Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Doily 'Under Glass'

A recent post by Karen Bovard  ( )  describes a very clever way to display and protect lace doilies when decorating for a luncheon or party.    She and her friend happened to be using clear plastic plates and realized that they could put  a lace doily on the bottom plate and then put the other clear plate on top, for serving goodies such as cookies. The doily is totally protected yet visible!   She showed a particularly pretty crocheted doily with colorful pansies around the edge.   

Her post reminded me that I hadn’t shown how I’ve been displaying my antique tatted doily for the past year or so!  Similar idea ! 

After being stored away and basically used as a backdrop for photographs on my blog, this sweet doily finally found its ‘home‘ on my coffee table, displayed under a glass dish on top of a gold charger,  topped by a tall hurricane lamp/candle.   
This doily (shown more clearly below) is about 8” across.
I felt fortunate to find it in a small local shop.   The owner was delighted that it went home with a tatter!

You can see the ‘layering’ for the display:   Gold charger (explained below), black velvet circle, tatted doily, clear glass dish, real candle (with a cut-out area on top for a battery-powered tea candle), and glass hurricane ‘cover’.     

Another view, without the hurricane glass. 

‘Chargers’ have apparently been around for a long time (large plates used under formal place settings for decoration) but they became very popular in the late 1990s.  That's when I first noticed them in stores).
There are lots of ideas for using them if you search for ‘chargers under place settings' and click ‘Images’.  They even use this same idea of a clear glass dish to put photos under them!    Long ago in a galaxy far away, I used to have guests for ‘formal’ dinners in the dining room (6 people, is max for me!).  I always enjoyed decorating the table more than preparing the food (still do!)  and would have used the chargers if I had them.  I only bought a few in the ‘90s for decorations around the house during holidays.

The lovely lace edging, similar to designs I've seen in older magazines, fits perfectly around the linen center.   I can only guess that the tatting was done first, then the fabric was cut out and the raw edges over-stitched by hand with some fancy filler stitches.  And it looks like there’s a teeny, tiny crocheted chain catching the tatted stitches.  Fabric centers are very practical for many reasons, but they demand a skill level that would be difficult for me to accomplish, so I admire those who have that talent!    

Of course, the clear dish protects the doily from the candle.  Even though the candle is wax and has a wick, I scooped out the center (several years ago) and put a battery-powered tea candle in there.  Much safer and easier to deal with - no wax drips, no oily smoke!    

When battery-powered tea candles first came on the market, I marveled at what an ingenious product they were - and are! .  Fortunately they came down in price, and I have many around my home and don’t have to worry about candle  flames.  These days some large ‘faux’ candles come with  battery already flames built in.  (The only disadvantage I see is that very young  children who ‘grow up’ with the battery candles in their homes may not distinguish them from a real flame on a real candle! )     

This candle display usually is the centerpiece of my coffee table, but now sits to the right of my anniversary display.  However, it fits right in, especially since the charger is gold!   

Friday, May 2, 2014

Special Anniversary 'Tatting' Display

... and a New 'Anniversary' Necklace

This is a new necklace (with a ‘repurposed’ tatted heart) that I recently put together as a personal Anniversary memento.   It’s about 2” in diameter.  I was pleased with the way this turned out! 

The heart was tatted in a gold cotton thread (size 12 DMC Pearl cotton) and was designed by Kim Goetz, in Victorian Hearts & Flowers magazine (Better Homes and Gardens – 1995). 

I tatted the motif many years ago and encased it in a paperweight.  But I decided to remove it from the paperweight and use it on a necklace as an anniversary memento.   I’ve already received several compliments on this necklace from salespeople who have waited on me in stores!    

Coffee Table Display
I always use my coffee table to display cards and holiday items throughout the year, and, of course, I take them down after the event.  However, this year I’m keeping my Anniversary display up for a while, especially since we get more visitors during the summer months!  It’s also a way to display my special tatted items here at home!     

The lovely plant is a gift  from our brother- and sister-in-law,
mentioned in the previous post

On the coffee table, along with the bell ‘tower’, are three favorite ‘heart’ items.   

First: Teri Dusenbury’s ‘Regal Heart’ (on the velvet heart box), which I’ve had for several years.  I believe it’s the only heart in Teri’s ‘Tatting Hearts’ book which does not have split rings!  That’s why I tatted it, because when I bought her groundbreaking book in the mid-‘90s, I had no idea how to do split rings!  I sewed the pearls on afterwards and attached the lace to the box with beaded pins.  Therefore the lace can easily be removed and washed if necessary.   

Second: Lyn Morton’s ‘Hearts and Flowers’ pattern, from her book “Tatting Patterns”.  The pattern was free on her website for a while, in 2010. The motif is displayed here between two pieces of clear glass - originally ‘large candle’ holders (different sizes) that happened to ‘nest’ together perfectly, encasing the tatting.

I was amazed to discover just now that Lyn Morton and her husband have recently retired, and there are new owners for their e-shop, ‘Tatting and Design’ (England).  The website is an excellent source for tatting items and books!  

Third:  On the white candle is Frivole’s sweet ‘Happy Heart’, which she generously shares with us on her excellent Patterns page (see the tab at top of her blog) at
Fashion statement from 1964

I am always pleased when I look at our 1964 wedding photos, as they don’t seem too ‘dated’ to me, except for my and my two attendants' hairstyles.  I had a medium-length 'flip', my Maid of Honor had a straight, slightly bouffant style, and my bridesmaid had her hair in a loose french twist, light teasing on top.  

The hairstyles of the ‘70s  featured mostly long and straight hair on the gals, who also sometimes wore floppy hats;  and the guys wore wide-lapel pastel tuxes, perhaps in bell-bottom style!  Also boys and men in the '70s were wearing their hair longer, and in some cases very long! 

Our best man and usher had short hair and wore classic black tuxes, which would look just fine today!
What is amazing to me is that we all were only 19 or 20 years old!
I loved the ‘Christmas red’ taffeta gowns my two attendants wore, although today I would choose burgundy velvet gowns (similar to the color of the bow and velvet box in the photo above).   

 The girls each carried a white fur muff and wore a small, white fur pillbox hat, with a small, silk red rose attached in front.  The muffs had a 'crescent' of fresh red carnations attached. 
I still love the style of my white satin gown, with a full skirt and short train.  My mid-waist-length veil was capped by a scalloped pillbox hat made of white sequins, which sparkled in the light.
Our gowns had bateau necklines and long tapering sleeves.  Strapless gowns were not allowed in churches back then! Our sleeves were form-fitting and didn't have the puffy look of the ‘90s, which does tend to ‘date’ those wedding gowns now – but I liked the Victorian / Renaissance look of some of those gowns.