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Tatting organization

Creative Options box on top, Yarnology box on the bottom

Creative Options box on top, Yarnology box on the bottom

Because today was payday, and I had my allowance, I trotted over to the local Hobby Lobby this afternoon, looking, once again, for a way to organize my tatting shuttles. I had purchased a couple of small, Tupperware-type boxes at the dollar store, but my shuttle collection was not only outgrowing the box (because I have a ton of the cheap plastic shuttles now, thanks to an Amazon credit), but keeping the shuttles together in the box meant that the ones with projects on them were tangling together. There had to be a better way to do things!!!!

So off to Hobby Lobby it was. I was looking for a box with sections and dividers. Once upon a time, years ago, I’d bought a couple of tackle boxes at Walmart that were made that way. Each one had four smaller boxes inside it that slid in and locked in place. When you opened the boxes, there were set rows, but there were small, adjustable dividers. They were perfect for embroidery floss once it was wound around those little cards. I still have one of those tackle boxes, still filled to the brim with embroidery floss. Though I gave up on counted cross-stitch long ago, the floss is still great for inkle weaving. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll find an interest in counted cross-stitch again.

Anyway, that was what I was looking for, and I found it!!! Actually, I found several, and bought two of the larger boxes, and one of the smaller ones. The larger ones are by a company called Creative Options, and retail for $9.99. Those, I found in the paper craft section of the store. The smaller one was in the sewing section, and is made by Yarnology, retailing for $3.49. Probably should have grabbed another one of those, too. Hindsight. Well, I’m pretty sure I’ll be back in Hobby Lobby again!

Both boxes have the adjustable dividers, and I set them up so there’s just enough room in each little section for 1-2 shuttles and whatever projects are attached to them, with another section just for holding bobbins for the Aerlit shuttles. Once you close the lid, no muss, no fuss. No tangling.

Another option for storage that just occurred to me as I was writing this is the Dot Box. I’ve never seen them anywhere but Amazon, which does not, however, mean that they can’t be found locally. It just means that I haven’t found them locally.

Dot Boxes are a touch more expensive, but they are really awesome storage for small things. I have two of them. Like the tackle box I mentioned, they are one large box containing a bunch of smaller ones, all of which can be bought separately so you can customize what you need. The ones I have, I use for my chain maille supplies, all of the little jump rings. I learned the hard way that the type of box I bought for the shuttles absolutely does not work for really tiny things such as size 11 seed beads. If the box is closed and gets jarred, beads manage to cross dividers and get mixed up. If you’re working with the beads and the lid is open when the box is jolted, the resulting mess is unholy. The first–and last!–time I used such a box for beadwork, I had a litter of puppies in the house, who had just turned two months old and loved nothing more than chasing each other throughout the house. At the time, I didn’t have a dedicated craft space, and I was working on the bed when an impromptu chase broke out. The box wasn’t just jolted: it went flying. It was a big box, and it was filled with seed beads. I cleaned up what I could, but found beads in that carpet for years afterwards. Lesson learned.

Dot Boxes are pretty innovative. They’re called Dot Boxes because once you remove all of the smaller boxes inside it, you’ll see raised “dots” at regular intervals in the bottom. And the bottoms of the smaller boxes all have the same dots, so when you put the smaller boxes back in, they sit comfortably on the dots of the larger box, and once you close the lid, there’s no movement. And each of the smaller boxes has its own hinged lid as well, so if you’re working with one small box, even if you leave it inside the parent box and that gets tossed, all of the other boxes stay closed and the mess you have to clean up is greatly reduced. Awesomeness. At some future point, I may have to give them a serious look for shuttle storage. For now, though, the ones I’ve bought will do just fine. The Creative Options boxes will be for storing shuttles at home. The Yarnology box will slide right into one of my larger purses so I can tat wherever I am.

Wow. Who knew I could create an entire post just talking about storage boxes??

On the home front, guess who is finally finished with school? This girl!!!!! I have finally graduated. I am now the proud possessor of an AAS (Associate of Applied Science) in Veterinary Technology. I even managed to graduate with a B average! I still have to take the VTNE–the national board for veterinary technicians–but I’ve got to save up money for that. It’s a $300 exam. I also have to be very, very ready for it once I have the fee, because it’s only given every so often, and if you fail, you not only have to wait a certain amount of time before you’re allowed to re-test, you also have to pay another full $300 fee! So I only want to have to take the test once! But I’m very proud of myself for finally completing my degree. Yeah, okay, it took me till I was in my forties to do it, but I did it, and, more importantly, my kids saw me do it. They saw me struggle and fight to do this and do it right, and succeed, and I’m hopeful that it made enough of an impression on them that they will do the same when it’s their turn!

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