Here are some helpful tutorials and tips for your Madame Papillon or your Paraíso Shawl. Don't hesitate to poke me and say that I left something out!
Garter tab is that nifty way to start a top-down shawl that leaves you with an unbroken garter edge at the top of your lacy work of art. I will say, these things can drive you crazy, and having an inch-long dip at the top center of your shawl is a worthwhile exchange for your sanity. But once you figure it out, you will seek out projects that start with this sweet little trick.
Some tutorials tell you to start with a provisional cast-on. For me, that is crazy - picking up 3 or 4 stitches and having a teeny-tiny seam over said 3 or 4 stitches on the back of my shawl is fine by me. Here is a written and video tutorial:
There are many different kinds. I walk you through kind that gives you loopy goodness. Here is a written tutorial that walks you through something pretty similar, with photos.