Have Your Say

3rd March 2023

Words of Worth

Sharing the thoughts of both Hannah Brencher and Stephanie Duncan Smith in All Stitched Up! issue #363, we unpacked some ideas on the worth of our work, encouraging each of us to dignify our time with needle and thread.

The words we penned resonated not only with us, but also with those within the Inspirations Community.

Like many of us, Sharlene felt her creative works were ‘just things that should be placed last behind all the other things life has us do.’ These thoughts led her to devalue the time she took exploring needle and thread which ultimately led to a sense of frustration.

However, last year Sharlene came to realise that if she didn’t think of her own creative time as worthy she would never prioritise it. Appreciating the personal joy it brought her as well as the pleasure she found in the making journey, Sharlene came to see the value her time with needle and thread held.

As a result, she learned to view the time she spent stitching as a gift to herself. Her work is now ‘slower, steadier and ultimately more fulfilling’, with each piece she creates being ‘a gift of happiness’ she gives herself.  

Sharlene’s Completed Frog Book Nook

Juana shared the very practical way she measures the worth of her time with needle and thread.

Within each of the boxes she uses to contain her threads for a project, Juana also keeps a 7.5cm x 12.5cm (3” x 5”) Index Card. Not only is the card used to record project information such as title, designer, size and cost of the raw materials, it is also used to keep track of the approximate number of hours she spends on the project. 

Although the county Juana lives within states their minimum wage is $7.50 per hour, as those who work within the fast-food industry are paid $16.00 per hour, Juana has set her hourly ‘wage’ at $15.00.

Whilst there is no accurate way to value what we create with needle and thread, Juana appreciates the approximate monetary value this system allows her to calculate, especially in the instance of having to declare the value of an item for insurance purposes.

Keeping record of her hours also allows Juana to let the recipients of any gift she creates know how many loving hours of her life they hold in their hands.

Whilst declaring the words in our editorial ‘exceptional’ and acknowledging that anyone who works within an art field needs to hear them, Linda is yet to bring herself to call her sewing room a studio. The words we shared made her realise that she should in fact do so though!

Lelly was particularly taken with the words of Stephanie Duncan Smith when she declared: There is a world of difference between the work of a writer who downplays their craft, and the writing of a writer who dignifies their work.’

‘Thank you! This really made me think about me! Not about my embroidery (although I’m bad with that too) but about the way I have downplayed my entire life really. Last year was a particularly difficult one on many levels.

But thank you for helping me see I need to change the narrative of my life, not expecting others to dignify it, instead this year I’m going to dignify it!’

Lelly, we love that you’ve taken Stephanie’s words and applied them to your life’s journey, and you are absolutely right, the narrative of our lives should be filled with our own thoughts of worth and dignity.

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