I'm writing this post about my sister (without her knowing about it, of course), so if I have it all wrong, forgive me Aunt Chrissy. I'll make it up to you by taking Bosco for a walk.
As I'm sure many of you know by now, my sister CRYS (because that is, after all, her name) is responsible for my stitching obsession. Crys started stitching when she was about 7 or 8 years old and even did a few needlepoints with Mom. She first started to cross stitch when she picked up a few Dimensions kits from Michael's and read the directions. Knowing her, she probably had the finer points mastered within six and a half minutes (she's pretty brilliant that way). I think she stitched off and on for a few years in her early teens, and then she got a job in a doctor's office when she was 18 or so. The ladies there introduced her to many crafty things, but when her office mate put that first piece of linen in Crys's hands, it was all over.
There was a shop in Phoenix called "In Stitches". I never went there, but I've heard all about it from my little sis, and I imagine that it was a sanctuary for her during some ridiculously terrible times. You see, Crys was the one that was there when Mom got sick and suffered through chemo. She was also there when Dad had a heart attack and had double bypass surgery. She was there when her big sister called from college to ask what was going on, and she was standing quietly in the background watching us all run around like idiots when the world fell apart. Oh, and I should probably mention that she did all of this when she was also getting straight A's at Xavier Prep (a foo-foo high school that she was smart enough to attend) and negotiating life as a teenager all by herself because the adults in the room were too busy feeling sorry for themselves.
So by the time Crys walked into In Stitches she had lived a lifetime of worry and sadness and stress, and I'm sure that the weight of the world on her shoulders was almost too much to bear. I can't imagine how she ever survived it. But, thank God for me, she did, and I think that we have Shepherd's Bush to thank for it. The evening that Crys first stepped into the shop, she was immediately drawn to the display of all things SB. I guess the piece called "Shepherd's Earth" was framed and hanging prominently, and I can almost see my sister standing in front of it while just letting the peace of it wash over her. When asked when she first fell in love with SB, Crys will tell you that it was at the very moment she first laid eyes on them.
I'm sure that there are a LOT of stitchers out there who love these designs, and I'm sure that there are also hundreds and hundreds of you who have visited the store in Ogden. I know that I am always tickled to pass along a mention of a SB project to Crys during my daily blog reading, and I have decided that we will visit Ogden as soon as we can. I like SB too, but it's because I see the joy they bring to my little sister. I see that THEY were the ones that got her through and that they are the ones that she goes to for almost every stitchy fix when the world gets nuts. I also love them because they are a bond that Crys and I now share and it's one that we will enjoy forever.
So when we had the opportunity to take a class with Tina and Teri, I was a little worried that the curtain would reveal reality and Crys would leave heartbroken. Now let me explain...I didn't expect that the SB girls would be nasty or aloof or anything, I just figured that they would be busy teaching and that there would be so many people clamoring for their attention that it would be impossible to get to talk with them, let alone get to know them. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Teri and Tina (the sisters who own SB) fulfilled every wish I could have had for a first meeting for my sister. They were funny and warm and so wonderful to be near that you just want to grab their hands and say "Will you be my friend forever?". They listened to our stories, they taught us some wonderful projects, and they did so with grace and humility. They gave me such a gift this weekend...they allowed me the chance to watch my sister fulfill a life-long dream, which was to be able to meet them and tell them how important they have been in her life.
I have a lot of guilt about this blog, and there are days when I am embarrassed that I feed so much on the connection with the stitchy community. I love stitching and spend hours every day doing it, but not because I was smart enough or bold enough or curious enough to pick it up and figure it out. Instead, I was invited to play in the sandbox by someone for whom stitching is a life-long passion. I guess I just figure I'm a loud mouth who is stealing her sister's thunder, but Crys tells me that she's happy to just be herself and do what she loves best. I will never be able to thank her enough for that.
So I'm off to the studio to plan the next adventure, and we'll see what it has in store for us. I might not get us there on time, and I might stress out over the details too much, but at least I know that I will have some company with me on the trip and that it will be a hoot once we get there. I just hope that as y'all are laughing at what a boob I can be, you'll figure out that I'm just the sizzle. It's Aunt Chrissy that's the steak.