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5 days only // the creative home projects bundle

Creative Home Projects Bundle 2020

Every so often I join forces with the team at Ultimate Bundles (along with other makers) to help create a bundle of DIY products that are perfect for learning new techniques and trying patterns you've never seen before. Okay, so really I just send them one of my patterns to be part of the bundle and they do the rest. But seriously, this is filled with creative goodies!

Creative Home Projects Bundle 2020

First of all, if you're visiting my blog, you probably like patterns, projects, and printables. Like me, you may also love trying different kinds of crafting and DIY techniques. (I collect new craft methods like my brother collects baseball cards...I want them all!)

If you've never seen one of these bundles, prepare to be amazed. 

The Creative Home Projects Bundle is an excellent way to add to your DIY knowledge. It contains 64 resources ranging from embroidery and sewing to knitting and crochet to hand lettering and cutting machine projects to home improvement and kids crafts. There's even an eBook on shibori, which I've been wanting to try. 

All of these come together in one bundle at one low price and I promise it's for real.

Exploring Your World Stitching Clubs

You may have seen my Exploring Your World Stitching Clubs before and all of them are included in this bundle. When you buy these from my shop, they would normally cost $32 for the four mini quilt projects.

As crazy as it sounds, you get the entire bundle for less than the price of my one item in here. That's because everyone teams up to create a great deal and it really does help keep my little blog and shop going.

If this peek at all the products in this bundle is overwhelming, I have to agree with you. But I have a secret to share: you don't have to try and make use of everything. There's bound to be a few things that you don't need or want to try right away. But it only takes a few items that you love to make it worth the purchase.

That said, you can upgrade your bundle and get a project planner that helps you sort through all the projects, make plans and lists, and more. It's designed to use with the Creative Home Projects Bundle, but it's also a perpetual project calendar (for those perpetual projects we all have...ha!)

Creative Home Projects Bundle 2020

Okay, so I'm done selling this now. Because here's the bottom line. This whole pack of DIY eBooks, patterns, and courses is just $19.97. But only for 5 days. Don't miss it!

Countdown Timer

Last sales note...I promise! I really do love these bundles, but if you buy one and don't love it, it comes with a 30 day guarantee. You really can't beat that!

kid craft // paper building blocks

Make Simple Paper Blocks

Want to make a simple paper project with your kids today? Want it to be something they can play with as you work on other things? Grab some paper or card stock and tape and you're all set to make these building blocks!

These are as simple as cutting out rectangles (index cards would also work, saving you a step!), folding them, and then adding a bit of tape. I used a few sheets of card stock I had handy and basic tape. But you could use plain white card stock and let your little one decorate the pieces. You could also use washi tape so that you get a little fun decoration that way too.

Make Simple Paper Blocks

You will need:
Card Stock or Paper
Scissors or a Paper Cutter
Crayons or Markers (optional)
Tip: Paper is a lot easier to fold, but the card stock is sturdier.

Make Simple Paper Blocks

Cut the paper or cardstock into rectangles (I cut these sheets into four equal pieces).

Make Simple Paper Blocks

Fold each piece in half, then unfold it. Next, fold each end in to the middle. If you want to decorate them, it would be easier to do it at this point or even in the step before.

Make Simple Paper Blocks

Tape the pieces into a square tube, then stack them like blocks.

Make Simple Paper Blocks

To make this in a hurry, I made all the pieces the same size. But...you can make them different sizes to craft a whole set of paper blocks. You could also fold them into triangle-shaped tubes.

Make Simple Paper Blocks

The next step is to encourage your child to make some fun and interesting buildings with their DIY blocks! You can challenge them to see how tall they can make a stack or try to match a design that you tell them (or demonstrate!). Think of this as a STEM activity to explore and enjoy. Obviously these can get crunched, but that might just mean they can see what they can do to reinforce the card stock and make it ready to stack again!

review // printworks vanishing transfer paper

PrintWorks Vanishing Transfer Paper

As someone who embroiders a lot (like, a lot a lot), I'm always looking for new options for transferring embroidery patterns onto fabric and other materials. So when PrintWorks contacted me about their Vanishing Transfer Paper, I was happy to test it and share my thoughts. Especially when I learned that it's an iron transfer process.

For years I've looked into what it would take to have fancy iron-on patterns to sell with my designs, and it's always been a bigger project and a different direction than I wanted to take for my business. But being able to print my own at home? That sounded like something I wanted to try!

For full disclosure, PrintWorks sent me this pack of transfer paper in exchange for my review of the product. I'm going to show you what the process is like and what I like and don't about how this works...I promise these are all my own views!

Oh, and I'm using my Spoopy Time embroidery pattern, which you can find in my Etsy shop!

Trying PrintWorks Vanishing Transfer Paper

If you've ever used transfer patterns (like the ones from Sublime Stitching), or even a transfer pen, you know that you start with patterns that are reversed so they transfer correctly. You can print your reversed pattern directly on this Vanishing Transfer Pattern, but to save material I printed on regular paper then taped just the transfer paper I needed over the design. (See that whole process here.)

One thing that's important to know going into using these is that you need to let the pattern dry after it goes through your inkjet printer (oh, and that you CAN'T use a laser printer). It needs about 30 minutes before you try to transfer anything.

Trying PrintWorks Vanishing Transfer Paper

What you don't see on the page right away is that this transfers by way of a film of sorts. When I peeled away the tape I used when printing you can see that a little here. The "film" stuck to the tape and left this torn section.

This won't interfere with how the transfer works AT ALL, but it's something interesting to see and note!

Trying PrintWorks Vanishing Transfer Paper

Next, you trim your transfer. They recommend cutting about 1/8 of an inch from the printed pattern. This would be tricky for some areas of a pattern like mine because you really want to keep the sections together. I definitely didn't trim quites as close as I could have, but it didn't affect the outcome.

Trying PrintWorks Vanishing Transfer Paper

Now it's transfer time! Place the pattern face down on your fabric and press it. A lot. Hard. They give specific instructions for this, but you need to give it lots of even pressure.

Trying PrintWorks Vanishing Transfer Paper

When you peel away the paper, you should see a beautiful transfer like this! I've done a few transfers now, and they all came out great.

Trying PrintWorks Vanishing Transfer Paper

Okay, but remember that "film" I mentioned? It transfers to the fabric along with your pattern. It's hard to photograph, but if you look closely you can see the edge around the design. When you feel it, it's almost satin-like.

Trying PrintWorks Vanishing Transfer Paper
Trying PrintWorks Vanishing Transfer Paper

Similar to other products, you stitch through the coating and the pattern on your fabric. And let me tell you, stitching through this is amazing. There's no stickiness, and it's just like stitching through only the fabric. I LOVE the process of embroidering with this material.

Trying PrintWorks Vanishing Transfer Paper

When the embroidery is finished, you're still left with that coating or film on your fabric. I realized when looking at my photos that for my purposes, I could probably leave it on there and no one would know. But for real life use, you don't really want that there, and this is where this gets a little tricky.

Not tricky like, difficult, but more like, not ideal. To help break up the film, they recommend stretching the fabric and transfer. First, I'm working on linen so I can only stretch on the bias. I think these transfers were originally designed with t-shirts in mind. But also, stretching your embroidery can potentially distort your stitches, which I don't love.

Trying PrintWorks Vanishing Transfer Paper

To fully remove the transfer and the coating, you need to run it through the washing machine. I've tried more than once to do this by hand in a tub of warm to hot water, but it just isn't enough to remove it all. This is my biggest disappointment with the Vanishing Transfer Paper. Some embroidered items will be just fine going in the laundry, but this would be a deal breaker for delicate embroidery.

At any rate, I put this in a delicates bag, crossed my fingers, and tossed it in the wash. Then I let it air dry. It came out wrinkled, but fine. Again, this is chunky embroidery with basic stitches. Oh, I also did a test where I didn't stitch the entire pattern so I could see how it washed. Every bit of the pattern washed away, which, I have to say, impressed me.

Spoopy Time Embroidery Pattern

After a gentle pressing, I re-hooped my embroidery and you can't even tell that it went through the washing machine.

So what are my thoughts? Here are my pros and cons!

Pros: easy to print and iron without tracing, no stickiness so it's a dream to stitch, every bit of the transfer washes away
Cons: needs time to dry before you can transfer it, removing the transfer requires stretching and a washing machine

Overall, I'm planning on keeping this in my arsenal of pattern transfer methods. I'll use this for times when I don't want to trace a pattern or when the weather is humid (which makes Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy extra sticky), and when washing is an option. And I may even be less afraid of machine washing my embroidery!

pattern // kawaii crossing costume shop embroidery design

2020 October Costumier Embroidery Pattern

Want to stitch a little costume shop? I hope so, because this month's free Kawaii Crossing Costumier embroidery pattern is here!

This one has a fair number of tiny details, so when you're working on the items in the window and the little bell on the door, you'll definitely want to use only one or two strands. Yes, that tiny! At least for the small version. 

I also couldn't resist including those little bats. Again, tiny stitches here, but that's part of the charm of this.

But of course, if you want to go big...like, embroider on a candy bag big, you'll get lots of of those details looking amazing. And I really think a bag or even a banner/flag would be a fun thing for this year or the future. 

Now I had better get to work on the cross stitch version. Oh, and a little idea I'm cooking up for the holidays that come after Halloween...

calendar // october's kawaii crossing costumier wallpaper

Things may look a little different on Halloween this year, but October is still a month for spooky, spoopy things, candy, and costumes. Which is why the Kawaii Crossing costumier is open for business! The best part about shopping here is that when you take home your costume in one of their signature shop-shaped bags, you can use it for trick-or-treating!

Even though I'm an adult and I don't usually go to costume parties or even take kids trick-or-treating, I still love dressing up each year. Sometimes I plan ahead, while other times I put something together last minute. Last year I didn't wear my costume ON Halloween, but I was at a just-for-fun costume party and then I wore it again for a trip to Disney World. Can you guess who I was?

Disneybounding as a Cinderella Mouse

If you guessed one of the sewing mice from Cinderella, you're right! This is the Disneybounding version where you are pretty much wearing regular clothes that are inspired by a character. It was a lot of fun and one or two people even stopped and asked if I was one of the mice, which made me so happy!

Enough with costumes for now. How about some new calendar wallpapers?

Now, again, 2020 may not be the year for handing out lots of candy, but it might be the perfect year to stay home and work on a handmade candy basket.

EPP Halloween Candy Basket

I designed this five years ago, and still love it!

pattern // wash your hands

Wash Your Hands Pattern

Did you wash your hands? We say this so many times a day at my house that I made an embroidery pattern reminder and I'm sharing it with you! 

Washing your hands well is always a good idea, which is why I've wanted to make a pattern like this for ages. I kept putting it off because I thought it should be part of a set of other household reminders. But it never happened...until now.

On Instagram, I shared some illustrations with health and safety reminders: wear a mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands. They are all ways that we care for each other during a pandemic, but handwashing is sooooo good at keeping all kinds of illness down. (My mom used to care for a little boy who always had a runny nose...until he spent his days at our house and washing hands was priority...that runny nose cleared right up!)

Anyway, someone mentioned that they'd like an embroidery pattern of the design, and obviously I had wanted to do that. So now here it is as a free stitchable reminder for you!

Since this has text in it, I decided it was about time that I started including a reversed version in these patterns too, in case you want to use a transfer pen. So that's in there! No color recommendations so you can customize this to your decor.

But then someone else mentioned that a cross-stitch version would be amazing and who am I to argue with that? Health and safety can be stitched in lots of ways!
 Wash Your Hands Pattern

So here we are with the cross-stitch chart for this. It's a little under 50x60 squares, with lots of solid areas for fast and easy stitching. I needed to use colors in this one, so I set it up to match my original illustration.
As you can see, I haven't stitched either one yet, but the embroidered banner is happening soon. I'm going to do mine all in a dark medium gray, so similar to what's on the mocked-up sample. That way it works near whichever sink my mom wants to hang it near!

Stitch one of these up for your bathroom, your kitchen, or all of the above! It would even be a fun gift to give a friend, along with some fancy soap. (I've recently become addicted to the Castelbel Vanilla Blackberry soap someone gave me!)

Do you have a favorite soap or hand sanitizer?

pattern // kawaii crossing yarn shop cross stitch

Kawaii Crossing Yarn Shop Cross Stitch

Who's ready to visit their local yarn shop? Even better, who's ready to cross stitch the cutest LYS ever? It's time to pull out your growing Kawaii Crossing streets and add this new pattern to the third row. 

This one was a lot of fun to make and stitch, and I especially love the stack of colorful yarn in the front window. 

Kawaii Crossing Yarn Shop Cross Stitch

And here's where I am with mine. I didn't quite catch up on last month's pattern yet, so the town's stationer isn't there yet. Well, I've added some stitches there since I took this photo, but it's nowhere near done. Maybe by the next time you see this!

Kawaii Crossing Yarn Shop Cross Stitch

Kawaii Crossing Yarn Shop Cross Stitch

I just had to do a side-view close up on this one, and show off my needle minder in the process. This enamel hexagon from Cloud Craft has been my go-to for the whole Kawaii Crossing cross stitch project. 

As always, you can download the complete pattern so far, or just the yarn shop for easier printing.  

How is your town coming along? I hope it's looking lovely! Oh, and I'm excited that I may eventually (but like, soon eventually) have some companion house patterns. They won't go in this same design, but they could hang nearby!

One last thing...

Sharing is caring! Basically, I love sharing my work with the world...it's one way I can show I care. And when you are able to share as well, it helps in big and small ways. Please know that I am so grateful every time you pin one of my blog posts to Pinterest, like, share or save an Instagram post, buy a pattern on Etsy, or send me a virtual coffee. You're all amazing!

book review // give yourself margin

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

Do you often feel like your life has everything squeezed in and you just manage? I do. This is why I was very excited to hear about Stacie Bloomfield's new book, Give Yourself Margin, and happily accepted the request to write a review.  (Also, if you don't know, Stacie is the creator of Gingiber.)

I think most of us at least have areas of life in which we push ourselves to the limit. Even during a year when a pandemic forces us to slow down or cancel a lot of things, we still have full inboxes, new ways to learn and work, pressures to do the things we couldn't before, and oh the Zoom calls! 

Most of the time it's a fine balance for me, but I just meet my deadlines and I'm regularly on the edge of a meltdown. If I'm being honest, I have far too many days where I literally run through the house between my iron, my photo area, my computer, and so on. It's a terrible way to live and I'm taking steps to fix it. Give Yourself Margin is a helpful tool, even just to pause and reflect.

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

The title of the book comes from the idea of fabric margin and leaving enough seam allowance for possible mistakes or simply preventing your fabric from fraying. Feel familiar in life? Anyway, crafts and creativity are at home in this book (after all, the subtitle is "a guide to rediscovering and reconnecting with your creative self").

You'll see it in the beautiful artwork, like this double-page spread. Which, by the way, is just one of the many inspiring and thoughtful pages.

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

Has "NO" ever looked more beautiful? Part of me wants to tear this out of the book and frame it. Because I don't say it often enough. 

As Stacie says elsewhere in this book, I tend to connect my value with my productivity. I follow Jesus, so I ultimately should be finding all my value in who I am because of Him. But day-to-day, I forget, which leads to the wrong yeses sometimes. This is a good reminder.

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

In addition to the beautiful images and encouraging text, there are also pages that create a way for you to engage. There are spaces to set goals, write lists, or grab a journal. It's an active book in that way, so you can put these ideas to use right away.

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 
Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

If you're familiar with Stacie's art, you'll know that she often includes tasteful nudes in her work. This is one example from the book. The full page reads "everything behind you is why you are here" and I'm not gonna lie...the cheeky play on words with this illustration makes me smile. 

Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 
Give Yourself Margin by Stacie Bloomfield 

So here's the deal. Give Yourself Margin is a beautiful book that I think we all need. It's good for flipping through for a quick pick-me-up, but it's also the kind of thing you can process and use as a workbook. 

Also, this is a secular book (with maybe a touch of spirituality), but as a person of the Christian faith, I could read and view this through my own worldview and it connected. Now I just need to keep working on adding more margin in my life!

Disclosure: I was not paid to write this review, but the publisher did send me my copy for free. I've loved Stacie Bloomfield and her Gingiber line for ages and I'm happy to support this book launch!

mini tray knitting pattern

Mini Tray Knitting Pattern

Need a spot to stow your small stitching tools or maybe a cup of coffee? Knit this mini tray with my free knitting pattern!

This month, my free calendar (and accompanying stitching patterns) features yarn shop that looks like a green ball of yarn and I just couldn't resist the opportunity to create a knitting pattern to go with it. Now, if you're a regular visitor to Wild Olive, you might notice that I don't usually post knitting patterns here. I do knit, but I've only ever shared a few patterns on other sites. This pattern may seem out of place. But it was too perfect to connect it to my other things this month. 

The prerequisites for whatever I would make were that it needed to be a small and simple project and it needed to be green to match the yarn shop. Oh, and ideally I would use yarn in my stash.

Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Mini Tray Knitting Pattern 

Inspiration hit in the form of One Dog Woof's crocheted Jasmine Star Valet Tray. ChiWei's design is beautiful and I had never thought of using a yarn craft to make a little tray like this. Now, I've sewn trays, but this was the perfect kind of small project like I was looking for. 

So I came up with a knit version that's not quite as fancy, but it's fun and easy to knit. If you have ever knit anything, you may recognize this as being similar to a classic dishcloth pattern. My grandma probably made hundreds of them and I like the connection to her through this. So yes, I riffed off of that too.  

Remember, the goal was a knitting pattern that was small and simple. I think I accomplished that and here we are. I hope you enjoy making a knit mini tray (or a bunch!) as much as I have.

Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Yarn and Knitting Needles for Mini Tray Pattern

You will need:

Worsted weight cotton yarn, about 45 yards- I used Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran
Size US 7/4.5mm knitting needles
Large tapestry needle

Note: gauge isn't particularly important for this, but if you tend to knit loosely, you may want to go down a needle size or two.

The full instructions are below, but you can also download the PDF version (which is simplified and includes basic abbreviations, but not the full step-by-step photo tutorial) to keep it handy.

Starting to Knit the Mini Tray

Cast on 4 stitches. I used the long-tail cast-on method for mine.

Knit the first two rows. For each of these, knit 2, knit in front and back of the next stitch to increase, then knit to the end of the row. You should have six stitches now.

Mini Tray Knit to Halfway

Now it's time for the main increasing rows. In the PDF pattern, this is row three and you'll repeat the same thing 30 times.

Knit 3, yarn over (to increase and add that little space near the edge), and then knit to the end of the row.

Repeat this (row 3) until you have 36 stitches.

Decreasing Stitches for the Mini Tray

Next, you'll knit the decreasing rows. In the PDF version, this is row 4.

Knit 2, knit 2 together (to decrease), yarn over, knit 2 together (this counteracts the yarn over increase), and knit to the end of the row.

Repeat this (row 4) until you have 7 stitches. Mini Tray Knitting Flat

To finish, you need to decrease a little more with what is row 5 in the PDF.

Knit 2, knit 2 together, and then knit to the end of the row.

Repeat this (row 5) until you have 4 stitches. Bind off in knit.

Weaving Yarn to Tack the Tray Corners

For the first two corners, use the yarn tails from starting and ending your knitting. Thread the tapestry needle and weave it through the edge until it's about 3/4" from the corner point.

Pinch and Stitch the Tray Corners

Pinch the corner together and stitch through the two layers to sew them together. Make several stitches to secure it.

Weave the Yarn To End Off

Weave the yarn through the stitching and then finish weaving the yarn end. Repeat this with the second yarn end that's already attached.

Weave Yarn to Tack the Remaining Corners

For the remaining two corners, cut a piece of yarn and attach it to the tray near an unstitched corner, then follow the same steps above to make the pinched corners.

Green Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Mini Tray Knitting Pattern

Now your mini tray is ready to use! I like using them as a place to hold my small stitching items while I work on a project, or even so they are handing to find on a shelf.

Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Mini Tray Knitting Pattern

You can also use these little trays as a place to keep a bar of soap near your sink (they're machine washable!) or as a coaster. If you know me, you'll know that I can work coffee into just about anything I'm working on.

Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Mini Tray Knitting Pattern
Mini Tray Knitting Pattern

I especially love that these are fast and easy to make, which means you can make a bunch for yourself or as a gift. AND they don't use a ton of yarn, so it's ideal for when you have a partial skein leftover!