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calendar // november's hot pepper jelly



Not all jams and jellies are sweet. Some are savory or even spicy, which is why November's Jam of the Month is one of my favorites: Hot Pepper Jelly! If you haven't tasted this delight before, I hope that you go out and find some this month. It's so yummy!

Before we get to the calendar wallpapers, please allow me to tell you about how I came to love this spicy spread so much.

When I was little, my family used to go to a store nearby that sold dishes and epicurean treats. They often had samples around and they showed off their hot pepper jelly by pouring it over cream cheese and letting you try it on crackers. My dad LOVED it.

Because my dad loved it so much, a family member started making the hot pepper jelly for him and we would have it regularly. At some point, and I know this sounds crazy, my dad tried it on pizza. And it was an instant classic.

When you're a kid, you often look up to your parents and try the things they like and I now LOVE hot pepper jelly on pizza. So much so that I once made my own batch of this jelly. But that's a story for another day!

Now it's time for some calendars!


Have a spicy November, Jam Friends!

pattern // grape jam cross stitch chart

2019 October Grape Jam Cross Stitch Pattern

October is nearly over, but I'm squeezing in this month's free Grape Jam cross stitch chart! You can stitch this little jar on its own or add it to the Jam of the Month Club shelves that are very nearly full.

If I'm fully honest, I felt a little lost on how I wanted to present these grapes because I've tried to limit the number of floss colors in here. Another shade of violet might have changed this look, but I stuck with the simple. And just a bit of extra backstitching for the jar shaping.


When I started these cross stitch designs this year, I knew that I wouldn't have time to stitch them all, so they are only in chart form. I've been a very slow cross stitcher and a project of this scale felt far outside of my abilities. Or at least outside of my time constraints. Seriously, for all the cross stitch patterns I'd designed, I don't think of myself as a cross stitcher. Or at least, I didn't until now.

I've actually been stitching more Xs for some other designs I created and I've been LOVING it. I changed from the stabbing method to the sewing method (a topic we'll be covering in episode 22 of the Very Serious Crafts Podcast), and it's changed my whole experience. Now I have more plans for patterns, trying out patterns by other designers, and maybe even tackling the giant shelves. Or at least planning to stitch whatever I go for next year...ha!

Speaking of things that I stitched...

Happy Halloween Cross Stitch Chart

As I'm posting this, it's just a couple days before Halloween, which means you probably won't be finishing this Happy Halloween design I did for The Spruce Crafts this year. But you can still start this and have it ready for next Halloween! Of course, you may be a speed stitcher or use some sort of spooky spell that finishes things fast...and I say go for it!

pattern // october's jar of grape jam

2019 October Jam of the Month Club Pattern

Since I never gave an official welcome to this month, helloooooo October! It's time for a new pattern for a jar of Grape Jam!

I'll be upfront and say that this felt like a controversial decision to make it grape jam instead of jelly. After all, a PB&J is traditionally made with grape jelly. (I mean, that's not my favorite, but it is a classic). As silly as this sounds, it came down to having too many jellies in a row. I needed a jam. And grape jam is an actual thing, which I'd like to think is a little fancier than it's relative, the jelly.

Can you tell that I overthink this sometimes?

Let's get to this pattern, which is already a little late.


If you've been following along with all the Jam of the Month goodness here on my blog this year, you may have noticed that there wasn't a calendar wallpaper for October. This bugs me because I like a complete set. But it was the thing that I had to let go in order to keep everything else going. That's also why I have another unstitched pattern. Sigh.

Thankfully I have a road trip coming up and I plan on stitching so much! I'll be embroidering more and stitching together the mini quilt shelves.

Woohoo!

ornament stitching clubs for making felt christmas decorations

OrnamentStitchingClubs

Who's ready for an all-new Wild Olive Stitching Club for Christmas?!? How about TWO stitching clubs? And made with felt? Well, get ready, but it's coming on Christmas and time to make some decorations for your tree.

This is definitely different from the stitching clubs I usually do, but it's not too far off. If you've been around my work for a while, or you've poked around in my shop, you may have seen these felt ornaments:

Kitschy Christmas Felt Ornaments

This set of nine ornament designs has been one of the most popular items I've ever made. And I wanted to make more right away, but somehow six years passed. This year, after someone asking when more would come, I decided not to wait any longer, but to make the ornaments into a club so you can stitch them little by little leading up to December.

I also opted to make two clubs with eight ornaments in each. Why eight? Well, first, eight weeks of ornaments means finishing by December 1st. And two sets of eight makes sixteen, plus the nine from my first set makes 25, and that's perfect if you want to use these to make an Advent calendar!

ChristmasOrnamentStitchingClub3
NativityOrnamentStitchingClub3

Each club has different designs (and all are unique from the first ornament set), but they all have the same general style so they go together. I also used separate color palettes for each, but there's also some overlap.

The ornaments use layered felt pieces and embroidery to create slightly puffy decorations with a little bit of dimension.

Ready to hear what these clubs are all about?

ChristmasOrnamentStitchingClub1
ChristmasOrnamentStitchingClub2

Wild Olive's Christmas Ornament Stitching Club

This club has fun and happy icons of Christmas! The designs are a caroler, tree, nutcracker, candy cane, decorated house, gingerbread man, sleigh, and a gift.

When you sign up, you'll receive a supply list so you can get ready to start. On the first day of the club (October 8!), you'll get basic instructions for making the ornaments, along with the first pattern. Then, each Tuesday until November 26, 2019, you'll receive an email with the latest pattern. As with all my clubs, you'll also get to read some silliness from me too!

The cost of the entire club is just $5.00. (Remember, you're getting the patterns, but you'll need to buy all the supplies!)

Wild Olive's Christmas Ornament Stitching Club: $5.00
   

If you live outside the United States or Canada, please order via my Etsy shop.

NativityOrnamentStitchingClub1
NativityOrnamentStitchingClub2

Wild Olive's Nativity Ornament Stitching Club

This club is all about the very first Christmas! The designs are Jesus in a manger, Mary, Joseph, an angel, a donkey, sheep, a shepherd, and three wise men.

When you sign up, you'll receive a supply list so you can get ready to start. On the first day of the club (October 10!), you'll get basic instructions for making the ornaments, along with the first pattern. Then, each Thursday until November 28, 2019, you'll receive an email with the latest pattern. The emails will tell the story of Christmas, based on Scripture and with some my own commentary.

The cost of the entire club is just $5.00. (Again, this is for digital patterns only.)

Wild Olive's Nativity Ornament Stitching Club: $5.00
   

If you live outside the United States or Canada, please order via my Etsy shop.

If you sign up for both clubs, you'll get a pattern email on Tuesday and on Thursday. And I promise you can finish two ornaments per week!

Oh, and I'm using Benzie Felt for all my ornaments. If you buy a 6x9 sheet of each color listed in the supplies, you can make a set of eight ornaments and then some!

Questions? Ask me in the comments!

pattern // apple jelly cross stitch chart

Free AppleJelly Cross Stitch Pattern

I don't think you're ready for this jelly...but maybe you are? If you're cross-stitching the Jam of the Month Wild Olive Stitching Club, then I bet you ARE ready to stitch some apple jelly!

Let's get right to the downloads this month...


Whether you're stitching these as individual designs or working on the giant shelf pattern that's steadily filling up, I hope you're having as much fun stitching them as I am making them.

Cross Stitch Party Pocket Pals

I'm also super excited to show you my latest cross stitch charts for Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine. They're celebrating 20 years as a magazine, so I made some party animals to join in the celebration. This is technically the kids' section, but I'm an adult and still want a guinea pig stitched coming out of my pocket! Find these, plus some adorable Christmas patterns, in issue 260.

pattern // september's jar of apple jelly

2019 September Jam of the Month Embroidery Pattern

Who is ready to stitch some apple jelly? I know I am! Well, actually, I already stitched the apple jelly embroidery pattern today. Obviously, because I was ready!

Most of these have kept to the absolute basics, with only my three go-to stitches: back stitch, French knot, and scallop stitch (a fly stitch variation). For this one, I used those and a few more. Most things are back stitch. Here are the others:

Face: French knots and scallop stitch
Ridges at the top of the lid: straight stitch
Thick line at the bottom of the lid: chain stitch
Scallops around the tag: scallop stitch (note that these lines aren't on the pattern, I just stitched)
Bow loops: lazy daisy

They're still simple stitches, but they do get a little layered up around the top of the tag!


I hope you have as fun stitching this one as I did! Oh, one other thing. I used a darker shade of gray for my lid (169 instead of 168) because I'm working on light gray fabric. Use what you like best for yours!

But now I have a question for you. This month's design was a toss-up for me. Apple jelly or apple butter. Which one is your favorite?

trying out wood block printing

A First Try at Wood Block Printing

On the latest episode of the Very Serious Crafts Podcast, I talked about trying out woodblock printing for the first time. But not wanting my experience to be wasted, I decided to take a few photos so you could see the process too!

The back story here is that my sister went to India this summer. While she was there she saw and experienced so much, learning a lot along the way. She also visited Jaipur, an area known for woodblock printing. Like, intricately printed, amazing fabrics that are truly special.

Now, maybe I should have asked her to bring me some fabric, but I have a ton of fabric and she was looking to pack light, even on the way home. So I requested some small wooden printing blocks. And she found me these!

A First Try at Wood Block Printing

A souvenir that you can also craft with is my kind of souvenir, so I couldn't wait to try them out. And you get to see what that looked like step by step. Here we go!

A First Try at Wood Block Printing
A First Try at Wood Block Printing

I grabbed some metallic gold block printing ink and a brayer that I bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby years ago. And a paper plate. I have no idea if that was a bad idea or not, but I had it and I avoided a lot of clean up.

If you've ever changed a diaper, you know that the color is unfortunate, but it dries pretty, so let's move on.

A First Try at Wood Block Printing
A First Try at Wood Block Printing

The ink rolled onto the stamp easily, and all that was left to do was print. So I did!

A First Try at Wood Block Printing

And this was my first result!

Haha! Not exactly the success I was looking for. And I did get a little worried. But I also remembered from carving rubber stamps and foam block printing that first prints often come out wrong. Let's try this again...

A First Try at Wood Block Printing
A First Try at Wood Block Printing

With a bit more ink on there, the second print came out better. At this point, I also started to think that pre-washing my fabric might have helped. Whatever...I just wanted to try this thing! Print number three was even better.

A First Try at Wood Block Printing

So I added a few extra elements and I'm hoping to make this into a mini pincushion. We shall see.

A First Try at Wood Block Printing
A First Try at Wood Block Printing

For fun, I decided to try the rest of the stamps and make a design. And I plan on doing more!

On my next try, I'll pre-wash the fabric and perhaps choose another color with more contrast. I may even buy different ink to see how that goes. But can I just say that this was a fun experience? It may not have been the biggest success, but it certainly wasn't a fail.

If you want to give woodblock printing a go, you can find these little gems lots of places online, usually for a few dollars each (or less if you or someone you know is visiting India!). Many thanks to my sister for bringing me home something beautiful and crafty!

calendar // september's apple jelly



I maaaaaayyy be in denial that September is here. But since people keep talking about September things, I figured I had better just go with it and finally make and post the new calendar wallpaper...with Apple Jelly!

Each new Jam of the Month Club design is always my favorite, and that's true this time around too. I mean, seriously...just look at those little tags? I think they may be inspiring a printable for this month.

But now, so I don't fall behind on even more things this month, let's jump to the wallpapers!


Very Serious Crafts: S2E17

And since September means thinking about making things for fall, why not listen to the latest episode of Very Serious Crafts? A new episode is coming sooooooon!!!

pattern // august's jar of peach jam

2019 August Jam of the Month EmbroideryPattern


I could not wait to stitch this month's free peach jam embroidery pattern! This latest pattern in the Jam of the Month Stitching Club was calling to me with its pretty colors and kawaii peach. It look me a little longer to get it finished, but it's actually stitched for you to see!

The golden peach jam color (both in this pattern and in real jam) feels like a jewel to me. Almost like the better version of topaz, which is my birthstone, which was also last year's free stitching club.

But let's get to this latest pattern!


As a side note, one of my favorite ways to enjoy peach jam is on a wafflewich. I don't know where I originally learned this yummy sandwich recipe, but it's easy, fun, and tasty. Here's the summary:

1. Toast two toaster waffles, then butter one side of each.

2. Spread one waffle with peach jam and the other with honey mustard.

3. Add turkey or ham and your favorite cheese (I love cheddar or provologne).

4. Heat on a griddle until the waffles start to brown and crisp and the cheese gets melty.

Yum! (This is also tasty with raspberry jam, but we're all about the peaches this month!)

project // felt kawaii emoji peach keyring

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring


Know what would be perfectly peachy? Adorning your keychain with a fuzzy felt peach! Since this month's Jam of the Month is peach jam, I thought it would be fun to make a little felt peach with a kawaii face. And a keyring seemed the perfect way to use this fruity friend!

Now, I know that in the world of emojis, a peach can be, um...questionable. But I'm choosing to make this a very sweet and innocent peach. Your own keyring can represent whatever you choose. Ha!

You might also be thinking that felt for a keychain could be a bad choice. You'd be wrong, just like I was years ago. I bought the book Cute Stuff by Aronzi Aronzo, and it showed how to make felt keychains. I figured I was making an item that wouldn't last long, but it was cute for now. No joke, my mom used that embroidered felt keychain for YEARS. Yes, it looked worn, but it held on. So don't be afraid to make this little gal.

Now, be a peach and grab some felt so you can get started!

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

Here's what you need:

Wool Blend Felt in Peach and Green
Scissors
Peach and Black Embroidery Floss
Pink or Red Crayons
Needle
Keyring
Stuffing

DOWNLOAD THE PEACH KEY RING PATTERN PDF

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

Use the pattern to cut out two peach pieces and a rectangle from peach felt. Cut out one leaf from green felt.

I like to use freezer paper to accurately cut out my pieces, but you can use a regular paper pattern.

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

Use three strands of black embroidery floss to stitch the face on one peach shape. You can freehand this if you want, or trace the face on tracing paper (or the freezer paper), then stitch through the paper and tear it away when you're done.

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

Use a crayon to lightly add peachy cheeks if you want to make your peach extra kawaii. Be sure to test this on a scrap of peach felt first.

I didn't love the way the pink looked on its own, so I added a bit of red over it.

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

Place the two peach pieces together and stitch around the outside, starting near the bottom. Use three strands of peach embroidery floss.

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

When you get near the top, pause your peach stitching. Fold the felt rectangle over the keyring and place it between the layers. Place the leaf over that. Be sure that they are tucked down between the layers enough to catch them when you continue stitching.

Stitch through all the layers at the top of the peach. Try to get several stitches through the leaf and the tab of felt. If you need to, you can even go back and add stitches in between the running stitches.

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

When you get near the bottom, pause again. This time add a tiny bit of stuffing in the peach. It doesn't take much!

Finish stitching to close it up, and you're done!

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

This little peach is ready to hold your keys or just hang out on a zipper pull or tote bag handle. You could even add a tiny crown to make it a princess peach (any Mario fans reading this?)!

Felt Kawaii Peach Key Ring

I also just had a realization. You could use this to hold your spare key. That way it would help you get out of a peach jam!