I almost don't know what to say about this project. On the one hand, I'm really proud of it and I feel compelled to share it with you all. On the other hand, it's somewhat personal and I'm not terribly confident yet in walking the tenuous line between authenticity and oversharing. Sharing any project always feels somewhat vulnerable. One of the most beautifully terrifying things about sharing my creations is knowing that I'm exposing some small piece of myself for others to poke and prod at; I can only hope that others will be kind or, perhaps more importantly, that I can be confident enough not to let any fingerprints blossom into bruises. And, in a way, that's exactly what this project is.
Blogging has been an interesting experience thus far. I started this little blog of mine as a creative outlet to break up the monotony of endless diaper changing and feeding that can be so all consuming. It was sort of like an anchor, to give me something just for me that would encourage me to keep trying, to keep thinking creatively, to keep learning new things. That's still the heart and soul of my blog, but somewhere along the line, people actually started following along with me. Which is amazing! You all inspire and motivate me and I love love love seeing you all make things from my patterns. (Plus, we're still living that grad school life, so it's nice to have some way to pay for my yarn.) But I'm also an pretty private person and a perfectionist, which isn't the greatest combination for even the smallest levels of public attention.
It's made it difficult not to get swallowed up in the comparison game: trying to make the "right" things in the "right" way. If I don't expose my flaws, maybe no one else will notice and judge me for them. If I keep up with everyone else, maybe everyone will think I have it all together. If I don't do anything that's too personal or too weird, then maybe people will like me and the things I make. But thinking like that is, quite frankly, debilitating. And exhausting. And a huge creative block.
I've spent a lot of time recently contemplating the elements of what actually makes a good life. And I've come to the conclusion that perfectionism is not one of them. Perfectionism drives comparison. Perfectionism means that nothing is never enough. Perfectionism shuts us off from others; the easiest way to look flawless is from a distance, after all.
I was pondering this during my scripture study one morning when I came across a verse that inspired the text of this wall hanging. In John 10:10, it reads, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." I felt like a cartoon with a little blinking light bulb over my head. Not just life, but life abundant. This has become my mantra as of late and I knew that I needed to make it into a wall hanging, to help me remember what actually matters. To remember to turn outwards and upwards, to service and Grace. To remember that authenticity means more than popularity. To remember that genuine, vulnerable connection is worth more than a pedestal of perfection.
To help remind me, I made this wall hanging with a combination of crochet and cross stitching (inspired by the Hygge CAL shawl). After designing the letters, I knew I needed to get some plants involved (guys, I LOVE plants). They seemed like the perfect symbol of an abundant life, blossoming into a deep, satiating joy. I went through a few different variations of plant designs, but I'm pretty pleased with what I came up with for the final version and it was fun to incorporate some different types of stitching. I didn't write out the pattern, since it was such a personal project that I can't imagine anyone else would be interested in replicating it, but I'm happy to answer any questions about how I made it.
I was hesitant to share this post at first, but as I worked through this stitch by stitch, it felt important to do so. Probably not for any of you out there who might be reading this, but important for me personally to help remember what this blog/craft/creative process is about. Sure, it would be nice to be popular, but that's not really what Life Abundant means. Meditating on that lately has brought so much more joy to both my crafting and my life overall. And maybe this post is bizarre and maybe this is your least favorite post ever (going for overly dramatic), but I'm okay with that. So thank you for taking a few minutes to share this little creative space with me. I hope this encourages you to make something wonderful and to never say no to your own creative happiness. Happy hooking!
Thank you for stopping by to visit my own personal corner of the web! Feel free to take a look around and check out what I've been crafting, crocheting, or baking. Hopefully you'll find something to inspire your own creativity!