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calendar // welcoming 2018

Are you ready to welcome the new year with Wild Olive? This year's calendar wallpapers (and a bit of a running theme overall) will feature birthstones, starting with a garnet for January.

After just a small amount of researching garnets, I learned so many interesting things. First, I didn't know that garnets come in a variety of colors, and they're all so pretty! But I also learned that the Latin word for garnet refers to pomegranate seeds. Which makes sense, given the most common garnet color. And it's also why I drew this month's gem as a teardrop shape...or a seed shape!

A truth about me: I geek out about weird facts, something my stitching club members probably already know. I usually blame my homeschool upbringing!

Anyway, you can download the garnet calendars below. Save them to your devices and then set them as your background wallpapers or lock screens.

Now, let's talk New Year.

I had a rough 2016. You might read that and think it's a typo that should have said 2017. But no, 2016 was hard. Last year I was ready for a fresh start and a better 2017. But you know what? 2017 was also hard, on both global and personal levels. I'm ready for a fresh start and a better 2018.

But I keep remembering that while life is hard, God is good.

Although I struggled with a few things in the last year, there were so many blessings. In fact, one of the most exciting things of the year (it's still a secret!) started the same week as I was heading into the most difficult few months. It was a source of hope, joy, and distraction when I needed it most.

As I head into 2018, I'm doing so with open hands. I'm trying not to hold onto my plans too tightly. I'm also trying not to stress about blogging "the right way", so expect more slightly rambling posts like this one. 2018 is going to be what it's going to be and I'm good with that. But I do hope to draw plenty of kawaii cuteness!

And just as a quick end of December sort of thing, I intended to share one last pattern to go with my Advent Candle Garland project, and it didn't happen in time. But here's the link so you can make it for next year if you're so inclined!

Final thoughts...

Since I'm drawing birthstones this year, I want to wish all my friends and followers with January birthdays a very happy birthday month! Say hello in the comments so we can all greet you!

And may you all have a peaceful, joy-filled, and blessed 2018.


  1. In 2016 and 2017 i lost so many loved ones and gained so many pounds. I am stuggling. My kids and my husband are encouraging but I am sad. I hope for you and me that 2018 will be better.

    1. Debra, I'm so sorry for all of your losses and I'm sad along with you. The struggle stinks (oh so much!), but I'm glad you have your family to support you. If you ever need anything, do let me know and I'm praying that 2018 brings light at the end of the tunnel!

  2. 2017 was a hard year for me as well with losing my father a couple weeks ago after a long illness. He is at peace now, so I rejoice in that. On a better note, January is MY birthday month so I hope it helps starts the year on a better note!

    1. Even when you know it may be coming, it isn't any easier. I'm so sorry. And I'm also glad that you can rejoice. May you have a blessed birthday surrounded by people who love you!

  3. Anonymous10:13 PM

    I echo the post and the comments. I was sick all of 2017. I finally was diagnosed with a weak immune system, several vitamin deficiencies (which I now take by shot), and an elaborate allergy list ( which I have started taking shots for as well). I had a traumatic experience 10 years ago in January that left me with PTSD that I still struggle with every day. I say all this to end on a positive note. All that time being sick and not being able to do much of anything, left me with a lot of time to think, pray , and read the Word. I’m happy to say that today I started reading the entire Bible from beginning to end for the third time. And all the thinking made it clear what makes me truly happy. So I’m grateful for the hard year. After all, you can’t see the rainbow without the rain. I’m hopeful, as you are, that this year is going to be filled with blessings and good times. I pray for each of you ladies and I’ll add you to my prayer list. And to Ms Bonnie, may you have a lovely birthday! And Mollie. Sweet Mollie. You are a giving and generous soul, and I am thankful for your website, etsy shop, and all your endeavors. I pray that this year will be a prosperous year and a peaceful year for you. Pat yourself on the back for making it through another year.

    And remember, we have all safely trodden over the leaves of another year.

    Bethanie from TN

    1. Just as you need rain for a rainbow, light shines brightest in the dark. And sometimes we don't slow down until we absolutely must. As you said, these are things to be thankful for!

      Much love and many hugs to you!

  4. I'm looking forward to your beautiful birthstone calendars! And I'm also looking forward to seeing what God has in store for 2018, because 2017 was certainly a year of surprises :-)

  5. I love rambley posts, so please go ahead and just write what ever you feel and enjoy it :-). I am also looking forward to the birthstone calendar - I'll have to be more diligent this year about actually printing and using these though :-D
    E xx

  6. Lovely calendar. I'm looking forward to a jewel filled year! Thank you for the advent candle garland too. I missed seeing it early in the season, but now I have time to get one ready for next year. :) Oh, and I'm with Erin. Rambly posts are the best, as you may be able to tell from this rambling reply.
    Best wishes for the New Year!


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