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Stitch Meditation Practise

Respect your body

I don’t know about you, but I find traditional meditation and mindfulness nigh on impossible, so it was a wonderful revelation to discover stitch meditations.

What I am enjoying most about this is it allows for experimentation – what is important is the process of creation – the stitching itself. It really does calm the mind and because the concept is that you are only creating a small embroidery really just as a meditative practice there is no sense of having to make something out of it. Instead, Liz suggests that you simply allow the stitching to flow in whatever direction feels good.

Embroidery in progress

I have always enjoyed quotations so I decided to include these in my meditations – this is one I took away with me on Holiday recently, as you can see I began with a very rough outline of a couple of pink chalk circles on the left hand side. The picture above was the result after one evening’s stitching – experimenting in this way, I was combining practising my French Knots (a very new skill) and the different effect that you could find by using varying thicknesses of thread. Those simple ovals – lifted up from the background because of the thick cotton Perle – in the centre, but I worked a thinner flat floss around the edges to create anchor the flower onto the canvass. The stems were created using lovely chain stitch, and fern stitch worked well to create feather like leaves.

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The second evening I decided to fill in the circles – but what I intended to do did not quite work so I ended up doing a long and short stitch in two colours – topped off with yet more lovely French knots. This process is amazing, because when I looked at what had evolved it was so much nicer than my original idea!

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The quotation was really apt for me, I really needed to rest and when you work from home it is hard to relax so spending time away was perfect. We were staying in a National Trust cottage in Devon – rather than going to various locations – we decided to spend our days, enjoying walks in the beautiful gardens and surrounding woodland and rolling hills of the Tamar Valley. The rest of the time we enjoyed quiet afternoons with the log burner crackling away, while E read and I stitched away merrily. One afternoon I discovered a TV channel called Talking Pictures that was showing a 1940s version of Rebecca! complete bliss!

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By the end of the week, the stitch meditation was complete –  I felt completely restored by the rest and we said goodbye to the cottage taking fond memories of a wonderfully relaxing time.

Let life flow

I am still doing these stitch meditations at home and I am finding it has really helped to ease work related stress.

If you would like to know more about this practise there is a wonderful group on Facebook, just look up the words ‘stitch meditations’ and it will take you there.  You can see all the other wonderful pieces of work done by ladies from all over the world, USA, Canada, Australia and Europe.

Stitch Meditation is a process developed by Liz Kettle to help develop a creative mindfulness practice that is simple and easy to implement.

It is for those who choose to explore how to meditate with stitch, to share your practice with others, to inspire others and as accountability for yourself.

See Liz Kettle’s video explaining it all here

Adventures, holiday, hotel, indulgent, luxury, spa break

A little indulgence

It has been a busy month one way or another, it is the run up to my daughter’s wedding and we all went out on Saturday night dressed as fairies!

I am still amazed that my little girl is all grown up, having a home of her own and getting married! It is as if all those years bringing up my two children have passed in a blur.

After the frivolity of the hen night, it was wonderful to be whisked away to the cosy indulgence of the Baliffscourt hotel, for a little spa break, by my lovely new man S.

Looking like a manor house that goes back centuries, it is surprising to discover it was actually built in the 1920’s using old re-claimed stone. It is a delightful place, full of quiet nooks and crannies, you never feel the proximity of other guests, it seems that you have the place to yourself.

Our room was beautifully decorated comfortable and cosy, we found the secret underground passageway to the main house a delight!.  The staff are very friendly and attentive to every need the food was exquisite, perfectly prepared and delicious. The grounds are beautifully kept, tennis courts and croquet as well as a lovely walk down to the beach – dogs are welcome.

The spa itself is heavenly, set apart in a lovely large barn, with swimming pool, sauna, steam room and hot tubs. There is a lounge area to get free tea and coffee and the treatments are a wonderful pampering experience, being massaged on a waterbed was incredibly relaxing. After just a couple of days I felt like I had been on holiday for a week.