Over the past few weeks the whole world seems to be focusing on new resolves in the coming year...
in the stitching world lots of people are poised with needle in hand, ready to ring in the New Year with a newly acquired project, a new sampler, a new technique they have always wanted to try. The excitement surrounding this new start is readily evident when reading all the blogs and Facebook comments, stitchalongs etc.
I have been sorely tempted to join in and start yet another project but have decided not to let the general fervor and the 'new year - new project idea' get to me this time and focus my energies on working on projects I already own and research things I have put on the back-burner for far too long.
With that said, on a whim, I did start a small new project last night about five minutes after midnight, and finished it this evening... the little snowman design was posted on a blog I follow(thank you Renate) a few days ago as a Freebie - it was one that made me smile... so last night I picked up my needle, got some of the materials/threads that were on my mind 'to try' and I spent some time on this first day of the New Year stitching my little adaptation of the design - over one, using Pearsall's silk (white thread) contrasting it with Soie d'Alger (black thread) and cotton DMC and Coats tatting cotton #70. I decided to add a little saying that will remind me of my only wish and goal this year on the back side. In addition, I decided to use one of the little Plexiglas stands I had bought earlier last year... so, I ushered in the New Year with a new start and finish while using many things that were new to me and gained some idea about Pearsall's silk - it is a beautiful silk that is sadly no longer in production.
The serendipity of this unplanned project struck me as I was stitching the little snowman.
In the past weeks I have been thinking about all the events this past year... the painful frozen shoulder times had made me wonder about all the stash I had accumulated over the years - it had been bothering me for quite a few years because no matter how much or how fast I stitch I will never be able to stitch all the things I really do want to ... AND I really still want to explore some areas for which I hardly have the time!
I was not able to work on my silk embroidery at all because of the pain and limited movement of my shoulder and arm - it was most worrying and frustrating until I decided to just try and work on some of the 'other' types of projects in my stash. Interestingly enough I have learned a lot from this experience and come to be at peace with many things. A lot of people who do Japanese embroidery have decided to 'let go' of all the other types of embroidery and only focus on Japanese embroidery. I had put everything else aside when I was focused on learning the techniques (Phases 1 -10) for a year and a half but then realized that I just could not walk away from other embroideries that intrigue me still. The frozen shoulder episode made me embrace all my needlework projects again - I was/still am not able to work on my silk embroidery thanks to my shoulder but I was able to work on so many other types of needlework and finish a lot of projects. My shoulder made me abandon all my plans and deadlines and literally stopped me in my tracks for a few months on ALL my activities. I have gained some new insights in how much energy it takes to override the 'pain' and focus your thoughts, learned a lot about the benefits of acupressure, learned a lot about embracing each day and making the most of each moment we are given. I am thankful for so many things I learned, grateful to all the people who helped me, and most of all I realize now that I am 'okay' with not having deadlines and goals relating to my needlework hobby... so my goal for 2015 is a 'simple' one: I want to be mindful of each moment I have ... I will continue to focus my energies on all the needlework techniques that interest me AND continue to refine my techniques BUT I want to spend my time focusing more on the 'NOW', this very moment, and not be distracted by all the sensory distractions bombarding us at all times each day. And yes, I include blogs and Facebook as one of the main sources of distraction for me recently... because even though one can learn a lot ... it can also be a source of 'wanting more stuff'... and then at some point this becomes futile and robs me of the little time I may have to work on my own projects.
As I was stitching the little snowman I realized why this design had appealed to me when I first saw it; the image of snowflakes is instantaneously there when I read the word; and yet, I find that many times the essence of something is lost in the clutter of words and we forget to marvel in the beauty and uniqueness of the moment/snowflake. I have always found it is better to sit quietly and spend some time figuring out a stitch and enjoy and understand the materials and techniques instead of looking for instant 'fixes'... in my profession there are many times you can experience this 'being in the zone' feeling; Japanese embroidery is also that way but what I realized this past year was that all needlework can be that way too - it is up to me to switch off all the distractions and go beyond the pain and be mindful of each moment, each stitch.
So, I wish you all the Best in 2105 - thank you for all your support and kind comments especially on the Little Bird project I designed and posted recently - I am overwhelmed by the 'Likes' and comments and requests to teach ... I am thinking of many things BUT for now I am happy just 'savoring this present moment' ... here is today's start and finish - an adaptation :
|Original Freebie design - stitched over one thread of linen|
|My additions to the design|
|Front of my adaptation|
|Started and Finished project on January 1,2015|
|Backside of project - reminding me of my new approach in 2015|
|Backside of project showing the little plexi glass stand|