Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Mr Marley prototype!


Finally, a Mr Marley prototype I feel able to share with the world. He's the second ornament in my Ebenezer Ornament Series. This particular fella is not quite right, but he's close, and I'm so relieved. This is actually Design v2.0. I originally started with a totally different concept that was so cool in my head and in my sketches, but in 3D felt reality it was just a mess. So I scrapped the whole thing and started again from scratch. 

As Kenny Rogers might say, know when to walk away.  



This unfortunate spirit sports a real chain hung with store bought baubles. Those are two jingle bells that are standing in for cash boxes (and also make him able to rattle his chains at Scrooge very nicely). Also seen on his chain are a key charm and a little jewelry finding called a 'cap' that you normally would use to finish a necklace. On his chain it looks like a large padlock or maybe a small purse. 

No worries, if you prefer not to purchase little findings, I'm also currently testing an option to make boxes and keys from card stock. You might also use alternatives if you do not wish to purchase a chain. (Don't forget to check your jewelry box for old necklaces you might want to repurpose.) While a real chain gives the best look, you could possibly substitute some braided metallic floss or maybe string some oblong metallic beads. 


This pattern is not available yet, but if you are making a list for things to buy in anticipation of the release, other extras required to make Mr Marley will be jump rings and a bit of wire to form his spectacles (and probably silver card stock if you are making the baubles). The rest of the ornament is made in much the same method and materials you use for Mr Scrooge, and I'll be using the same two Benzie Design felt palettes to make the samples. The glass beads and sequins you see here are all Benzie too. Love 'em.

I hope to nail down the final pattern for him soon, and then begins the intensive process of writing the pattern and sewing the color samples. I hope everyone is well and perhaps enjoying some extra crafting time, one of the only bright spots of the whole COVID pandemic. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Mr. Scrooge: detailed Benzie color guides – kits available!


Mr. Scrooge is the first pattern in my Ebenezer Ornament Series. Here are the detailed felt/floss/sequin/bead color guides for you below, so that you can easily make Mr. Scrooges 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 get you started:
To buy the Mr. Scrooge pattern: mmmcrafts.etsy.com
To buy the Victorian or Modern Pastel felt palettes shown here:
To shop their beautiful sequins and beads:

OK! Here are the color guides:

Victorian Burgundy Scrooge

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
Burgundy: Dressing gown
Copper: Dressing gown collar and trim
Swan: Night shirt
White: Candle
Peacock: Night cap and leaves
Graphite: Slippers
Peach: Body
*Note: You will need matching floss or thread colors

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS*:
Night cap: DMC E301, DMC 814 
Dressing Gown Trim: DMC 154, Benzie Gold glass beads
Dressing Gown: DMC BLANC, DMC E301, 5 mm iridescent cupped sequins, Benzie 4 mm Copper Metallic sequins, Benzie Gold glass beads, Benzie Foxglove glass beads
Night Shirt: DMC E301, DMC 814, DMC BLANC, Benzie White glass beads
Year on back: DMC 598
*All sequins/beads sewn with gold sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Candle: Benzie black stiffened felt, black mini chenille stem, gold tinsel mini chenille stem
Head: White mini chenille stem, wood colored card stock, Benzie white stiffened felt
Slippers: Benzie black stiffened felt
Hanging Loop: DMC 5282 Metallic Pearl


Victorian Bronze Scrooge

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
Bronze: Dressing gown
Turquoise: Dressing gown collar and trim
Blush: Night shirt
White: Candle
Copper: Night cap
Midnight: Leaves and slippers
Peach: Body
*Note: You will need matching floss or thread colors

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS*:
Night cap: DMC E3852, DMC 3750 
Dressing Gown Trim: DMC 823, Benzie White glass beads
Dressing Gown: DMC BLANC, DMC E301, 5 mm iridescent cupped sequins, Benzie 4 mm Teal Metallic sequins, Benzie Teal glass beads, Benzie Strawberry glass beads
Night Shirt: DMC E3852, DMC 919, DMC BLANC, Benzie Turquoise glass beads
Year on back: DMC 3750
*All sequins/beads sewn with gold sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Candle: Benzie black stiffened felt, black mini chenille stem, gold tinsel mini chenille stem
Head: White mini chenille stem, wood colored card stock, Benzie white stiffened felt
Slippers: Benzie black stiffened felt
Hanging Loop: DMC 5282 Metallic Pearl


Modern Pastel Ivory Scrooge

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
Ecru: Dressing gown, candle
Silver: Dressing gown collar and trim
Julep: Night shirt
Fern: Night cap
Moss: Leaves
Turquoise: Slippers
Peach: Body
*Note: You will need matching floss or thread colors

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS*:
Night cap: DMC E3852, DMC 959 
Dressing Gown Trim: DMC 351, Benzie White glass beads
Dressing Gown: DMC 414, DMC E3852, 5 mm gold cupped sequins, Benzie 4 mm Rose Quartz sequins, Benzie Strawberry glass beads, Benzie Gold glass beads
Night Shirt: DMC E3852, DMC 935, DMC BLANC, Benzie Strawberry glass beads
Year on back: DMC 935
*All sequins/beads sewn with gold sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Candle: Benzie black stiffened felt, black mini chenille stem, gold tinsel mini chenille stem
Head: White mini chenille stem, wood colored card stock, Benzie white stiffened felt
Slippers: Benzie black stiffened felt
Hanging Loop: DMC 5282 Metallic Pearl


Modern Pastel Pink Scrooge

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
Pink: Dressing gown
Coral: Dressing gown collar and trim
Ecru: Night shirt and candle
Ochre: Night cap
Turquoise: Leaves
Mustard: Slippers
Peach: Body
*Note: You will need matching floss or thread colors

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS*:
Night cap: DMC E301, DMC 501 
Dressing Gown Trim: DMC BLANC, Benzie Gold glass beads
Dressing Gown: DMC E3852, DMC 783, 5 mm iridescent cupped sequins, Benzie 4 mm Copper Metallic sequins, Benzie Gold glass beads, Benzie Strawberry glass beads
Night Shirt: DMC E3852, DMC 351, DMC 3326, Benzie Strawberry glass beads
Year on back: DMC 351
*All sequins/beads sewn with gold sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Candle: Benzie black stiffened felt, black mini chenille stem, gold tinsel mini chenille stem
Head: White mini chenille stem, wood colored card stock, Benzie white stiffened felt
Slippers: Benzie black stiffened felt
Hanging Loop: DMC 5282 Metallic Pearl

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 Victorian and Modern Pastel felt colors are just a few of the possibilities! I'd love to see what you make. :-) #ebenezerornamentseries

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Mr. Scrooge pattern is now available!


Mr. Scrooge, the first release in my new Ebenezer Ornament Series, is now available! This series is inspired by the beloved Victorian era novella, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. The series is going to be ornate, sparkly and a wee bit spooky. I'm excited about it.


The scowling Mr. Scrooge ornament features an ornate Victorian tasseled night cap, night shirt, dressing gown, slippers, and candlestick. This is a detailed project with lots of tiny pieces, so it's not a beginner's pattern, mind. However, if you've successfully completed the people ornaments in the Twelve Days series or 'Twas the Night series, you will feel right at home with Ebenezer. 



One of the ways to make these ornaments look really special is to use metallic embroidery flosses (DMC Light Effects), but those can be a bit more challenging to work with than the cotton flosses. You have to be patient, use short lengths, thread them in parts, and be conscious of pulling each of the strands snug as you go. But! Used as accents in the embroidery, metallic flosses really take the look of the ornament up a notch. 


Similar to my other heirloom ornament patterns, it takes about two crafternoons to make a Mr. Scrooge. It's constructed using very similar methods to my other series, including Sulky Stick 'n Stitch (a magical wash away adhesive stabilizer that makes construction fast, easy, and accurate). If you already have the materials needed to make my other people ornaments, you probably have most of what you need to make a Mr. Scrooge. 


The 19 page PDF pattern comes with 26 years worth of years to trace on the back of his dressing gown, if you are like me and like having the year written on the back of your special ornaments.

You can buy the pattern here! Check this Ebenezer resource page for even more information on this pattern series. 

KITS COMING: All the samples you see in this post were made with lovely Benzie Design wool-blend felts, sequins, and beads. They will be graciously supplying lovely kits for this pattern if you'd also like to make them in the same colors you see here. There are two different color palettes: Victorian and Modern Pastel. More details on that are coming soon. Benzie have been standing at the ready for weeks to compile the kits, but it is me that's been tortured with indecision and slow to provide them the details! (Sorry, Crystal! You guys are awesome.)

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.