After a lot of consideration, I finally decided to reopen my Etsy Shop. For a lot of years I have struggled with keeping the shop stocked with fresh items, and I had been finding myself– how did Bilbo Baggins put it?– “like butter spread over too much bread.”

I wanted to  try so many things creatively,  and then found that I was neglecting my designing and stitching.  Finally came to the realization that I was never going to find those extra two or ten elusive hours that always come up missing each day, and that I needed to refocus.

So I put a few things away, bringing them out only when they work into the daily bits of meditative art that I have been trying to do.  I even cleared out nearly 3GB of saved images from my ‘so going to try this one day’ folder. Things from like 2003 or something that I plucked from one page or another and filed away, and probably never looked at again. I since vowed to myself that from here on out, I am only going to snerch images that I truly know will somehow inspire me in the very near future.  (Talk to me again in five years and see if I’ve used any of them. Can you tell how much faith I have in myself where this is concerned?)

I recently upgraded my cross stitch designing software. (Long, long overdue upgrade.)  Something that I discovered while playing around with the new features is that I can now digitize all of my cross stitch patterns. This delights me for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve had several stitchers over the years  as me for downloadable pattern options.  Secondly, it is going to save me a whole bunch of time when it comes to the whole cut-paste-curse-inkcostshowmuch-print-post thing. Not to mention the fact that I can now justify paying Adobe $16 a month for the pdf software that i tried to convince myself I didn’t need but ohlawdy do I need.

So yeah. Back to my Etsy Shop.

I have decided that it will be my hub for digital designs.  No pressure to make anything new because I already have 15 years of designs that I can put out there with a few simple clicks of this, that, and the other thing.  Might even find a few new followers of my work.

One thing that I did decide to pick back up, though, is some of my graphic work. I love creating seamless patterns for papers, fabrics, websites , blogs, etc. It keeps me on top of my Photoshop and Illustrator skills,  and it does tie into my designing.  (Okay, if  I thought about it for any amount of time, I could probably find a way to make just about any creative thing tie into my designing, but…)

It is something that I can thoroughly lose myself in during those late night hours when stitching isn’t…advisable…(for fear of having to frog -rippit- everything out again in the morning, sighing heavily, mumbling ‘you really thought you could count– not to mention see those little holes in the fabric– at 2am?’)

So here is what I did last night. I will be offering some of these tiles for download in my Etsy Shop as well, as I’m going for the whole ‘instant download’ thing now.



I start with images I have captured on my walk abouts over the years, and manipulate them with various filters, and then use a kaleidoscope tool to finish them.  The high res versions of these are available in my shop. carolynmanningdesign .

Either I will sell a bunch of stuff or I won’t sell much at all. It really won’t matter. No inventory to try and store, and the time spent digitizing will give me some eye-rest-fingertip-healing time from the stitching.


1d_8x8Today I am grateful for new focus. I am grateful for the thunderstorm that cooled things off a little so my electric bill won’t stroke me out this month, and I am grateful for finding some time–making some time– to pick my books up again.

Oh, how I have missed that escape.


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