Christmas 2020: Out with the Old, in with the New
Yes! This year's Christmas embroidery designs are ready! I don't know if I'll ever get used to the side of business that requires planning Christmas in the middle of summer - but anyhow, they're done!
It's been a bit of a process getting these ready - in the earliest stages of planning, I dug out the three finished Christmas hoops from last year - and honestly? I thought two of them were just awful. One of them was...OK, I guess. It's funny how a year can change so much - but on closer reflection, it made a lot of sense.
Looking at those hoops, my mind flashed back to November last year, when I realised oh-so-late that I should have prepared more for the festive season (if you know me, you'll know that in the past I've had a somewhat...relaxed approach to deadlines. I'm working on it). I rushed together a few designs, using some Christmas imagery that was quite traditional, but not particularly inspired (for me, at least).
Thinking back on that time stirred up that weird sense of discomfort - the one that everyone has at some point, I think - that happens when you're just not proud of something you've made or done. They felt unfinished - and the more I looked, the less I liked them (I'm not even including a picture of them here - I just can't).
So, I scrapped them. And it felt really good! Despite the all the hours, and effort, and stress that had gone into stitching each one - plus everything else that comes with preparing a new design - all I felt was a huge sense of relief when I decided to chuck them. I kept one - the Christmas wreath, which was the only one that I was semi-pleased with - and took it back to the drawing board for some edits. Then, I just gave myself some space to think on it...and slowly, slowly, two new designs - the Dove and the Reindeer - emerged. Giving myself plenty of time to play around with them and test them out has led to me loving these new ones - which is how it should be!
Having a look at my past embroidery patterns - however cringe-inducing it felt for me - turned out to be a great way of reminding myself how far I've come in the past year. Plus, I feel like I've learned a couple of lessons in that process, too: first, that forcing and rushing out new designs - based on what I think I should be doing - is a bad idea, and will eventually be seen as a waste of time, a year down the line. Everyone works differently - but for me, an idea has to swirl around in my brain for a while before I'll put pen to paper (or needle to fabric!) and be happy with the results.
And second - not to feel guilty if you want to ditch a piece of work! If you're just not feeling it, then follow your gut - give yourself permission to scrap it and start again, without the guilt of leaving an old piece by the wayside.
Trust me, it feels really good!
Founder & Owner of Paraffle
Sammy set up Paraffle as a side-venture in 2017 whilst she was doing her PHD at Edinburgh University. After finishing her PhD in Religious Studies (specifically Hinduisim and the New Age movement of Tantra), running Paraffle has become her full time hobby and job!