that is getting close to being 20 years old and
I love it for it's design and color..............but even more so for what it represents to me.
This rug made me determine "my worth" in the work that I create and do. When I first started with the idea of designing and working embroidery to sell................I was a young stay at home mother.My husband was a garage mechanic and what money he was able to bring home, was spent on important things, like food and the children's needs. There was no room or extra $$$ to spend on home decorating.However, I would walk up to admire this rug hanging in the store and vowed that I would somehow make enough money to purchase it...........without feeling guilty about it. I was hand embroidering small towels and pictures and selling them in local stores for extra income. The small change I made on these items, did not match to the late hours I worked on them while my children were sleeping. However, I had not established faith in myself to dare ask what I really thought they were worth. I was thrilled and grateful that anyone would want to purchase them. I did this kind of thing for months.............this was long before we had a computer and long before I heard of Etsy. One day, while flipping through a sewing magazine, my eyes landed on a want ad from a designer up in the Boston area, looking for someone to be part of their "creative team". Now I knew there was no chance ever that my husband would allow us to pack up and move on a whim from Texas to Boston, MA.
However, I could not get that ad out of my mind. So I came up with a plan, held my breath, dialed the number and prayed while the phone on the other end was ringing. To my relief, a pleasant voice answered. I told her where I lived, why I could not possibly move to Boston, but if she were willing to listen, how I could be a exciting part of their "creative team". She was willing to listen! I told her about my embroidery and about my design work and how through the wonderful world of snail mail, I could embroider for them. She liked the idea!! I sent her samples of my work and ideas, and within the next week I had a job embroidering for a husband and wife team of fashion designers. They would send me garments that they created and I would embellish them with my hand embroidery. When asked what I expected to be paid for my work.............I froze." What if I ask too much and they decide I'm not worth it" ......I thought to myself. But no, I decided to take the bull by the horns and proclaim my work to be worth every stitch I placed into it. I worked for these people for 5 years..........enjoying every moment of it............and realizing not to settle when it came to what I thought about my work being worth. The first check I received.............I ran out and bought this rug.
When I work at night, it is here, reminding me to have faith in myself and my work............Since that time, I have had my hands full of embroidering for various customers..........deciding that I want to only create what I want to stitch and if someone likes it, they can purchase it..........no more custom orders. Another step............I opened my Etsy, created this blog and have just now finished writing my embroidery book............which is still in need of a publisher. I have changed and grown in this embroidery journey...........and so glad I have arrived to where I am now.
How about you?
Have you struggled in deciding what your work is worth?
I would love to hear!
This week I am working on a cross stitch design by Paula Vaughan............I just love her, don't you?
What are you stitching or working on?