Monday, February 19, 2024

What I'm up to

A good bit of my time is being spent on finishing up my ongoing website revamp, which has been a huge project and will continue to be for a while. All that behind-the-scenes work is partly why GOCYTC has not been released yet; the other part being after finally completing the pattern itself, I decided I don't like two of my finished final samples. After mentally wrestling with that I finally gave in, and I'm currently remaking those and will hopefully find a day to take photos later this week.


Also, I was cruising through Michaels the other day to pick up some DMC floss and saw this pack of already-smiling wood beads by Creatology. I bought them out of curiosity, and as you can see in the photo, they do appear to be the correct size for my ornaments! So if you hate adding the faces and have a Michaels handy, there you go! Just add hair. (Found them online also.)

(I did pause to wonder if the appearance of these 20 mm wood smiley faces might have something to do with all you busy Mmmakers out there? Is that even possible? Maybe just a coincidence?)


And just for fun, a shot of my achievement juice brewing into a fun new hedgie cup my daughter gave me. Isn't it cute? Me 'n hedgie gettin' things done.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

bluebird of happiness


Why wait for the elusive bluebird of happiness to make an appearance when you can make one of your own?

Pattern: Colly Bird from my shop, mmmcrafts.etsy.com
Felt: Felt On The Fly Sapphire color palette
Color guide w DMC floss numbers:
https://mmmcrafts.blogspot.com/p/fotf.html

Thursday, January 25, 2024

studio organization: felt stash and ornament storage


I'm often asked how I organize my felt and store my wool felt ornaments, so I thought I'd show you! I posted short reels of this on my IG and FB feeds also if you'd like to check those out. (After watching the reel and hearing me speak, one commenter was surprised to learn I'm not British! Yes, I'm American and have lived in the southeast US for most of my life, so I have a bit of a twang. But I'm also a huge anglophile, so maybe that bleeds through in my posts. Ha!) 

In the photos you can see how I manage my stash of wool and wool-blend felts: sorted in closet shoe organizers by color/kind. It was years ago when I purchased them, and I think they are from the Container Store. They are part of a system of modular closet organizers and are designed to stack either horizontally or vertically. The size of the cubbies and the depth of the boxes make them ideal for felt storage.


I usually buy felts in either 12 x 18 inch or 9 x 12 inch pieces, so I always roll them toward the 12 inch side and slide them in the shoe compartment, which is the perfect depth. 

In the photos, you can see most are sorted by color but there are a couple cubbies that contain glitter and metallic wool felts of different colors, so those are by kind and not color. You can see I've also got stacks of felt on top of the cubbies that are not sorted yet. And you can't see the scattered pieces of felt all over the rest of my messy studio.


As I work, I pull rolls of felt and stash them in a Raskog cart (I love those things) near my desk, then after I’m done with the project they get rolled back up and tidied away into the cubbies again. Eventually.


I'm also asked if I always soak/air dry the felt first before storing the rolls. The answer is yes and no. Many times I put shipments of felt straight into a bucket of water to soak and air dry before sorting it into the cubbies, just so I have that out of the way. But I also have a lot of felt in my stash that hasn't been pre-soaked, so I indicate the difference by tying the roll with string.

I do not bother separating the 100% wools from the blend wools. I can usually tell by size/feel/appearance what is blend and what isn't, so that hasn't been an issue thus far.


If the scraps are too small to tuck back inside of the roll, I stuff them into this old wooden Coke crate. I always keep usable felt scraps! As you know, many of my patterns have very small pieces, so small scraps come in handy.

OK, on to ornament storage:


Nothing fancy, y'all. I just use these white plastic Sterilite drawer units from Wal-Mart. Pretty simple. My studio is climate controlled, of course, and the drawers are located in a part of the studio which is protected from direct sunlight. 


I have the drawers organized by series. They are deep enough to accommodate the ornaments so they can lay flat in one layer, protecting all the details and fragile bits. Six of the drawers are dedicated to the Twelve Days series because I have lots of samples of those, but my other two ornament series are ever expanding. I also store my Snow Birds and Flora Needle Books here.


Getting a little crowded in some of the drawers. These are samples of All Through The House and Not Even A Mouse. My Ebenezer drawers are pretty empty at the moment, because I'm in the midst of a new pattern. So I have most of my Ebenezer samples hanging from a bulletin board and OttLite near my train wreck work area, seen below. I use them for design/color inspiration while I'm working on the new design and samples.


And you can see the LodeStar Tree Topper samples sticking out of a pencil holder on the shelf over my work table. They are too large to go in the Sterilite drawers, so I need to figure out a great way to store them. Probably will end up hanging them inside my studio closet. 

So that's how I manage my felt stash and ornament samples! I hope this post is useful to you in your own organizing. :-)


Monday, January 8, 2024

top nine 2023


A little late to the new year party thanks to the flu virus, but here are my #topnine posts from 2023, as far as IG likes go. It was a very creative year for me, and that is exactly how I like it. I'm looking forward to more new designs in 2024, and I hear you that more beginner-friendly designs would be welcome. That's on my list. Also on my list is finally kicking this residual cough. Gah! I hope you guys are having an awesome (crafty) January. 

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Mr Yet To Come 3.0

Here's Mr Yet To Come 3.0 (right) hanging out with Mr 2.0 (left). I think most of the design kinks are worked out on him this go round. I will change only a couple minor things for 4.0 and I have a good mental outline of the order of steps needed for his build. I'm still trying to make a gravestone I like, though. It's fighting me. 

My top priority is getting this pattern released before the end of the year. Will it happen? *suspenseful music plays* No one knows! Stay tuned...

(This Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come ornament will be the 5th in my ongoing Ebenezer Ornament Series. The first four patterns are available in my Etsy shop: mmmcrafts.etsy.com)

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

make lighted glass block Christmas presents


Have you guys ever done this Christmas craft? It's pretty easy and I love the way the lighted presents add festive magic to tabletops and bathrooms. Anyone who can tie a bow and use a hot glue gun can do this craft. My sister Leigh had a Christmas craft party years ago and we made them. I got the big idea a couple years ago to repeat that party with my own friends and I planned it all and bought the supplies and then ended up getting sick and not being able to attend my own craft party. But my friends had a blast making them.



WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Glass brick with a hole in the side to feed in a string of lights. Back in the day you had to purchase the bricks from your local Home Depot or Lowes and make the hole yourself using a drill bit for glass. Forget that! Craft stores have clued into this and nowadays you can usually find glass bricks in various sizes with handy premade holes available at your local craft/fabric superstore. 
  • If your brick is clear and not frosted you will want to frost just the sides (not the top or bottom) with a spray paint designed to look like frosted glass. That's at the craft store too.
  • A string of lights to put inside. Battery powered or electric, depending on whether you have an outlet handy where you want to put the finished present. Just make sure the wires are either white or metallic. The green wired kind won't look as nice. I think warm white lights look best. 
  • Wired ribbon to make the bow. It's also nice to glue on some festive berries, pine cones, or greenery if you like. If you make your bows using a bowmaker jig, you may need some thin wire or twist ties to secure the loops. You can also use non-wired ribbon (I did on one because I loved the color) but wired ribbon gives nicer results and you can fluff it up after storage.
  • Fray Check to keep the cut ends of the bow from raveling
  • A hot glue gun
  • A frothy coffee (optional)



TO MAKE:

1) Frost the sides (not the top or bottom) of your glass brick using the frosted glass spray paint and let that dry. (I won't attempt to tell you how to drill a hole in a glass brick since I've never done that, so I'll assume you can purchase a brick with nice big hole in back from your craft store.)

2) Feed in your string of lights, leaving the electric plug or battery pack on the outside of the brick. The hole/plug will be in the back. 

3) Measure and cut lengths of wired ribbon to wrap around the center of your brick in both directions, being sure to neatly overlap and hot glue the ribbon to the center top of the brick and not the bottom (so it can sit flat). Don't worry, your big ol' bow will cover the overlaps.

4) Make a big ol' bow with your wired ribbon. (Bow tutorials abound online.) A classic bow or a fancier one with more loops are both fine, just be sure it's big enough to cover most of the top of the brick. It's a nice touch to angle or notch the ends of the bow. Use Fray Check on the cut ends to keep them looking nice. 

5) Hot glue the bow in place in the center on top along with any little embellishments you want to add, like berries, greenery, sparkly bits, etc.

Tada. You're done! Plug it in or turn on the battery pack and enjoy. Makes a nice gift too! 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

thank you!


A huge thanks to you for making my annual pattern sale so successful! Y'all have a LOT of merry mmmaking to do! Love to see the handmade ornaments, stars, and gifts you sew, so be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook. Now, you get crackin' and I will too.

Monday, November 27, 2023

only hours left in my annual sale!


Hey there! If you've been thinking of starting a new project, now's the time to grab that pattern from my shop! Save 20% off your purchase, no minimum, no coupon required. Sale expires 11/27 at 11:59 PM EST.

Shop here: mmmcrafts.etsy.com