Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happiest of Thanksgivings to you! My sale is on!


Thank you, 2021, for being a year to make me more conscious than ever of life's blessings, in awe of God's providence, and more aware of just how quickly life can change. I'm holding my dear ones a bit tighter this year (under their loud protests LOL) and resolving to be a person who is more deliberate about giving thanks in all circumstances. One huge blessing I'm counting right now is YOU, who so kindly stuck with me and sent so many encouraging notes and messages. Thank you! I'm looking forward to jumping back into doing what I love, designing new patterns for you to enjoy. 

If you've been waiting for my annual sale to buy a pattern from my Etsy shop, wait no more, this is it! 20% off your pattern purchase through Monday with no code necessary. Please note: the sale is keyed to my time zone, Eastern Standard, so factor that in if you are in a different part of our lovely world.

Many many thanks to you! And please accept my wish to all, wherever on this beautiful planet you may be, that God richly blesses you with happiness, health, and special times with those you love. And may you snag the very last piece of pecan pie.  

Monday, November 8, 2021

Ghost of Christmas Past: detailed Benzie color guides – kits available!


Ghost of Christmas Past is the third pattern in my Ebenezer Ornament Series. Here are the detailed felt/floss/sequin/bead color guides for you so that you can easily make spirits 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 Ghost of Christmas Past pattern: mmmcrafts.etsy.com
To buy the Modern Pastel or Victorian felt palettes shown here:
To shop their sparkle and shine:
Benzie sequins and beads and also their metallic felts

OK! Here are the color guides:

Modern Pastel Silver Ghost

BENZIE FELT COLORS:*
Silver: Tunic and capelet
Gold Metallic Bellwether:** Snuffer, belt, tunic leaves
Peach: Body and arms
Moss: Holly leaves
Fern: Center holly leaf
*Note: You will need matching floss or thread colors
**Substitute Mustard felt if you do not have metallic felt

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS:*
Capelet: DMC 937 and D3852. Benzie Teal seed beads, Benzie Red seed beads. Trim: Benzie White seed beads, 5 mm iridescent translucent sequins
Belt: DMC 905, 5 mm gold sequins, 8 mm iridescent white sequin topped with 6 mm gold sequin, Benzie Gold seed beads
Tunic: DMC 934, 905, 3705, 943, and D3852. 6 mm metallic kelly green sequins topped with 5 mm aqua sequins, 5 mm lime metallic sequins, 8 mm lime metallic sequin topped with 6 mm metallic kelly green sequin, Benzie Red seed beads, Benzie White seed beads, Benzie Teal seed beads, Benzie Kelly Green seed beads
Snuffer: DMC E301, 4 mm Benzie Gold metallic sequins, Benzie Rose Gold seed beads 
Holly Staff: gold sewing thread, semi-precious 4 mm beads
Year on back: DMC 943
*All sequins/beads sewn with gold sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Holly staff: white 26 gauge paper wrapped stem wire
Hanging Loop: DMC 5282 Metallic Pearl


Modern Pastel Ecru Ghost

BENZIE FELT COLORS:*
Ecru: Tunic and capelet
Gold Metallic Bellwether:** Snuffer, belt, tunic leaves
Peach: Body and arms
Moss: Holly leaves
Turquoise: Center holly leaf
*Note: You will need matching floss or thread colors
**Substitute Mustard felt if you do not have metallic felt

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS:*
Capelet: DMC 3848 and 732. Benzie Foxglove seed beads, Benzie Red seed beads. Trim: Benzie Rainbow seed beads, 5 mm iridescent translucent sequins
Belt: DMC D301, 5 mm gold sequins, 8 mm iridescent gray translucent sequin topped with 5 mm gold sequin, Benzie Gold seed beads
Tunic: DMC 3848, 732, and D3852. 6 mm metallic copper sequins, 5 mm pink sequins, 8 mm pink sequin topped with 6 mm copper sequin, Benzie Red seed beads, Benzie Foxglove seed beads, Benzie Rose Gold seed beads
Snuffer: DMC D301, 5 mm gold sequins, Benzie Rose Gold seed beads 
Holly Staff: gold sewing thread, semi-precious 4 mm beads
Year on back: DMC 3705
*All sequins/beads sewn with gold sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Holly staff: white 26 gauge paper wrapped stem wire
Hanging Loop: DMC 5282 Metallic Pearl


Victorian Swan Ghost

BENZIE FELT COLORS:*
Swan: Tunic and capelet
Bronze Metallic Bellwether:** Snuffer, belt, tunic leaves
Peach: Body and arms
Turquoise: Holly leaves
Peacock: Center holly leaf
*Note: You will need matching floss or thread colors
**Substitute Copper felt if you do not have metallic felt

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS:*
Capelet: DMC 3808 and D301. Benzie White seed beads, Benzie Red seed beads. Trim: Benzie Rainbow seed beads, 5 mm iridescent translucent sequins
Belt: DMC D168, 5 mm iridescent gray sequins, 8 mm iridescent gray sequin topped with 5 mm teal sequin, Benzie Rose Gold seed beads
Tunic: DMC 3808, 3848, White, 815, and 3712. 8 mm iridescent gray translucent sequins topped with 5 mm teal sequins, 5 mm metallic red sequins, 8 mm red metallic sequin topped with 5 mm pink sequin, Benzie White seed beads, Benzie Red seed beads, Benzie Teal seed beads
Snuffer: DMC D168, 4 mm Benzie Copper sequins, Benzie Rose Gold seed beads 
Holly Staff: copper sewing thread, semi-precious 4 mm beads
Year on back: DMC 815
*All sequins/beads sewn with copper sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Holly staff: white 26 gauge paper wrapped stem wire
Hanging Loop: DMC 5283 Metallic Pearl


Victorian Midnight Ghost

BENZIE FELT COLORS*:
Midnight: Tunic and capelet
Silver Metallic Bellwether:** Snuffer and belt
Bronze Metallic Bellwether:** Tunic leaves
Peach: Body and arms
Turquoise: Holly leaves
Swan: Center holly leaf
*Note: You will need matching floss or thread colors
**Substitute Bronze felt if you do not have metallic felt

FLOSS/SEQUIN/BEAD COLORS:*
Capelet: DMC 958 and D301. Benzie Red seed beads, Benzie Aquamarine seed beads. Trim: Benzie Rainbow seed beads, 5 mm iridescent translucent sequins
Belt: DMC 958, 5 mm silver sequins, 8 mm copper sequin topped with 6 mm silver sequin, Benzie Rainbow seed beads
Tunic: DMC D168, 958, 943, and 3801. 6 mm brassy gold sequins, 5 mm aqua sequins, 8 mm brassy gold sequin topped with 6 mm teal sequin, Benzie Rainbow seed beads, Benzie Red seed beads, Benzie Aquamarine seed beads
Snuffer: DMC D301, 5 mm iridescent translucent sequins, Benzie Rainbow seed beads 
Holly Staff: silver sewing thread, semi-precious 4 mm beads
Year on back: DMC 832
*All sequins/beads sewn with silver sewing thread

OTHER NOTIONS:
Holly staff: white 26 gauge paper wrapped stem wire
Hanging Loop: DMC 5283 Metallic Pearl


I hope this was helpful! 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

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Ghost of Christmas Past pattern now available!


It took a bit longer than planned, but I'm very thankful to say that Ghost of Christmas Past is now in my Etsy shop. This pattern is the third in my Ebenezer Ornament Series, which is inspired by my love for Charles Dickens' spooky Victorian novella, A Christmas Carol

You'll find the difficulty level to be intermediate – not for beginners. If you've completed my Twelve Days Ornament Series, you are likely ready to step into the Ebenezer series! (Twelve Days is a great primer as it builds your skills when you do the patterns in order.)

Skills needed for this particular pattern are backstitch, whipstitch, drawing on the face, precision cutting of small pieces, beading, and working with stem wire. This one is not as complicated as Mr Marley, IMO. And not to worry, as with all my ornament patterns, Ghost of Christmas Past is organized into detailed step by step instructions with scads of diagrams and tips.

The pattern includes 21 years to trace and embroider on the back, if you like

Male or Female Spirit?
It's a bit hard to tell, but despite his long hair and fancy tunic, this is a male spirit. My ornament is designed to reflect the ghost as written by Mr Dickens, who describes this spirit as a candle-like shape shifting youth/old man with long, white hair and blooming cheeks, wearing a flowered white tunic and golden belt. He carries a large snuffer hat under his arm and also a fresh branch of holly, and a bright clear light jets from his head. (At the end of the encounter, Mr Scrooge sends him on his way by squashing the extinguisher over his head and body, under which he disappears, though the light refuses to be extinguished.)

Despite the original text, I've seen many productions which cast this spirit as a woman, so I've provided a list of tips at the end of the pattern for converting this ornament design to a feminine version. Like skipping the sideburns and thick eyebrows, making the hair longer, adding a braid, cinching the waist, skipping the capelet, etc... I hope that will help match your nostalgia for lovely productions you may have seen. I'll have to make a female sample and photograph it for you guys. On my to-do list!


Just like my other heirloom ornament patterns, it takes about two crafternoons to make a Ghost of Christmas Past. Using metallic wool felt for the snuffer, belt and leaves and using metallic tinsel or iridescent pipe cleaners for the crown of light adds such a rich, festive sparkle to the look.

This ornament is best constructed using Sulky Stick 'n Stitch, which makes the process so fast and accurate. If you already have the materials on hand to make Scrooge or Marley, you just need a few more things like metallic wool felt, tinsel pipe cleaner, plastic or semi precious 4 mm beads (for holly berries), some larger sequins, and paper or cloth covered white stem wire. There's a full materials list on the first page of the pattern.


What's a fun collective pronoun for a group of these? A sparkle of spirits? All four samples you see above are made with the same two Benzie Ebenezer color palettes I curated for the rest of the series. I exercised a bit of artistic license in the color of his tunics #becausecolors. I will be publishing detailed color guides for these samples soon, which coordinate directly with the amazing felt/floss/notions kits put together for your buying convenience at Benzie Design

To purchase the instantly downloadable PDF pattern, visit my Etsy shop. :-)