1.01.2019

New Year, Same Me

It’s the beginning of a new year and time to reflect on the things I’ve done, the things I am doing, and the things I want to do. 2019 was a challenging year, but upon taking inventory it was also a very good year with a lot of great things resulting from meeting those challenges. One of the big things 2019 forced me to do was to get much more comfortable with the public side of my life. I am naturally an introvert and tend to be very private about my life and this year took a lot of that away from me. I spent more time on camera than ever before and while I am still not comfortable sharing my life in that way, it is becoming easier.

Resolutions
I switched to a monthly resolution system for 2019 which worked okay. My big accomplishments were tiling around my bathtub, buckling down and learning some marketing stuff I had been avoiding, and setting firm boundaries with people.

Now for my 2019 goals...
For this year I am going to try both ongoing and monthly challenges. Below are my ongoing and my monthly will be in my physical planner. I am also considering blogging again, but I am a little directionless in what I want this blog to be so we'll see.
  1. Zero out the shop maintenance list (i.e. fix what is broken) 
  2. Finish bathroom project (tile floor, replace sink, replace light fixture, replace switch, replace fan, paint walls) 
  3. Stay in more, cut weekday social outings to two or fewer per week. 
  4. Get online cross stitch store up and running. 
  5. Manage time better, cut out morning social media and replace with planning/work time. 
  6. Don’t work past 7 (exception for classes.) 
  7. Fewer things, more experiences. ​

12.13.2018

2018 Ornament Design

Every year I teach a simple intro to cross stitch class at ReBelle where we make a small cross stitch ornament to learn the basics of stitching. For the first couple of years I was using the same pattern with updated dates, but last year I decided to create a new simple design every year. The day after the class I post the new pattern as well as the previous patterns with updated dates here. Well the class was last night so here are the ornaments for 2018. I am also including the blank ornament template that I give to my students to design their own. All of these patterns are completely suitable for beginners so enjoy!!

A printable pdf of all three patterns and the template can be found here.

You will need:
6" square of 14ct Aida
2-3 colors of floss
3" embroidery hoop
#24 tapestry needle
scissors

The project takes 1-2 hours depending on your skill level. My favorite finishing technique for this type of ornament is to create a fabric back. You can check out my tutorial on that method here. Alternately, you can finish the ornaments by cutting the fabric really close to the hoop and attaching a piece of card stock to cover the back. Enjoy!!

1.01.2018

2017 in review

I don't even know what to say about 2017. It wasn't a bad year, but it also wasn't a great year. For me, 2017 had a lot of emotions- good and bad. The new political climate teamed with a chunk of personal drama made for a bumpy ride, I spent a good deal of the year bouncing around and feeling unsettled. My wish for 2018 is simply a calmer year.

Let's review my 2017 goals...
1. Stop apologizing for who I am and what I want. Yup and while my unwillingness to change or compromise cost me a few relationships, ultimately it left me feeling lighter.
2. Make more art. I definitely did this, even participated in one group show. Most importantly, I learned several new skills that allowed me to create in a less restrictive manor. 
3. Continue doing the things that make my body and mind stronger. Mind yes, body meh. I was working out 3-5 times a week all the way up until June and then life got crazy and that was the first thing to be tossed to the side. 
4. Get my Ravelry projects page up to date (again.) Nope, shocker.
5. Reduce pointless screen time (i.e. stop staring at my phone so much.) Again, nope. I think my screen dependency might be worse now than it was at the beginning of the year.

Now for my 2018 goals...
1. Stop making yearly goals. For 2018 I would like to try setting smaller monthly goals that focus on moving all aspects of my life forward. I already put monthly reminders in my planner to get this started. Next year, when I do my yearly resolution entry, I will check in and decide if this is a better method for me.

12.15.2017

New Ornament Patterns

Every year right before the holidays I teach a cross stitch ornament class at ReBelle. Basically it is a simple little project that can be done in an afternoon and teaches the basics of cross stitch and creates a nice little ornament that can be gifted or hung on your tree. I have been using the same design for a few years, simply updating the numbers for the year. This year as I was preparing for the class I decided to add a new design to the mix for 2017. I ended up creating two new designs, but I am saving the second one for the 2018 holiday season. Anyway, here are the two patterns if you want to stitch your own.

A printable pdf of both patterns can be found here

You will need:
6" square of 14ct Aida
2 colors of floss (I used DMC 336 and 996)
3" embroidery hoop
#24 tapestry needle
scissors

The project takes 1-2 hours depending on your skill level. My favorite finishing technique for this type of ornament is to create a fabric back. You can check out my tutorial on that method here. Alternately, you can finish the ornaments by cutting the fabric really close to the hoop and attaching a piece of card stock to cover the back. Enjoy!!

6.24.2017

A little local pride

Without fail, every year during Lexington's Pride festival I am either working or out of town. If I am working in the shop I usually pick a rainbow project to work on as a minor celebration, this year I decided to make a free cross stitch pattern. I thought of this yesterday so I don't have a stitched sample to show, but the finished piece will fit into a 6" embroidery hoop or in a 6"x6" square frame if you prefer.
Patterns for both versions of Lexington Pride can be found here.


I am including two versions, one with the traditional pride flag colors and one with the new flag colors adapted by Philadelphia to encourage intersectionality in the movement. While visually I prefer my rainbows without non-rainbow colors, intersectionality is absolutely necessary in any movement so I really appreciate the city of Philadelphia recognizing this and all of the resulting conversation about their flag changes. Happy Pride, y'all!!

1.01.2017

2016 in Review and New Goals

It is pretty much accepted at this point that 2016 was a garbage fire of a year. So much hate and intolerance floated to the surface, the likes of which I haven't seen in my lifetime. It was sad and discouraging. Amidst all of that, I pushed the edges of my comfort zone and I managed to have a pretty empowering year. I hope the strength and courage I built in 2016 will help me fight in 2017. I am ready.

Let's review my 2016 goals...
1. Improve my handwriting. Nope, I did not spend one minute of 2016 working on this. Oh well.
2. Develop 4 new classes. I did achieve this, but I have only taught three of the classes so far. Still going to call this a win.
3. Submit 1 article and 4 patterns for publication. Yes. I actually submitted several class and article ideas throughout the year as part of my attempt to become more comfortable with rejection.
4. Improve my overall health. Yes!! This goal was mostly about dealing with the residual effects of last year's broken leg, but ended up extending past that. I got my ankle and knee to the point where I could walk 8-10 miles a day without much pain and on uneven surfaces. Then I started working on my anxiety which has long prevented me from tackling other things that really needed to be dealt with. It was a really difficult year, but I experienced more victories than defeats and in the end I am stronger and healthier which feels pretty amazing.
5. Finish and frame twelve pieces for the shop xstitch project, again. Easy Peasy, I hit this goal in February or March of this year. Not sure of the final count for the year, but it was almost half a wall so I am feeling pretty good about this one.
6. Spend more time with friends, regular outings and phone calls. Yes and no. On a local level, I mostly failed at this. I had several months of self-imposed isolation where I only left my house for work and exercise. I did manage to spend time with a few dear faraway friends who I don't see nearly enough so on that front it was mostly a success. 

My 2017 goals...
1. Stop apologizing for who I am and what I want.
2. Make more art.*
3. Continue doing the things that make my body and mind stronger.
4. Get my Ravelry projects page up to date (again.) 
5. Reduce pointless screen time (i.e. stop staring at my phone so much.)

*Over the past few years I have done a few community art projects anonymously (some I owned up to upon completion, some I didn't.) No more of this.**
**Okay, maybe a bit more of this, but mostly I want to put my name on things.

10.23.2016

For all the Nasty Women

It's been awhile since I posted so I thought I would share the project I've been working on this week. It was really hard to resist after this week's debate. I am offering the pattern for free, but if you really want to make a difference, donate a few dollars to Planned ParenthoodStitched on 14ct Aida, the finished piece will fit into a standard 5x7" frame or an 8" hoop. Downloadable pattern available hereEnjoy!!



A printable PDF is available here