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summer stitching club starts soon

Laying out the pieces!

Just a quick reminder that the Summer Stitching Club starts on Monday. Yay! I'm super duper excited. You can tell because I said "super duper" and I don't usually use strong language like that.

Anyway, cost for membership is still just $5.00, but it will go up to $8.00 on Monday. If you've been thinking about joining so you can stitch some sweet summer embroideries, assemble some hexagons, and maybe even make your very first mini quilt project, now's the time!

I gotta tell you, I've been amazed by the response, and so very thankful for every one of you who has already joined. It's lovely to know that so many of you are as super duper excited as I am. (See? There it is again!)

You can find more information on the Summer Stitching Club page, sign up below, or in my Etsy shop.

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Just a note: The cost for the 2013 Summer Stitching Club is now $8.00. And although the club is getting started, whenever you join, you'll receive the complete collection of patterns and instructions.

calendar: june is for grilling

Tomorrow is June, and that's when I feel like summer starts. It doesn't matter that the weather has been warm (and then cold and then warm again), or that many people have finished school already, or that the official start of summer is weeks from now. June is summer.

And grilling season! I had hoped that all of the wallpapers this year would have some folksy-ness to them, and a grill doesn't exactly scream folk art. But it felt right. Especially with Father's Day coming up. (You're totally gonna want to embroider this grill for dad, right?) And I can go back to my plan for the rest of the year.

For now, decorate your computer, tablet or phone with a grill and a calendar!

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.

I'm going to miss the Lily of the Valley from last month, but June's calendar will probably inspire me to make some black bean burgers soon. I'm not a vegetarian, but I often go in disguise as one!

project: fabric berry basket

Fabric Berry Basket

A few years ago I saw this amazing tutorial from Sarah Hearts. She made a little basket out of a paper plate and washi tape, and I love that with something so simple you can construct something so functional and perfect for gifting little food items. Although you could use it for many things, she showed it with berries, and I think of it as a berry basket, much like those you would get fresh berries in.

The construction of Sarah's basket is so easy that I just had to steal, er...borrow it for a longer lasting mini work basket. By using fabric and felt in place of the plate, and ribbon in place of the tape, you have a berry basket that is perfect for holding your hexagon work, keys and loose change, or even to hold a little gift.

You can alter the size to whatever you want, really. Just use different sizes of plates and square base templates. Just be aware that as you make these larger, they will get a bit more floppy. Hey! That just adds to the charm!

Fabric Berry Basket

You will need:

Decorative ribbon or twill tape
A plate
A marker and pencil
Pinking shears
A square template of some kind (the size that you want the base of the basket to be)
A ruler
A needle

Fabric Berry Basket
Fabric Berry Basket

Place the plate on the felt and trace around it using a marker. Do the same on the back side of the fabric. You can use a marker for this too, but a pencil won't cause you any bleed through issues.

Fabric Berry Basket

Cut out the felt circle with regular scissors, and cut out the fabric with pinking shears for a cute edge. When cutting the fabric, trim the circle just inside the traced line so that it comes out a bit smaller than the felt.

Fabric Berry Basket

Place the fabric right side up on the felt, then pin the layers together.

Fabric Berry Basket
Fabric Berry Basket

Flip the circle over and place your square template (I used a CD-R sleeve) in the center of the felt. Lay the ruler along the edge of the square and draw a line from the upper left corner to the edge of the circle. Rotate and repeat this step for each corner of the square.

Cut on the marked lines, creating a sort of pinwheel shape. For reference, my circle is about 11 inches, and the square I used was about 5 inches. A smaller square base would give me a smaller basket with taller sides. Make sense?

Fabric Berry Basket
Fabric Berry Basket

Fold the edges up so that there's a straight edge at each outside corner, and so the wedge flap is inside. Pin these at each corner.

Fabric Berry Basket

Wrap the ribbon around the basket so that it's even in height on all sides. Pin as you wrap, and use the top of the corners as a guide for the height. Cut the ribbon with about 1/4 inch extra so you can fold over the end.

Fabric Berry Basket
Fabric Berry Basket

Thread the needle with a doubled length of thread to match your ribbon. Stitch the ribbon to the basket along both edges of the ribbon, and the folded end. Take care to get through all of the layers where the wedge flaps overlap near the corners.

The teal dashed line in the center of my ribbon is part of the original ribbon, but you could stitch yours on with running stitch like this too. The stitches don't need to be perfect, but you should aim for pretty!

Fabric Berry Basket

Look at that! A finished basket! Those extra little flaps can be trimmed down (so long as you don't cut apart the stitching!), but they won't be in the way if you leave them.

Fabric Berry Basket

Fill your basket with some stitching supplies, or make it a more authentic felt berry basket with some felt strawberries!

What I love most about this basket is that it gave me a good reason to use some of my favorite fabric (must buy more at JoAnn while they have it!) and a piece of ribbon I bought in England. I do love ribbons, but never use them enough. Can you relate? This is the perfect project to show off some of your stash!

build: a community, a business, a blog.

Last week I shared a review of the book When Talent Isn't Enough, which looks what goes into a creative business, and I heard from a lot of you who are looking to make your blog, shop, or even a future endeavor all that it can be. Even with a book that gets you going, it doesn't just happen. You have to work at it, you have to build it, and I encourage you to do just that.

Amy Schubert has been putting together a mega e-course, called BUILD, that is all about building your blog, and just about everything that goes with that: design, monetization, creating content, upkeep and more.

If you're just getting started and want to get your blog right from the start, this is a course for you. Or if you've been doing this for a long time, but feel like there's more you can do, this is a course for you. Amy knows her blogging, and she's a great person to learn from (plus she's super sweet!).

Pre-sale for BUILD starts July 4 (half price!), with regular registration starting July 9. Until then, you can sign up for NINE MONTHS of free weekly emails with blogging tips. Do it! (You really can't go wrong with that offer...)

I'm also very honored that Amy asked me to do a guest interview for BUILD. When you sign up for the course you can see and hear me talk with her about selling digital products through your blog. I'm pretty sure that I look ridiculous, but since my most recent product launch has had more than double my goal, I hope that you'll find the information I share to be helpful. For a sneak peek at my #1 tip, visit Lemon and Raspberry.

spend some time at my poppet

Do you have plans for this weekend? If you didn't before, you do now. I'd like to encourage you to take a leisurely look at the blog My Poppet. Cinti has some really great ideas for cute, colorful and clever projects. I like those kinds of things, and I know you do too. You'll find some stitching (check out the chair below!), some quilting (she's recently started sharing some hexagons!), and lots more!

My Poppet has been one of those blogs that I read in bursts, especially when I find one of her posts that is making its way around the internet. She's officially on my Blog Lovin' list now, and she should be on yours too. Now, spend some time at My Poppet!

Hey! I thought you were going to visit Cinti's blog?! I'll see you back here on Monday!

printable: may journal cards

May Journal Cards

Two-thirds of the way through May? I can hardly believe it. I feel a little late with journaling cards to accompany this month, but then, there's still some of May left to document, and that's a very good thing.

Download the printable PDF and print on card stock, then trim them out and use them for Project Life or other journaling. They'd also make nice little lists, additions to cards, or plenty of other things too. I like a printable with some room for creativity.

May Journal Cards
May Journal Cards
May Journal Cards

When creating these, I wanted a quote or something to go with the picture. Then I started thinking valley. And then Psalm 23 came to mind. This version is from the Message, and I like the wording of it. I like knowing that someone is walking at my side.

May Journal Cards
May Journal Cards

things will be made


For a while now, I've felt like I'm in these cycles of made a bunch of stuff all at once, make nothing, and then back to making again. I don't mind it, but it has made for some strange blog scheduling. This week needs more making, so tide yourself over with a look at the supplies I've pulled out for three coming projects. Hooray!

book review: when talent isn't enough

When Talent Isn't Enough

When I went to college to learn graphic design, I was excited about the opportunity to do creative things. Sure, there's important guidelines to follow when having things printed and estimating the time it takes to do a job and so on, but I was looking for a creative job. Originally, I planned to find a job working for a more traditional company or firm, but I ended up freelancing. And what could be better than working for myself and choosing exactly what kinds of things I would create?

In the process of freelancing, I started a blog. And that led to creating new sorts of things. And that led to new streams of income for projects that seem to be even more creative than what I expected back in my college days. I still do freelance graphic design, but slowly, I've felt that God has been creating the perfect work for me. I love it.

But all that I do is a business.

This blog is crafty and personal, but it connects to my business. There's a whole lot that I could go into here about that, and someday, maybe I will. But this post is about a book that I wish I had a while back. You see, running a business, even a dream job, blogging, stitching, playing with felt, personal sort of business, is still business. And that requires some different kinds of thinking.

a few tools of the trade

When Talent Isn't Enough is a book for people like me, and quite possibly people like you. It's an overview of the things to bear in mind when you're running a creative business. It covers topics like legal matters, finances, advertising, working with clients, setting boundaries (oh, how I need this one!), and starting your business while you're still working a regular job.

There's so much good information here. It's the kind of book that you can read start to finish, or look at a chapter or two that address what you're struggling with at the moment. The author, Kristin Fischer, has compiled findings from many excellent sources, plus shared the knowledge she's gained in years of working on her own. There's questions and answers with creative folks and "must reads" through the eleven chapters.

Not everything will apply to every creative business. For example, if you're an Etsy seller, you aren't likely to need contracts for your work, unless you do a lot of bigger custom jobs. But things like tracking expenses, filing taxes, and tips and resources to do that? Those of us who are spreadsheet-impaired can learn a lot!

If you have a small business and are still trying to figure it out, When Talent Isn't Enough is a great place to get a good range of information. And if you are just thinking about jumping in to working for yourself, know that it won't always be easy and not every part of the work is fun, but there are books and websites and more that will help you get it all going!

To help get you started, I have the pleasure of giving away an extra copy of When Talent Isn't Enough! Enter with Rafflecopter below, and you could be the lucky winner! This giveaway is open to international readers, but be aware that some information in the book may not apply to all countries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received two copies of When Talent Isn't Enough (one to keep and one to share) in exchange for a blog post. All opinions are my own.

on the loss of kathreen

PB&J Game

Yesterday's tragic news about Kathreen of Whip Up, and her partner, has not left my mind since I read about it. Having had the privilege of welcoming Kathreen as a guest here on Wild Olive and to guest post on Whip Up on more than one occasion(the game pictured above was created for a series) was such an honor. She crafted more than just a craft blog. She developed a place where creators shared their hearts and passions and all that a creative life entails.

I am quite stunned and saddened and invite you to please pray for her children and family, lifting them up and helping as you can.

printable: floss bobbin thread organizer

Printable Thread Organizers

Over the years, I've crafted many ways to store and organize embroidery floss. Sometimes I think that I like the process of making these even more than using them. Now, I'm not going to make some sweeping statement that I've finally found one that I'll use for life, but secretly, I'm thinking that.

A few weeks ago I spotted a post on Hey Porkchop! Amanda showed this card she uses to hold the threads she's using on a stitching project. She made hers with scrapbook paper, which got me thinking that I should make one with a Wild Olive touch. Mine is based on the thread bobbins I've made in the past, but bigger and prepared for holding a bunch of threads and labeling them too!

Printable Thread Organizers

Download the PDF with 4 bobbins. Print the page on heavy card stock (or you could mount it onto thin cardboard), then trim the bobbins. Punch holes along the sides. If you want, you can also punch a hole in the top so you can keep all of your bobbins on a ring.

(Don't you just love how my printer decided to make their faces look blue? I'm avoiding taking it in...)

Printable Thread Organizers
Printable Thread Organizers

When you start a project, or as you're working, place the cut strands through the hole and secure with a cow hitch (yes, I had to look that up...). You can write the color numbers next to each loop, and add your project name at the top if you want. No more guessing, especially when you have colors that are close to each other!

Printable Thread Organizers

As you can see, I'm already putting this to use for Summer Stitching Club colors. There are a few more shades to add, but I haven't started on the blue items yet.

And while I love these bobbins, I can't help but think that there are more shapes and designs that need to be made into thread organizers. When practicality and cuteness come together, I'm a happy girl!

register for the 2013 summer stitching club

Whether you're traveling, hanging out at the beach or poolside, taking in a ball game, or sipping some iced tea between activities, this summer, take some time to do some relaxing embroidery! The Wild Olive Summer Stitching Club is made for both calm and busy schedules, and it will leave you with a project to remember the summer of 2013.

It's a combination of patterns, project and class, all rolled into a club!

Each week in June, July, and August, club members will receive a tiny embroidery pattern to stitch, for a total of 12 summer-themed patterns. Each motif is less than 2 inches, and is designed to fit on a paper-pieced hexagon. These hexagons will fit together with more hexagons, and when summer ends, you'll have a mini-quilt wall hanging or table mat! Don't worry if you've never made anything like this before, because complete instructions for making hexagons, and assembling the mini-quilt will be provided.

When you purchase your club membership, you'll be able to download the welcome PDF immediately. In that PDF you'll find the complete supply list, plus instructions to get started on hexagon-making. Each pattern PDF will be emailed to club members on Mondays, starting June 3rd.

summer sneak peek

I'm keeping the patterns a secret for now, but I've been sharing a few peeks and glimpses here and there as I stitch away. You can expect to stitch sunny, picnic on the beach, kicking back poolside sorts of things.

The cost for the 2013 Summer Stitching Club is just $8.00. And although the club is now getting started, whenever you join, you'll receive the complete collection of patterns and instructions.

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I'm looking forward to a summer of stitching, and I hope you are too! If you have any questions, please ask in the comments, and I'll answer below.

Thanks, and happy almost summer!