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We have reached a milestone - NOW OVER ONE THOUSAND REVIEWS!!!


I began this project in 2003, when I went hunting for information on a doll crafting magazine("The Cloth Doll") at the Library of Congress' website. I was trying to figure out when it ceased publication so that I would know when I had a complete run. I was shocked to discover that not only does the Library of Congress not archive a copy of all periodicals, it isn't even aware of most craft magazines. I felt betrayed! So I went searching for bibliographies of various craft magazines - and came up with nada. Even Wikipedia is largely silent on the subject. (I have since discovered that the magazines "THREADS" and "PIECEWORK" keep searchable databases of all their issues(kudos to these awesome periodicals!!!) and that there are some women out there as dedicated to the dead publication "WORKBASKET" as I am - but there was no collective database of all of them as I'd hoped to find.)

I had also been discovering there were a great many magazines and newsletters out there that I'd never heard of, that had all sorts of wonderful information packed into their pages. Magazines for me are a source of patterns and recipes and inspiration for my own projects. I may not have made those leg warmers from "Workbasket" yet - but I know I will eventually - and it gives me a great deal of pleasure to know I can easily look up which issue and be able to go straight to the right box it's archived in.

Magazines both reflected and helped form our culture for over a century. They still have their effect - but the internet has been slowly leeching this power away, just as tv did to radio. One thing the internet cannot take away from old periodicals, however, is their permanence - which seems like a funny thing to say about a form of media that has always been considered as disposable as newspapers! But websites come and go like mayflies - the information they impart can be gone tomorrow without explanation. But I have magazines dating as far back as 1864! They will still be there when I die and this website is gone. My collection will go to a textile museum along with the database, so that it will continue to enlighten and inform on these small arenas of textile arts long after I am gone.

Between the books on Soft Sculpture I'd been finding and periodicals like "National Doll World" and "The Cloth Doll" I began to get a hazy picture of this huge renaissance in soft sculpture art that got started in the 60's and peaked in the '80's that I'd completely missed! I grew up in exactly this time period, sewing hundreds of (Barbie)doll outfits, making furniture for doll houses for my sister and cousins, making cornhusk dolls, applehead dolls, whittling articulated dolls, and designing stuffed animals that I could make out of my mother's scrap bag. I was completely unaware that there was this great movement going on at the same time. I was a rural kid, always too busy to be bored, but pretty insulated from the larger crafting community. My only contact was through books, which could be checked out for a week from the book mobile that came in from Grand Junction from the public library there. Did I mention that I was a (very) rural kid?

Which brings me to this long-winded point: 1) I felt that someone should be collecting, organizing(! - very important, that part) and archiving the documentation for this wonderful time period, 2) that most of it was quickly ending up in landfills as the generation before mine starts dying, and their heirs look at the amassed mountains of paper in the forms of patterns and magazines and catalogs(because we ALL buy and hoard more patterns and materials than we could ever use in ten lifetimes), and decide a shovel and industrial trashbin on the lawn is their best option for getting through the stressful mess, and 3) that the person who recognizes the problem is typically the person who should do something about it. So here I am. I have no formal training as a librarian or curator, and my research training was all geared toward lab work. I had to teach myself HTML and Javascript in order to build this website, so while it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles(though I'm proud of my slideshow on this page!), I can make any needed changes myself - and of course, continue adding information! I'm not wealthy - not even well off. My husband owns a comic shop. Comic shops don't make money - they make back-issue comics. But we are happy, and I've learned so much working on this project. Of course it has been worthwhile, and it has only barely begun. There is still so much more to accomplish! The website will get "prettier" as I get more of the important stuff done. That likely won't be until 2020.

I started with the soft toy, doll and teddy bibliography page, and it sort of swallowed my undivided attention for the first eight years of this project. You'll see why when you get down to the magazine reviews. There is a catalog of all the books I am aware of, and reviews of those books in the catalog I happen to own(only about six hundred - don't laugh, to my husband and me, that is a paltry number!), and what has turned out to be the black hole for time consumption - the magazine bibliographies. I have since put serious time into putting together the tatting bibliography - hopefully, it shows!

I delayed putting the website on-line until I had a certain checklist of things done, which included completed bib pages for key magazine titles - but I kept adding things to the list! I finally realized I would never get the bibliography up if I continued to wait until I had the list all checked off. So keep in mind that this bibliography is a Work-In-Progress, and that I only have about 30 hours a week that I can devote to building it. I have a full-time job, and help my husband out at his shop on the weekends - and I craft. I'm currently doing a LOT of tatting for a cloak for next Fall. That has turned into needing to learn how to dye variagated thread, designing a pine cone pattern I will be satisfied with, and trying to find just the right weight of olive-colored wool...

I've put thousands of hours into the soft toy magazine bib and still have a great many titles to add. General craft/needlework magazines that carried doll and toy patterns are included here, so if you're hunting for other information you may well find it here. I try to have at least three quarters of a run before I start building a full page for any given magazine title, and I have a great many partial runs that I'm still working on filling in. Even so, I have a backlog of material that needs to be data entered that will take about 5 years to catch up on at the rate I'm working! And every time I start getting smug about having a pretty complete picture of what's been published, I run across yet another title or well established designer I was completely unaware of.

I also have a very large collection of tatting, candle-making, costuming, chainmail knitting and polymer clay books. I will post updates on what has been completed in the column to the right of this introduction, so you can check back periodically and see if there's anything new you are interested in.

Please read the FAQ if you have a minute - at least skim the questions in bold to see if any are questions you might have yourself. Yes, it's dry and unentertaining, but there's a good reason why it's called "Frequently Asked Questions!"

Feel free to drop me a note with any questions, suggestions or complaints. If you find errors, PLEASE let me know. I try very hard to be as accurate as possible, but I have no one checking behind me, and if there's a broken link or misspelled word, there's no one to blame but me. Taking a minute to send me a note is always appreciated! And of course, I love creative compliments. :)


September 5th, 2015:

Many of my friends are at Palmetto Tat Days this weekend. Anitra will be bringing back the latest crop of books, and from the talented Karey Solomon herself, the rest of the back issues of "Tatting Times Newsletter" so I may finish cataloging the run!

I've been working on adding stubs on the tatting bib page for all the foreign books Becky Clarke has dug up. She has an amazing talent for research and no fear of Excel spreadsheets. With her many many hours of work, we've brought the bib page up to over 1000 referenced published works!!! Ten years ago I'd have scoffed if someone had claimed there were half that many as very unrealistic.

If you need to contact me, use "akamoraih[at]gmail[dot]com" and you know to replace the "[at]" and "[dot]" with the appropriate symbols, right? Spammers look for those symbols when trolling for addresses to try - hence the dumb encryption.

August 9th, 2015:

I've finished the review page and cataloging Teri Dusenbury's "TATbits Newsletter" . I'm very excited to add this bit to the big picture! THANK YOU for this amazing donation to the Bibliography Project! I have a bit of a craft crush for Teri Dusenbury's genius, so this was a true treasure for me.

I have also added the oldest book in the collection that includes tatting instruction - from 1843! THE LADIES' WORK-TABLE BOOK does not give an author. The url for Martha Ess' wonderful analysis of many of these oldest books(including this one!) is included at the bottom of the review page - I highly recommend it.

July 18th, 2015:

I've finished updating Karey Solomon's "Tatting Times Newsletter" review page. A very generous friend has donated her issues to the Bib Project, along with a lovely stack of Teri Dusenbury's newsletter! I am deeply humbled by the gift, and hope I have done a worthy job of cataloging them for posterity!

July 10th, 2015:

We are now at over 800 reviews on the tatting bib page!!! I haven't counted them up yet, but I believe we may be over 1,000 entries - that's over 1,000 books and magazine titles that cover the subject of tatting!!! If someone had told me there were that many books on tatting in the world I'd have laughed and asked the person if I could have some too...

It continues to be incredibly busy - I'm working hard to get all the materials that have been pouring in lately catalogued and segregated for processing so that I can get them processed eventually without losing track of what I have on hand. There have been many very generous donations lately of rare newsletters and such that have to be handled with care - THANK YOU for your generosity. I am deeply grateful.

Thanks to Inge for letting me know the slideshow was broke. I believe it is fixed now. If anyone sees any further problems, please let me know!

June 12th, 2015:

I didn't think it possible, but the tatting bib reviews count has passed the soft toy bib reviews count. That doesn't mean there are more tatting books than there are soft toys books. It means I've put more money and energy into putting together the tatting books - and it was my earliest collection of craft books, no matter the humble size.

Someone contacted me to point out the magazine catalogs can't be reached easily from the home page, and she's right. So I'm going to build a page with just the magazines listed and put a link up at the top so that those people only looking for a magazine can find them without having to guess which craft bib it would be most likely listed with. This may take me a while, as I'm swamped with new materials at the moment and it will take several months to get the materials logged and organized for cataloging. That has to remain the priority, or I'll quickly lose track of stuff. Just remember one of Murphy's rules: The magazine you are trying to find information on will be the one I'm missing. Please do keep checking back. I'm constantly adding new material and filling holes. It will eventually be there...

May 19th, 2015:

Eeeeeh! I'm so excited! I love antique books and magazines, and it has annoyed me for years that I've been unable to acquire even a single Mdslle Riego book. The one time I came across one, I was outbid at an appalling amount of money(Whoever won it, please forgive me). I have one(1) reproduction from Iva Rose Publications - who does an excellent job and has an impressive catalog of available reproductions - but I like holding history in my own(cotton glove-covered) hands. I have one really cool English antique that was contemporaneous with Mdslle Riego... and I found a small hardcover book that predates the Riego's by six(6) years!!! Becky of the amazing keyboard fu was able to track down several references to it after we had the title and publisher, but I've never seen it mentioned anywhere until this copy was discovered at an estate sale. Becky has graciously given permission for me to add her research to the review page: "Embroidery On Muslin, Lacework, and Tatting" by An American Lady

I am proud to add this small piece to the bibliography, and am working to publish a reproduction of it to make it available to everyone with an interest, and to help support the Bibliography Project. I run all of this on a shoestring budget, and have gotten to a point where it would be really helpful if I could use more of my paycheck for silly things like groceries and a new second-hand car. Anyone wishing to preorder their copy should get in touch! I will be putting out a hardcopy only.

I've just finished reviewing the tatting books of Sharon Briggs - a really solid designer with lots of projects packed into the pages of her books.

May 6th, 2015:

The Tatting Bibliography now has over 700 REVIEWS!!! If someone had announced to me a decade ago there were so many tatting books in print, I'd have laughed and suggested they needed to stay out of the sun and not skip their meds. I'm grateful to IOLI(International Organization of Lace, Inc) and their lending library, and Anitra Stone, who has also been providing books from her personal collection for review and cataloging. Aaaand I still don't have the "Modern Priscilla" 's done. I've had so many books to add that I haven't had a chance to get back to the task of cataloging magazines! I will hopefully be able to get back to them shortly. I have, however, added more issues to the "Lace Crafts Quarterly" catalog. I don't know when that run ended, so I don't know how many issues I'm still short. I am at the very least missing one issue- the Spring 1990 when they changed the title to "Lace & Crafts". Can anyone enlighten me?

I've been working on an organizations page for the various craft disciplines I cover here. If you are part of an organization and would like to see a link here, please contact me with details.

Mar. 28th, 2015:

I've got reviews and a partial catalog up of two of the self-published tatting newsletters: 1) Mary McCarthy's "Knots!" Newsletter and 2) Karey Solomon's "Tatting Times Newsletter" . Loved them both - and for different reasons. Mary was so helpful, and sent me what indexes she could dig up - that was several computers ago, so she put some real time and effort into helping out.(Thank you, Mary!)

If you need to contact me, use "akamoraih[at]gmail[dot]com" and you know to replace the "[at]" and "[dot]" with the appropriate symbols, right? Spammers look for those symbols when trolling for addresses to try - hence the dumb encryption.

Mar. 14th, 2015:

KERSTI and Becky of http://www.Craftree.com/ fame have been exchanging information with me to help complete both our bibliographies(Thank you, Kersti and Becky!). I've added about 50 new entries to the tatting bib page! And you'll be seeing my reviews in the Craftree library! That means more books to look for review copies(false sigh). Maybe Anitra has them? Anitra Stone has also been providing a steady stream from her personal library - so "Modern Priscilla" still isn't done. Sorry about that, but I want to get Anitra's books back to her as quickly as possible.

I also want to personally thank Carol Winandy of TATSY for so generously donating some of her catalogs so that I could complete the listing of her wonderful "TATSY KITS" ! She was very kind and patient with the request. I've been collecting these kits for many many years whenever I ran across them - and still have almost half of them to go! And she did a cloth doll kit! I had no idea. That doll kit is now at the top of my wishlist... Carol still has a few tatted ornament kits left and really useful tatting notions she is selling on ebay. Just search "Tatsy".

I've just gotten in about 70 more "Needlecraft: Home Arts" from the 1920's to late '30's. I'm really happy about this, despite having to spend another $400 on mylar bags and acid free boards in the near future.

And thank you all for the little notes of appreciation I've been getting - they really help keep me going. I've even had the premiere of a new magazine sent to me for free to be reviewed! Evidently I've "arrived" as a critic(laughing). I do my best, but remember my two (faux)golden rules: 1)Murphy insists the issue/book you're looking for will be missing from this bibliography, and 2) It is always wise when reading someone else's opinion to excercise a healthy amount of skepticism. There's a third rule I'm debating on adding: 3) If I manage to misspell a name, it's gonna be yours.

Mar. 2nd, 2015:

Anitra Stone has very generously given me access to her massive tatting library! I can fill in quite a few blanks for books I've never been fortunate enough to run across myself. This is a really big deal to me. These books are irreplaceable or I'd have them already! Reviews on books from her library will be marked as such. I will continue to look for copies of my own of those books, but at least the bib info about them will be available to everyone right now! Thank You Thank You Thank You, Anitra! You ROCK!

I had a link sent to me: http://wandasknottythoughts.blogspot.com/ In Wanda's February 28th, 2015, I got my first unsolicited review! She was very kind. (Thank you, Wanda :) )

Feb. 16TH, 2015:

The sale at the shop went well, but I was exhausted - so I spent the week fiddling with format in the tatting bibliography and moving sets of books to their own pop-up pages. All of the tatting material is still accessible from that page - you just won't have to scroll past endless numbers of "Coats & Clark", "American Thread Company", etc. to get to other books. I've moved all sets to their own pages that seemed reasonable, and a few authors with large numbers of publishing credits to their name like Mdlle Riego, and Karey Solomon. I can't believe I've actually reached 600 reviews on the tatting bibliography too. Three Cheers for Obsessive Compulsion! Now it's back to my beloved "Modern Priscilla"...

Feb. 4TH, 2015:

I've reached the 600 review milestone in the tatting bibliography!!! I'm really happy and excited. I've also been working steadily on the "Modern Priscilla" magazines and have gotten up to 1921 in my run. I'll be taking a break this week to help Rick get ready for his pre-St. Valentine's Day sale at Foundation's Edge in Raleigh(his comic shop). If you live in the area, feel free to stop in and introduce yourself. We're a friendly crowd. I also want to give a personal THANK YOU!!! to Anitra Stone for taking the time to go through her pattern book collection to pull bib details for me for the tatting page. I knew there was a lot of stuff I had no clue about, and she has been proving it with the list she sent me of just half-size booklets I'm missing. STILL a work in progress...

Thank you, Kathie, for the correction on the two Cradle Creations, Inc. booklets - I misattributed the authorship on both, and Kathie caught it. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I greatly appreciate your bringing it to my attention!

Jan. 4TH, 2015:

I've finally got the batch file uploading sorted out on the new computer, so I can get all the work I've done that's been piling up added to the bibliographies! I've also discovered that what works in test on my computer doesn't necessarily work once I've got it uploaded, so bear with me as I go through all the bibs and review pages I've uploaded to find and fix any problems. There are now well over 1,000 pages, so it's going to take me a while. It's mostly scans of covers that aren't showing up. If you come across a link that isn't working, please do let me know so I can get it fixed asap. I'll post a notice when I believe I've got all the other problems fixed. After that, if you see anything else - missing pictures, info errors, etc., you'd be doing me a great service by notifying me.

Jan. 1st, 2015:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! You have my warmest wishes for all your creative endeavors. I am still working on the "Modern Priscilla" run. The more I get done, the more I really wish I had them all! It's a marvelous magazine, with a plethora of articles on a wide variety of vintage needlecrafts. I'm also excited about getting a complete run of "Bead & Button" up to June of this year!!! I am still working on getting a handle on the new computer and upgraded software. I have a ton of stuff that I need to get uploaded - 100s of files are piling up that I've done work on. My server host has excellent tech support, so hopefully if I can just spend a large enough block of time at the computer, they can get me straightened out.



(In Alphabetical Order, not in order of contributions)-

These are the wonderful people who have gone way above and beyond the call to provide obscure materials, solid advice and indispensible expertise. Thank you, one and all.

Becky Clark- has introduced me to the wonders of Excel in 2015 - and shared her Excel spreadsheets of the bibliographies(mine, Georgia's and IOLI's) with me as well as sharing her own research into what had been published in the way of tatting in Norway, Denmark and Sweden!!! She is a lot more conversant with WorldCat and those particular languages than I am, and dug out a tremendous amount of information I would have remained ignorant of. She is smart, knowledgeable and funny, and I am so glad to have gotten to know her. She's done an amazing job of entering books and links into Craftree's library, and has done a lot of badly needed proofreading for me. Becky is AWESOME!

Kristy Effinger- Colette Wolff's biggest fan and a fellow collector of all her patterns - Kristy has been a huge contributor to the CW bib page - it would look very thin without her contributions!

Phyllis C. Keller(In Memoriam, Oct 12, 1918 - Jan. 7, 2011)- Doll Making and collecting were her hobbies and passion for 40 years. Her loving husband Bob donated most of a decade of "Doll Castle News" and "Dolls" to the bibliography in her memory, enabling me to put both titles on the list of bib pages I can set up! In memory of this lovely lady and her generous husband, you have my heartfelt thank you.

Marian Lynn(In Memoriam)- Her loving daughter, Linda, passed on her mother's collection of "The Toy Trader" spanning from January 1954 to March 1972 to the bibliography. Linda's words about her mother- "My mother was kind and generous. She started her first doll collection when she traveled through Europe with my Dad, and upon her return gave the collection to her friendís daughter who was starting to collect dolls. Later she started collecting dolls again. She taught (us) her children to share and that good deeds are a reward in themselves. She would be happy to know that her collection of The Toy Trader Publication went to someone who will appreciate them." Linda is also a fellow tatter along with being an accomplished knitter and crocheter. Thank you for your generosity, and for allowing me to help keep memories of your mother's many kindnesses alive in thought and memory. It is an honor to acknowledge her living legacy - the family she clearly cherished. Best wishes to you and yours, Leigh

Anitra Stone- Has been a mentor and friend for several years now - shoulda added her name to this list a long time ago for all the information she has hunted down for me and funneled my way. I'm so deeply grateful. I remember I was very excited to meet her for the first time. I already knew her for years, you see, from the eye-catching Captain's Wheel tatting pattern she published in my beloved "Workbasket"! She is a very talented designer we hope to encourage to put out her own books. Anyone who has seen her array of birds can attest. Her help with the tatting bibliography has been substantial and long running. Her friendship and patience have been deeply appreciated. Thank you.

Ruth Wilson- Librarian extraordinaire and another fellow Colette Wolff fan - also clued me in and introduced me to Joan Chiara Cigler's amazing work, gives advice freely on this arcane business of documenting and archiving vintage materials, and has helped complete several runs of important doll magazine titles from her private collection. Lovely lady, you Rock!

Zendelle- Donated an obscure run of "Milady In Miniature" out of the blue after seeing my website during the first time I was able to put it up - the only issues I've ever been able to locate of this title. Zendelle runs a fantastic searchable(yay!) website for doll collectors that I envy greatly. You should check it out if you are a doll collector of any vintage: http://www.vintagedollcollector.com/

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