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. (" 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!

Friday, April 21, 2017

final Drummer prototype and Sulky Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy is now called Stick 'n Stitch

This No. 9 Drummer prototype is pretty tight. Just a few minor changes are needed. I hope you like him! This sample is in the same Benzie color bundle as French Hen. I'll be sewing up new samples with the final changes in place and then writing the pattern. (Read more about this series here.)

And speaking of the pattern, you know that Sulky Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy is an integral part of sewing the ornaments in this series. I've posted about its many virtues and also the warning about the batch that is faulty. I wanted you to know that it has been re-branded with a new name but it's the same great product as before. If you want to avoid the bad adhesive you should be safe if you purchase new packs that look like this, with the new name: Sulky Printable Stick 'n Stitch.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

what I'm up to

What is going on with me? You may have noticed I've dropped off social media. It's because we are moving! Just 15 minutes away but this process has taken over my life at the moment. After searching diligently for an ideal (slightly larger) house for 2 years we've pretty much found it. Our poor realtor! After about 6 months of fruitless showings we told him to forget about us and we'd just call him when we saw a house we wanted to see. Last month we saw the house listed online, went to view it and whamm-o, that was it. It's been a contracting/mortgaging/packing/painting/flooring whirlwind ever since. And throw in some home schooling and pattern design. And so much coffee.

My two girls are kind of freaking out. I caught Thing 2 hugging our refrigerator the other day. She's not ready for a strange refrigerator. I need to remember they didn't grow up like I did – moving every couple of years. They were excited about finding another house until we found one. They've never lived anywhere else but here. Unlike the moves in my formative years, nothing will change for them except for their house. Church and school are still the same. But it's still an adjustment and I have to remember to be sensitive to that! But not that sensitive. Adversity makes you grow. And there's a huge consolation for two teen girls in the new house: they each get their own bathroom. That will be epic. Plus they get to pick their own paint color for their rooms. Within reason*.

Our current house is pretty great. We built it in 2001. Picked out all the colors. Brought our babies home to it. It's packed with memories. It's our first house. I remember how huge it seemed after we moved here from our apartment. It has an awesome studio for my business. I think the sentimentality will surely hit me at some point. I'll be sad about leaving it. But for now I just ain't got time for that.

*No glitter. No green. No darks. No color that will be hard to look at. Nothing in the pink family. OK, basically they are constrained to white, blue or gray.