Monthly Wrap-Up: January & February 2024

Monthly Wrap-Up: January & February 2024

An Eventful Two Months

"Why are these two months combined?", you might be wondering? Well, getting around to writing January's monthly wrap-up definitely got away from me after some certain unforeseen circumstances that occurred during February..! Scroll down to the 'IRL' part of this post to find out what happened. There is lots to talk about there!

Two 20-sided dice. A teal-coloured one is showing an "8" and a purple one is showing a "12".
Been rolling a lot of dice the past two months..!

Finished Pieces

Before I underwent my surgery, I managed to complete two cross-stitch pieces. Both were a work-in-progress during my December 2023 post and were completed for different reasons. So let's get into them both!

"Pastel Garden"

The first cross-stitch design is called "Pastel Garden" and it's by Una Buena Pieza.

I really, really enjoyed stitching this pattern up. It was easy, had an adorable colour palette and just generally stitched up well. The design is super cute and cheerful and definitely makes me want to stitch more of her designs in the future..!

I think my favourite part is the little rainbows 😊

Full, completed cross-stitch of the pattern "Pastel Garden"
Close-up photograph of the completed cross-stitch
Close-up photograph of the completed cross-stitch
Close-up photograph of the completed cross-stitch
Close-up photograph of the completed cross-stitch

"Book Lover's Shelf"

The second cross-stitch piece is called "Book Lover's Shelf" and it's by Fuzzy Fox Designs. I actually completed this piece before the pastel garden piece (therefore; my first finish for 2024!).

I had to really rush through this piece so I couldn't appreciate it and there are a lot of deviations from the original pattern from silly counting mistakes I made. I'm happy with how it turned out in the end, although spotting an error via the photographs where I missed two stitches after I sent it out isn't a great feeling.

The reason I had to churn out this piece is because it was for a secret santa gift that I just completely spaced on and therefore, was quite late. Thankfully, my giftee was understanding and absolutely loved the piece when they received it in the end. So that's what counts!

There are so many little details in this piece. I think my favourite is either the purple mug at the top-left or the apple in the middle-left.

A cross-stitch piece depicting a series of bookshelves and trinkets. It is framed in an embroidery hoop.
Close-up photograph of the completed cross-stitch bookshelf
Close-up photograph of the completed cross-stitch bookshelf
Close-up photograph of the completed cross-stitch bookshelf


I want to separate the two months from each other, since I have a lot of WIPs to share. But… Well, you'll see.

Anyway; I had a lot more time than I anticipated I would to get a bunch of stitching done during both months. Since my girls both went back to school at the start of the year (obviously), having surgery (and further complications), plus throwing in my ADHD symptoms, I have a lot of different projects to share!


Scroll down to see the eight different projects that I touched on during this month (including links to where you can get them for yourself)!

"Flower Field" DIY cross-stitch pattern: Jan
"Pixel Dragon Adventure" Stitch-along by Flossy Fox Shop
"Village in the Valley" by Flossy Fox Shop
A future embroidery pattern.
"The Stitcher Tarot" by Black Waltz Stitching


So umm… As you'll be able to see in the IRL section, early-February I really rode the struggle bus. So… I forgot to take photos of my WIPs' progress. D'oh! But here's something to make up for it.

"Flower Field" DIY cross-stitch pattern: Jan-Feb
A cat (Milo) hiding in a blanket
This is how I feel about not taking photos for February. Oopsie..!

New Patterns

I've been a bit slow with releasing new patterns lately. This is because of a few reasons (one being those IRL issues I've been talking about) but the main one is being my own worst critic. Everything I'm designing isn't coming out the way I envision in my mind's eye, or I just generally hate it once I get the idea fleshed out.

It's exhausting and defeating. So being able to get out one cross-stitch pattern and a new font (which YAY! That's been a long time coming, eh?) has felt good at least.

Writing the "how to" ebook was an enormous task but I am very glad I did it for the release of "Paige" because I'm not sure I'd complete it, otherwise. I definitely hope it's been helpful for those people who did purchase it!

Let me know what kinds of designs you would like to see in the comments below so I know what my audience is looking forward to!

New Products

My (quiet) sort-of personal goal for 2024 is to release a new collection of merchandise/apparel as a single design once a month. Specifically on the first Friday of the month. So far so good! If you don't count January that is. I only made the goal up mid-way through January 🤣

So for February, I released 'Cool Vibes', which is a retro, stitchy-themed design that reads "Cool Stitcher Vibes". I love it!

Let's see what the new products are:

You can also head over to the "'Cool Vibes' Collection" to see all the items together (and if you're reading this in the future, to see any added items!).

What will you take home today?

I've also been slowly updating some of my imagery when it comes to merchandise/apparel so some things will change over time. Having so many products and type of product makes for updating imagery tedious and time consuming, but I'm hoping to have a cohesive and, well, prettier series of imagery. Hopefully you can see some of that in the above images.


So. As I've eluded to, I've had a pretty wild first two months of 2024. Let's get right into it, eh?

Weight-loss Surgery

As I mentioned in my previous monthly post, I underwent weight-loss surgery in mid-January. The surgery itself was unremarkable, I only had to stay a single night in the hospital (just to make sure I was doing OK) and my pain afterwards was managed quite well. I was put on a liquid-only diet until told otherwise and rested up as much as possible.

I talk about what I was dealing with in FlossTube #67, if you're curious at all, but basically I felt pretty much fine overall…

…except whenever I had to drink or take my medication.

Me and my crazy hair shortly after coming-to from surgery.

Surgery Complications

So yeah. I had complications after surgery. Major complications.

I was unable to take my medication without immense pain, I couldn't drink more than a few drops of any liquid without great difficulty and trying to take small gulps of my required protein drinks and water (but protein drinks especially) continuously made me vomit it back up.

I didn't realise the dire situation I had gotten myself into until I went to my 2-week follow-up appointment and explained my problems to my doctor.

He immediately told me I was to get myself admitted to the hospital for severe dehydration and malnourishment, and also to find out what was going on inside me. I had a few hours to get some things together (like clothes, toiletries and stitching projects) but otherwise it was very quick acting.

After four days in the hospital (and many, many bruises from difficulty finding an IV site), I came away with a nasal feeding tube in place. It turned out I had a bunch of internal swelling, causing the problems with ingestion.

You can watch my 68th FlossTube, where I talk about the feeding tube situation

My room for the preceding 4 days.
My room for the preceding 4 days.
A left arm with an IV drip in it
My arm only got worse…
A disgruntled Kate giving a (sarcastic) thumbs up. She has a feeding tube coming out of her nostril and she's wearing a hospital gown.
How I woke up from an endoscopy. Goodie…

Tube removal

After having the tube in place for exactly three weeks, on the very last day of February I had a virtual appointment with my doctor again and talked about how I had been able to eat and drink. They made the call that I would be able to get the feeding tube removed and I was able to go into their office that same day and have it pulled. Hooray!

It didn't hurt anywhere near as much as I expected it to, having it taken out. A huge trail of snot also came out with it, which was both gross and relieving. LOL! I'd been dealing with a runny nose due to the tube for the entire three weeks.

Check out FlossTube #69 for my first post-feeding-tube video. It felt so much better to record my FlossTube without the scratchy tube down my throat..!

Kate sitting in her car with a feeding tube coming out of her nose.
Sterilized medical equipment about to be used.
Kate sitting in her car (again), this time without a feeding tube. Yay!

Visit from Australia

During two of the three weeks I had my feeding tube in (oh such terrible timing..!), we had a lovely, low-key visit from my mum and her husband. It had to be somewhat low-key due to my situation, but it was so great to have the help during that time with my kids.

I did wish we could do a bit more than bumming around at home, but I really couldn't do much. We did, however, get one outing to the zoo in.

My mum teaching my youngest how to crochet (again ❤️️)
My step-father re-learning how to cross-stitch.

The Zoo

The second weekend they were visiting, we went to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. It was one of the first dry, sunny days we'd had for the year and was a lovely outing. It was difficult on my throat (due to the feeding tube and the cold air) but definitely worth it.

Check out some of the photos I snapped.

My daughter waving 'hello!' to the penguins
A group of flamingo babies being taken for a walk around the zoo grounds
A cute black and [neon] green frog sitting on a leaf
A huge group of flamingoes, resting
A gorgeous tiger, laying down, mid-roar
A silverback gorilla stripping bark off a branch, very close to the enclosure glass

Social Media

Due to the complications and such I endured, my posting to social media was sporadic at best (As you can see based on the number of posts between the two screenshots below). My growth declined instead of increased.

But that's OK. It was a really tough 2 months and I'm happy with other things than posting on social media. Such as continuing to stitch my "Flower Field" pattern each day.

Instagram phone mockup - February 1st 2024
February 1st stats for Instagram (5,765 followers).
Instagram phone mockup - March 1st 2024
March 1st stats for Instagram (5,757 followers).

Thank you for sticking with me, thank you for reading this post and until next time..!

👋 Kate

Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2023
Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2024

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Hi, I'm Kate 👋

About the author

In a previous life (AKA: pre-kids), I was a web des/dev & photographer who loved to dabble in numerous arts and crafts. Now, I'm a cross-stitch & embroidery pattern designer and full-time mum to Charlie & Alex, with adult-diagnosed ADHD. Closet nerd, self-proclaimed hermit and professional procrastinator. I have a secret crush on modern architecture, brush calligraphy, sweets, pretty nails and pastel colours.

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