Wednesday, January 10, 2018

minor correction for Swan a-Swimming pattern and maybe I should just use a pipe cleaner anyway...

Hello, guys!
You are all awesome, have I mentioned that lately? Well, you are. Vigilant mmmaker Judi (thank you, Judi!) brought a mistake to my attention in the Swan a-Swimming pattern. If you haven't already noticed it, grab a marker and make a note on your patterns:

On step 31 it should read as follows:

Trace this water outline twice on heavyweight fusible interfacing (glue side up), then once (glue side down). Cut them out.

So the mistake was that I had the 'glue side up' and 'glue side down' switched. What you want to end up with is two layers of interfacing on the wrong side of the WATER BACKING and one on the wrong side of the WATER FRONT. Not a huge deal even if you make it with this switched, but it does end up making you feel like you went wrong somewhere. Sorry, Judi! If you've been cheating like I sometimes do by just gluing the interfacing in place instead of ironing it on, you may not have even noticed.

However, I'm re-thinking the whole interfacing thing for this step anyway. The more I store my Swans, the more I realize the water tends to curl on the ends and not stay level. (Do yours do this too?) So I'm thinking a pipe cleaner shaped and glued lightly to the wrong side of the water backing might work better than the 3 layers of interfacing. Feel free to do that instead!

Monday, January 8, 2018

sneak peek of bonus ornament for Lord a-Leaping

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

True Love is the focus of the last and final bonus ornament, and is really the theme of the whole song, isn't it? This heart design will come included with the Lord a-Leaping ornament, the grand finale of my Twelve Days ornament pattern series. (There is a bonus ornament also included with the first and sixth patterns.) 

The two ornaments you see above are prototypes, but the smaller one will be the final design. I was trying to get the sizing right and Mr On The Left is a bit too large. Mr On The Right is, well...Mr Right. 

It occurs to me that this bonus ornament would make a lovely Valentine as well. Strung in a series as a garland? That would pretty, even without the embroidery. Still tweaking Mr Leaping and he's getting very close. This last pattern should be done and dusted sometime this month for you. I'm so excited about that, and very happy that I took the time to get him just the way I want him. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

happy new year, best nine, Kazakhstan, and a Lord a-Leaping sneak peek

#2017bestnine from my IG feed. The website automatically picks the nine Instagram images that got the most likes and puts them together in this handy graphic, so it looks like the Twelve Days ornament series was a clean sweep. This best nine is in place of my usual year in review blog post. I just realized I didn't do one of those for 2016 either. Oops.

2017 was not a banner year for mmmcrafts blogging, with the remodel/move/remodel/sell that took up most of my spring and summer. Only 27 blog posts this year! A record low. I admit that Instagram has also taken some of my focus off of this blog. It's just so easy to post there from my phone. However, this blog remains by far the best venue for multi-photo informational and resource posts, so I have no intention of giving it up!

Thanks for all the encouragement and support and purchases and likes and comments on all my channels! It really keeps me going. And while I didn't make my goal of releasing the last pattern in 2017 (#goalfail),  I'm getting close. Speakin' of which...'s a sneak peek of the nether parts of Lord a-Leaping with his coattails a flyin'. Ignore sloppy sewing, mismatched thread, and my wrinkly ET hands. *sigh* I'm sure a palm reader could go to town on me. Anyway, I'm loving Mr L-a-L so far. Still tweaking his proportions and thinking through the build for you guys. Next step: add pretty embroidery.

And after being only a few states away for a couple short years after she came home from Brazil, my bosom friend Robyn (recipient of the originals of the Twelve Days series and Very Patient Person as she waits for the last ones) is off again on another world adventure to Asia. I'm loving this pretty and heart-tugging dish she sent me, and I'm hoping she and her lovely family are settling in well in KZ. 

Many hugs to you and yours across the ocean and the mountains and the seas, Bob!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

curated Benzie felt 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!