July 2019 Reading List + What I’m Currently Reading

So much is going on behind the scenes that I almost forgot to post my July books!

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 July

Books I’m Currently Reading

I’m still reading the Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success by Jennifer Lee and it will be my only book until after haying is done and school starts.


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

Happy reading to ya’ll!

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NEW! Vintage Garfield Bookmark

As a lover of books and book related bling, I’m really excited to add some vintage bookmarks to my etsy shop. First up is the Vintage Garfield Bookmark. Garfield was one of my favorite cartoon characters growing up.

You can purchase this collectible item for $7.95 (shipping included in the price) from me by commenting below or emailing me.

I hope you are all having an awesome summer!

Stephannie Beman

July 2019 Check-In & My August Goals

Hey, Sweet Peas! I’m back for another check-in and goal post with my blog friends, fellow readers, writers, and crafting enthusiast. And now my brain just went to American football. LOL

Anywhoo, I hope you are all have a wonderful Summer and if you are at the opposite side of the world from me, a mellow winter. It’s been a month and a lot of stuff has changed on some fronts and very little on others.

Allergies & my Tonsils

I stayed inside most of July because the pollen was so bad that it started a domino effect of runny noses, sneezing, watery eyes, and some days it actually set off my asthma if I even walked out the door. Mowing the lawn was miserable, weeding the flower bed impossible. Luckily it calmed down about mid-July and the roses were happy be rid of the weeds and get their fertilizer, not that they really needed them.

Thankfully my swollen tonsils seem to be going down thanks to some natural remedies. The antibiotics that they gave me in May did very little to help. But gargling salt water and taking Emergen-C seems to be helping.

Little Miss T’s Afghan

I finally finished this afghan for my little Miss T this month. I was so glad to get it out of my travel bag before it got too hot, because that is one very warm blanket. She has been so excited to be using it and the color scheme turned out better than I thought it would. 😀

How my July 2019 Goals went & what my August Goals will be

There are several things that I hope to accomplish in July and set up for August, but there were also things that I didn’t take into account when I made the goals and until I was ready to do them I didn’t realize the problem.

Personal Goals

Take the kids to the pool, library, or the water park at least once a week until School starts again: We only managed to make it twice this month. There was too much going on in our personal lives.

Get back into the habit of walking once to twice a day: I failed to do this, but mostly because of my allergies wouldn’t allow it. Now that allergy season seems to be winding down for me, I’m working to make walking a habit.

Handcrafted Items for my Shop

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.

Listing my Woodland Hoods: I didn’t do this and that was more for seasonal reasons that I didn’t think of at the time that I made this goal. I pushed this back a month. The Woodland Hoods will be $25 for small kids and $40 adults.

Listing Made to Order Place Mats: Initially I was going to make seasonal placemats only, but after making a trip to my local store (about 2 hours away) to look for cotton yarn, I realized that their choices were shit. So I hopped onto one of my favorite online stores to check out their color choices. I couldn’t choose just a few or if I should use just Cotton yarn or the cotton-polyester blend, so I made 2 listing of Made to Order Placemats with a huge selection of yarn colors you can choose from.

I ended up having to change my initial price for these. The 100% Cotton Placemats will be $35.95 and the Cotton-Polyester Blend Placemats will be $32.95. The difference in price is due to the cost of materials used. 100% cotton costs more than the blend.

List various dish towels from my stash: I love these dish/tea towels and I’m looking forward to them getting to a great home but I waited on listing these because I decided to do something different. I started by factoring in the cost of buying the 32″ x 36″ Premium Quality Flour Sack Dish Towels that I hand stitch these on, and I realized that I needed to sell them for more to cover my costs. I tried buying 2 other brands of tea towels at a lower price to see if I could lower the cost but the quality of cloth wasn’t the best so I’m going back to my original towels.

Due to the quality of the cloth and size of the towels, they will be sold for $20.95 each or save $13.70 and buy a set for $139.95. I will be offering small sized towels later on and possible the best of the 2 brands I bought for a lower price for those who want the old style look of hand embroidered tea towels but not the price tag.

Finish the lettering on a set of dish towels and prep them for listing next month: I stalled on this project but only because I wasn’t sure if I want to make the floral towels a set or sale them as individuals. I decided to make these a set for $139.95.

Listing two cross-stitch projects on Etsy: I got pictures taken of the professional framed project and the unframed project, but I’m waiting on listing these until later this year. There were several projects that were smaller and easier to list that will give me a better idea of what I need for shipping these items. This is still a learning curve for me.

Finish the Border of the Full-Sized Octagon Afghan: This took up far too much of my time this month because I decided that I didn’t like how it looked and ended up pulling the afghan apart. I decided to make this a hexagon shaped afghan rather than rectangle and picked a different joining method and border. I love this so much better now. So this is something I will continue to work on.

Sketching out Owl transfers for dish towels: I finished this and sent it off to the lady who is having me stitch these. Once she approves the designs I will start stitching these towels. If anyone has suggestions for designs for dish towel, let me know below.

Writing Goals

I wrote an entire blog post about my goals to Finish editing the Goddess of Love & Writing The Lost Heir Series that you can read here. I have no plans to write in August unless I feel the need to put pen to paper.

Website & Blog

Continue adding listings to my Etsy shop: Despite some issues happening over at Etsy at the moment that I’m not the happiest about and that are reminiscent of author-related issues that happened at Amazon a few years back, I decided that I would keep my Etsy shop open. The idea is to add 1 new product every few days to every week until I have everything in my extensive stash of items listed.

My Website Shop: Since opening my Etsy shop in April, and with the changes that Etsy is making, I need to have my own shop open here on my website. Due to the lack of funds at the moment, I can buy an eCommerce website package, so I have to make due with what I have. This means lots of research and work behind the scenes to set up the back end. This all takes time away from me making new items or listing new items. It’s a slower process then I like, but eventually I will have everything listed on this website too. Until then anyone who wants to purchase a product will have to contact me directly or buy from my Etsy shop.


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

Wishing you the best,

Stephannie Beman

New! 2 Table Placemats

I absolutely love these placemats!

I made my first set of 4 a few years ago to try them out thinking that everyone was right and that I wouldn’t like them. I have since ignored the naysayers and made 10 more for when we have company for a meal with plans for holiday colors. I prefer them to the stiff cloth ones that I was gifted one year or the plastic ones I bought to protect my table when the girls were little. Neither of them absorbed spills and the plastic ones had a tendency to stick to wooden tables and leave paint behind.

Since I loved these so much, I decided to start offering them to others, both as a pattern for crocheters who want to make their own placemats and as a finished product for those who don’t crochet but would love to have in their home, or give as a gift to someone they love.

Not only are these a lovely, organic addition to any table in your home, these placemats have the added benefit of being absorbent and being made in a wide range of colors, they are also perfect for protecting your surfaces. I don’t just use these as dinner placemats at my table, they have started to find their way onto surfaces around my house.

Initially I was going to make these seasonal placemats, but after making a trip to my local Jo-Ann’s (about the only craft store within a 2 hour radius of my home ) and realizing that their choices for cotton yarn was limited to about 6 colors, I hopped onto one of my favorite online stores to check out their color choices. I was confront by dozens of brands, in dozens of colors. Then there was the choice of 100% cotton yarn or a cotton-polyester blend. So I made 2 listing for Table Placemats with a selection of yarn colors you can choose from:

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Cotton-Polyester Table Placemats {Made to Order} for $32.95 each

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100% Cotton Table Placemats {Made to Order} for $35.95 each

Why the difference in price? Well, due to having to order the yarn online which just happens to have a different price then the store I use to buy it from before they shut down, I had to change my initial  price for the placemats. But I also felt weird charging more for placemats that cost me less to make. Since 100% cotton, which is my favorite choice and which I mostly use to crochet with, costs more than the cotton blended with Polyester, I decided that I couldn’t offer one type. Besides the color choices for each type of yarn are so different and fun that it just made sense to have two different listings.

Order 1 Table Placemat or Several

Fill out the order form below and I will send you a invoice for the cost of the Placemat(s) with cost of shipping to your area.

Wishing you all the best!

Stephannie Beman

Birthday Bookmarks (Made to Order)

So I’m adding a third physical product to my Etsy shop. At the moment I have five of the twelve finished and I’ve started work on the other seven. But any of the twelve months may be ordered for me to make.

*This is a 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 $16.95!

The Birthday Bookmark might be the perfect accessory for you, your book, or for the book lover in your life. Hand stitched with DMC thread on 18 count Aida Fabric, each bookmark is bound with a coordinating variegated thread for added durability.

SIZES: Approximately 2″ x 6″ (5.08 cm x 15.24 cm).

CARE INSTRUCTIONS: While this bookmark may be machine washed, for best results gently hand wash and laid flat to dry.

Ships in: Made just for you in 2-3 business weeks.

Order the Birthday Bookmark from Me

Fill out the order form below and I will send you a invoice for the cost of the Birthday Bookmark with cost of shipping.

Or order from my Etsy Shop!

Have a wonderful week!

Stephannie Beman

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