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!!!!

22 February 2014

Not a lot

Well all those who read my blog will probably be relieved to hear I've not got a lot to say today!!!! 

One thing I probably need to do is remind those taking part in the TIAS that the boats not in would be very welcome to sail into harbour at any point. 

There were 102 starters that I know of (I didn't get time to go and 'harvest' from blog posts) and have 74 finished ones in the docks. I know there's no time limit and I know that it's not the point to try and beat records but it's nice for everybody to know who else is taking or took part.  

If this game is becoming 'old hat' and needs to be dropped then I'm happy to do that but I'll keep going as long as I get at least 50 taking part each year!  After all it keeps me busy when I might just fall off my perch with boredom during January/February each year.

21 February 2014

Another day - another square!

This has become my 'go to' project when I'm just not in the right frame of mind to play with new ideas. OR when BC3 has taken a holiday!!! 

As you can see - I've now got 3 motifs joined together and things are looking good.  

I must admit that I am working on something else which I'm VERY excited about.  I'm going to do a bit more on it before I start to blog it.  It's NOT mine and it will be available to everybody soon but that's ALL I'm going to tell you.

20 February 2014

Another two necklaces!

These were a beast to get right when I found the rings. Getting the stitch count right is always time consuming but really worth it in the end.

Not sure if you can see but the centre motif (in the middle of the metal ring) is actually a daisy picot flower. The two on the sides and between the chains are also made the same way. Fiddly to do but soooo pretty.

Listed these two late last night - just in case I forgot to do that this morning!!!

19 February 2014

A small amount of progress!

Time to move on with my hall shelf runner. I'm now thinking I MAY stick to dark and light shades of the same colour on each motif. BUT an old git is allowed to change her mind - particularly if she can't think or find two colours that 'go' together!!!

Starting out on one of these ventures is always easy. Easy because it's initially obvious which colours will sit next to each other. When I've done this sort of project before I've found that it becomes harder and harder to make decisions but that often what you think may not work sometimes just do!!! Anyway here are two motifs together.

18 February 2014

Life after doodads!

I LOVE doodads and have loads of them to play with. BUT I also have rings - no, not rings for your fingers but rings. Ordinary rings. 

Last week I had a Spring clean of my tatting cupboard yet again. This time I was REALLY tough on myself and found odds and ends in there which had been around for about twenty years. A lot of the 'stuff' had to go. A lot was bits that I'd worked and were not good enough to keep or good enough to give away to card makers either. The bin men got those!!! Then there was an assortment of bags I'd made two decades ago too - again they went.

BUT I found rings and thought they'd be great for something and this is what happened!!!

They will be listed in my Etsy shop as soon as I finish this post. I know - I don't often mention my Etsy shop but it is still there and 'ticking over' nicely I may add!!!!

17 February 2014


Sadly today is the final part of the TIAS. Here's the link.

For those of you who haven't started and those who are a bit behind - don't worry the game continues until the next one starts in January 2015.

Please remember to send in your country when you send in day 16 and any details you want to - including thread used, skills learned etc.  No need to thank me - I've enjoyed it as much as you have!!!

Later today (when BC3 remembers!) I will upload the whole pattern onto my pattern site - into the 'odds and ends' section.

Just a few thoughts on the design of this little sailing boat.  It wasn't an easy one!!  First there were many images that I looked at - taken from google images.  Then I had to learn a bit about boats/ships and then after that decisions had to be made on 'what sort' to design.  I then had to decide whether to show the whole hull (the part which would normally be under water) but I thought that a design without would be more useful for using on children's clothes, etc.
I'd like to thank the person who asked for many years for me to design a sailing boat.  It may not be exactly what you wanted but it's the best BC3 could do for now!!

15 February 2014

Day 15

Day 16 will be out on Monday or Tuesday. When the last part is published I will be asking you to send in where you live so we can all see where the @%&*$*(@!*^s are coming from!!! I will number each one as it comes in too so we can all keep a tally of how many have taken part this year. Last year the total was 127.  I wonder if it'll be more or less this year.  Whatever happens - I'm hoping to host another 'event' next year too.

14 February 2014

A fresh start!

Tomorrow will be day 15 (the penultimate part) of the TIAS. 

My runner which I showed you here is no more. 

Well I wasn't happy with the variegated thread that I used so I decided to start again with just two plain colours. So this is the first of the second start!!! I wonder whether I'll like this when I look at it again tomorrow?

If this works out this will become my 'relaxation' and 'go to' piece which I pick up when I can't be bothered to work on something new!!!

13 February 2014

Day 14

Here is the link for DAY 14 of the Tat It And See.
Please take a moment today to remember a dear lady who used to test tat the TIAS's for me but who so very sadly died two years ago today.  Who?  Gina Brummett the original Tatting Goddess.  

If you have time do take a look at her blog as she was an inspired tatter and such a dear friend.  Her battle with cancer was going well but sadly her body gave up on February 13th two years ago.  Miss her dreadfully - specially the winter she went through before her death.  Such a brave lady.

12 February 2014

The little hearts.

First of all - day 14 will be out tomorrow.

I got these little boxes with the hearts put together sooner than I thought I would. I must thank the person who sent them to me (her name is anonymous!) very much as they were a pleasure to make.  I couldn't 'wangle' a needle to sew the tatting on with so I used PVA glue and 'painted' it on to the backs of the tatting using a knitting needle. It needed a lot of patience and a VERY steady hand. Not a job to take on if you have been drinking or have a hangover. Not that I would, of course (drink, I mean) - cough, cough, splutter, splutter.

I'll be either giving these away (there are four of them) or selling them. Not sure which. They're ideal for putting a pair of earrings in and giving as a present. So, they may well go in the Etsy shop. 

Oh, they came to me with THE most delicious chocolates in them - a single praline (I think that's what they're called) in each. Now you may well ask if I shared them with Nick. Well, I did. He got one!!!! Sadly the others got eaten by MEEEE!!!! Well it was hard not to. 

That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!!

11 February 2014

Being old and ......

Well, past my 'sell by' date but not yet at my 'use by' date celebrations like Valentine's Day pass the two OG's here by.

Actually I remember getting only one Valentine's present in my whole life and that was from my ex in the first year or so of 'wedded bliss'!!! OR is my imagination and memory playing me up and that didn't really happen either!!!

Anyway, I ramble on. I wanted to show you these little hearts which I did last week. They're the 'Flurry Heartache' which you can find here. A very kind TIAS'er sent me something a few weeks ago which inspired the hearts - four of them and all worked in a size 70 thread. They're to go on a plain, deep red velvety surface so that's the reason I made them in white.

More to come on these!!!

8 February 2014

Fandango coaster

Well while you guys have been tatting the TIAS I've been working on all sorts of 'stuff'!!! 

I was looking round our dark, narrow hallway the other day and decided it needed cheering up. We've got a loooooong radiator shelf there which looks as dull as ditch water and which we're always 'dumping' things on!!! I decided it needed cheering up so a runner to go on it would be the answer. 

The Fandango Coaster is not wide enough to 'do' but it's a good start as I can put a border round it when the length has been achieved. If I did two side by side then it would be wide enough but too wide for a border. I think borders finish things off - simple ones!!!

Anyway - I went into my threads and came up with these two together. Soooo pretty but I'm not sure I like the variegated on this design. I've got to get hold of BC3 but he sometimes tries to have the weekend off!!!

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
I beg your pardon? I didn't quite catch what you said.