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project & blog hop // stitchable mesh candle wrap

Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap

It's always exciting when a new embroidery supply comes along, and when two come out at the same time, it's even better. That's why I'm so happy to be part of a blog hop showing some fun ways to use DMC's new Stitchable Mesh and Stitchable Cork. I've worked with screening mesh and regular cork in the past, and I love the idea of having the same or similar materials that are actually designed for embroidery.

The mesh has a beautiful metallic finish and liked the idea of making something that was a little formal and a little rustic too. Something you might put on your Thanksgiving table. A candle wrap is pretty way to adorn a candle, or in this case, the battery-powered version, and the light shines through this mesh so well.

Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap

DMC sent me some of each of these stitchable fabrics to try, and so far I've only used the mesh. But I hope to get to the cork soon! The mesh is doubled-sided with gold on one side and silver on the other. The weave is small enough to work designs with some precision, but large enough to have plenty of room for stitches (I used three strands and went through the same hole eight times without much trouble). The weave has some give, which is good. For the most part.

The one downside I found was that it frays fairly easily. As you'll see in the project below, I stitched the edges to prevent fraying, but sometimes that was a challenge. I've also heard that if you place it in a hoop, the hoop shape will stay, so play accordingly. That said, it wasn't difficult to stitch without a hoop.

Now, let's make some candle wraps!

Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap

You will need:

DMC Stitchable Mesh (one sheet per one to two candles)
Embroidery Thread (I used Color Variations)
Battery-powered Candle

Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap

Wrap the mesh around your candle and decide how tall you want the wrap to be. You can make it the same height as your candle, shorter, or taller. For mine, I used the full sheet of mesh so that the wrap is much taller than the candle.

Cut the mesh to size (or leave it), following the weave of the mesh.

Stitch around the edges with whip stitch to bind the material and stop it from fraying. Stitch evenly so it doesn't get too messy. I actually went so far as to count squares and form a pattern with the binding stitches.

Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap

Embroider a simple, freestyle design on the wrap. Lines of running stitch in varying lengths are a great start, and then top off a few of them with star stitches.

Remember that the back of your stitches will show on the front, so don't jump from one area to another (which is also good practice for any stitching!). The running stitch does show through, but it's a nice effect here...sort of two-tone. Of course, you can choose whatever you want to use. Chain stitch would look pretty amazing on this too!

Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap

Add as much or as little embroidery as you want. You should have something like this. Or something completely different! Make this your own. In fact, if you're making this for a special occasion, you could even embroider a word or short phrase (think "give thanks" or "be merry!")

Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap

Roll the mesh into a tube and stitch the bound edges together, then tie it off. You only need to stitch it together every inch or two.

Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap

Slip the finished candle wrap over your candle, and it's ready to use.

Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap

Switch on the candle and watch it glow through your stitching!

Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap
Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap

I love how even the most basic stitches shine on this metallic material. Silver is usually my thing, but the gold was too good to resist, especially with the autumn tones of the floss I chose.

Stitchable Mesh Candle Wrap

Stitch one candle wrap, or a cluster of them for a tablescape!

Then, be sure to check in with DMC Commonthread to see all of the posts and projects in the blog hop. (While you're at it, follow them on Instagram!) Bev from Flamingo Toes coordinated all of this, and she has updates too! Thanks so much to Beverly and DMC for bringing so many projects together and for the great product!

the genius blogger’s toolkit

This post is for all the bloggers. Let me ask you...do you ever feel overwhelmed by blogging?

You’re not alone.

Believe me. Most of the time I'm just trying to keep up with the basics of content creation and maintaining something of a schedule.

Over the years, blogging has been one of those “how can this be?” parts of my life. I never expected that I'd get to do something I love so much, earn money from home, and be part of such a special community. I'm incredibly grateful that God has blessed me with this work.

But with the fast-changing nature of the blogosphere, there are always new things to learn. The more that I blog at other sites, the more this becomes a struggle and working to become a better blogger easily ends up falling to the bottom of my neverending lists.

Thankfully, there are very wise people who are good at helping people like me...people like us...who can't quite figure it all out. In fact, there are TONS of resources available, and it can be difficult to choose which to buy.

May I suggest the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit?

It’s a digital package crammed full of brilliant tools to help you grow your blog, work smarter & make more money. (But for way less than you’d normally spend!) If you're a blogger, you need this. I need this!

The team at Ultimate Bundles has put together the best resources on ALL the topics that matter to bloggers, like mastering social media, monetization, creating and selling products, time management and productivity, nurturing an email list, and so much more.

Here’s what you get:
24 eBooks
33 eCourses & audio files
5 printable packs

Blog Buddies Planner Pages

One of the printable packs contains my Blog Buddies planner and calling cards, designed to make it easy and cute to work out what you're posting when, plus share your blog with others. And if you order the toolkit and send me your order/confirmation number, I'll send you some matching embroidery patterns, printable gift tags/cards, and a digital kit (bonus value total: $12).

In total, the toolkit includes over $3,500 of blogging tips, strategies, tutorials and amazingly practical information and ideas. Plus you get free bonus offers worth $1,447, with 17 tools and services to help you run your blog.

I'm very excited about the bonus Board Booster credits (I've heard amazing things about them, and this bonus is the perfect chance for me to test it in a big way). Plus there are free fonts, trial memberships, and an iBlog magazine subscription!

But the truly amazing part? They’re selling it for a crazy 98% off of regular price!

I know, it sounds too good to be true, but I promise it’s not. Ultimate Bundles has been around a long time and creating these packages is really their thing (they’ve sold over 180,000 of them on all sorts of topics), so you can trust this is the real deal. I've worked with them before, and I truly respect them.

And they’re all about making sure you LOVE this toolkit. There’s a full 30-day happiness guarantee, so there’s really no risk in trying it out to make sure it’s right for you

The most important detail, though, is that this toolkit is available for seven days only. After Tuesday night, November 1st, the sale ends and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.

Get what you need to work smarter instead of harder, grow your platform, and earn more. Learn more or get your bundle HERE.

Okay, and I started this post talking about being overwhelmed, and if I'm honest, this kind of bundle can certainly be overwhelming. My advice is to go slow. Choose one or two things you want to work on and look at the resources for those challenges. There's no need to download every single item right away, and you definitely shouldn't try to tackle everything at once.

When you visit the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit info page, you'll find that the resources are organized by topics, so look and see what is going to be the best place for YOU to start, and then ease into it. For me, I'll be looking at improving my SEO strategies, being more intentional about a mailing list, and even picking up a few more photo editing skills.

Again, if you are a blogger and want to grow your blog and all that goes with it, I highly recommend that you check it out.

As a contributor to this bundle, I'm also an affiliate, so I earn a portion of each sale. Am I a little biased? Yes. But I also really trust the folks at Ultimate Bundles and the people they partner with to make their bundles happen. Thank you for supporting Wild Olive in this way!

blog hop // modern folk embroidery book

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

I'm so happy to be a stop in the Modern Folk Embroidery blog hop! From the moment I saw this book, I was eager to take in all of the stitching, and very thankful to receive a digital copy for review. Folk-style artwork is so charming to me, but not always my thing. So making it a little more modern and doing it with embroidery? Perfect!

One of the things that appeals to me the most about this book is the projects create opportunities to use stitches that I don't use too often. Most of the patterns I design work best with back stitch, french knots, and a few other basics. Modern Folk Embroidery, however, uses all the stitches that you've wanted to try, but haven't quite found a good use for yet.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

Truth be told, I didn't venture too far into new stitches for my first project, but I did find a new favorite. More on that soon. First, let's take a look inside...

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

The photos are beautiful. Everything feels modern and colorful, filled with the busy details often found in folk styling, but simple at the same time. And who can resist a gorgeous photo of scrumptious supplies?

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

And then there are the projects. Honestly, I want to make so many things in this book. The circle pillow above is one of my favorites, but there are very few that I would pass by. Which is what you want to see in a book, right?

One thing I do want to note is that the book cover says there are 30 projects, but it's really more like 15 plus variations. That shouldn't make you think that this has half the content, however, because there's still so much treasure coming.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

I mentioned that Modern Folk Embroidery presents ways to use fun and unique stitches, and it also gives illustrated instructions and variations for those stitches. This is where it starts to get interesting, because the author, Nancy Nicholson, shows so many ways to change up the stitches you already know.

For all of the embroidery I've done through the years, I've never seen so many ways to customize running stitch, and that's just one example.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review
Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

And then there's the ways that you can combine all those stitches. Throughout the book, there are illustrations of stitch designs. Sometimes they are connected with a specific project, but other times they are just there to introduce a section. And they are a priceless component of Modern Folk Embroidery. Use them as a guide for the projects in this book, or to get your creative juices flowing on other things.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

There are plenty of photos of each project, usually with good detail shots, but the step-by-steps are shown with illustration, which I love. That said, they aren't a substitute for the written instructions.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review
Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

This tote and the floral brooches were a few more of my favorite projects, but I went with a flower brooch to start.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

I made the large round flower, but dropped the leaf. I also adapted the stitches slightly, and again, this is one of the great things about the projects. You can easily adjust the stitches and colors to suit your needs.

One thing I wasn't going to change was the use of the stitch around the edge: Eskimo Laced Running Stitch. It's new to me and I heart it so much!

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

The garland and ornaments use a similar construction method to the brooches, and I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that they use a basic craft supply in a super smart way. They are next on my list, and sure to show up around my house this Christmas.

Modern Folk Embroidery // Book Review

For a peek at a few more pages in Modern Folk Embroidery, take a look right here. You can also find it on Amazon to take a look inside and pre-order. Then be sure to visit the rest of the stops on the #ModernFolkEmbroidery Blog Hop!

Monday, October 17th - SewandSo
Wednesday, October 19th – Wild Olive (you're here!)
Thursday, October 20th – Kate & Rose
Friday, October 21st - Lilipopo
Monday, October 24th – Anna Scott Embroidery
Wednesday, October 26th – Carina Crafts

printable // kawaii apple coloring picture

Apple Coloring Picture

For those of you who are enjoying the coloring craze, or for those with kids who might need some quiet time, I thought it would be a good time to share a free printable page. I had thought about doing one with all kinds of fall things, but decided to go with apples. They're still fall, right? And even though it's mid-October, we'll still be enjoying apples for a while.

The decision for apples happened when I started to plan a little gathering, with apples as the theme. But let me back up just a bit.

This summer I volunteered to help out one week in the middle school ministry at my church. I did so hesitantly, but thought it would be good to serve. By the end of the service, I was starting to think I should help more, and soon after that I signed up to be a small group leader for girls in 6th grade.

What I thought would be about an hour and a half of my life has turned into every Sunday plus extra things. And I love it. I love the girls I'm working with and the time we spend together.

One of those extra things is what I'm calling an Apple Gala, which is really just a fancy way of saying "let's get together and make caramel apple bowls (like a sundae, but with apples instead of ice cream), play games, and have fun. It seemed appropriate to make a coloring picture in my Wild Olive style.

That's also why there's a verse on the picture, and the verse is actually a prayer, asking God to "keep me as the apple of your eye." Truth: I had to look up what this phrase "apple of your eye" really means. If you're like me and aren't 100% sure, it's this: the apple of the eye is another way of saying the pupil of the eye. It's the most sensitive part, and therefore it's precious and the part you would protect the most.

Psalm 17:8 is asking God for protection. It's asking God to hold you as something precious. And He does.

I hope this coloring page will be a comfort and hope to the girls in my group, and to you as well. And if you'd prefer the version without the verse, that's here for you too.

calendar // old cranky candy corn for a new october

Oh October, I'm glad you're here. Even though I'm a little late to greet you. Some months you just need to flip the calendar page so you can start again. It's been feeling that way more often lately.

I'm pretty sure that this is going to be a month of catching up on all that I missed or messed up last month. We're gonna call this a month of resetting so that November can be amazing.

The Cranky Candy Corn on this month's calendar is from 2008, the first year that I started making calendars. If you look closely, you'll see that when the candy is flipped, the frown turns upside down to make a happier treat. Choose to see them as cranky or cheerful, depending on your mood!

Speaking of candy corn, here are a few posts I created for other sites, starting with a candy corn accessory...

Candy Corn Pin

Check out my post on how to make your own embroidered candy corn pin. It's a pretty quick project, so you have plenty of time to make one (or a bunch) for Halloween.

Leaf Garland

If you have a little more time on your hands, how about making a painted and embroidered leaf garland?

Jacobs Ladder

Craft with your kids by making a Jacob's ladder toy from craft foam. You'll be amazed by how they work, even after you've made one!

Now, onto the calendars for this month!

For iPhone 6+, choose the iPad version. To use the iPhone and iPad versions, click the link for the wallpaper you want. When it opens, touch and hold the image until it pops up with the option to save. After you've saved the image, go to your settings, choose wallpaper, then find the image you've just saved.

You can also download a printable October calendar. Trim it and leave it in black and white, or color it in with all of the candy corn colors and flavors you wish they made!

patterns // kawaii symbols for rosh hashanah

Rosh Hashanah Patterns

Not too long ago I was learning a little more about Jewish new year celebration of Rosh Hashanah, and had this moment where I knew that I was going to draw some embroidery patterns for the occasion. I'm not Jewish, but I love the festivals of the Old Testament.

Making foods with faces is one of my favorite things to draw and stitch, so apples and honey were a natural for me (there's an apple slice in the PDF too!). I also learned that pomegranates are a symbol of this holiday.

And then I had to do a shofar trumpet, even though it's not food. Because I love shofars. And a happy shofar just makes me happy.

If you will be celebrating soon, I wish you a very happy and blessed Rosh Hashanah to you and your family. And even if you're not Jewish, I hope you enjoy stitching a few treats!

project pattern // pumpkin spice latte felt applique

Pumpkin Spice Applique

You know I'm all about the pumpkin spice. I love it so much that I made my brother work at Trader Joe's just to have access to all the pumpkin goodness! (Just kidding...he works there, but it was his own idea and I just reap the pumpkin rewards!) In addition to enjoying this yummy flavor, I'm also all about crafting the PSL. Hence a felt applique!

If you're a sewing purist, you looking at this photo and saying "um, Mollie...that's not an applique." It is true that there's no sewing in this tag you see, but the pattern works how you want it to.

You can make a fast and easy tag with the felt pieces glued in place, you can cut the pieces from fabric with fusible interfacing and then add some machine sewing details, or you can hand stitch these pieces in place. I'll show you how to make the tag, and you can then use the pattern however you'd like!

Pumpkin Spice Applique

You will need:

Orange and white felt
Black embroidery floss
Shipping tag
Craft glue


Pumpkin Spice Applique

Cut out the pieces from felt. Use white for the two lid pieces and cup sleeve and orange for the cup and pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Applique

Embroider the face on the pumpkin. I usually just freehand where the face should go and stitch it with french knots and a scallop stitch.

Pumpkin Spice Applique

Attach the pieces from the bottom layer up to the top. This goes for whether you are gluing or stitching.

Start with the cup and larger lid piece so they are just touching.

Pumpkin Spice Applique

Add the tiny strip of lid piece to cover where the cup and lid meet. Attach the club sleeve and pumpkin last.

Pumpkin Spice Applique

You now have a little PSL!

If you glued like I did, the tag may ripple a bit, or at least have a slight curve to it. Once it dries completely, that will flatten out.

Pumpkin Spice Applique

Add a ribbon to the tag, and tie it onto a sweet gift (I recommend a can of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice coffee), hang it as an ornament, or simply tuck it into an autumn display.

Of course, if you're sewing this, it would be great on a mug rug or coaster, a cloth bag, or as part of a mini quilt!

Pumpkin Spice Applique

For those of you who aren't fans of the PSL, I still love you. And you can also use this pattern and customize the sleeve area with another shape or some embroidery. A heart would be perfect for any coffee lover!

How will you use your pumpkin spice latte applique?

around the house mini quilt

Around the House Mini Quilt

This week was the end of the Around the House Stitching Club. I love sending patterns out to so many folks and seeing each person's progress along the way. It's actually quite sad when it's over, but sharing my own finished quilt comes at the end, so that helps. Because I'm really happy with this mini quilt!

I remember someone telling me a few years back that I really needed to learn quilting because it's a perfect pairing with embroidery. She was so right. Especially with English paper piecing, because it's all hand stitching. And it's so nice when it's small because the slowness doesn't mean you won't finish for ages and ages.

Okay, so you could take ages and ages, and there's nothing wrong with that. But it's nice to have a thing you can make within eight weeks, right?

Around the House Mini Quilt
Around the House Mini Quilt

Choosing the designs for this was tricky, as every house is different. Thankfully, club members embraced that and a few decided to alter the patterns so they more closely matched their homes and the way they spend time in each room. Seriously, you need to go look through the photos on Instagram. My favorite laundry basket has a kitty in it, and more than a few folks added some crafty elements to their stitching.

Around the House Mini Quilt

And if you missed joining this club, don't fret. There are two things you can do.

The first is that you can still sign up! Just head to my Etsy shop where you can purchase the entire club as one PDF. It's also available right here on my blog.

The other thing you can do is get ready for the next club. I'll be sharing more information soon, but this time it will take you out of the house for another eight weeks of embroidery and EPP!

making old new // i heart pumpkin spice embroidery pattern

pumpkin spice

You guys, I get so excited when pumpkin spice time comes around each year. I enjoy a variety of pumpkin spice treats (my brother works at Trader Joe's, so you can imagine that we find all the good stuff!), but coffee remains my favorite. Naturally, I made an embroidery pattern declaring my love of the PSL.

This is a pattern that I made a while ago for another website that is longer around. For those who love their pumpkin spice lattes, it was time to bring this freebie back. And I took the opportunity to add a little something as well.

The I Heart Pumpkin Spice pattern remains almost the same (slight face adjustment), but the PDF now has an iced coffee version too.

That's because when it's still warm out, I LOVE Dunkin Donuts' Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee. I get mine with cream and sweetener and it's so yummy. Especially when they are running their happy hour and a large is just 99 cents!

Lest you think that I'm only all about the sugar (okay, so most of the time I am), I will gladly take a cup of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice flavored coffee with nothing added. Any time of the year. As in, I try to always have several cans on hand for those days when no other flavor will do.

Yes, I really do love pumpkin spice coffees this much!

How about you? If you're looking for more pumpkin spice goodness, I have a few more posts that carry that very special tag!

book review // cuter stuff by aranzi aronzo

book review // cuter stuff

If you saw a book that claimed to have Cute Stuff in it, you'd want to look, right? What if it declared that it was filled with Cuter Stuff? Well, you'd pick up that book, find that it was indeed super cute, and then you'd buy it. Full price. This is what happened when I spotted this Aranzi Aronzo book at Barnes & Noble the other day.

A few years back, I picked up the Japanese version of Cute Stuff (before it was translated), and loved it. The sequel to this title is similar to the first and both are true to their names.

book review // cuter stuff
book review // cuter stuff

Each item in the book has a photo, or sometimes several photos, but all of the instructions are illustrated. This was a huge inspiration to me when working on my own book, but I don't think anyone could do it better than the Aranzi Aronzo books. The projects and motifs are cute, but so is the whole process!

Along with the project photos throughout the book, at the back there is a gallery of pictures showing some most of them in use. I love that they are often modeled by stuffed animals designed by the authors!

book review // cuter stuff

And here's a better look at the illustrations. These are from the basics section. Sewing instructions from bunnies? Yes please! This is a good example of why buying the Japanese version of Cute Stuff worked for me. I can't read Japanese, but the illustrations explain so much. A picture is worth 1000 words, right?

book review // cuter stuff

The projects range from magnets to pencil holders to coasters and more, most of which have a useful quality to them. This doggy is just cute, and I'm good with that. I think my sister and I might make one to play with her American Girl dolls.

book review // cuter stuff

Some projects are rather simple, for example, I didn't need a book to show me how to add faces to fruits and vegetables. But you can bet that I'm crazy for this page. Seriously...things are better with faces.

book review // cuter stuff

One thing I really appreciate in Cuter Stuff is that you don't absolutely need a sewing machine. They tell you when you can use one, but nearly everything works with hand sewing. Even a panda zipper pouch!

book review // cuter stuff

Most projects have a distinct Aranzi Aronzo style to them, but a few feel more generic. They are all still super cute, and I'm looking forward to making these felt flowers. Speaking of felt, that is the most common material you'll use for the Cuter Stuff in this book. Love that!

book review // cuter stuff
book review // cuter stuff

Working with felt is one of my favorite materials, and seeing easy ways to work with it is good for me. There are several projects that use the collection of felt applique motifs in the book, including hiragana. Just seeing these kinds of ideas is helpful, because it will get you thinking about new ways to use favorite patterns.

Cuter Stuff by Aranzi Aronzo is simple and good for kids or beginners, as well as for those who just need a dose of cute inspiration. Look for it at your local bookseller or at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.