There are people who know no limits and there are people who seem totally restrained by self-imposed limits.
I am not a dare devil and when it comes to scary things . . no! I will not even put lighter fluid on charcoal and then throw a match on it but when it comes to crafts or recipes, there’s not much I won’t try. I can remember back in the 80’s when a professional group that I belonged to gave away a scholarship each year. Members submitted names and why we thought this person deserved a scholarship. My submission was awarded the scholarship and I’m still friends with that girl on Facebook! The person who nominated the recipient was to present the scholarship at the recipient’s high school awards ceremony. NO! I could not. I would not. No way. I literally made myself sick thinking surely I’d trip on the way up to the stage or totally forget what I was going to say or fall off the stage. I’m not going to say lucky for me because we got water in our house but . . there was a flood and the ceremony was cancelled and I was relieved and a few days later, the house burned so . . all in all, it wasn’t good at all for me so probably not the best example. 🙁 But I was terribly shy back then.
It was only after I started teaching quilting 20 years ago that I learned to be comfortable in front of af group.
My motto has been . . if anyone else can do it, and I want to do it, I can do it. Take crochet for example. I don’t like to crochet. I can crochet and I have done some crochet but it isn’t my favorite and I’m not crazy about how most crochet looks. Same with painting. I’m sure I could at least paint by number but I’m messy. I’m a messy cook, a messy sewer with threads and snippets of fabric everywhere except in the trash. I lose my scissors every time I get up from cross stitching. I lose 2 out of 3 needles I use. Painting for me would be a disaster waiting to happen.
I believe we all have our likes and dislikes but I do believe we can all do anything we want to do . . if we want to do it badly enough.
Addie has been very shy and surprised the heck out of all of us with her cheerleading. Nicole said that this year trick or treating, she would say “Trick or Treat” and “thank you” where in previous years, if she had to say anything, she would walk away empty handed. Her teacher did tell Nicole that they need to work on building self-confidence. Chad has enough self-confidence for most everyone in the entire state. Nicole has very little. Sometimes I think Chad’s over inflated self-confidence stifles Nicole’s self-confidence. Chad is not overbearing, at least from what I can see, but Nicole doesn’t want to do anything without Chad’s blessing. I’m sure Vince wishes a little of that would rub off on me! 🙂
A couple of weeks ago I was talking to Nicole and she told me it was 51 inside their house that morning. I asked if she turned the heat on. Chad had been working out of town and she said “No. I tried to call Chad to see if it was ok.” WHAT? I said “Is there some reason you can’t turn on the heat without asking Chad?” (Like . . is there a fire hazard or something needs attention??). She said “No. I just wanted to check with him first.” No .. no . . that’s not right. I asked her . . do you think he would tell you no? She again said “No. I just wanted to check with him!” I later told her that she needs to make decisions, especially when Chad isn’t home. I don’t think it’s good for Addie to see Nicole not being able to make decisions like that.
Anyway, this morning as I was cross stitching, I was thinking .. it was in January, 2021 when I first started cross stitching. My poor friends, Judy and Denise, probably wished many times that I had stuck with knitting because I can’t tell you how many times I wrote them with what now seemed like dumb questions. The first couple of pieces I stitched . . nothing ever matched. I would stitch a motif that was supposed to be 4 stitches from the other one and it would be 3 stitches, or 5 stitches or even 7 stitches away. Rows were not straight. I tried to run a basting thread to keep my rows straight and that didn’t help. I couldn’t count the stitches. If I was supposed to stitch 20 stitches, I couldn’t go back and count them. Even with the magnifying light, they all ran together. I could not count spaces between anything. I finally resorted to using a waste thread and making loose stitches in what was supposed to be open spaces, then removing that thread after I had found where I was supposed to start the next motif. I still don’t really enjoy stitching things all spread out but I’m getting better at it.
Now, 10 or 11 months later, it’s all working.
This morning as I started stitching on the lady’s dress . . it was to start 1 stitch from the man’s boot and end 10 stitches from the edge. I stitched, counted my stitches, and it all lined up. That would never have happened 10 months ago.
I’ve told this story before but when I started trying to knit socks back in 2005 or 2006, I ripped that poor sock back so many times, finally one night Vince very kindly patted me on the arm and said “Why don’t you give up? I don’t think you’re ever going to get this!” That statement is probably why I persevered and learned to knit socks.
What I’m saying is this: No matter how hard something seems, no matter how many mistakes you make, if you want to learn to do something – whether it’s canning, baking bread, knitting .. you can do it.
I think one of the things that has helped to boost Addie’s self confidence is the cheerleading. She did it and she was good at it. She was good at gymnastics but that was boring for her because so much time was spent sitting quietly waiting for her turn on the beam, and then sitting quietly waiting for her turn on the next thing. I think if she was in a larger gym where you went to one station, did that; moved to the next station and did that; and kept going, she would have stuck with it. With cheerleading, it’s constant movement and even when they aren’t cheering, they’re on the side talking and turning flips and moving. I believe that sometimes we just need to find something at which we can excel and feel good about what we’re doing. Constantly trying things where we feel mediocre at best doesn’t do much for building confidence.
Addie really wants to try punch needle and I’m hoping that will be something that’s easy enough for her. I told her I want to get this cross stitch piece finished, watch Vonna’s videos again, then I’ll make something, then Addie and I can work on a practice piece. I have two frames and she can sit across from me (since she’s left handed) and we’ll figure it out. I think trying to get her to do things she isn’t crazy about doing and doesn’t do well makes her feel like a failure. I would love for her to have an interest in knitting or cross stitching or sewing but she doesn’t. Later she may but I don’t want to force on her the things I like to do.
I think sometimes we all just need to build others up. The person who seems the most confident may be the least confident or may really be confident but just had something happen that zapped her confidence.
You are the reason I am now knitting a sweater. If not for your encouragement and help I would not be knitting and loving it!
I’m glad you’re loving it. Always happy to help.
You never know when a seed that you planted long ago will take hold and start growing. I have been quilting and doing wool appliqué for many years now. My daughter always liked and appreciated what I did, but showed no interest in actually taking up either craft.
Every year since she was little I would go away for a week in Minnesota to a quilting retreat. I always had a great time and would talk fondly about my adventures. Recently she mentioned that she would like to join me on my annual trip, and we traveled together to Wisconsin and Minnesota in September. A spot opened up at Woolstock – Buttermilk Basin’s wool appliqué retreat- and my daughter decided to do it. Oh my – she is a wool appliqué whiz now! She bought a bunch of kits and has been prepping and stitching every night! (She’s even prepping some of my projects – score!)
It just took that opportunity at BB to open the door to a new craft for her that we can now share. Added bonus that I can someday pass on my stash to her ?
I agree! Plant the seed and let them take it from there. How nice that she will some day get your stash!! That’s great and she’ll always remember which pieces came from mom. How I wish I had some of my grandmother’s fabric . . even if it’s just to fondle every now and then.
Dorothy Matheson says
My daughter at age 7 started trying out the crafts I did. I would get an age approiate kit for her and get her started. She did not presist all that long so small projects were necessary and I did not nag her to finish them. She was such an out doors kid so not much time inside doing crafts. However at age 50 she is doing all kinds of sewing. So getting her started early was good. My grandmother was the one that started my love of all crafts. And her sister also.
I think all we have to do is plant the seed, offer a little encouragement and be there for them at whatever age when they want to try something new or re-visit a hobby they’ve already tried. Addie breezed through the diamond painting on her first piece . . could not get enough of it so I ordered her a second one and she’s shown very little interest in getting the second one going. I let her work at her own pace and don’t push or nag. She has zero interest in cross stitch but she really wants to try punch needle so I’m hoping we’ll both like that.
There’s a saying, “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying anything new.” And another favorite from a quilting friend, “The Lord loves a cheerful ripper!” I’m adding your “If anyone else can do it, and I want to do it, I can do it” to that list. I need to prop myself up with these from time to time!