Wednesday, 27 July 2011

My Crafty Life Part Three

I got married when I was twenty two (just). I think I probably spent the next few years caught between wanting to stay in and make things for our new home - and wanting to go out to prove that now I was married I wasn't going to spend all my time at home, making things.


We did a lot, though. Had to. Money was tight. We papered and painted (but it was my sister who sewed the curtains when we were on honeymonn. Thank you.). We built a kitchen from flat packs. Those were the years of "Prima" magazine with its pullout paper patterns. I stacked them up and thought I knew everything there was to know about domestic economy. Which simply goes to show how much I still had to learn.


And in the evenings, I cross stitched. I can't remember what started it (probably a magazine. It usually is.). I bought books 9all of the Jo Verso ones, so sad when she died). I stitched cards and pictures and in my lunchbreaks from the library I hunted the needlework shop for new threads I loved. A couple of hours on the information desk of an afternoon always went more quickly if I could dream about the new colours tucked away in my bag.


And then, all at once, everything changed. I wasn't so interested in work anymore. I wanted to stay at home and wait for my baby to arrive. I did a bit of knitting for him (sweaters and a hat) but I knew he had two grannies to help out there. So I started a cross stitched baby blanket, each soft square a different letter of the alphabet, with room for a name in the middle. I put in the final stitches sitting up on my hospital bed with my tiny son beside me.

And that was the beginning of the end. Funny, the final thing I stitched was a "Baby is Sleeping" door hanger. He did sleep sometimes; but the sewing stopped. Just for a little while. And there was something new round the corner.

34 comments:

helena said...

Great LO - love the graph paper, so appropriate. I remember Prima - loved it, had the ring binder. I found some of the paper patterns in a box in my Mum's attic recently. I've been using bits of one in some art journal pieces.

Annie xx TheFeltFairy said...

Fabulous again! I am loving this story and looking forward to tomorrow!

Jo Verso lived in Kenilworth were I lived! Did not know she had died xx

Annie xx TheFeltFairy said...

Fabulous again! I am loving this story and looking forward to tomorrow!

Jo Verso lived in Kenilworth were I lived! Did not know she had died xx

Lisa said...

you have such a wonderful story telling voice and then such gorgeous layouts to go with it. super series.

scrappyjacky said...

I always loved cross stitching as well...and made samplers for all my children. I still do some cross stitching...mainly on those occasions that I watch TV....and have just finished a sampler for little A...but papercrafts tend to take priority these days.

JO SOWERBY said...

the first thing i cross stitched was a lil owl then i made a 25th wedding anniversary sampler for my parents with lots of ideas from jo verso. i loved her books and style. i had lil babys for me, the tor, apples for cider, finance for lil sis, sewing things for my mum and spanners for my dad. it is still hanging up in their dining room. i now do counted cross stitch but not as often as i should. i just cant imagine the tall one being a tiny baby he's now so big. how did the exams go and when can we expect the results?
jo xxx

debs14 said...

I am really enjoying hearing about your crafty journey Sian, and this section of it is lovely. What a lovely image of you completing the cross stitch work when your baby boy had arrived.

Amy said...

Such lovely attention to detail in your layout Sian :-)

Mary B said...

Your pages are looking great love how you are doing this it's a fabulous idea

Kelli said...

I love the cross stitch on the page, how cute is that! I think cross stitching was my first craft, after just plain ol' drawing. I always gave my cross stitch pieces away..I should do one again, or teach my kiddos how to ;) fun inspiration. thanks.

Cheryl said...

ah, the old cross stitch!

Cheri said...

cross stitch was one of those crafts that never called to me. At the time period in my life immediately preceding the birth of #1 I was into sewing - I made baby quilts, dolls, Christmas tree skirts, etc - and sold them at local craft fairs for prices that barely covered my materials, much less my time!

Karen said...

When I worked in London I used to while away the time on the train either cross stitching or knitting - both crafts that I loved but have sadly fallen by the wayside. Love your story and the layout today.

Rhona said...

Sian, you really do tell your stories so beautifully. I always feel like I'm there with you :)
I also used to cross stitch but have so many finished pieces just sitting in a folder now - I only have one of my samplers out on display in my craft area and I still love it. xx

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a wonderful installment - I love how these are all coming together into a narrative. . . of your life, told through your crafts.
I really wonder why you don't write for a living Sian!
rinda

Melissa said...

This is a wonderful series Sian - I'm really enjoying reading your journey and the layouts are wonderful!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

First, I LOVE the layout you did, Sian, and you are so clever to use the little stitched bit as your center piece.

Secondly, I'm smiling to myself because I felt the same way about cross-stitching years ago. I was obsessed with it, and stitched constantly for a few years there. The last thing I made was a piece for Carrie - a carousel horse stitched on linen that took me 3 years to complete. I just recently passed my cross-stitch books on to an acquaintence who mentioned that she loves to stitch.

Looking forward to your next crafty installment. :o)

Alana said...

Lovely layout, love the sampler photo. Yep I was cross stitching in hospital....awaiting my sons arrival. Funnily enough I never finished the project. Colic put paid to that. Yes I read the prima mags too. Are you shaw we aren't twins? Looking forward to the next instalment:)

Bubbles said...

You astound me, truly! Such a beautiful layout... and a lovely, sweet snippet of your life. Thank you :)

jo said...

I too used to buy Prima and Essentials magazines and pull out the patterns and recipes - then I moved on to cross stitich (too many unfinished projects with that hobby) and finished DS1 birth sampler when he was about 11 - and it has never been framed!

Clare said...

Another great post, it's really made me think about myself at similar stages in my life. It too loved to make things for our first home - ruffled blinds, cushions etc. We all go through phases of our favourite crafts, and some you haven't done for years you suddenly get the urge to try again (crochet for me) Looking forward to your next post...

Missus Wookie said...

Was thinking about my early married life today - I also was married at 22 and a Mom at 25. Late or early depending on who you spoke too. Your Prima patterns made me smile - had a friend who loved those.

Like the simplicity of this page - and that you included cross stitch. Did some of these (in my case it was my sister who got me into these) preferred embroidery/tapestry.

Sandie said...

You triggered lots of memories for me, Sian. I still have some of my old Prima magazines and patterns, and a basket full of unfinished cross stitch, threads and Jo Versa books. I've not touched mine for years either. This is a lovely story and page.

alexa said...

A very pretty and stylish page, Sian - and I'm loving hearing about your life through your crafting! Looking forward to hearing What Came Next :).

Heather said...

Great post Sian! I have been toying with the idea of cross-stitching again ..... at least picking up the 'victorian ladies at a ball' piece that has been going for maybe 10 years!! Where does the time go? I might take some photos of the finished pieces & do a post on them :) Love your blog xx

Alison said...

Great LO Sian....I too used to cross-stitch, but haven't done so for years
Alison xx

Ginger said...

I loved cross stitching and still have my things... I know I sometimes think about picking up where I left off... Marvin has called it the "Seven Year Stitch" because that's about how long it's been since I've done any :) Another beautiful layout!

angelfish said...

Cross stitch has never really appealed to me, probably put off by the mats we made at primary school!
Can't wait to read What Sian Did Next:)

Lizzie said...

Ah, cross-stitch! Me too. I made a "Rocking my Baby" poem sampler for my friend's new baby, name and birthday samplers for another friend's babies... pictures for my mum and friends... By the time my own son arrived, I was so busy that I never had time for his sampler - another friend made that for us instead!
I used to buy Prima - right from the first ever issue. And I used their patterns for clothes and household stuff - a skirt, a blouse, a roman blind for the kitchen. They have changed it a lot now - I don't like it any more...sad...
But I do like crafting still and do whatever I have time for.
Love your cross-stitch picture - and the scrap page to match.

Jennifer said...

Love that you have done a little x-stitch to document this phase of life. I have a challenge in mind that says you do a photoless LO and I had the same idea in mind. I really need to document my stitching years as you have here! I miss my stitching days but just can't seem to get back to it. My red sampler sits here and gets very little attention. My sister and I have decided to start having some x-stitching crafty Tuesdays, so maybe that will help. I have a new sampler ready to begin bought just for the condo we are in. But first I must finish the red sampler. Loved this post, as usual and totally love this series!! What a terrific idea!!

Sandra said...

You know how much I enjoy your posts, but I think this has been one of my favs. You've taken me back, oh how I saved all those prima patterns too :). You really are one of the most creative person I've ever had the privilege to call a friend

S said...

I am enjoying the progression of your story and the layouts that go along with it. I used to cross-stitch, but the printed style, I never had enough patience to count (says the accountant)! The last time I felt like doing that was when I was pregnant with my youngest - I still have a few unfinished projects around here somewhere.

Jimjams said...

Ah Prima magazine - I used to collect them too - not as creative with them as you have been though!

Elizabeth said...

I had not idea Jo Verso had died. I loved her books though I didn't like sewing!

This has been a fascinating sequence of pages.

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