Stop by for a cup of cocoa with me. We will share a visit, chat about what I am working on, whats on my frame, life in Vermont, cook, laugh, share & ENJOY. :)~ I am a maker of punch needle embroidery patterns and finished pieces as well as folk art dolls, MOHAIR BEARS and ANIMALS :)

~Glad Tidings. Thank you all so very much for stopping by today.~

Friday, January 18, 2019

~Slow Stitching ~ Yoga ~ Finding My Way~

Much like everyone else, I was tired after Christmas.   Being under the weather two weeks prior to Christmas, with a nasty cold, did not help matters of course but this year, it felt different;   I was exhausted!    Let's face it, no matter how you do it....Christmas is a LOT of work.  Do not get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE Christmas and all that surrounds it & even, all that goes into it.  It truly is magical and completely wonderful .  But it is still VERY tiring.  The week after Christmas found me absolutely drained and exhausted.  All the plans, thoughts, ideas & designs, I had been thinking about for months and couldn't wait to get to after my busy workshop season & the holidays, now seemed wrong & uninspired.  I tried starting a few different designs and didn't like anything I did!!!  I sketched something new and then tossed it aside.  All the while, in my head, I was in a panic!!  A little voice kept telling me, "hurry, hurry, you must release new designs!!!  Thankfully, this feeling only ended up lasting for a couple of weeks but I can tell you ,,,,it literally felt like years. 

 December 29th found me on my Yoga mat once again (as I mentioned in my last post, I skipped Yoga classes during most of Nov and December) and thankfully, day by day, my mind started to quiet down and the exhaustion lifted.  I have come to realize, for me, Yoga is a medication..and one I can not skip!!!   I feel embarrassed that I skipped classes for those weeks, but in the end, I guess I needed to, so I could truly realize how important and necessary my yoga practice is for my health and well being.   

As my body, once again, started to feel stronger my mind did as well.  My muse returned, things started to settle into place and my time in the studio felt good again.  This bit of exhaustion and worry has made me realize something that I need to change;  I need to slow myself down! When I am punching, I catch myself rushing to finish a design, punching as fast as I can, so that I can get the pattern written and released as soon as possible!! I was stripping all of the joy out of my punching. So much was my rush to finish, I barely paid attention to the wonderful design in front of me that, in many cases, took me a long time to put down on paper.. That design, when I originally sketched it out onto paper, brought me joy and a smile to my face! Yet, when I began stitching the design with my thread and needle, I rushed so very much I lost that joy and was no longer bringing that piece to life, I was simply trying to finish it to move on to the next. As an artist, I MUST NOT let that happen ...I can NOT do that to myself. It is a grave mistake to make because, quite soon, the well will be dry and there will be no slow, joyful thoughts & ideas to put down on paper!!
When I punched this, I was in awe of it's loveliness as I brought it to life...The vine & THOS FLOWERS....oh my!!!
I need to get that back!

Back in December I came across an article on Pinterest on Slow Stitching with Maggie Bonanomi. It looked intriguing so I pinned it but never took the time to read it. Last week it popped up in my feed again so this time, I took the time to read it and my goodness, did it hit home!!! Slow stitching is exactly what I was no longer doing!!! I sat back and starting thinking about how I use to punch. I took it all in, I went slow and enjoyed every second of it. I magically watched as my simple sketch came to life with the colorful threads and my needle. Somewhere along the way, I lost that (it's a constant battle to keep ahead of the seasons, keep your name and work out there..etc..) and it's time to get it back. Yesterday, I sat in my comfy chair by the fire and punched. I felt every punch, I paid attention to where every loop was placed and how each one was formed and I enjoyed the slow, relaxing time I spent with my hoop & needle.
Thought and ideas floated by. New ideas and designs but also, things I want to try. New things, that recently I've been beating myself up for even thinking about taking the time to work on because, CLEARLY I have other things I need to do first! I have no idea why but I have been trying my hardest to lock myself into one category when clearly I am not meant to be there!!! I am a maker OF MANY THINGS (I honestly do not think I have the ability to do just one thing) and you know what, I've finally realized, THAT'S OKAY!!. I am giving myself permission to be more than just a punch needle artist and pattern maker who MAYBE, once or twice a year if there's time, might make a bear or spun cotton snow folke. From now on...I am going to take my time, enjoy the process and slow "stitch" my way through whatever it is I am making, whether it be punch needle, wool applique, rug hooking, bear making, spun cotton OR whatever else might find it's way into my thought process so that I MAY REMAIN JOYFUL AND INSPIRED in all that I do. I give myself permission to work on whatever I feel like bringing to life and not hem myself into any one particular category because clearly, I do not enjoy being there!!

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Are any of you feeling overwhelmed? Are you moving toward changes to rid yourself of that feeling and if so..what are they? Is anyone feeling great ~ well balanced and energetic?? If so, please share what you are doing and what is helping you along the way :) Here are a few more links for slow stitching should you care to look into it. 1. Slow Stitching Article with Maggie 2. Slow Stitching Movement website 3. Slow Stitch ~ Mindful & Contemplative Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith 4. Slow Stitch Video ~ by Ellie Beck ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Forgive me if this post it a bit rambling and jumbled...:)  I'm using it as somewhat of a "journal writing" exercise this morning.  Goodness, I feel so much better having gotten this all down "on paper" Thank you for stopping by today and listening my lovely friends. I can't tell you how joyful it makes me to have you here. We've a fresh dusting of snow this morning and a very large snow storm on the way tomorrow afternoon. I am looking immensely forward to it! I am running errands in just a bit so that we may be supplied with the makings for my homemade Italian Chicken soup & rolls and I do believe I'll make an apple pie. I hope you enjoy the weekend ahead and if you are in the path of this very big storm ~ be safe and well. Until next time, wish you joy ~ Doreen


18 comments:

  1. I long to be done my full-time day job and create full-time, but I too feel I would need to keep a close eye on the "rush" to meet self-imposed deadlines and lose the joy of creating. I love sketching a design and the process of choosing fabrics/colors to bring that sketch to life and hope to someday fullfill my dream and keep it a joyful process.

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    1. Hello Kim. thank you so much for stopping by and chatting. Here's to a great new year ahead where all of your dreams come to life. hugs, doreen

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  2. What a great reminder! I, too, have many projects going at one time and am starting to feel overwhelmed. Reading your blog made me realize that I was rushing to the finish line. So I have taken a deep breath and will slow down to enjoy the process. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hello Bobbi ~ wonderful :) Thank you so much for stopping by. hugs, doreen

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  3. It seems that your exhaustion was teaching you something, and being the good student of life that you are, you learned. Good for you. When there's no joy in what you are doing, it's not worthwhile, especially for creative people. And I love that picture that you posted with this blog. I think I asked you once before what it was from, but don't remember your answer. It is so cozy and sweet.

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    1. Hello Marilee. :) thank you!!! That illustration (my all time favorite) is from The Wind In The Willows ~ Winter. The illustrations are by Inga Moore ~ oh my word, her work is simply amazing!!!

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  4. well, my friend ~ you are in very good company. I am slowing down, paying more attention, letting my needle guide me instead of deadlines...there is nothing worse that cheating yourself out of creativity by rushing to get something finished. I am right there with you ~ taking time to enjoy what I do, to be in 'that moment' of doing it and realize that I will love the outcome so much more.
    here's to Slowing down and smartening up!
    xoxox
    Lori

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    1. Hello Lori. I think we all reach a certain point in our lives were we ask....why are we rushing so??? I put a lot of the pressure on myself so, I have decided I am going to stop doing that!!! :) It's all about balance...which I work on daily :)

      hugs, doreen

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  5. I live in NH and am so looking forward to this storm! We may get 20" or more. I made an Apple pie too! And two loaves of bread. And I baked mini meatballs for Minestrone soup. If we loose power we can always heat everything up on our wood stove. I ...like you ...love winter ☺
    I just turned 68 this month. I see how most people like to stitch quickly as they do multiple projects in rotation and there is certainly nothing wrong with that! I personally like to work on one thing at a time. I focus on every stitch. To me there is something very fulfilling working on a project from beginning to it's completion. In our society most jobs are shared by multiple people and sadly most don't get the satisfaction of seeing something finished that only they have worked on. I am so grateful for my needlework. It brings me peacefulness and joy!
    Enjoy the weather!

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    1. Hello Donna and fellow New Englander!!! It is just starting to spit and sputter a few snowflakes as we speak ~ HERE IT COMES!!! I AM SO PLEASED TO HAVE ANOTHER SNOW LOVER HERE..we are few and far between, let me tell you!!!

      I use to be the kind of person who did one thing at a time but as my business grew, work demands, deadlines, etc. caused a shift and that all changed. NOW..I am slowly getting back to, what may be fewer designs/patterns/finished offerings etc. but in my opinion, what will be higher quality/detail/workmanship because I took my time. Because really, who wants something rushed or something the designer threw together to meet a deadline.

      Thank you so much for stopping by. Enjoy a cozy weekend. Wishing you joy, doreen

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  6. January is a hard month for many of us. I like your yoga and slow stitch remedies.
    I load up on Vitamin D this time of year too. With our frigid temps it’s hard to get
    Sun. Thanks for your honesty!
    Sheepunderfeet

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    1. Greetings and thank you so much for stopping by. Oh goodness, thank you for the reminder of Vitamin D. I have had an issue in that area before so I must start taking mine!!

      Wishing you a SUNNY and joyful Winter :) Doreen

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  7. From Dottie: Doreen - thanks for sharing your thoughts. This Christmas I took on too many craft gift projects and by the end, they were not created with love, but with anxiety. I have promised myself i will never let that happen again! The inspiration from "Slow Stitching" is just what I need. I also began the year by reading more about creating contemplative time in my day and so far I have been successful in creating morning quiet time for some inspirational reading by the fireplace. The slow stitching article has been added to my list! A good reminder for the times when I feel my hands cramping when doing punch needle because I am not taking the time to slow down and enjoy the creative process. Thank you for creating this beautiful community and for sharing your journey

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  8. Hello Dottie. Thank you SO much for stopping by and for your encouraging words. I am ever so glad to hear you've slowed down and are taking time for quiet contemplation to revive your creative juices and energy. It's SO important.

    Hugs to you. Wishing you JOY ~ Doreen

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  9. Enjoying the process is what it's all about....and, hopefully that process relaxes you and becomes a healing "therapy"! I did get myself a bit overwhelmed with buying (and storing) too many projects....but, now that I've gotten rid of the surplus of stuff I'm no longer interested in (or happy with)....I can truly enjoy creating the project that is in front of me! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on slow stitching and also sharing the links! I will read all of them later this evening (after chicken soup, lol)....and get some stitching time too! :-)

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    1. Hello and thank you so much for stopping by :). You are most welcome. I did just notice one of the links is not working so I will fix that right now :).

      Enjoy your slow stitching and that yummy soup :).

      Wishing you joy, doreen

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  10. January is always my time to refresh and renew. I simply "be" for the first 2 weeks, relaxing, looking thru my stash of patterns, straightening up my sewing room(well, not much!)and getting ready to stitch. It's a no pressure, no deadline time. Then I begin to organize my next project, getting enthused to start. So while I don't actually do yoga on floor and mat, I do a mental yoga, readying my mind for the new year. Then I sit down in my recliner by the window, with a cat near by and begin to stitch. That's my New Year mantra! Susan

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    1. Greetings Susan. That sounds PERFECT!!! Well done to you!!! I think, next year, I will follow that same thought process!

      Thank you!!! Wishing you joy, Doreen

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