Cleaning Out my Studio, aka my Crafting Corner

While I’ve been a little silent on my blog, I’ve been busy stash busting and adding new items to my shop while trying to figure out how to let you all know that I have new items in my shop without flooding your inbox daily. Because yes, I have added new items daily to my shop some weeks.

June and July has also seen me going through my patterns and crafting books. I’ve been having to make the hard decision of should they stay or should they go.

Wow! I don’t know about any of you, but I just sang that last line to this song. LOL

Anywhoo! I found that I have more books about crafts and patterns hanging around here then I realize. Some of these are things that I was interested in making or thought would be cool to do, but have since moved on or found that I have no interest in pursuing them.

Many of the cross stitch patterns have ended up in my shop along with the a few crochet patterns and sewing patterns. (Psst! Just to give you a heads up, next week will be the start of my sewing pattern sale in my shop. This will be my first and last sale for sewing patterns this year. Tell everyone! Or is that suppose to be tell no one? Hmmmm….)

Now on to other craft books!

All the books below are ones that I’ll be placing in my shop later this year. Preferably with a better picture quality and before my kids steal any more of them. LOL

This is just some of the books in my collection. There are more that I’m still pulling out of the shelves.

The stack now sits beside my computer for me to start listing. If anyone is interested in any of them before I do list them in my shop let me know and I can tell you more about them. There are books about: Natural Cosmetics, Body, and Skin Care; Quilting; Soap Making; Candle Making; and Handmade Cards.

While cleaning up my studio, aka crafting corner, I have come to realize that I have more crafting supplies around here than I initially realized. Sadly, I’m not sure what I should do with some of it as they are no longer something that I want to do or finish.

Like that huge bag of yarn that I bought for my daughter’s school service project for the community in 2018 where she decided to make hats for the babies at the hospital. Well, we had a lot leftover and in 2019, she decided to make knit hats and ear warmers to sell with the proceeds going to the food bank. And then she used even more in 2020, before the schools shut down to make even more knit baby beanies for the hospital because the hot chocolate stand that she was going to do with a classmate fell through twice.

Yarn collection for baby beanies and afghans
Even with all that hat making, there is a lot of yarn left in various colors.

I’ve been leaning towards making an afghan with it since my knit hats don’t seem to be as popular as I had hoped they would be, but I have so many afghans in our home we will never be able to use them all.

Most of the hand knit hats are no longer in Stephannie Beman’s Shop, but they will be returning for one last hoorah this Fall. If you don’t like the colors or size, they can be custom made for you.

My other ideas to do with the yarn have been scarves and shawls like these (because I absolutely love scarves and shawls)….

Or these that are already in my shop.

Hand Knit Pink Wrap Shawl with Black Ribbon Closure, Lacy Infinity Shawl, Light Pink Wedding Shawl Wrap | New & READY-TO-SHIP
Woodland Ruana Shawl Wrap, Warm Reversible Wrap Cape, Light Mesh Hippie Boho Ruana Poncho | New & READY-TO-SHIP

But like with the afghan idea I have so many already that I cringe at the idea of not being able to sell them and having all those items left over. My practical side keeps telling me that I already have enough clothing without adding to the supply, but my inner creative wants to create something with all the beautiful, colorful yarn that I have laying around and share it with people.

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing yet, but I will let you know when I figure it out. Until then, I better go. I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Wishing you all the very best!

Stephannie Beman

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.

Socks

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

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