I went home to Southern California a few months ago and was looking at the art on the walls in my house. My mother used to cross stitch and do needlepoint; both my brother have our birth records in cross stitch and our first Communion dates among other fun things my mom made over the years. Yet, she has not done a cross stitch in a few years and I was a bit jealous because I wanted to learn.
We went to Michael’s Craft Store and she bought me one of those “Learn a Craft” cross stitch cupcakes. It was all of 3 inches, 7-count aida, and took me an hour to do. I got hooked from there and have done a few so far. Quite frankly, I got pretty good at it in a few months, so I thought I’d try my hand at making one for a gift.
Seeing how my brother is an avid Disney fan I saw a kit on Amazon which makes 4 ornament-sized cross stitch figures of Beauty and the Beast (I believe Peter Pan is also an option) from the Thomas Kinkade selection. The picture at the top is one of 3 of the 4 I have completed thus far. Each one takes about 15-20 hours, and I will have to say they are challenging! The pattern requires mixing of colors and counting exactly where the stitch needs to be and outlining (which I will be honest, is not my favorite task, especially at the end of completing something like this). I think I did a fair job though, and I hope (cross my fingers) that my brother will enjoy them.
I want to though take a moment to say something about learning a new hobby. This is my first post regarding something I have learned to do and truly enjoy it. I have taken these on planes (yes, the needle goes through TSA checkpoints), sunbathed with them and watched TV as I completed many. I liken this to keeping busy with your hands as your mind wanders. I often listen to a podcast while sitting outside and sewing or just let my mind wander. This is really a lovely thing to do to let go and just think and keep your hands busy. Yes, you are stagnant and I have gotten some odd looks at people my own age (probably thinking: “people sew nowadays?”), but it really is relaxing. Not as relaxing as picking up a book, but one doesn’t have to concentrate on following the plot as with a novel, but just counting and making sure your colors match.
Anyway, I just want to give a shout out to those who take a chance, take up a new hobby, and go with it. Perhaps when I am old and gray and looking back at all of my sewing pieces I will fondly remember my mother and her skills, as well as the stress of grad school in forcing me to find an outlet to relieve my stress and relax.