Today marks sixteen days that I started a new creative personal project - one hundred days of embroidering one word.
At first, I was a bit nervous since the majority of people were starting at April 2nd, which I knew would not be a good time for me to start, since that was our last day in New York and I would be travelling.
It was like a cue for Self-doubt to show up. I started to make excuses why I should not do this. The timing wasn’t right. I had no idea what to create. Or why I want to do something that would not give me an end result right away. Yes, Self-doubt can be a real pain in the behind, for sure. Only this time I had made up my mind - it was high time my Brave side showed up and took control. I started reading my old notes and there it is was all along. I had written it down some years ago - ‘to embroider words, one each day to create and connect with others.’ I also wanted to combine this with the power of quotes. And that was what I did.
One embroidered word a day, to create.
One quote, to inspire.
100 days, to remember that
done is better than perfect.
Since I started, I’m getting daily direct messages, comments and emails from people telling me how they love a word, or they simply encourage me to keep going. I honestly am so touched by this, because it’s a personal goal of mine to finish this project and not to fall back into self-doubt, but to keep going even if it’s late or when I’m tired.
Here are 10 things I have learned so far:
one ~ keep breathing
While I work, I’m taking deep breaths to clear my mind and to keep my focus (I have a tendency to hold my breath).
two ~ stop perfectionism
I almost let perfectionism take control again on day #3. I wanted to use a complicated stitch and a different colour. No Maureen, stick to your plan - done is better than perfect.
three ~ keep it simple
By only using one colour (black), two threads, the same needle and wooden frame, a cohesive look started to appear. Also by making the photo’s up-close in the morning light and using the same filter, the attention goes to the word itself. The power is in the simplicity.
four ~ use what I’ve got
Instead of buying special fabric, I used a big white linen cloth I already had. By not delaying my start (by going into town first) I used that time instead to simply begin. No overthinking or doubting what fabric or colours to use. I used what I already had.
five ~ learn while creating
While I embroider a word, I love to listen to podcasts by creative female entrepreneurs. Not only do I get inspired, I also am learning while at the same time my breathing becomes more regular. My favourite podcasts currently are from Jenna, Brittany and Grace.
six ~ be more graceful
This is part of letting go of doing things “perfect”. Giving myself grace and some compassion, that it’s okay to have a wonky letter (it’s my handwriting), make a mistake or to use the same stitch for this whole project. That’s why I leave all the mistakes in the words (they are hard to see, but I know they are there). And that’s okay.
seven ~ embroider technique
I decided to use the split stitch, which is a bit hard to see because I’m using black thread. To create a split stitch: push your needle from underneath the fabric up and down, creating one stitch. Then push the needle back up right in between the two threads, literally splitting them up. This will give it a braided look. (I will create a mini how-to soon).
eight ~show up for myself
By doing what I set out to do, it really gives me more positive energy! Keeping my word to other people is something I always strive for. But keeping my word to myself and showing up every day, really feels Great and it kicks my Self-doubt in da butt. And as an extra bonus, I get to connect even more with my readers - honestly, talk about a win-win situation!
nine ~ inspiration loves creativity
By simply creating something I really like to do, my inspiration kicked up a notch or two. I’m getting more ideas, more ways to structure my plans, really by doing what I love. And when I’m stuck, I love to take a walk, drink some tea, read a book or take an extra shower. It’s true what they say, do more of what you love and your soul will thank you for it.
ten ~ simply enjoy
By letting go of my perfectionism, allowing myself to be seen by others and not make this project complicated, I really enjoy doing it! There is no hustle, only the simplicity of creating my words, sharing my thoughts via quotes that inspire me and to simply enjoy the journey. And that’s what I’m doing - one stitch at a time.
Thanks for being here!