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.

Heads Up! It’s an Update!

It’s been brought to my attention by my daughter that it’s been nearly a month since my last blog post and that she believes that another post is in order. She tells me that this is because if I “want to be any kind of blogger or Youtuber of note, you have to post often”. I didn’t have the heart to tell my hormonal 13 year old that I don’t want to be a blogger most days, and the idea of being a Youtuber makes me want to pull the plug on the Internet altogether.

I’m debating if that would be a good thing or a bad thing. I think I could live without it far easier than most of the other people in this house. Not that we have time to be on it all the time. They just spend more time playing on it while I only work and sometimes shop on it.

But regardless of who would and wouldn’t survive the disconnect of the computer, she was right about one thing: it is time for an update on what I’m doing.

This Website is Receiving an Update

I won’t get into too much detail as I address it in my next post. Yes, it’s already written and pre-scheduled, but only because the update post was getting way too long and I decided to split it in 2. Which means this portion of the post was written last. LOL

I Finished Editing An Angel in Tartarus

I was talking to my sister about this short story and she offered to give it a once over. She had some awesome suggestions that I took and it motivated me to send it to my editor for a once over.

Cover Coming Soon
New Cover Coming Soon

I got in back from my lovely editor, who I hope will always edit my stories, and went through the suggested changes. It’s now ready to republish, but since I don’t have the companion novel that goes with it edited, I’m going to wait until Loving the Goddess of Love ready to be republished.

I’m Working on Custom Orders

A family friend has commissioned a curtain from me and even provided the fabric. We owe him a lot, so I’m doing it as part of his Christmas gift. I plan to work on this project today along with two other sewing projects.

My other custom order projects include: 4 hand embroidered tea towels and a winter-themed linen table runner. The cloth for the table runner needs to be cut to size and the raw edges hemmed up, so I plan to do that when I work on the curtain.

I printed out the patterns I’m using last night, so I’ll trace them with a heat transfer pencil and get the snowmen designs transferred to the tea towels so I can start embroidering them this weekend. The table runner will wait until I’m done with the edges so I can make sure the images I printed are big enough.

Lastly, I’m using a pair of old jeans to create a cover for my hybrid Bullet Journal / Travel’s Notebook system so I can keep all my notebooks and planners in one place. Unless I decide to make 2. I want to finish before the new year when I get my new writer’s planner.

I’d Rather Be Writing 2020 Planner, PDF $12.99 & Printed $16.99

I’m Back to Writing The Lost Heir

For the past month, I’ve been working on The Lost Heir Series and I really want to finish it up. This is a series of novella length books about the Rebel Cynel and the Seer Mina whose quest to find the Lost Heir to the Empty Throne leads them down some dark paths and intertwine their fates in unexpected ways.

So far I’ve reading through Book 1, The Butcher of Jhedek Pass, to refresh my memory of the story. Then I started reading Book 2, The Warlord’s Daughter, which was basically finished and just needed a few scenes to complete the story. Now I’m moving to Book 3, Rebels & Traitors.

Rebels & Traitors is already about 17,000 words and since I’m aiming at between 20,000-30,000 for each story, I’m pretty sure that it won’t take me long to wrap that book up either.

New covers will need to be updated to fit the new titles of the books and series, much like most of the things around here. LOL

And if that wasn’t enough…

I joined NaNoWriMo 2019

This will be the first time since 2012 that I will be doing this. I’m mostly doing it to support my sister who wanted to try it out and not because I wanted to do it.

I know that NaNoWriMo is helpful to many writers, I’ve just never been one of them. In the past, it has done nothing to motive me which is why I dropped doing it after 2 years. With all the things on my plate, I’m not confident in my ability to write 50k words in November, but it can’t hurt to try.

So there you have it. That is what I’m going to be doing for the next little while. What are you guys doing? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

In Which I Debate Killing A Few Things + a Show & Tell

Because I want to make my handmade shop work for our lifestyle, I’ve been diving into what it takes to run a successful handmade business while making it flexible enough for our life. Most of what I’ve learned isn’t really anything new. There are many things that don’t change from one business to another, but there are also things that aren’t so universal.

But some of the things I’ve learned make me want to kill a few things. Like the person who created SEO, my Facebook Page and basically every social media platform every created for sucking me into procrastinating and doing absolutely nothing for my self-esteem, all the business “gurus” who spout off how to succeed but have little to no real time success that I can find or the business gurus that give advice that isn’t feasible for my lifestyle but make me feel guilty by not doing what they tell me to, and the idiots who decided to screw up US sales tax for online businesses by making it harder than it really needs to be and throwing a monster wrench into my website plans. I swear they are all created to drive me insane.

Because of many of the above, I’ve had to rethink my goals and plans. Like I’m going to have to downsize some of my plans into more manageable steps before I can implement them. I’m going to have to drop some plans because, as things are at this moment, they won’t work for me. I’m going to have to slow some plans down and do more research before spending time on them.

And because of the confusing sales tax laws that I don’t have the time to figure out right now, I won’t be able to open a fully operational shop on my website anytime soon. For the time being you will find :

  • All my vintage and handcrafted products on Etsy.
  • All my digital planners and organizers, patterns, and printables on Etsy and Payhips.
  • My printed planners, books, and eBooks can be found on Payhips and various eBookstores like B&N and Amazon. Each book will have the different shops.

I wish it could be different, but at this time I don’t have the money to upgrade my website. As with all my business, I try to stay out of debt by funding all purchases for my business from my business income. This means that other than custom orders, I won’t buy anything new. Instead, I utilize my various craft stashes to create whimsical items I believe others would love as much as I do.

You may still order anything straight from me if you want, just send me a request via email me or my contact form.

Now on to a Show & Tell

I’m so thankful for everyone who has supported my new business, both handcrafted and book related. It’s been a busy September with getting handcrafted items out to customers, adding more into my shop, making a few for my family, creating mock ups of ideas that may or may not be sold, and working on editing a short story for republishing.

There were a few horrible flops dealing with paper mache and jewelry that I will either need to rethink or give up altogether. The tags I had printed for my handcrafted products in August (I followed this DIY for them) ended up being too big for small things like bookmarks and too awkward to sew on crochet items, so I’m going to have to rethink how I want to change them for those items.

I’ve been sewing these labels onto my tea towels that I hope to start listing in October.

I stitched up a few small bags and fingerless gloves from crocheted granny squares that I uncovered while cleaning up my stashes. These were leftover from an afghan I made a few years back and I couldn’t see throwing them out.

The gloves turned out to be women’s small (I only know this because that is the size of gloves I wear.). The small bags turned out better then I hoped. I was going to put the ones I finished in my shop, but the girls stole them all. They put Pokemon cards and ear buds in the bags and wore the gloves to school. I’ll have to wait until I have more scrap yarn before I make some more.

The small bags ended up being the perfect size for my business cards.

My biggest order to date was 6 crochet winter placemats in a beautiful variegated blue, 4 matching crochet washcloths, and an awesome custom ordered T-shirt with the hand embroidered phrase “I’d Rather Be Writing” and quill on it. I’m debating making one for me because I love everything about it!

Then there was the 2 custom ordered linen placemats with custom embroidered image in the corner. Sorry about the splash of pink, sadly I can’t share the design for a number of reasons. These were bought as a gift for someone else and I’ve been told that she absolutely loves them which made me happy to hear. 😀

Almost a year ago I was at Jo-Ann’s and bought this mermaid pendant. Since then I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do with it. I’ve created a few designs for it that I haven’t been all that happy with. While going through my box of broken jewelry and jewelry makings looking for jump rings for my daughters necklace, I uncovered these set of “pearls” that needed a new clasp siting next to the pendant and it just clicked. I really liked the look and now I’m really tempted to make a mermaid jewelry collection sometime in the future. LOL

I ran across this tiny cross stitch birdhouse that I created several years ago when I was creating a new design for a wall hanging for my mom. I added fusible interfacing to the back and stitched the edges closed. This was suppose to be an experiment in using fusible interfacing on the back of my bookmarks. It worked so much better than the cloth that I’m backing all my bookmarks with interfacing. I also decided to add this bookmark to my shop.

I finished another Birthday Bookmark to add to the collection. I love these hand stitched bookmarks for several reasons. They are beautiful, durable, washable, and long lasting. I still have the first cross stitch I ever made. This bookmark still looks like new 20+ years later, so does the December Bookmark I made for myself is over 15+ years ago.

Soon to be added to my shop.

I have an idea for the bookmarks that I’m working on implementing in October with all my hand stitched bookmarks that I’m hoping will make them more appealing to book lovers like myself. 😀

Well, I better get going. I have a lot of projects I want to work on and some changes I need to do on this website before the day is done.

Wishing you all the very best,

Stephannie Beman