My relationship with needlepoint, like any relationship, has experienced different phases. I have felt the first sparks of infatuation with needlepoint, have been resentful of needlepoint’s hold on my life, and most recently rediscovered my passion for needlepoint.
This past year was the most hectic of my 27 years, which, as a perfectionist Virgo, made me feel like I was floating in space without a tether. I found myself at the helm of a one-person company where I was accomplishing goals in eight months that I had set to accomplish in two years. I attended four tradeshows, featured high-profile needlepointers on the Lycette blog, hosted book signings, created over 30 new designs, wrote articles for magazines, collaborated with noted artists, and SUDDENLY found Lycette overwhelmed with orders and carried in over 100 stores. In the midst of the happy chaos, I sometimes struggled to push my exhausted self forward while attempting to maintain some semblance of an organized and well-balanced personal life.
Weekends were spent painting orders in The Pink Bungalow while any “downtime” I had was dedicated to stitching samples for Lycette. Every moment was consumed by Lycette, and I soon found myself resentful of my craft. My love of needlepoint was being suffocated by my entrepreneurial drive.
Amongst the drove of orders and increasing responsibilities, I stopped needlepointing altogether. My life was consumed by my career. One weekend this past spring was spent painting over 100 Staffordshire ornaments. Gradually my other hobbies, such as cooking, reading, listening to music, and running, dissipated. As one can guess, I soon found my haggard behind on the therapists couch where I became reacquainted with a word I had LONG forgotten: balance.
With the help of my therapist I sought to reignite the long-extinguished spark I felt for needlepoint. I explored why I had become resentful of needlepoint, and realized I had fallen into the murkiness of making a beloved hobby my career. However, at my core I was too enamored with needlepoint to abandon my career and passion. Instead, I sought to discover strategies though which I could balance my hobby of needlepoint with my career of needlepoint.
Funny enough, my therapist recommended tips that she also gave to couples looking to refuel their passion. The irony of this was not lost on me, as I often felt I was “dating” my company with the time and attention Lycette encompassed. These tips were meant to help me reignite the spark with needlepoint, so I could separate my hobby from my work. Her first tip was one often given in couples counseling: “mimic when you first started dating.” For me, this meant needlepointing designs that made me excited and feel “butterflies.”
My first step was to put down my own designs, which after painting all day I was tired of looking at, and needlepoint works by other artists. In an effort to reignite my love affair I chose designers whose needlepoint had first flamed my passion for the craft: Kate Dickerson, Rachel Donley, Jean Smith, Stitch-Its, The Studio Midwest, and Winnetka Stitchery. I found that by needlepointing the colorful designs of other artists I began to once again appreciate the craft of needlepoint. Suddenly, stitching didn’t feel like work.
Her second tip was to “switch it up” and get out of The Pink Bungalow and needlepoint in new places with new friends -yet another tip given to couples. With this piece of advice I became more engaged within the needlepoint community that I adored. I reached out to needlepointers and artists when they were in South Florida and tucked away for a stitch and sip over coffee. Connecting with other stitchers reminded me that the most beautiful aspect of needlepoint was the community of highly creative and loving individuals. I found a bevy of other needlepoint artists who struggled with the same work-life balance that I did. As in any situation, finding others that shared the same frustrations was comforting. I no longer felt alone.
After a few weeks of utilizing these tips, I began to feel excitement towards needlepoint. I started to make my way through my stash of canvases, and delighted in excursions to needlepoint stores for threads. I reopened my beloved “Stitches to Go,” and found myself relishing late-night Netflix and Needlepoint sessions. This joy overflowed into Lycette and suddenly new ideas were sprouting.
After a period of resentment, I currently find myself falling back in love with needlepoint. In the past month I have completed five projects, and am excited to needlepoint more. I have so many dreams and plans for not only Lycette, but also for needlepoint. I cannot wait to share them with y’all in the coming months. In the meantime, if anyone needs help “reigniting” their spark with needlepoint, please reach out! As always,