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:

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 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:
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

I personally chose two different palettes from Benzie's beautiful wool-blend felts to make the ornament samples you see here:

'Twas the Night CLASSIC palette: 

Above photo courtesy of Benzie Design

This 10 pc felt palette includes timeless color combos for Santa Claus in reds, blues and golds. 

'Twas the Night RETRO palette: 

Above photo courtesy of Benzie Design

For this palette, I chose colors that evoke the modern era of the 50s and 60s, with pinks, mints and olives.

For both Benzie Design felt palettes, you can purchase just the felt, or choose the drop down option to include the matching floss (which you will need to sew the ornament together.)


Classic Red Santa:

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

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

5 mm and 9 mm brass jingle bells for hat and ornament

Classic Blue Santa: 

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

White 5mm mini pom for hat, 9 mm silver jingle bell

Retro Mint Santa:

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

White 5mm mini pom for hat

Retro Pink Santa:

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

Hat trim: 4mm Benzie Moonstone sequins, Benzie Rose Quartz beads
Coat trim: 5 mm iridescent clear cupped sequins (or sub 4 mm Benzie Moonstone), Benzie Rose Quartz 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 Rose Quartz beads
Candy cane: DMC 606, DMC 603
Jingle bell ornament: 9 mm teal jingle bell, DMC 5283
Hanging loop: DMC 5283

5mm silver jingle bell for hat

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Santa Claus pattern is now available!

Santa Claus, the first 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. I love the vintage look evoked by the sparkly sequins and beads.

The 20 page detailed PDF pattern comes with a 2nd 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.

These four sparkly samples were made using Benzie Design's wonderful wool-blend felts, glass seed beads, and sequins. Such great quality! I really enjoyed working with them, and highly recommend them for yours. I'll be posting detailed color guides for these samples, and yes, Benzie Design will be offering kits for you made up with these colors! Yay! Thank you, wonderful Benzie folks! Stay tuned for more information on that.

Red and white is such a classic and lovely combo for your Santas, but don't feel like you have to stick with that! He looks smashing in all kinds of color combos.

You guys know tiny things are my jam, so I especially love the miniscule stocking with candy cane and jingle bell ornament. The jingle bell makes a little cheerful sound whenever it's moved. Choose to make either a Christmas tree stocking or a snowman stocking. Both designs are included in the pattern.

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. 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.

WHERE TO BUY: These PDF patterns are only available in my Etsy shop for instant download. There's a detailed list of materials needed in the listing in the photos but I'm always happy to answer questions! Just shoot me a convo via

Lots more information about this series can be found on this dedicated resource page. I'll be updating that page constantly as this series develops. Now on to pattern no. 2...

Monday, August 26, 2019

more things I've learned in DramaLand

One Percent of Something

The Smile Has Left Your Eyes

Do you watch Korean dramas? Ahnyeo? Well, I do. I find I'm a little wonjahn addicted to the slow romance, beautiful actors, implausible storylines, fabulous fashions, and yes, compleeetely predictable plot devices. Don't let the sometimes cringey English titles throw you off.

 King of High School



Maybe you caught my original post, Things I've Learned in DramaLand? You may find it amusing in the way only Kdrama devotees can. As an American and a veteran Kdrama watcher, I still find there are a lot of things that are puzzling about Korean culture, just like I'm 100% sure our international friends must be perplexed by the totally authentic and real American culture portrayed on American TV. (Honestly, American TV is why I watch Kdramas.)

Come and Hug Me 


So here's Part II of my list of things that I've learned that are 100% true from South Korean dramatic TV and movies. *Humor Alert* (Looking for Part I? Yogeo.)
  1. If there is a company dinner planned, unless you are spurting blood out your eyeballs, you will be expected to attend. 
  2. And also to cut the meat for the table with scissors and cook it.
  3. A 60 hour work week is considered, well, kinda lazy.
  4. A chaebol is a good looking, emotionally distant corporate heir with a tragic lack of love.
  5. Chaebols never watch TV. They are too busy looking immaculately groomed and upholding the Korean economy.
  6. High school grade ranking is serious, cutthroat business.
  7. The Korean word for 'rain' and 'blood' sound like the exact same thing.
  8. No one in Korea drives anything that was not made in Korea.
  9. If your great great great grandfather once committed a crime, and your neighbors find out, you may as well move overseas. You will likely be run out of your neighborhood, called the devil's spawn, and pelted by eggs. 
  10. If your companion falls asleep and slowly topples their head onto your shoulder, it's True Love.
  11. Korean beef is the world's most desirable thing to eat, followed closely by pork belly lettuce wraps, spicy chicken feet, black bean noodles, fish cakes on a stick, ramen, your mom's radish kimchi, red bean shaved ice, or spicy rice cakes swimming in malevolent red fire sauce.
  12. The entire city of Seoul is built on back breaking 45 degree inclines.
  13. If your otherwise modern male companion has a conniption fit about the modesty of what you are wearing, it's True Love.
  14. All young Korean actors are also gifted vocalists. Seriously. And they probably headline a Kpop group as a parallel career.
  15. All young Korean actors are able to cry very prettily on demand with no snot and no red nose.
  16. All young Korean actors have their pores surgically removed.
  17. The use of proper honorifics is serious, cutthroat business.
  18. Unmarked white cargo trucks in Seoul never stop for red lights at crosswalks, picking off hapless pedestrians by the hundreds. Pretty sure they are manufactured without brakes.
  19. If you are good looking, in love, rich, and on your way to do something really important, the chances you will be mowed down by a white cargo truck increase by 500%.
  20. After being mowed down by a cargo truck, you will likely wake with a rare but completely real condition in which 1) you can no longer recognize faces except for your gorgeous secretary 2) your memory is mysteriously wiped clean every night 3) you will be psychosomatically allergic to human touch or 4) you will be permanently, hopelessly blind. But no broken bones.
  21. Each of those rare but completely real conditions will be confirmed to be progressively fatal by an American doctor from Harvard Medical School, but will miraculously be cured in Episode 16 by True Love.
  22. Oppa can mean either your male love interest or your older brother, which never leads to any misunderstandings.
  23. No one in South Korea has an iPhone. Samsung, baby.
  24. If someone accidentally sits on you in a crowded bus, it's True Love.
  25. Never apply lipstick on your whole mouth. Apply it to the innermost part only with your pinky, and then smack your lips together. You will look like you just finished a cherry Charm Pop.
  26. KPop fangirling is serious, cutthroat business. And not limited to teens.
  27. When you are being chastised, under no circumstances should you voice any common sense defense of yourself or your actions in order to clear things up. Instead, stoically endure while angry people accuse you of all manner of moral turpitude in front of smirking onlookers. Who are filming you on their phones.
  28. If you don't return someone's feelings, it's clearly not their fault – it's because you are just not trying hard enough. Everyone agrees on this.
  29. Knife blades in Korea come with a built in cloaking device which makes them appear out of focus, but they will still cut you.
  30. If you are famous, no one will love, support, and adore you more obsessively than South Korean fans.
  31. If they find out you have a tiny flaw, no one will drop you faster, and they will likely pelt you with eggs as they set your house on fire. 
  32. If your oppa says for you to look in the trunk of his luxury Hyundai, it's True Love.
  33. There are only five seasoned, highly talented character actors in South Korea, and they are shared across all dramas.
  34. Never have an inner dialog. Say everything you are thinking out loud.
  35. If you are a chaebol, there's an 89% chance you are not actually the child of at least one of your parents.
  36. It turns out after watching hundreds of hours of Korean dramas, you will mysteriously still not be fluent in Korean. Daebak. Wei? WEI? Aigoo.
  37. If someone is skulking around wearing a black hoodie, black baseball cap, and black surgical mask, no one suspects them of anything.
  38. There are two non-Asian actors in South Korea, and they earn lucrative salaries making cameo appearances as high powered deal brokers or Harvard Medical School doctors.
  39. If someone spends a small fortune getting you a kawaii softie from a claw hand vending machine, it's True Love.
  40. No one is able to stay awake on buses in Seoul.
  41. Properly sorting your recyclables is serious cutthroat business.
  42. It is generally known that South Korean technology produces robots that are completely indistinguishable from a real human, and which end up kissing surprised young ladies.
  43. Some means you've got a little flirty somethin goin' on, but no one is calling it a relationship just yet.
  44. Always plaintively say 'Oppa' with a pouty mouth while tucking your arm in his. He will immediately buy you an expensive bag.
  45. Whatever problem you have, it can be cured by a heaping plate of grilled meats. And 5 bottles of soju.
  46. If you are a woman forced to disguise yourself as a man to step around rigid societal expectations, no worries, you will completely fool everyone. Despite your diminutive size, hourglass waist, lack of Adam's apple, tiny slender hands, narrow shoulders, and female angel's features. Don't even bother to lower your voice. 
  47. If you are under the age of 6 in Korea, you will be indulged as the most helpless, precious treasure imaginable and given anything you want. People will fall over themselves to stop you from crying. Mothers will handfeed you choice bits of food. Strangers will pet your head and buy you cream filled buns.
  48. Once you start school, buckle up, Buttercup, you are on your own. Better start carrying a knife.
  49. No one in South Korea stores their phone contacts with people's actual names.
  50. If your secret True Love fell asleep five seconds ago, you can touch their face, rearrange their limbs, steal a kiss, and confess undying love in a perfectly normal tone of voice right next to them, and they won't even twitch. 
  51. Rich, good looking oppas can somehow get away with wearing eye-popping, flamboyant, girly fashions and no one ever questions their manhood.
  52. If someone gives you a surprise back-hug, it's True Love.
  53. Never apply expensive face cream without making sure the brand name is visible to the camera.
  54. The delicate art of Push-Pull is when you can have True Love for someone but continually say they are not only ugly but also kinda stupid. This only fans the flames of their ardor.
  55. No one in corporate Seoul can function on fewer than three cafe Americanos and a red ginseng packet per day.
  56. If you are virtuous and determined, you will earn loose change by peeling onions/garlic or sewing on the faces of kawaii softies.
  57. Marriage between chaebols is serious, cutthroat business. Correction, marriage between anyone is serious, cutthroat business.
  58. If you trip over your own 4 inch heels and are caught in the arms of a stern looking oppa in slow motion replay as you fall beautifully backwards, it's True Love.
  59. If you are a plucky, beautiful, but poor tomboy just trying to better yourself, you will fall in love with 1) a chaebol whose mom breathes fire 2) your emotionally distant boss 3) the lead singer of a Kpop group 4) an expensive android or 5) your secret illegitimate brother.
  60. If things are going really well, your future is bright, and you are having a super happy time, PLEASE, I beg of you -- pay really close attention at crosswalks. Jae-bal!

 The Secret Life of my Secretary

 One Spring Night

I Am Not a Robot

We can all have a chuckle, but we know these tropes are what make Kdrama so unique and addictive -- so don't mess with the formula, people! Some side effects of my Kaddiction are the urge to answer my kids in Korean, try all kinds of ramen recipes, and I have to restrain myself from bowing when I say thank you. Another thing I've noticed is that the fashions travel westward. I find that I see a fashion trend on my dramas (and sometimes think what in the world, I'll never wear that) and then about six mos later it shows up in the stores here. And I end up wearing it.

Now that I've watched heaps of them, I've become picky about which dramas I watch. The reality is that I quickly pass on many of them after an episode or two (or 5 minutes in some cases), because I just can't quite suspend my disbelief, or I can't take the deliberate over-acting, or the extra silly humor, or the super slow pacing, etc... So now it takes a special one to really hook me. But there are plenty of those! Also, keepin' it real, I have to say, a lot (not all) of the Kpop ballads that play ad nauseum during many of the scenes...arrrrgh. Sorry. My American new wave musical tastes often seriously clash with what I'm watching. So there's that. 

South Korea has many genuinely talented actors and writers. And they just keep making more dramas to watch! One thing I really hope is that they do not try to westernize the plots and themes to draw in international viewers. I've already noticed signs of this. Boo! I vote no to that. Check out my Kdrama Pinterest board if you like. I only pin dramas I've watched and would recommend.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

final prototype for 'Twas The Night Santa Claus ornament

This tiny, pink, wool felt Santa Claus ornament is the first in a new series of ornaments I'm designing based on Clement C. Moore's 1823 poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas. Most folks know that poem by its famous first line, "'Twas the night before Christmas".

Mr Pinkensparkl you see here is in the final proportions for the pattern, except maybe I'll vary what he's holding in his right mitten. Or maybe I'll give a couple options for that. Still mulling that one over.

If you like making super tiny accessories, you are going to love this ornament. I'll include all my tips for doing this. Get your reading glasses and Ott Lites ready for action. haha! Cup of coffee is also very helpful.

This new series will feature some familiar North Pole citizens, along with some other things to evoke the magic of the classic poem. I'm having so much fun making these Santas! They are very similar to making the people ornaments from my Twelve Days series, only with less embroidery and more Christmas sparkle added in the form of sequins and glass seed beads. I love the vintage look that the combination of wool felt and sequins give them.

The best kind of mess is on my desk lately. All the wool felt colors I'm using for my samples so far are from Benzie Design, not to mention their fantastic array of colored seed beads and sequins. Their sequins are a bit smaller than the ones I've found at the craft store -- 4 mm as opposed to 5 mm, and Benzie sequins are not cupped, they're flat. They work really well for the small scale of this ornament, and I find the seed beads are such nice quality -- uniform size and shape with holes that you can fit a regular sewing sharp through. #winning

No worries, you can still use the fantastic and wonderful and magical Sulky Stick N' Stitch to sew these ornaments more quickly and accurately. I have found that the seed beads and sequins I have do just fine for the few minutes you have to soak them to wash away the stabilizer. Yay!

Stay tuned for updates on this Santa Claus ornament pattern soon. I'll be releasing him sometime in August, but can't give a date. Too many variables!