1 March 2014

Playing with SCMR's

This is yet another motif from the Houtz book. I love this one and had to make it, of course. 

The technique itself is pretty easy once you know the SCMR but I did have to keep track of what I was doing!!! Strained BC3 at times keeping him focussed on which part was to be worked next which wasn't helped by numerous interruptions!!!! 

Also being ambitious I added beads too and joined the top and middle layer!!! The bottom layer is also joined behind the other two just to help it lie a bit better while I was working it.

Just a reminder of where you can get this new book from as this MAY be my last report on it. Doubt I'll put it away anytime soon as I want to play more with the bobbles and make myself some earrings!!! There are some great ideas in there for those too.

28 February 2014


After a diversion into the layered SCMR it was time to return to the critters!!! 

According to Gary this one was devised for a group in Brasstown (which is in North Carolina). The town is famous for it's 'possum drop' on New Year's Eve. You can read all about it here.

Gary devised this as he'd been there and - well, this is what he said.

"Because of the notoriety the only General Store in town sells all kinds of possum things. They have stuffed possums, canned possum, road kill menus, ceramic possums. Randy brought back a T-shirt that had a picture of a possum in it that said 'The Other, Other, White Meat'. When I was in the store one time I made a comment that they didn't have a tatted possum - - sooooo. I made a few samples when I taught the class and gave one to the education director and took one over to the store. They now have a tatted possum and loved it."

I too have a tatted possum (we don't have possums here in the UK) which I love, love, love.  I did see one once in the USA when Sally and I were staying with CrazyMomTats.  He was dead in the road and I think her neighbours were a tad surprised to see an old git taking photos of it!!!

27 February 2014

Another technique

I had a message from Randy yesterday to say that the book is now available for $28.00 so if you want to email them for a copy before it gets to the shop then please do.

Well if you thought that the book was going to be just about bauble tatting then you'll have to think again because there are other surprises in there too.  There's the layered SCMR.  Yes, honestly - layered.  I simply had to try that, of course!!!

So I decided I needed some more colour in my life!!! This is a layered SCMR pair of earrings.

This is another interesting technique and well worth trying but there's even more to it than this.

Tomorrow another critter so please stop by again.

26 February 2014

After the mouse comes

As promised yesterday - here's the next project I decided to make from the Houtz brother's book.

This little hedgehog is soooo darn cute. 

There was a lot of interest on Facebook yesterday over the mouse and it was interesting that a few people thought he was my design.  Come on, peeps, BC3 just isn't as clever as this as you well know.

Now tomorrow I've got something else from the book to show you but it's totally different.  No, you're going to HAVE to wait!!!

By the way - if you want to pre-order the book then please contact Gary and Randy.  The link to their page is here and if you scroll to the bottom you'll find the contact information.  I know they're hoping to have it back from the printers today.

25 February 2014

More about the book.

Some time ago it was pointed out to me that I rarely tat other people's patterns and looking through the new Shuttle Brother's book it dawned on me why. 

First of all most of the time I've thought of a new idea and want to try it out. Then I spend a lot of time going back to old patterns that need updating.  Finally it occurred to me that the reason I don't tat many other patterns is cause I do love to challenge BC3 and I don't see many that would!!!!

As I said in my last post on this topic - I'd tried the bauble/bobble tatting many years ago so I decided to skip the preliminary 'training the brain' patterns and dived straight in with the one I'd fallen instantly and utterly in love with - the mouse!!!   

Now tatting the mouse was really easy once I'd got into the swing of it. The pattern is beautifully notated and simple to follow especially when you realised that there was a 'proper' way to make it.  This where I realised I should've refreshed the brain first so I did go and make a small purple bauble first!!!

The only real problem I had was the little giggles that kept coming from me as I was making him!!! To say I loved every minute of tatting him is an understatement. In fact once I'd finished him I immediately started a second one. Here is mouse number 2.

So yesterday they both came out with me to see friends.  They were totally entranced with them.  I also took their new friend but you'll have to wait to see him tomorrow!!!!!

24 February 2014

Book review - part one!

Some years ago I had the pleasure of working with Bobbie Demmer on her idea of bauble tatting which you can find on my technique page.

I made a bobble or two at that time and then as ever got distracted and left it again. 

A few weeks ago I had an email from Randy and Gary Houtz asking if I'd mind reviewing their new book with baubles included. Well, what does an OG do except say YES PLEASE. I love their work at the best of times and it was buying their revolutionary first book on the Self Closing Mock Ring when it was published in 1999 that brought my tatting out of the doldrums. They claim it's not their idea but at least they revived it to become what it is today - an integral part of modern tatting designs. 

To sidetrack slightly - I met Gary many years ago at Rosemarie Peel's house and in the space of perhaps twenty minutes he'd made me think LOADS about my own tatting and what I'd been happily doing for so many years. Gary showed me the daisy picot technique and the advantages of front side back side tatting too. He did NOT convince me to start using the magic thread trick as I'd had so many failures with that in the past!!!! I'm a stubborn old git at times. 

In 2012 I had the great pleasure of meeting Randy at Palmetto Tat Days and believe me - that was as good as meeting his udder brother. Try asking either of them which one is 'shuttle brother 1' and you'll get the same answer - confusing the issue even further!! 

Anyway the book duly arrived and I started thumbing through it. I'll tell you more tomorrow - need to build up the excitement for you that I felt looking through it myself!!!!

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
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