I was just going to blog a client session this morning, but decided that is not what is needed today. I know the world has gotten rather frenetic these days for many of us. I feel like We don’t know how to slow down and just be anymore. It is so hard to find the time to unplug when text messages and emails and other push notifications make our phones ding and clatter at any moment. This has started to effect us all. We listen to books as we drive, we scan our email while waiting in line at one of the 2 or 4 different grocery stores on our weekly rotation, we eat lunch while blogging... I find things like handcrafts to be so centering. I still have to be mindful and tell myself I do deserve an hour or two away from my phone. And that can be hard, I know my mind swirls with all of the terrible possibilities that could possibly arise while I am not there to help deal with them. But barring any serious emergency, nothing will really happen if I take an hour or two off from answering emails or taking calls. Actually, I recently had a very stressful call, and a good friend told me to be silent and listen, leave pauses in the conversation to allow the other people time to take on some tough questions and answer them. And that lead to the 3 little photo embroidery cards now sitting in a wooden card holder, over my desk as reminders to Be Still, Breathe and Listen.
I began sewing at a young age. I was not good at it. I believe I may have been the worst at sewing in my brownie troop. My mother, a fine art quilter, was the leader, so I pretty much know, I was the worst of the troop. I can tell you that, to this day, I kind of abhor anything that needs to be perfect. So pattern sewing, or anything requiring too much measuring, is pretty much out for me. But I do love sewing on images, and weaving on a lap loom, and needle felting little creatures. You can not help but to to Be Still, Breathe and Listen while practicing a handcraft.
All of my little photos in this blog are 5X5 inch prints on thick, matte, card stock paper. Each stitch painstakingly made with a leather needle and embroidery thread. Some images are brand new, others are years old, but I wanted to show some before and after images from this series. All of the images were created on real film. If you look closely at the bottom left image, you can see that I do plan these out beforehand, even using tools. So I aim for symmetry, but never expect perfection, I just push the needle up, and down, then up again, and down again. Breathing along with each and every stitch.
I incorporate little things like beads or sequins and paint sometimes. But mostly I paint on my images with the embroidery thread.
This really is a relaxing, creative and fun project. If you use small prints, you can finish one or two in a nice afternoon of unplugging and sewing. Try not to seek perfection, as that often keep us from ever trying something new. An inexpensive print, a needle and thread and a few hours of zen time, is worth it, even if you do not end up with a perfect piece. But if you do end up with a piece that you love and feel proud of, share it with me so I can see your beautiful work!