Tuesday, August 28, 2018

new colorways in 100% wool felt - WIP

Hey, guys. Stitching like a busy bee in between driving my kid all over creation to volleyball. This is the first time I've been an athlete parent and MAN, y'all. It's a lot of driving. But my kid loves it. Go, Holland! Bless her, she's working successfully to overcome the combined set of awkward genes she got from her very unathletically gifted parents. I have other talents.

So anyway, the three Twelve Days ornaments^ up there are from the blue/pink color bundle that I'm putting together for Janet at Felt on the Fly using her luxurious 100% wool felts. There will be three different colorways and they are going to be heavy on the rich, dark and bright colors. I'm excited to share more later!

In other news, I decided it was time to replace my blog, shop, and social media profile pictures with one that actually looks like me. The old one was the Brunette Larissa from several years ago. It was time to switch to Granny Hair Larissa. But how embarrassing is it to take a bunch of selfies? I'd rather be poked with knives than ask my teens to photograph official shots of me, so I hid in the kitchen and tried to figure out the best way to get a shot of myself with my phone timer (multiple fails) that didn't look 100% contrived and awkward. I kept checking over my shoulder to make sure they couldn't see what I was doing and mock me. It felt completely ridiculous. #generationgap

I'm not sure the one I am using over there > in my profile is even acceptable but I give up for now. It's me Living My Truth (aka swilling coffee). 

Monday, August 13, 2018

and we have a winner...

Hey, guys, thanks for partying with me like it's 2008 by leaving comments on my 10th blogiversary old school giveaway! I read each and every comment and really enjoyed getting a glimpse into your past and present thoughts and lives. One overarching theme appeared as I read through: change.

Ten years has brought change to all of our lives. Some change was welcomed with joy: new career paths, new marriages, new sweet babies, new homes, new locales. Some changes you shared were heartbreakers of loss, adversity, sickness and sorrow. I just wanted to hug some of you! Another word occurred to me as I read your stories: hindsight. So many of you looked back on difficult or painful times and could now see clearly how those things were necessary or even made beautiful with the passing time.

What's clear to me, as I gain more gray hair by the minute, is that all change in our lives challenges us to grow. Looking back over the ten year span I think we can all of us see how change has made us stronger, and the new strength is an inseparable part of who we are. Thanks for helping me to reflect more deeply on the time that has passed and how to redeem whatever time my Creator may grant me in the future. I pray God blesses you all, and that the next ten years bring you peace and joy!

Comments on the anniversary post are officially closed and the randomly generated winner is:

kkbroc, aka Kristie!

Her comment:
Ten years ago I found your Molly Monkey free pattern to make for my daughter's 6th birthday. I now have 6 children and can give you an amen as I too have been homeschooling all these years. I love your ornaments and would love to win this!!!

Congratulations, Kristie! Six children are such a blessing! *High fives* to a fellow homeschooler and extra props for your large student body. I hope you enjoy the sewing patterns that you choose! Thanks for providing your email address. Look for me in your inbox!

Thank you to everyone who helped me make this 10th birthday a proper occasion! (Did you miss the Etsy sale? No worries, my Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale will still be happening in November!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

mmmcrafts is 10 years old! let's celebrate!

The comments on this post are closed! Thanks for participating in the giveaway! The winner is posted here.

In 2008 I haphazardly started a craft blog and a pattern business (like you do, you know) and now whammo -- it's suddenly 10 years later. I kept reminding myself last year that this landmark was coming, and then I got too busy and tabled thinking about it for later. Later later. My actual blog birthday slipped by me five months ago on March 29th (here's a throwback to my very first blog post for ya), and then my Etsy shop was born later that year in November, so my Etsyversary is still to come in a couple months. I'll think of this commemorative post as splitting the difference.

2007: Me and my girlies a few months before blogging ever occurred to me. Ah, my brown hair.

2008: Early blog post demonstrating how not to photograph your kids.

2018: Same photographic problem. No more brown hair. This picture was taken on our recent trip to see my BFF, Robyn. If you've been around for a while, you'll know my friendship with her is also a long-running theme of this blog.

My two girls were six and four years old when I started all this, and I was just getting into homeschooling. Even though I had plenty on my plate (can I get an amen, homeschoolers?), I found that crafting, blogging and pattern designing gave me a much-needed adult creative outlet. I had to carve out time to do it though, mostly stolen moments during the day and lots of late nights. My kids will tell you it was more like this.

I came up with my mmmcrafts logo and header in 2008 and it really hasn't changed a whole lot. In the beginning there was one less coffee cup. Somehow I've lost the original 2 coffee cup version, but this is close:

I did update my logo font in 2013 to what you see now. You could say all that sameness is boring or lazy. You could also say I'm Consistently Building My Brand. Haha. I like that. "Building my brand" sounds completely purposeful.

*In voice of Edna Mode* I do vary the colors and throw in the occasional holiday peppermint or cinnamon stick, darling, because I like to push design boundaries. Why the coffee cups, you ask? Because I like coffee.

Besides yammering on about sewing, felt crafting, paper crafting and my procrastination problems achievements, I use it as a travel journal, confessional, resource list and catalogue of handmade gifts. If you like to make handmade gifts, you know it is hard to remember what you've made and for whom and in what color. As I've said many times, I think I'm my own most loyal reader. I'm constantly referring to my own posts.

Even though initially a creative diary mostly for my own reference, this blog has grown into a handy resource center for my tutorials and patterns. Even though I don't post very often, rest assured that mmmcrafts.blogspot.com is here to stay.

Happy tenth birthday to my Etsy shop too. I'm considered an old-timer there, you know. The Etsy marketplace was pretty robust when I joined in 2008 and now it's completely crazy how many Etsy shops there are. I miss the mom n' pop feel of the old Etsy community, but I love how the go-getters at Etsy constantly innovate to serve the massive marketplace and keep the experience as manageable as possible for me.

2008: My first pattern for sale, Katy Kitty, and...

...2018: my latest patterns for sale, the Twelve Days Ornament Series.

Inspired by the new millenium wave of indie rag doll design and my daughter's request for a red girl kitty for her birthday, my Etsy shop opened with a grand total of one digital pattern for sale (Katy Kitty, shown above). Katy was a variation on my popular free pattern, Molly Monkey. I sold 18 Katy Kitty patterns before the end of the year, for which I was completely astonished and gratified. I immediately spent any profits and then some) on craft supplies and fabric. 

Ten years later my Etsy shop has 40 patterns and over 19,000 sales. I'm still astounded by its success. I do so really love to design and write patterns and I'm hugely gratified that you guys actually enjoy using them! (At some point a few years ago I also opened a Craftsy pattern store to put another option out there. It functions exclusively with Paypal payments.)

We are still homeschooling, and now my used-to-be-tiny girls are 14 and 16. High school is hard, y'all. Our program is rigorous, and creative time is much harder to find now. I blog rarely and am a sporadic Instagrammer at best. Patterns have to happen in the chinks between.

Let's celebrate, old school! Do you remember the once ubiquitous blog giveaways? They've fallen out of fashion. But. Let's do it up 2008 style! *Viva la Vida blares suddenly in background* No one likes to log in and comment on blog posts these days, so I'm thinking if you are somehow still reading this, your odds will be pretty good! Here's the prize:

Any-thang you want from my Etsy shop, up to $75. Which incidentally covers the cost of the complete Twelve Days Bundle, so if you've been waiting for a sale it doesn't get much better than free. Already got the complete series? No worries. Pick any combination of patterns you like, as long as it doesn't go over $75.

Leave one comment on this post with what you were doing ten years ago, and include an email address so I can contact you if you win. That's it.
I'll be choosing the winner randomly on AUGUST 12th.

Not into giveaways? Use the code MMMHAPPY10TH and get 20% off your purchase in my Etsy shop only from now through AUGUST 12th.

Thanks for helping me celebrate, you guys!