My dad taught me how to make lace when I was a young teen. He even hand crafted me some lacemaking bobbins out of bits he found around the house, used toothbrush handle, wooden and plastic chopsticks etc. He threaded wire and beads on the ends and they were quite cool. Regretfully I chucked them out years later when I was sifting through things to come with me overseas and things I didn't need anymore.
I haven't made lace for years, and I've never learnt tatting and proper embroidery. But my dad knows (among many handcrafts) these things. I do not know how to make doilys, but thats ok. I don't know if I'd have the patience for it anyway. And after seeing this amazing tree on Gertrude St in Melbournes Fitzroy soon after we moved to Australia 2 years ago, Sam and I decided I'd collect 2nd hand doilys to one day create our own doily tree.
We don't have the right kind of tree yet, but the collection is growing. Some will one day go on a tree when we get the right house with the right tree. Some I am keeping for making other things to give them a new life. Some I just want to collect and look at every now and then. I think I'm drawn to the fact that someone sometime sat down and spent time making these. There is a sort of life - an untold story in them.