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calendar // pia the pig wallpaper

It's a new month and a new Kawaii Crossing resident downloadable wallpaper! Meet Pia the Pig. Pia is a fashion designer and she's always creating amazing things to wear, from grand ensembles to fun everyday looks. If you've seen someone from town walking around looking fabulous, Pia was probably involved.

Now, I can't say for sure about Pia, but I can say that my sister and I both LOVE watching Project Runway (and Making the Cut). There's something about the mix of creativity, stress, beautiful clothing, personalities, and possible dissaster that makes these shows so exciting to watch. We confess to rolling our eyes and yelling "what are they thinking?!?" at the screen.

I think Pia would be one of the good designers though.

But now, let's get to these wallpapers! Download what you need for your computer, phone, or tablet below.

October snuck up on me, but I'm ready to enjoy this month and make some fun things...though I probably won't be designing any clothes any time soon!

project // home heart hoop art

Home Heart Hoop Art

Stitch a sweet and simple housewarming gift with this free pattern and tutorial! Combining a bit of embroidery with some felt craft, it forms a heart of flowers with the word HOME in the middle.

I first started imagining this project a year ago, anticipating a gift for some folks making a big move to a new home. My original gifting plan didn't happen and true to form, I didn't even start making the gift. I wait until I absolutely need to make a thing. Which happened when my neighbor announced that they were moving and the date was faster than I expected.

Now, I've known this neighbor literally my entire life. She came over when I came home from the hospital at just a few days old. I was in her wedding, I grew up friends with her sons, and she called me the daughter she never had. Having her move across the country has been a real loss. Obviously I wanted to make something special for her.

And this hoop idea came to mind again.

Home Heart Hoop Art

To make this hoop, you start with a little stitching and then add a whole bunch of tiny flowers. And to hold those on, each one has just a single french knot.

Ready to give this a go? Here's what you need:

7-inch embroidery hoop
Linen or cotton backing fabric
Wool felt
Embroidery floss
Freezer Paper
Vanishing ink marker
Embroidery Needle



First, cut out a bunch of tiny felt flower shapes in several colors. I didn't how many I used (but you could from the photoso!), and ended up with some extras that I'll use for another project. When cutting out the little flowers, I used the freezer paper method. It's so helpful!

Home Heart Hoop Art

Trace the heart and home part of the pattern onto your backing fabric. It's best to use a marking pen that disappears over time and without water. This way you won't have to soak your finished fiber art.

Home Heart Hoop Art

Embroider the word HOME with three strands of embroidery floss and chain stitch. Or stitch it however you like!

Home Heart Hoop Art

Finally, start arranging and tacking down the flowers around the heart outline. You can stack the flower shapes and mix up the sizes and colors. To hold them down, I just stitched one or three French knots in the centers. Again, I used a mix of colors that all matched, but also contrasted with the felt flowers.

Home Heart Hoop Art

I just love how the colors and shapes all layer! Also, I carried the thread behind the fabric a bit so I wasn't starting a new thread each time, but I also worked in sections. There's no right or wrong way to do this, but I would recommend not working back and forth across the heart. Try to work along the edge of the shape.

Home Heart Hoop Art

I finished the back of this in the simplest way possible: I trimmed the fabric down a bit, gathered the edge in, and...that's it! Oh, and of course I painted the hoop so it's more frame-like.

Home Heart Hoop Art

My hope is that this will be a bright spot in my neighbor's new home, as well as a reminder of the old.

pattern // sam the sloth embroidery

Sam the Sloth Embroidery Pattern

I always love when crafts cross, so this embroidery pattern that features knitting is definitely my style! It also helps that there's a sloth and I am delighted by sloths.

For this month's free pattern, it has Sam the sloth, a ball of yarn, and some knitting needles. Now, If you'd prefer to make Sam a crocheter, you could probably figure out how to swap out those needles for a simple crochet hook. Right? Right.

Sam the sloth is one of Kawaii Crossing's most recognized knitters, but I'm noticing something. Since the beginning of September, every time I see Sam there is just a ball of yarn nearby. Nothing on the needles yet! I'm starting to wonder if that's really how sloth Sam is at getting project going, or if part of the fun is just buying the yarn and making it into a pretty, hand-wound ball that's ready for knitting (or crochet!).

No matter. As they say, buying supplies and using them are two separate hobbies.

If you have bought some embroidery supplies AND want to use them, how about stitching Sam?

Have you stitched any or all of the Kawaii Crossing residents? Tag me (@molliejohanson) or add the #KawaiiCrossing hashtag if you share photos on Instagram!

printable // handmade with... tags

Printable Handmade Content Tags

The next time you give a handmade gift, add one of these printable "handmade with..." tags! There are lots of ways and reasons to provide some information about your project, and the type of thing you're making may determine some of that for you. But no matter what those things are, why not have a little fun with it?

These free PDF tags came about from a conversation about providing care instructions for the things you make. For example, if you generously knit a sweater for a friend, they need to know what it's made of and any special laundry guidelines. Not knowing this could result in disaster. Caring for embroidery or cross stitch may not be as vital, but it may be good to share tips for keeping it clean or what to do if the fabric loosens in the hoop.

This conversation (which happened in a Patreon-exclusive episode of The Very Serious Crafts Podcast) led to the idea of making something with love, but also how sometimes some drama gets in there. You know what I'm talking about, right?

Printable Handmade Content Tags

My current project is using metallic thread and that always adds some drama. I'm working with Kreinik braided embroidery thread, which is easier than DMC brand, but it's still trickier than cotton floss. Do I need to tell anyone that the fiber content includes metallic thread? No. But it's funny to say that it includes drama!

And metallic thread is just one example of a time that this might be fun to include! Different types of materials, complex patterns, or some tragic accident (think spills, color bleeding, or actual bleeding!) all may call for a funny tag.

Of course, people will likely appreciate when they receive something that was only made with cotton (or another material) and love. That's really what this should all be about. But if you're making a gift for another crafter, they'll probably also be impressed when there was no drama in the making! Oh, and while these printables are focused more on the content of the project, but you can also use the back of the tag to write down any special instructions for care.

Inside the hoop labeling...

To be perfectly honest, I always forget to label my work, but I'm trying to be better about it. At least when I'm giving something away. Now that I have this printable, I may be more consistent. But I did start using a simple trick to sign my embroidery hoops in some way.

Because I often trim and gather the fabric on the back of a hoop, I've started signing and dating in the inside of the embroidery hoop. It's not as obvious as if I signed the outside of the hoop (something I've tried but feel funny about), but it's still somewhat visible. And it's there for posterity.

Now if I add a printed tag, it could get tucked into the back as well!

Printable Handmade Content Tags

How do you like to label or tag your projects?

pattern // sam the sloth cross stitch

Sam The Sloth Cross Stitch Chart

Do you feel up for some slow stitching? But maybe a project that won't take a super long time? May I suggest cross stitching Sam the Sloth? Sam loves knitting, which means you also get to stitch a happy ball of yarn!

Once again, I am behind on my Kawaii Crossing residents stitching, because, well, I'm stitching slower than Sam knits right now. But I'm really looking forward to working on this one...especially that yarn ball! Maybe I'll work on Sam and some real knitting when I squeeze in a little weekend trip soon. Somehow I rarely slow down long enough for personal projects unless I get VERY intentional about it.

But back to this cross stitch pattern!

This is the 9th pattern in my Kawaii Crossing residents series, and if you haven't grabbed the rest just yet, you can find them by clicking this link. There are also embroidery pattern versions for each one. AND, AND, AND...while they are each designed so you can stitch them on their own, if you want to make them into a sampler of sorts, you can get a border that they fit into by supporting me on Ko-Fi.

calendar // sam the sloth wallpaper

In the hopes that September passes a little slower than August, this month's Kawaii Crossing calendar features Sam the Sloth! If you haven't already guessed, Sam likes knitting, but Sam is also sleepy and slow and the knitting doesn't happen quickly. Sam and I are very much the same in this way.

One difference, however, is that Sam liks things so slow that Sam winds the yarn by hand...er...paw? I prefer using a winder and swift, but obviously, Sam isn't doing anything that includes the word "swift" (and that includes listening to Taylor...another thing Sam and I have in common).

Speaking of slow knitting, I don't think I've done any knitting in a year! That's hard to believe, but it's what happens when you write a book and maintain all the other things that you are maintaining. But I did finally wear my most recent finished knitting project and that felt like an accomplishment in itself.

And now before I go on and on, How about some wallpapers? Download what you need for your computer, phone, or tablet below!

Speaking of slow things like sloths and stitching, if you'd like to pause and relax for a little while, you can watch me cross stitch a sloth on YouTube!

pattern // meg the monkey embroidery

Meg the Monkey Embroidery Pattern

It's time for another free embroidery pattern from Kawaii Crossing!

The embroidered Kawaii Crossing residents are very excited to welcome Meg the Monkey! And it's not just because of the ice cream and sprinkles! Meg is just really popular, even if she's a little shy. While others gather around her gourmet iced cream cart to chat and get the latest "scoop" from each other, Meg likes quietly scooping tasty treats for her friends.

Whether you like getting in the middle of the conversation or working in the shadows, you can do either as you stitch this pattern!

Meg is one of the simplest of the animals so far, so you can stitch her quickly, saving you time for all the French knot and straight stitch sprinkles. I might also also point out that you could definitely add seed beads in place of the French knots. I say that because I envisioned these as the fancy sprinkles with the different shapes in them. They're so magical!

Now, how about that pattern?

Meg is perfectly fine stitched on her own, but she's even better when she's with her friends. And they're all a whole lot better when stitched in their coordinating frame as a giant piece of embroidery! You can get the border pattern with a Ko-Fi donation. If you're looking for all the rest of the Kawaii Crossing resident patterns (both embroidery and cross stitch), you can find them here.

pattern // meg the monkey cross stitch

Meg The Monkey Cross Stitch Chart

It's time to cross stitch Meg the Monkey! Except, I'm really the most excited about stitching the sprinkles in this pattern. Maybe the ice cream too, but mostly sprinkles.

This is almost funny, because I love the idea of sprinkles more than actually eating them. And I also know that the sprinkle part of the pattern will not result in the neat and tidy back that I usually prefer. Stitching all over the place like this is a little harder than just stitching a block of stitches. But it's so cute that I think it's worth it!

Yesterday I pulled out my actual Kawaii Crossing residents project to see where I last left off. And it was back in April! But with some details left off from the previous months and some of the sparkle borders dividing the sections too. Even though I have a bunch to stitch and catch up, I'm going to start on those sprinkles today.

If you haven't seen or downloaded all of these patterns, there is one for each month in 2022 and you can find them by clicking this link. The border I mentioned is also available to those who support me on Ko-Fi.

Now I'm gonna go plan my next batch of homemade ice cream and stitch some sprinkles!

calendar // meg the monkey wallpaper

It's August! It's time for new Kawaii Crossing Wallpaper!

This month, we're welcoming Meg the Monkey to the crew. Meg happens to really enjoy ice cream. So much so that she runs the local gourmet ice cream cart. Everyday she has different flavors to offer with all kinds of toppings, but sprinkles are her favorite. Again, we're not just talking your basic jimmies. These are the fancy kind that look like magic on a dessert.

Speaking of ice cream, I absolutely love making my own varieties of ice cream. They are all always no-churn ice cream, which is so easy and so delicious. There are tons of recipes out there for no-churn ice cream, but I've also had a lot of fun mixing in things like brownie bit and toasted coconut, crushed malted milk balls, and maraschino cherries with almond extract. Highly recommended!

But now, let's get to these wallpapers. Grab the size you need for your screen below!

Before I go, yes, I know that as I post this it's August 2. And that in July I was also posting the wallpaper late. I'm not going to let this actually be a trend. But I am going to boldly go into August with few expectations on myself. It's okay for you to do the same.

In fact, back in the heyday of blogging, there was a thing that many bloggers did called The August Break. This was back in the post on your blog almost every day era, when social media was not the place for primary content. During The August Break folks would either post nothing or they would post minimal things like photos with a brief caption (like old-school Instagram!). I love this idea as much now as I did then. And while I'm not entirely pressing pause this month, I'm trying to mentally give myself room to breathe.

And maybe enjoy a scoop of ice cream from Meg!

project // sew a softie magic rabbit

Magic Rabbit Softie

Ta-da! Become a magician with a needle and thread when you make this adorable felt rabbit and magic hat. But this isn't just about sewing a hat with a cute bunny. Nope! This is a real magic trick that you can use to entertain your famiy and friends.

I created this little project for this year's edition of Sew a Softie. If you've never heard of this before, Sew a Softie is a global initiative to inspire kids and grown-ups to sew together. The best way to see all of the free projects is by following along on Instagram, but there will be a full round-up coming soon to their site. This year's theme is Magic, and I couldn't be more excited. You see, my dad is an actual magician.

We're talking, has done many a birthday party, special event, and even big conventions. I've often been asked if I was ever his assistant and the answer is yes! When I was a kid I had a set of matching tails with a bow tie and everything so I could go and help him. What can I say? We're an unusual family.

Magic can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but a magic rabbit and an actual magic trick is where my head went with this theme. So here we are! If you're ready to pull a rabbit out of a hat that you made yourself, let's get started!

Magic Rabbit Softie

You will need:

Felt (I used white, dark gray, and red)
Acrylic Paint (I used black and pink)
Tiny Paintbrush or Toothpick
Sewing Clips or Pins
Embroidery Floss (I used black)
Embroidery Needle

Magic Rabbit Softie PDF Template

Magic Rabbit Softie

Use the templates to cut out one rabbit, one hat band, and three hats.

I used more classic magic colors, but you can use whatever you like! A dark color for the hat and a light color for the rabbit are a good idea because it will make it more obvious that the hat is "empty" when you perform the trick.

Want an easy way to cut felt pieces? Check out my video on using freezer paper!

Magic Rabbit Softie

Paint the face on the rabbit. You can use the template as a guide or create your own face design! Let the paint dry as you make the hat.

Painting on felt is a little unconventional, but as long as you carefully dab the paint on, it works great! If you've never done this before, practice on a scrap of felt first.

Magic Rabbit Softie

Place the hat band on one of the hat pieces. The ends are slanted, so make sure that it fits correctly. Use sewing clips or pins to hold it in place while you sew it.

Stitch the hat band with running stitch and three strands of embroidery floss. You don't need to stitch the ends because those will get stitched in the next step.

Magic Rabbit Softie

Layer the three hat pieces together and clip or pin the layers together. Make sure that the hat brim all lines up so the middle layer doesnt' stick out.

Magic Rabbit Softie

Sew around the hat with running stitch and three strands of embroidery floss. Stitch the extending ends of the brim, the sides and the bottom. Keep the top open so you can reach into the hat!

Magic Rabbit Softie

Now that you have your magic rabbit and hat, it's time to get ready to perform your magic trick!

Magic Rabbit Softie

The hat has two sections. The front section has the hat band, and that will stay empty. Before you start your magic trick, without anyone around, tuck the rabbit into the back section.

It helps to push the middle of the rabbit down into the back section with three or four fingers.

Magic Rabbit Softie

The rabbit should be snug down inside without the ears sticking out. But they should also be easy to grab!

Magic Rabbit Softie

The hat should look flat like there's nothing in there. Now it's ready to perform the trick!

Magic Rabbit Softie

Hold the hat with your hand inside the front section of the hat. Tilt it toward your audience to show that it's empty. By holding your fingers over the middle layer of hat, it will be hidden.

Close the top of the hat and start the magic! Some people like a magic wand and a magic word like Abracadabra, but my dad always wiggles his fingers and asks the audience for a magic word. Sometimes he uses magic words like "Happy Birthday!" or "Razzle McDazzle!" You can have a lot of fun with this part!

Magic Rabbit Softie

Now, reach into the back section of the hat and grab the ears. Slowly pull out the rabbit.

Magic Rabbit Softie

Because it's taller than the hat, this part is really impressive!

Magic Rabbit Softie

Your family and friends will be amazed and amused by your new magic and sewing skills!

The rabbit is a single layer of felt so that the magic trick works. Having it flat in a flat hat means you can't really tell that it's in there. If you want this to be a toy instead of a trick, try this:

Cut out two bunny pieces and sew them together with some stuffing inside. For this, you only need to cut two hat pieces so it's a pocket for the bunny instead of a secret compartment. It's still cute even without the magic!

Magic Rabbit Softie

Want to see me perform this little trick? I have a video on Instagram so you can see it in action!