Saturday, 8 January 2011

Stitching - the new beginning

Well, I think I finally worked out why I was 'losing interest' in embroidery and why I just wasn't enjoying my needlework anymore. DH said he thought it had run its course in that I took up stitching as something to do whilst stuck at home with CFS/ME and, now that I didn't have that condition anymore and had other things I wanted to do, stitching had, basically, outlived its usefulness. Whilst I can see his point, I don't think that's entirely it as I've worked several projects since then, including almost everything that I've ever blogged about (just a few 'Show and Tell' items from before and a few WIPs that I was trying to get finished up featured in the early blogging period from my ME/CFS days). I think it's more related to the phenomenon that many stitchers have experienced in their less experienced days. You remember the time when you bought a kit, got it all set up to work, started a few parts of it and then got stalled? Totally paralysed by it. Why? Because it outfaced us. It was just plain too hard for our ability or confidence level. The same goes for when we're tired. We just want to relax with something easy and anything that's harder, that needs more concentration and skill, well, that's just 'too hard' right now and needs leaving for a better time. That's what's been going on with me.

I noticed when we were in Germany that I was really getting enthusiastic about the cross stitch I was doing and was challenging myself to get so much completed by the time we left. That was the last time I remember enjoying it too and wanting to do more. My batteries are just so darned flat that, whilst I know I still enjoy stitching and am still interested in freestyle, stumpwork and many other 'harder' forms of stitchery, I just find them too much work right now. On the other hand, I did enjoy the two sessions of cross stitching I did this last week.

So, here's the plan: Basically, I'm going to stitch for enjoyment for the time being - until I feel more like my old self and can face more complex things. Of course, I have projects in progress at the mo and I'm not the type who can stomach UFOs - I'd rather force myself to complete something I'm not really enjoying than have UFOs hanging around! Also, the water violets cushion is promised, so that must be done and finished up. What I decided to do was, starting with the water violets, I would do a little bit on each 'hard' WIP, say one tiny flower or one length of floss, then relax with my cross stitch for as long as I feel like working. That way, both types of projects get done and I can rediscover the enjoyment. It may even help me to get back to normal again. Having said that, it's been so long since I felt normal for more than a short while that I've almost forgotten what it feels like!!LOL!=) The manicure pouch isn't expected, so I can delay that one as long as I like (for when my sister comes home on a visit, or we next go out East and see her) and so I'll complete the viola after the water violets.

Anyone who has come directly on blog will be able to see that I've purpled it up a bit - i.e. changed the colours from turquoisey and petrol blues to blue-ish purples. I've also changed two of the header photos. I'll update that part again soon when I've something more recently completed to showcase there. I like to have three or four pieces from the last year up there, but given the paucity of my finishes during 2010 (and 2009 not being a great deal better), that wasn't really feasible!! This new way of working should see my stitch productivity begin to soar. Here's hoping anyway.

Anyway, that's it for me for the next week as we'll be staying with my mum, (no WWW) and working at the University of Leeds looking after Special Circumstances exam candidates. We'll come home for the weekend in between and I'll try and update then. I'll take my water violets and my narrowboat XS with me (as well as lots of mending and those boring needlepoint backgrounds I mentioned last post), so there should be something to see next weekend. Have a good week all!

Next day:

I had to add this in last time I posted about motivation and stitching etc: I am NOT agonising about not being into stitching at the moment. It simply isn't my style to tie myself in knots about hobbies so please don't feel the need to encourage me not to give myself a hard time about it. I am not doing so and never have! I'm sure my interest in more complex work will return when I'm feeling better and it really doesn't matter a hang if it doesn't! I'm just talking about what works for me. No need at all to worry that I'm being hard on myself or anything of the sort, but thanks for the kind concern to anyone who has that feeling when reading what I'm been saying about loss of interest.=)


DIAN said...

Elizabeth, I think we all fall into some kind of creative hole occasionally. It sounds like you have figured out a comfortable routine. I hope it brings back the pleasure you have enjoyed in the past.

Sarah Homfray said...

Hi Elizabeth,
Love reading your blog, you aren't the only one to struggle with unfinished projects! I enjoyed your travel blog alot, there must have been an overwhelming array of new inspiration. England must seem a bit grey after all that silk and bright colours!
Don't beat yourself up about not enjoying embroidery so much at the moment, that will probably make you like it even less. Do it as and when you feel like it and your enjoyment will return all on its own. I think once you start doing it you never really lose your love of it, so you will get your stitching mojo back!

Thankyou very much for your lovely comments on my website, I'll see you on Stitchin fingers!

Jules Woolford said...

Wise words - as always, and you're quite right! I haven't stitched for several months, but am now pining to do some, I think everything is cyclical.

Anonymous said...

I think what you say makes perfect sense, and it seems you have made a great choice in your stitching plans. I too have those stumpwork etc UFOs, but I keep coming back to good ol' XS for sanity's sake until I'm in the right frame of mind to tackle the more difficult stitching :)

coral-seas said...

I understand what you mean and your solution sounds a good one. I also grind to a halt if I can't work out how to do a step, or if I am not happy with what I have done and don't think that I can do it better. These things will most likely become UFO's for me unless I learn something that will let me move the project forward.

Doris said...

I'm sure too that you interest in more complex work will be return.

Jensters said...

Elizabeth, ive often been like this, but have always liked to look at other friends always up and down with my embroidery...enjoying at the moment tho....glad ive found you again tho.

Rachel said...

It sounds like you have a great plan in place to deal with the current situation. Devising the plan is always the difficult bit!

Elizabeth Braun said...

Do you think so, Rachel? I always find the devising of the plan to be the easy bit. Sticking to it, however, is quite another matter.....!!!=)

Rachel Cotterill said...

I love your purple reworking :) And yes, know what you mean - sometimes I just need to relax and NOT challenge myself, although that always feels weird.