Embroidered Jewelry & Graphic Design Work

At the age of 3, my mom taught me to use a needle and thread to sew cloth. Those first dozen or more attempts to create something probably ended in complete failure, but that wasn’t the point of teaching me. It was to keep her curious child busy doing “grown up work” while she was sewing clothing, quilts, and curtains. It also taught me to be careful with sharp objects. I don’t loose them or leave them laying around.

Everything I learned in those first years have come in handy over the decades of crafting. First, with cross stitch that I fell in love with when I was 10. Then with embroidery that I learned to do at 16 after my crafty mom decided to create a crazy quilt from all her scrap fabric. We never got to create that quilt as she decided that she didn’t like how it looked, but I did learn a lot about different embroidery stitches that helped me later when I created my snowman quilt and was introduced to embroidering on tea towels by hubby’s grandma.

Since then, I’ve embroidered on all types of things, including a pillow cases, a night cap that I used to keep my fly away hairs from tickling hubby while we slept (sadly it was a fail that I gave way to someone that really enjoyed it), and even clothing. My latest embroidered obsession has been embroidered jewelry.

Sometime around Spring of this year I decided to buy a kit of four necklaces to see how it was done and try it out before investing in the jewelry supplies to create more. I finished them in four days but had to wait another month before I got some better glue to fix the pieces onto the pendants.

I took these this morning on a piece of wood that I found during a walk down the lane. I’ve been thinking of using it as a photo prop as I really like the look it gives the jewelry.

I found that I loved doing them so much that I want to try my had at other designs. But rather than buy kits, which are mostly flowers, I want to create my own designs. So I bought these Bezel Pendant Trays with glass cabochon from Amazon.

I liked that they were round, different colored, and simple in design. I didn’t want something that would take away from the designs I wanted to put in them.

For my first design, I created constellation in the night sky with a forest below it. It is based on the zodiac constellations that I’ve seen others do, but with a scenic element I haven’t seen yet. It didn’t work out quite how I had imaged. I’m already contemplating how I could redo it to see if it would work better because this is something I would really like to add to my shop.

The constellation in the night sky with a forest below still in the hoop.

I’ll also be trying another scenic design of a mountain and forest to see if the lighter colors will make a difference. But I’m coming to think that what I want to do is just too small and detailed for the 1 inch size. If that is the case, then I’ll work on my other ideas and purchase some larger pendants to use with the scenic embroidered jewelry.

I’ll let you guys know how they turned out when they are done.

As for my graphic design work….

This week I’ve been working through my long list of graphic designs I want to create for my shop. These have included: small and large seed packets (finished & waiting for photos), a garden journal (still working on), 2021 Crafter’s Planner: I’d Rather Be Crafting (finished & copy ordered & soon to be in my shop), hard cover version of my Craft Journal for Creators & Designers (finished & copy ordered), and the 2021 Writer’s Planner: I’d Rather Be Writing (finished & in my shop now).

For those interested, the 2021 Writing Planner: I’d Rather Be Writing is available as a printable download at Etsy or as spiral bound printed planner at Lulu.

I’ve also been designing banners, book covers, and a logo work for a long time client. Now, I wish I had some pictures to show you but they are still in my queue of stuff that I need to print off and set up for pictures.

Once I have the pictures ready, I’ll show you some of the items that will be entering my shop soon. I also plan on creating a post to share some of the design work I’ve been doing for my client if it is ok with her. I’m pretty sure it will be, but it never hurts to ask first. 😀

Wishing you all the very best!

Stephannie Beman

My Inner Creative is so Excited!

Hello everyone! I hope your week has been a great one.

I know that I’ve been busy. And yes, that is something that I say often, but it’s true. This week has been lots of working behind the scenes of running my business.

Does anyone else find that there is so much more to running a business then what they took into account when they first started, or is that just me?

Anywhoo, I started out the week doing one of my favorite things, branding and packaging. I know it sounds weird, but my inner graphic designer is having a field day designing logos, banners, care labels, hang tags, thank you cards, and even packaging.

A few of the things that I created.

While I don’t have a picture of my shop packaging, mostly because I didn’t think to take pictures of the last order I sent out, I’m loving the idea of creating something that is both fun and eco-friendly to open. I like the idea of not having plastic and stuff that will most likely be thrown in the garbage, but I also like the idea of each purchase being a gift that you open.

Because who doesn’t like getting gifts? I know I do. I think it speaks to my inner child. 😀

An inner creative child that was so excited by the arrival of the pretty blue tissue paper and new shipping boxes last week to add to the pretty blue bubble mailers, white and blue baker’s twine, outdoorsy washi tape, beautiful wax seal, pale blue ribbon, and the cabin rubber stamp I bought last year. I barely restrained her from using it all in one package. LOL

After my inner graphic designer ran out of things to design and my inner child got tired and went to take a nap, my inner business person decided to show up Thursday and help me with the more practical side of business.

We started by creating an updated version of my inventory management system so that it works better for me. Last years version was too basic and not as helpful as I needed it to be. While it was a great place to start, it really needed to be updated with all the materials I’ve purchased over the years and would like to use to create items for my shop.

I thought about buying one, and came very close, but all the ones I looked at either didn’t have pictures of what they were selling in their bundles so I wasn’t sure what I would be buying or their templates didn’t have things I really wanted to have in my template. So I started to make one.

Other than pulling out all my inventory and making sure it is all up-to-date, the sales and material inventory section of my spreadsheets is done. This afternoon, I’m moving on to working on my shop inventory (actual physical products) and my service inventory.

What have you all been up to lately?

Wishing you all the very best!

Stephannie Beman

Sale on Sewing Patterns in my Shop!

This post is more for those who like to sew. Or if you know someone who likes to sew and might be interested, share this post with them. For one week only (July 14th thru 21st), I’m offering 15% off on all my sewing patterns and when you purchase $35 or more (not just patterns but anything in my shop), you get free shipping on your order.

Now on to this extra exciting post. Mwwhawhahaha!

With my stash busting in 2020, I decided that it was time to go through my sewing patterns to see what I still wanted or didn’t. This wasn’t too hard as the bulk of them reside in two gallon sized ziplock bags. I’m not much for sewing.

This first one I bought about 16 years ago when I was working at BYU. I needed black pants for work and these looked comfortable, nice, and they were in a style I liked. I never got around to making them though. Now the size is too small. 😦

I bought this skirt pattern at a garage sale when I was a teen. It might be from the 1970s but the skirt was just what I was looking for at the time. I’ve since outgrown the pattern. 😦

These next ones were given to me by a friend who no longer needed them for her daughters and thought I might like to make them for my girls someday. Someday came sooner than I liked and sadly, my girls weren’t interested in any of them and while I think they are absolutely adorable, my volumptous body would never fit into them and I’m not skilled enough to resize them.

(And yes, I’m aware that volumptous should be spelled voluptuous, but it’s no fun using a real word. 😀 )

For the moment, these are all the sewing patterns I’m willing to part with.

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.

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.

Guess What I Did…

Hey Sweet Peas! I hope you all have been having as much fun as I have lately.

The last few months I’ve been mostly absent from the Internet, hopping on occasionally to check emails, see what friends are up to, and reading articles on subjects I find interesting. However, I spent most of my time with my family, evaluating what I want in life, and the goals I want to work toward. I made a dent in my to-read pile and I’m hoping to have a reading list post ready for the end of this month. I also made some writing related decisions about what I’m going to do with the Lost Heir Series, and those major story choices might allow me to finish the whole damn thing before the end of the year, but I’ll talk a little more about that at a later date when I have a better idea of how much time I can devote to writing.

I also spent many long, relaxing moments, despite some hard times with my health, designing and creating all sorts of handcrafted goodies. Now I’ve been a closet crafter since I was a 10. It’s a secret, guilty pleasure that I never thought anyone would be interested in until I started bringing my crocheting with me and people started asking me if I sold my work and where they could find it, or if I taught lessons because they always wanted to learn to crochet or cross-stitch. When I shared some of my projects here and on Facebook, they were well received by many of you, and there were even a few requests to purchase some of the items.

“United in Marriage” project I’ve been working on for the last 4 months. I’m cross-stitching it on linen.

I’ve always loved creating items inspired by the beauty and quality of the homesteading spirit that is very much apart of my life here on the Ranch. But my home is only so big and there are so many things I can create before it starts pouring out of the closets. Which is why I’m careful about the projects I choose. This year I threw aside caution and decided to take the plunge. I started crafting whatever drew me, despite not having a recipient for most of it. And then, last week,

I dove into the deep end of the pool and decided it was time to share some of my creations with the world by opening…

Stephannie Beman’s Shop on Etsy!

Yep! I’ve opened an Etsy Shop and it’s actually named Stephannie Beman’s Shop.

I know, it’s not that creative of a name, but after much deliberation I decided to sell everything under my own name rather than something catchy like Shop in the Woods, Homestead Treasures, Steph’s Creative Corner, The Enchanted Homestead, or even Cozy Cottage Crafts. I did it because:

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Blank Weekly Planner (Printable PDF) $4.95

1) I didn’t want to trap myself into a specific niche because my shop name implied certain types of crafts and then later deciding that I wanted to sell something different so I have to create another shop for it. Seen it happen all the time.

2) It made more sense to use my name than creating another business under a different name when I use my name for freelance graphic design and indie publishing.

3) I’m the boss of my shop and I have no intention of transferring or selling my shop to someone else, although I might let my Little Ones (who are almost as tall as I am BTW) make some crafty goodies to sell in my shop, I will stay the boss. 😛

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2019 Writer’s Planner Bound Planner $13.99 or Printable PDF Planner $8.99

My goals as a handmade crafter are much the same as my goals as a writer. I want to enjoy what I’m designing and creating. I want to work at my pace and within my time frame without pushing myself to create more things faster and lose the time I have with my family. I want to work on projects that interested me, regardless if it’s popular with ‘customers’. I want to create quality projects using nice materials even if it costs me more to do so.

Now I have plans to add more items to my shop, but for the moment there are the printable planners and printable planner inserts I created, both blank and dated, with more on their way. I also have a crochet pattern I created for my placemats, and I’m currently writing up more of my designs from my crafting journal to add to my shop.

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Crocheted Cotton Table Placemat (PDF Pattern) $3.95

Eventually, I’ll be adding physical inventory to my shop, such as scarves, hoods, beanies, shawls, afghans, fingerless gloves, placemats, etc. I’m debating creating a custom craft service where I will make things at the customers request and specifications, and I have a friend who has kindly agreed to be my test subject this next month. We are just waiting for the yarn for her project. This will allow me to figure out how I want to package and ship my goods to a customer.

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Waiting On Tracker (Printable PDF) $1.95

I want to create a professional look for my finished products and the packaging that I will send them in. So I did a little more research on packaging, Etsy, and product photography in preparation of opening the craft shop. I made a few choices on the look of my logo, shop branding, the packaging material for the physical items I will be selling, the look of my business cards, and the labels I will be attaching to my crafts.

I decided to have most of it printed using a professional service because my printer doesn’t like cardstock and it would just look better. So while I’m waiting for my orders to arrive, I’m working on taking better photos and creating more items to add.

Wishing you all the very best,

Stephannie Beman