Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A New Beginning in Thread Painting

This is my first cross stitch project.

You may recognize it from my last post. It is the one that started my love affair with cross stitch. 

To be certain it is an affair that has waxed and waned over the years yet still one that I come back to time and again. 

Here are some of my other first projects.

Geese, bunnies, sheep...very early 90's

You can probably tell by the style and subject matter that I began stitching in the early nineties.  I was a young bride and my husband and I moved about 250 miles away from our nearest family within the first year of our marriage to a very rural area of California.  (Yes, it’s true, not every square inch of the Golden State is covered in pavement.)

In some ways it was all an exciting adventure and in other ways it was very lonely.  I had studied graphic design in college and in our new town there wasn’t a lot of demand for my skills.  As my husband settled into his new job, I took a part-time job as a receptionist in a doctor’s office and looked for ways to release my pent up creative energy. 

I did tole painting and sold my creations.  I began, at the instigation of my Mom, to explore painting with thread.  It was fun and a lot less messy.  I subscribed to a cross stitch magazine and waited for the arrival of each issue with eagerness.  I even started designing some of my own charts, inspired by Bible verses or contests in the cross stitch magazine (which I never entered!).  And then low and behold…baby number one arrived.

Cross Stitch & Country Crafts...definitely more cross stitch than anything else
Crafts of all kinds were put on hold as I poured myself into motherhood.  Occasionally I would do something as a gift but my creative energies were flowing in a new direction.  Baby number two arrived a few years later and soon the school years commenced.  I did a stint substitute teaching while my oldest, a son, was in Kindergarten through 4th grade.  But my heart and creative juices were drawn to homeschooling and so off we went! 

During our time of homeschooling (which isn’t quite completed) we adopted our 3rd child from Uganda.  Pretty soon I found I needed to explore a hobby for my health and sanity's sake. I went digging around in old drawers for my cross stitch. 

Painting with thread has some very appealing advantages.  It’s not messy and it’s easy to put down and pick up again without worrying about brushes drying out or taking up valuable space on the dining room table that you might want later for, oh say, having dinner.

As I perused through my drawers I found plenty of unfinished projects (which I still hope to finish someday!). Among them was a project I designed. 

A little light went on.  A little App on my iPhone glowed bright orange.  The creative juices were surging forth and the wheels of my brain began turning.
As you recall, I mentioned that I had sold my artistic endeavors before.  It involved traveling to craft fairs and making multiples of the same object.  I never seemed to really do better than support my crafty habit.  I learned then that the real profit was in selling patterns.  (It was about then that my son arrived.)

Etsy, the bright little orange App on my iPhone, provided the perfect platform for my thread painting designs.
And so, Luhu Stitches was born. Granted it is still in its infancy.  But this is one infant that sleeps through the night (thank the Lord in heaven!)
And I am so happy to introduce to you my very first design, and my oldest.  Yes, this is one of those projects that languished in my drawer all those years. 

It was inspired by a cross stitch magazine contest. As I recall the contest was to design a pattern based on a song.  When I originally designed it I chose an old Sunday School song.  As I worked to finish the sample recently, I decided to change out the wording to a simple Bible verse.  What I love about this design, after several years, are the colors. I am also partial to checks.  

I hope you will come visit my shop at Etsy.    

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