Well, hello there, my friend! By the time you read this, we’ll be well into our Spring Stitch Challenge. One of our stitchers asked “why are you doing this?” Of course, my first response is because I L-O-V-E what I do! I love to teach other people about needlepoint. I love to share the things I know so that our wonderful hobby doesn’t become a lost art. But, I also have to admit that I do it to refuel myself. Self care is such an important part of being able to show up for our families, our friends – and ourselves!
When I stop the think about what self care actually means to me…
it kinda’ goes without saying that self care means I try to carve out some time every day (or at least 5 days a week!) to stitch. Not on something for my 9 – 5 job (Serendipity Needleworks and The Stitcher’s Club™), but on something that I want to stitch. For me – or for someone I love!
I recently took a virtual needlepoint workshop as a little staycation for myself. (Yep, this teacher needs to refuel and be inspired just like you!) In fact, I love being a stitching student almost as much as I love being a teacher.
That time of learning from someone with a different viewpoint – and practicing my art – was just what I needed to rejuvenate my spirit. Seeing new stitch and thread combinations always sparks ideas for me and when the sparks start flying, so do my fingers! 😉
I know that, as a needle artist, I have to practice my skills in order to grow. I’m the first to tell you that I don’t know everything there is to know about needlepoint. Heck – I learn new things all the time!
Another terrific benefit of my little staycation is that I now have new stitching friends from across the US! (One of them even lives close enough for us to meet up for a stitch together! How fun is that?!)
Earlier, I mentioned that in order for us to better care for our loved ones, we need to invest in caring for ourselves.
And not just from a nutrition and exercise, standpoint. (I KNOW those are super important too, though! That’s why I try to get in a walk 4 – 5 times every week and eat fresh, whole foods.)
The kind of self care I’m talking about is investing in your creative spirit – doing what makes your heart sing. Because when you show yourself some love and self care, it fills you up and gives you the “oomph” to keep going when the going gets tough.
It can be really easy to say “ I don’t have the time” or “I’ll do that after I get this done”. But I’m here to tell you, my friend, that you (and I!) do have the time. As Brooke McGowan painted on one of her designs…
We do, indeed, have the same number of hours in a day that everyone else does. So how about doing some stitching when you’re having your morning coffee? Or try to get a few stitches in a canvas in the evening while winding down before going to bed? Maybe spend a rainy Saturday afternoon with a canvas? Use those wee snippets of time to practice YOUR art and renew your creative energy.
As humans, we need to create…
but the creative process can be messy, can’t it? Sometimes your finished project doesn’t turn out like what you could see so clearly in your mind’s eye. Stitches don’t fit into the spaces on your canvas like you thought they would. Or they don’t work well with the thread you chose. It can be soooo easy to just throw your hands up and cry “uncle”!
And then you do “IT”. You take that project and you shove it in the closet (or in a drawer or under the bed). Out of sight, out of mind, right?
But it’s not really out of mind, is it?
You know it’s there – just waiting for you to rescue it. Oh, the angst and agony – and guilt! And you feel even worse when you acknowledge that the project is joining a gaggle of cohorts in the dark recesses of the needlepoint netherworld. (Does any of this sound familiar? If it does, let me reassure you that you’re not alone. I know how you feel because I’ve been where you are.)
So, what’s a stitcher to do?
While it can be easier to say you “don’t have the time to work on that project”, I’m going to challenge you to, instead, pull it out and talk it over with some stitching friends. Try learning a different stitch for that thread you absolutely L-O-V-E. Invest in some self care by giving it another try. You might just surprise yourself. 😉
Kurt Vonnegut once said, “To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”
I couldn’t agree more. I want you to consider the time you spend creating as self care. You’re investing in yourself and your soul.
Take a workshop, or better yet – spend one hour each night joining us on Zoom for the 2021 Spring Stitch Challenge. Stitch along with a friend or two (ME 😊), learn some new stitches or revisit some old favorites, and be embraced by a community of supportive stitchers just like wonderful Y-O-U.
It’s free to join in. All you need to do is sign up. Gather your supplies to practice the stitches along with me, or just watch along and enjoy the community and sharing. However you choose to join us, we will love having you with us!
TODAY is the perfect day to begin investing in yourself and your art – because, if not now, when?
Okey dokey, my friend – that’s all for now.
Until next time, happy stitching!
PS: Are you joining me for the Spring Stitch Challenge? Tell me in the comments below! 🙂