"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Friday, August 20, 2010


I've been taunting you lately with a few things that I wouldn't tell you the reason for. It's not any big secret, really; I just enjoy being a tease sometimes.

First of all, a huge thanks to Gina the Tatting Goddess, who responded to my plea for plain bags/ purses that I could add tatting to. Gina very kindly sent me this lovely white bag:

It's just the perfect size. To make it even more special, it turns out that the fabric comes from a skirt of Gina's mother's! Thank you, Gina!

So I got this dress a couple of months ago:

Here's a detail of the embroidered butterflies:

Now, do you remember these tatted butterflies?
For the full details on these, see this post. I'll just add here that "Diana" (top) has each wing made separately, so it was easy to start at the same spot in the thread both times and make the colors symetrical. On Jane's butterfly (bottom left), I got lucky that the colors almost matched up; it's close enough that I can live with it. With "Birte" (bottom right), it took a bit of trial and error to see where I needed to start on the thread so that the colors would align, but I was determined to do it.

Back to the dress, the piping looks turquoise, but when I started holding threads up to it, I realized it's actually green. In fact, it is exactly the same color as Lizbeth 688, Seagreen Dark.

The photo also shows a bit of the lace detail at the shoulder of the dress. You might recognize the tatting pattern from the white edging I showed the other day. Oops, I held it with the back side showing.

And now you know why I needed such a long length of tatting. Not an edging at all, but a shoulder strap. This particular design has a bit of give to it. I don't want it to stretch out when the purse is "loaded", so I ran a length of untatted size 20 thread through the middle of it to stabilize it. If you click to enlarge the photo, you'll see it a bit, but I don't think it detracts from the design too much.

This also shows why I enlarged "Diana's" tail. It's a little hard to see in the photo, but I'm using it as a button loop to hold the purse closed. There are patterns for tatted frog closures, but you can do this with just about any tatted motif. All you have to do is elongate one corner to accomodate the button (or a large-ish bead can be used instead of a button).

And here's the entire ensemble:

I tend to wear these colors a lot, so the purse will go with other outfits too, but I really made it for this dress. And yes, Mom, you will get to see it in person.

Gina also very generously sent me this bookmark:

Such happy colors! It reminds me of the Indian paintbrush flowers that grow wild here in New Mexico-- just in case you thought the desert was drab.


  1. I really like the way your bag turned out! It's the perfect accessory for your dress!

  2. What a cool ensemble! So glad I could help contribute. I love the butterflies. :-)

  3. I forget that you live in NM - yes, the desert is so very beautiful and your outfit is a perfect compliment to those wild flowers and all the wonderfully muted colours of the land!

    You did a great job, very creative, and the strap is clever - it does not show.
    Fox : )

  4. Oh my goodness! I am in love! It is no secret that I love butterflies and what a stunning ensemble!

  5. Great job, Miranda! You've really done it up with those butterflies, etc.!

  6. Nice outfit and what a great idea running a strand of thread through the center of the strap. Colors are New Mexico, very pretty!!
    Linda NM

  7. You are so lucky to get a book mark & the purse you needed from Gina. Your dress & purse look wonderful!