Friday, March 30, 2012

now I have to make a blouse

Total fabric splurge because I've never sewn with double gauze. Now I totally have to. Oh, my goodness, it's beautiful. You can't not sew with nani IRO. Right? Maybe I'll try to sew up something like this. I would love to make it if I can. Anyone seen a similar pattern?

Also, I've been terrible TERRIBLE about maintaining my blog's inner pages and sidebars. Bad me. I've recently updated my FAQ, which I hope you will find informative and helpful. And if it is not informative or helpful perhaps you will post a question to help things along?

I've also updated the advertising page with current stats and the mmmakers page with some new shops.

I know it seems like I should change out that sidebar Bible verse sometime, but I always find it relevant to me somehow and I need to see it often. Sorry! I should make a fun sidebar widget called "On my mind" like Disney so I can update it with verses or thoughts on a daily basis. In another life I'd be that organized.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Operation Incognito now available

The Operation Incognito PDF pattern is now available two ways:
1) Emailed to you within 24 hours after you buy in my Etsy shop
2) Instantly downloadable in my Craftsy pattern store

I revamped the original gift idea to include the nine mustache and beard styles you see modeled so goofily above by my own two secret agents (what a silly photo session that was!) and I changed the original drawstring bag into a felt manila envelope that comes with a printable disguise guide. It would be a fun gift set to make for a small secret agent in your life.

We hope you choose to accept this mission. This post will self-destruct in 45 seconds.

(Not really.)

Friday, March 23, 2012

mustaches and misc.

(Late Note: This is now available as a PDF pattern in my shops: Etsy (emailed within 24 hours) and Craftsy (instant download))

Hey, there. It's all mustaches all the time around here. I'm finishing up a sewing pattern for the previously seen Operation Incognito that I think you'll really like. I've added new mustaches and beard styles and a new way to stash them all. Ha ha. Stash. In other news:
  • Abby Glassenberg has another great article posted right now on the ins and outs of contributing to craft books. It's a great resource for you if you'd like to know more about the process. I'm just really enjoying her whole Softies For Sale series. Hmm, that's a lot of Ss. Fun with sibilance.
  • Am I the only one not watching Downton Abbey for pity's sake? I watched series one last year, but fumbled it and didn't catch the first episodes of series two, and now I stubbornly refuse to enter in the middle of things. I'll have to wait until it streams or something.
  • There are now several shops listed on the mmmakers page if you are looking for ready-made Wee Mouses or other items from an Mmmcrafts pattern. 
  • Wow, suddenly I really, really, really need a haircut. This always seems to sneak up on me. I'll go for weeks feeling good about my hair, then one day I wake up and it has Crossed The Line.
  • I'm rereading Circle of Friends and I've decided I'd like to be Irish and live in a tiny town near Dublin, eat porridge with cream and wear woolen pencil skirts. I love the way Maeve Binchy phrases things. My favorite quote from today's reading: "She doesn't spend the the whole lunch hour eating by the look of her, thin string of misery that she is."
  • Speaking of food, I'm going to see Hunger Games on Monday night with some gal friends! Oh, Hunger Games the Movie, please oh please oh please live up to my (unreasonable) expectations.

Friday, March 16, 2012

card for Chelsea and Raven

My sweet nieces share a birthday week in March, and I'm hoping they do not mind sharing a birthday card too.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

joy in the mail

I've always loved getting packages in the mail. It does not matter a bit that they are packages I purchased for myself! It still makes me want to dance a jig when brown paper packages show up on my doorstep or in the mailbox. It's like magic. And let's just be honest, I'm so absentminded that the arrival of ordered items is still sometimes a surprise. Sad, but true.

You can see above that I purchased two colorways of my favorite design from Rashida's Washi fabric line. I love the whole fun look of the washi tape going this way and that, and I can really see it being sewn up into some cute clothes. Maybe a shirt for me. Speaking of shirts, are you getting geared up to sew yourself a spring top? I'm trying to work up the gumption. And also speaking of which, my fellow Atlantans, Ms. Spring Top Week herself will be at Whipstitch on the 23rd and 24th. I'm going to try to make it over there.

Continuing on with nice 'surprises' in the mail, I bought this pretty bias binding and this gently used copy of...this lovely book for which I do not have the title. Because I do not read Japanese. But if I had to name it, I'd call it Way Cool Lucky Happy Stitchy Felt Stuff. Since that is completely unhelpful, here's the ISBN:

It may be out of print by now. I found both items at this lovely etsy shop (Hi, Jennifer!) and I'm so happy that she was willing to part with this book because I've been lusting after it since I found it at Robyn's house a few months ago. I spent quite a few minutes browsing the book at her dining table when I probably should have been concentrating on my friend who is moving to Brazil. But look at the pretty pretty pictures!

 And especially this little bag:

I dig all the bright, layered, embroidered felt shapes. So me. Besides opening packages tied up with string, I'm also working up a pattern for the Operation Incognito mustache kit, so hopefully that will be available soon.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Zakka Style errata

This just in: If you are making my Stem Messenger Bag included in the book Zakka Style, there is a misprint on page 47 in the instructions. The text says to draw a line measuring 3 inches from the point, but it should read 3 inches from edge to edge, like so:

Make a little note in your book for future reference. You can check C&T's official errata page for Zakka Style right here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

calling all mmmakers!

I'm getting a lot of requests to buy premade items, like Wee Mouses. If you make stuff to sell from my retail sewing patterns and want referrals, can you let me know? (More info on cottage industry can be found here.) I'd love to have options to give folks. There's a mmmakers page available for links to your shops or just your contact information. If you want to be included on that resource page, please let me know. I'll need to be able to confirm your pattern purchase(s), so include your Etsy username or the PayPal email address you used for your Craftsy purchase. If you'd rather email me than comment, my email address is listed under my profile, in the sidebar over there >> on the blog. Thanks!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Great Scott! (slurp)

I have decided that it is a huge waste of time to sit for an hour and pin things and then never use them. So to justify my Pinterest habit, I've been making an effort to go back through the pins I've hoarded and try the ideas. One of which is Ree's iced coffee. Holy smokes. I'm on my second glassful. You should see how fast I'm typing. My thoughts are so FOCUSED. My hair is actually standing on end. Not really. But I am wired. This stuff is so good, man. I am usually a hot coffee type of person, especially in the morning. But this. This transcends temperature. I highly recommend it.

I didn't want to buy a whole pound of espresso for the first attempt, so I went for the 10 oz package of Cafe Bustelo. Instead of 2 gallons of water, I used 1.25 gallons of water with it and steeped it overnight. Be prepared to wait for the filtering process. I used paper towels in my strainer because I didn't have cheesecloth and a coffee filter was way WAY too slow. With paper towels you can at least change them out after a couple of times so the speed picks back up again. You end up with a pitcherful of black gold.

She says (insert chuckling) that you can use skim milk instead of half and half to mix in. Hoo boy. That's a good one, Ree. As if. And of course I went for her Vietnamese version that has sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar. It's totally worth the splurge. Especially when your first sip through the straw is a glob of pure condensed milk. Bonus. Instead of about halfway up, I filled up most of the glass with coffee, then about 3 TBS sweetened condensed milk and then a splash of half and half.

What else? We've been getting back into our usual school groove after Michael's hospital stay. Not a huge amount of making going on at the moment. I'm trying to force myself to finish up some WIPs. It's not going so well. I have also been trying to organize things in my craft room so it looks less like a paper and felt explosion and more like a place to get something done. I love my felt organizer (otherwise known as a shoe rack from Target). Scraps go in the old Coke crate above it.

I did forget to mention that I was invited for an interview recently with talented Abby Glassenberg over at While She Naps. Abby has been doing a great series of posts on how to monetize your softie making habit. I took some time out to discuss cottage industry as it relates to my own pattern business. Go on over and check it out.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

well, you asked, Candy.

I'm trying to wow you with a shot of the gravel saved by the surgeon from my husband's kidney surgery. But I'm probably just really grossing you out. It was actually one big stone but it had to be broken into these bits to get it out through the scope in my husband's poor back. It's amazing what they can do nowadays, isn't it? If you live in my area you can't go wrong with Dr. Scott Shelfo if you have a kidney stone the size of a VW bus. He's an awesome surgeon. Shout out to you, Doc Shelfo! (snapping fingers and pointing)

Just so this post has some redeeming value for those of you who are icked out right now, jump over here instead and read a non-medical, fantastic review of my Wee Mouse Tin House pattern written up by Stephanie with help from her seven year old Sweet Pea. The pictures of her daughter helping to make the mouse house are so adorable, and you can get a real world synopsis of the process.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thank you to you, no thank you to stones

I wanted to express my thanks to everyone for the enthusiastic response to the needle books and to let you know that even though this batch is sold that I do plan to make more as time allows. What is keeping me from making anything at the moment is a hospital stay for my sweet husband, who had surgery this week for a kidney stone the size of Rhode Island. Possibly a bit larger. We now have a keepsake jar of gravel fragments that the doc saved for us. I'm sure if I googled it I might find someone who makes crafts with kidney stones, which is why I am NOT going to google it. LOL. So anyway, thanks again. See you soon.