Saturday, August 01, 2009

Some questions to make you think....

I found this over on Musings from a Three Bedroom Ranch. Definitely worth answering, if only so I try to verbalize my love of this art form....

1)Why do you stitch?

Because it is my craft, my art, my way of expressing my need to be creative, even if I'm only copying patterns someone else made. And maybe too, because I can't live happily without it.

You see, I can't draw to save my life (I've often said I struggle to draw stick people!). I've tried and the results are best left lining the litter box than being seen by humans. I don't have that ability to look at items in three dimensions and turn that into something in two dimensions. It has frequently left me with pictures in my head that have no way of getting out into the real world. Discovering cross-stitch gave me the ability to create art simply by counting. For a girl with a Mathematics degree, this was a powerful thing. Counting I could do, art I could not. Cross-stitch bridged that gap for me.

2) On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being least important and 10 being most important what is your cross stitch passion level?

I think that this varies from day to day and mood to mood. Generally though, I'd say I range between 8 and 11. I am passionate about this art form and would be heartbroken to see it die. However, I can live for a day or two without a needle in my hand. I'm not entirely happy about it, but I can make do if I have to. I'm happier with a needle in my hand, by far.

3)If you're only option for cross stitch supplies and patterns happened to be the major chain craft stores would you just walk away from the little X? Kiss it goodbye?

I don't think I could. Putting aside the fact that I have a large enough stash to keep me busy for a few lifetimes right now, even if my only option were a chain store, I would still be there buying something. I'd have to. After all, it was a kit from a chain store that got me started in this craft to begin with. I'd go back there if it was all I had.

4)Also are you so passionate about cross stitch that if indeed your only option was the major chain craft stores, would that inspire you to create your own cross stitch pieces because you have to stitch and you've stitched your way through the whole of Dimensions catalog--because you must stitch and the thought of life without a relationship with the little X leaves you feeling empty?

I'd have to say maybe to this one. Having no ability to draw would definitely be a drawback to my designing. However, I do think that I could come up with some band samplers that would make me happy and I could play with lots of neat specialty stitches. My other side hobby is rescuing books about needlework from thrift shops. Sometime I'll have to take a picture of some of my rescues. They'd be my resource for inspiration.

5)Finally what do the cross stitch magazines on the market offer you? Do they relate to you as a cross stitcher? Do you look at them and think to yourself, who do they think buys this magazine? I guess what I'm asking, when you see the current cross stitch magazines do they make you feel like they know their readers or do you find it's more of the same? What could they do to be ambassadors for the art of cross stitch other than putting a sampler on the cover with "F-U" on it? What are we missing on a PR level that could change the opinion of cross stitch itself?

Some magazines appeal and some don't. I am a regular purchaser of JCS and of late I regularly pick up the British Cross-stitcher as I enjoy the variety of projects there. I enjoy flipping through SANQ at the LNS and I have enjoyed having a subscription to The Gift of Stitching in the past (and am having major wanna-resubscribe-issues - drat that budget!). Other magazines on the market might be worth a flip through, but often do leave me wondering why I'd want them or why I'd ever stitch from them. Simple designs, basic layouts, themes I'm not into and repetitions by the same designer in every issue just don't grab me. I do wonder about a magazine when I can flip through any issue and pick out who designed each project just by the picture. And I still don't want to stitch the pieces, I just know exactly who designed it.

It's hard to know how to change things though. The 'bigger named' designers don't appear in magazines all that often (although Mirabilia/Nora Corbett is appearing regularly in CS&N it seems although only about 1/4 of her designs grab me....) and maybe that is to their detriment and the detriment of the craft. They are as big as they are because they did appear in magazines at one time or another and caught folks' attention. Maybe some of them need to go back to having some magazine designs to catch people's eye as they walk by. Maybe the magazines themselves need to be available in more places besides the LNS and specialty bookstore. I can rarely find JCS anywhere but the bookstore nowadays. I did enjoy picking it up in Wal-Mart whilst I was getting other household necessities. It's almost never there anymore.

6) Do you do other crafts and if so what are they and why do they pull you away from cross stitch?

I am a bit of an intrepid knitter and crocheter, but they really don't get much of my attention in the grand scheme of things (I just took 3 bags of wool to the local charity shop and I hadn't touched it in at least 5 or 6 years....). I crochet because it was one of the earliest crafts my grandmother taught me and so it occasionally pops up in my hands. I knit because of the same grandmother although I didn't knit for many, many years and only started knitting again in the last couple of years. Although I don't knit much beyond the odd scarf and socks.

As for why they pull me away from cross-stitch - well, I think I tend to pick up a knitting or crocheting project when my needlework is driving me round the bend. Sometimes I need the boring repetitiveness of knitting or crochet after a project or two that might have too many colour changes or tweeding or that I know there is a huge error in and I haven't the patience to figure it out just then. It's a way to still be creative but without the huge committment of a needlework project. My crochet and knit projects tend to be small and fast to finish. Needlework - not so much.... :-)

So there are my thoughts on it. What are yours?


Dani - tkdchick 12:06 AM  

Erica what a great insight into your psyche!

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