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calendar // beware the triangles of march


Beware the triangles of March. That's how that goes, right? Well, that's how March is gonna go around here, although hopefully there will be nothing to fear. I'm exploring triangles this month, and I'm very excited about a few things that I'm making, plus a special guest post.

Triangles are awesome, and they show up so much in quilty things, and plenty in embroidery too. In fact, I think I'm going to learn a lot this month, and I'll do my best to pass along what I find out!

I've already found that triangles can be used to make shamrocks, so you'll find one in this month's calendar, and we'll be making one soon if you follow along! But first, the calendars.


For iPhone 6+, choose the iPad version. To use the iPhone and iPad versions, click the link for the wallpaper you want. When it opens, touch and hold the image until it pops up with the option to save. After you've saved the image, go to your settings, choose wallpaper, then find the image you've just saved.

To PRINT a calendar page (with a place for notes), download the March 2015 calendar page PDF.

Now, I've got a lot of triangles to play with. I'll try to work with them equilaterally!

why we need to stop commenting and start encouraging

Encourage.
Encourage.

Super cute! Love this! Looks awesome!

These are some comments that I have recently received or left for others. If you're someone who makes and shares things that are hopefully super cute, lovable, and awesome, these are great things to hear. Seriously, I appreciate every single one.

But I've been thinking about comments for a few weeks now.

Actually it started when I read some negative comments about something that I supported. The discussion wasn't about me personally, but it felt personal. And the truth is, I've done the same thing. But I started thinking about it more.

I started thinking about how these negative thoughts have a real impact. Yes, we should be allowed to express our opinions, and yes, saying that we don't like something can bring change. But these things also can bring hurt. And some words came to mind.

Encourage.


Encourage one another & build each other up.

What if we used our words, our comments, our replies, our interactions...and we encouraged. When we love something. When we disagree with something. When we are proud of someone. When we don't particularly care for someone.

What if instead of leaving a comment that says "Cute! (Smiley face)" we paused to think about how we could say something that builds a person up in a real way?

What if we considered that small businesses are run by individuals with feelings and we didn't talk about them behind their backs, as if they won't see, knowing full well that they very likely will see? (I'm so guilty of this!)

What if we just reminded ourselves that all these little snip-its of conversation can add up to bigger things? Good or bad!

Encourage.
Encourage.

I'm convinced that I need to comment less, and encourage more. I need to take time to say something real (and mean it!). Do I love quick notes and "likes"? Yes. Will I continue to leave notes while I "heart" what folks share? Also yes.

But I will also make a true effort to share more things from my heart. Join me?

Crafty notes: The purple print fabric in the photos is from JoAnn, and will be used in an upcoming blanket project. The triangles will also become something quilty, and not the heart shown. The arrangement of triangles to form the heart was inspired by Must Love Quilts.

project // glittered heart magnets

Glittered Heart Magnets


I gotta tell ya...it feels a little strange to be sharing a project for making sparkly pink hearts at the end of February. Like, I missed a deadline or something. But no, I committed to using the shape of a heart for all of this month, and I'm embracing it! (Maybe I should have gone with a heart that starts looking like the leaf of a St. Patrick's Day clover, like Nancy Zieman did.)

These magnets, however, are inspired by these magnets...

Glittered Heart Magnets

...which reside on our fridge all year 'round. Actually, they've been on our fridge most of the time, since I was about 3 years old. They aren't about Valentine's Day, they are just hearts, and we like hearts around here. So I think we can stand to have some glittery hearts all the time too!

The best part about these is that it uses the least messy glitter that I've ever worked with. Folk Art Extreme Glitter Paint is a paint that is really more like a glittery glaze. With just a few coats you'll have extreme glitter, and virtually no mess because the sparkle is suspended in the paint. If you do get some on your hands, it washes off so easily. Yes!

So let's make some magnets!

Glittered Heart Magnets

Here's what you need:

Wooden discs
Magnets
Extreme Glitter Paint
Black Paint
Craft glue
Masking/painter's tape
Pencil
Scissors
Paintbrush
Toothpick

Glittered Heart Magnets

Start by gluing the magnets to the back of the discs. You could do this later, but they will lift the disc off the work surface, which helps as you paint to the edge of the disc.

Let the glue dry a bit.

Glittered Heart Magnets

Draw or trace hearts onto a piece of masking tape.

Glittered Heart Magnets

Cut out the hearts and place each one on a wooden disc. Rub the hearts down so that the paint won't get under the edges.

Glittered Heart Magnets

Paint the surface of the wooden disc. I found that three good coats of this paint gave a nice glitteriness. Which, apparently is not a word. How is glitteriness not a word?

Anyway, use as many coats as you like. They dry fairly quickly, so you won't have to wait too long between coats.

Glittered Heart Magnets

After your final coat has dried, carefully, carefully peel the tape heart away. Because this glaze dries with a sort of coating, if you just tear away the heart, you might peel the paint, and you don't want that.

Glittered Heart Magnets

For cute hearts, add a face. A toothpick dipped in black paint is a great way to add these details. Of course, this is optional, but I highly recommend it.

Glittered Heart Magnets

Hooray! Happy heart magnets with glitteriness!

Glittered Heart Magnets
Glittered Heart Magnets

They're cute, useful, and when the light catches them, they make me smile even more than the hearts themselves!

book review // west coast love

wa flag to share - Copy

I just made plans to take a trip to Seattle next month. This has been on my list of places to visit for a while now, and it's finally gonna happen! It will be my second trip to the west coast, but unlike my vacation in San Diego, I expect that this trip will have less sun and more of what I love: Coffee.

Front Pages - cover

And maybe embroidery too. Because today a new eBook by Megan Eckman of Studio MME comes out. West Coast Love Embroidery Book is a digital book that is filled with patterns of landmarks and icons from California, Oregon, and Washington. And they are all in the delightful style of Megan's artwork. What a wonderful way to tour the west coast!

Golden Gate
Project Pages - Golden GateProject Pages - Golden Gate2

Within the 103 pages, you'll find 20 patterns, each designed to be stitched as hoop art or on flags. Instructions for finishing each of these types of projects is included, along with full embroidery guides and tutorials. The patterns are shown both regular and in reverse so you can either trace or use a transfer pen/pencil.

Hollywood

And may I just say, the photos in this are really, really great. Obviously it's good to see clear, crisp images of the embroidery, but it's especially helpful in the how-to section, and that's what Megan has in these pages. Great stuff!

ipad-mock-up

As I mentioned, West Coast Love is only available as an eBook, but let me tell you why that's awesome.

First, you can put this on your iPad and have the stitching guides with you all the time. But even better, you can print the patterns SO EASILY, and that means you can get stitching right away. In fact, if you use Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy, you'll save even more time! (I love this stuff and just stocked up again!)

And as a special gift to you, Megan is sharing a free pattern from the book! The Stellar's Jay design features a native western feathered friend, which she describes as a gentleman, who might just look like he's wearing a top hat!


For an embroidery tour of the west coast, check out West Coast Love Embroidery Book from Studio MME! Thanks, Megan! (And let's talk about getting some midwest patterns going, mmmkay?)

stitch a kawaii birthday with cross stitch crazy

Cross Stitch Crazy

Odds are, when you think of me, you don't think of someone who is "cross stitch crazy". I usually do hand embroidery, and when I do use cross stitches in my work, they're rarely the counted kind. But that doesn't mean that I don't like the look of counted cross stitch, especially the modern, pixel-ish kind.

So I was honored when Cross Stitch Crazy magazine asked me to design some charts in my kawaii style. I was also pretty nervous about it. This wasn't my first time designing cross stitch patterns, but certainly it's not what I would consider my strength.

But I jumped in, and it was so much fun. And look at the cover above. Look at the lower left corner!

Cross Stitch Crazy

This is just a sampling of the charts that are in the latest issue of Cross Stitch Crazy, which just came out yesterday. All of the designs have a kawaii birthday theme, and in addition to my favorite foods and objects with faces, there are some of my animal friends and even a little person!

If you're in the UK, you should be able to find this at newsstands right away, and internationally, it will make its way to shelves soon. And the digital edition is available online if you just can't wait.

If you like cross-stitch and Wild Olive, be sure to pick up issue 201 of Cross Stitch Crazy!

flashback friday // heart stitches

Heart Stitches

Looking back is a fun thing to do, right? Especially when it's heart month and you can look back at some heart stitches. This post is a flashback to three years ago (boy, time flies!). For a variation on this, try stacking your stitched hearts so they look like a little chain of hearts!

-----

Recently I saw an adorable ombre counted cross-stitch piece, and thought it would be fun to make my own non-cross-stitch version. Each little heart that I've made is just two stitches, so it goes very quickly. Once I got started, I knew that this would be a lovely little project to share with you! It's such a fun way to spontaneously stitch!

Here's how the little hearts are made (It's a cross between a lazy daisy and the fly stitch!):

Heart Stitches

Come up from the back, then go back down about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch above where the thread came up. Don't pull it tight yet!

Heart Stitches

Bring the needle back up again just a bit higher and to the left of where the the first stitch went down through the fabric. Be sure to catch the loose loop of thread with your needle.

Heart Stitches

Pull the thread to the left, tightening the loop.

Heart Stitches

Go back down through the fabric, making a little stitch that will hold this half of the heart.

Heart Stitches

Repeat on the right side.

As you're working these, try to keep the twist of the floss the same throughout. They'll look much tidier that way, but even if some are untwisted, they'll still look sweet!

Heart Stitches

For my ombre, I chose five colors. I wasn't using any sort of pattern, but just stitched the hearts where I felt like they needed to be. Each heart came out just a bit different, giving the overall piece some character. (Speaking of hearts with character...I love this embroidery by Heidi Kenney!)

Heart Stitches
Heart Stitches
Heart Stitches
Heart Stitches

Happy Heart Stitching!

coming soon // wild olive needleminders

Needleminders

Do you know about Dragonflylotus Designs? If you embroider or do cross-stitch, you should, because Liz makes beautiful handspun threads. Beautiful, I tell you!

But that's not all. She also makes needleminders with all kinds of fun designs. And soon she'll be selling some with the Hexie Helpers that were featured on my calendars and as free patterns all last year! I'm so excited about this collaboration!

The needleminders aren't available yet, because they'll be making their official debut at the Nashville Needlework Market. This is a trade show that is designed for retailers to make wholesale purchasers, so if you are interested in these and other items from Dragonflylotus Designs, tell your local needlework shop to look for her at the Market. You can also tell your local quilt shop to contact Liz about a wholesale order!

Then, keep watching for these little Hexie Helpers to start showing up all over the place!

caregiver kits // a plan for lent

caregiver kits

Remove and replace. This is a practice that is commonly done during Lent, the 40 days leading to Easter. And today marks the start. Do you follow this practice? What are you removing from your life? What are you replacing it with?

A few years ago I felt a clear calling for what I should do, and the same calling was placed on my heart again this year. I was thinking about people who are doing God's work, and World Vision Caregivers came to mind. These people go out and care for those who are suffering from disease or hunger. And they love them.

I want to support that and play a part in the Caregiver Kits ministry.

So how does that connect with remove and replace? Well, I'm "giving up" the profits from my business and then building the kits that these workers need. Now through Easter, the profits from all Wild Olive purchases will go toward packing 50 Ebola Caregiver Kits (the most urgent need right now).

50 kits will cost $1500, and I'm not gonna lie, this feels like an impossible goal to meet. 40 days to reach $1500 in profits is NOT normal for my shop and blog. But I truly believe that God is gonna do something great.

My part in this is simply saying "yes" to God. Your part is considering a purchase between now and Easter. Everything else is God, bringing hope and supplies to those suffering from Ebola.

If you would like to donate, without making a purchase, you can do so directly with World Vision. (Note, these gifts won't count toward the 50 kit minimum that I need to meet.)

Think about it. Pray about it. And let's see what might just happen in the next 40 days!

UPDATE: The Drury family has generously offered to MATCH every dollar raised, up to $1500. That means that every purchase goes twice as far, and we'll be making double the number of much-needed Caregiver Kits! Thank you so much!

presidents' day fabric purchases

Fabrics

This weekend (through today), JoAnn is having a sale, and so on Saturday, I went. Fabrics I love to use were 30-50% off, plus I had a 20% off coupon...that works on sale items! This can be a dangerous combo for me, but I managed to have restraint.

I bought some fabrics for a special project, and then indulged in these two. The front is from the nursery prints section, and it just looks so stitchable! I plan on stitching over the lines for no purpose other than to enjoy the process.

And then the other fabric...Adventure Time? Mathematical!

Have a great Monday, friends!

stitch love // a cat loaf bread cloth

StitchLoveValentineBlogHop
Cat Loaf Cloth


Happy Valentine's Day!

It's the last day of the Stitch Love Valentine's Blog Hop, and guess what? We've got three posts for you today! It has been so much fun to see all that these crafty friends have been making with these patterns. If you haven't yet, stop by all of the blogs and pick up all eight free patterns.

Monday: Shiny Happy World & Wild Olive
Tuesday: Little Dear Tracks
Wednesday: Lark Crafts
Thursday: Hugs Are Fun
Friday: Feeling Stitchy
Saturday: Pretty By Hand & nanaCompany & Wild Olive (you're here!)

Cat Loaf Cloth

My pattern today is for a cat loaf. If you have a cat, you'll be familiar with this pose. There are a few kitties in Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small (and plenty of pups too), but there was no cat loaf. And we just needed one.

For Valentine's Day, I thought it appropriate to add a little sentiment, and what could be better than "I Loaf You." If you want to make this for someone you don't like, leave off the heart, and it sounds a bit like "I Loathe You." But you wouldn't do that, would you?

But I digress. To go along with a loaf, I went for something that could be used with bread. The cloth was made just like the Holiday Mouse Furoshiki Cloth from Stitch Love.

Cat Loaf Cloth
Cat Loaf Cloth

How fun would it be to gift someone with some freshly baked bread and wrap it up in a cloth like this? Good bread would be an excellent Valentine for me!

Cat Loaf Cloth

Right now I'm keeping this cloth for myself, so we're using the cloth in a basket. Which would also be a perfectly fine way to gift some bread. Or really, anything for a cat person!

Want to stitch a cat loaf? Grab your free pattern below!


Happy hearts and cats and stitching day! And thank you again to everyone who hosted a spot on the Stitch Love Valentine Blog Hop. If you make anything with any of these patterns, be sure to share photos online and tag them #StitchLoveBlogHop so we can see!