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 right...in 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.
 Healer

School 2015: Who Are You

Stong Woman Do Bong Soon

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. I don't love every drama that I've watched, but I find the majority 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 dramas can chuckle about the formulaic plot devices, ammi right? 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.)

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!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

birthday mixtapes for my two goofballs


It's been a while since I updated about my darling daughters. They continue to be awesome. I feel pretty amazed we somehow lucked into being their parents even though they consistently foil my attempts at any normal photos. Case in point, the first day of school photo from a few days ago above. The taller looking one giving me the piercing squinch eye is actually the youngest, and she is in fact still half in inch shorter than her older sister but it's a weird perspective thing I guess. Or her personality magically makes her look bigger in images. Anyway. Thing 1 (R) is a sophomore this year and Thing 2 (L) is in 8th grade. I need to look into how this happened so quickly. Clearly there is some kind of teen space wormhole to blame.


^ Last year's school portraits, evidence they can smile on cue for other people. We continue to homeschool and love it. They both attend a few classes a week with a private academy. I feel this is the best of both schooling worlds for us and such a great fit for our family. (So happy to live in a state that supports homeschooling and a country where this is a free choice! Never take that for granted, y'all.)


So Thing 2's birthday comes round in May at exactly the most manic time possible with end of the school year craziness, standardized testing, our anniversary, Mother's Day and this year, as a special bonus, kidney surgery for my husband and moving to another house. Bless her heart. So I probably didn't observe the occasion as well as I might have normally, being up to my ears in boxes. But by golly she got her mixtape!


THING 2 TURNS 13

I usually choose a few songs I just think they'll like but some have greater significance. Turning officially into a teenager inspired the Big Girls Don't Cry choice. By tradition on the morning of their birthday I crank the stereo as loud as possible with this mixtape before they are awake, so the first song should preferably have a nerve jangling beginning. The drums and Frankie's abrupt falsetto on this one does the job pretty nicely!

Gangnam Style...if you guys only knew how much grief my youngest gives me over watching Korean dramas. This song was a deliberate jab, although she actually digs it a lot.

Pressure... this is my child who sweats any decision like it will result in nuclear annihilation if she chooses wrongly. Like which taco to have. Bless her. She's always struggled with anxiety so this seemed appropriate.

I Know...what a triumph to have a great song titled with the same phrase I hear at least 20 times a day from my youngest. Another jab that she took good humoredly. I really wanted to print a Tshirt with that phrase but she said she wouldn't wear it. ha.

And of course the seagulls song. If you haven't watched Bad Lip Reading's rendition of Star Wars scenes you are missing out on some pretty good laughs. Both daughters routinely break into a duet of this song and it's a little scary how accurately they can sing it, down to the voice of R2D2.


Thing 1's birthday was in August so we were fairly settled into the new house by then. I used the occasion to make them both a cake (understandable cake fail on the youngest one's birthday) and have a party. Banana cake with cream cheese frosting for T1 and T2 chose Bob Andy pie, a strange name for a custard pie that tastes like a cinnamon bun. 

THING 1 TURNS 15


I have to say Drive My Car was pretty awesome at full volume on her birthday morning. Because now she can. Drive my car I mean. As soon as she passes her test. Which she hasn't. We've been a little relaxed about the whole driver's education thing. She's driven the van around a deserted parking lot, but we really must delve into that.

I'm Alright because we live in a neighborhood that has a very golfy theme.  It's just an awesome song too, long time love of mine. Have you noticed the weird glitch in the middle that sounds like they made a mistake in the recording studio and didn't bother to fix it?

Mother Knows Best is not only hilarious it is probably the running theme of my interaction with her these days on any subject. Me insisting I know things. She insisting I don't really actually know things. It's precious. I'll get smarter as she gets older maybe.

In the House of Tom Bombadil because this kid is all about anything JRR Tolkien. Born to Run because she debuted on the Cross Country team this year. Spaceman because of her intense new love for the X-Files.

And no one can see the classic Sea Bear episode of Spongebob (one of my favorites) without singing the infectious Campfire Song Song, which both girls do regularly, one singing as Spongebob and the other spluttering through it as Patrick.

They both keep us laughing. Love these girls! Here's a link to all mixtape posts if you are curious.

Aaaand, I feel I cannot close this Holland update post without mentioning the tallest member of our family, he who occupies the driver's seat on our Family Road Trip Of Life, who wields the Remote of Power with a firm hand and makes all the other zany, schooly, crafty everyday stuff in our lives possible because he works so hard every single day:





My sweet Schmoopie, from whom the girls genetically get their Calvin-like talent to sabotage family photos. (That last photo: me saying smile, he rolling the car window up and down to keep me from getting the shot while wearing his best The Shining expression.) Love you, Cuppy Cake.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

curated felt color collection for Drummer Drumming ornaments and Etsy update


Hello! First a quick Etsy update: Have you tried to purchase via PayPal in my Etsy shop lately and found the option was grayed out (unclickable)? Thanks to a couple of vigilant readers I was informed about that problem. Etsy told me it's a glitch within Etsy Payments. Boo. They provided a solution for now by adding a standalone option for Paypal payments. Result: you can purchase via PayPal or choose credit cards/gift cards, etc... as before. I'm sorry for any inconvenience that glitch may have caused you guys!

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:
Chartreuse
Julep
Blue Spruce
Aqua
Coral
Swan
Orange
Mustard
Castle (Substitute for former color, Bronze)
Copper


So to make this^ copper/yellow/pink ornament:
Felts:
Hat and cuffs: Orange
Body and tunic: Copper
Sleeves and pants: Coral
Sash, belt, drum and pom pom: Mustard
Drum top: Castle (or Bronze if you still have some)

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


So to make this^ mint/pink/orange ornament:
Felts:
Hat and sleeves: Julep
Cuffs and tunic: Blue spruce
Belt/sash and drum top: Coral
Drum: Orange
Pants and pom pom: Chartreuse
Body: Copper

DMC flosses for the decorative embroidery:
White
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:
Felts:
Hat and tunic: Mustard
Cuffs shown are Bronze, but if you don't have Bronze use Copper or Blue Spruce
Belt/sash: Copper
Body and drum: Blue Spruce
Drum top, sleeves, pom pom and pants: Swan

DMC flosses for the decorative embroidery:
White
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 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.