Wellbeing – Leah Nikolaou

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Slowing down our lives just for ten minutes and making something beautiful in a mindful, creative way has so many life enhancing benefits.  It feels wrong to promote my craft without explaining what embroidery means to me.  Yes it’s fun, but it is also much more than that!

1.  Confidence boosting

Deciding to do an embroidery is like setting myself a goal, whether to embroider a small section in ten minutes, a whole piece in an hour or a longer piece over several weeks or months.  However it’s broken down I’ve been self sufficient and made something I’ve wanted for myself.  It feels good!

2.  Therapeutic

It is widely known that crafts like embroidery calm the nervous system and relieve everyday stresses.  Having struggled with panic attacks in the past few years it’s been a welcome focus on one thing and distraction away from what’s going on around me.  The repetition of patterns and rhythms take my mind to my happy crafty place and in those moments nothing else matters.  Plus there is the tactile stimulation of beautiful yarns  between my fingers and hearing the piercing crunch of my paper.  Pure much needed self love!

3.  Self Expressive

Embroidery has given me an outlet to express my aesthetic tastes and sometimes my feelings.  I love making things I like and having them around me as it’s a reminder of who I am and what I’m capable of.

4.  Patience Building

Embroidering requires discipline and patience, especially paper embroidery.  I almost feel like it gives me permission to step out of my fast paced life and focus purely on that moment.  Threading a needle and following a pattern requires a stead hand and sharp mind control.

5.  Environmentally friendly

No longer an essential life skill, embroidering is a lifestyle choice I’ve chosen and a great skill to have at that!  Once I learnt the basic stitches the possibilities of how to apply them became endless.  I have a  passion for up-cycling and repairing vintage items rather than always buying new.  Embroidery hoops can be reused for years and I love selecting papers I use for their green credentials.  I use hemp paper and recycled kraft papers for my embroideries and kits.  Some of my kits are also printed using eco friendly vegetable inks.  It makes me feel good that I’m trying my best to be mindful of the planet.    

6.  Tech Detoxing

I purposefully still print my kit instructions rather than direct you to on-line tutorials  (on recycled paper).  Crafting of any kind to me, is a welcome break for my mind away from the demands technical equipment like computers and mobile phones have over our lives.  This is SO important!

7.  Social

Everything I guess has it’s place in moderation as social media has also provided me with a platform to share and form friendships with other like minded crafty people from all over the world.  I have friends I check in with every day, they are a million miles away and that feels amazing!

8.  Economical

I didn’t need fancy expensive equipment to have a go at paper embroidery or a big space.  Equally I’m not precious about my embroidery, I take it in my bag and do it in the park, on the bus and even pack it in my suitcase.