Saturday, January 21, 2012

The 'Work' in NeedleWork

In my last post I wrote about painting and needlework and I mentioned needlework as ‘work’ for me.
After the post, I received this note:

...your 'work' is most people's hobbies. Nobody pays you to work on MacSoph like you do. And also a hobby for most. It is work for you because you enjoy designing needlework.

Yes, you make money doing your work, but do you do it for the money or because you love it?”


Sally’s post made me chuckle and I decided I would enjoy writing an answer.
Here’s my answer to Sally's post:

The parts I love about my work:
I love drawing and designing and stitching and waiting to see if what I plan works out.
I love fitting all the parts of the puzzle together.
Most of all I love the dream of what the design might become.
What's not to love!

I've enjoyed all the people I've met over the years; even now online, I think of how many people I have met through emails and classes at Shining Needle Society, and in some cases the friends I've made online are thousands of miles away from me, yet here we are, connected by computers and a mutual passion for our needles.

In my E-Week sale last October, to my surprise, I sent patterns to people right round the globe. It is an awesome feature of the internet, how small our world has become.

MacSoph and Little MacSoph, my two MacBooks, have become my nearly constant companions. I love going to Apple University (as DH calls it) and I've decided I have school-girl crushes on the kids, Andy and Cody, who teach me, and I think my tutor Julia is beautiful and clever and smart. I so enjoy learning what these clever, smart, sweet kids teach me.

Most of all, I love the actual stitching. I love that my needle makes me relax and helps the stresses of life recede. My needle allows me to curl up into my own little fantasy world, dream the dreams of creativity and watch them unfold.

All these parts of my job are terrific, but mistake not: needlework is ‘work’ for me. It is my job.

Here are the parts that account for the 'Work' in 'Needlework'

Deadlines. They're self-explanatory. When I was a travel-teacher, my deadlines kept me awake at night.
It's not the same now, but I still have deadlines. I say I will do something, I'd better do it. Consistency is part of any job.

Last fall, for example, in preparation for E-Week, Kate and I got behind. we started on the morning of E-Week Annex Eve, at 4:30 a.m. and we finally finished at 7:30 p.m., Kate at her computer right along with MacSoph and me for the whole time. It was a very long work day for us both.

Instructions. It takes me longer to write the instructions for a piece than it does to design and stitch the piece and correcting the errors that the proofers find is just plain tedious.

Kit Hell and Bead Mania. These days Kate does much of my Kit Hell; I still do the beads.
To understand Bead Mania, you have to have the experience of spilling 10,000 beads.

Right now I have a special brand of Bead Mania: one of the hearts for my upcoming sale has over 100 beads on it.
I have to count most of them into little baggies and keep from spilling them. The first few hearts' worth aren't bad; by the end it can grow very old.

Organization. The bane of my existence. I have too many beads, too many threads, too many rolls of canvas, and way too much paper! I try to keep some order; every year I make it my main New Year's Resolution. I made the same resolution this year, it lasted for 15 days and I've already fallen off the organization wagon (in the last few days I am happy to report that I have climbed back on the organization band wagon; maybe it will be better by the end of 2012).

Mail Jail. Most of my followers know all about Mail Jail, so I don't need to add anything.

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. Mark one side 'JOY' mark the other side "WORK'. The lists would be about the same length, but Sally is right: the joys far outweigh the tedium.

Now, next time I spill the beads, or lose paperwork, or simply grow tired of Mail Jail, will someone please remind me of this post?

Gay Ann


The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Hugs! Can you weigh your beads instead of counting them? It just occurred to me a scale might help. Or maybe not.

Anyway, thanks for putting up with it all (and us).

Unknown said...

I totally agree.
I've discovered that an awful lot of embroiderers are ill like me, and largely stuck in the house.
So the needlework community means a great deal to me/us. Not just for sharing of information (which is just great) but sharing our achievements, and making wonderful friends! One of my very best friends now live in England! (I'm in Australia).
To think, 14 years ago when I first got sick, there was only a very basic internet - nothing like what we have today. I don't know what I'd do without it. Go insane from loneliness?