Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My First Time

I have been a bad blogger girl.  My friend Doreen (aka D or DD) informed me yesterday that I have been bad.  Are you ever going to update your blog she said?  I replied that I really didn't have anything to blog about lately to which she said,  "You ALWAYS have something to talk about Julie".  I'm not really sure how to take that, is she saying I am a drama queen stirring up trouble wherever I go?  Or maybe just that I talk too much?  Either way, it got me to thinking about a post.  All day long I thought about what to talk about.  All evening I thought some more.  And even in my sleep last night I was pondering what to say.  Finally I decided to talk about my first time.  Now, I realize some might think that's really not an appropriate thing to blog about.  But I think it's fun to hear and yes, even see pictures of everyone's first time.  After all, each one of us has had a different experience and maybe by sharing those experiences, we might encourage others to let go of their inhibitions and try it.  It's fun!  After all, it can be a stimulating activity, or it can be relaxing.  It can make you go weak in the knees, or squeal with excitement.  It brings people together and connects them even when they are apart.  I don't see the harm in sharing all that with you out there in blogland so grab a cup of something and enjoy my first time.  I'll try my best to keep it clean.

I was only 22 or so when I experienced it for the first time.  I'd dabbled with other forms of it of course since I was 12 or so but by the time I was 22 it was harder to find the other forms.  Most of the gals I knew had moved on  But being old fashioned, not to mention stubborn, I had to be forced the first time.  We were visiting friends and I remember complaining loudly to my friend (Diane) about not being able to do what I was used to and she finally knocked me upside the head and told me in no uncertain terms that I was going to try it and not only was I going to like it but I was never going to go back to the other way of doing things.  I believe I laughed in her face and said that just wasn't going to happen.  I enjoyed my way of doing it and didn't want to change.  But she insisted and went into her bedroom dragging me with her.  She got down on her hands and knees, reached under the bed and pulled out a small plastic bin.  Telling me I was not to mention what I was going to see to her husband, she started to remove the lid.  I closed my eyes, afraid of what I might see and peeked through my eyelashes as if that would make it any less shocking.  As she pulled away the lid I could finally see it.  Fabric of a kind I had never seen before.  Leaflets with little symbols on them, EEK! and finally something that looked familiar to me...DMC embroidery floss.  My mouth went dry with fear.  How in the world was I supposed to create a picture  without the pattern already on the fabric???  She was nuts!  Picking up the leaflets,  she handed them to me and said, choose one you like, these are all really easy patterns.  Reaching out with a shaking hand I took the leaflets from her and sat down on the bed.  The pictures were pretty but all I could see were symbols, lots and lots of  little symbols.  How was I supposed to do this?  It was a month away from Christmas so after looking through what I later found out were called charts, I chose one of an angel.  Next she handed me some fabric.  It was nothing like what I used for stamped cross stitch.  Finally she said choose some floss and lets get you started.  Now?  Here?  Can't I think about this for a minute??  Huffing with impatience, she quickly grabbed the colors needed, put the lid on the box and shoved it under the bed, just as her husband came into the room to see what was going on.   Assuring him that all was fine and we'd be out in a minute she sat me down on the bed and began my instruction on all things counted cross stitch.  She taught me how to tape the edges of the fabric so it wouldn't ravel, (big NO NO now) how to find the middle of the fabric, how to follow the chart and to start in the middle of it, what the fabric was called, some weird word spelled A-I-D-A, but we weren't sure of the proper pronunciation and finally how to make my crosses and that they all needed to go the same way.  All I could think about was how it was so much easier when the pattern was printed right on the fabric!!  But she hounded helped me the rest of the day until I knew sorta what I was doing.   I went home that night with Dan and continued to work on that Angel.  I worked on her until she was finished and then I had Dan make a frame for her.  She was beautiful!  And I was hooked.  Diane was right.  I never looked back.  30 years later I am still enjoying it

I hope all of you will share your first time.  In fact I challenge you to do so.  I will give one blogger that shares the story of their first time a little giftie, don't know what it is yet as I just thought about it.  All you have to do is blog about your first experience with counted cross stitch, share a pic of it if you have one and then post on this post only saying you have done so and leave your blog address so we can all read about it.  I'll draw the name of the winner on the 14th of December.

Take care till next time!



MoonBeam said...

This post was worth waiting for!! And your angel is beautiful. I'm sorry to say that I don't remember my first.
It was probably left unfinished, which, unfortunately fits my track record.


Sue McCormick said...

My first counted cross-stitch piece was a picture of my own design. I knew counted cross-stitch existed, but I was fascinated by needlepoint. I was doing charted needlepoint because I didn't LIKE the on-canvas designs, and I had this design in mind (actually I was given this idea by Sally). After about a year's work on the design. I started to fill in the background and a great light dawned! If I did this in cross-stitch on Aida, I could leave many parts of the design unstitched!
And that is how "Alien Invasion" got born, and completed.

Catherine said...

Oh my gosh! Hysterical post - loved it! My first time must not have been that memorable!

country stitcher said...

I love your post!I did my first piece right after I had my 3rd child. It was a Chritmas saying with a red and green border.I still hang it every Christmas.
Happy Stitching

P.J. said...

I was a little young my first time, I was around ten years old, hard to remember my exact age. I still have the pattern book "Little People" by The Graphique Needle Arts, purchased at Kate Jones - Second Floor, Occoquan, VA. I stitched "Rainy Day", she is a little girl in her yellow rain coat, gray rubber boots and a big green umbrella with silver gray rain drops falling all around her. The toughest part for me was the braided pig tail, I went back and added that when I got older. I display her each spring. :-) 33 years later, she is still stomping in the puddles.

Keep on stitching. P.J.

Doreen said...

See, Julie? You DO have a lot to say. Great post!

I had been doing needle crafts for years - sewing, crewel, stamped cross-stitch, embroidery, and who remembers what else. My first counted cross stitch piece was a brown crockery base with dried flowers in it. I had just gotten married to my Sailor, and three weeks after the wedding he was going to be going to sea. A friend of his had also just gotten married, and his wife cross-stitched. She convinced me to try counted cross-stitch, and I worked on it while he was gone. Like you, I've been hooked on it ever since.

Kay said...

I don't have a blog, so can't describe my "first time", but sure enjoyed reading about yours! Thanks for sharing!

Meari said...

Oh, I just HAD to jump on this one, LOL. I blogged about my first time!

EvalinaMaria said...

Me too! I read Meari's (see above) blog, followed her link to your blog and I was bitten by My First Time bug so I blogged about it! My blog address is:

Thank you for sharing your wonderful story!

Sandie said...

I loved your first piece and followed it up with a blog entry of my own about my first time! I'd love it if you came by and read my experiences -
I'd love to do that piece now - any chance you can remember details?

Siobhan said...

What a fun idea!! I loved reading the story of your first time. I don't have the first few pieces that I worked on and a lot of my earlier stuff is in the attic. Your first project is too cute--and something you can still display--very nice!

Sarah said...

What a hysterical post! Loved reading that and couldn't resist joining in! You can find mine here