I think that everyone crafts for different reasons. While I love giving gifts, I am all about process. I am incredibly pleased by pieces of a sweater laid out on a bed. I love socks in progress, as though they are falling out of the circle that my needles create. Charts and graphs sing a siren's songs to me. Their black and white symbols demand to be recreated in color. My first real craft was cross-stitch. I
think that this was not by chance, because I asked to be taught many crafts over the years. Cross-stitch, though I could never say it is my favorite, is a sort of guilty pleasure now. After all, cross-stitch is so non-essential. It only makes things better, never practical.
The Original Pattern
When moving offices not too long ago, a co-worker and I found an opened, but unused, cross-stitch kit in the bottom of a file drawer. How tragic, my secret mind thought, and so I took it home to sew and personalize. The fact that the text on the cross-stitch made little sense was only a bonus. The other aspect of cross-stitch being so decorative is that it is almost always saccharine. Wise words become pablum when stitched in little x's on even weave fabric. Only, that isn't quite what I mean. Wise words are still wise, but serious and well meaning tripe are stripped bare and revealed to be nothing more than greeting card sentiment. However, when that powerful force of banality is harnessed, I think the results can be quite charming. One of my favorite artists, Steotch
, creates samplers of pop-cultural idioms. The surprise is the joke, because no one expects much out of cross-stitch. Not that I did anything revolutionary, but I altered this little picture of a sleeping kitten so that it also included a silly, boastful phrase about the Reserves department in the library.
The Finished Product
And just to document my process, I took pictures after completing the stitching for each color. Cross-stitch looks so mechanized and pixilated to me, that laying down the colors, almost like a printing process, seems like a natural step.
If you found this appealing, then may I please recommend this
, some great Lego build stop motions that I can't get enough of.