Sunday, August 30, 2020

some things you'll need for Mr Marley

Hello, lovely mmmakers! Are you planning to craft a Mr Marley Christmas ornament when the pattern  becomes available? (Mr Marley is the upcoming second pattern in my current Ebenezer Ornament Series.) I'm busy writing the pattern, drawing the diagrams, and sewing the final samples for you. It occurred to me you might like to know the extra bits and bobs you'll need to make him ahead of time, so you'll be ready to roll when the pattern releases.

Beyond the usual wool felt, floss, pipe cleaners/chenille stems, wood colored card stock (nose), stiffened white felt (pigtail), glass beads, sequins, wood beads, etc etc etc, there are a few new items needed for Mr Marley that were not needed for Mr Scrooge:

  • 24 gauge wire in gold or silver for his spectacles and misc.
  • Some wire snips and tweezers will come in handy, if you don't already have some.
  • About 10-11 inches of gold or silver charm bracelet type of chain, with nice open links. My chain samples measure 6 mm at the longest part of the link. This is the gold and silver chain I purchased, but anything similar will be fine. You'd get three ornaments out of either of those.
  • 6 mm gold or silver jump rings for attaching bits to his chain.
  • Some needle nose pliers to open and close said jump rings. (I like having two pairs, one to hold the ring and one to bend the jump ring apart.) 
  • 15, 16 or 17 mm gold or silver jingle bells to attach to his chain in lieu of actual ghostly money boxes. Don't go larger or smaller than that or they might not look proportional.
  • If you already have them, eye pins come in handy to insert inside his hands but are not essential. As an alternative, you can just squash a jump ring or fashion a quick loop out of the 24 gauge wire, no biggie.
  • Optional: A gold or silver key charm or two (around an inch) OR you can make them. See below.
  • Optional: A small gold or silver charm that looks like a padlock or a money purse OR you can make a padlock or money purse. See below. (You can also see a necklace finding up there ^ called a cap, which reminded me of a little purse.)

  • If you enjoy working small (like me!) and you opt to make the keys, padlock, and/or purse charms, you'll need to get some small scraps of metallic card stock and also metallic wool felt. (Benzie Design has lots of lovely metallic wool felt, including the gold and silver you see up there ^ in the photo. It's metallic on one side and wool felt on the other.) I found the metallic card stock in the scrapbooking section of my local craft store.
  • The padlock has gold or silver perle floss for the arm of the lock, which you probably already have on hand for the ornament loops.
  • The money purse has a gold or silver sequin/seed bead fastener and an attached jump ring.
  • For the key as well as the padlock you'll need to have a small hole punch. Mine is a 1/8 inch punch.
  • A craft knife like Xacto comes in handy and also a wicked sharp pair of small scissors.
My final Mr Marley samples will be made using my two Ebenezer color palettes at Benzie Design: Victorian and Modern Pastel. Benzie Design will once again be offering kits for this new pattern because they are amazing. If you'd like to wait and see their kits, they might include some of what's listed above so that you can purchase it all in one stop if you don't like hunting for bits. If you already purchased a Benzie kit or two to make Mr Scrooge, you might have most of the rest of what you need to make Mr Marley, with the exception of what's listed above. 

Back to drawing diagrams for me! Y'all have a wonderful evening.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

beware listing spoofers

ALERT: It has come to my attention there is at least one pirate site that has stolen my Etsy listings, including my words, photos, and even the customer reviews. They look just like my Etsy listings, except the website is not Etsy. The spoofer lures folks in by pretending to be me and pricing my patterns at half the cost of my Etsy shop. BEWARE: They are actually phishing sites that capture your financial and personal data instead of sending you the product.

It’s not just my own listings. I’ve seen several other reputable Etsy sellers I’m familiar with have also had their listings stolen by the same site, even listings for actual hard to fulfill items instead of digital listings. And this is likely not the only pirate site out there. I’m not including the link here for obvious reasons.

SO HOW DO YOU KNOW IF IT’S A PIRATE SITE? In my case, that’s easy. The ONLY place I sell my pattern downloads is

If it ain’t my Etsy shop, it’s a pirate site, and is in direct violation of DMCA and US copyright laws. My lawyer is aware of the site and we are gathering information. Be careful out there in Internet Land, y’all. #meanpeoplesuck

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

what I'm up to

All Mr Marley, all the time, that's what I'm up to. And trying not to eat stuff. I'm on WW and I've lost 11 lbs, but that 12th pound keeps leaving and coming back. Rude. That's a shot of my messy desk featuring headless Marleys in various stages as I try to work out the final kinks in the construction for you. The handmade padlock is giving me some trouble but I think I'm close to getting it licked. (I wanted to give you some metallic felt/card stock options in case you would prefer not to purchase metal charms besides the jingle bells, which are standing in for cash boxes.)

I'm in close contact with the lovely and affable Crystal as I work out the details so that Benzie Design can offer you some options in their Ebenezer kits too. The headless samples you see above are all made from my two curated Benzie Ebenezer color palettes. Those new color guides will hit my blog after the Mr Marley pattern releases. 

I hope you guys are hanging in there during this weird year. Lots of my customers are telling me they are seizing on this time to knock out a bunch of Christmas sewing. I find hand sewing to be therapeutic also. #bonus 

Back to work for me! 

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.