It may not sound like I have many hobbies or time for much beyond attending dance practices and competitions or chauffeuring Holly throughout three different states, and really, I probably don’t when compared to others. However, the one hobby I do have is that I cross-stitch. (I don’t count reading as a hobby because, well, reading is life. I could no sooner stop reading in my free time than I could stop eating.)
I have been cross-stitching since I was at least ten years old. It was something both my parents did in their spare time. Like any young girl, when you see your parents doing something, you want to know what it is and if you can do it too. With its precision and ability to create complex pictures out of nothing, I took to it like a duck takes to water.
Moreover, I loved doing it and still do today. The part of my mind that struggles with obsessive and compulsive tidiness thrills at creating each little square, and I challenge myself to make the neat look as tidy and precise as the front. Today, working on projects soothes my mind as nothing else can. For example, my family can testify that when it comes to sports, especially when watching either the Badgers or the Packers, I am a yeller. I scream and rant, and when a game is particularly close, I pace. However, put a cross-stitch project in my hands while watching sports, and I become very zen-like. I don’t yell no matter how bad the officiating; I don’t pace no matter how nerve-wracking the event. I enjoy whatever I am watching and can do so without working myself into a frenzy.
This is a particularly helpful trick with the news for the past two years. I find that when work is particularly stressful throughout the day, I long for my current work-in-process so that I can calm down and continue with my work. Cross-stitching is something in which I continue to find joy and peace, and it is even more special when you have a close friend who designs projects and sells them on Etsy.
My dear friend, Chrisbookarama, opened her Etsy shop in 2008, and I have been buying from her since almost the first moment. She started with little, knit items – bookmarks and the like – but moved on to cross-stitch patterns, of which I am a huge fan. At this point, I completed all of her fox pictures and almost every single Halloween picture she offers (she came out with a new design this year that I have yet to start). They are relatively simple, colorful, creative, and whimsical, and they never fail to bring me delight when I look at them. These pictures are just two of my seasonal decor right now.
So, I do have more that keeps me busy other than work, reading, and dance mom duties. This particular hobby keeps me sane in an insane world and brings order and peace to what seems like chaos. While it might not be as useful a hobby as knitting or crocheting is, cross-stitching makes me happy, and that is all that matters.
What other hobbies do you have? How have you remained sane in these insane times?
I would never call myself a cross stitch professional but I’ve done it before and it is very relaxing. I can see why you turn to that when stressed or needing a moment for yourself.
Hobbies I turn to? I hate to say it but I like to organize and de-clutter. I don’t like the scrub things but I do like to toss things. This weekend I threw an old movie on and got my 2019 planner filled in. It took me three hours to add all of the 2019 appointments I’ve been keeping track of electronically and I am sure I missed a few as I kept pausing to watch the movie.
I like to watch TV and clean out a junk draw or clean out my purse. I am weird that way. but it relaxes me.
I used to love to declutter and clean. I looked forward to deep cleanings like most people look forward to going out on the town. Alas, I have no energy these days to do that anymore. I don’t have the energy these days to do much more than a load of laundry. And yes, I am going to see my doctor about this issue during the month of November. It cannot be normal to feel so achy and tired all the time. The appointment is November 14th!
I used to cross-stitch when I was an early teen, but I tend to get very tense when I do it, scrunching up my hands and shoulders and neck and face. It didn’t end up being a longterm habit for me accordingly. :/ Your work is beautiful though! I love the halloween theme.
I felt that way about embroidery when I tried it many (many) years ago – it made me too tense. Cross-stitching works for me.
As for the Halloween theme, I didn’t even post pictures all of my Halloween/autumnal projects! I have at least three more completed projects, two pending, and one in process. They are my favorite type of themed work to do, for obvious reasons!
Aw, thanks for the shout out! You are my best customer. 🙂 I’m glad you get joy (and peace) from stitching. It really is soothing to have a hobby like this in times like these. I love seeing how you framed those pieces. I always get a kick out of seeing my designs stitched up!
Keep the designs coming! My goal is to work on them while at dance competitions. Because your patterns are so vibrant, they will be easy to see in a dark theater. Their size makes them portable projects as well. (Anything is better than sitting there hour after hour watching what feels like the same dance over and over again.)
Wow! I cross stitch too! I have cross stitched stockings for everyone in my family, well. . . I’m currently working on the last one. I also find cross stitching a relaxing/zen type of activity, and yes, making those little x’s as perfect as possible is very satisfying. I would love to learn how to create my own patterns. I’m going to go check out your friends shop right now!
I hope you see something you like in Chris’ shop! I just love her designs. I marvel at anyone who creates patterns like her. It is quite the talent!
I love this! My goal is to take a knit or crochet class someday maybe soon now that my baby is less of a baby.
I get that. There is a good decade where I did not work on any cross-stitch projects because of the kids. It does get easier to carve out time for yourself in such a way as they get older.
I used to do cross stitch in the past. I found it relaxing too. However, I don’t see as well as I used to and so eventually chose to stop. Glad it is something you can do that is creative and makes you happy and serene. 🙂
I understand that. My dad had to stop for the same reason. So far, the only issue I find is that I need bright, direct light, but that may be due to my current project being nothing but shades of gray on a white background. That is not the easiest color palette to see in any light.
I don’t have any other hobbies besides reading and running. Does obsessively cleaning and organizing count? I do that almost daily. 🙂 Cleaning and running are my stress relievers.
I used to cross stitch when I was a kid, but I haven’t done it in years. Maybe I should pick it up again. It sounds like a great way to decompress and relax after a stressful day.
Obsessively cleaning and organizing is probably unhealthy. 🙂