Just over a week ago I wrote a very excited post about the fact that I was about to embark on a couple of weeks of annual leave from my job. I had images of sewing all day every day whilst whistling a merry tune and having a small army of monsters completed by the time I have to go back to work.
How wrong I was.
In reality, I had one super-motivated day of monstering, brimming with enthusiasm and overflowing with energy which was quickly (and some may say predictably) followed by a crash into exhaustion and negativity. To be honest, I’m not surprised by that. I have worked damned hard this year at a time when my life has taken some wonderful, but dramatic and life-changing turns. The monsters have been a real sanctuary for me and a release from the stress and demands of my day job.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my job but it is draining and requires a lot of focus and attention to detail. I enjoy the freedom involved in monstering and, as my job is public facing and involves dealing with often extremely nervous and stressed people, it’s a great chance to squirrel myself away and have a some time where I only have myself to please.
Monsters have been my hobby and my release for some time now and have developed into something in which I am immensely proud. To me there is no better way to spend my time than to stitch and stuff until I forget to eat and look up to realise that the sun has gone down and my stomach is rumbling. This week though, when I finally had the time and brain space to devote to monsters as a business, I started to have a wobble in confidence. Do people REALLY like my work? Is my craftsmanship good enough? Are my ideas good enough to sustain long-term? I allowed these niggles to take over and…
Down I came. I tried to ‘keep calm and monster on’ but then everything I tried to do went a bit wrong and plunged me deeper into my quagmire of self-doubt.
Today though, I spent a lovely afternoon with Amy of Purple Thread Designs. Amy runs a business making ‘Cross-stitch kits for twitchy mitts’ and is doing brilliantly. As well as designing and producing cross-stitch kits for stitchers of all abilities, she also runs cross-stitch parties and does some amazing commissioned one-off pieces. What that girl can do with crosses has to be seen to be believed! She works incredibly hard on her business and speaks about her work with passion and enthusiasm. The joy which it gives her is plain to see. Spending some time drinking tea and throwing some ideas around with Amy has made me realise that there is no shame in having a bit of a rest every now and then, sometimes it’s just what you need to come back stronger and in a fresh and positive frame of mind.
I feel re-energised and ready to face the craft room once again. I think I’m going to spend a bit of time working on some ideas of some art pieces which I want to do just for me. Not necessarily to sell, just for my own satisfaction and one in particular should serve to be quite a cathartic process for me.
Tomorrow I’m off to London for the day to check out the ‘Power of Making’ exhibition at the V&A which should spark some ideas, followed by a catch up with a friend who always manages to talk sense into me! After all that, monstering will, I’m sure, be back on track