Friday, May 10, 2013

I Collect...

Kim Klassen had us focus on the beautiful things that we have, that we tend to save or my Beyond Beyond course...

A month or two ago, I created a Facebook group page for those cross-stitchers that used to be on AOL (You've got mail!)  X-stitch GeriRoyer, SuzNov, Grndmadi, Jane in WV, GinaEgg, Billsfran, MelissaJax, Mimibear1, GSRox1, Houstnrose, Lenora(andsomenumbers), HooBeeU...we knew each other by our AOL screen names.  Some of those folks have become lifelong friends...  Who knew?  We found 81 former members from AOL and we are all now sharing again on Facebook...

When I thought about "I Collect"...

I thought about crosstitch and pulled out some things that had been put away some time ago...or shall I say was packed when I moved in 2010 and still remains, for the most part...still packed.

There is comfort and solace running your fingers across such color, such fibers, threads, and textiles...bringing some of it back out was like coming home...

These AOL X-Stitch peeps knew without explanation about the joy of our stash...even if you could not get everything you had ever stitched up...we could not live without our S.E.X. (Stash Enhancement Xperiences) aka shopping for crosstitch stuff...and telling each other about our latest enhancements.

Beautiful colored evenweaves...some linen (Belfast, Dover, Newcastle, Newport, Edinburgh, and Cashel), some Lugana, Fiddler's Cloth, Floba, Jobelan, Hardanger...and yes what we all stitched on for our first project...Aida!

And you had to have an interpreter or special primer to understand our language as a newbie:

  • Frogging - Pulling out threads from a mistake (you had to rip it, rip it, rip it...get it?)
  • U.F.O. - Un-finished Object, project started but not completed
  • Fuppies - Completed projects but they were not finished up (i.e., framed, sewn into something, etc.)
  • Rotation - You might have several projects going at the same time and you would work on one for a week, go to the next one for a week, and so on...and repeat so you completed projects without getting tired of them...

EXCEPT for SuzyNov...this is her photo of her GBH (Great Blue Heron)...she would always groan about still working on the water of her GBH.  It is legendary and still talked about today all over the country..

And as I went through the little bit of items I unpacked for this challenge...other memories surfaced...

We had ornament swaps, floss swaps, stitch-a-longs (subgroups of those working on a specific piece together)...but we also made a quilt for Susan who was hurting, and supported those who had lost spouses, enduring illness, divorce...while keeping it light talking about our "Cabana boys."

Past Threads

And as I looked at things I had stitched...memories of my own life flooded back...a time when my own last name was different...with different initials stitched to show I had done the work.

I also remembered how long it exercise in patience...each project.  Kind of an illustration in tenacity...

And as I looked at patterns I had dreamed of making at one time...I remembered my dream for my bedroom...

It's kind of a Sturbridge-Yankee colonial style...always wanted my husband to have something that could pass as "the Lincoln bedroom" with a wall filled with my handstitched reproduction samplers from past centuries from patterns shown here...

...but maybe I've been inspired by finding my AOL X-Stitch girls again...and by running my hands over a minuscule of my stash (I have tons of stash!)...and I may go back to my sampler wall...

And before putting this time capsule away, I pulled out a small antique reproduction project and kitted it...

Maybe I'll put my needle to work this weekend...and before long you'll see it here!

I'm so grateful to have not just my stash...but also my collection of crosstitch peeps from over the years!


  1. Beautiful pictures! Love how you told our story too.

    - Kelly in Ohio

  2. Ah yes, Geri's GBH and the water on that thing! I remember that so well!! As I went through my stash, culling out what I know I will never-in-a-million-years-stitch-now-that-I-have-four-kids - it brought back so many memories of the AOL boards, driving to my LSS every single Saturday, going to Cincinnati every year and dropping a boatload of money at Twisted Threads, going to Market (and dropping ANOTHER boatload of money). In some ways, I miss those days but in other ways I wouldn't go back. :) Great post!!

  3. I love the way you photographed this and your story. This post took me down memory lane...all the years of cross stitching...the stash I still have. I've spent many, many hours with my dazor lamp and a needle in my hand. The sampler that is in photo #7...I have that hanging in my dining room! I also loved samplers and have several hanging in my extra bedroom. Thanks for the memories!

  4. I'm there with you, sister.
    Nicely done. While I've been getting rid of a lot of patterns and supplies I would never, ever do, I did start a new small project for a co-worker a few days ago. Many good friends and great memories--got to meet Gina at Twisted threads one year! Thanks much! BTW, I was on AOL as slugman.

    1. Slugman...I so remember you!

    2. LOL! Julee J. Adams is my fiction writing pseudonym--but my account for Blogger. We had lots of fun, didn't we? Glad we're getting back together!

  5. Fantastic series of shots and wonderful story.

  6. Boy was this a trip down memory lane for me! I cross-stitched years ago. A couple years ago I tried valiantly to resurrect my passion for cross stitch, wanting to recreate some of the gorgeous old samplers. As they say, "the eyes ain't what they used to be..."

    I am excited for your rediscovery of a beloved and treasured art.


  7. Oh how I loved this post! I used to cross stitch til I couldn't see straight. Most of my creations went away as gifts. I have a FEW left and need to revisit that part of my life as well. GORGEOUS photos!

  8. ahhh, threads.... I used to cross stitch too. But girl, you are a stitching queen! Love your sampler projects.

  9. I used to post on the AOL XStitch boards, can you add me to the page please. I clicked the join group when it popped up on my feed, but now I can't find it again! Thanks, Jennifer


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