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I hope folks are having a good time with winter holidays. :)

I wanted to drop by to let you know that we raised another $622 this year for Doctors Without Borders from sales of the Mane and Tail Pattern Set. <3

I have been doing a lot of knitting this year (I'm valleyviolet on Ravelry if you want to be friends :) ), spending time on work-work at my 9-5 job, and chasing a toddler around (he's 2 now, wow). I would like to get back to sewing and pony paper art in the future, but no promises on when I'll have time. 

I am still watching and enjoying MLP. I hope you are all doing well, whether you're still fans or not. :hug:
I just wrapped up the donation to Doctors Without Borders from all the Mane and Tail Pattern Sets that folks bought this year. It came to a total of $1160! Hopefully they can do a lot of good with that money.

I hope you all have lovely, pony-filled winter holidays and a peaceful transition into the new year. :)

We have three lucky winners!

:icontenitsu-sanada: won a copy of all six of my published patterns.
:iconinaligrimalkin: won a copy of the mane and tail pattern set.
:iconlunaflyaway: won a copy of the beanie pony pattern.

Congratulations! :D

In other news: It's finally done!!!!!!

I know waiting has been tough, but putting this pattern together just about did me in. >_<

P110 Mane and Tail Pattern Sets Cover by valleyviolet

I want to say thank you again to all the lovely people who donated patterns to make this possible: Stephanie Wilson, Adam L. Humphreys, angel99percent, Bakufoon, Bow Stitches, buttercupbabyppg, Cheryl Butler, Creideiki, EquinePalette, Maria Elvira Arteaga, Naox, Phei, and Siora86. You are all awesome people and I'm so very grateful for your help!

(The folks who donated will all be getting a free copy of the finished pattern, I'll send out notes tomorrow to get people's contact info. I would do it tonight, but I'm dead on my feet at the moment. :))

The Mane and Tail Pattern Sets can now be purchased in my Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/valleyviolet

Just as a reminder, I'll be donating all the profits from the sale of this pattern to Doctors Without Borders. 
     

www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

The set includes all these beautiful manes and tails (but not the model pony ;)) :

Poofy Party Pony Mane and Tail by valleyviolet  Studious Pony by valleyviolet  Fashionista Pony by valleyviolet  Animal Lover Pony by valleyviolet  Speedster Pony by valleyviolet  Farmer Pony by valleyviolet

Classical Musician (simple) Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Classical Musician (fancy) Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Jazzy Musician Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Pie Lover Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Little Muffin Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Feral Bat Pony Mane and Tail (and Wings) Test by valleyviolet  Wavy Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Bun Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet

I hope you all love this pattern set and I look forward to seeing the awesome things you make using it! 

I just wanted to update everyone that I'm still working on the Mane and Tail Patterns. I'm pretty overwhelmed with how much writing there is involved in this one. There are 49 pages of just the pattern pieces... so you can imagine how many instructions and diagrams I need to do. >_<

I'm still planning on the April 30th release date. To celebrate that, I'm going to have a pattern giveaway. One person will win a complete digital copy of all my patterns and two other lucky winners will get a digital copy of their choice of one of my patterns. 

To enter you must:

1. Be watching me.
2. Comment on this post telling me which of my patterns you want if you win one.
    (Edit: Quick clarification! You can select the original mare pattern, the stallion pattern, the filly & colt pattern, the princess pony pattern, the beanie pony pattern, or the mane and tail pattern set. Please pick _one_. :))

The contest will be open up until noon (central US time) on April 30th and I'll announce the winners that evening. 

Just a reminder, the Mane and Tail Pattern Set includes a lot of beautiful patterns by many talented plushie designers (I only designed one of them!). Everyone who donated patterns to this project will get a free digital copy of the set, whether I ended up including their patterns or not.

The pattern set will be available for $10 in my Etsy shop and all profits from sales of the Mane and Tail Pattern Set will go to Doctors Without Borders. I'll probably be making the donations every month or every other month, depending on how often I have time to do the paperwork. :)

Once again, here are the things you'll be able to make with this pattern set (the manes and tails only, not the model pony ;)) :

Poofy Party Pony Mane and Tail by valleyviolet  Studious Pony by valleyviolet  Fashionista Pony by valleyviolet  Animal Lover Pony by valleyviolet  Speedster Pony by valleyviolet  Farmer Pony by valleyviolet

Classical Musician (simple) Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Classical Musician (fancy) Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Jazzy Musician Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Pie Lover Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Little Muffin Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Feral Bat Pony Mane and Tail (and Wings) Test by valleyviolet  Wavy Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Bun Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet

A 100% and 80% size version is included for each pattern. One or the other of these versions should work with all of my published pony patterns (although you may need to tweak the fit a little for the Princess Pony Pattern). 

I'll get back to the writing and illustration drawing now. Catch you folks on the 30th! :D
Hi Folks! :)

I have two big pieces of news. The first is that prices have dropped in my Etsy store ( www.etsy.com/shop/valleyviolet ). Patterns are now $10 each (or you can get all five for $45). This comes with the fact that there are no longer lots of combo packages, so just buy the patterns you want at the lower price. ;)

The second piece of news is that I've finished doing the prototype tests for the Mane and Tail pattern set. This pattern set will be available in my Etsy shop on April 30th (hopefully with time for 2 to 4 weeks of beta testing before that). So I'll get working on writing the instructions and drawing all the illustrations now! 

These are the styles that I've just finished testing:

Classical Musician (simple) Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Classical Musician (fancy) Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Jazzy Musician Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Pie Lover Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Little Muffin Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Feral Bat Pony Mane and Tail (and Wings) Test by valleyviolet  Wavy Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet  Bun Mane and Tail Test by valleyviolet

And these are the six styles I had tested before:

Poofy Party Pony Mane and Tail by valleyviolet  Studious Pony by valleyviolet  Fashionista Pony by valleyviolet  Animal Lover Pony by valleyviolet  Speedster Pony by valleyviolet  Farmer Pony by valleyviolet

Overall the pattern includes twelve full mane and tail sets and the bun accessory that you can mix and match with any of the mane styles. The bases for almost all of these patterns was lovely patterns donated by some awesome and talented plush makers here on DA. The profits from sales of the Mane and Tail pattern set will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. 
Hi folks!

I'm sorry it's been a while since I wrote to let you know how things are going. Life has been a bit rough for me over the last two months.

I was slowly working along on the mane and tail prototypes and really exhausted from the pregnancy until I got really sick in early November. I had some sort of stomach flu and it caused a cascade of bad things to happen. I ended up being diagnosed with pre-eclampsia (which is no fun at all and can kill you without treatment) and spent almost a week in the hospital as the doctors tried to induce labor. Things got worse and worse until I had to have a c-section (c-sections are also no fun, do not recommend!). 

Very New Baby and Me by valleyviolet

The upside of this is that I have a happy and healthy baby boy and the pre-eclampsia is slowly resolving itself (I'm no longer in any imminent danger of dying! Yay!). The downside is that baby got here rather earlier than he was expected and I've had to put pony pattern stuff on the back burner for a bit. 

I'm still committed to putting out the mane and tail package, but right this moment I need to take care of new baby and rest to recover from the major surgery I had to get him out (I'm not allowed to lift more than 15 pounds right now and I'm often sore and tired... really do not recommend c-sections! don't have one unless you have to!). 

I'll try to write again in a month or so and let you know how things are going and what my timeline/plan for ponies is. :)
I got all the giveaway prize patterns mailed out this morning (so winners will probably see them this weekend or early next week). Otherwise the last few days have been a bit of a disaster.

We just started construction on a second bathroom in our house, so I'm waking up much earlier when the contractors show up every morning... and not sleeping terribly well to boot. I guess this is a preview of baby-sleep-deprivation? x_x

Anyhow, I got the fabric tests for the rest of the manes and tails cut out this weekend, but I don't know how soon I'm going to manage to get them sewn. I'm feeling kind of dead at the moment. Blargh.
The following people are the winners of my pattern giveaway! :D

First Place: :icontristen124:
Second Place: :iconroomble:
Third Place: :icondisneykitten96:
Fourth Place: :icongelertyfun4every1:
I just posted some cloth mane and tail tests. I can't find my stuffing, so some of these are not stuffed, but they should give you an idea of the shapes and fit. 

Poofy Party Pony Mane and Tail by valleyviolet  Studious Pony by valleyviolet  Fashionista Pony by valleyviolet  Animal Lover Pony by valleyviolet  Speedster Pony by valleyviolet  Farmer Pony by valleyviolet

Sorry if the photos kinda suck. I didn't have the energy to get my good camera, so these are all taken with my iPod. 

I should note that I failed to sew the detail lines on the Animal Lover Pony and Farm Pony... so you'll have to imagine those. Also the Studious Pony and Speedster pony are going to come with the option of multicolored manes and tails. The detail lines in the image show where the divisions between the pieces will be. 

Just a quick note: Please don't send me lots of criticism of these designs. I'm sincerely doing the best I can, and I don't have the time or energy to do another round of redesigning for these. I know things can always be improved... but if you want me to survive long enough to finish the rest of the manes and tails for the pattern and get it released, I've gotta stop somewhere. :(

I've got seven more manes and tails to tweak and fabric test. It may be a little bit before I have more photos for you. ;)

Also, don't forget that I'm running a pattern giveaway until October 9th! You can enter here:
Pattern Giveaway and Mane and Tail ProgressHi folks!
I'm still working on the prototypes for the mane and tail pattern. I've got the first six sewn and just need to get through the clipping and stuffing. I've been doing it very slowly because my hands are still having problems and I don't want to aggravate them. I'm gonna try to get the first six prototypes finished this weekend, so hopefully there will be pics soon. ;)
On the more exciting end of news, I came across the last of my printed pony patterns while I was cleaning our study. So pattern giveaway!
Here's how it's gonna work. I have three Stallion patterns and one Beanie Pony pattern. To enter to win one of these patterns you must:
1) Comment on this post saying you want to enter.
2) Watch me.
On October 9th I will randomly select four winners. They'll get to choose which of the patterns they want. First place chooses first and so on. Obviously if someone chooses the pattern you wanted you get the other one, cause I only have these four copies!
I will mail the patterns t
Hi folks!

I'm still working on the prototypes for the mane and tail pattern. I've got the first six sewn and just need to get through the clipping and stuffing. I've been doing it very slowly because my hands are still having problems and I don't want to aggravate them. I'm gonna try to get the first six prototypes finished this weekend, so hopefully there will be pics soon. ;)

On the more exciting end of news, I came across the last of my printed pony patterns while I was cleaning our study. So pattern giveaway!

Here's how it's gonna work. I have three Stallion patterns and one Beanie Pony pattern. To enter to win one of these patterns you must:

1) Comment on this post saying you want to enter.
2) Watch me.

On October 9th I will randomly select four winners. They'll get to choose which of the patterns they want. First place chooses first and so on. Obviously if someone chooses the pattern you wanted you get the other one, cause I only have these four copies!

I will mail the patterns to the winners anywhere in the world, so feel free to enter if you live far away from me! :)
Hi folks!

So I got through the fixes and tweaks that the first six of the 15 mane and tail sets (hint: they're probably the 6 most people are looking forward to! ;)). I need to get the table cleared off so I can get out my cutter and cut the patterns for the first round of fabric tests. I'm hoping I won't need more than one prototype on these, because most of them were awesome in the paper tests! <3

A lot of people have asked me which manes and tails were donated. This isn't a complete list, but here are all the ones where I can link to pictures of the lovely original ponies by the donators (in no particular order) :

Flutterbat by Bakufoon  Apple Pone by Bakufoon  Octavia by Bakufoon  Flutterbat by PheiPlushies  Fluttershy Plushie (Open Wing) by equinepalette  Prancing Pinkie Pie Plush by equinepalette  Paper Towels are Magic! by equinepalette  Filly Apple Jack by naox  Pinkie Pie Filly by naox  Zombie Unicorn Plush by naox  Nurse Redheart in socks by Creideiki-SE  The Dinky has been tripled! by Creideiki-SE  Octavia by Creideiki-SE  OC Peppermint Breeze by Siora86  Soarin Shoulderpony for Sale by Siora86  Vinyl 2 and 3 for Blitzkrieg-Buck and bendykins by adamlhumphreys  Chibi Rarity by angel99percent  Princess Twilight Sparkle Plushie by ButtercupBabyPPG  Fantasia - another shot by Maravira  Rainbow Dash by Bow-Stitches 

Where I got more than one version of a character I either vectored all of them and then choose one, or in some cases chose a simpler and more complex version of certain parts so that people who are more or less experienced will have options. Some of the donators included vectors of their patterns, but for many I had to vector them and then scale them based on images with size references in them. A very few of them I redesigned parts because I couldn't get edges to match when I walked them and one mane and tail set I redesigned from scratch because I couldn't get it to fit my model pony. ;)

I'm super grateful to everyone who donated (even those patterns that I wasn't able to use brought up a host of new ideas for pattern design, which was very helpful :)).

In less happy land, I wanted to let everyone know why I've been so slow to work on this project. I'm currently pregnant (which was planned and is happy!) but have been very sick with morning sickness (obv. not planned, and sad). The medical folks keep telling me the sickness will go away, but I've passed two deadlines so far and well into the second trimester I'm still rather ill. >_<

I promise I'll do my best to get this done and I should be able to get it done before the baby is due (not till December), but this is slowing me down more than I'm happy with. So I'm super sorry about that. I know you've been waiting quite a while and I promise I'm giving this as much of my time as I'm able.
I just finished the paper testing and it was super helpful. I confirmed that almost all of the manes and tails were rescaled correctly and most of them fit my test pony quite well. I also found various small issues with each of them that I can now fix before doing fabric testing. I'm hoping this will cut down on the number of tests I need to do! :)

As of right now I have 15 mane and tail sets that have been vectored, scaled, and paper tested. Part of the slow down on testing them is just that there are _so many_ of them. But I'm also very excited about how beautiful some of these donated patterns are. People were amazingly generous with the lovely patterns they've designed. Hopefully we can raise a lot of money for charity once I get through the rest of the testing and instruction writing. <3

I think I ended up with the majority of styles that people are going to want. I never got an adult Poofy Party Pony, so I sat down and designed her from scratch. The other 14 sets were donated by a combination of 12 different people, so they include a lot of cool techniques and styles that I've never tried before!

I'm still rather under the weather, so I'm afraid the fabric tests may go a bit slowly. I'm going to focus on tweaking and testing one mane and tail set at a time. Hopefully I'll have intermediate test pictures of each set as I work on the fabric tests (I'm kind of praying that each set doesn't take too long to test or this will be a crazy long project!). I'll do my best to keep you updated. :D
I managed to get everything vectored, although I think I have to do some tweaking. I've got most of the vectors for the paper tests sorted out and simplified (I don't need detail lines to do general size/shape tests ;)). So I just need to tweak a few things and get stuff cut out. 

Hopefully I'll have time to do that this weekend (no promises because I'm still a mess _and_ I have to deal with a bunch of yardwork). It's lovely that it's finally spring here, but that means I can't completely ignore my garden like I could in winter. :D

P.S. I haven't been looking at deviantART much this week because I'm terrified of spoilers for the next episode. I'll try to get caught up after I see it. ;)
Hi folks!

So the good news is I've vectorized and scaled all but one of the donated mane and tail sets. The bad news is I've been quite ill for most of April, so I haven't tested any of the patterns yet. I'm still committed to getting this done, but I'm spending about half my free time in bed or vomiting all the things... so it's going to take me a bit longer than I anticipated. (The only upside here is that my hands are doing relatively well. *sigh*) >_<

I'll try to give you an update in the next two weeks and let you know how it's going. I'm hoping I can get the last set vectored this week, and then I'll start doing the first round of cut paper tests (gonna test stuff in paper, then fabric so I can hopefully catch major sizing issues earlier on). 

Thank you again to everyone who sent in patterns! They're all awesome and I think people are going to love them (once I get through testing and instruction writing)! :)
Hi folks! 

So I have donations for almost all the mane and tail styles I think people are going to be dying for. And the few I'm missing I've got awesome people who've promised to send them in soon. <3

I've started vectoring and scaling the patterns. I'm about halfway through the initial work to make test versions of them. I've been a bit sick the last week, so I haven't gotten as far as I wanted to. (Some sort of uber-evil stomach flu is going around my area, and I'm lucky I only have a mild form of it.)

Anyhow, I'm going to be consumed with family obligations for the next week and a half, but I'll be back to working on the patterns after that. It's sadly too soon for me to announce a release date (I'm not far enough into the work to have a good estimate of how long the rest will take). Depending on where I am I'm tentatively going to try to pick a release date on May 1st. I'll do my best to get you some in-progress testing pictures before that. :)

Thank you again to everyone who donated patterns or offered to donate patterns! People sent in some stunningly beautiful things. I can't wait to test them out and show you how generous and awesome the donors are! <3
Hi Folks!

I'm still accepting donations for mane and tail patterns. Right now I'm still missing some that I think people are going to want (like Twilight, Pinkie, Rarity, Dash and our fav DJ). So if you have any of those or others you're proud of I would love to see them!

Details of pattern donation:
Mane and Tail Pattern Collection and DonationsHi folks! :)
This is the post where I explain how the Mane and Tail Pattern Collection is going to work and how I'm going to accept pattern donations for it. 
I want to put out a collection of Mane and Tail Patterns. This is one of the things that people ask for repeatedly, but I don't have the time to design all the styles people want. I will put in the sweat and tears to vector, resize, test, and write instructions for Mane and Tail patterns that people donate to me. I will sell them as a package on Etsy and give all of the profits from that pattern package to Doctors without Borders ( http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/ )
What I need from you is donations of your Mane and Tail patterns with your permission to use them for this package. I promise I won't use them for anything else and that I'll let people know how much profit gets donated to charity at least twice a year. I will also send a free copy of the finished Mane and Tail pattern package


I've started organizing, vectoring, and rescaling the beautiful patterns that people have sent so far (I think you're going to be impressed!). I've been slowed down a little by illness and a little by an ice dam that caused a huge leak in my guest room where I keep all my sewing stuff. It was not fun to clean up, but most of my pony stuff is ok. Some of the fabric and the princess manes got soaked... so we'll see how recovering those goes. >_<

Anyhow, I'm going to start testing the patterns people have sent me soon, so hopefully I'll have pictures in the next week or two. They may be slightly wacky fabrics, since the stuff that got wet hasn't been washed and ironed yet. ;)
Hi folks! :)

This is the post where I explain how the Mane and Tail Pattern Collection is going to work and how I'm going to accept pattern donations for it. 

I want to put out a collection of Mane and Tail Patterns. This is one of the things that people ask for repeatedly, but I don't have the time to design all the styles people want. I will put in the sweat and tears to vector, resize, test, and write instructions for Mane and Tail patterns that people donate to me. I will sell them as a package on Etsy and give all of the profits from that pattern package to Doctors without Borders ( www.doctorswithoutborders.org/ )

What I need from you is donations of your Mane and Tail patterns with your permission to use them for this package. I promise I won't use them for anything else and that I'll let people know how much profit gets donated to charity at least twice a year. I will also send a free copy of the finished Mane and Tail pattern package to anyone who donates a mane or tail pattern. 

If you want to take part:

- email a scan of your mane and tail patterns to me at valleyviolet at gmail dot com with the subject "Mane and Tail Pattern Donation"
- let me know what name you'd like to be credited as in the pattern
- if possible tell me roughly how the pattern is constructed (I'll write step-by-step clear instructions for the package, I just need to be able to figure out how to use the pattern ;))
- if possible tell me what size the finished pieces are (do they fit my patterns or will I need to resize them? I'll be happy to resize stuff, I just need to know :)
- if possible include a picture of the finished mane and tail or a link to a picture

I'm going to be accepting submissions from now until April 1st. At that point I'll see how I'm doing with testing the patterns and announce the release date for the package of Mane and Tail patterns.

If you want to take part but don't have any patterns to donate, take a look at Voodoo-Tiki's mane and tail tutorial and try your hand at pattern making! :)
Pony Mane and Tail Tutorial by Voodoo-Tiki
Thank you for all the lovely birthday messages! I had a slightly depressing birthday and they cheered me up immensely when I read them! <3

I'm going to be super busy this week with an event, but next week I'm going to try to layout the rules for the mane and tail donations so I can start working on the Mane and Tail Pattern Package. 

There'll be more details next week, but the summary is that I'm going to be relying on you lovely folks to donate the starting mane and tail patterns. I'll handle vectoring them, resizing them to fit my ponies, testing them, and writing up nice instructions. The proceeds from the Mane and Tail pattern package will go to charity. I haven't decided for sure on a charity, but right now I'm leaning towards Doctors Without Borders ( www.doctorswithoutborders.org/ ). 

Have a lovely week and we'll talk about manes and tails next week! :hug:
Hi folks! :)

So my husband spent many hours considering all your beautiful pony color sets. He had a very hard time narrowing it down, because there were so many amazing entries. 

If you want to see the gallery with most of the entries you can check it out here: valleyviolet.deviantart.com/fa…

In the end he picked two runners up and one winning entry. Since I previously only expected one winning entry I've expanded the prizes! :D

The runners up are:

:icondare2dreammedia: with this entry

:iconelspotty: with this entry

Each of the runners up will receive a free pattern!

The winning entry is
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This image sta.sh/06h02ia4ynr by :icongalphath:!
:icongalphath: will receive free copies of all my finished patterns!

Thank you everyone for your beautiful entries! It was an awesome contest and you made some lovely ponies! <3