Stash Busting 2020, 6 Months In

In January, I wrote a post called 2020 Goals + What I’m Doing where I listed out some of my goals for this year. Two of those goals included decluttering my craft stash and buy nothing more to add to my craft stash until I use what I have. I figured it was time to share how it is going six months later.

This is What I’ve Finished

Set of Cotton Potholders

Cotton Potholders for a customer using the leftover cotton yarn from a previous order. When I ordered the yarn I calculated how much I would need for the order and then I added three extra balls of yarn to make sure I had plenty. She came back a few months later to order a set of potholders.


I’ve always wanted to crochet my own socks for winter. Something warm and cozy. I bought the sock yarn for in three different colors for Tiny T (my eldest daughter formerly known as Miss T) and a sock loom in 2018 with the plan to create these socks for Christmas. After struggling with the sock loom for a bit, I put these aside in frustration.

Later, I ran into this article about knitting flat socks and decided to try again, only this time I convert it into crochet (something that I have more experience with). I finished 3 pairs of socks in a month in 2 slightly different styles.

My biggest complaint about these socks were the ribbing at the top isn’t as tight as I would have liked. It’s something that I’m working to fix. Although, I’m looking to try knitting the flat socks on the sock loom or knitting needles next.

Snood out of an old beanie

Last month, I was cleaning out my craft stash and ran across this beanie that I’ve had since I was a teenager. I remember thinking that it was really cool when I bought it, but unlike the teens who wore them at the time, I looked ridiculous in it. So I packed it away with the thought that maybe one day I would create something from it.

The instant I uncovered it, I knew the project I wanted to create from it. I’ve always wanted a snood and with a little elastic, I had the perfect hair accessory for my long hair.

Bug Netting for Straw Hat

Last year, I bought this netting material for Mosquito Netting for my Straw Hat. I wanted something that would keep the bugs off my face while I’m working in the garden. I bought far too much for what I needed, and I changed the design 4 times. I finally finished it before I needed it for the year. Definitely a lifesaver last week!

Floral Needlepoint Pillow Cover

I bought myself two of these for Christmas last year to place on our couch. Since I couldn’t finish the cross stitch on my embroidery lap frame until I bought some gold thread, I decided to do this instead. I finished the first one around the first of May. I will have to buy cloth for the backing before I can completely finish it.

Venturing into Tablet Weaving

I ran across tablet weaving this year and decided to try my hand at it. Check out this video if you want to see what it is.

I wasn’t keen to hand over $30+ to buy the cards for a craft that I might not enjoy doing so instead made my own. My first set was from cardstock (on the left), but they ended up being too flimsy. So I made a second set from the extra lids of ice cream containers (on the right) that I keep for storage or the kids to play with.

Using some scrap thread that hubby’s grandma gave me years and years ago, I thought I would make Miss K a new bracelet. After a bit of work, I realized that somewhere along the way I had made a mistake so I tied it off and decided it would be a nice key fob.

I’ll try my hand at it again when I buy some thicker thread that doesn’t match so closely in color.

Knit Washcloths

Now I love the crochet ones that I’ve made in the past and would make a whole bunch of them if I didn’t have a shelf full of new washcloths from some relative who decided to unload her linen closet when she moved and thought it would be a great wedding gift for us. Fifteen years later, I’m still working through the stacks of dishcloths, hand towels, and drying towels that she gave us to add to the ones I have made and bought before her generous gift.

These washcloths are something that I usually give as gifts or sell in my shop, although they never seem to get to my shop before someone sees them and buys them. As I decided that I wanted to try my hand at knitting again, I decided to create a few knit washcloths.

Adventures in Shawlettes & Capelets

Using some wool blend yarn that I bought several years ago and that is now discontinued, I decided to try my hand making them into shawlettes. There are three different colors.

I happened upon this cute and free capelet pattern, the Breeze Capelet by Pamela Grossman, and decided to try it. As it was a knitted pattern I wasn’t sure how it would turn out as it has been over 25 years since I learned to knit. After a few false starts I got the hang of the stitches and I believe it turned out better than I thought it would and too date is the largest knitted project I’ve done.

My next project with the yarn was a crochet pattern named Nightfall from Anne Design Crochet. I started the pattern as it she wrote it, but somewhere along the way I modified it in the hopes of making the yarn last longer and the shawl bigger. It turned out to be more of a scarf or shawlette, and might be something that I frog later and find a new pattern for.

What I Broke Down & Bought

Now it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Some of the items I bought were for projects that I wanted to do for years while others were to finish some projects I started. I mentioned some above, the rest of the list is below.

Miss K’s Arizona Afghan

I started Miss K’s Afghan last Fall using the yarn that I bought for her two years ago. Part of the delay was that she kept changing her mind on what pattern she wanted, the other part was that I wanted to finish Tiny T’s afghan before starting a new one, and the last part is that I don’t like working on afghans during the summer-time.

The pattern is Arizona by Pippin Poppycock. I almost had this afghan finished before I ran low of yarn. I had to buy more yarn to finish this project. I bought more than I thought I would need as I didn’t want to run out again. Some of the yarn has been delivered, but half the order was back ordered so I’m still waiting.

Buttons & More Buttons

My mom is a sewist. Growing up there was always a lot of fabric, zippers, jars of buttons laying around. Due to her arthritis and age, my mom has been downsizing her stash. And I’ve gotten a big portion of it over the years, including her jars of buttons.

However, when I finished the Caplet and Shawl, I dug through my collection of buttons in the hope of finding something large enough for the project. I only found one, so I did have to buy buttons to finish them. I bought a enough to work for the other projects I have planned.

More Sock Yarn

After using my socks for several months, I ended up buying Wool-Free sock yarn to make more socks. Part of this decision was based on wanting more socks and the second was my feet reacting to the wool in the yarn I bought. However, I’ve since learned that blend on the yarn will most likely make my feet sweat which I don’t want so I might be making this into a shawl instead.

More Cotton Yarn

While I do have cotton yarn, I didn’t have the color I needed for 2 projects that I wanted to do. The first was a set of knit washcloths for a wedding gift along with a set of dish towels that I’m embroidering. The second project was a toy hammock for Miss K’s stuff animals.

Since I didn’t have the right colors for either project, I had to buy more yarn.

Wishing you all the very best!

Stephannie Beman

More Bookmarks in My Shop!

As an avid reader, I love bookmarks. I’ve owned hundreds over the years. Some, I have absolutely loved. Others, I have lost or thrown away as they start to fall apart. And then there are the ones I’ve loved, but are impractical as Hell (the metal bookmark I bought and refuse to get rid of even though it keeps sliding out of the book.)

But my absolute favorite bookmark is the one that I hand stitched when I was 9 years old. It was the first cross stitch project that I had ever done and even though it makes me smile every time I see it, the terrible stitching also makes me cringe. But I still use it, because I have never had it slid out of my books.

So when I opened my shop, one of the first things I wanted to sell to other book readers were these awesome bookmarks, albeit with much better quality then that first book mark. 😀

Floral Bookmarks with Option to Personalize

In the last month, I decided to add an option to personalize my hand stitched floral bookmarks. For those who wish it, I will replace the name of the month with a person’s name.

There are still more floral bookmarks, I’m adding to my shop as I have time to make them and photography them. I hope you enjoy and I’m wishing you all the very best!

Stephannie Beman

2 New Items in My Shop

I have added two new items in my Etsy shop, although one was actually added before the Spring Break, but with everything going on in the world and the school closures, it took me a bit before I was able to write this post.

The first is a great item for writers…

At the request of a writing friend who wanted a physical tracker for her word count goals but couldn’t find one that met her needs, I created the Printable Word Count Tracker and Graph for Writers to help her out. Both these trackers are useful in tracking word count numbers and goals for each book project. There is a Word Count page and a Word Count graph page for a 30-day month and a 31-day month.

Buy the Printable Word Count Tracker & Graph for Writers for $2.00 at Etsy

The second item is a beautiful vintage placemat-napkin set from Guatemala…

Purchased over 25 years ago by my Uncle during his trip to Guatemala, this vintage napkin and placemat set is created on what looks to be woven cotton cloth. The brilliant white placemat and napkin has a phoenix bird hand embroidered onto them with cotton thread in pink and light teal. The striking border is also stitched in pink and teal. Each set includes a placemat and a napkin. There are 6 total sets.

All the placemat and napkin sets are in excellent condition. There are no pulled embroidery threads. There are no rips or stains. Honestly, they have never been used.

Buy a Vintage Guatemalan Embroidered Phoenix Bird Placemat-Napkin Set for $16.00 at Etsy

Wishing you all the very best at this time,

Stephannie Beman

For those looking for custom ordered items, please visit my custom order page and let me know what you are looking for.

New In my Shops!

In January, I announced my intention to continue adding items to my Etsy shop when I had the time while creating a web shop here. Well, as usual, that plan I had for the web shop had to be modified within the first month because it wasn’t working the way I had hoped.

Stephannie Beman's Shop, Shop Banner, Vintage and Handcrafted lovelies from my Homestead to yours!

After a few tries and longer than I would have liked, I finally decided to make this easy for me and started revamping what I had. As of this week, the final touches have been added and both my web shop page and my Etsy shop have been updated to my satisfaction.

I do have some small changes that I will be working on for my web shop but they won’t be implemented until I have more items to added.

Now my web shop page has everything I sell listed there with a link to where they may be purchased. The only exception is the books as they are widely distributed and the various links can be found on their pages. And some time in the future, some items on my Etsy shop will only be found in my web shop.

Some New Items in my Shop!

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Craft Journal for Makers & Designers: the letter-sized PDF is $4.00 at Etsy or the printed A5 spiral bound journal $16.00 at LULU
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Vintage Porcelain Mantel Clock $75.00 at Etsy
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Spring Table Placemat (several color options available)| MADE TO ORDER $33.00 at Etsy
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Hexagon Full-Sized Blanket Afghan | Ready to Ship $250 at Etsy
Let the Sun Shine In! Vintage Cross-Stitch Pattern Book $6.00 at Etsy

✤ Until March 25, 2020, various items in my Etsy shop will be on sale. This will be the last time that some of these items will be on sale or even on the shelf. So take advantage of the 15% off while it lasts! ✤

2020 Goals + What I’m Doing

Time flies when you are having fun, or the world falls into utter chaos, it’s kinda a toss up.

Welcome to 2020! I know I’m about 20 days late with a goal post for 2020, but there is a good reason for it. 2019 was definitely a year that I was glad to see disappear, although I’m not sure I was ready for 2020 to be here. I feel like I had so may goals and projects that I wanted to finish and work on, only to watch them crumble into dust.

At first, watching these dreams die bothered me, until I really sat down and took a good look at what I was doing and why I was doing it. It took me a bit of time, because to be honest I’m a very stubborn person who doesn’t let things go easily, and what I realized was working towards an end that wasn’t something I really wanted in the first place.

So I’ve decided to try an new approach for 2020, something I’m hoping will help bring back my passion to write and allow me to get some of my sewing and crochet projects finished too. Something that will make me happy to do instead of being one more thing on my already busy plate.

After quite a bit of discussion with my awesome hubby and a great friend about running a business, I’ve decided to shift my focus from running a successful business to just having fun doing what I love. And what I love to do, besides hang out with my cute kids and sexy husband, is write and craft items for my family, friends, and home. So that is what I’m going to do.

This means the 4 goals I had chosen to focus on in 2020 and posted on my Facebook Page had to be tweaked to reflect where I want to go in 2020. Which is from running a business to working at a hobby within my own time frame.

My Plans for this Year

Or as a friend of mine once called them, the dreaded goals.

However, I think if you view goals as dreadful or too much work, you are probably doing it wrong. I know I’m continuously doing them wrong because they never work despite the fact that I love creating goals to work on.

I know that there is this formula to make specific, measurable, realistic, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals, and that if it is a large goal, it’s best to break it down into smaller parts and set deadlines, but it doesn’t work for me at all.

I’ve tried it over and over again and something almost always pops up to trip me up. So rather than a list of lofty goals this year, I’m sticking with 4 goals and only 4 goals. These are things that I really want to accomplish or will have fun working on.

#1: I will be working on The Lost Heir Series!

Writing and finishing the Lost Heir Series has been a main focus of my for the last few years, but I basically tripped myself up by trying to force it into a format that I thought would make it easier for me and that would sale. Once I got my out of my own way this year and let the story write itself, everything fell into place.

Book #1, Butcher of Jhedek Pass, was finished sometime last year and placed on the shelf until I finished the other books. Book #2, Rebels & Traitors, caused me a fair amount of problems and took months of me writing it, tearing it apart to rewrite, and worrying over if I was doing it right to eventually abandon it. Last week, I finally completed book 2 and moved to book 3. Both books 1 and 2 were sent to my first reader on Thursday.

Friday, I started setting up the scenes for Book #3, The Healer’s Warrior, and editing them Saturday. The only reason I’m able to have these books done so quickly at the moment, is that I have already written over 200,000 words in this series before I decided to change the format.

The later books in the series will have more scenes that I will have to write and take me more time. I would like to finish this series in 2020, but as I haven’t any idea how many books this series will have I don’t know if that is feasible. But I’m going to definitely push for getting close.

#2: Declutter my craft stash.

You know those people who hold on to plastic grocery bags until they have a collection that are taking over their life, or at least their pantry or underneath the sink. The ones who can’t seem to recycle them, give them away, or throw them away.

Well, I’m that person, only it’s not so much a problem with plastic bags, as it is with craft items or potential craft items and odd ball things that should probably be thrown away but I haven’t done it because I might just be able to use it one day!

It’s not quite on the level of “hoarder” yet, but if I don’t either make stuff with it then it is time to get rid of it.

#3: Buy nothing more to add to my craft stash until I use what I have.

I have a lot of items in my stash, from cloth to cross-stitch kits to needlepoint to various yarn to jewelry making supplies, and it’s becoming a little unruly of late. I won’t be buying any more craft items until I use what I have in my stash. That means I’m working to finish any started project, of which there are only about 4.

After that, I will be working on some projects that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. This includes a pair of socks, a few crocheted sweaters or hooded vests, some sewn shirts and skirts from the cloth that I have been holding onto, a pair of sleep shorts for Miss T, some bralettes for the girls from some of my pants, and possibly a coat or rug from the jeans that I couldn’t bare to throw out.

Left to right: the Woodland Wrap Shawl, a bowl of yarn samples set aside for other projects, and the Woodland Hood.

Now the only exception to this goal will be when I work on custom orders for people because I don’t usually have what I need on hand and if I need to buy something to finish a project.

#4: Continue to add items to my shops.

I almost pitched Etsy over the side in December, but after some debate with myself, I’ve decided to keep it with some modifications to how I’m going to run it. I’m not going to force myself to add a listing a week or 2 listings a month. I’m just going to add the few finished projects I have around here to my Etsy shop when I feel like working on it. I’m not in any hurry.

But first, I want to update my web shop will all the changes I’ve made to the listings at Etsy. At one point, some of the Etsy listings will only be found here.

Reserve Goal: Republish Loving the Goddess of Love & An Angel in Tartarus

An Angel in Tartarus is actually all ready, but I’ve been waiting to complete the edits to Loving the Goddess of Love before I republish them both. I’m only adding this goal because I’ve been wanting to complete it, but only if I finish the other goals before the end of the year. This has been something that has really been bugging me and I would love to get it out of the way if I have the time, but it wasn’t as important to my creativity to do it now.

Wishing you all the best in January!

Stephannie Beman

Working on this Beauty

A few months back I started putting together this afghan from hexagon pieces I’ve been creating over the last few years from scrap yarn. I absolutely love the warmth of crochet and knit blankets. They beat my feather down comforter every time. 😁

As of tonight, I’m four rows from finishing this beautiful, colorful afghan.

Sorry about the darkness of the picture. I usually take pictures earlier in the day. 😁

I’m kinda sad that work on this is coming to an end. Not only has it been a challenge to create, but it’s different than anything I’ve worked on in the past.

There are so many memories attached to these blankets. Memories of my mother and grandma teaching me to crochet. Memories of the white haired women sitting outside an old fort, happy to share their knoweledge of crocheting with a 11-year-old me. Memories of smaller projects that lead to creating this afghan.

Part of me is glad to have another project removed from my projects list. To be able to add this blanket to my Etsy shop because as much as I wish I could keep it, I have more than I need at home.

I hope this blanket will find a home with someone who will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

October 2019 Reading List


Please Note: All pictures of books and links come from their respective author or publisher websites when possible. Otherwise, I have linked them to Amazon.

Books I Read in October 2019

Of the books I have read over the last month or two, the ones that keep my interest were the two below and a beta read, The Outlaw’s Bride by Ruth Ann Nordin (which is on pre-order here!):

What books have you read lately? Any you care to share?

Happy reading to ya’ll!

Stephannie Beman