gone those days are.   Needing help getting up from where we were perched on the seawall was another reminder.

Nevertheless it was a day for making beautiful memories together.

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