1.13.2021

Recovery

For the first time I remember, I didn't do a New Year post in 2020 so to be safe I am going to resume writing them once a year. Like most people I had a pretty rough year- there was the struggle of owning a small business that was forced to close to the public for three months, the balance of my work/personal life, the worry about the safety of my elderly parents who weren't taking the pandemic as seriously as I thought they should, and just the general stress of watching people around me act selfishly and go carelessly. Then over the summer I lost my mom. It was sudden and completely unexpected, it turned my world upside down. I went into a heavy period of anxiety and depression where I stopped eating and triggered what I know now was a flair up of an autoimmune disease. I am now in the process of getting back to healthy which involves both mental and physical health and there will be a lot of changes happening over the next year to accommodate that. 

All that said, 2020 was also full of bright spots. I survived lock down in a new living situation with my partner without so much as a single argument. I started playing weekly board games via zoom with friends I usually only get to play with 1-2 times a year. I got to do a lot of digital hangouts with people I don't normally see enough and having those experiences really reminded me of how great the people in my life and my community are. Despite everything happening, the year was filled with love and laughter. 

My goals for the upcoming year are mostly the same stuff I usually do- make some things, try some things. Mostly my goal is recovery in all areas of my life. 

2021 by the numbers

  • Read 40 books 
  • Knit 12 projects
  • Add 100 squares to my Memories Blanket
  • Design 8 new cross stitches
  • Write 12 blog posts
  • Play 50 new board games
  • Walk 600 miles 
  • Attend 12 digital classes/lectures
Things to do in 2021
  • learn 4 harness weaving
  • sew a fitted garment- the Jiffy Popover Dress
  • sew an intermediate garment- Burnside Bibs
  • find and implement daily practices that reduce stress
  • make my year as bright and colorful as possible
  • take a vacation
Things to quit in 2021

  • doom scrolling social media
  • negative self talk
  • procrastinating simple tasks

11.27.2020

2020 - The year I set Santa ablaze

For a printable version of the pattern, click here
Every year in December I teach an intro to cross stitch workshop at ReBelle where we make holiday ornaments, this workshop is my excuse for creating a new ornament design every year. Despite all of my classes and workshops being cancelled for the year, I find myself wanting to keep this tradition alive. 2020 has been a year of literal and figurative fires so it seemed appropriate that this year's ornament reflect that so I set Santa on fire, as you do. This is an intermediate pattern, there are 24 quarter stitches, two french knots, and a fair amount of back stitching. If that feels a bit spicy for you or you would rather stitch something more traditional, I also included updates for the previous years' designs that range in difficulty from absolute beginner to intermediate. Whichever you choose, I hope the meditative practice of stitching brings you some peace in a time of chaos. Happy Holidays!!

Click here for a printable version.

Supplies:
6" square of 14ct Aida
7 colors of floss
     310, 666, 700, 444, 225, 741, white
3" embroidery hoop
#24 tapestry needle
scissors

The project takes 2-3 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
The complete pattern collection can be found here



12.19.2019

2019 Ornament Pattern

For a printable version of the pattern, click here.
Another year, another ornament. Here is the 2019 holiday ornament design for you to stitch and enjoy.

Unlike past years, this one relies heavily on back stitching, half stitches, and the braided stitches I used for the trees (which are worked from top to bottom with the center stitches weaving through each other as you go.) It is the most difficult of the four patterns I've created so if you are feeling unsure or want a little more variety, I also updated the patterns from the three previous years. Merry Christmas!!




For a printable version of the pattern, click here.
Supplies:
6" square of 14ct Aida
4 colors of floss
     I used 321,905,444, & 420
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 close to the hoop and attaching a piece of card stock to cover the back. 
The complete pattern collection can be found here.

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!!