My affinity for crafting started in middle school when my mom gave me one of my first cross stitch projects. It was a small "Count Your Blessings" bookmark. I was so proud of it, and to this day I still keep it with my books. It is full of mistakes, but I kind of like that. It shows me where I started, and how far I have developed my crafting skills.
I was hungry to do more, so I started making small baby shower gifts for friends. Then, when I was 16, mom bought me a huge Winnie the Pooh cross stitch kit. I started working on it, but life, school, work, a trip to the British Isles, and meeting my future husband shortly thereafter distracted me. I didn't pick it up again until my husband and I decided to start trying for a baby.
I am going to get a little personal here. It took over a year to conceive due to a medical condition that can make getting pregnant difficult. I tried to be positive, and kept working on Winnie the Pooh. Then there was the orange juice incident. I just know fellow fiber artists are cringing. Yes, I spilled orange juice all over Winnie the Pooh. There were tears, lots of tears. I immediately put it in the washing machine, but I could not help the feelings that were manifesting. I was convinced it was a sign that I was not going to be able to have a baby. I know, I was so melodramatic. My sweet husband calmed me down, and once I pulled the project out of the wash with no traces of orange juice left, I started at it again.
2012 started off with quite a bang. I took an at-home pregnancy test on New Year's Day, and I expected it to be negative again for what seemed like the billionth time. But it was positive! I really started working on Winnie the Pooh in earnest now that we were expecting. I finished it a month before my due date, and my friend and knitting mentor Manuella framed it for me.
It was ready for when my son Kenny was born. The Winnie the Pooh cross stitch now hangs in the nursery where his little sisters sleep. As I write this, he is watching The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. His favorite character is Tigger (not so shocking considering his energetic, wild personality), but his favorite thing to say is "Oh bother", just like Pooh. It took 8 years, some tears, and some blood (I really need to stop pricking my fingers) to complete the project. But I am very happy that I stuck it out and finished it.
I still have lots of projects beyond my Etsy shop that I want to do for myself. Maybe the next personal project won't take quite so long to complete. Or maybe life will get in the way again, not that it would be a bad thing if it did. I think that is what is so great about crafting. It doesn't matter how long it has been since you have done anything, you can always pick it back up at any time when you need to. It will be there waiting, ready for you when you need it the most .