‘Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.’– Alan Alda
The concept of choosing a word to live by at the onset of each New Year, I’m sure, isn’t foreign to you, my dear reader. We see folks all over social media doing so within the first few days of January each time the calendar rolls back over and announcing the word they’ve chosen. The first time I ran across this notion of the “yearly word” was through one of my favorite authors, Debbie Macomber. I thought, what a novel idea to have a focus word to live by, to guide me each day this year in an area of my life I need some work on. Some of the words I’ve lived by since then have been gratitude, peace, and balance. Each word brought me a measure of self-fulfillment in the way I chose to live that word for 365 days.
Only two people before I sat to write this post knew of my word, now I share it with you. My word for the year is…fearless. Although, I have to admit, I’m sprinkling in a bit of flexible with that word because I’ve discovered in less than thirty days into 2019 that they work hand in hand and I better be willing to be flexible in order to embrace being fearless.
I learned embroidery, crochet, quilting, and a plethora of other crafty things from my mother and grandmother, and several aunties, as a young girl, as I’m sure many of you did. I remember being around seven or eight years old and sitting between my grandmother’s feet on the floor. Her arms were around me and her hands guided mine in whatever the lesson of the day was. With the art of crochet, the learning process began with the chain stitch. I would sit on the floor making long chains out of brightly colored yarn then either Gramma or Mom would inspect the stitches, show me where I might tighten them up a bit, and the long chain would be pulled apart so I could begin again. Once I had the art of the chain stitch mastered, I moved on to the single stitch then the double stitch and on and on until eventually I was creating granny squares. The process was much the same for embroidery. The easiest stitch to begin learning on is the backstitch. After learning to make neat and even backstitches, I moved on to many others. Today I have French knots, padded satin stitches, chain stitches and straight stitches in my arsenal, and there are many more stitches left to perfect I’ve discovered. Stitches I’m anxious to give a try. Intermingled with these precious memories of learning to craft at the feet of Gramma and Mom, are flashes of quilting bees and darning needles in the church basement where quilts were set together, each tiny stitch administered with love for those who would receive the finished product, most likely someone who’d fallen on hard times.
For years, I’ve created alongside my grandmother and mom. We’ve put together comfort quilts for those in need, set embroidered quilts for graduation and wedding gifts, and put together baby quilts for all the newborns in our family. Gramma is gone now and I’m still working alongside Mom whenever we can get together to do so. We live some miles apart now, but when we visit it always includes some sort of crafty work. Under the circumstances, I’ve come to realize how small our family is becoming. I’ve also discovered, I have no one to put between my feet on the floor and wrap my arms around to guide their small hands as I pass our chosen craft on to them.
I’ve pondered for years that I should open a small at home business, offering my hand-embroidered and crafted items for sale as well as doing machine quilting for others, and maybe sharing a tip or two concerning the art to others who are learning. I’ve hemmed and hawed over it and for all those years I let fears get the best of me. Then this past year, I went out on a limb and bought a quilting machine and frame. It’s not an actual long arm, but I can quilt up to a queen size on it successfully and it’s been a great starter model. But, even with it set up in my dining room, I still didn’t go out on the limb all the way and offer my services and start an actual no-kidding, home-based business. Then it came time to choose the one word I’d embrace and live by in 2019…fearless…and Bee Darned was finally not just a concept but was born into a reality.
In the next few weeks, you can expect to see in the Shop tab of the menu a link to redirect you to an Etsy Shop where you’ll be able to purchase various hand-embroidered and machine quilted items, and there may be some crocheted goodies tossed in occassionally. I’ll also be blogging with some regularity. I look forward to sharing and interacting with y’all and hope you’ll visit often. If you like what you see, please tell a friend, and remember to follow me on Facebook.
Have a fearless day, my friends.