The End of 2021

Goodness gracious. Happy New Year’s Eve! How did 2021 even happen??! What a year – in so many ways. And although the year has flown by, December seems like it has lasted forever thanks to illnesses and shifts in everyone’s daily rhythms. I suppose it’s nice that the holiday season feels much longer than usual, I just wish every day wasn’t quite so hard!

My throat started feeling a bit sore on Christmas Day and got worse as the day went on. I’ve been sick since then! I’m sick every year for the week between Christmas and New Year – I wonder why? I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere. Oh well – onto my crafty updates:

I was thrilled with my big Christmas gift this year: a set of Cohana Scissors. I learned about these on the Hands Across the Sea Samplers YouTube channel. I love Japanese craftsmanship and was just taken with these scissors! They are amazing – well balanced, very sharp, and gorgeously lacquered. I think they’ll last forever. They’ve enjoyed daily use since they’ve arrived!

(And if you’re interested in ordering some for yourself and are curious: we ordered directly from Cohana in Japan. Even with international shipping, they cost less this way than ordering from a US retailer. They arrived within the week despite traveling across the Pacific Ocean and the entire United States to get to the East Coast amidst the crazy holiday mail season. We are so lucky to be alive right now! Things like this are so easy!)

I haven’t been able to sew the last few weeks but finally made it back down into my cozy borrow (the basement) and put together this project bag for Winter Rose Manor. I wasn’t sure I would have enough of that red bird fabric but ended up trimming off 1/4″ – whew! I was so happy to find this in my stash because it’s the perfect little winter print. The bag is lined with some Bonnie & Camille flowers, which I just love. These bags are so fun to whip up and I have plans for a few more!

I am making great progress on Winter Rose Manor. I’ve made a mistake outlining the house somewhere and am off by about half a stitch. I’ll just fudge things when I need to. The good thing about being a new stitcher is that I feel like I can get away with all of these little atrocities!! And those cardinals – what beauties! I’ve done a lot of outlining and can now do a lot of fill in before I need to do more fiddly work, which is perfect to have ready to go for the holiday weekend.

Cross stitching has been the perfect way for me to embrace slowness this year – I feel absolutely no competition or pressure to get anything done, and yet: progress! And I’m totally into stitching up pink and red houses. Pink Hill Manor, Honeysuckle Manor, and The Rose and the Giant Pear have all caught my eye as potential spring stitches. But let’s see how much of Winter Rose Manor I can get through before the season passes.


A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was looking for a small group of people who were looking for writing encouragement. Sweet Juliann raised her hand and we started a Discord channel. It’s been the perfect place to set weekly writing intentions and do brief check-ins throughout. You are more than welcome to join if you’re hoping to find more time for writing in 2022. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll send you an invite. Discord is super easy (and free) to use – you can log in straight on your internet browser if you don’t want to download anything, but their phone app and computer software are both really easy to use as well.


Friends – tomorrow begins 2022, but I don’t have to tell you that. Matthew is off tonight – the first New Year’s Eve in a really long time! We’ll be catching up with last week’s Dexter episode and will be in bed long before midnight. I’m excited to see what 2022 brings. May you all have a wonderful and safe evening and holiday weekend!

15 thoughts on “The End of 2021

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  1. Happy 2022 — what a year 2021 has been! Loved this post and am interested in doing more writing in the coming year (though also mightily skeptical about my follow-through). Still, tis the season for new resolve, so, if you’re willing, I’d like that link! Hope you have a wonderful night and are feeling better. (For me sugar is nearly always the culprit when it comes to trashing my immune system…)

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  2. Oh Katie I love your Winter Rose Manor …. Those cardinals are beautiful! I don’t think I ever responded to you, but do plan to pick the Mighty Acorn next year and stitch along with you. Japanese craftsmanship is the best. I need a pair of those scissors! Hope you are feeling better, we have been sick too, nasty colds. I can’t believe tomorrow is a brand new year! Happy New Year to you and your family!

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  3. That bird fabric is beautiful. I am in the midst of cleaning/sorting/purging needle craft supplies and I also want to make a few more project bags. I now I have a bin with zippers, somewhere! Happy New Year. Hope you are feeling well soon.

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  4. It’s amazing what a big difference good tools can make, isn’t it? I’m sure those scissors will be well used for years and years. And I love your sweet project bag! You combined some beautiful fabrics.

    I hope that as we end this year and start another, you feel happy and contented with all your family around you — and feel better physically, too! (I really wonder if all the activity around this time of year makes us more susceptible to germs in general.)

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  5. Happy 2022! Been a long time a’comin’…love your bird fabrics and the scissors are very tempting – telling myself that only when (not if) I finish a few projects … Feel better and do enjoy the New Year.
    Cheers~

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  6. Happy New Year, Katie! Thanks for all the inspiration you freely share. Found my word for next year : Contentment (Philipians 4:12). Looking forward to the new year. I may just look into those scissors… like I need another pair. LOL!

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  7. Sorry to hear that you are sick – best wishes for the new year, and for a speedy recovery. Do you have a separate project bag for each stitching project? That’s a great idea and I love how organized it makes things.

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  8. Oh ugh, I am so sorry you are not feeling well! That project bag… gorgeous! Wow, well done!!

    Also… I think being part of a “writing” group might be the best thing for me this year. Can we talk? 🙂

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  9. Hope you are feeling much better by now. I had not realized you stitch (I knew you quilt and knit and read…). Beautiful stitching and I LOVE your project bag – gorgeous fabrics. Those scissors are SO tempting. They are beautiful. But…I already have so many embroidery scissors (for some time I was collecting them). Happy New Year!

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  10. I absolutely love that project bag–the fabric! I had to zoom in and spend some time on that one 🙂 And your stitching…! All beautiful.
    I’m curious about your writing group and would love to hear more. I need a bit of deadline in my life. I’ll search back through your posts to try to find more about it. But please count me as interested. Happy New Year, Katie!

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