On January 1st 2020, I embroidered my first icon onto my embroidery journal. Giving it careful consideration, I chose a rose. This represented the rose parade, which I had watched on TV that morning. Growing up, I would attend the rose parade with my grandparents, rain or shine. I have fond memories from those early mornings with my family. From my very first icon, I knew that I would always be considering my next icon.
Looking to find out more about what an embroidery journal is? Essentially, everyday I add an icon to my embroidery hoop. This icon will in some way represent my day. It could be something I ate, watched on TV, did at work, or even how I was feeling that day. I usually embroider the event that stands out the most, the most memorable thing. At the end of the year, the hoop will be filled with 365 small icons which together, summarises my year. For more information, check out the Create Your Own Embroidery Journal Guide or purchase the in-depth journal guide.
Over the past two and a half years, my three embroidery journals have had many different things embroidered. Three different jobs, a bone infection that nearly cost me a toe, an international move, a blossoming relationship, amongst other memorable moments.
Originally, I started my first embroidery journal as a way to document my first year in a new job as a Housekeeping and Front Desk Manager in Training at a hotel in Irvine, California. Clearly, I had no idea what the year would have in store for me.
I loved my job, I started off in housekeeping and developed a passion that I wasn’t aware I held for the housekeeping department of a hotel. I lasted three months in my role before being furloughed for a month. One month became three, three quickly became six. Since I wasn’t working, I was able to focus more on my hobbies, like my baking and embroidery. So I started to document my embroidery journal online, which turned into The Stir-Crazy Crafter.
When I wasn’t stitching, I was roller skating, baking, having my car nearly combust on me, and thinking about the future. I eventually decided that I wanted to move to Scotland when I had the chance.
In need of work, I took up a temporary job as a security guard at a hotel in Santa Barbara, California. It was definitely an eye opening experience for my career development. Towards the end of my stint at that property, I ended up having some pain in one of my feet. It was treated by a doctor as a small infection, but it didn’t seem to improve. When I finally returned to Huntington Beach, I saw my doctor who wanted to try a different course of treatment. She recommended that I see an infectious disease doctor and was quickly diagnosed with a bone infection. Three days later, I had a PICC line inserted into my arm and I started a month long, thrice daily treatment of fluid antibiotics. It was honestly a terrible experience, but it did the trick.
Eventually, in October of 2020, I returned to the hotel that I had started at back in January. With the ongoing pandemic. My job changed – I was now expected to oversee the front desk, housekeeping, and a coffee shop at the same time while having a leadership team half the size of what it had been pre-pandemic. Towards the end of October, a fire broke out in Irvine. It caused mass evacuations and with the evacuation zone ending near the hotel, it caused people to flock to the hotel. It was one of the longest and most stressful shifts I have ever worked.
In March, I received some upsetting news and chose to put in my notice at the work. It was a tough decision, but I needed to do it. It also gave me the time to plan for my upcoming move to Scotland.
In June, my best friend moved from California to Tennessee. I chose to visit her and her husband a month later. We went hiking, saw the local sights, ate loads of great food, and had an overall great time. Alas, I knew that I’d be moving two weeks later, so once home, I threw myself into getting packed and finalizing all of the last remaining details.
Finally, on August 6th, I flew from California to London, which ended my time as a resident of California. After landing in London, I spent time visiting family and catching up on lost time. I ended up living in Telford, a town near Birmingham, with my aunt and her dogs. While there, I focused on finding a job and a flat in Glasgow, which is where I intended on living. While in Telford, I also assisted my aunt in setting up a vegan home baking business, Morag’s Bakes. With having so much freetime, I started to experiment on TikTok, which somehow caused multiple videos to go viral. In turn, I ended up having a couple of articles written about not only my embroidery journals, but also about myself.
In late August, I visited Edinburgh and Glasgow for a few days each, mainly to solidify my decision on moving to Glasgow. Though while I stayed in Glasgow, I ended up meeting the person that would end up becoming my boyfriend, giving me one more reason to hurry up and get a job
In October, I accepted a job offer to work as a front desk supervisor at a hotel and by the end of the month, I had moved in with my lovely flatmate in Glasgow. Throughout the rest of the year, I spent my time working at the hotel, exploring Scotland, spending time with my boyfriend, and getting to know my flatmate and coworkers.
Growing up on the beaches of California, I never really had the chance to experience a real winter. Well that changed when I moved to Glasgow! I was able to enjoy so much more rain than I was used to having in the perpetual droughts that exist in California, not to mention the few snow days that Glasgow had this year.
Working as a front desk supervisor meant that I had to pull my weight in other ways, including working overnight shifts at the front desk when we were understaffed. Each night, I’d make it through the shift okay, but by the time 7AM rolled around, I’d wander the streets of city centre in need of a vegan sausage roll from Greggs. I kid you not, every time.
In late March, I flew back to California for two weeks for my older brother’s wedding. I was able to catch up with friends and family, sunbathe at the beach, and cuddle up with my cats. But by the time the trip concluded, I was aching to go back home to Glasgow.
In May, my boyfriend and I celebrated our birthdays in Oban for a couple of nights. We enjoyed a seaside hike on the island of Kerrera, ate at a few restaurants, and enjoyed our time together.
Now that we’re nearly caught up, in mid-June I left my job at the hotel. I’ve decided to focus full time on The Stir-Crazy Crafter and try to give it the shot it deserves. I’m so excited for what the future has in store.
Now that I’m on my third embroidery journal, I can’t imagine myself ever not working on one. It has become so routine for me to find the time every few days to update my journal. I get asked every now and then how I’ve managed to keep up with my journal for three years despite working a few demanding jobs. The fact is that I’m the type of person who once they starts something, they don’t give it up easily – I’m that stubborn.