Wednesday, December 27, 2017

curated Benzie felt & floss color guide for Lady Dancing ornaments

All three of these Lady Dancing ornaments were made with my hand-picked Benzie color bundle #5, shown below. It's the same color bundle that was also used for Gold Ring.

You can purchase just the felt or there's an option for the felt bundle plus matching flosses:

Lady Dancing/Gold Ring Benzie Felt Colors are:
Bronze (this color is now discontinued and Castle will be subbed)

You always need matching flosses when you sew layers together, so having the floss bundle comes in handy and helps build your embroidery stash. There are also bundles for the other Twelve Days ornaments in that same listing.

Note: You will also need some additional contrasting flosses to do the decorative embroidery shown in the sample photos, which is listed below. 

Here are the color guides for each Lady Dancing sample:

Magenta/pink/blue Lady colors:

Swan: Cap, single flower petal
Ochre: Shawl collar
Mustard: Overskirt flowers
Flamingo: Sleeves, underskirt
Magenta: Cap flower, upper torso, overskirt
Peacock: Lower torso, bodice, double flower petals

DMC white
DMC 154
DMC 3845
DMC 3844
DMC 3766
DMC 783
DMC 3804

Periwinkle/mustard/navy Lady colors:

Pool: Sleeves, overskirt, cap flower
Mustard: Underskirt
Ochre: Shawl collar
Blue: Body
Magenta: Cap, overskirt flowers, single petal
Copper: Bodice, double petals

DMC white
DMC 3804
DMC 918
DMC 794
DMC 783
DMC 792
DMC 823

Mustard/teal/copper Lady colors:

Mustard: Sleeves, overskirt, single petal
Peacock: Underskirt, upper torso, cap, overskirt flowers
Copper: Bodice, double petals, lower torso, cap flower
Swan: Shawl collar

DMC white
DMC 783
DMC 918
DMC 3808
DMC 934

There are a total of six curated bundles of Benzie felt for the Twelve Days patterns, and you can purchase them all under that same Benzie listing in the drop down menu. See this post for links to all of the Twelve Days color guides.

Happy hand sewing!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Were you naughty or nice?

Santa's checking right now. Merry Christmas to everyone far and near! I'm wishing you a wonderful, peaceful, delicious day in which you feel surrounded by the love of God and the warm company of friends and family.

This is a photo I took years ago of one of my very favorite ornaments. It's one that was my husband's when he was little and I love it so. I keep having to glue his tiny pencil back on over his ear.

Soooooooo...I have to confess, y''s not looking great for a Lord a-Leaping release by new year's eve. I'm working on Mr Grand Finale but he's being difficult and tricky. Leaping can so easily translate as spaz attack instead. It's a fine line. I'm going to take the time needed to get him just right and if that means extending over into the new year, that is what it means. *sound of slow air leak from personal goal balloon*

The bonus ornament is going swimmingly though! It looks awesome. I can't wait to show you that one! (Patterns 1, 6 and 12 all have a 2nd ornament included -- I think you'll LOVE this one. Truly. hint hint.) I'll be updating you guys again by the new year to let you know how it's going, but for now--

God bless us, every one!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Lady Dancing pattern now available!

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
My true love sent to meeee...

Eleven ladies dancing!

I'm delighted to announce the eleventh pattern in my Twelve Days ornaments series has sashayed its way into my Etsy and Craftsy shops. Are you new to this series? Pop over to this post to see lots of helpful information about it.

If you know the modern Twelve Days of Christmas song by heart, you might be saying to yourself, 'Wait, I thought day eleven was Pipers Piping?' And you'd be right! However, my series is based on the original carol from 1780 and the order toward the end is a bit different than the modern one. It's all good – you can number your ornaments any way you like! That's the cool thing about DIY.

These three dancing lady samples were made with the Benzie felt bundle no. 5, (Gold Ring and Lady Dancing). You can of course make your ornaments in whatever colors you like! For those of you who want to make ornaments just like these samples, the specific color guide for them with DMC floss numbers included will be coming soon in a separate post.

Making these Twelve Days ornaments is way easier than you might think because of a magical, printable Sulky stabilizer that adheres to the wool felt. You basically print my pattern to Sulky Stick 'n Stitch, stick it on the felt and embroider on the lines. No pattern piece tracing or embroidery transferring. It's super duper! (The pattern pictured above is from the 1st pattern in the series, Partridge & Pear.)

This diminutive dancing damsel design (sorry, couldn't resist) was a little reluctant coming together. Some designs click right into place from the very beginning and some designs you have to wrestle with for a while. She was a little tricky because I think I had way too many ideas for her that were all trying to come together on one ornament. I had trouble committing. After stitching through three regenerations of the Doctor on Amazon streaming video, I prevailed. Four if you count no. ten's Doctor Donna instantaneous biological meta crisis.

On to Lord's looking a little doubtful he'll come in under the new year's wire I've set up for myself in my head, but I'm going to give it my best try!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

thank you, thank you, thank you! and a Twelve Days update.

Wow, guys! Thanks so much for making this annual pattern sale the best ever. I really appreciate it! Y'all have some sewing to do! Chop chop!

Many have asked if the Lady Dancing and Lord a-Leaping patterns will be out in time for Christmas crafting. My goal is to finish the Twelve Days ornament series in 2017 and I still have that clearly in my sights, but oh my dears...thanks to the move that took up my entire summer, I'm afraid I will need every last minute left of 2017 to accomplish it. I don't want to cut corners or rush the grand finale to this series and I'm sure you don't want that either! Lady Dancing is in progress now and will maybe release in time for Christmas (no promises!), but I will probably be running right up to December 31st at midnight to release Lord a-Leaping.

Thanks a million to many of you who have sent me encouraging messages and positive reviews on my patterns. You know what a huge boon that is to a micro-business, and also to me personally. It keeps me going! That and a lot of coffee. Let's do this!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

curated color guide/felt & floss color guide for Piper Piping ornaments

 Photos courtesy of Benzie Design

All three of the Pipers Piping up at the top ^ there were made using this ^ Benzie wool-blend felt in my pre-chosen palette #4, which covers two of my Twelve Days ornaments: Colly Bird and Piper Piping. Thanks again for organizing that bundle listing, Renae!

Benzie Felt Bundle #4 (Colly Bird/Piper Piping): 

You can purchase the felt bundle with or without the matching flosses, which is a nice option. You'll need matching floss anyway to sew your ornaments together, so having the pre-matched flosses comes in handy!
NOTE: You will still need to purchase floss for the contrast decorative embroidery! 

See specific color guides below:

Green/Mint/Coral Piper colors:

Moss: Hat, cuffs, body, leaves
Julep: Coat/sleeves
Coral: Tunic, feather, flower
Mustard: Pipe

DMC White
DMC 3685
DMC 783
DMC 937
DMC 943
DMC 3847

Blue/Orange/Yellow Piper colors:

Peacock: Hat, tunic, leaves:
Mustard: Coat/sleeves, pipe
Orange: Feather, flower
Copper: Cuffs

DMC White
DMC Black
DMC 413
DMC 783
DMC 918
DMC 3844

Blue/copper/gray piper colors:

Graphite: hat, body, leaves
Cyan: coat/sleeves
Copper: feather, tunic
Coral: cuffs, flower
Mustard: pipe

DMC White
DMC 413
DMC 783
DMC 918
DMC 3846

There are a total of six curated bundles of Benzie felt for the Twelve Days patterns, and you can purchase them all under that same Benzie listing in the drop down menu. See this post for links to all of color guides.

Happy hand sewing!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Piper Piping pattern now available!

On the tenth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to meeeee...

Ten pipers piping!

I'm so happy to tell you that this 10th pattern in my Twelve Days series of ornaments has piped his way into my Etsy and Craftsy shops! If you'd like to read more about my Twelve Days series, here's the resource page.

You may think to yourself, Wait a minute...Pipers are not number ten. They are number eleven! And you'd be the modern version of the carol. But my Twelve Days series is a throwback to the original carol from 1780, so the order is a bit different. But here's the beauty of DIY -- you can number your ornaments any way you'd like. Huzzah!

All three of these ornament samples were made using Benzie felt from the Bundle #4 (Colly Bird and Piper Piping). I will be posting a specific Benzie felt and floss color guide soon so you can make ornaments in these same colors if you like! 

These ornaments are much easier to make than you might think because of a magical, printable Sulky stabilizer that adheres to the wool felt. You basically print my pattern to the stabilizer, stick it on the felt and embroider on the lines. No pattern piece tracing or embroidery transferring. It's FANTASTIC.

I really enjoyed the design of this one. I like the look of the fishbone embroidery on his tunic, and his feathery hat. I wish I could supersize his coat and sashay around in it. I hope you enjoy making your little pipers! Love to see what you make. Tag on Instagram with @mmmcrafts and #twelvedaysornaments.

Getting close to the end, y'all! I've got Lady Dancing* started. I am still hanging firmly on to my resolve to get this series done and dusted before 2018 arrives, despite the looming travel and holiday craziness coming at me. I CAN DO THIS. I've already informed my family I will be a minimal presence for December. Like a ghost who lives in the attic.

Speaking of holiday craziness, I have a Black Friday/Small Biz Saturday/Crafty Sunday/Cyber Monday sale coming in my Etsy shop, with a 20% coupon. Stay tuned for the announcement on Thursday the 23rd. 

*Why no alliteration for the Lady, anyways? What happened there, carol writer? She could be Lady Laughing. Lady Larking. Lady Listing. Lady Lolloping. No?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

things I've learned in DramaLand

My Love From Another Star

Goblin: The Great and Lonely God

Secret Love Affair

You guys might know I like love to watch South Korean dramas.
*Sound of the majority of my readers immediately clicking away from this post*

For those of you who are left, perhaps you watch them too? I have a hard time explaining it to folks who don't watch them. To most Westerners who brave the subtitling, they might at first seem too slowly paced and too overly dramatic. At first. But you might hang on just because the story is intriguing, or you might be curious about Korean culture, or you might be sick of smutty American programming, or you might just like looking at impossibly pretty people wearing great jewelry.

The K2

Cheese In The Trap

I Hear Your Voice

Then somehow you get sucked into DramaLand and become an honorary South Korean! Chincha! So here are some things I've learned about South Korea by watching dramas. I'm 100% positive that these facts are as reliably true as what you learn about real Americans by watching American TV.

  1. The only city that exists in South Korea is Seoul. And sometimes Jeju Island puts in a cameo appearance. 
  2. 50% of the people in Seoul are rich, corporate heirs and heiresses or entrepreneurs. The other 50% are the poor but good-looking folks that the rich corporate heirs and heiresses will fall in love with in opposition to their overbearing parents.
  3. If you get a fever or a small cut you must immediately go to the hospital where there will be no waiting. 
  4. By the way, most fevers are caused by Love Gone Wrong.
  5. Moms and prospective boyfriends are super serious about your not skipping meals. If you have not eaten breakfast it's a cause for major alarm.
  6. Amnesia is a very common side effect of any kind of mental trauma or a car accident.
  7. If someone hugs you, the only proper thing to do is stand there looking shocked with your arms hanging down. DO NOT HUG THEM BACK. 
  8. If you are in love with the person who is hugging you, and that person knows it, and everyone else knows it, it is then permissible to gently pat them in slow motion on the back while looking embarrassed. But still do not embrace them.
  9. If you are sick, the man or woman of your dreams will make you rice gruel and hand spoon it to your mouth. You will immediately recover.
  10. There is a Holly's Coffee shop every 50 feet in Seoul.
  11. High school is made up of cutthroat girl gangs in plaid mini skirts who roam the streets looking to take your money.
  12. The only thing most people fantasize about eating is convenience store cup ramen noodles. 
  13. Asking to eat cup noodles with someone late at night is the equivalent of asking to come in for a nightcap. *wink*
  14. It is a sign of True Love if it starts to rain and then you realize someone is silently holding an umbrella over you.
  15. All lithe young men seem to have a camera in their shower.
  16. If your parents divorce, you will be abandoned with a mean relative while they go get new families. And at least one of your parents will move to America and never be seen again.
  17. Birthday cakes are always presented on top of the box they come in.
  18. There is a fried chicken shop every 50 feet in Seoul.
  19. It is a sign of True Love if someone notices a tiny cut on you, immediately consigns you to a park bench, sprints to a pharmacy, buys disinfectant and bandages, returns, blows on the cut, and spends minutes in utmost concentration putting on a bandaid.
  20. If you like someone unabashedly and openly and seem the perfect match for them, ALERT: you are the second male lead. You are deep in the FriendZone. And it's likely you will die in some sacrificial way by the end of the drama, so get your affairs in order.
  21. Nothing of consequence is ever discussed until you have one of the following beverages in front of each of you: 1) hot tea in fancy cups 2) iced cafe Americano 3) layered elaborate fruit drinks with whipped cream on top. Under no circumstances will you drink these drinks during your talk. 
  22. If you sit down to discuss anything of consequence with just a plain glass of water, someone will be wearing it in under five minutes.
  23. Marriage is not about love. It's about showing up your high school friends that you never liked but are somehow still hanging around with ten years later.
  24. There is an exclusive designer bag shop every 50 feet in Seoul.
  25. If anything has gone awry in your life, group karaoke and a few drinks will fix it.
  26. A sign that you have made it big in life: you have a special glass display case for all your watches.
  27. If your oppa (male love interest) doesn't lunge for your wrist as you are walking away, it's not True Love.
  28. If your oppa grabs your wrist without even looking, it's Double True Love.
  29. Any 'American' in a drama 1) will mysteriously speak with a heavy European accent 2) will have never taken even one acting lesson 3) will likely be waving a gun or signing a multi-million dollar deal.
  30. There is a Subway sandwich shop every 50 feet in Seoul.
  31. If your oppa doesn't return your feelings and you find the focus of your life is now to kidnap/publicly humiliate/falsely arrest his virtuous love interest, ALERT: you are a mean girl. You will die alone. 
  32. If you are down on your luck, go spend the night in a sauna and wear a towel Princess Leia style on your head. 
  33. Good looking high school boys are routinely mobbed wherever they go by worshipful high school girls who keep snapping pictures with their phones and saying how dreamy he is right in front of him. He cooly accepts this as his due. 
  34. Good looking adult corporate heirs are routinely mobbed by female secretaries and underlings who keep snapping pictures with their phones and saying how dreamy he is right in front of him. He cooly accepts this as his due.
  35. It's True Love if your oppa reaches across you to put on your seatbelt.
  36. If your legs are tired or sore, ball up your fist and hit them two or three times. This makes a handsome oppa appear in a luxury KIA sports coupe.
  37. America is considered a land of milk and honey where lucky and/or rich people go to live the high life or get Ivy League degrees.
  38. America is considered a depraved and violent cesspool, where innocent people learn to be indiscriminate huggers and speak to their elders disrespectfully.
  39. There is an outdoor soju bar in a tent every 50 feet in Seoul.
  40. Accidental time travel happens all the time and never ends up anywhere but in the Joseon era in the royal palace complex. Usually in the royal bath house.
  41. The best way to peel a boiled egg is to crack it on your forehead.
  42. If someone kisses you, the only proper thing to do is stand there looking shocked with your eyes wide open and arms hanging down. DO NOT KISS THEM BACK.
  43. You know you are in like Flynn with someone's parents if their mom reaches over with chop sticks and puts some meat on top of your rice.
  44. It is not weird to have a kiss that lasts for the entire duration of a Kpop ballad, with no one moving their lips at all.
  45. It is winter three seasons a year in Seoul.
  46. High schools boys fall into three categories: 1) poindexters 2) street thugs or 3) painfully beautiful and gifted orphans with great hair.
  47. A sign of True Love is when someone grabs you and whirls you around so that a motorcycle doesn't run you down and/or splash water on your pretty dress. You should wear a shocked expression while this is repeated in slow motion two or three times.
  48. All mothers immediately and irrevocably hate the girl their son loves and will routinely offer her money to go away.  
  49. Under no circumstances clear up a simple misunderstanding by communicating properly. Wait three episodes before you do this.
  50. No one turns on the heat during winter. No one notices this even though their breath is crystallizing in their living room.
  51. It's True Love if cherry blossoms are falling around you.
  52. Any oppa worth having will cart you for miles piggy-back style if you 1) drink too much soju 2) break the heel off your shoe 3) have a fever caused by Love Gone Wrong 4) are a mermaid.
  53. There is a cook-your-own-pork-belly restaurant every 50 feet in Seoul.
  54. Young, good looking, and conservatively raised people will inevitably end up living with/spending the night in close quarters with the man or woman of their dreams quite by accident and under unavoidable circumstances. NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.

School 2015: Who Are You

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

:-) I hope you enjoyed reading what I've learned from Korean dramas. (I posted a Part II to this here.) A few more things I've picked up from DramaLand: 1) a few Korean phrases 2) a new taste for Korean food 3) a burning desire to visit South Korea 4) the urge to bow to my elders. 

I watch my dramas via the DramaFever and Viki apps on my iPad and most of the time the subtitles are very well done. But as you may have gathered from the credits I've listed under the photos, they need serious help coming up with good English titles for their shows. Don't let the lame titles put you off. I've noticed that Netflix is getting quite a selection of Korean dramas, so you might try one there. (They change the titles. Hah! Good decision.) I don't love every drama that I've watched, but I find that a lot of them are worth a try. And the best thing is, they just keep making more! The pictures here are from just a few of my favorites but I have a Pinterest board with more if you are interested.

(Those of us who love the Kdramas can chuckle about the formulaic plot devices, ammiright? But seriously DO NOT mess with the formulas, people. It's one of the things I love about them. I certainly hope they never start making them more like American TV. Horrors! American TV is the whole reason I watch Korean dramas.)

Ready for more? See More Things I've Learned in DramaLand

Monday, October 9, 2017

piper piping looking pipery

Tight prototype of the Piper Piping ornament, number 10 in my Twelve Days series. He's facing sideways because I like to change things up like that. *magic flourish of hands* Still working out what to do with his second arm. His front arm is just pinned on at the moment. I'm just trying to avoid looking like he has a death grip on the pipe. You can't see the feather in his hat very well from this angle, but that is one of my favorite parts. Tiny, tiny hats are fun. Once minor design dilemmas are solved the pattern writing will commence!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Felt On The Fly 100% wool felt kits available for Twelve Days Ornaments!

Images courtesy of Felt On The Fly

If you read the Resources section of my patterns or my blog FAQ you'll know that Janet at Felt On The Fly is one of my recommended wool felt vendors on Etsy. She sells lovely, 100% wool felts and I can personally recommend the quality and excellent customer service! The colors are just beautiful.

She recently contacted me to ask about putting together kits that complement my Twelve Days Ornament series that include:

  • Pre-selected 100% wool felt color schemes (the colors are shown in the photos above)
  • Sulky Stick 'n Stitch stabilizer
  • Wool stuffing
  • Metallic thread for hanging loop
  • Cotton pipe cleaners (as necessary)
  • Wood beads (as necessary)

So I said, Um, yes please! Her customers are very excited about these kits* so I wanted to help spread the word! There are four kits available in her shop right now, and she plans on adding more. There's a three ornament kit that covers the first three patterns in the series and then there's a kit for the first three individual ornaments*.

*The kits do not include the sewing patterns, which are available for purchase here.

The tool kit add-on from Felt On The Fly

And you can also customize your basic kit with these handy add-ons:

  • matching embroidery flosses
  • a lovely hand sewing tool kit in a box (shown above), an especially useful add-on if you are just getting started or need a travel sized tool set.

Please visit Janet's shop to check out the available options if you are looking for 100% wool felts!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

curated felt color collection/felt & floss guide for Drummer Drumming

And now for the Drummer ornament colors by Benzie Design felts! The three samples above were all made using the Benzie Bundle #3, which is the same collection I curated for French Hen:

A note about this color collection: Bronze (second from bottom in the photo above) has unfortunately been discontinued. Benzie felt color Castle is being used as a substitute for the bundles going forward, which is the closest color/value available. It's more tan and less gold:

So the colors in the #3 Bundle are:
Blue Spruce
Castle (Substitute for former color, Bronze)

So to make this^ copper/yellow/pink ornament:

Orange: Hat and cuffs
Copper: Body and tunic
Coral: Sleeves and pants
Mustard: Sash, belt, drum and pom pom
Bronze (discontinued) or Castle or Copper: Drum top

DMC FLOSS for the decorative embroidery:
814 maroon
3716 light pink
892 bright coral pink
783 gold
947 bright orange

So to make this^ mint/pink/orange ornament:

Julep: Hat and sleeves
Blue Spruce: Cuffs and tunic
Coral: Belt/sash and drum top
Orange: Drum
Chartreuse: Pants and pom pom
Copper: Body

DMC FLOSS for the decorative embroidery:
3716 light pink
892 bright coral pink
919 copper
3371 dark brown
935 dark green
166 acid green
943 teal green

And lastly, to make this^ yellow/copper/blue ornament:

Mustard: Hat and tunic: Mustard
Bronze (discontinued) or Copper or Blue Spruce: Cuffs
Copper: Belt/sash: Copper
Blue Spruce: Body and drum: Blue Spruce
Swan: Drum top, sleeves, pom pom and pants: Swan

DMC FLOSS for the decorative embroidery:
783 gold
919 copper
3808 dark blue
3846 bright light blue
807 medium blue
832 dark gold

I hope that is helpful for you! The Drummer Drumming PDF sewing pattern (and the other Twelve Days ornament patterns) can be purchased at my Etsy shop or Craftsy store. Happy sewing!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Twelve Days 7-9 pattern bundle now available!

Here's the newest discounted bundle available for the Twelve Days ornament series. It's a digital bundle of patterns 7-9 and includes:

This new bundle is available for purchase in my Etsy and Craftsy shops, along with the single patterns and the other discounted bundles.

Next pattern on the list is Piper Piping! He's under development at the moment. I'll be steadily chug-chug-chugging on the remaining ornaments for the rest of the year to get them completed. Thanks so much for hanging with the series and being so encouraging! You are awesome.