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kid craft // make a neighborhood

making paper neighborhoods

Build a paper neighborhood while you're learning at home! Houses and neighborhoods are still on everyone's mind, and I'm not tired of it yet. So I designed a little paper neighborhood project you can do with your kids!

One of the things I do each week is plan projects for families in the special needs ministry at my church. Normally I do that for when the groups meet in person, but these days I come up with ideas that they can do at home. I try to choose basic materials that most people have and instructions that won't be hard for non-crafters to jump into.

As I make those projects, I thought it might be fun to share a few here now and again. As I said, these are simple and may even exist elsewhere, but maybe you'll enjoy my little take on them.

The fun of this paper neighborhood is that you can use scraps of colorful paper to design houses and other buildings. You could even cut and paste pieces to make little shops like my Kawaii Crossing designs!

making paper neighborhoods

You will need:
glue stick
crayons or markers

making paper neighborhoods

Cut out squares, rectangles, and triangles for the buildings. Glue them down to a piece of paper.

making paper neighborhoods

Cut smaller squares and rectangles for the windows and doors, then glue them down.

making paper neighborhoods

Draw details on the houses and add some other scenery if you want!

The only thing that's missing on my houses is a few smiling "Wild Olive" faces. What was I thinking? If you do love making houses with faces, be sure to check out my felt softie house pattern!

calendar // august's kawaii crossing stationer wallpaper

Up until college, I was homeschooled and I loved it. The only things I missed were things like having a locker or getting a list of required school supplies so I could go and choose items and check them off the list. Thankfully, my parents also loved school supplies (and still do!), so they'd let me choose a list from a local school and select what I'd like from that. Every year.

I STILL love shopping for school supplies, but now that I'm an "adult" I'm more likely to choose things that are a little fancier. Not like, $50 pen fancy, but definitely not your 50 cent pack of pens. We're talking fun shops like Muji, Paperchase, and Mochi Things. I always manage to find hexagonal markers, kraft paper composition books, and pastel pens and tape.

And I'd like to think that Kawaii Crossing has a shop that is my dream stationery supply! By the way, did you know that a store that sells stationery can be called a stationer? It's true. So please enjoy this month's Kawaii Crossing Stationer for your screen!

I can't help but think I should get my act together and make some printable stationery this month. I seem to always have these fun ideas that would go along with the theme, but struggle to make them happen in a timely fashion. Hmmm...

In the meantime, I did just make a fabric book cover with a zipper pocket for The Spruce Crafts. You can find the tutorial here!

pattern // kawaii crossing bunting emporium cross stitch

Kawaii Crossing Bunting Emporium Cross Stitch

I'm super happy to share another Kawaii Crossing cross stitch pattern and this time it's the bunting emporium! Of course, like every pattern in this series, this is a free chart that's part of my year-long stitch-a-long.

Now, I've never really encountered a bunting emporium, but I'd like to think that it would be pretty much magnificent. In my imagining of it, they sell bunting (both of the American and British variety), garlands, flags, banners, and more. Certainly, it would be festive.

Kawaii Crossing Bunting Emporium Cross Stitch

I also love making garlands just because, and I am gonna try my hardest to still make a printable bunting this month. If that doesn't happen, I'd highly recommend checking out the book Banners, Buntings, Garlands & Pennants, which has a few projects from yours truly.

Now, onto the download!

The growing Kawaii Crossing Stitching Club chart is below as well as the individual shop chart, which is helpful if you like to print the patterns. And you can find the rest under the cross stitch patterns tag from this year.

By the way, do you have a favorite style of bunting or garland? I'd love to hear! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram. 

project // home is where the heart is sew a softie

DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie

The whole world has been spending a lot more time at home, and I decided to celebrate houses and homes with a happy little home softie! I'm making this as part of Sew a Softie month, which is all about making simple soft toys with kids. The idea here is for kids to learn how to make their own softies with simple stitches. 

Want to make your own felt home? It's really easy and you only need a few basic supplies. 

It helps to know two stitches to make this project: running stitch and back stitch. Also, through the whole project, you'll work with all six strands of embroidery floss. No need to separate them!

You will need:

Felt (I like Benzie Design felt, which is where this scallop printed felt came from)
Embroidery Floss
Small Black Buttons (or Safety Eyes)
Stuffing (Many thanks to Fairfield for providing the Poly-fil for this project!)
Pins or Sewing Clips (if you want!)

  DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie

Use the pattern templates to cut out two rectangle house pieces,  two roof pieces,  one chimney, two windows, one door, one heart, and one doorknob. 

If you don't have scallop-printed felt like mine, you can use plain felt or some other print.

DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie

Use black embroidery floss to stitch the mouth with back stitch. Sew on two black buttons for eyes. You can also use safety eyes if you like!

DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie  

Place each house rectangle behind the bottom of each roof piece. The edges should overlap about 1/2". It can be helpful to pin or clip these in place as you stitch.

 DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie  

Stitch along the edge of the roof with running stitch. You only need to stitch where the felt overlaps.

  DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie

On the front piece, use running stitch to sew the windows and door in place. Stitch around the outside of the windows and sew just one side of the door. 

  DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie

Use long back stitches to make the dividers on the windows. Stitch the doorknob on the door with a small X.

DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie 

Lift the door and stitch the heart to the front of the house with running stitch. Of course, this is optional, but home is where the heart is!

DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie 

Pin or hold the front and back of the house together. Start just under the roof and stitch around the outside with running stitch.

DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie  

When you reach the top of the house, place the chimney between the layers, and then keep sewing. Your stitches should go through all the layers so the chimney stays in place.

DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie

When you get to the bottom of the house, be sure to lift the door so that you only stitch through the house. This way you can still open the door!

DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie  

When you get back to the side of the house where you started sewing, but before you sew all the way around, add some stuffing to your softie. You don't need to add too much...just enough to make it soft and squishy!

Finish sewing and end the embroidery floss off with a knot.

DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie 

Now your home softie is all finished and ready for you to hug and hold! 

I didn't think about this when I started making this project, but as I opened the door to reveal the heart for the photos, I remembered the words of a song:

Let my love open the door...to your heart.

That's just what you can do when you play with this little house! I like to think of staying home (and wearing a mask when going out) as ways to show love to those around me and those who are at least six feet away. So being safe can open the door. 

Maybe that came out a little cheesy, but showing love is anything but cheesy.

  DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie DIY Home is Where the Heart Is Softie

Also, I just really like staying home. It's true.

If you enjoyed making this simple softie with your kids (or by yourself!) be sure to check out more from Sew a Softie! And when you make this or other softies, share your photos and tag them #sewasoftie. I look forward to seeing what you make!

pattern // kawaii crossing bunting emporium embroidery design

Bunting Emporium Embroidery Pattern

I started this year with the plan to make a set of flags or buntings with these little Kawaii Crossing shops stitched on them. It never really happened, but if it had, I'd be very excited about embroidering this little bunting emporium on a bunting. I mean, wouldn't that be adorable?

Even now I'm thinking that stitching the large version of this pattern (and maybe even making it larger still) on a single bunting flag like the one in the emporium window would be so cute. 

Alas, I'm working on the cross stitch version for my "actually stitch the thing" project this time around, but perhaps someday. 

If you stitch this on a bunting (or a mini quilt, or anything else...), I'd love to see! Be sure to tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #wildolivestitchingclub so others can cheer you on too!

calendar // july's kawaii crossing bunting emporium wallpaper

Is it July already? Really? This year has been weird and both slow and fast and now here we are, halfway through 2020. I have mixed feelings about that, but I will say that I've been looking forward to this month ever since I planned out this Kawaii Crossing series. Because this month's shop is...the Bunting Emporium!

Now, you may not have ever seen a real bunting emporium, but two years ago on my Podcast, we had a conversation that led to us inventing this imaginary shop. And I've loved the idea ever since! When I thought about what would be good in July, I knew this was my opportunity to create my own version of this fun place to buy bunting and flags and banners, oh my! 

Just like these elements decorate your home (or other places), please enjoy some wallpapers to decorate your favorite screen!

pattern // kawaii crossing beach shop embroidery design

Beach Shop Embroidery Pattern
Did you forget your sunscreen? Do you need a new swimsuit? Or maybe you're ready to buy a surfboard? Stop by the Kawaii Crossing Beach Shop! This month's free embroidery pattern may be a little later than usual, but it's here!

I kind love this shell-shaped shop, and maybe because it's fun to say. But also because it reminds me a litte bit of Spongebob Squarepants and the cheesy souvenir stores you find on warm-weather vacations. Do I typically buy things there? No. Do I enjoy perusing the odd mix of items they sell? Yes.

And I hope you enjoy stitching this curious little shop and adding it to your collection of Kawaii Crossing patterns.

Happy Stitching!

pattern // kawaii crossing beach shop cross stitch

Kawaii Crossing Beach Shop Cross Stitch

I'm very happy to share with you, at long last, the beach shop cross stitch pattern! As always, this is free for you to enjoy and add to your growing town. The embroidery version is coming this week, I promise!

When I shared my beach shop illustration for this month's Kawaii Crossing addition, I mentioned that I'm not a beach gal. Pools are more my thing, but with a history of melanoma, I still have to stay safe and when it comes to the sun. All of that said, right now I could really go for a big adorondac chair on the deck of a beach house with a giant umbrella, and an iced tea in my hand as I watch people surf and play in the sand.

Kawaii Crossing Beach Shop Cross Stitch

Instead, we'll just have to stitch, which can feel like a little vacation (or staycation!) of its own.

When I chose the colors for this whole big project, I didn't take into account how similar the lavendar shades are when you stitch them next to each other. That means that the definition on the shell is subtle if you use the colors in the chart. I opted to leave them that way in the chart because I didn't want to suddenly add more colors, but if you want to make yours stand out more, use a darker purple. I'd suggest working with DMC 208 in place of 209 in this one.

Also, I maaaaayyy have stitched mine wrong when it comes to where the bottom of the shop meets the grass. Ignore the photos and go with what's on the chart.

Kawaii Crossing Beach Shop Cross Stitch

The full Kawaii Crossing Stitching Club chart (so far) is below or if you'd like the individual shop charts, which are a little easier to see when printed, they are under the cross stitch patterns from this year. Personally, I like pulling up the pattern on a screen so that I can enlarge it as needed.

calendar // june's kawaii crossing beach shop wallpaper

June is here and it's not what I expected. How about you? Because I make smiling happy things, it's easy to think that that's how I am or that it's all I care about. When my heart is breaking and our world is hurting, I always question if I should share my kawaii creations because it might seem insensitive or ingenuine. But I believe there can be joy in the midst of mourning and calling for justice, so here I am with a new wallpaper. With the hope that I can share a bit of joy as we work toward a better (much-needed) future.

I am not a beach girl. So it confuses even me that I chose to add a beach shop to the streets of Kawaii Crossing. But whether you're able to visit a beach or not, whether you're want to or not, you have to admit that a shell-shaped shop that sells surfboards, swimwear, and souvenirs is very appealing.

So add some joy to your screen and enjoy some virtual beach time!

summer reading stitching club registration

Summer Reading Stitching Club

Summer is here and that means it's time for Summer Reading Stitching Club! When you were growing up, or maybe even as an adult, did you participate in a summer reading club at your local library? I LOVED it as a kid and I'm bringing that to my new Wild Olive Stitching Club.

This year, summer reading clubs will feel different in many communities, but that doesn't mean we can't have our own version online...with embroidery and English paper piecing! I chose 12 classic children's books to embroider on little hand-pieced books, which will then become a quilted book bag. If you'd rather, you could also make them into a mini quilt.

Summer Reading Stitching Club
Summer Reading Stitching Club

Each week, club members will receive an embroidery pattern PDF by email, along with some other fun along the way. The patterns represent key elements or characters from books, but the books will be a surprise each time (though you can probably guess a few from the photos!). Taking a cue from illustrated classics, these patterns are all stitched in a single color. It makes stitching them fast and easy while giving them a bold look!

Summer Reading Stitching Club
Summer Reading Stitching Club
Summer Reading Stitching Club

Summer Reading Stitching Club combines several needlecrafts that I love. Embroidery (all simple stitches), English paper piecing (all the instructions come with the club), and sewing (all straight seams, but it will help if you know your way 'round a sewing machine).

If you've ever done one of my paid stitching clubs in the past, you'll be familiar with the process and format of this club. The Summer Reading Stitching Club will run from June 2 to August 25. That's 12 weeks of patterns, plus time for finishing.

When you sign up, you'll get a PDF welcome kit with a supply list, EPP templates, and instructions for getting ready.

Summer Reading Stitching Club
Summer Reading Stitching Club

The cost for the entire club is just $6.00 if you sign up by June 8. After that, the price will go up to $8.00.

The club starts June 2, so be sure to sign up early so you can stitch along with us!

Note: All of the books represented in this stitching club are considered classics, but a few contain views and character portrayals that are problematic at best. Rather than avoiding these titles completely, I see them as opportunities to think and talk about what makes these themes wrong then and now, where the beliefs still exist, and how we can do better going forward.

Questions? Ask in the comments and I'll get back to you right away!