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.

Where Did All the Pages Go

Some of you might notice, others might have missed it, and there are probably other who don’t care, but as of Wednesday evening, most of the pages on this website disappeared.

I’ve started the somewhat slow process this week of updating every page on this website because so much has changed and some of the pages haven’t changed with the times. Since I kept loosing track of what I edited and what I didn’t, I decided that it was best to unpublish everything and update and republish each page individually

There is probably a better way to do it, but this way works the best for me.

What some of you might notice later is that some of those pages were combined while other pages will not be returning. I’m not just streamlining my behind-the-scene process, I’m minimizing this website to make it easier to find things and easier for me to maintain. Kinda a win-win all around

So here is a list of changes that you will notice or be noticing soon:

#1 The Book Section

This section was removed because it was in need of an update and it will be the first section that I bring back. I’m starting by removing anything that isn’t physically out on the market. Then I’ll be removing all the pages no one ever visits. After that I’ll add some pages that I think will be more useful for readers. Anything that will be coming out in the future will only be added when I’m ready to publish it and have a publishing date for them.

#2 The Handmade & Vintage Shop

For a while I was tempted to remove this section completely from my website and just focus on putting stuff on my Etsy shop since it is far easier to do so and I didn’t have the time to add items to both shops. Only I’m learning really quick that I’m not a fan of some of the changes that Etsy is making and would rather create a shop here.

However, the way I went about the shop here was kind of messy. I kept adding more and more stuff at Etsy, and even tweaking and expanding the collections over there. I waited to add things to my web shop until I had more time. But that never happened. Now nothing lines up between my web shop and Etsy, which my brain doesn’t like.

With the holidays fast approaching, which limits my extra cash, and since it would cost more to create the shop I would feel comfortable ordering from than I’m willing to part with at this time, it’s going to have to wait until the new year to upgrade my website into a shop, until then though, I will be adding all 30+ items here, plus adding the others before I add them on Etsy.

So those who are more comfortable ordering printables, handmade goods, vintage items, or even custom order a gift directly from me rather than Etsy can contact me with their order.

#3 The Design Service Section

This section will probably be the last one I work on, because I have some research to do first. I have been wanting to offer more services to authors than just the book cover design lately. These services are for authors who need some help with the writing and even the publishing process. Much like an author’s assistant or writing coach.

I do know that I will be downsizing the page and making it look more like a shop page to help authors navigate it easier.

#4 The Blog

I’ll be doing something different with this blog, or maybe I should say that I’m returning to an early time with it. I’m tired of trying to stick to scheduled posts that apparently my brain doesn’t like to do and finds ways to sabotage after a short sprint. There is one last scheduled post about what I read left before I start something else.

So, how long are these changes going to take?

I’m not really sure. This week will be very busy for me with editing, writing, and sewing.

The basic pages that were the easiest to update and add back are already up. The Book section is my next priority and I don’t see it taking more than a week to finish. The Handmade & Vintage Shop will need the most updating and I will have to add more pages for the products. The Design/Author Service page will take the longest time to go through and I don’t expect it to be done until sometime around the first of the year.

The plan is to see how far I can get in updating my website this week as my work schedule is sporadic and I probably won’t get much writing done. Starting next week, I plan to work on a page or two each day until I’m done.

Wishing you all the very Best this November,

Stephannie Beman

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

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

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 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.