When I was eleven or twelve, I got an embroidery kit for beginners. It had the pattern drawn on the cloth, in washable ink, a needle, threads, and instructions about how to make the different knots. I’m not sure if this was something I saw in a store and my mom bought it for me, or if I got it as a birthday or Christmas present after expressing my interest; but I know I wanted to make that bansai tree, because it was so pretty. Here’s another image unsullied by the header text.
As you can see, I finished it. I can’t remember how long it took, but I remember beginning with the yellow mat, or perhaps the tree trunk. The French knots for the moss were the hardest part. The leaves took some practice, too; but eventually I got very good at them. I didn’t give up even when it got difficult, and when I was through, it looked really nice. So nice, in fact, that my parents had it framed. Now it hangs in our guest bathroom.
Flash forward almost fifty years (ahem). A very dear friend of mine sent me a box of little things that she thought I’d like, such as tea, a Totoro pin, and a Tree of Life which she’d made herself from pebbles and wire. This spurred a desire in me to create something for her. I remembered the gorgeous banzai tree I’d embroidered all those years ago; but I hadn’t picked up a needle and thread since then. Could I do it again after all this time?
I found a pack of three embroidery kits on Amazon and read through the directions when it arrived. It didn’t seem too difficult. I gamely picked up the needle and began with the first color, working through each one by one. Nothing seemed to be as easy as when I was twelve. A few times I picked out stitches, cursing under my breath (something I don’t remember doing all those years ago), and began again. It took a few months, mainly because I only worked on it on Sundays. You can’t really watch a movie and work on embroidery; one or the other will suffer. At times I feared I wouldn’t get it done in time for Christmas.
But I have finished! I hope to mail it out on the 5th or 6th (writing this on the 4th). I was certain while I was doing it that it looked horrible. However, once the last color was finished, I changed my mind. Here’s the result.
A bit wavery in places, maybe. But I think it’s pretty nice. I hope she likes it, and that she hangs it somewhere where she’ll see it often.
I do plan to sew the remaining two kits. I hope to share them in the Creative Endeavors thread when I’m done. I’ll probably keep at least one. Maybe I’ll get brave next year and give one away to an Avocado at Giftmas.
BTW, I gained another year today. Nice to know I can still do things like this.
Have a super day!