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pattern // colorful cloud house cross stitch

Colorful Cloud House Cross Stitch Chart

I don't know about you, but I can't get enough rainbows. Ever. Which is what made this free Colorful Cloud House pattern (with a rainbow over it!) so much fun to make. And I hope you'll have as much fun stitching it. I'm currently stitching the embroidery version which will be here soon. If I didn't have a dozen other things to finish, I'd be stitching this cross stitch one too!

One thing I want to point out with this is that the cloud (which is actually the house part here) is of course white, and i didn't outline it with back stitch in the pattern. My personal taste with cross stitch is less back stitch. But that means that it would be best stitched on colored Aida. Light blue or turquoise will give it the sky look, but even stitched on black I think it would be so striking!

All of that said, if you are stitching this as a town and it's on the same fabric with other houses (or last year's shops!), you may want to back stitch around the cloud part. I'd probably go with the lighter blue. Sound good?



project // plastic canvas bargello pixel art

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art


Plastic canvas crafting is underrated and today's project will hopefully help fix that. Because we're making pixel art with large bagello-stytle stitches! This style of stitching is fast and easy to learn, and it makes a little kawaii rainbow to hang on your wall, so what more could we ask for?

I first started thinking about making a stitched piece like this while I was researching a needlepoint project. I saw some fun kits that used all vertical stitches, which reminded me of pixel art, but also bargello embroidery. Bargello is a type of needlework that uses long stitches to make gorgeous designs. Hello Bargello is pretty much the spot to find modern patterns and kits, but I was going for something different with mine.

With pixel art in mind, I thought of this more like I would plan a cross stitch pattern and then figured out the stitches from there. Making a rainbow was pretty much a no-brainer.

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

The finished piece is about 4-1/2 inches square, and because it's small, it's a quick project. It also is perfect for hanging on your wall along with a few other either larger or smaller pieces of art, embroidery, or a quilting. AND older kids will be able to catch on quickly to make one.

Now, let's pause and talk about tapestry wool for a moment.

Fist, many thanks to Benzie Design for providing the wool for this project. They are my favorite felt source, and the fact that they carry tapestry wool too is amazing. When doing projects like this, you can use regular yarn, but tapestry wool is just so nice to work with. And it's a good way to have small amounts of lots of colors.

By the way, Benzie is currently transitioning from carrying Anchor to now DMC. Both work and they have similar colors so you can use what you like!

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

You will need:
Scissors
Large tapestry needle
10-count/mesh plastic canvas trimmed to 45x45 squares
Tapestry wool or similar weight yarn

DMC tapestry wool colors used:
7005
7762
7431
7548
7711
7958
NOIR
BLANC

DOWNLOAD THE RAINBOW BARGELLO PIXEL ART PATTERN

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

When you start, leave a short tail on the back and stitch over it to secure the yarn. A knot won't work here!

Each stitch comes up through one hole, skips two holes, then goes down. I like to work each stitch from bottom to top. On the pattern, each square is actually going to be three stitches, so this block of three stitches counts as one.

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

Always work in the same direction with your stitches. If you're working bottom to top like I did, do that for every stitch. On the back you can see how the stitches are almost as solid on the back as they are on the front. This uses more tapestry wool that stitching other ways, but it gives a much better result

Use this technique to stitch the entire filled in design. When you end a length of yarn, weave it through the back of stitches, preferably behind the same color yarn.

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

When it comes to the face, stitch the eyes just like the other squares in the pattern. Then, add the smile with back stitch. You'll need to stitch through holes that you already filled in, but these lines will still show up and just be next to the other stitching.

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

Here's how it looks all stitched! You could stop here, but let's finish those edges and make them pretty...and add a hanger!

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

Start a piece of tapestry wool in the same color as the background and weave it through the back of a few stitches. Next, whip stitch around the edge of the square. Start in a lower corner and work toward the top.

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

When you reach the first top corner, skip the whole top and go through the second top corner leaving a section of tapestry wool that will be the hanger. Secure it with a whipstitch or two at that corner.

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

Weave the end of the yarn through the back of the stitches.

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

Start a new piece of yarn and whip stitch the top of the square, then continue around the other sides. Be sure to keep the hanger out of the way as you stitch!

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

And that's all there is to finishing this off! If you want you can also cover the back with a square of felt, but I personally love having the work show on the back. It's part of the process!

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

PlasticCanvas Bargello Pixel Art

If you like this design and want to make more, I have three more designs available to those who support me at Ko-Fi. There's a bee, a flower, and chick in an egg. Because spring!



Would you be interested in more designs and projects using this style? Tell me in the comments! I for one had so much fun working on this that I'll be looking to add more plastic canvas stitching into my crafting!

calendar // colorful cloud house wallpaper



Happy April, friends! I find April Fool's Day pranks to be pretty funny (within reason), and even as I'm typing this, I started thinking of funny things I could have done to the calendar wallpaper for this month. Taking out a week or two because it's already been a long year? Or perhaps adding in an extra day each weekend because we need it? I actually did none of these.

Instead I have a little cloud house that is under a rainbow. Because I don't know about you, but I think we could all use a few more rainbows. They don't come without rain (and even clouds in a way), so this house has some of that, but yeah. A rainbow.

To go with this, I already have a rainbow project to share with you soon, and maybe a few more along the way. We shall see. But now, are you ready for a Kawaii Crossing colorful cloud house for your screen? Choose your wallpaper below!


Last month my Kawaii Crossing house was inspired by a childhood favorite: The Smurfs. And while I wasn't thinking of it while working on this month, as I looked at this finished, the Care Bears came to mind. They had a cloud car, and I had the toy that was more like a cloud bicycle with a rainbow over it from front to back. Take a look and tell me you see how my childhood still influences my art choices. At some point we'll have a whole Sanrio conversation too.

book tour // retro stitchery by beverly mccullogh

Retro Stitchery Book Tour Project

Today I am very excited to be the first stop on the online book tour for Beverly McCullough's new book Retro Stitchery. You may know Bev as Flamingo Toes, the name of her blog, where you can find all kinds of adorable projects and patterns. She also is a fabric designer, but we'll get there soon enough...

It's not too often that I make something from someone else's pattern. I'm over here stitching Wild Olive stuff! But when I heard about Retro Stitchery, I knew this was something I wanted to share with my readers. If you are into stitching cuteness, you're going to love this.

Retro Stitchery Book Tour

Retro Stitchery contains 13 projects with simply charming patterns. The subtitle refers to the designs as having a wink to the past, and that's a perfect way to describe this. None of the patterns or projects feel retro or vintage in an obvious way. They just have a certain vibe to them, and personally, I love it.

There's also a mix of home decor, wearables, and just plain useful objects. All of which come with Bev's sweet style.

Retro Stitchery Book Tour Project
Retro Stitchery Book Tour Project

I mentioned that Bev is also a fabric designer, and I was very excited to work with some of her upcoming Riley Blake collection, Stardust. The fabric line has a different feeling from a lot of what you see in the book, but it has a retro feeling that fits. Especially the sweet florals and the little touch of gold in some of the prints.

They also sent me some of their linen (in the color blush) to embroider on. This is a fine, lightweight linen that was a dream to work with. Because it is lightweight (and a light color), I added fusible interfacing to the back for stability and to prevent stitches from showing through too much. I was delighted with this fabric and would use it again in a minute. I want all the colors!

Retro Stitchery Book Tour


Okay, so now let me tell you about how I came to make what I made. My final project isn't in the book, but rather, it was inspired by several things that are!

This Choose Joy design was the embroidery that I love the most in the book. I mean, just look at it. Gorgeous. Also, so many stitches (and I'm also pressed for time). Whatever. The tiny flowers near the top are what sealed the deal for me.

Retro Stitchery Book Tour Project

And this is my rendition of those tiny flowers. But also, notice what I did differently for the embroidery. Or actually, lack of embroidery. Instead of stitching all the leaves, I painted them with watercolors. They are soft, with just a bit of color bleed (which I expected), and I think they actually show off the floral stitches. By the way, to make this work, I traced the embroidery pattern with a standard pencil so I didn't need to remove any markings with water, which would have ruined my paint.

Retro Stitchery Book Tour
Retro Stitchery Book Tour


I didn't want to just do a hoop, like the original project, and really liked the framed art. I also loved the patchwork pillow. So what did I do? I combined the ideas into a wall hanging mini quilt of sorts!

Retro Stitchery Book Tour Project

The top and bottom give it the patchwork flair of the pillow and making it a piece that can hang on the wall is my wall art. All with that embroidery that I love. Also, can we pause for a moment and say that while the giant grommets seemed like a good idea, they were a paint to install and still aren't right. Harumph. I'm also still figuring out what I want to use to attach and hang it. Pink ribbon is a strong candidate.

Retro Stitchery Book Tour Project

And the back has the little floral print that also has metallic gold in it. So cute!

Retro Stitchery Book Tour Project

I really can't wait to have this hanging on my wall as a daily reminder. Not all days are happy (case in point: grommets!), but I can choose joy as I consider all the things for which I'm grateful. And making a pretty project from a beautiful book is one of those things!

Be sure to visit Flamingo Toes for the complete book tour schedule and to learn more about this title. As I mentioned, I'm the first stop, so it will be so much fun to see what others make from the book. We can all be inspired!

And then be sure to pre-order Retro Stitchery on IndieBound or Amazon so you can stitch along too!

project // felt board pieces to tell stories of Jesus

Bible Felt Board Pieces

We are approaching Holy Week, a time when Christians remember and celebrate the week leading to Easter. When possible, I love to make and share projects that reflect my faith, especially when it comes to Easter. So today I'm sharing some patterns for making felt board pieces to tell the stories of Jesus.

If you are over a certain age and grew up in Sunday School or Awana, you may have experienced learning about the Bible on a felt board or "flannelgraph." In our tech-heavy culture, that seems like several lifetimes ago. And yet, the slow calm of felt pieces to tell stories is still effective

My dad helps in the special needs ministry at my church and I designed these simple shapes for him to use while teaching. Would you believe we've actually been doing a felt board on video? It's true. Even during this pandemic year when we haven't gathered in person, we worked with low-tech materials while presenting it though modern technology. And it's worked well.

It will also work well in your home. You can read from the Bible and use the pieces to teach your child, or you can let them act out the stories with the figures. It's as easy as cutting some simple shapes out of felt. Bible Felt Board Pieces
Bible Felt Board Pieces
Bible Felt Board Pieces

I started with several brightly colored people figures. There's also some animals. The pig and sheep have pieces that need to be glued together (this is better than dealing with loose pieces for them). And then we have some extra pieces that help tell the stories: a crown, bandages, and so on.



By the way, I just cut all the shapes out of wool blend felt, and I used my favorite freezer paper cutting technique!

Bible Felt Board Pieces

We made our own felt board by covering a stretched canvas with flannel. We stretched the flannel around the sides and attached it with a staple gun. But any flannel/felt board will do!

Now, let's take a look at some stories we used this for!

Bible Felt Board Pieces

We started with some parables Jesus told, and we made a point of saying that Jesus told these stories to help us learn about God's Kingdom. They aren't like real things that happened. Also, I made a point of using the purple person to represent Jesus or God the Father in any of the parables or events. It's another layer of learning what these things mean. First up: The Good Samaritan. You can see here how we used the bandages, showing how the Samaritan stopped to help the man by the road. We used other figures to walk by and the money bag showed up when taking the man to the inn.

Bible Felt Board Pieces

The Forgiving King (sometimes this parable is known as The Unforgiving Servant). For this one, it just uses a few figures, the crown, and some money bags.

Bible Felt Board Pieces

The Loving Father (this parable is commonly known as The Prodigal Son). In this story we've got the father and the two sons. We also used the money, the pig (because it's so much fun to include the son wanting to eat pig slop!), and a heart.

By the way, you may notice that the last two stories, we used titles that put the emphasis on the positive or the hero in the story. That was in the curriculum we follow at church, and I love it.

Bible Felt Board Pieces

The Good Shepherd. One figure, the shepherd's crook, and a sheep. We didn't think it was really necessary to have 99 sheep to leave behind, and so I just made one. But we did pull out and show a bunch of cotton balls for the visual of all these sheep. That would be fun for you too!

Bible Felt Board Pieces

Once we finished the parables section of our lessons, we've kept up the felt figures. The latest was when Jesus brings a child into the middle of the group of disciples and tells them that they need to be like children. Obviously this required a smaller figure!

Bible Felt Board Pieces
Bible Felt Board Pieces

And for Holy Week, we have...

Palm Sunday: several figures, the Donkey, several palm branches and coats

Bible Felt Board Pieces

The Last Supper: at least several figures (or Jesus and the 12 disciples!), the bread, and the cup

Bible Felt Board Pieces

Good Friday: Jesus on the cross figure, the cross, a few extra figures, and the heart (for John 3:16)

Bible Felt Board Pieces

Easter: several figures and the empty tomb

Bible Felt Board Pieces

Accension: several figures and the cloud (I also added the crown for King Jesus!)



What other pieces would you add to this set?

The Christian Living Bundle 2021

Also, if you're looking for some good faith-based resources at a bundled bargain price (50 resources for $29.99!), check out the Christian Living Bundle. I'm a contributor and am excited to help make this available. But it's here for just four days, so hop on over to take a look!

pattern // fun mushroom house embroidery design

Mushroom House Embroidery Pattern



It's time for this fun mushroom to make its way to your embroidery hoop! Yes, this month's free pattern is here.

This is one of those times when I decided that I just couldn't stitch any version of the March designs (cross stitch, embroidery, or some other technique). In fact, at one point I thought it would be sooooo cute to paint it using the same method I used for my little mini paintings. And so while I haven't done that yet, you absolutely could.

I'd also say that this is a good pattern to play with colors. I made the mushroom house green because March just seems to scream at me "USE GREEN BECAUSE OF ST. PATRICK'S DAY!" But of course, it's now past St. Patrick's Day, so you should feel no obligation to use my original colors here. Go for a traditional red mushroom, or make it some other colorful shade. Fungi come in so many amazing hues!



I'm also creating patterns that you can use to do these designs as felt applique, and they're available to those who've supported me recetntly on Ko-Fi. Click below to access the ready to cut pattern for stitching these with felt pieces.


printable // shamrock and rainbow scripture coloring pictures



Sometimes I create coloring pictures for my church and usually they are enjoyed by the kids, teens, and adults in our special needs ministry. Today I thought I should share two coloring pages based on what I've made for them, and both in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day! Each has a Bible verse on it, but I have plain versions without the Scripture too.

The first connects with one of the ways that shamrocks are used for symbolism. The three leaves represent faith, hope, and love, although sometimes they also are used to teach about the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.





I absolutely LOVE rainbows. There's something so orderly about seeing things in colors that perfectly blend from one shade to another. I also love that God made a promise with a rainbow, so this verse about promises being fulfilled in Jesus is such a good one to me. Rainbows and Jesus are a pretty perfect combination!



I hope you have fun downloading and printing these!

project // embroidered facts sweatshirt

Hand Embroidered Facts Sweatshirt

Have you ever embroidered a sweatshirt or hoodie? It's a really fun way to add something to one of the cuddliest pieces of clothing in your closet. My sister recently asked me to embellish a new hooded sweatshirt for her, and since she doesn't ask for embroidery often (maybe ever?) I jumped at the chance. When I first mentioned this project on Instagram, someone said they'd love to see and hear about how to embroider a sweatshirt, so here we are!

Hand Embroidered Facts Sweatshirt

My sister wanted her hoodie to say "FACTS" because it's become a favorite thing for her to say, inspired by the TikTok personality Bentellect. We talked about where to stitch the word, and she settled on the sleeve so it isn't quite front and center, but it's easy to show off. A sleeve isn't the easiest place to stitch on a shirt of any kind, but I made it work and I'd do it again! In fact, I may replicate this for myself one day soon.

Ready to give this a try?

Hand Embroidered Facts Sweatshirt

You will need:

Sweatshirt/Hoodie
Embroidery Floss
Sharp Needle
Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy (or your favorite transfer method for working on dark/thick fabrics)

If you'd like to stitch a FACTS sweatshirt, you can also grab the pattern below...or stitch whatever you like!

DOWNLOAD THE FACTS PATTERN PDF

Hand Embroidered Facts Sweatshirt

Print the pattern on the Sticky Fabri-Solvy. I'd recommend my tip for saving on materials since this is a small design on a large page.

Peel off the backing and stick the pattern piece onto the sweatshirt. It can really help to get the placement right if someone is wearing the sweatshirt.

Hand Embroidered Facts Sweatshirt

Now you just embroider like you would anything else! Okay, that's not exactly true.

First, I find that it's better to stitch without an embroidery hoop for this. Normally, that's not what I would recommend. But it will prevent the fabric from stretching. It's also going to be tricky to get a hoop around the word in the sleeve. Not impossible, but tricky.

Second, because the sleeve isn't exactly easy to get your hands in and out of, stitching with the stabbing method isn't ideal even though I prefer it for embroidery. The sewing method means you can keep your dominant hand on the surface of the fabric the entire time. Use your non-dominant hand to hold the fabric and feel that the needle is going all the way through the thick fabric from underneath.

Finally, make sure you don't pull the stitches too tight. Let the Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy act as the stabilizer that it is. As long as it isn't pulling or puckering, you're good.

Hand Embroidered Facts Sweatshirt

After you finish the embroidery, soak it to remove the Fabri-Solvy. I tried very hard to only soak the sleeve, but guess what...the fabric is super absorbant and I had a very wet sweatshirt sitting on the counter! Be prepared for this.

Hand Embroidered Facts Sweatshirt
Hand Embroidered Facts Sweatshirt

After it dried, by sister was eager to start wearing it and she's been wearing it a ton! I keep checking it with every wash cycle and it's holding up so well. The stitches still look fantastic. And if you're curious, I used knots with longer tails for this. As best as I could, I stitched over and wove in the tails so there's extra security and nothing comes undone.

So what are you waiting for? Go add something fun to your favorite hoodie!