Tuesday, August 28, 2018

new colorways in 100% wool felt - WIP


Hey, guys. Stitching like a busy bee in between driving my kid all over creation to volleyball. This is the first time I've been an athlete parent and MAN, y'all. It's a lot of driving. But my kid loves it. Go, Holland! Bless her, she's working successfully to overcome the combined set of awkward genes she got from her very unathletically gifted parents. I have other talents.

So anyway, the three Twelve Days ornaments^ up there are from the blue/pink color bundle that I'm putting together for Janet at Felt on the Fly using her luxurious 100% wool felts. There will be three different colorways and they are going to be heavy on the rich, dark and bright colors. I'm excited to share more later!


In other news, I decided it was time to replace my blog, shop, and social media profile pictures with one that actually looks like me. The old one was the Brunette Larissa from several years ago. It was time to switch to Granny Hair Larissa. But how embarrassing is it to take a bunch of selfies? I'd rather be poked with knives than ask my teens to photograph official shots of me, so I hid in the kitchen and tried to figure out the best way to get a shot of myself with my phone timer (multiple fails) that didn't look 100% contrived and awkward. I kept checking over my shoulder to make sure they couldn't see what I was doing and mock me. It felt completely ridiculous. #generationgap

I'm not sure the one I am using over there > in my profile is even acceptable but I give up for now. It's me Living My Truth (aka swilling coffee). 

Monday, August 13, 2018

and we have a winner...

Hey, guys, thanks for partying with me like it's 2008 by leaving comments on my 10th blogiversary old school giveaway! I read each and every comment and really enjoyed getting a glimpse into your past and present thoughts and lives. One overarching theme appeared as I read through: change.

Ten years has brought change to all of our lives. Some change was welcomed with joy: new career paths, new marriages, new sweet babies, new homes, new locales. Some changes you shared were heartbreakers of loss, adversity, sickness and sorrow. I just wanted to hug some of you! Another word occurred to me as I read your stories: hindsight. So many of you looked back on difficult or painful times and could now see clearly how those things were necessary or even made beautiful with the passing time.

What's clear to me, as I gain more gray hair by the minute, is that all change in our lives challenges us to grow. Looking back over the ten year span I think we can all of us see how change has made us stronger, and the new strength is an inseparable part of who we are. Thanks for helping me to reflect more deeply on the time that has passed and how to redeem whatever time my Creator may grant me in the future. I pray God blesses you all, and that the next ten years bring you peace and joy!


Comments on the anniversary post are officially closed and the randomly generated winner is:

kkbroc, aka Kristie!

Her comment:
Ten years ago I found your Molly Monkey free pattern to make for my daughter's 6th birthday. I now have 6 children and can give you an amen as I too have been homeschooling all these years. I love your ornaments and would love to win this!!!

Congratulations, Kristie! Six children are such a blessing! *High fives* to a fellow homeschooler and extra props for your large student body. I hope you enjoy the sewing patterns that you choose! Thanks for providing your email address. Look for me in your inbox!

Thank you to everyone who helped me make this 10th birthday a proper occasion! (Did you miss the Etsy sale? No worries, my Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale will still be happening in November!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

mmmcrafts is 10 years old! let's celebrate!


The comments on this post are closed! Thanks for participating in the giveaway! The winner is posted here.

In 2008 I haphazardly started a craft blog and a pattern business (like you do, you know) and now whammo -- it's suddenly 10 years later. I kept reminding myself last year that this landmark was coming, and then I got too busy and tabled thinking about it for later. Later later. My actual blog birthday slipped by me five months ago on March 29th (here's a throwback to my very first blog post for ya), and then my Etsy shop was born later that year in November, so my Etsyversary is still to come in a couple months. I'll think of this commemorative post as splitting the difference.

2007: Me and my girlies a few months before blogging ever occurred to me. Ah, my brown hair.

2008: Early blog post demonstrating how not to photograph your kids.

2018: Same photographic problem. No more brown hair. This picture was taken on our recent trip to see my BFF, Robyn. If you've been around for a while, you'll know my friendship with her is also a long-running theme of this blog.

My two girls were six and four years old when I started all this, and I was just getting into homeschooling. Even though I had plenty on my plate (can I get an amen, homeschoolers?), I found that crafting, blogging and pattern designing gave me a much-needed adult creative outlet. I had to carve out time to do it though, mostly stolen moments during the day and lots of late nights. My kids will tell you it was more like this.

I came up with my mmmcrafts logo and header in 2008 and it really hasn't changed a whole lot. In the beginning there was one less coffee cup. Somehow I've lost the original 2 coffee cup version, but this is close:


I did update my logo font in 2013 to what you see now. You could say all that sameness is boring or lazy. You could also say I'm Consistently Building My Brand. Haha. I like that. "Building my brand" sounds completely purposeful.

*In voice of Edna Mode* I do vary the colors and throw in the occasional holiday peppermint or cinnamon stick, darling, because I like to push design boundaries. Why the coffee cups, you ask? Because I like coffee.


Besides yammering on about sewing, felt crafting, paper crafting and my procrastination problems achievements, I use it as a travel journal, confessional, resource list and catalogue of handmade gifts. If you like to make handmade gifts, you know it is hard to remember what you've made and for whom and in what color. As I've said many times, I think I'm my own most loyal reader. I'm constantly referring to my own posts.

Even though initially a creative diary mostly for my own reference, this blog has grown into a handy resource center for my tutorials and patterns. Even though I don't post very often, rest assured that mmmcrafts.blogspot.com is here to stay.

Happy tenth birthday to my Etsy shop too. I'm considered an old-timer there, you know. The Etsy marketplace was pretty robust when I joined in 2008 and now it's completely crazy how many Etsy shops there are. I miss the mom n' pop feel of the old Etsy community, but I love how the go-getters at Etsy constantly innovate to serve the massive marketplace and keep the experience as manageable as possible for me.

2008: My first pattern for sale, Katy Kitty, and...

...2018: my latest patterns for sale, the Twelve Days Ornament Series.

Inspired by the new millenium wave of indie rag doll design and my daughter's request for a red girl kitty for her birthday, my Etsy shop opened with a grand total of one digital pattern for sale (Katy Kitty, shown above). Katy was a variation on my popular free pattern, Molly Monkey. I sold 18 Katy Kitty patterns before the end of the year, for which I was completely astonished and gratified. I immediately spent any profits and then some) on craft supplies and fabric. 


Ten years later my Etsy shop has 40 patterns and over 19,000 sales. I'm still astounded by its success. I do so really love to design and write patterns and I'm hugely gratified that you guys actually enjoy using them! (At some point a few years ago I also opened a Craftsy pattern store to put another option out there. It functions exclusively with Paypal payments.)

We are still homeschooling, and now my used-to-be-tiny girls are 14 and 16. High school is hard, y'all. Our program is rigorous, and creative time is much harder to find now. I blog rarely and am a sporadic Instagrammer at best. Patterns have to happen in the chinks between.

GIVEAWAY ALERT.
Let's celebrate, old school! Do you remember the once ubiquitous blog giveaways? They've fallen out of fashion. But. Let's do it up 2008 style! *Viva la Vida blares suddenly in background* No one likes to log in and comment on blog posts these days, so I'm thinking if you are somehow still reading this, your odds will be pretty good! Here's the prize:


Any-thang you want from my Etsy shop, up to $75. Which incidentally covers the cost of the complete Twelve Days Bundle, so if you've been waiting for a sale it doesn't get much better than free. Already got the complete series? No worries. Pick any combination of patterns you like, as long as it doesn't go over $75.

HOW TO ENTER:
Leave one comment on this post with what you were doing ten years ago, and include an email address so I can contact you if you win. That's it.
I'll be choosing the winner randomly on AUGUST 12th.

ANNIVERSARY SALE ALERT.
Not into giveaways? Use the code MMMHAPPY10TH and get 20% off your purchase in my Etsy shop only from now through AUGUST 12th.

Thanks for helping me celebrate, you guys!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hey, Larissa, what do you mean by "4 strands of floss"?


(Happy summer to all my friends in the northern hemisphere and a cozy winter to all my friends in the southern hemisphere! I'm busy, busy, busy with all kinds of graphic design, home improvement and craft projects for summer so I haven't checked in much on social media or the blog. Hello! *waves*)

If you are working on any of my hand embroidered projects, like the Twelve Days ornament series, you'll notice that I specify how many strands of floss to use on each step. If you are new to embroidery, you may be wondering what that means.
Wonder no more!

DMC embroidery floss is made up of six cotton threads that are twisted together to form one strand of floss. On my patterns you will find the number of strands specified, for instance:
4 strands of contrasting floss + whip stitch
That means you'll separate and remove 2 strands of thread and use the remaining 4 strands of floss to do the whip stitches. (Contrasting just means a floss color that is not the same color as the felt and that will show up well.) It's important to follow those steps if you want your stitching to have the same look as my samples because I obsess over tailor the number of strands used to best highlight my designs.

You'll find I use 4 strands the most, but I also specify 2, 3, and 6 strands at times. I don't recall ever specifying 5, but it's a possibility! It's a good idea to set aside the strands you peel away because you might get a chance to use them later in the project.


Q: So what's the best method to separate them? 
A: You'll find if you just grab 2 strands and try to peel them away the floss sometimes gets snarled or twisted. Who has time or patience for that? Not me.

Start with about 18-20 inches of floss. (Avoid cutting strands much longer because this process just gets too tricky.) First I'll tell you about the DMC recommended method. And then I'll tell you mine.

DMC approved method: Pinch the floss between your fingers near the end and slowly pull out one strand at a time, until it's all separated, then reunite however many strands to thread your needle. This has the advantage of removing any twisting and will keep your embroidery smoother and less snarly. Here's an excellent visual tutorial for that method:
https://www.needlenthread.com/2013/08/embroidery-tip-how-to-separate-floss.html

Larissa's quicker method: My non-DMC approved method is to hold one end of the floss in my teeth and at the other end grab two threads with one hand and four with the other. I peel them apart that way to keep the floss from twisting on itself. Then I run my pinched fingernails down the strands a few times to untwist them. Voila. There still might be an occasional twist in the floss, but I usually don't sweat that.


Q: What needle should I use? 
A: Most of my patterns specify a size 5 embroidery needle. If that's the only one you have, you can do the whole project with it, no problem. However, it will make your job easier if you have a variety of needle sizes and multiple size 5 embroidery needles so you don't have to unthread every time you change a color. Make sure they are nice and sharp. (Avoid tapestry needles. While they have nice, big eyes, they also have blunt tips.)
- I use a size 5 embroidery needle for 3 and 4 strands.
- I use a smaller sized sewing sharp for 2 strands (or you can use a size 8 or 9 embroidery needle).
- I use a larger size 3 embroidery needle for handling all 6 strands. The larger eye and needle shaft are helpful when threading and pulling the french knots through.
DMC also has a needle guide here.




Q: I hate stripping floss. Can I just use different sizes of DMC Pearl Cotton?
A: In theory, yes. Yes, you can. I just have no experience with that, but I don't see why not. DMC pearl cotton comes in several sizes. Send me pictures if you've used that for the ornaments!

Cheater Note:
After the embroidery's all done and you sew the ornament parts together, I specify 2 strands of matching floss for that. BUT. You can cheat. If you have a large library of sewing threads like I do and they just happen to match the felt color, then feel free to use a double strand of sewing thread for that instead. (Remember this is for sewing the parts together only -- not for embroidery.) It's way less trouble than stripping more floss. BUT. It is less likely you'll find a matching sewing thread for every felt you have because they come in fewer colors. I just use it if I have the matching thread. And, yes, I have plenty of samples that are sewn together with both floss and doubled thread. It's hard to tell unless you really look closely!

I hope this guide has been helpful! Happy stitching!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

out with my Flickr account and in with the Share Photos page


By way of an underwhelming announcement, I've deleted my Flickr account. You might be thinking, "What's Flickr?"

Exactly. It's been many moons since I've uploaded or checked in with my photo groups. Years ago, they were a great way for us folks to show each other what we were making with mmmcrafts patterns and tutorials. It was great while it lasted, but I don't want to continue paying for a service that I no longer personally use. 

To replace the Flickr photo groups, there's a new SHARE PHOTOS page on the blog (also there's a new button for it in the nav ^up there at the top) explaining how to share and tag your photos for several popular apps. Tag me, please! I really love to see what you make!

(BTW, with the exception of the peonies and the shot of my studio, the photos you see up there are all from other talented mmmakers! You can search #mmmcrafts on Instagram to see more, as well as #twelvedaysornaments.)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Floresita's 12 Months of Christmas - a Twelve Days Ornaments stitch-along on Feeling Stitchy


Interested in a Twelve Days Ornaments stitch-along? Lovely and talented Floresita is hosting one on Feeling Stitchy called Twelve Months of Christmas. Follow along to get inspiration and share your ornament progress too. Floresita is using alternate stitching (couching!) and adding sparkle with beads and metallic threads. Her ornaments are going to be beautiful!

New to the Twelve Days Ornament Series? This page is chock-full of tips and information to help you get started.

Friday, March 2, 2018

baby molly's floral felt banner


My dear friends Marc and Amanda adopted a beautiful newborn girl recently. I helped throw a shower for them and this banner was a present from me. A few years ago I made a paper name banner for their older son, Micah, so when they requested a name banner for new little Molly I decided to do felt for a change.


I think name banners are satisfyingly easy and fun to sew, especially if you are like me and have illustration software and can print directly to Sulky Stick n Stitch*. Skidoosh! Not only do name banners make easy handmade, personalized gifts, (#forthewin, #oohahhfactor) they also double as pretty shower decorations.

*Why/how did I used the Stick n Stitch and not freezer paper? I used it just as a quick, no tracing way to adhere the printed pattern to the felt, cut it out, and then I peeled it away. I did this in stages so as not to waste the stabilizer. I adhered the composite printed pattern to the cream. Cut. Peeled it off, adhered the same piece to the colored felt. Cut. Peeled it off. Adhered what was left to the letter felt. Cut. Peeled it off. It saved a lot of freezer paper tracing. I didn't feel bad about using it that way because it was from my stash of 'bad' stabilizer -- the batch of stabilizer that doesn't wash away. There's no other way to use it. Not to mention I was kind of in a hurry. But to be honest, I'd do it again, bad batch or no. It was a huge time saver.

Sizewise, Molly's banner is fairly large, with each flag being about 7 x 9 inches and total length about 76 inches from ribbon end to ribbon end:


Here it is where I hung it for the shower - over my couch. I also recommend waiting until the night before the shower to sew yours, just to add that extra bit of excitement and danger! (#2am #woolfeltavalanche #sleepisforquitters)


Designing it was pretty fun (I did not do that on the night before, at least). I looked around on the internet for some images and decided I liked this notched shape for the flags. Then I tested out a few fonts 'til I landed on one that had presence and was not too complicated to cut and sew. The felt colors I chose coordinate with Molly's nursery decor.


It seemed wasteful to use wool felt for the cream colored background that's only seen at the edges, so I bought sheets of acrylic craft felt from the store for that, and then the rest of the banner (including the letters) is wool felt. Bad decision in hindsight. After struggling mightily with the cheap cream stuff I remembered why I despise acrylic felt. It's too lightweight. It bunched, stretched, frayed, stuck too much to the stabilizer, didn't stick enough to the glue, walked away under the machine foot and was a general pain to work with. Next time I make one of these I'll try the stiffened felt for the backgrounds or just give up and use wool.


I did not initially plan to have the charcoal outline around the letters. I added that later because it needed a little oomph, and also to tie in the black centers of the anemone flowers. OK, the flowers!


If you look around on Pinterest you will realize there are one million felt flower tutorials out there. I tried a few of them for a rose, anemone and whatever that loopy poof thing is supposed to be. Chrysanthemum? After figuring out the best sizes by trial and error, I customized some templates for myself on the computer. I found the key to nice looking flower petals and leaves is not to leave them as flat pieces. You have to add curve by snipping and overlapping the ends. Hot glue was used to put the flowers together. I have a love/hate relationship with hot glue. Love the immediacy. Hate the inevitable burns caused by my apparent lack of common sense (the basic disconnect of brain cautioning hey, that's hot, you probably shouldn't pinch it with your fing-- as fingers make contact with sticky lava. Again.)

Now that I have all the kinks worked out, templates made, and know what I'm doing, bring on the baby showers and birthday parties! I'd love to try the letters or flags in a pretty print fabric also, and maybe another font.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

new notions kit for Twelve Days offered at Benzie Design

Photo courtesy of Benzie Designs

Hey, guys! You may have noticed I've been flying under the radar since the release of the last Twelve Days ornament. I've been busy catching up on the mountain of tasks that have been sorely neglected over the past few months during the design and release of the last three patterns. And besides that, I actually designed and sewed something that was not a Christmas ornament! And I used my sewing machine. It was like, hello, old friend!

Anyway, I'll blog that later, but wanted to pop in and let you know about the notions kit you see above that is being offered at Benzie Design. It is tailor made for my Twelve Days Ornament Series and includes many of the materials (besides felt) that are required to make the ornaments, all in one place: Tacky Glue®, interfacing, Sulky stabilizer, pipe cleaners, wood beads, embroidery needles, and more! Check it out. BTW, if you find the kit is sold out, you can still shop the individual items on their website.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

curated Benzie felt color guide for Lord a-Leaping ornaments


All three of my Lords a-Leaping you see above were made with the Benzie felt bundle #6, shown below. It's the same felt color bundle as you use for Goose a-Laying. I've provided this felt and floss color guide so you can make samples that look like mine. Of course, there are even more color combos possible with this bundle, but I just made three.

Photo courtesy of Benzie Design

You can purchase just the Benzie bundle #6 felt as shown above, or you can opt to include matching flosses, shown below. Matching flosses are needed when you are sewing the parts of the ornaments together, but just note you will still need to purchase contrasting floss colors for the embroidery.


So without further ado, here are the samples with their felt and floss keys:

His Periwinkle Lordship:


Felt:
Periwinkle: heart front, sleeves and coat
Blue: heart inset, boots
Copper: vest
Coral: heart back (not shown), body and legs
Fuchsia: hat
Icicle: cravat and lace cuffs

Decorative Embroidery:
HEART:
DMC 3753
DMC 918
DMC 718
DMC 892
LORD:
DMC 3753
DMC 918
DMC 718
DMC 892
DMC 796
DMC 809


His Fuchsia Lordship:


Felt:
Fuchsia: heart inset, sleeves and coat
Cotton Candy: heart front, body, and legs
Coral: vest and heart back (not shown)
Copper: boots
Aqua: hat
Icicle: cravat and lace cuffs

Decorative Embroidery:
HEART:
DMC White
DMC 3846
DMC 3844 (dashed line)
DMC 892
DMC 605
LORD:
DMC White
DMC 3846
DMC 605
DMC 918
DMC 718


His Cyan Lordship:


Felt:
Cyan: heart inset, sleeves and coat
Aqua: heart front, body, and legs
Orange: vest
Copper: boots
Coral: hat
Icicle: heart back (not shown), cravat and lace cuffs

Decorative Embroidery:
HEART:
DMC White
DMC  918
DMC 604
DMC 947
DMC 892 (dashed line)
LORD:
DMC White
DMC 3844
DMC 604
DMC 947
DMC 918
DMC 3341 (dashed line)

Friday, February 2, 2018

in which I take a moment to reflect and also tell you the Twelve Days 1-12, 7-12 and 10-12 bundles are now available


Wow. There they all are. All twelve patterns photographed in one shot. Big feels came over me as I was bending over this in my well-lit bathroom and taking the shot (keepin' it real, y'all, my bathroom has a skylight and doubles as a photo studio). It feels a little weird to be finished with this series I've loved so much. Weird but good. I released the first pattern back in June 2014. That's like a million blog years ago. Three and a half Real Time years of thinking through each ornament and endlessly brainstorming how best to represent each day and how best to translate that into an accessible pattern that everyone can enjoy making. 

I've always liked a good puzzle and that's exactly what this series was -- a challenging 3D felt design puzzle and each time I completed a day I got to level up. I've learned a lot! And I hope you will learn some new techniques for your crafting as you make the series! If you've mastered French knots alone you deserve a large bar of chocolate wrapped in gold paper.

Thanks so much for your constant encouragement and kindness and support through this series! Your faithful, thoughtful comments and messages and photos really kept me motivated. Special notes from grandmothers making multiple sets for grandchildren, long distance sisters making the sets together, a lovely lady getting ready to have a hip replacement who is planning to take these projects to the hospital with her, and one especially memorable letter from a sweet Texan who used the hand stitching as a mental refuge and calming exercise during the terrible flooding in Houston. And I can't not mention the pointed messages I received from two completely different octogenarians (true story) hinting that since they were in their 80s they would appreciate my hurrying it up already with the rest of the ornaments. Oh my word, y'all. 

PS I forgot to include the brave (possibly crazy) crafter who tells me she is working with her daughter to make as many as the song says...Great Scott! That's...78 ornaments, right? Or you could technically say that's just the total for day 12 and then you have 11 other days to total up...Math is not my strong suit. Anyone else doing this??

I do adore seeing your finished ornaments! Check out what others have been posting on Instagram with the #twelvedaysornaments hashtag. So much inspiration there. Keep them coming! I hope you continue to love making these special heirloom ornaments as much as I do! Yes, I still do! I plan to concentrate now on finishing the sets I'm making for my own two girls. And I'm going to take my sweet time doing it. 

So here are the new discounted pattern bundles, including the 1-12 complete bundle. Yaaassssss. They are now available in my Etsy shop or my Craftsy store:




Many have asked me, 'what's next?'. I have no idea.
Isn't that awesome? :-) 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Lord a-Leaping pattern now available!


On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to meeeee...

Twelve lords a-leaping!


Can we all just have a 30 second freeform dance party now, y'all? *dances like no one is watching*

Hooooooo. *arranges hair* (I used to do that as a school break with my two girls when they were young enough to think I was funny and cool. We'd blare the music and dance like maniacs around the living room. Good times.)

This. The grand finale! The final pattern! The end of the Twelve Days Ornament Series. Is finished. I love this His Leapingness so, and of course the True Love bonus ornament that comes along with him.


One of my favorite things about Lord Fancy Pants here is the fact that his legs are jointed and moveable. You can position them in whatever energetic pose you prefer. Just a little extra something I included because it's fun.


This twelfth and series finale pattern is now available in my Etsy and Craftsy shops. Are you new to this series? Pop over to this post to see lots of helpful information about it.

If you know the modern Twelve Days of Christmas song by heart, you might be saying to yourself, 'Wait, I thought day twelve was Drummers Drumming?' And you'd be right! However, my series is based on the original carol from 1780 and the order toward the end is a bit different than the modern one. No worries if you prefer that order – you can number your ornaments any way you like!


These three leaping lord and true love samples were made with the Benzie felt bundle no. 6 (Goose a-Laying and Lord a-Leaping). You can of course make your ornaments in whatever colors you like! For those of you who want to make ornaments just like these samples, the specific color guide for them, along with DMC floss numbers included, will be coming soon in a separate post.

On a personal note, you may have noticed January got by me a little faster than I planned. This last week my dear Schmoopie went through a medical ordeal (three kidney stones, one very large) so I was understandably derailed for a few days. If you have ever passed a kidney stone, you know how truly horrible it is no matter what size the stone. I'm so glad to tell you he's feeling much better! Thanks so much for getting in touch and for your eagerness to purchase these patterns! 

So all that to tell you that YES indeed, I am going to list a 1-12 pattern bundle -- the complete series bundle you've been waiting so patiently for! It's not listed yet. Give me a day or two to get it together and into the shops. It's late, y'all. *yawns*

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

minor correction for Swan a-Swimming pattern and maybe I should just use a pipe cleaner anyway...

Hello, guys!
You are all awesome, have I mentioned that lately? Well, you are. Vigilant mmmaker Judi (thank you, Judi!) brought a mistake to my attention in the Swan a-Swimming pattern. If you haven't already noticed it, grab a marker and make a note on your patterns:

On step 31 it should read as follows:

Trace this water outline twice on heavyweight fusible interfacing (glue side up), then once (glue side down). Cut them out.



So the mistake was that I had the 'glue side up' and 'glue side down' switched. What you want to end up with is two layers of interfacing on the wrong side of the WATER BACKING and one on the wrong side of the WATER FRONT. Not a huge deal even if you make it with this switched, but it does end up making you feel like you went wrong somewhere. Sorry, Judi! If you've been cheating like I sometimes do by just gluing the interfacing in place instead of ironing it on, you may not have even noticed.

However, I'm re-thinking the whole interfacing thing for this step anyway. The more I store my Swans, the more I realize the water tends to curl on the ends and not stay level. (Do yours do this too?) So I'm thinking a pipe cleaner shaped and glued lightly to the wrong side of the water backing might work better than the 3 layers of interfacing. Feel free to do that instead!


Monday, January 8, 2018

sneak peek of bonus ornament for Lord a-Leaping


On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

True Love is the focus of the last and final bonus ornament, and is really the theme of the whole song, isn't it? This heart design will come included with the Lord a-Leaping ornament, the grand finale of my Twelve Days ornament pattern series. (There is a bonus ornament also included with the first and sixth patterns.) 

The two ornaments you see above are prototypes, but the smaller one will be the final design. I was trying to get the sizing right and Mr On The Left is a bit too large. Mr On The Right is, well...Mr Right. 

It occurs to me that this bonus ornament would make a lovely Valentine as well. Strung in a series as a garland? That would pretty, even without the embroidery. Still tweaking Mr Leaping and he's getting very close. This last pattern should be done and dusted sometime this month for you. I'm so excited about that, and very happy that I took the time to get him just the way I want him. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

happy new year, best nine, Kazakhstan, and a Lord a-Leaping sneak peek


#2017bestnine from my IG feed. The website automatically picks the nine Instagram images that got the most likes and puts them together in this handy graphic, so it looks like the Twelve Days ornament series was a clean sweep. This best nine is in place of my usual year in review blog post. I just realized I didn't do one of those for 2016 either. Oops.

2017 was not a banner year for mmmcrafts blogging, with the remodel/move/remodel/sell that took up most of my spring and summer. Only 27 blog posts this year! A record low. I admit that Instagram has also taken some of my focus off of this blog. It's just so easy to post there from my phone. However, this blog remains by far the best venue for multi-photo informational and resource posts, so I have no intention of giving it up!

Thanks for all the encouragement and support and purchases and likes and comments on all my channels! It really keeps me going. And while I didn't make my goal of releasing the last pattern in 2017 (#goalfail),  I'm getting close. Speakin' of which...


...here's a sneak peek of the nether parts of Lord a-Leaping with his coattails a flyin'. Ignore sloppy sewing, mismatched thread, and my wrinkly ET hands. *sigh* I'm sure a palm reader could go to town on me. Anyway, I'm loving Mr L-a-L so far. Still tweaking his proportions and thinking through the build for you guys. Next step: add pretty embroidery.


And after being only a few states away for a couple short years after she came home from Brazil, my bosom friend Robyn (recipient of the originals of the Twelve Days series and Very Patient Person as she waits for the last ones) is off again on another world adventure to Asia. I'm loving this pretty and heart-tugging dish she sent me, and I'm hoping she and her lovely family are settling in well in KZ. 

Many hugs to you and yours across the ocean and the mountains and the seas, Bob!