Sunday, December 21, 2014

you + paper + Christmas music



Let the festooning begin! Still time to make some old fashioned Christmas decorations. Put on some Mel Tormé, get out your scissors, pour a cup of hot chocolate and make like Buddy.

Craft Finnish stars and hang them up. They look complex but are easy to make. I made mine last year using this tutorial. I packed them carefully away so I have them hanging up again this year. Last week the girls and I made mini Finnish stars from some sparkly paper for the girls' mini tree toppers (we used 6 inch x 1/2 inch strips). They work well as tree toppers because they just slip over the top spike of the tree, no holder necessary.

Of course you must cut snowflakes and tape them everywhere! They look nice on windows or fluttering from threads. Make a blizzard. Here's my tutorial.

And then make these clever and easy Simple Paper Stars made from origami paper. Add a few hundred paper chains and you are ready for Santa, Buddy style.

And I just saw these lovely paper ornaments from Design & Form. Pretty minimal instructions but you'll be OK. Very simple but nice! I need to make a couple of small paper trees for my mantel and I think I'll use this method.

And you know who has much knowledge about paper Christmas ornaments? Jessica Jones:
How About Orange paper ornaments posts

Just keep scrolling through those blog posts. She also has a great Christmas project Pinterest board going too. No shortage of ideas there. So much papery fun to be had! You may need another cup of cocoa.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

another peplum top in Liberty Wiltshire

Busy, busy, busy as a bee over here with holiday handmaking. My studio looks like a tornado struck a craft store. How are you?

I whipped up this top a few weeks back in quick fashion using the same pattern I drafted for this one (using the Washi bodice as a starting point) except I added more length to the peplum in back and took out some length in the front. Wiltshire is one of my very favorite Liberty prints.

It doesn't look like much on the hanger. It's cuter on. However I'm still in my sweaty Jazzercise clothes so you'll have to use your *fingers making rainbow* imaginaaaaation. Add in a really great hair day for me while you are at it, will ya?

No closures needed, just pull it on over yeer heid. (I've been reading The Fiery Cross so I now have a broad Scots accent in my mindvoice. I know you totally do that too). I was so disappointed to find when I slipped it on that the bust darts are about an inch too high, maybe more. I guess the dark, heavier linen fabric masked that flaw the last time. This cotton lawn makes it painfully plain. Plus I think the AMH linen must have a little more give because this top is a bit tight under the arms. I'll bring down the darts in version three. Actually that may solve the whole tightness issue also. I'd like to make another one anyway and try gathering the peplum.

It still looks nice on with little cardigans though. I've worn it a few times. I love Liberty lawns for tops because of the minimal ironing. They pop out of the dryer ready to wear. But I guess you could probably hire a ladies maid to iron your tops for what you pay for a few meters of Liberty fabric. It's a toss up.

On a random note, I am in love with quail eggs. They are adorable. Which makes them taste better! My homesteader friend Tracy gave me a couple dozen. I boiled some this morning and meant to take a picture of an artful, speckled bowlful of them. This is what was left when I went downstairs with my camera. #growingchildren

Monday, December 1, 2014

Flora Needle Book erratum

Hey, guys! Just to let you know that there is a typo on the Flora Needle Book pattern itself that has now been corrected, thanks to vigilant mmmaker Melissa. Thanks, Melissa! I always appreciate it when you guys take the time to contact me about these things. It makes it a better pattern for everyone!

The pattern piece for the COVER is the correct size, however the size notation on the pattern piece is incorrect: it should be 5.5 x 3 inches instead of 5.5 x 3.5 inches. To correct your pattern all you need to do is cross out the 3.5 and write in 3.

Again, the pattern piece itself is the correct size, it's the pattern label that is incorrect. Let me know if you have any questions! Sharp eye, Melissa!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday sale!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow US citizens! So much to be thankful for, and it's great to take some time to reflect on that and be thankful to God and share a meal with family and friends. And to eat more than your fair share of the coconut sweet potato casserole. It's OK, I'll go work out in the morning. For which I'm also thankful.

Time for my annual Black Friday sale in the shop! Well, Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday sale I guess: use coupon code MMMTHANKS in my Etsy shop to receive 20% off your purchase through Monday. If you've been waiting for a sale to purchase your Christmas DIY patterns, this is it! Have a wonderful, handcrafty weekend.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

French Hen pattern is in zee shop!

At last! French Hen patterns are available and just waiting to be made for your Christmas tree. This is the third pattern in my Twelve Days pattern series. (Here are the first two patterns: Partridge & Pear, Turtle Dove.) I'll continue to release patterns until the entire series is available. This is the last one for this year, and hopefully still in time for some holiday hand making fun.

This pattern utilizes the magical and amazing time-saving properties of Sulky Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy, a very long name for a stabilizer that makes quick work of these ornaments. There is no tracing or transferring of embroidery designs. Just sew right on top of the printed lines:

If you can do basic hand embroidery stitches then you can do this project. There are helpful tips for whipstitch, backstitch and French knots in the Resources section of the pattern. And of course, lots of step by step diagrams. I'll be using the same stabilizer method for each of the ornaments in the series.

You can find all three currently available patterns in this Twelve Days series in both my Etsy and my Craftsy shops.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

quickie gadget cozy

I took some time out of my manic hen sewing to whip up this gadget cozy for my sister-in-law, Tiffany. She just got a new birthday purse and her old cozy did not match. Shocking! So I had to do something about that.

It's fun to revisit a pattern that I put together a while ago. Completely fresh eyes to look it over. And reading my own instructions keeps me from making the doofus mistakes I would make when I'm trying to get a project done in a hurry.

Start to finish took about an hour. It's a very quick project and a handy thing to have in your purse for kleenex or gadgets or anything that needs an anchor. I keep mine hanging from the strap inside my purse so I don't have to fish around for my phone in the bottom of my bag with all the bobby pins and cough drop wrappers.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

say bonjour to my leetle friend

Zees is my new French Hen ornament design, numbare three in zee series (here is numbare one and numbare two). I sink she is très bon. Ok, ok, je suis désolé, Juju, I'll stop it now.

I'm still writing the pattern (whilst wearing a jaunty beret and of course seeping a café au lait) but I'm determined to get it done and released soon! This one will be made in the same time-saving method as the first two patterns, utilizing the fantastic Sulky stabilizer to quickly do the embroidery and with no pattern tracing or transferring of embroidery designs. Sweet.