Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Here I Am

Thanks, everyone for your concern.

Since the end of August when I was recuperating from several biopsies and surgery, I have been coping with changes in my body chemistry, which resulted in the undoing of my mental health medications.  I suffer from general anxiety disorder, including intrusive thinking, and some obsessive/compulsive tendencies.  These have been controlled for years by medication (and I've done my time in therapy.)  When my iron levels shot back up, and my metabolism kicked back in, I was a nervous wreck and, frankly, spent a lot of time in bed.

I've been working closely with my sweet and gentle psychiatrist, and am finally able to face the computer and work again.  I had really gotten to the point where I would just sit down at my computer some days and stare at it, unable to do any work at all.  I wasn't stitching at all.  A combination of four different medications now means that I can sleep properly, function much better, and can face the things that I need to do and want to do.

I used to be able to juggle a shop and an online store and design under two different companies, and I think that has really gotten to be too much for me to handle.  My shop has closed, and I am scaling way back on my online store in order to spend more time designing and stitching samplers and working on other creative endeavors.  I probably won't be doing much more designing for Raise the Roof Designs anymore -- look for the "odd" chart now and then.  The back catalog will (mostly) still be available for Raise the Roof and Shakespeare's Peddler, too.

One of the things I started dreading about designing was the idea that I had to try to fit my designs in a box.  Some shops refuse to carry designers' graphs if they use certain thread or fabric companies' supplies.  There's also that added pressure of what will sell ... August?  Better be putting out some Halloween things.  Is this sampler too big?  Too small?  Too many colors of thread?  Will it fit on a fat quarter?

I've had some grand ideas for designs that I have continued to put off, knowing they wouldn't fit someone's criteria for what makes a good/sellable design.  And I think designers, as the cross stitch world has gotten smaller, have felt more beholden to the opinions of the outspoken.  That's robbed us all, I think, of the grandest things a designer can create.

This week, I am starting work on some of those dream designs of mine.  I'm not going to be using anything discontinued in terms of supplies, and will continue to do conversions on the charts to other thread lines.  I hope you like them.  I know that I will.  And I feel really good about moving forward and being my most creative.

Please check out my clearance on my Etsy shop: Letters Great & Small.  Anything marked CLEARANCE is 15-85% off the regular retail price.  None of my designs are on sale, except for some discontinued Raise the Roof charts.  Everything is limited to what is in stock.  I have more in storage that I will add as things disappear.  It will be great to start the new year with clear space and a clear mind.

Thanks so much to those of you who have stuck with me the last (almost) 18 years.  I still value you as sisters in stitches, and continue to appreciate what you give me -- business, advice, support, inspiration, and the chance to be doing something so fulfilling.

God bless,



Laurel said...

Glad to see you post! I've been thinking of you. You need to do what's right for you and everyone else can just get over it! :)

Carolyn Boutilier said...

Take the time do what is best for you. I do miss your posts and your kitty pictures. Because of your post of the kittens we adopted a cat from our local SPCA.
Carolyn B

karen said...

I am glad your back. Take care of yourself.

Koala said...

Dear Theresa, it's good to hear from you! I'm glad that you are feeling better, and finding strength again, although it is sad to hear about designing side of things. As a stitcher, I could not imagine how hard it is for you and others to keep up doing what you love and trying to make the sellers happy. I believe it is wrong and it should not be this way - the best things in art and craft never fitted in the box or restricted frame, so please, continue freely designing what you feel is right and beautiful, trust your self, you are a wonderful designer!! I am sure you will find your buyer anyway, with or whiteout shops. Take care!

Judy said...

Always love to hear from you. Glad you are starting to design again, I so love your designs. Always do what is good for you. Take care!

Anonymous said...

Hi Theresa,

So glad to have you back! Sending you lots of good wishes as you continue to heal.


Pat W.
Baton Rouge

Delania said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Delania said...

I thought perhams something was going on with you since you had not made recent posts on your blog. I pray that you continue to do well. I will miss your designs.

Marcia said...

So glad to see your post this morning!! Please take care of yourself and nurture that creative instinct! Wish you the best!

Birdie said...

Please always put yourself first. Sending you positive energy-prayers and love. Looking forward to seeing what you design next. I come to you for designs because your're not the cookie cutter designer. I think of a time when stitching wasn't meant to be hurried and it was a comfort to sit down and stitch for a bit of the day to not only hone ones stitches but to in the end have a beautiful piece of art that will be enjoyed for many a years.

Cari said...

Oh Theresa…I am so glad you are OK. I was getting so worried I was almost ready to give Southern Pines Shelters a call to make sure you were alive !!

I'm glad you are feeling better and taking good care of YOU !! You deserve it. I love your designs and look forward to stitching many more of them. You must be true to yourself. I'm glad you have a great doctor to get your through these tough times….oh and do you have some sweet kittens to help you too?

Be well and enjoy the holidays. Warmest hugs !!

Unknown said...

So good to hear from you and to know that you are feeling better!! Can't wait to see what you create!

Colleen said...

Hello There As a person who suffers from some of the health issues you discussed, I completely support the course of action you have laid out for yourself with regards to your business. You have done so much good work in animal welfare, and shared your creativity with all of us in your designs. I'm sure that whatever comes me t in your designs will be lovely, and I look forward to seeing it. I shop mainly online since I live in a remote area, so Etsy and online shops are where I spend my money. Best wishes.

Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad you're feeling a bit better and I'm so very, very excited to see what amazing designs have been lurking in your head all these years! I hope you continue to find inner peace and calm :)

Prillwoods said...

So glad to hear that you're getting your life back on track! And that you've decided to do whatever works best for YOU! You've been missed, tho!

Unknown said...

Bless your heart. Your plan is a good one! Your devoted followers will remain and your new designs will bring you more. You are a creative pioneer! Can't wait to see what you bring to life next!

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Good to hear from you. Sometimes we have to reset ourselves. The new sampler looks beautiful

Mary said...

I was so very worried, when bloggers stop well blogging I always think the worst. Glad you are scaling back and taking care of yourself. I will check out the sale my stash is getting low, ( like anyone who stitches believes that). Check in once and a while.

Stitching Cat said...

Hi Theresa, I was just thinking of you the other day and wondering what was happening in your life. Sorry to hear of the issues but glad that you are posting again. I fondly remember the retreats in Fargo! Take care and keep us posted. Looking forward to seeing your new designs.

marly said...

Sorry about your health issues, but it sounds like you are seeing the light at the tunnel's end. Good! Learned some things about what you designers go through to please, and hope to see your work soon. Continued wellness!

Ginger said...

I am so very glad that you are feeling better! I was worried about you and was quite frankly afraid to ask about the tests you mentioned.

I hope that as the light shines more clearly in your life you will be able to move forward with your life and to continue to design your wonderful samplers. (And I for one like the "out of the box" designs.)

laura reimer said...

you are loved! :)

The Scarlett House said...

Theresa, I am happy to hear that you are on the path to being healthy and creative again. Thank you for expressing your thoughts on the "box" or limitations regarding designing. I feel exactly the same way, and applaud you for doing what pleases you first. I will also continue to use the linens and threads that I choose to in my designs, at the same time, encouraging others to do the same.
Take care, Tanya

Clare said...

I pray that you have an enjoyable and restful Christmas. May your lovely designs bring you pleasure as I know when stitching them we do to.
Merry Christmas and Happy Stitching.

Melody said...

I am glad to read that you are doing better. I also applaud you in letting go of what you need to in order to move forward in your life.

Katken said...

Soooooo glad to hear from you. Thank you for the update. Praying for peace love & comfort for you. Be gentle with yourself & keep moving forward.....hooray for you!!!

RC said...

I'm so glad you posted. Take care and post when you need a little boost. I'm sure we will all be here to give you a virtual hug. :)

Judes said...

I certainly understand the perils of anxiety. It's important to know that God is in control and everything will be ok. I look forward to ordering from you again.

Janet said...

You are one of the kindest people I have ever met. I met you at Silver Needle last July and was struck by your humble and generous spirit. This has stayed with me. Your work with kitties would be enough in any case.

Like you I suffer from anxiety and some OCD. I have been off and in meds for years. I do hope you will continue to design whatever you like. You do have such a gift, whether it fits into "the box" or not. I look forward to your designing future and will continue to admire you and your designing efforts.

Katya said...

Glad to see you are back!
I look forward to your new "out of the box" designs. Whatever you do, as long as you enjoy it, it will be beautiful.
Wishing you all the best in the New Year!

Cece said...

Be well and be happy most of all. I think of you often and look forward to what you design.

Deb F said...

So glad you're back.

I love your new work. If this is what you're speaking of in terms of 'sellable' I think you've hit it out of the park.

Everything looks fresh and not like anyone else.


Triniki said...

Me ha alegrado mucho tu vuelta, te deseo lo mejor, un abrazo enorme, eres fuerte y admirable!!!

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