What I’ve Been Doing

Fall is one of the busiest times of the year for us. It’s the time when we hurry to finish the last of our ranch work for the year and send calves off to market during the bouts of bad weather and hubby’s schedule changes. As that is all done, I thought it was about time to share about what I’ve been doing lately.

Graphic & Book Designs

Just a few of the items I’ve worked on.

The last few months, I’ve been working on some client work, which included an Etsy shop banner with matching banners for YouTube and Audiobooks, some series covers for western romance, typography for a series of premade covers, a cover change and book formatting for historical fiction for an author who got the rights to her books back from her publisher, and a cover and book formatting for a fiction.

Writing The Lost Heir Series

Over the last few months, I’ve been working on The Lost Heir Series. This has been one of those writing projects that I work on for a few weeks and then abandon for a few months because I’m indecisive about something. As of November, I have 4 short novels completed in the series with several more to go.

I decided from the beginning of this series that I wouldn’t publish any of them until I was done with the series. I’m doing this because I have this tendency to realize too late that I wrote myself into a corner and that I have to tweak a few things in the earlier books to fix the problem before I can move on. I would feel weird about doing this if the books were published.

Last month, I started questioning my format decisions for the books and started to wonder if I should combine some of them into longer novels that are more common of the fantasy genre.

The Etsy Shop

While the Etsy shop isn’t doing horrible for a new shop, it isn’t doing that great either. I know that part of that is my fault as I haven’t given my shop the attention it needs.

I know that I need to find my passion and focus on that niche, but like everything else in life I have a few of them. I’m having a hard time picking a focus for my shop.

Lately, I’ve been focusing where the money is and, for the moment, that has been with graphic design jobs and writing. What I’ve made from the several jobs I accepted this year should cover the costs of business, but freelance jobs have never been that consistent, especially with more authors learning to format and create book covers.

I’m debated the possibility of closing my Etsy Shop at the end of this year and I really wish I didn’t have to.

Working on Loving the Goddess of Love

The new cover for the book.

Since my momentum for The Lost Heir Series started to lag in October, I decided it was probably time to redo Loving the Goddess of Love. There are some scenes in the book that I knew need some work to make it better and one scene that I might have to rewrite altogether.

I’m at the half way mark of the book and looking forward to the wedding of Aphrodite and Hephaestus. This is one of the books that I wanted to have republished years ago, but I don’t think I was ready to go over it until this year. Once it is ready, I’ll also be publishing the short story that went with it, An Angel in Tartarus.

Working on Christmas Gifts & Handmade Projects

Especially this blanket. Miss Kiara is demanding her afghan. LOL

My main focus for November and December has been to finish all the partial handmade projects I have around here, starting with the Christmas gifts I’m working on for family and friends. This includes the afghan above, a pair of wool socks, a pair of wool-free socks, a round wash cloth, a blanket shawl, tea towels, a crochet loofah, three shawls, and framing finished cross stitch.


Wishing you all the best this holiday season!

Stephannie Beman

In the Shop! Planners & Trackers

As the new year quickly approaches, I always have this urge to start creating better planners and trackers to help me in my business and life. For the last few years I’ve created a writing planner, this year I’ve added more than just writing planners and trackers to my arsenal of printed and printable planners.

To start, here is the 2021 Writer’s Planner: I’d Rather Be Writing. You can buy the printable planner from my Etsy Shop or the coil-bound planner from Lulu.

Many of the pages from 2020’s model made it into the 2021 planner, but some things didn’t, like the project planner. For 2021, I added a Big-Projects-At-A-Glance tracker to help track big book projects, Writing Log for Clients for the Freelancer Writer, a Monthly Word Tracker and Graph among the Yearly, Monthly, and Weekly planning pages, Online Order Tracker, Notes & Ideas, and Mind Mapping & Sketches pages.


The next planner for 2021 was designed for Handmade Business and happily named the 2021 Planner: I’d Rather Be Crafting. You can purchase the printable planner from my Etsy shop or the coil-bound printed planner from Lulu.

This planner was based on the same design as the Writer’s planner but with a more Handmade business focus. It includes Plan Ahead and Plan for Next Year pages; 2021-At-A-Glance Overview; Big Projects-At-A-Glance (which is gantt chart); a Monthly Calendar; a Weekly planner with schedule, projects and goals, and habit & task tracker; an Order Work Log; My Purchase Tracker; Notes & Ideas and Mind Mapping & Sketches.


The rest of these planners and trackers are only available in my Etsy Shop.

Yesterday, I added the printable 2021 Yearly Planner to my Etsy Shop. This printer-friendly planner has 4 different planning pages that can added to any planner. It was designed to help you plan your business projects, streamline your home projects, and design the life you love.


This next planner is a printable, undated Weekly Planner Insert with space for Project & Goal, and Task & Time Tracker. For the moment, the 2-page spread comes only in half-size for half-sized planners.


This printable Undated Weekly Planner is based on my writer’s planner weekly planning pages and comes in 4 sizes: Letter, Half, A5, and A4.


These are my first stand alone trackers and come from my Writer’s planner. The printable Monthly Word Count Tracker, Graph, and Book Progress sheets help create a visual map of your progress through all your writing projects or just one. These sheets were created to help you track your word count goals and daily word count for each book or story project during the month and the minimalistic designs allow you to see the growth of your word count distraction free.


While I took the Project Planner out of my planners, I didn’t toss it. The printable Project Planner is now in my Etsy Shop. There are 7 pages with lots of room to help you plan any type of project. Designed with the minimalist in mind, each page gives you plenty of room to write, brainstorm, or sketch out a plan for your current and upcoming projects. They are perfect for planning home improvement projects, website redesigns, blogging, writing projects, and craft projects, or home improvement.

We’re almost to the end now.


Next up, is the printable Order Tracker for Online & Mail Order Purchases Planner Insert in Letter, Half, A5, and A4 sizes. I find this tracker particularly handly during the holiday seasons as it is easy to lose track of items I’ve purchased online or through the mail, where I bought them from, and if I actually got them, especially during the Christmas season.

Kinda like that art set that I bought my daughter that never arrived and that I almost forgot about until she asked me why she didn’t get an art set for Christmas. I had to look back to find that I had ordered it 2 months before. I created this tracker shortly after so I could see at a glance what I bought, where I purchased it from, how much I spent, and then check it off when they arrived.


Last on the list is the Printable Website & Email Username & Password Tracker. I actually have a small book that I keep this information in, but I created this tracker for my dad before he passed away to help him keep track of all those pesky websites with the usernames and passwords that went with them.

And that is the end of the planners and trackers that I have in my shop at the moment, but I have several more planned.

Does any one have a suggestion for a planner or tracker that they would love to see me create?

Wishing you all the very best this September!

Stephannie Beman

Embroidered Jewelry & Graphic Design Work

At the age of 3, my mom taught me to use a needle and thread to sew cloth. Those first dozen or more attempts to create something probably ended in complete failure, but that wasn’t the point of teaching me. It was to keep her curious child busy doing “grown up work” while she was sewing clothing, quilts, and curtains. It also taught me to be careful with sharp objects. I don’t loose them or leave them laying around.

Everything I learned in those first years have come in handy over the decades of crafting. First, with cross stitch that I fell in love with when I was 10. Then with embroidery that I learned to do at 16 after my crafty mom decided to create a crazy quilt from all her scrap fabric. We never got to create that quilt as she decided that she didn’t like how it looked, but I did learn a lot about different embroidery stitches that helped me later when I created my snowman quilt and was introduced to embroidering on tea towels by hubby’s grandma.

Since then, I’ve embroidered on all types of things, including a pillow cases, a night cap that I used to keep my fly away hairs from tickling hubby while we slept (sadly it was a fail that I gave way to someone that really enjoyed it), and even clothing. My latest embroidered obsession has been embroidered jewelry.

Sometime around Spring of this year I decided to buy a kit of four necklaces to see how it was done and try it out before investing in the jewelry supplies to create more. I finished them in four days but had to wait another month before I got some better glue to fix the pieces onto the pendants.

I took these this morning on a piece of wood that I found during a walk down the lane. I’ve been thinking of using it as a photo prop as I really like the look it gives the jewelry.

I found that I loved doing them so much that I want to try my had at other designs. But rather than buy kits, which are mostly flowers, I want to create my own designs. So I bought these Bezel Pendant Trays with glass cabochon from Amazon.

I liked that they were round, different colored, and simple in design. I didn’t want something that would take away from the designs I wanted to put in them.

For my first design, I created constellation in the night sky with a forest below it. It is based on the zodiac constellations that I’ve seen others do, but with a scenic element I haven’t seen yet. It didn’t work out quite how I had imaged. I’m already contemplating how I could redo it to see if it would work better because this is something I would really like to add to my shop.

The constellation in the night sky with a forest below still in the hoop.

I’ll also be trying another scenic design of a mountain and forest to see if the lighter colors will make a difference. But I’m coming to think that what I want to do is just too small and detailed for the 1 inch size. If that is the case, then I’ll work on my other ideas and purchase some larger pendants to use with the scenic embroidered jewelry.

I’ll let you guys know how they turned out when they are done.

As for my graphic design work….

This week I’ve been working through my long list of graphic designs I want to create for my shop. These have included: small and large seed packets (finished & waiting for photos), a garden journal (still working on), 2021 Crafter’s Planner: I’d Rather Be Crafting (finished & copy ordered & soon to be in my shop), hard cover version of my Craft Journal for Creators & Designers (finished & copy ordered), and the 2021 Writer’s Planner: I’d Rather Be Writing (finished & in my shop now).

For those interested, the 2021 Writing Planner: I’d Rather Be Writing is available as a printable download at Etsy or as spiral bound printed planner at Lulu.

I’ve also been designing banners, book covers, and a logo work for a long time client. Now, I wish I had some pictures to show you but they are still in my queue of stuff that I need to print off and set up for pictures.

Once I have the pictures ready, I’ll show you some of the items that will be entering my shop soon. I also plan on creating a post to share some of the design work I’ve been doing for my client if it is ok with her. I’m pretty sure it will be, but it never hurts to ask first. 😀

Wishing you all the very best!

Stephannie Beman

New in the Shop! Hats, Scarves, & Shawls

As Fall is approaching, it’s the start of our haying season here on the Ranch. And while not yet cold, the nights are becoming a tad bit chilly. So it seemed like a great time to pull out the hats, scarves, and shawls I’ve made and place them in my shop. This will be their last hoorah before I discontinue the line of my handcrafted winter wear. I’m looking at focusing more on home and office decor, printables, planners, and patterns.

Hats & Hoods

Most of my hats and hoods are for Adults, but I have 2 that fit my 5 year-old grandbaby and my teenage daughter. If you don’t like any of the colors, size, or fiber types for any of of the hats and would like me to custom make you one, just drop me an email.

Scarves & Shawls

I’m a big fan of scarves and shawls and this is just a few of the ones I have designed over the years. I have a few more that I will be adding as soon as I can get my model to show them off. If you don’t like any of the color, size, or fiber type of any of the scarves or shawls, but would like me to make you one, just drop me an email.

Patterns

And for those who want to create your own Shawls, I have 2 patterns in the shop at the moment with more on the way.

Now I better get back to haying. I hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Wishing everyone the very best,

Stephannie Beman

Adventures in Digging Our Own Clay

My shop minion and oldest daughter, Tiny Trin, has really wanted to try her hand at creating clay sculptures for awhile now, but as I haven’t been all that keen to pay for expensive clay and it isn’t high on her list of birthday gifts and she no longer has the funds to pay for it either, we haven’t gotten any. That is until about a week ago.

I Googled where clay comes from in an attempt to figure out if it would be feasible to collect some ourselves since there are an entire areas on the Ranch that is just full of clay.

Hubby thought we were crazy when I told him about what we were going to do until I told him how much it would cost for a brick of clay that we could possible find for free. The only real cost is our time.

So on our walk, Tiny Trin brought 2 gallon buckets and a spade to dig her own clay. Since we have been haying our first meadow of the season we had to refine her clay between helping out.

The refining took several days more than it needed to because of the haying. But refining it to get rid of the plant matter and sand worked. She now she has quite a bit of clay to work with.

Her first project was to see how the clay handled and its quality. She created a small dish and for the most part it worked well. The crack is my fault. I set it out of the way by a window with a fan and it dried too fast on the edges. It sometimes happens when drying and there are some things we can do to keep that from happening.

My other shop minion and youngest daughter decided she wanted clay of her own so on our walk a few nights ago and the girls dug some more clay.

Now we have to do this week is refine it for use and figure out a primitive way to fire their clay. 😀

My Inner Creative is so Excited!

Hello everyone! I hope your week has been a great one.

I know that I’ve been busy. And yes, that is something that I say often, but it’s true. This week has been lots of working behind the scenes of running my business.

Does anyone else find that there is so much more to running a business then what they took into account when they first started, or is that just me?

Anywhoo, I started out the week doing one of my favorite things, branding and packaging. I know it sounds weird, but my inner graphic designer is having a field day designing logos, banners, care labels, hang tags, thank you cards, and even packaging.

A few of the things that I created.

While I don’t have a picture of my shop packaging, mostly because I didn’t think to take pictures of the last order I sent out, I’m loving the idea of creating something that is both fun and eco-friendly to open. I like the idea of not having plastic and stuff that will most likely be thrown in the garbage, but I also like the idea of each purchase being a gift that you open.

Because who doesn’t like getting gifts? I know I do. I think it speaks to my inner child. 😀

An inner creative child that was so excited by the arrival of the pretty blue tissue paper and new shipping boxes last week to add to the pretty blue bubble mailers, white and blue baker’s twine, outdoorsy washi tape, beautiful wax seal, pale blue ribbon, and the cabin rubber stamp I bought last year. I barely restrained her from using it all in one package. LOL

After my inner graphic designer ran out of things to design and my inner child got tired and went to take a nap, my inner business person decided to show up Thursday and help me with the more practical side of business.

We started by creating an updated version of my inventory management system so that it works better for me. Last years version was too basic and not as helpful as I needed it to be. While it was a great place to start, it really needed to be updated with all the materials I’ve purchased over the years and would like to use to create items for my shop.

I thought about buying one, and came very close, but all the ones I looked at either didn’t have pictures of what they were selling in their bundles so I wasn’t sure what I would be buying or their templates didn’t have things I really wanted to have in my template. So I started to make one.

Other than pulling out all my inventory and making sure it is all up-to-date, the sales and material inventory section of my spreadsheets is done. This afternoon, I’m moving on to working on my shop inventory (actual physical products) and my service inventory.

What have you all been up to lately?

Wishing you all the very best!

Stephannie Beman

Sale on Sewing Patterns in my Shop!

This post is more for those who like to sew. Or if you know someone who likes to sew and might be interested, share this post with them. For one week only (July 14th thru 21st), I’m offering 15% off on all my sewing patterns and when you purchase $35 or more (not just patterns but anything in my shop), you get free shipping on your order.

Now on to this extra exciting post. Mwwhawhahaha!

With my stash busting in 2020, I decided that it was time to go through my sewing patterns to see what I still wanted or didn’t. This wasn’t too hard as the bulk of them reside in two gallon sized ziplock bags. I’m not much for sewing.

This first one I bought about 16 years ago when I was working at BYU. I needed black pants for work and these looked comfortable, nice, and they were in a style I liked. I never got around to making them though. Now the size is too small. 😦

I bought this skirt pattern at a garage sale when I was a teen. It might be from the 1970s but the skirt was just what I was looking for at the time. I’ve since outgrown the pattern. 😦

These next ones were given to me by a friend who no longer needed them for her daughters and thought I might like to make them for my girls someday. Someday came sooner than I liked and sadly, my girls weren’t interested in any of them and while I think they are absolutely adorable, my volumptous body would never fit into them and I’m not skilled enough to resize them.

(And yes, I’m aware that volumptous should be spelled voluptuous, but it’s no fun using a real word. 😀 )

For the moment, these are all the sewing patterns I’m willing to part with.

Wishing you all the very best!

Stephannie Beman