Hello all my wonderful, talented cross stitchers! The temps are getting lower and the days are shorter so this is a great time of year to get cross stitching. So what are you waiting for? Do you have projects you want to get done for Christmas 2019 or just a pile of projects started but not completed? So get busy already! Look, there is no time like the present to get on with cross stitching. I am the world’s worst procrastinator and I have used every excuse in the book to not start or finish a cross stitch masterpiece, large or small. So what is yours? Let’s check to see if I have it on my list.
Excuse: My life is out of control and I don’t have time for it (insert cry of desperation here).
Solution: Do you have a bathroom? Yes? Then take your stitching and go there if you have to in order to be left alone. Ignore the pounding on the door, they’ll get tired and stop eventually. Bust the ear buds out and turn up the rock and roll. Seriously, if this is your passion then you will make the time. I would stitch after the kids went to bed when they were young and then I would pick it up after dinner when they got older. I would stitch at doctor’s appointments, recital rehearsals, softball practice, etc.. After my pieces were dragged around for months they sometimes looked like I mopped the kitchen floor with them, but hey, they got finished.
Excuse: Just can’t fit it into my tight budget with manicures, pedicures, weekly bingo, take-out dinners, etc..
Solution: PLLLLEEEEAZE! Unless you are living on bread and water in a cardboard box, this excuse is not valid. I took my lunch to work for ages so I could save that money towards something cross stitch. I eliminated manicures, bought cheap shoes and discount underwear, all for the love of cross stitch. You have to give a little to get a little folks.
Excuse: My eyes glaze over whenever I look at my current project.
Solution: Okay, I get it, you’ve hit the proverbial cross stitch wall and you absolutely cannot do another stitch. No harm no foul. When a good healthy break is needed, don’t eliminate cross stitch completely. Instead, visit some cross stitch blogs, podcasts, Instagram images, designer websites (like Mr. X-Stitch–yes, a shameless plug!), Facebook groups, etc.. Your creative cross stitch bug needs nourishment and these can help you get it when you just want to space out. I enjoy just revisiting my cross stitch books and supplies to recharge my batteries.
Excuse: I want to get it done but I don’t want to work on it. (What?!)
Solution: We all had that project that we looked longingly at but knowing how tortuous it was, looked away quickly, sometimes for months at a time. I myself had one such project. It was a Christmas stocking and nothing, and I mean nothing, would go right on it. I loved the project but it certainly was cursed from the get go. Although it could qualify for the longest time for a cross stitch stocking to complete, I did complete it. Just keep plugging away, even a difficult project doesn’t last forever. It just seems like it does.
Excuse: I don’t know what I want to do with it or “I’m afraid of it because if I somehow mess it up I will be forced to chop rocks for the rest of my life.”
Solution: NEVER fear the project! So what if you use the wrong shade of puce, rip it out and get over it. This is where due diligence comes in and preplanning. Sort everything out ahead of time and you will hit fewer speed bumps. I had no idea how a design I made for a baby would turn out when I tried to make it into a pillow. You know what? With very little measuring and lack of ability, it turned out beautifully. If it didn’t, I would just try it again. Simple huh? Experts were always beginners at first.
Excuse: It is evil, I hate it and I want to toss it on a bonfire!
Solution: If you absolutely hate a piece you are working on, get rid of it. It has to be unmitigated hatred and not frustration or boredom though. There is no point in wasting valuable time on something you are not enjoying. Throw it away or give it to someone who wants to finish it but stop work on it. AND don’t feel guilty about it.
So are you now getting your latest and greatest cross stitch project out to get stitching? Yes? I applaud you in overcoming the excuses preventing you from enjoying your passion. There is no time like the present!
LADYBUG LAKE-Technology continues to be my nemesis and would not allow me to download the photos of Ladybug Lake from my camera or phone. After working on it for three days, I will just have to try to rectify the situation by next month’s column. Beaten but not defeated!
Welcome to Manbroidery, an ongoing series of interviews with men who stitch. This time we welcome Richard McVetis, whose sublime stitched squares contain are bound with elegant intensity.
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