X my heart, 700 times

passion artBlog post number 700.  My mind has been swirling with questions about olives.  Why if you leave them on the counter, they don’t get fuzzy?  Why do they stay supple for long periods of time with no preservatives?  Is the perfect olive the answer to many joint problems and health issues?  I have no idea.  I am not sure I want to write an entire post listing all of my questions about the olive.  I think posting blog number 700 should be about passion.  The perfect olive can wait a bit longer.

I have a little game that I play.  While driving around our community and I spy a new building being built, I say out loud & with my fingers crossed, “Oh, I hope it will be a Cross Stitch Shop”?  More than likely it will be another  Nail Salon, Drug Store Chain or Check cashing place.  (who cashes so many checks that we need several brick and mortar stores?)  The latest disappointment is an empty building with enormous amount of square footage that would make a mega stitchery shop.  Only to discover, yesterday, that it is to be a Fitness Center.  dag nabbit.

I relish the time I spend stitching.  Using my hands to create, quite possibly an heirloom,  of value.  That honest value feeds my heart and soul.   It brings value to who I am.  I am carrying on the time honored tradition of counted cross stitch.  I am proud of my hand crafted completed works  (in many cases) of art.  I enjoy show n tell with my niece who also has a love of counted cross stitch.  While each craft person, has a favorite count of fabric and favorite thread company they use, the general art form is the same.

When our boys were much younger, I would sit for hours upon hours and stitch while they worked through their home work.  I would stitch while they did their silent reading.  I would sit on the park bench as they tackled many a playground and yes, I would stitch.  Some evenings they would get one hour television time.  I would stitch and listen to the show or two of their choice.  Winter weekends would include a movie and you guesser Chester, I would stitch. Sometimes now, when I watch a movie for the second time, I have little or no recollection of the first go round.  Sure I was one tired momma.  However, more realistically, I was counting and stitching.

DSCN3645If you take a look around our home, there are some beautiful, framed Counted Cross Stitch Samplers that took close to 100 hours each.  I have smaller pieces as well.   I also have a drawstring bag that holds rolled up completed projects, waiting in the “to be framed” section of my life.  I have a box of patterns that are waiting to “get the call” and become reality.  I have a couple of spoiled projects that I keep as gentle reminders of what not to do.

Currently, my favorite medium to work upon is Irish Linen.  I have taken quite a fancy to Samplers, so there are several on our walls.  That moment when I unfold or unroll the fabric and make that initial X in the middle to mark the center, feeds my passion.  I stitch the edge so it won’t unravel in the many hours I will handle it.   I take out the pattern, make my own personal notes on the sides, mark the date I begin, find the center and make that very first stitch.   With several milestones in between, that final stitch is soul fulfilling. The accomplishment gracefully pushes my swing.

Today, 30 plus years later, when I stitch and sew and quilt, I use a special lamp, and I wear my glasses.  I have taught several people how to cross DSCN3648stitch.   Actually, how many people do you know who cross stitch today?  It is an art form that is not quite as popular as years ago.  I stitch from my heart.  Yes, I have created a few Masterpieces and many small pieces of pure goodness.  I pray for and hope for good Karma for young married couples as I stitch their new monograms.  I pray for young children as I stitch their Sampler gift.  I stitch Chrismon ornaments to give as gifts and yes, I stitch love and hope and prayers into each gift.

When grandgirlie number two was born, I did not have the mental skill to finish her birth sampler.  Then for a several month period I “misplaced” the pattern.  Her 2nd Birthday is in March.  I am determined to complete and have framed her Sampler.  Once I complete it, like homework needing completion, I will feel somehow “released” to move on to other projects.

My Dad’s family is from Bruges, Belgium.  They have been teaching and making lace, for several centuries.  There is evidence to suggests lace making has been on going since Ancient Roman Times.  Do I get my love of repetitive and even stitches from my ancestors?  Is the need to create with my hands built into my DNA?  Do I love to stitch because I can control the rhythm or the simple fact that I have complete control over how the piece will come to life?

Passion gracefully pushes my swing.  On the days when I feel lost or mixed up, I listen to my soul and I get out my needle and thread.  I wish for you genuine passion in your life.  You are welcome to come over and share show n tell any time.  I would love to see what your passion has created through your handiwork. 

If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion.  For your passion will lead you right into your purpose. 

ps.  just know I am having olives for my afternoon snack.

13 thoughts on “X my heart, 700 times

  1. SilverLinings61

    Your creations are beautiful and the love and care that goes into each stitch is evident even in these little photos 🙂 I once learned to cross stitch and made a couple items…bought a few projects to tackle…they are patiently sitting in the closet waiting to be brought to life – maybe when I retire???
    Happy Stitching Friend!!!
    P.S. Now I want an olive or three 🙂

    1. I have a teacher friend who, gets her fabric, needles threaded, scissors out and ready. When she comes home from work and has 15 minutes to sit and wait for dinner to warm, she stitches for 15 minutes almost every day. It brings her pure pleasure and calming peace.

      Please don’t wait until you retire to treat yourself well. I promise to help you get set up, if you wish. I will share my favorite thread companies and fabrics etc. I have a few on line shops I frequent. I promise to help you find your passion NOW, not in years to come. You are SO WORTH taking care of your heart and soul.

      Yes, to the olives. I didn’t wait until snack time. I stole a couple right after I wrote that post. haha
      Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate and value your kindness.

  2. I love olives- any kind- particularly Greek olives!
    Your cross stitch pictures are beautiful! My daughter is a cross stitch fan and she has made us some wonderful things. I have a friend who always has a cross stitch project going and she is a custom framer by trade. She gave me one of her finished projects- framed and ready to go- and I cherish it.
    Personally, I am a fan of crewel although I admit I have a project started that I have neglected. Perhaps it is time to get it out again. I did a crewel picture for my mom and dad years ago, as a Christmas present. My mom still has it hanging in her den. I did a crewel picture for each one of my children before they were born. I still have them and hopefully, will pass these along to their children someday!
    What a gorgeous way to celebrate your 700th post! You are so right, passions will lead us to our purpose. Love, Joanne

    1. Heartfelt thanks for your kindness. You helped me remember some crewel work that I did years ago.
      Yes, get it out, get your supplies all lined up, then take 15 minutes a day, maybe while your dinner is warming to stitch and make yourself super happy. 15 minutes a day is a great goal. You deserve to bring that passion back out into the forefront of your good life.

      Greek olives………..Okay, I love you however, we are going to have to buy two jars when we are together. I am not that sure I can be lady like polite and share 1/2 the jar with you. haha

  3. Jan

    I say its in your DNA.
    IMO your are a great artist, and not just your cross stitch! the things you sew and flowers you arrange. Heck even the gifts you wrap are always so dang artistic i almost hate to open them, lol. you paint pictures with your words, Artist is gor sure a definition for “Daleen”.

  4. Yesterday I toured Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ home in Cross Creek Florida. It was very cool seeing the porch, chair, and table where she did all of her writing. Her husband saved all of her furniture and china, and there it was, on display! On her dining room table was a sampling of her 4 sets of Wedgewood. Also on display were her green linen napkins, monogrammed with her initials. Not cross-stitched, but elegant, nonetheless. Those are the lovely touches that I notice. Those bits of detailed art are what fills in the cracks of an otherwise glum life.
    So, art in any form, at any place–that’s what keeps our hearts from breaking.
    And then there’s the meditation that comes when your hands are busy. It gives your mind time to reflect. There’s nothing better in the world than that envelope of time that you have to reflect…………just reflect………

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