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.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Drummer Drumming pattern now available!


On the ninth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to meeeee...

Nine drummers drumming!


You may not have expected Drummers as number nine, but the song from the 1700s I'm using as my guide has the order a bit different than the more modern tune. So drummers it is! And there's no need to make nine of them. Although you could! Because now there's a digital sewing pattern in my shops for you: Etsy and Craftsy.


These ornaments are much easier to make than they look! It's all because of a magical printable stabilizer called Sulky Printable Stick 'n Stitch (formerly known as Sticky Fabri-Solvy) that adheres directly to the felt. If you can cut with precision and sew basic hand stitches like a whip stitch, running stitch, backstitch and French knots, then you can make this ornament and make it well. There is no embroidery transferring! You stitch right over the marks and cut on the outlines. You can choose wood toothpick drumsticks or fuzzy cotton pipe cleaner drumsticks.


You can read more about the whole series and how the Sulky stabilizer works in the Twelve Days section of my blog. I hope you enjoy this new pattern!


Doesn't the sweater sleeve in this photo make it look all wintry and crafty and cozy? I had the sweater on my arm only for as long as it took to snap this shot, and then I flung it across the studio. It's only 4000 degrees here in Georgia. My goal is to finish this series this year, so I have a busy fall ahead. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for this series! You guys are wonderful.

(All the samples you see above were made with the Benzie Color Collection no. 3, same one as French Hen. More posts on that very soon along with a 7-9 pattern bundle in the shop in another week or so.)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

no more 'feed me, seymour' fixture


Recently we were able to call in an electrician to hang our new fixtures and do some other electrical work at the new house. I'm very happy to look at this new, minimal kitchen light instead of the leafy, tentacled one that was there before:


I was surprised at how many folks on Instagram expressed their love for this very large fixture (nine bulbs!). I have missed the style boat on that one. I can see it would look nicer in the right setting if it was all painted white and had some smooth candelabra installed. I'm giving it to a sweet lady at church who loves it. I do wish it well.

Things are slowly coming together in other rooms also. No more large boxes to unpack, but there is a lot of clutter in every corner that I'm slowly finding spots for, or giving away. I have a shocking number of framed pictures currently piled against the stairwell. How did I get this many? Putting in some shelving before September in the school room would be nice so that I can get the hundreds of books off the floor.

I have to keep reminding myself that it took years to organize my other house and arrange everything just so. We had rooms with no furniture in them for a year or two when we first moved in. It's all a process. Like a fun puzzle that is slowly coming together and won't be as much fun when it's finished!

Friday, June 23, 2017

panic averted


...and there they are, at the bottom of the last unpacked box. My Twelve Days samples. Countless hours of hand work and color testing.

I have to admit I could feel the panic start to set in yesterday when I still couldn't find these samples. I rummaged through several studio boxes yesterday, becoming increasingly concerned as I pawed through them. I started chastising myself for letting them be packed at all, "Why didn't you hand carry them, you ninny?"

And then I found another studio box in the hall underneath a box destined for the attic. Yes! Huge sigh of relief and a prayer of thanks.

So now in the studio I have a functioning computer (high fives self, didn't wait for the hubs to set it up for me), functioning internet (after the 7th, yes that's right, the 7th visit from cable guys) and have successfully located my felt, needles and samples. *cues Back In The Saddle Again*

I won't show you what the studio looks like. *cues Welcome To The Jungle* It makes me want to cry when I come in here. Nothing's organized. Baby steps!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

new from Benzie - Entire Twelve Days Bundle, all six color palettes


Hey, guys! Renae from Benzie Design let me know she has a new felt and floss bundle available that contains all six Twelve Days color palettes! That means you can purchase all your vibrant wool-blend felt for making the entire series in one stroke. Genius. (Each palette covers two ornament patterns.)

The bundle includes all the felt shown below. 60 sheets! (And also includes the matching 60 skeins of floss if you choose that option):




Purchase the bundle in her Etsy shop here!
Note: This is not a comprehensive kit. You will need to purchase the patterns and other supplies to make the series. Visit this page to read more about my Twelve Days ornament series.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

what I'm up to


Doors going in. That's Dave, possibly the
best person in the whole wide world.

Was my last blog post really in April? All May I've been in a vortex. Here's almost half of June gone and we are still digging out from our remodel, house move and an unplanned kidney stone surgery for my Schmoopie. (doh!)

May is always completely crazy every year because of:
- ending the homeschool school year
- our anniversary
- couple of family birthdays including my daughter's (13!)
- standardized testing
- Mother's Day
Sooo adding in the remodeling, packing, moving and the surgery just made this May extra action-packed*. Honestly, I was feeling a little desperate on a few of those days. Some hysterical tears were shed (by me). Balls were dropped. Spinning plates crashed to the ground. Hamsters fell out of their wheels. The surgery happened the day after we moved our furniture to the new house. Aaaand I felt like the worst mother in the world when I wasn't present to see my freshman in high school get several awards at the year-end celebration. ("Wait...you got awards tonight??") Gahhhh. She'll tell it all to her therapist in future years I guess. Gotta let it go. -whoosh- (there it goes)

*most positive wording I can think of.

But it's all good. All of it.
The remodel was finished. Mostly. We are moved. Schmoopie feels better! Thank the Lord! We love the new house. No one got hurt (except a few pieces of furniture were winged).

More memories from the remodel:



All the new doors and wainscoting were compliments of Dave.


Banisters were painted.


Carpet was replaced.



The entire interior of the house was repainted, ceilings, walls and trim. I painted the upstairs bedrooms but left the rest to professionals. I chose grays and whites. No pictures yet of the pretty new paint. Forgot to take pre-move shots! I went with Titanium for the main area, with some White Dove, Simply White, Sedate Gray and Revere Pewter thrown in. You can see a tiny wedge of Titanium on the wall in this next photo.


Oh, and we also had to replace the hardwood floors. Didn't expect that. But loving the new floor! It's hickory. The color is called Prairie Dust. 


We still need to replace the lighting. This evil, tentacled pendant in the kitchen (Feed me, Seymore!) has stabbed all of us in the head at least once. It's going. There's also a dark, aggressive looking Viking fixture in the dining room whose days are numbered. That stuff had to jump down the list for later along with the cabinet repainting.


Presently I'm buried in an avalanche of 20 years worth of stuff thrown into the new house. Squaring it all away will have to wait as we are in the middle of coordinating some improvements to the old house to get it listed:


You might remember the old color. Now the entire house has been painted Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray, which my realtor and her designer assure me is the perfect, appealing shade of greige for house lookers. And it really is! Not too dark either. I think it looks so fresh.


And this carpet is just about to go in. The color is called Mink and I think it will look really spiffing with the new paint. Soooo close to listing the house. Feeling excited to get that going!

And feeling the pull to get back to my craft life -- Mr Drummer has been waiting and the last three of the Twelve Days patterns too, all tapping their tiny felt feet to be brought to life.

I hope your school break is going swimmingly!