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From work basket essentials to choosing the right canvas, I’ve packed this handy little pocket guide chock full of tips and tricks that you can refer to over and over again. Just print it out, pop it in your project bag, and voilà… you’re ready to stitch!

What Do Rest and Soap Operas Have in Common?

Rest and relaxation at the beach... my happy place!
Granny was a die-hard fan of Days of Our Lives. She also taught me to stitch. On the surface, those two things don’t seem to have anything in common. But, in my life, they’re inextricably linked. The common denominator is rest.

Let me explain…

You see, every day at noon, Granny would sit down in her recliner with her stitching and watch Days of Our Lives. (In my mind’s eye, I can still hear the theme song – and see that hourglass with sand trickling through it.)

What do soaps and stitching have to do with each other? Rest!

It was her time to rest and relax.

Time that she carved out for herself to do something that she loved. 🙂 And when I began going to her house for week-long “solo” visits, Granny taught me to stitch. 🙂
Do you remember those stamped designs for pillowcases and dresser scarves? Well, a dresser scarf from Morgan and Lindsey was my first “project”. I learned to make lazy daisies and French knots in harvest gold colored J & P Coats embroidery floss. Lots and lots of them! (Practice makes permanent, right? 😉 )

When my skills met her standards, she “graduated” me and I learned to do needlepoint.

My first needlepoint project was a pre-worked canvas like the one in the picture below…

I learned to do needlepoint on a pre-worked needlepoint canvas like this one.

It came from the needlework department at Gayfers, the local department store – and I remember feeling so “grown-up” getting to choose my canvas. After we made our purchase, we had lunch at The Copper Kettle (the restaurant inside the store) to celebrate! Such a precious memory. 🙂

We didn’t make it home in time to watch Days of Our Lives that day… 

Instead, Granny spent the rest of the afternoon teaching me how to do needlepoint. She stitched everything in continental tent stitch, so that’s what I learned. She showed me how to anchor my thread by holding it down with my finger until I stitched over the tail. And then, we were off to the races – literally!
We would see who could get the most stitching done in the hour that Days of Our Lives was on. (True confessions time… I was in my mid-thirties before I realized those “contests” were her way of keeping me busy so she could watch her “story”. Teehee!!)

I learned to stitch from my grandmother who understood that rest was essential.

She valued taking time to do something she loved every single day. She cherished her rest hour at noon – and as I write this blog post, I realize how much she continues to influence my life in ways that stretch beyond stitching.

Like sands through an hour glass, so are the days of our lives…

This week and next, I’m at the coast and taking some time to rest and relax. (I haven’t had a real honest-to-goodness vacation in over a year… eek!)
I’ll stitch some – in between walks on the beach. And I brought some books to read, too. The sun is shining and I already feel lighter just being here.
My hope for you today is that you’ll set aside some time to rest. If that includes stitching, then YAY!! And if it means sitting quietly by yourself for a just a few minutes, then YAY for that, too!

Before I go, I’m curious…

Do you have a special memory of learning to stitch?

I’d love to hear about it. You can share it in the comments box below.
I read every single comment that you leave for me. It’s a joy to connect with you. 🙂
Alrighty, my friend – that’s all for now.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!!
And until next time, happy stitching…
XOXO!!
Stitch with a smile!
PS: Yesterday, there were manatees swimming around the pier. I didn’t get to see them, but I’m on manatee alert now! I’ll share a picture on Facebook if I see any. 😉

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Serendipity Needleworks

Hi, I’m Ellen. A needlepoint teacher and author dedicated to helping motivated but overwhelmed stitchers at every stage find exactly what they need to stitch with confidence. Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the needlepoint world or you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, I’ve fine-tuned a learning experience just for you.

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