What I’m Writing

I wish I could say that I got more done on the writing front this month, but sadly  my focus was torn between working on listings for my Etsy shop, the changes going on with Etsy, some orders that I needed to work on, finally getting to weeding the flower bed and fertilizing the rose bushes, and my kids.

My two writing goals in July were:

1. Writing The Lost Heir Series

I did work on updating my Series Binder for The Lost Heir Series, but I kinda ran out of steam when I got to the character bios. My character bios have always been simple and basic, mostly how the character looks, dresses, possible family connections, and any idiosyncrasies that pop up that I should be aware of. There are very few changes that need to be made to the bios that I figured could be done while I’m writing.

The next thing I wanted to accomplish and only half did was tracking the  various story threads and character arcs through the series of books in the hopes of being able to plan out each book so that I know what happens and can utilize the over 186k words already written. This is going to take more time then I thought for two reasons: the kids are distracting and still need mom’s help to cook meals (this is something they are still learning to do) and I need to make sure that each book is a complete story.

I ended up putting this aside, probably until September when the haying is done and the kids are in school, so that I can take the time I need to figure things out.

2. Finish editing Loving the Goddess of Love

I definitely didn’t complete this one, but I did get a few chapters edited this month and finalized the cover art and title change. There was a lot more wrong with the editing of this book then I first thought and it makes me cringe that I paid two different editors to edit this book and they did a horrible job of it!

The plan is to continue working on editing this book until I can send it to an editor that I trust to fix my improper use of commas. At this time, I’m not sure when this will come back out as writing is my passion project more than my focus at the moment, but it is starting to look like it will be closer to November.

Wishing you all the best,

Stephannie Beman

 

{Show & Tell} The Castle

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you got to see The Castle in the various stages of stitching throughout the summer last year. I posted nearly weekly updates on how the project was progressing. For those of you not following me on Facebook, I thought I would share the photos of this project.

Many years ago, when I was a eager teen into dragons,  I bought The Castle by Teresa Wentzler to stitch for my bedroom, only to never do it. As much as I loved the look of the dragon and the castle in the picture, I really wasn’t fond of the color blending or the lack of background.

In 2018, I decided it was time to tackle this project and see what tips and tricks other stitchers might have. I stumbled upon a few articles and videos about changing the color scheme of a project. For those interested, here are some really good links:

My floor stand looked kinda like this one at JoAnn’s, only a little better made.

I didn’t get much progress that first week because when I pulled out the floor stand I got as a High School graduation present roughly 20 years ago and put it together, I found that the main pieces at the base was broken along with the holding arm.

So after a little online research to see what is on the market now, I decided that a lap stand would be a better alternative to the floor stand. However, I wasn’t sure that I wanted invest in some of my favorite ones I found online. So I decided to DIY it.

After  some trial and error, I was able to use the pieces from my floor stand to create a lap stand.  And it wasn’t a bad start.

This was my first try at creating a cross stitch lap stand using the pieces from my floor stand. The Second one worked much better. 😀

And since this was a larger project, I decided to try the parking method for counted cross stitch that I learned about that year. Here is two links that do a good job of discussing the differences between Cross Country and Parking methods (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uwhef-KEOHA and https://peacockandfig.com/2015/07/parking-versus-cross-country-stitching/). And a few more that show them in action.

Within the first week I had a good start to the project. Not only had I changed some of the colors, mostly on the dragon, but I also decided that a modified version of the parking method would work better for me.

Here is the first weeks progress with Little Miss K holding her picture. Look how happy she is.

Here are the next weeks work with a modified version of my lap stand. This one made it easier for me to flip it over without having to flip the entire frame over each time.

Somewhere between week 3-6 the progress was slowed down because of haying, but picked back up between week 7 of the project. In the end, I decided to add a sky and water into the picture. So here is the project nearly finished. I still need to outline everything.

I was able to finish The Castle cross stitch for Little Miss K’s birthday in 2018. Here is it, all done and framed!

I loved it so much, I’m debating making one for me in my favorite colors.

Wishing you all the best,

Stephannie Beman

 

Cat’s Eye Bookmark

I’m so excited to be adding my first physical product to my shop. This is both a finished and made to order bookmark that might be the perfect accessory for you, your book, or for the book lover in your life.

 

*This is a finished or made to order item, not a kit for you to complete*

You may order this bookmark from me below or from my Etsy Shop for $14.95!

Hand stitched with DMC thread on Black Aida Fabric, the edges of the bookmark are frayed with a running stitch along the edges for added durability. Please let me know if you would like a different binding option and I will look into it.

Care Instructions:

While this bookmark may be machine washed when it gets dirty, it will last longer if it is gently hand wash and laid flat to dry.

Ships in:

Made just for you in 7-10 business days

Order the Cat Eyes Bookmark from Me

Or buy from my Etsy Shop!

**All products are created in a pet and smoke free environment.

June 2019 Reading List + What I’m Currently Reading

Hey, Sweet Peas! I thought I would share some of the books I enjoyed reading last month with all my blog friends, fellow readers, and writers. So here we go!

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 May & June

I did a lot of reading in May and June, removing a big chunk from my TBR pile, however, I didn’t like all the books I read, so I thought I would share only the links to the stories I did enjoy reading. While I read mostly romance and erotic romance:

 

I also started a series by my friend Ruth Ann Nordin that I’ve been wanting to read for a long while. I really enjoyed the Marriage by Scandal Series and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series in July:

And I read a Non-Fiction that I’ve actually read three or five times before and an Urban Fantasy that shockingly didn’t have a romantic plot line, although I thoroughly enjoyed the smart ass character:

Books I’m Currently Reading

I was halfway through the third book in the Marriage by Scandal Series by Ruth Ann Nordin when my dad got sick and I had to put it aside for awhile.  I’m hoping to pick it back up in July and finish it now that everything is slowing down around the ranch. At least until Haying comes around.

I’m also reading the Right-Brain Business Plan for the second time since I bought it. Last time I used it to create my writing and book designing business plans. I’m going through it again to work on a creative business plan for my Shop and Books. I probably should have done that before I opened the shop but I really didn’t think about it.

And yes, I am still writing. 😀

So, what books are you reading? Or would you suggest to others?

Wishing you all the best,

Stephannie Beman


While my news may not be frequent, each one is mindfully written to entertain or share information on what I'm working on, new releases and upcoming projects, behind the scenes looks at the projects you love, and a reading list of books I would recommend. Enter your email address and click subscribe. I'm looking forward to meeting another friend along this journey called life!

June 2019 Check-In & My July Goals

Hey, Sweet Peas! How’s it all going with you guys? I hope you all are having a great Summer, although in my neck of the woods I’n debating calling this weather Spring.

Since it has been awhile since I’ve been around the webverse, I decided it was probably time for a check in with my blog friends, fellow readers, writers, and crafting enthusiast.  So here is the quick and dirty version of the last two months. *Please beware, this is a long post. If you want to know just what my July goals are? Just click here. *

What Happened in my Life in May & June

Our usually busy May turned into crazy busy when my dad got sick around Mid-May.  Since we don’t live too close by, it was a lot of driving time to their house and back. And  with the kids still in school and having their end of school programs and awards, it was a scheduling nightmare. Shortly after my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he passed away. I’m still trying to process it all nearly a month after the funeral.

Because the bad weather in May carried into June *It snowed about mid-June. Yikes!*, I had to keep the tomato plants that a friend gave us inside. About mid-June, I finally broke down and planted them into pots so I could take them outside in the day and bring them in each night until better weather allowed me to keep them out all the time. I also decided to do a little companion planting and added some bean plants to one tomato pot and lettuce to another. We’ll see how they do. I’m not much of a gardener. Keeping houseplants and established outside plants alive aren’t a problem, planting things from seed and I usually kill them.

My view from the tractor while dragging the meadow.

We also fell behind with the Ranch work because of the weather and ended up having to push it to stay on schedule. And because Ranch work comes before almost everything else, my poor flower beds are being neglected and in serious need of a good weeding. But with all the pollen floating around in June because of the late start in the season, my allergies are making me miserable. Add swollen tonsils and it’s not happening for awhile. *The Doctor told me that if we can’t get the swollen tonsils down, I might have to have them removed.  At my age, that would suck a monkey’s poopy butt.*

Anyhoo, after school ended, I was surprised with a Summer Band Camp for the kids in band which I needed to take my Little Miss K to as she will be playing her dad’s clarinet next year. That lasted for the first two weeks of June. And since we live so far from town, it meant spending most of the day there and getting little done. Well, that’s not completely true, I added more color rows to the afghan my daughter has been bugging me to finish for her. She choose the pattern and the colors for it.

Not only was I able to finish up some small crochet projects, but I was also able to solidify and tweak my plans for my blog, my shop, my writing, and my crafting. In April, my blogging plans was to gear my posts more towards all the different areas in my life and my shop plans were to release a product every week to two weeks until I had everything in stock listed.

Now, while most of those plans haven’t changed too drastically, a reassessment of my goals and planned tasks helped me see some of the problems that I would face,  figure out what I might be wasting time with, and what I could do differently before I jump straight back into work. In years past, I would have stressed over getting back on track with everything, but I’ve decided not to worry this time around.

It would be too much of a push to catch up with three months of missing work and still get what I planned out as well. Since I’m not working for anyone, except myself, and other than one client job, I don’t have anyone relying on me to get stuff done for them, I have time to work at my own pace. Plus, I don’t need the headache of unneeded stress. 😀

So the plan is to start working from the point I’m at going forward at the same pace I had decided would be sustainable and would make me happy. Which leads me to my working on my slightly neglected Etsy Shop at the end of June. I was able to finish the  pattern for the Crocheted Light Woodland Shawl that I started in May. I listed it on Etsy during the last week of June.

Light Woodland Shawl Pattern (Printable PDF) $4.95

If anyone is interested in buying the pattern or a finished shawl from me instead of buying it on Etsy, please email me.

The writing bug bit me in the ass the last week of June and I’ve been itching to tackle the Lost Heir Series. The only reason I put the story aside in the first place is that it wanted to be told a certain way and I doubted my ability to do it at the time.

Recently, I feel confident enough to work on it again. So for the last last few days I’ve been working on updating my Series Binder, tracking the  various story threads and character arcs through the series of books, and writing scenes that inspired me. We’ll see how it is going in about two weeks when I post a update about my writing.

The months without writing have put a few things into perspective for me, like as much as I love writing and being a writer, I don’t like the business side of things. So when I indie publish my stories, it’s for me and those who like my stories. I will not be announcing them anywhere else expect here and on my Facebook Page for those interested.

My Goals for July 2019

There are several things that I hope to accomplish in July and set up for August.

Personal Goals

Take the kids to the pool, library, or the water park at least once a week until School starts again: This isn’t always possible, but I try to take the kids to one of these three places each week. This gives them time to play with other kids and hang out somewhere that isn’t home, with each other, or the temptation of electronic devices.

Get back into the habit of walking once to twice a day: Last year, I had gotten into the habit of going on a walk twice a day. Once the snow started flying, the lane became too dangerous for me to walk down and exercise moved indoors. So far this year, my exercise routine hasn’t moved outside yet and I’m missing it.

Handmade Work Goals

Most of what I need to do include taking photos, writing descriptions, figuring out pricing and shipping prices, and listing several finished items that I’ve taken from my stash. If anyone is interested in purchasing any of the items below from me rather than Etsy, please email me and let me know.

List my Woodland Hoods: I finished several Woodland Hoods for adults and small children, using the yarn in the bowl to the right of the adult size Woodland Hood on my paper mache head below. There are 6 adults and 6 children hoods.

Woodland Hoods: small kids – $25 & adults – $40

Listing Seasonal Place Mats: I’m also going to be adding a listing for the table place mats that I created a pattern for and have had a few requests for them. I want to pick out a few seasonal colors and even sizes to choose from. The prices will vary depending on the size, but the 17” x 12” place mats will be $25 each.

List various dish towels from my stash on Etsy: I love these dish/tea towels and I’m looking forward to them getting to a great home. These hand embroidered towels are stitched on Premium Quality Flour Sack Dish Towels and are larger then the normal at around 32″ x 36″. The Farm Inspired towels that I stitched last year cost $10.97 each while the Frogs that I entered into the County Fair are $70.

   

Listing two cross-stitch projects on Etsy: One is a professional framed project and the other was finished at the beginning of the year and still needs to be framed. I still need to take pictures of them.

Finish the lettering on a set of dish towels and prep them for listing next month: I finally picked out a color for the lettering on the 7 floral dish towels I finished hand embroidering in June.  Thank you everyone who left a comment what they thought the color choice should be on my Facebook Page.

Weekly Flower Dish Towels – $70

Finish the Border of the Full-Sized Octagon Afghan: This is a scrap yarn afghan that I’ve been working on for several years, and started put together last year. It just needs two octagons attached and a border crocheted on. I probably won’t list it until next month.

Sketching out Owl transfers for dish towels: I had a request for a set of owl dish towels that I’m sketching out and looking forward to creating once my towels arrive. If anyone has suggestions for designs for dish towel, let me know below.

I want to finish setting up my Online Shop but…: Since opening my Etsy shop in April, I knew I wanted to create an online shop here on my website too. The process ended up taking more time then I planned and mostly because I’m having a hard time finding a reliable, seamless payment process system that doesn’t cost an arm, a leg, and my first born child. At the moment, I’m not making enough to pay the price they are asking.

Before anyone tells me about the various ecommerce websites or that I can upload a plugin. My website isn’t hosted on a place that accepts plugins with the plan I have. If I want that, I need to pay more and like I mentioned above, I don’t have the money to do that at the moment and make a sustainable business. So I’ll stick with an online shop links to each item’s page and have people to contact me to buy something or buy from Etsy. It wouldn’t be much different from the book cover designing I do.

Writing Goals

Finish editing the Goddess of Love: This book needed editing and I really want to finish it so that I can send it to a better editor then the first one I paid to do it. I’m not sure when this will come back out, but I really want to put it back on the market in August.

Writing The Lost Heir Series: Finish updating my Series Binder, tracking the  various story threads and character arcs through the series of books, and plan out each book so that I know what happens and can utilize the over 186k words already written. Then, if I have time I can start filling in the scenes I need to finish each book and move on.


Now that you know what’s going on in my life and my goals for July, what about you guys? What’s happening with you guys? What goals do you have this month?

Wishing you the best,

Stephannie Beman

PS: Next week’s blog will be all about what books I’ve read (and enjoyed) and what am currently reading.

New Pattern Release: Light Woodland Shawl

Last week I brushed off the dust collecting on my Shop and  listed a second pattern for the crocheters out there. Before I tell you all more about this versatile shawl, I’m curious to know if a finished shawl like this be something you guys would be interested in buying?

I really enjoyed making it, but that I’m debating whether or not to make more of to sell in my Shop to those who don’t crochet. I want to pick out a few colors and make more before I decide if this will become a permanent custom order listing in my Shop.

Now on to the pattern…

Light Woodland Shawl Crochet Pattern (PDF Pattern Only) $4.95

Description for the Light Woodland Shawl:

A lovely garment to add to any closet, the Light Woodland Shawl was created for those cool nights when you want something to keep you warm, but not too warm. The lightweight, mesh design creates little pockets of warmth while allowing air to flow more freely around you. This versatile garment can be converted into a comfortable and light shawl, wrap, vest, or blanket.

This pattern is in PDF format for instant download. Save it to your phone or drive and take your pattern wherever you go!

* This listing is for digital, printable PDF files. NO physical printed materials will be shipped. *

INSTRUCTIONS: Easy to follow pattern.
STITCHES: ch, ch sp, dc, tr
MATERIALS: Medium weight yarn (#4) and about 1,040 yards.
HOOK: K/101 (2-6.50mm)
DIMENSIONS: Approximately 45” wide x 80” long
SKILL: Beginner
YOU WILL RECEIVE:  1 PDF Crochet Pattern, Letter Size pages


Wishing you all the best,

Stephannie Beman

{New Release} Printable Online Password Tracker!

While Friday was the official release of my Printable Password Tracker, I ended up running out of time to write the blog post for it. I guess that is what I get when I get side tracked by interesting tidbits of research . I know, bad me and that addictive pinning site that sucked me in with its cute pictures.

Anywhoo! Friday, I added an new printable to my Etsy store.  The Printable Password Tracker is basically a printable tracker for websites, usernames, and passwords that you can put in your planner. For those of you who don’t like writing out your usernames and passwords, something I’m not too comfortable with either, you could always write a question or hint to jog your memory instead of the usernames and passwords.

Buy the Printable Password Tracker (Printable PDF) for $2.95 at ETSY now!

The Online Tool Tracker is a PDF that comes in 4 sizes: Letter, Half, A4, and A5. So it can hopefully fit into your planner or BUJO easily. For those who don’t know what a BUJO is, it’s a bullet journal.

Wishing you all the very Best this week!

Stephannie Beman