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.


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

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!!


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!!


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.


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


Everyone has the right to pee

Printable version here.
I thought I was done blogging for the day, but then I received my daily email from the Daily Cross Stitch. For those not familiar with the site, it is a cute little cross stitch site that offers small, inexpressive cross stitch patterns. They also offer one free pattern per day in a daily email. They are usually cutsie little things like animals and baked goods, but today's patterns of restroom signs for men and women were obviously politically motivated. As an alternative to their design, I offer you this free pattern for an inclusive restroom sign. It's part of a much bigger piece that I am working on for the shop and will post in its entirety when completed, but this felt like it needed to be posted as a smaller pattern now. Stitched on 14ct Aida, the finished piece will fit into a standard 5x7" frame and will make any restroom better.

Tiny Shop Update

I've added some vintage knitting and sewing button packs to my online shop as well as a few new singles. Shipping is a flat $1.50 on buttons no matter how many or few you buy and as usual, these are also available at ReBelle.

In other news, I have been dyeing like crazy for the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Fest this weekend. I will have a bunch of my fiber and a bit of my yarn at the ReBelle booth (we are in the same place as last year inside the big barn.) Next week I will do a big online shop update with what remains after the fiber fest so if you miss me there and can't make it to ReBelle, you can buy from me there.