Hello, dear visitor. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and welcome you to my site. I hope you enjoy your visit and please feel free to drop by anytime and join me in a cuppa.
I’m originally from New York City but moved to England in my late twenties. I’m married with three nearly-grownchildren. I’m forty-(ahem) years old and I’ve been doing needlework of one type or another since the age of nine.
The first kit I ever did was a crewel embroidery kit my mother had originally purchased for herself. She began working on it straightaway, but after a week or so she lost interest and stored it away, never to be touched again. I thought the picture of the finished design was very pretty. It was the front porch of a beach house. In the centre was a wicker chair with a bright, colourful seat cushion with an equally bright, colourful tropical plant next to the chair. The outline of the design had been stamped on the fabric and reminded me of the outline pictures in my colouring books. It seemed a simple enough thing to do. Colour in the picture and stay inside the lines. Only instead of using Crayolas™, you used yarn. I asked my mother if I could have the kit to work on and she agreed.
It didn’t take long for me to see that this project might not be as easy as I had first anticipated. The instructions were incomprehensible to me. I didn’t know a stem stitch from a French knot and I didn’t quite get what the stitch illustrations where trying to demonstrate. And the different shades of colours: light orange, very light orange, pale orange, very, light, pale orange. They all looked the same to me. However, I could just about figure out from the guide how to do the stitches and I had the photograph to refer to. Armed with only those ‘skills’, I dove in head first with my first attempt at needlework. Six months later, after many mistakes, much unpicking and lots of determination, I finished my first embroidery. Granted, it didn’t look exactly like the picture. You see, when I couldn’t figure out quite how to do a particular stitch, I kinda made it up. I felt bad about ‘cheating’. I was (and still am) a rigid perfectionist and I thought I had done it ‘wrong’ because I hadn’t followed the instructions to the letter. But then it occurred to me that those ‘made up’ parts is what made the final product my own true creation.
Since that tremulous beginning, I have become proficient and confident enough to branch out into other forms of needlework such as needlepoint, cross-stitch, and on occasion, blackwork. And if the design isn’t exactly like the chart says it should be, well that’s what gives the project a personal touch.
Over the years I’ve watched needlework adapt and evolve. The rules aren’t so stringent anymore and it really has become an art form where you can let your imagination fly. When I first began, stitching was very basic. You pretty much did that the chart told you to do and, if you were doing cross-stitch, you always finished it off by backstitching. But now with all the new flosses, fabrics, innovations and contemporary designs that are available you can’t help but go ‘off book’ and experiment. You can add buttons or beads to give your design charm. You can blend metallic threads with cotton floss to give your project some sparkle. It’s so easy nowadays to imbue your creations with your own unique character. If you can imagine it, you can create it.
My main motivation for creating this site is to share my passion for needlework and creativity. I would love to welcome and inspire new followers to the cause and encourage veteran stitchers to cut loose and experiment with new colours, fabrics, threads and techniques.
I’ll be writing about new products and accessories on the scene as well as designers ranging from the well established to the up and coming. I’ll also look at needlework companies and websites and see which ones stand out. And, once in awhile, I may digress and write about crafts other then needlework. I enjoy creating and am always trying out new ways to cultivate my creative side. So please indulge me if every so often I write about something non-needlework.
Bear in mind that needlework isn’t exclusive. Nor is it a solitary hobby. You can incorporate it into other crafts. I’ve seen embroidery and decoupage combined to give the final product a 3D effect.
You can share needlecraft with others. I have a collection of Christmas cards that my oldest daughter and I created together. I stitched some Christmas-themed motifs on some spare aida fabric I had and when I was done, I passed them on to my daughter. She would then select from our collection of blank cards, stickers and glitter just the right combination to showcase the cross-stitched design. We spent a very pleasant Saturday making cards and deciding who was worthy enough to receive our special cards.