Vision Quests

2016 Vision Quest

I always thought I was an introvert, but maybe I’m not?

November was a busy month, which included a trip to New York, two craft shows, and a six-day visit from my bestie. As expected, I learned a lot from the shows. I was most nervous about a) talking to people, and b)having enough stitches. The latter didn’t turn out to be a problem, even though there were a few customers exasperated by the fact that I do not stock 27 pre-made Spock tea towels. The talking, surprisingly, was also not a problem. I quickly realized there are two kinds of shoppers pertaining to my product offerings. One type of shopper will stop, stare, tilt his/her head, frown in confusion and walk on, sometimes with a bit of hostility. The other type will glance, do a double-take, smile, laugh, and eventually engage with me. (I’m choosing to leave out the third type, which is usually a middle-aged male, who stops and points at every stitch on my table, naming the subject and waiting for my affirmation. Once everything is properly identified, he smiles with satisfaction and walks away.)

Stitch Boom Bang Booth

It’s the engaging that surprised me. I didn’t expect to feel such a rush of gratitude when someone “gets” me. I didn’t expect that joyous common ground of nostalgia. It felt warm and fuzzy to see so many of my stitches leave in the hands of appreciative souls. Is this what it’s like to “love what you do”? I still think that is a bullshit motto, but I also recognize that I’m a cynical jackass. Regardless, I might not be as introverted as I thought. I’ll always prefer my couch, my partner, my dog, and a box of wine to a party; however, that might just mean I’m lazy rather than shy.

Taking a look back at my 2015 Vision Quest, I nailed all of my goals. This, my friends, is a lesson in keeping a low bar. If your goals are to expand output and participate locally, then it’s pretty easy to feel like you’ve got the world swinging from your nuts. For 2016, let’s step it up a notch.

  1. More shows! Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago. Applications will be submitted, even if I’m not confident of acceptance.
  2. Local shopping! I’m working to get some stitches available for sale in local shops.
  3. Wide wide world of web! I’m terrible at social media. I have to figure out how to broaden my presence without being annoying.

That’s a pretty short list, now that I look at it in writing. I should add an item about napping more, because I get tired just looking at those three tasks. Again – introverted or lazy? It’s such a fine line.

I end this post with my favorite custom order from the holidays, requested by Dinner is Served 1972 for her mother. As great as this little sampler turned out, it can’t be as great as the recipient for uttering such a truth bomb. Here’s to a kick ass 2016!

Dinner is Served sampler

2015 Vision Quest

2014 was a pretty good year. I stated my vision quest and I kicked ass.

What does 2015 hold in store?

  • I will expand my embroidered tea towels, committing to this first by purchasing in bulk. It scares the shit out of me to buy 150 tea towels, but I’m going to do it, and it’s going to be awesome.
  • I will commit to regular thrift store shopping, expanding my embroidered vintage items.
  • I will participate in more local shows. I did one show last year, and I learned a lot from it.
  • I will add new items to my repertoire: some paper goods, handkerchiefs, vintage tablecloth/napkin sets.

As you can see, there isn’t much knitting in those bullet points. Hence, I declare 2015 the year of the pompom. They are foofy, fun, decorative, and completely pointless. That is what I hope 2015 proves to be for me, and I will do my best to bring those elements to you through my nonsensical stitching.

Happy 2015!




My 2014 Vision Quest

Getting started isn’t always easy, so I’ll first state my 2014 goal, which started about six weeks ago at this point:

I will open an Etsy shop, and maybe actually sell something that I make. I’m hesitant because I’m not sure if embroidered portraits of Burt Reynolds are really that lucrative. Unfortunately, that’s what I’m good at, and it’s what I like to stitch.

That’s it. I’ve said it, and now I’ve got some work to do. This is the year I make my mark, I wrestle Shute, and I kick ass.