Spread Your Creativity Like Wildfire
Leland Gal For Thörn Alexander Brook Trout Kits
So, you needed a little more convincing, huh? No worries, I did too!
It is not difficult to discover that millennials and beyond have an addiction worthy relationship with technology. For many of us, it’s part of the job description and others, it’s an effective way to pass time or avoid awkward eye contact on the train. Or better yet, an elevator. Each day, many of us spend countless hours thumbing through miles worth of content. Feeds on feeds on feeds, amiright? Your brain processes insane amounts of information. While often times, this input of information can be useful, in reality, for most, it is merely out of habit or social anxiety. This socially contrived dependency to the outside world can be equally destructive as it is beneficial. Even the "blue light" emitted from your LED display has an impact on your psyche and your circadian rhythms (unless you have Night Shift), having a direct correlation to why you're having trouble sleeping at night.
So, my recommendation to you, is to start your week with some soul stitching. The repetitive motion of needlepointing can be an incredibly beneficial (and productive) aspect of your daily routine.
Therefore, in case you need a little push, I give you….. da ta da da! Ten reasons to pay tribute to your grandmother’s generation.
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS...
Friends Carli and Molly catching up
ONE: Needlepoint is the new book club! Grab some friends, brew some coffee or open a bottle of wine, put the phones in a basket and have your own gathering, or what is known in the needlepoint world as "Stitch n B*itch." What happens in the The Stitchuation Room stays in The Stitchuation Room.
Benjamin The Bear Takes A Nap finished a sign for Baby Bowen.
TWO: Creating handmade gifts for a loved one is an ideal way to express your love and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers, graduations, winter holidays, or just to show you're thinking about them. Made with love in every stitch.
Designer and Founder stitching the Southwest Longhorn Design.
THREE: Enhance your critical thinking skills while fine tuning your hand-eye coordination, oh, and learn a little patience in the process! Needlepoint allows you to chill the f out while connecting your head, your heart and your hands. On bed rest or recovering from an ACL surgery? Needlepoint is a perfect outlet to help you feel creatively empowered and micro active when the doctor says to rest.
Thörn Alexander's Meditating Muse by @kakerspeg. We love how she changed the colors to match her meditation den!
FOUR: Free your mind: Because the design is painted for you, all you have to do is follow the pattern. The repetitive motion doesn't require too much attention so you can either focus on your surroundings or unpack your train of thought. I like to think of it as stitch by colors or a visual meditation of sorts.
FIVE: Keeps your stress at bay by stitching for even fifteen minutes a day or on those you need it most. Incorporating needlepoint into your daily routine gets you in the habit of setting aside some time for yourself while tackling some tension in a healthy way.
Brooke Stitching Eleanor The Elephant While Traveling
SIX: Productive past time: In fact, Sally Field taught Julia Roberts to needlepoint on the set of Steel Magnolias. She and Cameron Diaz are known celebrities to creatively craft away time between takes. Some other notable stitchers? Grace Kelly, Mary Queen of Scots, Ali MacGraw, Lucille Ball and Taylor Swift!
Thörn Alexander's Cecil The Lion by a beautiful beginner!
SEVEN: Create your own couture and be your own interior designer. Stitch up a gorgeous one-of-a-kind handbag, upholster your masterpiece onto an antique wing chair or ottoman, fashion an envy worthy pillow for your first apartment. The possibilities are endless wherever life takes you. I guarantee it’s the DIY you’ll wanna try!
EIGHT: Honor the past, create for the future. You could say that needlepoint is a family affair when it comes to my lineage. It has been passed down generation after generation, yet I never really had any interest in it. Although I lacked appreciated for the amount of needlepoint in my life until a few years ago, I have come to realize how the ever-growing collection has become a legacy of family heirlooms. From personalized Christmas stockings that hang from the fire place every December to pillows that mark special occasions, each one of my mother's projects are dated and initialed. Some of my personal projects even have the location stitched in the corner. There is so much love and intention that go into each piece and I love the little London ornament she stitched that now hangs from my bulletin board on my desk. It not only reminds me of my first semester abroad, but how special and unique handmade gifts are. One of my many favorite things about visiting my family's cottage on Lake Michigan is playing cards and snuggling up to the needlepoint pillows my grandmother, Mame, made with her own two hands. The cottage isn't the same since Mame passed, yet her love and memory is everywhere, particularly in the pillows and signs sprinkled around the cottage.
Brooke's friends, Carli and Molly catching up
NINE: New Beginnings for a Bygone Era: Needlepoint is fairly endangered. Although it has withstood time as a technical derivative from the Ancient Egyptians, it has lost its groove and I’m on a mission to change that. While there are several reasons why I started this line, at the end of the day, my goal is to inspire peers to help insure it doesn't go extinct.
Cozy with Purple Haze and Mohair Blankets
TEN: Needlepoint is the missing piece to achieving eternal Hygge, pronounced (Hoo-gah). After years of talking with friends either from or who have been to Denmark, the underlying theme was the concept of Hygge. What is Hygge? It does not directly translate to English, but it is more or less, the art of getting and being cozy. According to The Little Book of Hygge by CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagen, "The Danes are famously the happiest people in the world, and hygge is a cornerstone of their way of life. [It] loosely translates as a sense of comfort, togetherness and well-being. You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right. It is about gratitude and savoring the simple pleasures in life. In short, it is the pursuit of everyday happiness." Whether you feel homesick, are feeling down or have a long layover, needlepoint is the ultimate outlet in seeking and achieving hygge. On a staycation? Light some candles, listen to one of our playlists and stitch your own adventure!
ELEVEN: Needlepoint provides creative empowerment as every piece is a collaborative art work. I know I said ten, but this is the most important one. While I may be formally art trained, it breaks my heart when I hear those that don't try to tap into their potential because they feel discouraged. Art belongs to everyone and every human should feel empowered to create as a way to express themselves. Whether it is sharing a poem, spraying a mural on a building (with permission of course... well, unless you're Banksy), or telling a story, there are so many incredible benefits of taking your truest most inner-self and depicting it through art. Needlepoint allows one to sit back, relax and follow along with ease as one stitches by colors. If you can write your name on a piece of paper, you can needlepoint. Plain and simple. As someone with four engineers as housemates, I like to joke that it is the kind of String Theory one can learn in 10 minutes or less!
Pippa The Panther
Spark Notes Version: The repetitive nature of stitching is therapeutic and grounding acting as a healthy outlet for relieving stress. Ultimately, it allows us to unplug and revitalize an endangered art form. It is a way to visually meditate and create something that will last for generations. For these reasons, I call this journey soul stitching.
Regardless of how you choose to jump start your week, it is another week. The beginning of a fresh set of seven days. Seven opportunities to live creatively and open some of those “what if” boxes you keep shoving in the corner. Seven opportunities to start filling your life with magic and keep your stress at bay. Seven opportunities to either take up needlepoint for the first time or tackle that project you haven't touched in over a year.
Music Festival Necessities feat. Thörn Alexander's Box of Rain Round