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printable // kawaii christmas lights garland

Kawaii Christmas Lights Garland

Today in my Sending Christmas Cuteness pattern advent calendar, the pattern is a few twinkle lights. And I thought it would be fun to share a printable version as well. So in a short and sweet post that will help you get in the holiday spirit, I present my Kawaii Christmas Lights Garland!

Kawaii Christmas Lights Garland

You will need:



Note: The PDF shows the bulb on the far left as a more teal color, which is the intention. But for some reason, my printer interprets it closer to turquoise. Just a little heads up if yours prints as a different shade too!

Kawaii Christmas Lights Garland

Print the PDF on cardstock and then cut out all the pieces.

Kawaii Christmas Lights Garland

Fold each lightbulb in half and place them over the yarn. Staple the lightbulb so the yarn is encased above the staple.

Kawaii Christmas Lights Garland

Hang your lights and enjoy!

calendar // a zircon fit for a princess

December is here, and that means we're at the end of these birthstone calendars. How can it be that a year could have passed? I'm just not sure.

Even though it's December, this one isn't particularly Christmas-y, which I rather like. December has a few birthstone options, and most of them are blue. In this case, I chose blue zircon because it's a lovely teal color. And I made it a princess cut because, well, it's just a really pretty one and I love the lines in it.

Now, add one of these to your favorite device for December while I start thinking about what might be on the calendars next year!

pattern // a tri-corner topaz birthstone

November Topaz Pattern

What does it mean when the birthstone embroidery pattern for your own birthstone is the latest of all the pattern posts of the whole year? I think it means that November starts the busiest season of the year, and it doesn't end until that delightful week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

At any rate, I at least printed my pattern, chose topaz-colored embroidery floss (DMC 725), and pulled out some golden fabric scraps.

Maybe I'll even sneak in a few minutes of stitching in the next week!

last chance // handmade with love flash sale

Last year, I contributed to a super bundle filled with craft patterns, e-books, e-courses, and more. It was available for a short time, and now it's back for just two days at a very special offer.

Inside the Handmade with Love Super Bundle, you'll find projects and tutorials for applique, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, fiber arts (think weaving and dyeing!), knitting, quilting, and sewing. There's 200+ digital projects, patterns, courses, and step-by-step tutorials within the products you see below. Really!

You may have seen this bundle before, but I hope you don't pass it by. Because here's what I realized. Over the course of the last year, I've learned some new techniques or become more interested in others. For example, I crochet waaaaaayyyy more now than I did, and I CAN'T WAIT to try some of the crochet patterns in the bundle.

So if you skipped this before, give it another look to see if your crafting tastes or plans have changed or grown. If you ordered one before, why not go back and look through those patterns and find something new to try?!

All In The Details

And just to make sure you don't miss it, my own PDF class, The Embroidery Project: All in the Details is one of the products in this bundle. In it, I show some fun ways to enhance your embroidery with sparkles, applique, beads, and even other items that you've probably never thought about adding to your embroidery. The normal price of this one product is more than the entire cost of the bundle!

That's because this amazing deal, which only lasts through Wednesday, November 14, is only $29.97.

Ready to learn more? Just click that pretty pink button to check out all the crafty goodness in the Handmade with Love Super Bundle. You seriously don't want to miss it!

introducing the sending christmas cuteness advent calendar

Sending Christmas Cuteness

Every once in a while an idea comes along that I can't quite shake. And the Sending Christmas Cuteness Advent Calendar is one of those ideas. Mainly because I love the idea of sending a little Christmas cuteness into inboxes around the world!

So here's the scoop:

Each day from December 1-25, I'll send a surprise Christmas/holiday/winter-ish pattern. The designs are small and easy to stitch, so you could, in theory, stitch one a day and even make some gifts. Plus, some of the patterns will work for after Christmas too.

I'm really so very excited about these! Especially because I'm offering these sweet designs in two formats: Hand embroidery (my favorite!) and counted cross stitch!

If you love stitching little Xs, the cross stitch version is perfect for you, and if you like backstitch, french knots, and scallop stitch (the only 3 stitches needed), choose the embroidery option. And if you dabble in both, you can always sign up for both versions!

Sending Christmas Cuteness

Both clubs will have matching designs each day, although the style won't always be exactly the same. That means that everyone stitching along can still see how others are doing with the same pattern even if they are using another technique. To interact with each other, we'll use the hashtag #SendingChristmasCuteness. (The community part is always the best part of any of my stitching clubs!)

Sending Christmas Cuteness

When you purchase the advent calendar in my Etsy shop, you'll get a PDF with some basic info and the embroidery floss colors you'll need. Then, you just wait for December to start the fun! But don't wait to sign up...the price is just $8.00 for now, but will go up to $10.00 on December 1st.

Whether you want to make some ornaments or other gifts, or you simply want to have something to craft and relax with, Sending Christmas Cuteness is going to be so much fun!

To recap:
• 25 Christmas Patterns (embroidery OR cross stitch)
• One Pattern a Day, December 1-25
• Digital Patterns via Email
• $8.00 Introductory Price

Purchase Sending Christmas Cuteness EMBROIDERY Advent Calendar

Purchase Sending Christmas Cuteness CROSS STITCH Advent Calendar

Questions? Leave a comment and I'll get back to you!

calendar // a triangular topaz for november

Welcome to November! Time for holiday preparations, giving thanks, and another calendar wallpaper!

November is my birthday month, and I'm gonna be honest...growing up I was NOT a fan of my yellow topaz birthstone. When I learned that topaz came in other colors, like a lovely light bue, I was happier. But as I've gotten older, I've become a big fan of traditional topaz. I love it. Especially the rough, uncut ones.

But since this is a year of gemstones, I felt like I needed a cut topaz for our wallpapers. And I chose a concave trillion cut, which is a fancy way of saying triangle! This is another one that I think would look so cool as English paper piecing, though for now I'll just be working on an embroidery pattern, which is coming soon.

For now, have a wallpaper or three!

pattern // a soft pink october birthstone

October Tourmaline Pattern

Who's ready to stitch another birthstone? This month's free embroidery pattern is for an old mine cut of a tourmaline, but then, you could really stitch this in any color. And you can easily combine it with other birthstone embroidery patterns to make any design you like.

But if you've been following along this year, the October Tourmaline embroidery pattern is meant to go in the center of some gem-like English paper piecing blocks. The templates are included in the pattern below.

If you're just finding this, this is the tenth pattern in my free Birthstone Wild Olive Stitching Club. They'll come together to make a project...eventually. It's definitely a long and slow-going project.

And for honesty's sake, let's just be real about how slow crafting can be.

Now, I'm a "professional crafter", as in, I make the majority of my income from designing craft projects and writing about them. Literally, the bulk of my time is spent in craft-related work and I churn out a lot of projects each month. But that's mostly separate from this blog, which means anything I do for my blog (and sometimes my shop!) fall under extra crafting. Almost like a hobby that you don't always have time for. It sounds silly, but it's how it is sometimes.

Wild Olive Birthstone Stitching Club

So here's the current state of my own Wild Olive Stitching Club that I started at the beginning of 2018. Note that the year started out okay and I did a little catch up at one point. I finally basted some half hexagons last night, but missed a few for the May Emerald block. Apparently I never even cut out the June pieces and I'm not entirely sure where I put that fabric...and I still haven't stitched July!

This is clearly a slow project and I'm just going with it that way! I'll take a few evenings to do some piecing soon, and before long they'll all be ready to join and finish as a birthday table mat.

How about you? Are you a fast crafter or do you let yourself take it easy? There's no guilt or shame in either one!

project // sew a softie ghost (and ghost animals!)

Customizable Ghost Softie

Booooooooo!!!! Today I'm so excited to share a simple sewing project for you and your kids to work on together. And since it's Halloween, we're making a sweet ghost softie!

This project is part of Sew a Softie for Halloween, which is all about making easy plush toys. Anyone can make these! I zipped out my ghosties on the sewing machine...it's simple enough for new sewists to do! But you can VERY easily sew your ghost by hand with running stitch around the edge.

Customizable Ghost Softie

I also thought it might be fun to make some animal ghosts. Because, why not? I started with a ghost cat, but the pattern includes a few more ear shapes so you can make a bunny, a dog, and a bear too.

Instead of stitching the face on, I made this even easier by adding the face with paint. It gives it a different look that I really love.

Ready to sew a softie with me? Here we goooooooooooo....

Customizable Ghost Softie


White Wool Blend Felt
Black Acrylic Paint
Sewing Machine -or- Embroidery Floss and a Needle

Ghost Softie Pattern PDF

Customizable Ghost Softie

Print out the pattern and use the templates to cut out two ghost "body" pieces and a set of ears if you are making an animal.

Customizable Ghost Softie

Since we're going to be painting the faces, it helps to practice drawing the face first. You can do this on the template. This is a fun way to make your ghost look however you want! You could even add other details like hands or a bow tie.

Customizable Ghost Softie

Now it's time to paint! Use a fine brush and gentle brush strokes. You could even practice on a scrap of felt to get the feel of how painting on felt works. It's definitely different than painting on paper!

If you'd rather stitch the face, you could do this with embroidery or applique instead.

Customizable Ghost Softie

After the paint is completely dry, pin the front and back of the ghost together. If you're making an animal, place the ears between the layers. Be sure that they're far enough in from the edge so that the sewing catches them.

Customizable Ghost Softie

Sew around the edge of the ghost, but leave an opening on one side.

If you're sewing this by hand, leave the thread attached so you can continue sewing after the stuffing goes in.

Customizable Ghost Softie

Fill your ghost with stuffing. Add it a little at a time, and be sure to push it toward the edges so the shape fills out.

Sew the opening closed. If you're using a sewing machine, like I did, push the stuffing away from the opening so you can slide the ghost under the sewing machine foot.

Customizable Ghost Softie

Your ghostie friend is finished! You can make more than one and flip which direction they go so they can hang out and talk with each other.

Customizable Ghost Softie
Customizable Ghost Softie

Want to make a smaller ghost or ghost animal? Just shrink the pieces to craft a pocket ghost softie! If you make one of these (in any size), be sure to use the tag #sewasoftie on Instagram or other social media. I'd love to see!


calendar // a soft tourmaline for october

As October 1st arrives, I'm feeling like I'm in a flurry. Not of snow, thankfully, but I am trying to do many things all at once. And while my calendar wallpapers aren't necessarily helpful for planning and tracking the things going on in your days, I do find that making them each month points me toward a new start.

That's a soft way of saying "oh my goodness I can't believe that another month has passed and what am I doing with my life?!?!?!?!" But I kid.

Speaking of soft, however, this month's birthstone is another one where I had to choose what to represent. Opal is common for October, but so is a pink gem (though I saw several options for this). When I was very young, I remember being envious of my best friend's October pink gem birthstone, so I went for that. It's pink tourmaline, and I'm showing it in a soft pink, with a soft-ish cut.

Old memories and gems that don't look as hard as others come together in a cut that I learned about called an "old mine cut". It's called this because it's how things would have been cut in old mines. In fact, they don't really cut gems this way anymore, and the new, similar style is a cushion or pillow cut. Soft, get it?

Okay, enough of me geeking out about gem cuts and pink birthstones and making far stretching connections between them. Have a few calendars!

Ready for a few more things I squeezed into September (which may also contribute to the flurry I've felt)?

Apple Sewing Hoop

I love helping kids learn embroidery and sewing basics, which is what this apple and worm are for! Find the tutorial on Hello Bee.

Knitting Bag

In the autumn season, I always get more intense with my knitting and crochet. And I'm carrying it around in this new project bag I designed for The Spruce Crafts!

V Stitch

Speaking of knitting and crochet, I've also been creating new sample photos for The Spruce Crafts. The V Stitch is the latest that I worked up. I love the look of it, plus I'm smitten by this yarn color!

Sweater Weather

Of course, if it's knitting season, it's also sweater weather! Grab my pattern and instructions for stitching on knitwear, also at The Spruce Crafts.

Kawaii Autumn Bread Wrappers

Do you enjoy autumn breads as much as I do? Visit Handmade Charlotte to download these printable wrappers with a kawaii print!

Totem Pole Backpack Clips

Also from Handmade Charlotte, learn how to make these Silly Spool Totem Pole Backpack Charms! I seriously had so much fun making these.

Very Serious Crafts Podcast Episode 12

And last, but certainly not least, be sure to check out the latest episode of the Very Serious Crafts Podcast!

Now, off I go to work on new things that I hope to share here soon!

pattern // a royal oval sapphire for september

September Sapphire Pattern

We're nine months into 2018, and now we're nine patterns into this Birthstone Wild Olive Stitching Club! I'm a little behind once again, but I hope that if you're stitching along you're keeping up.

September's birthstone is a sapphire, and as I mentioned when I shared the wallpapers, I chose this gemstone cut based on Princess Diana's amazing sapphire engagement ring. To match the rest of the birthstones in the series, this is just the large stone. However, if you wanted to stitch a version of this that matches the ring, it would look pretty fantastic if you stitched metallic french knot "diamonds" around the oval. Just an idea!

I'm still stitching mine, and then it will get some EPP half hexagons around it, all of which are in the pattern below. Or you can, of course, stitch it larger with the full-size pattern.

And remember that these will all fit together as a special birthday celebration placemat, suitable for birthdays any month of the year!