Finding My Calm

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re focusing on self-care this month.

I say “we” because I have some awesome guest posters helping me out. And because sometimes self-care means getting your friends involved.

Depending on the day, what I need for self-care varies. Yesterday it meant that I vegged out and played Facebook games. (OMG someone take away the Farmville!! Or come be my friends because I need help and such. Either way.) Last week it might have meant that I needed a nap in between household chores. Today it might mean soaking my swollen feet.

One big thing that has become a form of self-care is my crafting, particularly cross-stitching. Even though I swear when the thread gets tangled or when I make a mistake, I find so much JOY while doing it. It wipes my mind clean of the clutter, calms my anxiety, and takes care of any pesky OCD tendencies (all that counting and spacing and such).

My mom taught me to stitch when I was a pre-teen, and while I enjoyed it then, I soon gave it up for some other hobby. Natalie sparked a renewed interest last fall when she stitched a quote from my favorite movie and sent it to me. I splurged on myself and bought a few beginners kits to get started.

After making a few little things, I branched out. I found designs I liked online and started doing those. Then Tracie said something that triggered an avalanche of creativity. She wanted a quote from a book we were reading together framed on her wall. I thought back to the quote Natalie had made me and well…I haven’t turned back.

After finishing one for Tracie, I made one for Teala, and Natalie, and Dawnie, and Kristen, and Seth. I couldn’t get enough of it! Old school Nintendo patterns, Dr. Who, superheroes, quotations, music lyrics. And somewhere along the line, someone suggested I start selling them. By that point I was creating the designs myself, painstakingly sketching them out in a graph book, one penciled stitch at a time.

I thought about it for awhile and talked it over with the fiance. I even made a pros and cons list, which is how you know I’m really serious. Bottom line? There weren’t many cons.

And so, while I was MIA in May, I opened a store with to sell my custom stitched items. It’s been a blast and I’ve gotten a ton of support from my friends, adopted family, and especially my fiance.

All in all, it’s a joy to advertise something I absolutely love to do. And beyond that, it’s still offering a form of self-care for me. Because even if it’s an order with a deadline, it’s still calming to sit down with my embroidery hoop, tackle box of thread, and stitch while I watch TV or listen to music.

And finding my calm is a damn important form of taking care of myself.


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