The last sixteen months seem to have been some of the most stressful (and most incredible) of my life. Last Spring, I finished my last semester of undergrad (which, by my amazing procrastination skills, required classes taught at the same time). Needless to say, I did not plan my classes terribly well. But I graduated, time turner in hand. I immediately packed my bags for my summer sailing adventure in the Great Lakes and was sailing a tall ship less than a week after I graduated. Another month and a half later, after quickly moving, my family welcomed my baby brother into the world! Two months later, I had to leave again for graduate school. And then came the first year of my PhD. 

My family has been my first and foremost support, even from a day’s car ride away. For them I am the most thankful every single day. But my sister is my primary craft motivator (or “craft nag” as she puts it) because, despite knowing how calming cross stitching is, I simply don’t. The relaxingly intricate stitching should be a daily ritual to unwind by, but I’ve been neglecting myself and my projects. I currently have four more projects started, each in various phases. So finishing this tea-inspired design felt like a significant accomplishment. 

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A Skype and stitch date with my sister!

I started this Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery design two Christmases ago- the kit was a gift from my dad. I immediately started stitching, and was so excited for the beautiful pattern to take shape. The first night I finished the main tea cup and estimated that I would finish the entire thing within a matter of weeks. 

By February of 2016 I had the center image stitched. All that was left to stitch were the delicious looking pastries that bordered it. Somehow, though, it took me more than a year to accomplish.

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The main image, completed after a month

I soon got swept up in the trials of graduate school and forgot about my project. I had full time lab work, a “fun” part time job, and classes. Sleep was my only extracurricular activity. At home, my sister had started learning to sew her own clothes, in addition to her prolific knitting. She has always enjoyed creating things (as have I) and continually tried to share those activities with me. I wasn’t necessarily opposed, and I did like the idea of crafting more, but I continued to put her off. She kept reminding me, however, of my stitching. We decided on weekly Skype dates to share our stitching over tea (she never finishes cross stitch projects either).

Finally, I remembered how much I love to stitch and how calming it is for me. Once I began again, I quickly worked my way through the outer images and this past week I finally finished a project! I was so proud of myself and immediately went to show it off to the rest of my family. 

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The finished cross stitch!

 

Once finished showing it off (for then, anyways), my sister and I ran out to Joann’s and Michael’s. While I had no intention of buying anything but a frame for my newly completed project, I ended up with everything I need for a new skirt and blouse. We moved on to Michael’s to price custom framing and learned that it is incredibly expensive! My finished piece is only about 5″x7″ but the “sale” price of a custom frame for it was around $100. Even if I had more money, I don’t think I could justify that price for a frame. Now I’m considering framing it normally or in a hoop. But soon it will be completely finished! Until then, I still have two Christmas patterns, a stocking, and a science themed pattern to stitch. Here I go! 

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