Wednesday, June 24, 2009

first ever.

I have been wanting to do a cross stitch for quite some time but have never found anything I liked the look of- a house, Winnie the pooh, a boat... boring... then on DUST ( Down Under Street Team on Etsy) I found the very clever and very talented radicalrags and her cross stitch designs which immediately appealed to me...but I still felt quite daunted by the neatness required... on Saturday morning I woke up, rolled up my sleeves and started ( my internal mantra - nothing motivates you like starting- kicking in)... I decided to just do the words and not the flowers- I wanted to keep it as simple as possible so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed. I was up to 11:45pm last night on a mission to finish it- I am very proud of it... its a little bit wonky but I did every single stitch that way / first.

I was telling a woman at work about it and she said "the back has to be as neat as the front." This immediately got my back up!! ( I just smiled sweetly at her) WHY DOES IT!????!!! This is exactly the kind of sewing attitude that keeps people scared to try new things! I cannot stand this kind of everything- has- to- be- exact and perfect and exactly right attitude- it stifles creativity and stops people experimenting- it keeps us closed in a box- all the sewing rules and this and that - it scared me off sewing for years - I had a sewing teacher at school , Miss Nash-like this- who was ultra critical and she really put me off. Now I love it and it makes me angry that she ruined my confidence so much that I only recently felt confident enough to sew again.

Craft and art and creativity needs to be open to everyone- bend those rules ( I have yet to buy Bend the Rules Sewing book but I love the idea) make mistakes, cut corners, try new things we need to encrourage difference and experimentation- thats how people learn. We need to make everyone feel like they can have a go , have a try, regardless of their age, experience etc- we need to make it inclusive-we need to help and share those new to it-they might find out they are really good at it... and wouldn't that would be very exciting!!!


  1. Bend The Rules was one of the first books that I read when I started sewing again, and I'm so glad that I did. I have those horrible memories of year 8 sewing when everything had to be perfect. Now I just wing it and I love it!

  2. OMG, that is the neatest thing I've ever seen in my life. And I can't see the back so I don't care... who looks at things from behind anyway?

    How's your internet connection? You SO need to watch this:

    it's right in line with the 2nd part of this post. You'll like it!

  3. You've techincially designed your own cross-stitch pattern without even knowing it! Why don't you cross stitch "Question Sewing Authority" or "Question Sewing Rules"? tee hee. I love a good revolution. I'll be there egging you on!

  4. I remember my sewing teacher making us sew the wrong side of bias binding, one hand stitch corresponding with every machine stitch to sew the binding down.. I hate bias binding now but if I have to bind something and I cant do it on the machine it ends up in the unfinished pile !
    I digress, I agree with your post !

  5. It looks so awesome! Well done!

    And you're right, there is no bloody law that says the back has to be as neat as the front. It's nice to have a tidy back when you're embroidering on a piece of clothing and someone might actually SEE the back. But cross stitch? no way.

    I think there's enough pressure on us to be perfect in life without it intruding on our craft lives too. And lord knows cross stitch is already anal enough...

    Great work!!

  6. I had a teacher when I was 7&8 who was so crtical of my art and sewing that i still remember her horrible words to this day! My nan spent awhole weekend trying to teach me to sew a bookmark with cross stitch etc and I took it into her so prpudly on Monday morninga nd she called me a liar in front of the whole class because she didn't believe I had made it! And when i drew a picture of a sun with rays coming from it she said it was ridiculous and the sun doesn't have rays...(which it does) Oh, the feelings I am raking up here...I am emotionally scarred by Mrs Light...therapy please!
    ps your xstitch is cool - rebel by making the back etxra messy. who bloody sees it anyway?

  7. How cute is your new avatar photo!!!???

    Thanks for your wise council on changing your name. I had always wondered if Chef's last name was your's, 'cause that'd have some street cred eh? hehehe.

  8. your the bees knees..i just found your blog..stumbled upon it somehow..i have been giggling away
    i thank xx the world for people with witty sense of humour like yours xx
    mrs shep

  9. Love your cross stitch, check put Silke Raetze-up and coming contemporary australian artist also works in cross stitch-love her work 2......


what a nice person you are- taking the time to comment in this busy hectic world...Thank you!!