Wednesday, March 25, 2015

WOYWW 303--Messy Desk, Happy Crafter

It was a dark and rainy morning...that sounds like the beginning of a story. But it was just Tuesday morning actually, and the story of the mess on my desk begins with my junk journal opened up to a page I did on the gelli plate, getting ready to add a little tag of journaling. 

Also finishing up my fourth c-s matryoshka doll--those stitched together pretty fast. I've decided to make a vertical banner, bell-pull style, with the dolls to hang on a wall near a shelf where I have some of my actual matryoshka doll collection. Perfect, right? In the banner I'm going to stitch with a couple of handerkerchiefs that belonged to my mother, she had so many pretty hankies, so I don't mind using a couple to incorporate into this piece of cross-stitch art!

Many crafters have told me that they don't have the time or patience to cross-stitch. But as my friend Jan says, there is something soothing about the feel of cross-stitching, dipping your needle in, the feel of the aida cloth, feeling satisfied after a row of x's is completed. I love how you put that Jan. It truly is therapeutic. I've been a cross-stitcher for almost thirty years now. So here's the secret, if you do love it but feel like it takes too long--go small! You still get free therapy, lower blood pressure, and a beautiful little design that can't be manufactured. And you can't beat the price on your supplies.
One of my reindeers from Christmas done with variegated floss.
I used to stitch massive size tapestries of designs when I was younger--it was the "in" thing to do with cross-stitching. But let's face it, a major tapestry took me a year. But I didn't do a lot of other crafting at the time. So now, there are too many fun things I love to do. I'm not that patient anymore either. My small cross-stitch patterns get incorporated into mixed media pieces, little art quilts, wearable art and little framed pieces--much faster. These dolls, for example, only take me a week or two of my very sparest time. Then, they will be stitched into a piece which will look like a bigger deal than it is. Another option is to use one skein of variegated floss on a simple design, so the colors are changing for you automatically. It's magical. Try it! This world needs more calm, happy, cross-stitching people.

Link here to What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch


  1. What a brilliant post, Sandy! I love the melodramatic start (worthy of a true Downton addict, lol!) but on a morning like that, the best place to be is your craft room! And you're so right about just doing small projects with cross stitch, you get the same amount of crafty pleasure and don't feel like you're committing half your life to a massive piece. I've done some big samplers in the past and while they're beautiful, I don't have them displayed anymore. I think they're in the attic.....
    Crochet and knitting have the same zen therapeutic qualities for me. Hasn't it been proved that repetitive crafting like that forms the same brainwave patterns as stroking a cat? I'm sure I read that somewhere and haven't made it up, lol!!
    It's been a funny old week. The absolute high was visiting Winchester university with Rhys last Saturday. We both love the uni campus, he loved the course and has made it his first definite choice, to study Archaeology and History. Winchester is a very ancient city (it was the capital of England for many years), the cathedral is glorious, very old indeed and the shopping is great, so it's a great place to visit him!
    The downside has been visiting more care homes for Dad...hard going and it's difficult to keep the positive energy :-(. However, it's got to be done, so chin up, LLJ and keep smiling...
    Hugs, LLJ 24 xxxx

  2. Lovely so see all the bright colors and patterns on your desk today. I think you've got a great point -- you can still get the benefits of a stitching project, but also the accomplishment of completing something without it taking so much time. Happy WOYWW, thanks for your visit and for your idea about what to add to that blasted tag -- ha, ha! ~ Laura #52

  3. I think we have time for the things we really want to make time for and it's more likely that people just have other things that they have on their to do list. I have done quite a bit of tapestery in the past and may well do some more in the future but for now it's not on my list Lol! but it's encouraging to watch you and love the doll designs, look forward to seeing how you complete them. Have a great woyww, Angela x

  4. The pages in your junk journal look very interesting. Thanks for stopping by earlier and Happy WOYWW!

  5. The pages in your junk journal look very interesting. Thanks for stopping by earlier and Happy WOYWW!

  6. Well said! I've down sized my tapestry to smaller pieces that don't take so long - I don't have time to get fed up with them or feel overwhelmed by the size of the task! I love the gelli printed page by the way, it's absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for stopping by earlier, and yes they are real tea bags! I dry them out, slit the back and remove the leaves, and add iron-on vilene/stiffener if I'm sewing onto them.
    Hope you have a great week,
    Diana #31

    1. Oh, thank you for the tip, I forgot about the stiffner. I really love this project!

  7. Thanks for your visit, Sandy . :) The journal pages are awesome! Oooohh....I agree -- the banner and cross-stitched dolls will be perfect alongside your collection. Brilliant! Your words almost made me want to try cross-stitch again, but then I remembered my frustration with it, so I will simply enjoy looking at yours instead. ;) Happy crafting. Nann #49

  8. Your cross stitching pieces are lovely, it's not something I've ever tried, my sister Did some beautiful ones when her children were born, cost a fortune to have framed though.
    Jan s. No 49

  9. Love your post, Sandy. I used to cross stitch all the time but never found it as therapeutic as playing with inks and stamps, funny what we all find soothing isn't it? Hope your weather improves.
    Hugs Lisax #62

  10. Oh My I use to x-stich years ago... and loved it.... still have some things tucked away... seeing your blog makes me want to get them out and give them a look at least.... maybe this week....
    Thanks for stopping by and your kind words too!!!

  11. I learned to cross stitch because it was something young ladies were supposed to learn (according to my mom). Wondering if you incorporate your cross stitching in your journals. Thank you for stopping by earlier.

  12. Love your journal, Sandy, and your cross stitch is adorable. I used to do a lot of cross stitch and still have various unfinished pieces lying around - perhaps I'll pick them up again post-surgery! Thank you for your wonderfully upbeat ane encouraging comment, and especially for your prayers. You make me feel better! I am not feeling too bad about things but expect I shall feel scared this time tomorrow! Not long to go now.

    Happy WOYWW,
    Shoshi #38

  13. You are so right, this world DOES need more calm people - cross stitching or drawing or art journaling... or maybe 'monoprinting'? I love the background of your page! Thanks for your visit earlier, happy woyww and a hug from Holland, Marit #45

  14. Gosh you really took me back many years when I actually did do cross stitch and I loved it. I don't have the patience for it any more and have moved onto other things in the craft world, sadly faster at getting a finished result which I seem to like more. We evolve and change directions throughout our lives, maybe one day I will go back to it. I used to love embroidery on table cloths that could be used with my antique china I think I still have a piece or two in my linen press that I can drag out from time to time. Thank you for the trip down memory lane it was really enjoyable. If it makes you calm and happy stick with it.

    Have a wonderful week stitching.

    Hugs Eliza & Yoda

  15. Hi Sandy Leigh...thanks for visiting my desk earlier this week. I do so have to agree - I haven't CS for years but it is therapeutic but now I also find colouring or painting my cards does the same, soothing, relaxing just in the moment. Can't wait to see your finished piece. Cheers and enjoy your weekend RobynO#26

  16. Love the cross stitch and fun patterns.

    Hugs diane

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