Happy New Year…

…about 14 days late. But the sentiment is heartfelt. To each one of you who takes the time to stop by to read my ramblings, may this year hold blessings unimagined for you and those you love.

This is a difficult post to write, not because I have any portentious news or because I am out of words (those that know me well will tell you that seldom happens) but because I am at a crossroads in my life with needlework.  It’s funny how much I’ve been thinking about stitching, since it’s been close to a month since I picked up a needle of any kind. What a sad state of affairs. Sigh… The need to create flows deep in me and I get CRANKY when I can’t stich!

But this post isn’t about being cranky. That will pass when I pick up my needles. It is more of a philosophical wandering. As I look back on a half century and look forward to whatever years God chooses to give me, I think about what I’ve learned and what path I want to follow for the decade ahead. I want my fifties to mean something. Like most everyone, I would like to leave a positive mark behind me as I pass through life.

So many choices (a blessing) and so many options to choose from…all with their own positives and negatives.  As I look at needlework, this beautiful, glorious hobby of mine, I know I have to decide once and for all if my needlework is to be a vocation or if it should remain a cherished avocation.

Do I want to open and run a store? Not really. I have spent enough years in retail to know how the business has changed. Besides that’s not really where my heart is…not anymore. Where is my heart? I think my heart lies in teaching others what I know before this beautiful artform (counted thread, needlepoint, knitting, free embroidery…take your pick) goes the way of the trolley and the pony express. And sadly, there are fewer and fewer young people who grace the doors of the local LNS and the guilds I frequent. When I ask why someone is not interested, all too often the answer I get is ‘I’m too busy’.

Although it’s a bunny trail…I think I need to respond to that sentiment.  We all make time for what is truly important to us. I know very few people busier than my sister-in-law, Paula.  She is single mom, holding down a full time professional position. She and her daughter are active in church and in the community. And guess what? She stitches! She makes time for those few moments of beauty and peace in her life at least weekly, sometimes daily. She’s teaching her daughter to stitch. She gives the gift of herself in her time and in her beautiful art. I also know there are hundreds of others here that do the same…day in and day out.  This to me is proof positive it is possible to make time for stitching, even in the midst of busy lives.

Now that I’ve written that paragraph I have to look at my lack of production in the needlework department over the last month and re-evaluate my excuses 🙂 Between the holidays and another sojourn at North Memorial, I have chosen to focus elsewhere…how’s that? And I need to get back to the soft, sweet rhythms of silk and linen posthaste!

Anyhooooo. back to my topic. How do we assure that handwork sees another dawn?  I may not have all the answers, but I know where we start. We teach. We encourage others to teach. We become the evangelists of the threaded needle. We support the  DMC mentor program and all of the fine EGA, ANG and local guild classes that welcome both novice and expert alike and reach out to the community. And we take the time to share what we know…whenever and however the opportunity presents itself.

So where am I in all this rambling? Well, the answer of vocation or avocation is going to take some further thought and some research. But as I look forward to 2009 as it pertains to needlework…I am looking forward to a year focused on two things. Finishing projects and teaching whatever I know about various forms of needlework to whomever will listen. (Mom—I am NOT giving up! 🙂 ) I want one of my legacies to be sharing the pleasure, peace and friendships needlework can bring to a life.

I”m probably not alone in having stitching-related resolutions and I am looking forward to getting back to reading and finding out what 2009 resolutions this on-line community has put forth.

My wish for each of you this New Year? May the threaded needle (or yarn and needles or yarn and a hook…whatever:-)) bring  you many hours of joy.



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  • Paula  On January 15, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Julie – you are too kind. I actually have some stitching time built into my schedule because I send up sitting for a couple of hours on Friday nights at dance. So, I might as well be stitching if I’m sitting there. Unfortunately, too many weeks, that is the only stitching time I manage to find.

    Anyway, I always tell people who say they don’t have time or patience to stitch that it is my therapy. With it, I’m a much nicer, happier mom.

    thanks for the kind words –

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