Saturday, January 4, 2020

Mrs. Claus: detailed Benzie color guides – kits available!


Mrs. Claus is the second pattern in my 'Twas the Night Ornament Series. Here are the detailed felt/floss/sequin/bead color guides for you below, so that you can easily make Mrs. Clauses that look like my Benzie felt samples! (I'm working on one more Retro sample and will update here when it's done.)

Benzie Design has long been one of my favorite places to purchase wool-blend felts. They have stellar customer service, quick shipping, and their felt, floss, sequins and beads are an absolute joy to work with! They will be very happy to help you with what you need.

First, some handy links to get you started:
To buy the Mrs. Claus pattern: mmmcrafts.etsy.com
To buy the Classic or Retro felt palettes shown here:
Benzie 'Twas the Night felt palettes
To buy the helpful notions kit:
Benzie 'Twas the Night notions kit
To shop their beautiful sequins & beads:
Benzie Sparkle & Shine page

OK! Here are the color guides:

Classic Red Mrs. Claus:

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
Ecru: Coat trim, hood trim, sleeve cuffs
Graphite: Lower half of the body, belt
Carmine: Coat, sleeves, hood
Coral: Upper half of the body, mittens
Swan: Skirt
*Note: You will need matching floss or thread colors

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS*:
Hood trim and coat trim: 5 mm iridescent clear cupped sequins (or sub 4 mm Benzie Moonstone), Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Coat: DMC B5200, DMC 3846 (also for number on coat back), 4 mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Belt: DMC B5200, 8 mm brassy gold sequin, 5 mm aqua/light blue sequin, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass bead
Skirt: DMC B5200, DMC 666, DMC 892, 5 mm iridescent clear cupped sequins (flowers), Benzie Strawberry glass beads (flowers), 4 mm Benzie Moonstone sequins (trim), Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Boots: 4 mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Teal glass beads
Mistletoe ball: DMC 5283, DMC 666, 8 mm wood bead colored with green fabric marker, Benzie Clover glass beads
Hanging loop: DMC 5283
*All sequins/beads sewn with silver sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Wrapped gift: Benzie white stiffened felt, charcoal card stock, 1/8 inch gold ribbon

Classic Mustard Mrs. Claus:

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
Ecru: Coat trim, hood trim, sleeve cuffs
Peacock: Lower half of the body
Charcoal: Belt
Mustard: Coat, sleeves, hood
Swan: Upper half of the body, mittens (or sub Peacock for mittens)
Bronze: Skirt
*Note: You will need matching floss or thread colors

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS*:
Hood trim and coat trim: 5 mm iridescent clear cupped sequins (or sub 4 mm Benzie Moonstone), Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Coat: DMC B5200, DMC 3844 (also for number on coat back), 4 mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, 5  mm aqua/light blue sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Belt: DMC B5200, 8 mm kelly green sequin, 5 mm aqua/light blue sequin, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass bead
Skirt: DMC B5200, DMC 3846, DMC 699, 5 mm iridescent clear cupped sequin (center flower only), 4 mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Boots: 4 mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Kelly glass beads
Mistletoe ball: DMC 5283, DMC E 3852, 8 mm wood bead colored with green fabric marker, Benzie Kelly glass beads
Hanging loop: DMC 5283
*All sequins/beads sewn with silver sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Wrapped gift: Light blue iridescent sparkly card stock, charcoal card stock, 1/8 inch gold ribbon

Retro Pink Mrs. Claus

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
Ecru: Coat trim, hood trim, sleeve cuffs
Charcoal: Lower half of body, belt
Flamingo: Coat, sleeves, hood
Julep: Upper half of the body, mittens
Marigold: Skirt
*Note: You will need matching floss or thread colors

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS*:
Hood trim and coat trim: 5 mm iridescent clear cupped sequins (or sub 4 mm Benzie Moonstone), Benzie Rose Quartz (or Foxglove) glass beads
Coat: DMC 718, DMC 606 (also for number on coat back), 4mm Benzie White sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent beads
Belt: DMC B5200, 8 mm silver sequin, 5 mm magenta sequin, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass bead
Skirt: DMC B5200, DMC 718, DMC 3848, 5 mm iridescent clear cupped sequins, Benzie Teal glass beads (flowers), Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Boots: 4 mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Rose Quartz (or Foxglove) glass beads
Hanging loop: DMC 5283
*All sequins/beads sewn with silver sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Christmas clementine: 8 mm wood bead colored w/orange permanent marker, green card stock stem
Wrapped gift: White sparkly card stock, charcoal card stock, 1/8 inch silver ribbon

Coming soon: color guide for Retro Mint Mrs. Claus

Here are these Mrs. Clauses paired with their color coordinated Santa Clauses. Find the detailed color guides for Santa here!




These color guides can be followed exactly, but feel free to vary the choices to match your tastes and make your own unique combos. The way I've combined the Benzie Classic and Retro felt colors are just a few of the possibilities! I'd love to see what you make. :-) #twasthenightornaments

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Mrs. Claus pattern is now available!


Mrs. Claus, the second pattern in my new 'Twas the Night Ornament Series, is now available! These ornaments are inspired by Clement C. Moore's 1823 poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, better known as The Night Before Christmas. The sparkly sequins and beads evoke a vintage feel.

Mrs. Claus is holding a special wrapped Christmas gift for her sweet Santa Claus, and also a teeny tiny mistletoe ball in anticipation of getting a Christmas smooch after he returns from his busy night. (There are also options for her to hold a shiny apple for her favorite reindeer, or a Christmas clementine for Santa!)


This design proved a wee bit difficult. Some designs fly out of my head and onto paper and into prototypes with hardly any changes and everything seems to just fall into place. Not so with high maintenance Mrs. Claus. I had some major creative block on her accessories and some pretty serious second guessing about her proportions and shape. It took a lot longer to get her in the shop than I anticipated, but hopefully this very late release is still in time for determined crafty folks to make last minute ornaments before Christmas!

It takes me about two crafternoons to make a Mrs. Claus, and if you have the materials for Santa Claus already in your arsenal, you have most of what you need to make his lovely bride. 


The 23 page detailed PDF pattern comes with an extra pattern sheet that has 20 years worth of dates for the back of the ornament, if you are like me and appreciate the years written on your ornaments.

This pattern has options to make her with either a stiffened felt wrapped gift or a card stock one. The felt gift is sewn, while the card stock gift is glued. You can also choose if you'd like to tackle the mistletoe ball or substitute the simpler Christmas clementine for Santa (or an apple for Mrs. Claus's favorite reindeer).


Just like my Twelve Days Ornament Series, these ornaments also utilize Sulky Stick 'n Stitch to make the embroidery, beading, and pattern assembly a snap. More ornaments are to follow in this series, so stay tuned next year. I do not have a release date for the next pattern, but you can be sure you will see updates and posts right here and on my other channels.


These three sparkly samples (I still owe myself a 4th sample but time was of the essence) were made using Benzie Design's wonderful wool-blend felts, glass seed beads, and sequins. Such lovely quality! I really enjoyed working with them, and highly recommend them for yours. I'll be posting detailed color guides for these samples, and Benzie Design already offers kits for you with these felt colors! Yay! (They are the Classic and Retro 'Twas the Night bundles.) The red/blue and also mustard/bronze samples are both made from the Classic bundle, and the pink/orange sample is done with Retro. (The 4th sample will be a mint green retro one.) Thank you again, wonderful Benzie folks! Stay tuned for more information on the color guides.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

a glimpse into my process


As I stitch my ornaments, I flip the pieces to the wrong sides and layer them together. That way I can keep an eye on how the colors are coming together for the overall look without the cloudy stabilizer skewing my view. While color is a chief concern to me, you can see from the photo that neatness on the reverse sides is not. Y'all, I do not sweat this. My theory: If you can’t see it on the final product, it doesn’t exist. *waves hands magically*

Now there are some wonderfully talented embroiderers who keep their reverse sides looking like a flipped version of the front side. I freely admit that’s a level I will never attain. I greatly admire that kind of craftsmanship, but I'm much more worried about the front side.

This felt sample you see in progress is a mustard yellow Mrs Claus, for my soon-to-be-released second #twasthenightornaments pattern. These felt colors are part of the Classic color bundle offered by @benziedesign.

The pattern is getting close. I'm sewing, drawing, and writing as fast as I can. #whichisnotveryfast

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving! My sale is on!


So grateful to God for another year of doing what I love – designing and making unique sewing patterns. If you've been waiting for my annual sale to buy a pattern from my Etsy shop, this is it! 20% off your pattern purchase through Monday with no code necessary.

Regardless of where we call home in this amazing, beautiful world and whether or not this is an official holiday where you are, I'm certain we can all take some time to count our blessings. I want you to know I'm so thankful for YOU, and for your constant encouragement, support, patience, and enthusiasm for sewing my patterns. I wish you a wonderful weekend surrounded by the love of God, filled with all your favorite things to eat, and overflowing with peaceful happy times among your friends, neighbors, and family.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Update on Mrs Claus!


Hello! Update on Mrs Claus: The pattern is not available yet, but she’s finally tweaked to my satisfaction (there was some pretty serious and distressing creative block on her accessories and proportions). This one shown is a tight prototype and super close to the final. Just one of the several things giving me lots of grief was how best to make her teeeny tiiiiny mistletoe ball. So many versions in the trash. Got that licked:


She can either hold this beaded mistletoe ball for a smooch with her fave elf, or an apple to give to her favorite reindeer (or to help detox Mr World Traveler after his night of endless cookies). The apple is simpler, but the mistletoe is easier to make than it looks, I promise.


This second #twasthenightornaments pattern is going to debut in my shop later than I’d like, but she’ll still be available to make for Christmas if you can squeeze it in. I’m working as fast as I can to make samples and write the pattern around trips out of town. If you want to make her, get a jump on the 'Twas the Night kits/materials offered at Benzie Design, and while you are at it also grab some stiffened felt for the tiny little wrapped gift and an 8 mm wood bead for the mistletoe/apple. (Benzie also sells both of those things!) In addition to a black and red gel pen for her face, you'll also need a white gel pen for her hair. The Santa Claus pattern is currently available: mmmcrafts.etsy.com

Monday, October 14, 2019

mrs claus underway


I'm in the middle of designing and sewing prototypes for Mrs Claus. She will be the second ornament in my 'Twas the Night Ornament Series. I know she is not mentioned specifically in Moore's poem, but I feel like she is a central part of the night before Christmas, just like every woman the world over. I imagine her bustling around North Pole headquarters, looking fabulous, sipping a latte while managing the overexcited elves, and already gelling plans for next year. 

This sneak peek shot shows an initial design for the hood on her coat. I'm still tweaking it for style and ease of construction. Ignore her smeared mascara -- LOL. I grabbed the wrong pen to draw her eyes because I was in a hurry. ha! (I usually use a gel pen or fine tip fabric marker for the eyes and mouth because I prefer the unsealed, flat look of the unfinished wood.) 

This test ornament does not have any embroidery but my next one will! And lots of sparkle. I hope to release this pattern in plenty of time for Christmas making. Fingers crossed. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

birthday kits for loved September babies


When my big sister Leigh said she wanted a 'Twas the Night Ornaments Santa Claus pattern and custom kit for her birthday I was like, girl, please. 110% can do. My mom is a September baby too, so I put together a Snow Bird pattern and kit for her also while I was at it.

It’s ridiculously pleasing to me when my friends and family tell me they’d like to try one of my patterns. It makes me kind of giddy, but it's also a lot more pressure. I spent a long time overthinking everything in the kits, providing alternate options, and making custom color key illustrations to include with their patterns and materials.

Kits are also just fun to me because of the neat folded bits, tiny bundles, and tins of small supplies. It's a bonus when I can find the perfect sized box for the kit just lying around in my studio closet. I knew I was keeping those for something. #packrat

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Santa Claus: detailed Benzie color guides – kits available!


Santa Claus is the first pattern in my 'Twas the Night Ornament Series. Here are the detailed felt/floss/sequin/bead color guides below for you, so that you can easily make Santa Clauses that look like my Benzie felt samples! 

Benzie Design has long been one of my favorite places to purchase wool-blend felts. They have stellar customer service, quick shipping, and their felt, floss, sequins and beads are an absolute joy to work with! They will be very happy to help you with what you need.


First, some handy links:
To buy the Santa Claus pattern: mmmcrafts.etsy.com
To buy the Classic or Retro felt palettes shown here:
Benzie 'Twas the Night felt palettes
To buy the helpful notions kit:
Benzie 'Twas the Night notions kit
To shop their beautiful sequins & beads:
Benzie Sparkle & Shine page

OK, here are the SANTA CLAUS color guides:

Classic Red Santa:

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
White: Mustache
Ecru: Coat trim, hat trim, boot/sleeve/stocking cuffs
Graphite: Belt and boots
Carmine: Coat, sleeves and hat
Coral: Body
Swan: Mittens
Mustard: Stocking
*Note: You will also need matching floss or thread colors

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS*:
Hat trim: 4mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Coat trim: 5 mm iridescent clear cupped sequins (or sub 4 mm Benzie Moonstone), Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Coat: DMC B5200, DMC 3846 (also for number on coat back), 4mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Belt: DMC B5200, 8 mm brassy gold sequin, 5 mm aqua/light blue sequin, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass bead
Boots: 4mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Stocking: Silver sewing thread, DMC B5200, DMC 3799, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent, Teal, and Strawberry glass beads
Candy cane and jingle bell ornament: DMC 666
Hanging loop: DMC 5283
*All sequins/beads sewn with silver sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Hat and bell: 5 mm and 9 mm brass jingle bells


Classic Blue Santa: 

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
White: Mustache
Ecru: Coat trim, hat trim, boot/sleeve/stocking cuffs
Graphite: Belt and boots
Peacock: Coat, sleeves and hat
Swan: Body
Mustard: Mittens
Carmine: Stocking
*Note: You will also need matching floss or thread colors

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS*:
Hat trim: 4mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Teal beads
Coat trim: 5 mm iridescent clear cupped sequins (or sub 4 mm Benzie Moonstone), Benzie Teal beads
Coat: DMC B5200, DMC 783 (also for number on coat back), 4mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent beads
Belt: DMC B5200, 8 mm brassy gold sequin, 5 mm red sequin, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent bead
Boots: 4mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Strawberry beads
Stocking: DMC B5200, DMC 3799, DMC 3844, Benzie 4 mm White sequin, one 6 mm white sequin, one 8 mm white sequin, Benzie Graphite and Rose Quartz beads
Candy cane and jingle bell ornament: DMC 666
Hanging loop: DMC 5283
*All sequins/beads sewn with silver sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Hat: White 5mm mini pom
Bell: 9 mm silver jingle bell


Retro Mint Santa:

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
White: Mustache
Ecru: Coat trim, hat trim, boot/sleeve/stocking cuffs
Graphite: Belt and boots
Julep: Coat, sleeves and hat
Chartreuse: Body
Moss: Mittens
Flamingo: Stocking
*Note: You will also need matching floss or thread colors

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS*:
Hat trim: 4mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Kelly beads
Coat trim: 5 mm iridescent clear cupped sequins (or sub 4 mm Benzie Moonstone), Benzie Kelly beads
Coat: DMC B5200, DMC 937 (also for number on coat back), 4mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent beads
Belt: DMC B5200, 8 mm brassy gold sequin, 5 mm green (or sub pink) sequin, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent bead
Boots: 4mm Benzie Jade sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent beads
Stocking: DMC B5200, silver thread, Benzie 4 mm Moonstone sequin, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent beads
Candy cane: DMC 666, DMC 603
Jingle bell ornament: 9 mm pink jingle bell, DMC 5282
Hanging loop: DMC 5283
*All sequins/beads sewn with silver sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Hat: White 5mm mini pom


Retro Pink Santa:

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
White: Mustache
Ecru: Coat trim, hat trim, boot/sleeve/stocking cuffs
Graphite: Belt and boots
Flamingo: Coat, sleeves and hat
Marigold: Body and mittens
Julep: Stocking
*Note: You will also need matching floss or thread colors

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS*:
Hat trim: 4mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Rose Quartz (or Foxglove) beads
Coat trim: 5 mm iridescent clear cupped sequins (or sub 4 mm Benzie Moonstone), Benzie Rose Quartz (or Foxglove) beads
Coat: DMC B5200, DMC 606 (also for number on coat back), 4mm Benzie White sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent beads
Belt: DMC B5200, 8 mm silver sequin, 5 mm teal sequin, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent bead
Boots: 4 mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Teal beads
Stocking: DMC B5200, DMC 3799, DMC 606, Benzie 4 mm White sequin, one 6 mm white sequin, one 8 mm white sequin, Benzie Graphite and Foxglove beads
Candy cane: DMC 606, DMC 603
Jingle bell ornament: 9 mm teal jingle bell, DMC 5283
Hanging loop: DMC 5283
*All sequins/beads sewn with silver sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Hat: 5mm silver jingle bell