After a very busy and tiring week I finally found a little time to sit down at my sewing machine. I have been sewing for many months now but not selling anything so the crafts are piling up in the corner of the dining room. I have given away quite a few things but have made little impact on the pile. I’ve been persuaded to have a table at a craft fair next month to see if I can sell some of the things I make so I keep on making in the hope something will eventually sell.
It can be very difficult to decide what to sew. It is something I need to do, it’s helping me to focus so much, it gives me a form of escape from the negative thoughts and nasty memories that I sometimes experience. Sewing also helps me to focus on now and helps to keep my stress levels down. Too much stress for me equals anxiety, anxiety equals panic, panic equals an inability to function with something close to normality. Sewing has always been a therapeutic pastime for me, a good stress reliever and anger outlet. Perhaps instead of dispensing pills and tonics, fabric and thread should be made available on the national health to everybody.
And so yesterday I needed to get down to some sewing again. After discussing it with my sister I decided to try making a an owl doorstop. As with most things I make I draw up my own patterns. A pen a piece of paper and hey presto a pattern for something or other, a few adjustments and Bob’s your Uncle. Only this time the door stop changed into a stuffed owl pretty enough to sit in any teenager’s bedroom.
Then one owl turned into two, then three. My sister happily sat opposite me at what was once regarded as our dining room table, cutting up sheet after sheet of felt, little eyes, little wings, pretty bows whilst I whizzed away on my trusty machine.
And so was born a ‘Parliament of Owls’. It really tickled me when I realised I’d learned at school many, many years ago that a group of owls was known as a ‘parliament’, and never once in my life had I had a reason to use the word till now. Who says you don’t learn anything useful at school!!
I put some photos of the owls on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/WishLadsQuiltsandCrafts and suddenly everyone wants an owl. Well, not everyone, that’s an exaggeration, but two people contacted me with orders. It might not seem a lot but it’s the start I need; it tells me that what I produce is alright, and my designing and sewing skills are fine, it’s just that I have not found the right things to interest people yet. But it’s so easy to allow self-doubt creep in, to allow negativity to overcome positivity.
Not being a seller, it’s difficult to price things too. I don’t want to rob anyone, but it would be nice to make enough money to replace the fabrics I have use. Then I can carry on making and others will gain pleasure from what I do.
I suppose just like children we all need the affirmation that what we do is good enough, that it is liked and appreciated, that we’ve done a good job. I suspect that is also part of why I do what I do. And as long as it doesn’t harm anyone and sewing continues to have a positive effect on me and how I cope with life then it’s a very good thing. Maybe we could all benefit from our own Parliament of Owls to provide us with the affirmation people need to live a productive and satisfying life.