Can you guess what the subject of my next book is?

next book

I was striving to having this book published by Easter in regards to its subject matter.  But I realized that Easter is early this year.  In addition, I am still creating 3 more what I call ‘just one more cross’ for the book.  I have decided that once I get these 3 designs done, I’m going to call it ‘DONE’!!!!

Now I need a new deadline.   Any suggestions?

What I did today INSTEAD of what I should have been doing today!!!

What I did today INSTEAD of what I should have been doing today!!!

What I did today:  I went into my Etsy Store site and added in some information about me and my shop items.

The ShuttleSmith’s Logo Shuttle: “The Shuttle of Many (Primary) Colors”

First of all, I chose one of my glass/enamel tatting shuttles to be my shop’s ‘logo’ image.  I chose the one I named “The Shuttle of Many (Primary) Colors”.

Then I added a photo of myself.  Another Etsy store owner/tatter (thanks Marilee Rockley) had critiqued my store and had given me some pointers.  She had told me to add a photo of myself.  I have been avoiding this task for quite some time….I usually dislike photos of me.  I enede up choosing a photo of me torch-firing, working in my enameling studio. Inserting a photo of myself wasn’t as painful as it could have been after I  realized that the photo ends up quite small on the Etsy site.  Thus you can’t see as many of my wrinkles/imperfections/lack of makeup/etc. as could be possible.


Then I filled in some information in the ‘Shop Info‘ section of my Etsy Shop under the link titled ‘About‘.

If you go to my Etsy Store ‘Shop Info’/’About’  you will see what I typed in about myself and my journey to get to having an Etsy store.  Also in this page you will see at least one photo of my enameling/tatting studio.

What I should have been been doing today instead!!!!!!


I should have been prepping the walls in my kitchen to paint them. Note the tools on the floor.

I have a deadline of March 6th to get this project done because I am hosting book club.  I need a deadline to get things like this done!




New Funky (colored) Glass Tatting Shuttle

I must have been in a funky mood when I created this shuttle!!! This one-of-a-kind enameled (glass on copper) tatting shuttle features a base of Pine Yellow with Sapphire, & two colors of purple accents. Actually, I’m not so much the ‘funky’ kind of person…I just really like vibrant colors!! Two of my favorites (the yellow and the Sapphire teal) are in this shuttle. See it (buy it) on my Etsy Store:

The ShuttleSmith Tatting's photo.

Glass/Enamel Tatting Shuttles–Very Unique!


The ShuttleSmith Glass/Enamel Copper Tatting Shuttle #194

I knew my The ShuttleSmith Glass/Enamel Copper Tatting Shuttles were unique….I just didn’t realize HOW unique until I just recently did a Google search for ‘enamel tatting shuttles’ and ‘glass tatting shuttles’. I was surprised by what I found (or should I say what I did NOT find!).

In my Google search, it was no surprise to me that Heidi Nakayama’s name, photos, and website came up….she is the ‘Queen of Tatting Shuttles’. Heidi wrote the book on tatting shuttles, literally and physically: Tatting Shuttles of American Collectors is a must-have book any tatter interested in the beautiful tools that have been a part of tatting’s history. Check out her website at: Tatting Shuttles of American Collectors Website . It is full of eye-candy and great articles on contemporary tatters and shuttle collectors. Heidi has Dora Young’s shuttle & tatting collection as well as rights to Dora’s very unique book, which she is planning to republish.

A chapter about my The ShuttleSmith Sterling Silver Tatting Shuttles (I used to make) is included in Heidi’s book. I had the good fortune to meet Heidi at the 1998 IOLI Convention in San Diego, California. It was at this time she was still actively researching and writing her book and had taken photos of my handmade sterling silver shuttles. It was there that Heidi asked me if I had ever considered enameling my silver shuttles. At that point in time, the answer was ‘No’–I had a full-time job, two small children, an active family lifestyle, and active ‘in my spare time’ teaching needlework and lacemaking techniques, teaching weekend motorcycle safety classes and creating silver tatting shuttles….there simply was no time for another hobby!

Now flash-forward to a year or so ago—I stumbled into a class on enameling and was hooked! Of course, my first thought was applying the artform to tatting shuttles (everything is TATTING related!). I don’t want to know how much money I dumped into this new artform….but I have had alot of fun in the process. And just now after doing a search on enamel/glass tatting shuttles I have realized how very unique my shuttles are.

What I did find on the internet was a couple of photos of old/historical enameled shuttles. Most have a thin layer of glass/enamel over silver. Many times, the underlying silver is patterned. This is an enameling technique/style called ‘quilloche’ or ‘basse taille’. I have seen a few enameled shuttles in other peoples collections but have never found one myself in antique stores. I believe old enameled shuttles to be fairly rare. Now that I am an ‘enamelist’ I know that enameling does not work well with ‘sterling silver’. The base needs to be ‘fine/pure silver’. The impurities (the 7.5% of non-silver metal) in ‘sterling silver’ will not allow the glass particles of enameling to fuse to the metal base.


Webster shuttle with a thin layer of transparent purple enamel over a patterned silver base


Old enamel shuttle with a thin layer of tranparent white enamel over a patterned silver base with flower decal decorations.

Beyond the historical enamel shuttles, probably from the early part of the 20th century, I could not find any reference to Enamel Tatting Shuttles until I created mine. Now if you Google search ‘Enamel Tatting Shuttle’, my The ShuttleSmith Glass/Enamel Copper Tatting Shuttles come up in big numbers. I use copper as the base metal for my tatting shuttles–A. it’s alot cheaper to buy, B. it’s easier to use, & C. why use a precious/expensive metal when you are going to cover it up with something like glass?


The ShuttleSmith attempt at creating a Basse Taille type Glass/Enameled Tatting Shuttle

ShuttleSmith Glass/Enamel Copper Tatting Shuttles are a layer of copper metal upon which glass particles are fused/melted to the base metal using high heat (ca 1300C) from a hand-held torch. Both sides are coated in glass, though the backside is quite plain due to enameling process limitations. The result is a flat, hoare-style tatting shuttle that IS glass. It ‘tinks’/sounds like glass. And it can/will break like anything glass if it is dropped (usually from a distance to a hard surface such as concrete).

Check out ShuttleSmith Glass/Enamel Copper Tatting Shuttles for sale on Etsy: The ShuttleSmith Etsy Store

Tatting-Embellished Denim Shirt



This pattern was published in The Tatter’s Treasure Chest, edited by Mary Carolyn Waldrep, Dover Publications, NY, 1990. This was an out-of-copyright pattern republished by Dover Publications from a J. & P. Coats Tatting publication. The pattern can be found on page 78-79 of The Tatter’s Treasure Chest.

While updating/cleaning up my website recently, I realized that I had only posted two of the variations of patterns that I had done for my ‘Tatting Embellished Denim Shirt’.  So, in several postings, I will continue to share my variations of a classic pattern (seen in the bottom photo) that I used to embellish a denim shirt.

Not counting the original pattern (used along the button placket) I created 5 different variations.  Look for them in upcoming blog posts!


Highlighting (Part 2) & Cleaning up my Website


Photo from an Old Blog Posting–“Tatting Embellished Denim Shirt–Patterns Included”

I do know that my website is ‘messy’.  The theme that I chose to start creating my website probably wasn’t the best choice.  But all this web/computer stuff is not my thing!  I’m a tatter-first, a designer & shuttle maker-second, then the computer/web stuff comes after that so that I can communicate with other tatters.

So in an attempt to clean-up my website, I spent a few tense moments with my husband trying to figure out something  and I have persevered!!!!   I actually want to sing the song “I have survived…” here now.  Anyway, I worked on the OLD BLOG POSTINGS pages and instead of having a drop-down submenu item, I only have one page in which I have all the pages listed and linked to open in a new tab/window.  I’m not sure if opening the page in a new window is the right thing to do or not, but that would involve another (probably tense) conversation with my husband to figure out.  I choose my battles –I mean conversations–regarding technology very carefully.  The problem with him is that he doesn’t realize everyone is as technically savvy or as smart as he is.  (Do keep in mind that he is a Vice President for an IT section at a Fortune 500 company.)So talking ‘technical talk’ to this ‘tatter’ can be very painful to him too.

So take a look at my OLD BLOG POSTINGS section.  It is here you will find information that I had posted in the past to another blog site in the past.  In an attempt to keep what may be the good stuff (not just ramblings/dribble) I decided to move certain things to this website and this menu.

I’d be interested in hearing what you think of this format.   Email me direct at:  or leave a comment on the page.  BTW, does the ‘Comment’ section work?????  Again, my lack of web knowledge is showing.

Highlighting Info on TheShuttleSmith’s Website–Part 1

Cycle B

I’m not sure if it is vanity or not that I want people to come to my website, find information they can use, and possibly give me feedback on what they may or may not have found to be interesting/informative/worthwhile.  I guess the bottom line is that I am a slight bit of an extrovert and because of this, I crave social interaction.

Regardless of my motive, I have a large amount of information related to tatting (& some other lacemaking/needlework techniques) on my website that I want utilized.  So I thought I would use my blog posts as a way to gently point to the content on my website:

My website main page features two main items:

  1. the menu bar in which I have all my information in ‘pages’ archived permanently.
  2. My blog posts….which are uploaded periodically.

Since I like to read and learn about other people (especially tatters!) I thought I would share things about myself.  That is why I have an ABOUT THE SHUTTLESMITH  page on my menu bar.  I just updated it by adding a picture of my tatted motorcycle and a photo of my ‘real’ motorcycle (also red–just don’t relate my choice of motorcycle color & me to the state football team that most Nebraskans are fanatical about!) and how I enjoy traveling to tatting events.

Here’s a direct link to that page:   ABOUT THE SHUTTLESMITH 

I have an Etsy Store!

I am happy to announce that I have successfully traversed a new computer frontier and have created an Etsy store for my tatting books and shuttle.

My store name is: theshuttlesmith

A direct link is:

I have my five tatting books and over 20 glass/enamel tatting shuttles there. I have many different colors to choose from (tatting shuttles that is).

Tatting Shuttle Winders


My Tatting Shuttle Winder Collection

A little while ago, I came across a box of ‘stuff’ in my studio and found my Tatting Shuttle Winder collection.  I use center-post tatting shuttles and these shuttle winders are made for them.  I had gobs of Boye plastic ones & have recently discovered the joys of the Handy Hands Moonlit shuttles (they holds lots of thread).  I occasionally use one of my shuttle winders when I’m at home and tatting in my favorite spot.  Usually my tatting is done is small spurts of time while I’m at work (breaks) or waiting for something to happern—I don’t carry a shuttle winder with me.

In future posts I’ll give you close ups of these shuttle winders and what I know about them.  The one on the left is handmade by a local tatter.  I’m ashamed that I don’t know her name.  But what I intend to do is find out more info to share with you all, possibly find out if she is still selling these beauties so that you all may purchase and enjoy one too.

If anyone has any information on the second one from the left (the dark brown wood one) please email me at so that I can share with everyone in the future.

I’m actually kinda embarrassed that I have 2 of the same shuttle winders (the right 2).  That’s from a bygone era in which I had the expendable cash to buy almost anything I wanted and didn’t even realize I was buying duplicates!


Tatting & the train–part 2

tattrldy left a new comment on my post “Tatting & the train“:

This still sounds like a great way to take a trip. One day we are going to do it! When both my husband and I have vacation 🙂

I was going to just leave a reply but thought I would express further my appreciation for train traveling and how it relates to my tatting.

Keep in mind that I live in Omaha, Nebraska and am traveling to Grand Junction, Colorado. Not only is this trip 800 miles long, but it has two interesting portions of travel:

  1. Traveling from Omaha, NE to Denver, CO–about 500 miles of mind-numbing interestate travel through the river valley of Nebraska (which is quite flat) and then traveling through the high plains of eastern Colorado. One of the few great points about traveling this area in a personal vehicle is stopping in a tiny town called Paxton, Nebraska which has a very interesting restaurant/tourist attraction called Ole’s Big Game Cafe. Check it out here: It is truly one of those little travel secrets.
  2. Traveling from Denver, CO to Grand Junction–about 300 miles of breath-taking scenery through the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Keep in mind that this is still interestate travel which can be nerve-racking in that there can be alot of traffic including many trucks while navigating steep ascents & descents. But there is also another factor involved in this section of travel–that being weather, namely snow. My husband and I have already experienced this once last May when we left Grand Junction, CO in our truck wearing shorts and sandals because the weather was so beautiful only to end up in very scary/hairy snowstorms in the mountains and high plains.
May snowstorm while driving through the Rocky Mountains—going into the Eisenhower Tunnel at the Continental Divide in Colorado…it was just as scary on the other side of the Continental Divide, all the way into Denver and beyond.

So, with that introduction to traveling from Omaha to Grand Junction I will discuss my recommendation to travel via train:

I get on the train in Omaha, Nebraska at 11 pm. I immediately settle down to sleep–I take along a blanket and pillow. When I awake in the daylight hours we are in Denver where we have a bit of a get-off-the-train break & I get one of the most delicious coffee lattes (Pig Train Coffee Co.) I have ever tasted in the newly remodeled Denver Grand Central Station. Even if you aren’t thirsty or hungry, DO just wander into the station…it is quite wonderful. From Denver on, I am fully awake and taking advantage of the most beautiful scenery possible!!! The climb up and out of Denver is nothing more that spectacular. If possible, park yourself in the Vista Car. If you are lucky there may be volunteer tourist guides in the Vista Car, talking about the history, flora, fauna and geologic & man-made points of interest along the way (& there are alot!). At first the Vista Car can be a bit crowded, but eventually everyone goes back to their assigned seat or sleeping berths and I can find a seat. The Vista Car allows you to see up and out alot better that the regular, coach cars. As an added bonus, you usually get to talk to people. Turns out I really am my father’s daughter….I love to talk to people!! In the Vista Car, there are tables that seat 4. You are encouraged/suggested/actually they demand that you share the table seats. This is OK with me–a chance to meet and learn about someone else. Of course, just the fact that we are traveling on a train means that everyone has a destination reason and story to tell. OF COURSE I HAVE MY TATTING WITH ME!! The tatting seems to be a great ice-breaker to get someone to start talking. Of course you get the “My grandmother used to do that” and the “I wouldn’t have the patience to do that” comments, but despite what they think of my artform (yes! artform!) conversation has been started and I get to learn about someone new. For many years I thought I was an introvert….I was wrong about that! All the time I’m ‘extroverting’ in the Vista Car, my husband is getting to do what he enjoys doing in the Coach Car–napping, reading, watching movies, with the side bonus of he doesn’t have to listen to me talk for awhile–it’s a win-win travel arrangement. Even when I’m not actively talking to someone, I love to people-watch. You know everyone is coming from or going to somewhere special–whether they want to or not. Everyone has an active story on the train. Of course, there is also the whole scenery, scenery, scenery issue—lots and lots of the most beautiful mountains, canyons, meadows, rivers, valleys in the country, if not world. The train goes through some regions where there are no roads, thus the scenery is unique. Of course, for US (tatters!) the added bonus is we get to relax and tat while enjoying all this scenery!!! No worries about road conditions, where to get gas, driving fatigue, etc.

Our travel companions, Phil and Sheryl enjoying their time on the train. Seats are quite spacious & recline quite a ways and include leg rests. There is lots of room to store your stuff above you (unlike the crowded conditons on an airplane).