I wasn't sure I wanted to blog about the announcement that Teresa Wentzler made that she is going to take a "leave of absence" from designing cross stitch. But I've been thinking about it, and figured, "well, why the heck not."
I've been a huge fan of Teresa for, well forever, it feels like. She is the entire reason I even cross stitch. My mother taught me to needlepoint. My father taught me to crochet (and knit barely), but it wasn't until I did a little plastic canvas with my uncle that I really got into crafts. I remember I was visiting my aunt and uncle in Alvin my sophomore year of high school. I needed some thick metallic braid for a project and none of the "usual" stores (like Michael's) had it, so I wanted to stop at a "needlework" store to get the fibre. It was called Harbour Stitchery in League City and it was wonderful inside. So friendly and warm and fibres and charts everywhere. I walked around looking for this gold metallic whatever and on a rack in the middle of the walking pathway was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. I immediately bought the chart, the floss, and the fabric to go with it. And I taught myself to stitch. No, I have not finished it, though in view of the announcement I think it's next on my start list (whenever I start stitching again). A man (gasp! the horror! a man stitcher!) told me that it was too difficult and I couldn't do my first piece like that, but I didn't listen. And honestly, I didn't get off to a bad start, but I thought I should start with something else (it was all blended too, although no over ones). Personally I'm glad I didn't get a big start (I have the original fabric with the stitching, but it's been slowly cannibalized for other projects). I've learned so much, and I've learned I definitely need better fabric.
I joined the TWBB in university 1996ish, I think. I didn't really post much, I rejoined with a vigor in 1999 and posted plenty. I actually didn't bother with the non-stitching areas until a year later, but I've made so many friends thanks to Teresa's community and I have nothing but love for the joy she's brought me - the beauty of her art, the joy of stitching, and friends.. I adore TW, I really do, she's is an outstanding woman who deserves all of the prosperity and she can get.
I think the reactions to her announcement are what really got me thinking. Maybe I've just been stitching too long. Maybe I've got too many of her designs and I'm feeling too old to complete them all. Or maybe I've just spent too many years in laboratories and the fumes have gotten to me.
I was not surprised by the announcement. I am not shocked at all. I'm not even saddened (well, much, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't miss more of her dragons, as if I didn't have plenty to do). I will not claim that I saw this coming, but it just doesn't feel like something surprising or horrible.
Honestly, I am excited for Teresa. She is a wonderful and gracious lady. She has given me so much joy through her cross stitch and she is such a talented artist, I hope that whatever she pursues gives her joy and happiness. If she is called to move in another direction, then she should, and I am happy that she can. Personally I hope that she succeeds and I can have TWs on my walls assuming that's the way her "art" bends (for all I know she could be moving on to welding rebar sculptures). I hope she is successful and we see some gorgeous work out of her in the not too distant future.
The reactions I've read are a little surprising. I laugh along with the other BBers who've posted their "Now I have a chance to catch up" as I have. I am happy that so many wish her well. She did say that it's a "leave of absence" and she does not know what the future holds. I will hope she comes back to cross-stitch now and then, but some of the posts have had a tone like she has died or something instead of hope for the future. She's still creating, and whether it's cross stitch or a print or a painting or whatever, I will always be a fan.
The only real disappointment I have is that Illuminata won't be published. It was something I have really been looking forward to, but that's ok, it's not the end of the world.
As for Olde World Map, I still hope. I mean, who's to say that it won't become an art piece instead? Some of the worries of what to put in there, what would fit, how to stitch it all up might be gone as an art piece? So no, I'm not giving up on Olde World Map. Besides, we're all big stitchers, I'm sure if we really wanted a good map we could design one for ourselves.