I've long thought of myself as a 'maker of things'. It's not a proper definition, not really, and it's certainly not specific. But it's the truth. Ask me what I do and I'll tell you I make things.
It's a good thing I love to cross-stitch because I do it a lot. Between custom orders, gifts for friends and family, and test-stitching new patterns for the shop I stitch every single day, sometimes for hours. And yet somehow, despite all of those tens of thousands of stitches (or maybe because of them) I still love it. I find the process of stitching absolutely consuming. I can (and usually do) sit in a silent room and stitch. I love the feel of the needle between my fingers, small and solid and cool. I adore the 'plunk' as the needle plunges in to the fabric, the sibilant slide of the floss as I draw it through, the taut tug of each stitch as I reach the length of my floss. I love the flex of my fingers, every movement now so automatic I no longer have to think about it. I love laying each stitch down perfectly so that one by one they are a twin to the others. I love the sheen and bright change of colours. I love how calming it is, how focused it makes me.
More than anything else though, I love how timeless stitching is. Whether it's embroidery or crochet or sewing or knitting, each stitch I make is the same as the stitches my mother made, or my grandmother, or her mother before her. No matter the pattern, each stitch I make is the same as each stitch you make, whoever you are and wherever you live. That's the power of what we do, of what we create - that it's a process which is so simple, yet so much more. Each wee little stitch is just a part of a bigger creation. It's humbling to be a piece of that bigger creation and every day I'm thankful for it.
I know there will come a day when my eyes won't be as sharp and my fingers won't be as nimble. There will come a day when I have to lay down my needle and accept that I can no longer stitch and my heart will break. But then I'll get to look back at the things my hands have made - the stitchings which decorate the walls of the people I love, the blankets which keep them warm, the jewelry which helps them sparkle, and I'll consider my life a success because I made things which were loved and treasured and enjoyed.
P.S. - the print is from the lovely shop Amy Rubin Flett whose artwork is amazing (and who is a fellow Canuck!) Definitely worth checking out.