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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)
Scissors
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!

giveaway // cross stitch celebrations: bundle of joy! grand prize

Bundle of Joy! Book and Supplies

All this week, there have been peeks and projects to go along with Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy!, and the fun is ending up today! To go out with a celebration, I have a special prize pack for one winner.

Because this book focuses a lot on making custom cross stitch projects, there's a large section on how to do that. Changing the colors in a pattern is my favorite way to make simple changes and to make that easier, the patterns all work with color families. They are groups of three intensities of the same color. Instead of trying to swap in lots of different threads, you only need to find a light, medium, and dark version for each color you want to change.

Each pattern has limited colors, and the whole book has a palette of colors that, of course, I'm a big fan of. And I want to share those colors with the giveaway winner!

Additionally, one of the sections in Bundle of Joy! has ideas for gifts, both small items to make with the patterns as well as ways to customize the wrapping. With that in mind, I want to customize a little gift for one of you, and wrap it all up pretty. Along with a pack of DMC embroidery floss, and some Aida and needles to get you stitching, you'll also receive an autographed copy of the book (and maybe a surprise or two!).

Before I get to the rest of the giveaway details, I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who was part of the virtual tour this week! These amazing people stitched up some adorable things and showed how you can use the patterns in lots of way. Click through the list below to be inspired!

Now, the rules of the giveaway are simple: enter via the Rafflecopter form and leave a comment (I'd love to hear what you'd like to stitch from the book!). Rafflecopter makes it easier for me to contact you without you needing to put your contact info in a public comment. I'll mail your prize out to you, so if you win, I'll be in touch!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 11
Mollie Johanson - Tour Start + Tutorial

July 12
Clare Albans - Hello Hooray

July 13
Aimee Ray - Little Dear Tracks

July 14
Bev McCullough - Flamingo Toes
and
Camille Ipsen - Not So Modern Millie

July 15
Jess Swaim - Stitch X to Continue

July 16
Danielle Webb - Sprinkles of Zeal
and
Mollie Johanson (you're here!)

pattern // pam the panda embroidery

Pam the Panda Embroidery Pattern

If you've ever wanted to embroider a panda that is also an artist, your time has come. Because that's exactly what this month's free embroidery pattern is all about!

Pam the Panda is Kawaii Crossing's resident artist and that means she uses all the colors. And I'm going to warn you, since she uses all the colors, this pattern uses a lot more colors than these little designs typically do. It's just small amounts, so you could swap in something else if it would simplify things, but you GOTTA have that rainbow of paint blobs!

Speaking of paint blobs, they are shown on the pattern as an outline, but for real impact here, I'd recommend stitching them with satin stitch. Maybe even do the same for Pam's nose.



As I sit here typing this, realizing that it's now the seventh pattern of the year, I'm thinking about how few of these I've stitched. But I'm not going to go dig out my hoop and check. Instead I'm going to dream of embroidering these little friends starting next month. Or in September. Maybe by the end of the year?

I'm half serious and half joking, and it's really all to say that it's okay to have these sorts of projects that you let sit for awhile. It's okay to aspirationally craft from time to time. Craft in a way that gives you joy!

project // cross stitch door hanger + bundle of joy virtual tour

Bundle of Joy Door Hanger

Last week my bundle of yoy arrived, and by that I mean my new book Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy! This week some wonderful folks are joining me for a virtual tour with plenty of giveaway opportunities! We can think of it as a baby shower for my book, where you get the gifts.

To get things started, I have a giveaway over on Instagram and a little tutorial for this Bundle of Joy door hanger. This sweet and simple project makes an appearance in the gifts section, which shows ideas but not full tutorials. But for you...the whole step by step! The stitching on this uses two of the alphabets in the book, as well as one of the mini motifs, but you can use this tutorial with any small cross stitch design.

Ready to make a cute little cross stitch hanging ornament?

You will need:
Aida Cloth
Embroidery Floss
Felt
Ribbon
Basic cross stitch tools
Pins

Bundle of Joy Door Hanger

Create a design with the pattern elements in the book and cross stitch them onto aida fabric.

Bundle of Joy Door Hanger

Trim the aida down so there are nine squares on each side around the stitching. Cut two pieces of felt so each side is one inch larger than the aida.

Bundle of Joy Door Hanger

Pin the aida to the center of one piece of felt. Stitch around the aida with running stitch, keeping the stitches five squares away from the cross stitch.

Bundle of Joy Door Hanger

Remove one row of threads from each side of the aida. This makes the raw edge have a nicer finish!

Bundle of Joy Door Hanger

Cut a piece of ribbon that's about 8 inches long. Pin the two pieces of felt together with the cross stitch on the inside. Place the two ends of the ribbon between the layers of felt so the ends are aligned with the top edge.

Bundle of Joy Door Hanger

Sew around the sides about 1/4" from the edge. Leave an opening at the bottom and be sure to sew across the ribbon ends.

Bundle of Joy Door Hanger

Turn the door hanger right side out and poke the corners into shape. Fold the edges of the opening in and then stitch the opening closed with ladder stitch.

I decided to keep mine flat, but you could add a bit of stuffing in your door hanger so it looks like a little pillow!

Bundle Of Joy Door Hanger
Bundle of Joy Door Hanger

Now for the virtual tour part...Each day this week you can visit other folks in the Bundle of Joy tour. Each stop has cute things and giveaways, which means lots of opportunities to win a copy of Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy! I can't wait for you to be part of this celebration!

July 11
Mollie Johanson (You're here!)

July 12
Clare Albans - Hello Hooray

July 13
Aimee Ray - Little Dear Tracks

July 14
Bev McCullough - Flamingo Toes
and
Camille Ipsen - Not So Modern Millie

July 15
Jess Swaim - Stitch X to Continue

July 16
Danielle Webb - Sprinkles of Zeal
and
Mollie Johanson (Here again for a grand prize giveaway!)

pattern // pam the panda + cam the corgi cross stitch

PamThePandaCrossStitch

Pam the Panda, Kawaii Crossing's resident artist, is ready for you to cross stitch! And I know that folks were looking for Cam the Corgi last month, but I fell behind. So Cam is here too!

I've had a whirlwind of action behind the scenes over here. In fact, my sister and I have both been busy stitching secret things and that's relevant because Pam the Panda is inspired by my sister! She is an artist (I refer to her room as a gallery) and she also LOVES pandas. I couldn't help but make a Kawaii Crossing friend for her!

CamTheCorgiCrossStitch

And here's Cam! We're going to pretend that he was rehearsing his awoooo's for you, instead of this lateness being about me not making the pattern sooner. If you're new to the Kawaii Crossing residents series, these are the 6th and 7th patterns. You can find them all (as well as the embroidery versions) by clicking this link. There's also a border you can stitch make it a large sampler, and it's yours with a one-time or ongoing donation to my Ko-Fi fund.



cross stitch celebrations // bundle of joy!

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy!

Today I welcomed a new book to the family! Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy! is my newest stitching book and my first cross stitch book. It's a way to stitch, celebrate, and welcome new babies into the world, and it's bringing me so much joy to know that this book is finally here.

One year ago today (it's true...I checked!) I got my first peek at what this book would be. It started with an idea that wasn't mine but the start of something fun. The final product is a little different than what was in that original idea because that's how these things happen. And I love it.

The main idea for Bundle of Joy! is a book that helps you create birth announcements. Like this one:

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy!

Birth (or adoption) announcements usually have the baby's name, birthdate, their size, etc. They are framed and treasured, often having a special place in the nursery. The book shows you several ways to design and frame a piece like this, although this version happens to be my favorite!

The other main element of this mix-and-match pattern book is, well, the mix-and-match part. Making a custom cross stitch piece for a new baby requires making it your own. So not only does it include patterns elements, but it also helps guide you through the process of putting everything together. Yes, you really can design your own cross stitch project!

There are four main pattern components to work with: baby animals, borders, alphabets, and mini motifs. The bunnies you see above are a customized version of one of the animal patterns, and of course all of the text is ready for whatever information you want to include.

Now, if the wrapped canvas announcement you see above is my favorite project, let me show you my favorite individual elements:

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy!

While I love small furry creatures (I do own two guinea pigs and a kitty!), the baby dinosaur is by far my favorite animal pattern in Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy! What's not to love about this? I especially like that you can make your dinosaur any color you like.

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy!

This gingham border, inspired by baby quilts, took me the longest to stitch and it was so worth it. In fact, I'd happily stitch it all over again in every color of the rainbow. In fact, cross stitching gingham could become my next hobby. Yes, it's specific, but it's really that wonderful.

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy!

Cross stitching birth announcements may be the primary focus of Bundle of Joy!, but you can use the charts in different ways and to make different things, like small gifts or even tags. There are ideas for gifts towards the back, and this one is an example of that. Since Wild Olive is my blog, this Olivia tag was a nod to that!

Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy!

Finally, since I think things are better with faces, a few of the mini motifs in the book are very signature Mollie. And the little tri-color rainbow is my favorite (with the heart as a close second!). What's not to love about a happy little rainbow? By the way, these are helpful as spacers in larger projects, or for making cute tiny things too!

Now, going back to designing your own project and customizing the patterns. The easiest way to do that is on real paper with a pencil (and a felt-tip pen!), and in the book there's a grid you can use. To make it even easier, I have a printable PDF version here for you to use! It's exactly the same size as what is on the last page. No need to scan it or sketch right in your copy!



I am so excited that Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy! is here, and so thankful to all who have pre-ordered their copy. I'm especially thankful to the folks who helped make it all happen: My dear friend Haley, Kate McKean, Cassandra and the entire team at Walter Foster Quarto Creates, my patient family, and my sister Grace who stitched so many samples with me and lent her hands to the the cross stitch basics section.

Happy Stitching!

PS: Want to see a quick flip through? Watch my Instagram Reel!

calendar // pam the panda wallpaper



Better late than never, the latest Kawaii Crossing wallpaper is here for July! If you've known many artists, you probably know that they can get a little caught up in their work (or distracted from it!) and that's exactly what happened with Pam the Panda and yours truly. Pam has been painting all kinds of new pieces of artwork and I've been working behind the scenes on secret projects. That's caused a few things (like all things blog related!) to take a pause.

This is pretty typical for Pam the Panda. Kawaii Crossing residents often see her lights on late at night as she works on new pieces of art. And—no surprise—her walls are covered with beautifully painted canvases!

Now, since it's already after July 1, we had better hurry to get these wallpapers added to our screens. Grab the size you need!



By the way, have you ever seen folks on Instagram who add a "month marker"? It's basically a post that shows the name of the month on it. It's a way to easily spot the passing of time as you scroll through your grid. I use these wallpapers for those, and you're welcome to as well!

Oh, and if you're wondering if you missed the June Cam the Corgi cross stitch pattern, it's one of the things that paused for me in June. But it will be coming your way at the same time as the Pam cross stitch this month. Now, July is set to be a full month...I'm off to work on more behind the scenes!

pattern // cam the corgi embroidery

Cam The Corgi Embroidery Pattern

It seems that corgis are everywhere, and now Cam the Corgi can be in your embroidery hoop!

Since my brother got a corgi, they pop up in my Instagram feed, walk by my house, show up on socks at Target, and I don't know what else. Certainly they were present at the Queen's Jubilee earlier this month. I'm not sure if I'm seeing them more because I'm more aware of them (like when you get a new car and then you see the same kind of car everywhere you go) or if they're just really popular. At any rate, I'm adding to that with this month's embroidery pattern.

Cam the corgi plays the guitar (he doesn't need a pick because his clickety clack nails are good at pickety picking the strings). He also awooooooos, which is why his mouth is open! On this pattern, I made the nose and mouth as outlines, but I'd recommend stitching those two elements with satin stitch so they are all filled in. The notes would also look great filled with satin stitch.



As I was planning out the months for my Kawaii Crossing residents, there's one thing that I definitely didn't think about. In May, we were introduced to Kay the Kitty. Now in June, it's Cam the Corgi. A cat, followed by a dog means they are next to each other in the sampler frame that I made. Is that a problem? My cat and my brother's dog don't get along, but I'd like to think that Kay and Cam are friends. After all, they live in Kawaii Crossing so it's all just cute!

calendar // cam the corgi wallpaper



Awooooooo! Get your screens ready for a new June wallpaper! Cam the Corgi is Kawaii Crossing's resident musician and he likes to play the guitar and sing. The other animal friends really enjoy the playing and singing, except when he starts awooooo-ing in the middle of the night. Of course, they're all too kind to start yelling!

With that little introduction done, I do have to say that I cannot believe that June is here already. I say that a lot, but I feel it more and more lately. My days are not super rushed (something I've intentionally taken steps toward!), and I regularly have rich, full moments with the people I love. But I still could use an evening of sitting and listening to Cam play the guitar and sing some awooos. How about you?

Since we can't pause time, I suppose it's best to embrace it. Starting with adding this new wallpaper to your desktop, phone, or tablet. Grab what you need below!



So many of the Kawaii Crossing residents have some sort of "real life" inspiration and Cam is a combination of my musician brother and his pet Corgi. I still haven't heard Murphee properly awooo (they live across the country), but I at least like to think that the two of them have some super cute jam sessions!