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pausing as 2016 ends and a new year begins

a party in an embroidery hoop

The week between Christmas and New Years is always a good time to reflect a bit on the past year and the one to come. For me, that often involves the patterns, projects, and printables I've made and those that I'm planning on in the days ahead. Sometimes that's good, and other times it's difficult.

One thing that I kept noticing throughout 2016 was that I was posting less here on my blog. Each month I would look at my post count and get really sad. Only 5 or 6 posts in some months when I've had times where I posted almost every day? I also barely added anything new to my shop this year. And yet, I still felt like I hardly had time to get anything done.

This sort of thing gets me down because it's easy for me to fall into the lie of measuring my worth by my productivity. I wondered why I wasn't accomplishing more and questioned myself in so many ways. I don't recommend this, but it's something I do despite my best efforts to live differently.

What I forget about when I look at those blog posts and items in my shop is that I do more than just create for Wild Olive.

I create for other blogs, books, and magazines. I also started volunteering in the jr. high ministry at my church, plus I help others with a few extra things along the way. Oh, and then there's just life stuff (which included some rough times this year).

So when my friend Jess shared some stats on the things that she made this year, I thought maybe I should look at my year by the numbers...just to get an idea for where 2016 went, crafty wise.

Blog posts written: over 200 (for Wild Olive, About, Handmade Charlotte, and Hello Bee)

Printables created: nearly 30

Cross-stitch patterns charted: over 50 (some are very small...but they count!)

Embroidery patterns/pattern sets designed: at least 30

Projects made: over 70

These are the conservative numbers, and don't count some of the extra writing I did too. Many of the patterns and projects are part of the blog posts, but they still count for actually making those things. And when I look at these, I realize that this really is a full-time job I have.

Again, I don't want to fall into the trap of thinking that I'm only as good as the amount of work I churn out, and I wouldn't want to lead you into that too. But I think if we all really knew how many things we make, how many loads of laundry we do, meals we prepare, and errands we drive around doing, we'd see that we're doing more than we know. For good or bad.

And I don't want the numbers I shared to be me boasting. They aren't. Nor should they be something you compare yourself to. This is just taking stock of things and recognizing that it was a full year.

Now tell me...what was your favorite thing that you made this year or what was a favorite thing you saw that I made this year?

PS: The embroidery above is a project I shared, and it just reminded me of a party. So...Happy New Year!


  1. Mollie, you are missed when you don't post here, but your value isn't measured in your productivity :-)

    1. I have never been so happy to see a comment from you! My mom and I have been praying for your family ever since the earthquake. I'm so glad you're okay!

  2. I like your advent candle embroidery messages. Those are what drew me to your blog. I saved them to make someday because their message is good for any time and I think they are good stitcheries for me to get back into embroidery. Thank you for them.

  3. Mollie...your words ring true...I spend too much time wandering aimlessly in my ambitions. One of these days, I will figure it out?! Happy, Healthy New Year to you and your family. May each day be blessed.

  4. Productivity by the numbers is overrated. All I know is seeing something from Wild Olive in my inbox always makes me smile. Thanks for that and have a happy New Year!

  5. I loved your nativity felt ornament. I don't comment but love to get your post in my email. My favorite item I made this year was a Harry Potter Marauders Map piece for my sister. I don't feel I embroider very well and this actually came out looking like it was supposed to! Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  6. Anonymous6:37 PM

    Loving your posts whenever they come. We are all smashed for time so don't fret. We get it.


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