Bits and Pieces

“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.”

–Anaïs Nin

Here we are on the cusp of another new year! I’m not sad to see 2023 out the door, even if 2024 already has some work cut out for me—at least I’m excited for some of it. Who’s with me?

The “Life Scroll” project that I started on my birthday this year did not pan out. At first I was upset that I couldn’t keep up, but I’ve made my peace with it, the same way I did with the temperature tracker that lasted about a month and a half in 2022. This time, it’s not that I didn’t care about it, it just stressed me out more than it brought me joy and satisfaction, which is ultimately the point of these daily stitching commitments. It was a relief, honestly, to admit to myself that it wasn’t going to happen, which is how I knew it was the right choice.

I do love the daily stitching projects I’ve finished, though, and I want to keep trying new things, so I’ve created a new design to stitch in 2024! I decided that I wanted to highlight the numbers 2-0-2-4, and break each number into segments (91-91-92-92) so each digit can hold three months. I initially tried to make all the segments roughly the same size and shape, but I couldn’t make it look right; eventually I landed on an irregular geometric pattern where every segment is totally different. Here’s what I’m working with:

It reminds me of a mosaic; in the end it will be made up of 366 little pieces of me. I’ll approach it like I did my Make Don’t Break piece from 2021, stitching one segment of the overall design each day using colors I select to represent something about that day. This time, I’ve decided to add a twist (something I’ve seen on other embroidery journals): each month I will select my threads from a specific color family, rather than a complete free-for-all. Each digit will span one quarter of the year, so each number will host a pool of three colors. I may also choose *not* to stitch consecutive segments….still TBD. Whatever I settle on, I think it will turn out looking pretty cool!

Because art is extra fun when you share it with others, here is a PDF of the chart that you can download and print for your stitching/tracking/coloring pleasure:

I’m excited to see what my own project ends up looking like, and curious to see what y’all think to do with my design—find me over on Insta @smrt783 and let me know what you create!

As usual, I don’t want cost to be a barrier to any kind of maker, so this chart is free for non-commercial use! That being said, capitalism is real and living costs money, so if you wish to show appreciation for my effort with currency, I will happily accept contributions via Venmo and/or PayPal! I assure you that I will use every last cent to create art, and you will forever have my gratitude:

Cover photo “Rainbow Mosaic Mandala Detail” by Margaret Almon at