Saturday, February 19, 2011
The first finish for this week is Dutch Treat Designs "Harvest Grapes" Tabletopper. I am gifting this to my sister-in-law, as she saw it finished, and mentioned that she really liked it.
My second finish is Blackbird Designs "Blessings be Thine". This had a date on the chart of 2005, and that is probably when I started it, but, with the help of some friends, we decided it should have 2011 as the date, as that is when I finished it! I really like how this turned out.
And, since I have now finished three of my 2011 Challenge projects, I pulled out another UFO to add to the list. It is Blackbird Designs "Sweetheart Sampler". A little late for Valentine's Day this year, but, I can think of it as early for next year.
And for your viewing pleasure... some St. Patrick's themed pictures:
And, our ever present Turkey has been celebrating the holiday early it seems.... I don't see any green beer, but, that doesn't mean he hasn't been into some...
Happy stitching -- Spring should arrive eventually!!!
Thanks for stopping by!!
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Cross Stitch Arts
When people ask me why I cross stitch, my answer is always very simple. It makes me happy. Now for most people, the answer to this question may seem considerably dull and barely encouraging, however, in this article, I am going to let you in on a few secrets and explain what I mean by this.
Firstly and most importantly, we should consider what makes us unhappy and from the very top of that list lurks the issue of stress. Whether you are working a high pressure job or that Christmas shopping has done the Devil's dance with your bank account, we all experience stress to some extent. Would it surprise you if I said that stitching has actually been proven to reduce stress? Well if you aren't convinced then pop on down to your local police station and ask them how often they receive reports on stitch-related needle attacks!
The truth is that while you stitch, you begin to let your mind wander off to better places. Quite simply, if our mind wandered to bad places then surely we would stop stitching instantly, but what many of us do not realise is that part of the reason we stitch, is because of the de-stressing sense of peace that it gives to us. If you are a beginner to stitching then why not join in on the fun? Pull out a chair, play some Ludovico Einaudi and really let yourself float away to somewhere magical while you stitch – just be careful not to prick yourself!
Here is where it gets very interesting. Our brains are magnificent tools and while we are stitching in that happy frame of mind, our brains record warm and wonderful feelings and associate it with stitching. Before we know it, we have created our own little paradise or in more scientific terms, we have recorded a bodily automated response which is set off every time we stitch. Science shows that this bodily response reduces stress hormones and releases happy endorphins which not only benefits our mental well-being but our physical well-being also. Amazing isn't it? In that happy state of mind, we breathe slower, feel better and enjoy a meditative world of peace. In addition to this, scientists also point to more long-term benefits and with regularly sessions of stitching we can re-mould ourselves to become calmer and happier people which is often described as 're-wiring the brain'.
Stitching never ceases to fascinate me with reports of anxiety, depression and even physical illness's being helped to some extent by the quiet enjoyment of stitching. The big test for me now will be persuading the husband to put aside his fruitless quest for the perfect golf swing and have a go for himself. Wish me luck!
Why not try some cross stitch for yourself! You can choose from a whole selection of downloadable patterns at http://www.crossstitcharts.co.uk including our free violets test chart.
Deborah Lester is a cross stitch designer from the UK who regularly contributes to such popular magazines as Cross Stitch Collection and Cross Stitcher. Amongst Deborah's many interests is a passion for natural health and wellbeing, particularly in relation to stress and it's successful management.">
Stay warm... Stitch Happy!