Tuesday, May 26, 2020

ALERT: Craftsy/Bluprint is shutting down


ALERT: I've just read that Bluprint/Craftsy is officially shutting down. I was wondering about that since they temporarily limited my shop to just four patterns months ago during the rebranding, and it hasn't updated since. I have just deleted my four listings there. I was assuming they would inform all their subscribers and customers via email, but I'm a shop owner and I happened to find out from a post on an industry Facebook page. *SMH*

So, if you purchased a pattern from my shop via Craftsy/Bluprint in the past, please log in to your account and make sure you've downloaded them and backed them up, as I'm assuming you will not have access to your purchases online when their website shuts down.

All my patterns are available in my Etsy Shop, like always. Of course, I will always honor your Craftsy/Bluprint pattern purchase if you provide me the Paypal receipt/info, no worries. :-)

finishing up Mr Scrooge, and a National Nonwovens feature


Bit disconcerting to be glowered at by these guys the whole time I'm sewing. I just smile benignly back at them. Because I'm having fun! 


The tiny details on Mr Scrooge's grumpy face give him so much expression, so they are totally worth doing. Stiffened felt eyebrows, card stock nose, pipe cleaner pork chops and goatee. Don't forget to redden the end of his nose and his cheeks. It's pretty cold and dark at his house, remember. Stingy ol' skinflint that he is. As always, I give super detailed instructions, diagrams, and tips to make assembling his face easier. You can do it! (And I also suggest alternatives.) 

This pattern isn't available just yet, but will be soon. I'm finishing up the final touches on the four samples (two in each palette) and planning my photo shoot. I'm hoping for a nice, sunny day tomorrow so I can make that happen and begin the final round of edits.


In other recent news, National Nonwovens featured my patterns in their special Stay At Home issue of Felt News. Thanks, guys! That was so kind. I have to agree, wool felt crafts are the ideal isolation projects.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Mr. Scrooge – making steady progress


Just checking in, folks! How are you? Crazy yet? But well, I hope! I'm working through some yucky back problems. Not sure what happened there. I never am. My spine likes to keep me guessing. Part of its charm. I did manage to make these for dinner last night. Holy cow. Highly recommend. And don't be stingy with the homemade queso.

We are still mostly in voluntary isolation, but trying to venture out a bit more with masks, hand santizer, our God-given good sense, and a love for our fellow man.

I'm working hard on Mr. Scrooge, the first pattern in my Ebenezer Ornament Series. The pattern is mostly written and is now in the revision/editing stage. I'm sewing up samples and working on choosing color palettes. Too. Many. Colors. Then will come the real photos.

I'm planning once again to work with Benzie Design to offer color bundles and kits to go alongside my patterns and color guides. Thank you, wonderful Benzie folks! :-)

Remote hugs to all of you! #stupidvirus

Saturday, April 4, 2020

what I'm up to


Mask life.

Making this thing took me way longer than it should have.

  1. I haven't sewn on my machine in a long while, so I was a wee bit rusty.
  2. Somehow during that interim my machine broke. *shrugs* Now it won't switch between types of stitches. Boo.
  3. I'm kind of bad at following video tutorials. I watched it once and then got all cocky thinking I know what I'm doing. Had to throw out my first one. (This mask features a nose wire, replaceable elastic, and a filter pocket, so it's a bit more involved than some.)
  4. If you are curious what pattern I used, my superhero quilter sister recommended this one. She and a bunch of her sewing friends are making up huge numbers of these for hospitals per their request. And also of course for friends and family, since it's recommended we all wear something to cover our faces while we are out.
  5. There are a LOT of free patterns to choose from out there right now, like this one and this one and this one.

The one I made feels pretty comfortable on. Note: The elastic allowed for the ears was too small for my husband's face, so keep that in mind if you are making it for a guy. I added 2 inches or so to the elastic for him.

Let's all look forward to a time when we can put these things in a drawer and forget about 'em. Stupid virus. Die, virus, die.

Friday, April 3, 2020

in which I design a new series while sheltering in place


"There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are." Said guess who?

That is right! You guessed it. This is a fairly tight prototype of Mr Scrooge, the first pattern in a new series called Ebenezer, based on Charles Dickens' Victorian novella, A Christmas Carol. I'm excited about it and I hope you'll enjoy it. It's going to be ornate and a bit spooky.

No worries, I'm also working on the third pattern design for my 'Twas the Night series. It's only in the design stages but I'll update when I can.

Design work is a nice distraction. I'm hanging in there. You? Air hugs to you, folks of the world, as we all hunker down and weather this pandemic. My cloistered family is just trying to get through each day and stay positive. We are now under a Shelter In Place order here in GA, but that is essentially what we've been doing already for weeks. I pray that you are well and staying encouraged, wherever you are in the world. I pray for all those on the frontlines of this nightmare, and also those working hard in the seldom noticed background, doing essential tasks to keep the world running. I'm trying to do my part to minimize the spread and stay informed. I'm going to sew some masks today.

Phil. 4:6-7 is my daily shelter right now. Maybe it will strengthen you too.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

these are strange times, y'all


Hello, people of the world! I love you!
From afar though. *blows kiss*

As we all try to navigate this coronavirus crisis, I pray for the renewed health and well-being of everyone around the globe affected by this virus. I pray especially for all those in seats of authority struggling to make tough decisions, and also for our healthcare workers. What a heavy burden they are bearing! We can do this, y'all. Let us love and serve one another.

You may have guessed I'm kind of an introvert, so our voluntary office/school closings and limited forays into society are not bothersome to me yet. HOWEVER, my teens and He Whom My Soul Loves are going kind of stir crazy. As homeschoolers we are already more isolated than most, so the further cancelation of their classes, worship, sports, dances, and social gatherings are a blow for them. BUT – these are small sacrifices to make when we consider current events around the globe.

In my home state of Georgia currently there are just shy of 100 confirmed cases, but I'm sure that means many more that are undiagnosed at this time. We are trying to do our part to keep the bell curve of infections shallow. God willing, we will be on the upside of this in a few weeks.

In the interim, I officially call an isolation single player craft party at my house. I'm feeling well and there's certainly plenty of time for me to sketch, design, and craft new ornaments. Ebenezer is underway. I'm not ready to show photos yet, but I will in due time.

Appropriately distanced air hugs for everyone!
*so many heart emojis here*

Friday, February 7, 2020

new Mrs. Minty Claus added to the 'Twas the Night color guide


*New* updated color guide is now available which includes this latest minty Mrs. Claus sample. Sorry it took so long to get her on here. My mojo is seriously compromised lately. I've been buried in freelance design work and also my senior is a lead in our high school play. Busy busy!


I was going for a Jessica Claus throwback with her red hair. The 1970 Santa Claus is Comin' to Town was one of my faaaaavorite stop motion Christmas specials to watch as a kid. I used to get so excited when it was coming on! I loved to hate the Burgermeister Meisterburger. How about you?


And here she is shown with her Mr. Minty Claus.

Confession: I have a regret. I now wish I had not used the red-orange border in between the pink lines on her skirt. I wish I had used mint green. Here's what that might look like:


I thought the red orange would tie in her hair, but now I think I needed to tie in her coat instead. But there it is. You can make YOURS with this adjustment. I've provided the alternate floss number in the color guide. I'm pondering picking out the red orange stitches and redoing with mint. I'll ponder more, as I'm feeling a little apathetic at the moment. Need coffee.

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
Graphite: 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
Graphite: 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

Retro Mint Mrs. Claus

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
Ecru: Coat trim, hood trim, sleeve cuffs
Graphite: Lower half of body, belt
Julep: Coat, sleeves, hood
Chartreuse: Upper half of the body
Olive: Skirt and mittens
*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 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 kelly green sequin, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass bead
Skirt: DMC B5200, DMC 606 (or sub DMC 3851), DMC 602, 4mm Benzie Moonstone sequins (except a 5 mm on the center flower), Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Boots: 4 mm Benzie Jade Green sequins, Benzie Rainbow Iridescent glass beads
Mistletoe ball: DMC 5283, DMC 602, 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: Pink stiffened felt, charcoal card stock, 1/8 inch gold ribbon

That's it for the Mrs. Claus color guides. 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