Updated September 26, 2018
Several years ago Marni Jameson of the Orlando Sentinel posted this lovely article about needlepoint.
Go read it, I’ll wait.
She said some wonderful things that really spoke to my heart, but I want to talk about one of her recommendations: “For every high-tech gadget in your home, have a low-tech one.”
Maybe it’s more a product of upbringing, but this is something I do. My mom’s an artist (and I have more of her watercolors than anyone else), my grandmother was a seamstress, knitter, and inveterate crafter (I still have ornaments she made 40 years ago). My mother-in-law, though not an artist, had many artists as friends and students and she bought their work. And then I needlepoint.
Throughout my house there are paintings, sculptures, needlepoint, hand-thrown pottery, and lots of other low-tech. I simply love the mark of people’s hands and talents on the things they make. There are so many pictures on our walls I sometimes have to juggle to find places for new ones. Whenever I look at the computer screen I see below it hand-made nativities and hand-carved Zuni animal fetishes.
Sitting here at my desk, I can see needlepoint pictures I made, two folk art wooden cat sculptures, a hand-made Servite rosary, a hand-carved onyx elephant, a blown-glass paperweight made by my son, a painted “Mom” from my daughter when she was in Kindergarten, and a wooden box made by my grandfather. Oh and the high-tech stuff of computer, printer, iPod, cellphone, & external hard drive.
Clearly one for one is nowhere near enough for me. But if you don’t do it already start there.
We don’t often think when we stitch something and give it away what affect it will have on the giver, but having the beautiful and hand-made all around us gives us a connection to others, the ones who designed it, made it, and gave it, through that most human of things — touch.
As our work becomes more a thing of the mind and less a thing of physical actions, we crave things around us that we make ourselves or that show the touch of the artist’s hand. It connects us, it relaxes us, it nourishes our creativity, and it grounds us. That’s why we love it!