Dec 14, 2010

SHOW US YOUR BACKSIDE!

You say you want a revolution?

Well, here I am on a particularly snowy Tuesday launching a revolution in the stitchy bloggy community. Join me, won't you?

From the moment I entered "this thing of ours", I have obsessively obsessed about my backsides. Each and every time I start a new piece, I wonder if I will achieve the perfection of a properly laid, properly tied, properly couched, and properly finished backside. I flip my piece over at least a thousand times a day to see what's going on back there, and I usually fret myself right into paralysis over the fact that no matter how hard I try...my backside is always a mess.

At retreats, I noticed that one of the very first things I did when viewing another stitcher's work was to flip it over to see THEIR backside. I did this rather blatantly until Aunt Chrissy pointed out to me that it's just not very polite to gape at a backside of someone you barely know, and that fellow stitchers might think me judgemental and a needlework snob.

Truth is, I was just trying to see how other people handled their very own backsides. I wanted to learn all of the little secret tips for getting a smooth, perfect, proper look and I made every mental note I could as to how I might also achieve backside perfection.

And so it was with Frank that I started to fret and fret and fret over his backside. I flipped him over so many times that I'm pretty sure I paid more attention to the back than I did the front. I was really bothered by the fact that no matter what I did...I just couldn't get every single solitary fiber to lay perfectly still and flat to achieve the look that I thought befitted my new found painted canvas expertise.

On the second day of stitching Frank, a lightening bolt hit me square in the forehead. "Eeee-jit! Nobody ever SEES your backside! You sit in your Happy Chair and stitch this stuff and then you haul it to the Michaels for framing, and not one single person has ever come into your house and picked a picture off of the wall and flipped it over to see the backside! You can't have a perfect backside! Your backside is meant to be a hot mess! Stop fussing over it and just concentrate on the front!"

And so I did. I decided to just have as much fun as I could without wondering what was happening back there and I am pretty sure that it was this decision that broke me free from my backside hell.

Today I awoke with the brilliant idea that it was time to share this freedom with the world! Time to throw off the cloak of oppression and just let it all hang out there! Time to show everybody that I'm not afraid to reveal my imperfection...or my knots...or my lumps and bumps and mistakes! I'm freeeeee! I'm finally freeeee!

So in that spirit, may I present THE BACKSIDE ITS VERY SELF OF FRANK, THE SANTA:
(It's here that I have to share a legal disclaimer: Please note that if you are stitching something for entry in a contest or juried exhibit, or any other such place that will be looked at by actual real live needlework professionals for evaluation....you simply MUST...MUST I say, pay careful attention to your backside. AND, if you are stitching things that you want to last into perpetuity for your loved ones to enjoy for years and years to come, then you should probably also take care with what goes on back there. But if you're like me and are stitching for your own pleasure and don't HAVE any loved ones that will want to see this stuff for years and years to come, then I say....let it all hang out, baby and join the revolution!)

Oh, and in case you were wondering....Here's what Frank looks like from the front side:
Now that my stitchy soul feels all klensy, I'm going to go upstairs to look at each and every backside I've ever done to revel in the messiness of it all! Stay tuned...I just might have to share a few more confessional pics with you eventually. In the meantime, though, I hope that you will have a little fun with your backside today and that you'll think of me when you do!

40 comments:

  1. I am right there with you on the backside thing....I had a lady one time tell me how to do the backside where it would look as good as the front, but I wasn't having any fun doing that, so I just started enjoying my stitching also! Who cares, anyway!

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  2. The backside of Frank actually looks good. I never pay attention to the back of my work. I have enough trouble staying on course with the FRONT of the piece. LOL.

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  3. Are you kidding me? I have often wondered if a certain Spinster exaggerates things just the tiniest little bit. I have to rely on Stewey to help me devine what is true and what might be a figment of someones imagination.

    But come on! ... there is NOTHING wrong with Frank's backside. Let's get a reality check here.

    From a neat backside-aholic.

    ps Frank looks pretty good from the front also ;-)

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  4. Ummm....hmmm....weellllll.....I could only wish my backsides looked as good as Frank's!!

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  5. Mmmmmm mmm mmmmm -- that's one good lookin' backside ;)

    The front's not too shabby either!

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  6. Coni - I am totally in awe - Frank is beyond wonderful and you are a monster in the world of stitchers!

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  7. Frank's backside looks very good to me. I worry about my backside,but it is the one on my body....if I sit and stitch too long, how will my backside look?

    The reason framing costs so much is because you're paying the framer to keep the truth about your backside a secret.

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  8. I love it... where did this beautiful canvas come from...

    he's fabulous front and back

    Cheers!

    Jill

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  9. we call that the Hallmark syndrome (remember the commercials for Hallmark cards where everyone must flip it over to see if it is a real hallmark?). i had a class with David MaCaskill and he waqs very free and liberal and said not to fret over it so i have relaxed since then and unburdened myself of worrying that much unless a stitch will show thru (as jane of Chilly Hollow has demonstrated with her tutorials)then i will watch the direction of the flow of the stitch so the drag on the back side does not show thru. this little guy you have stitched looks great front and back!!!!

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  10. I am with the wonderful stitcher, designer, and teacher Marion Scoular who said "Americans are far too concerned about their backsides".

    As long as what you do in the back does not affect how the front looks I say it does not matter.

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  11. Ditto Colorado Stitcher, and if I got as anal about the backside of my needlework as some members of the "stitch-police" say I should be, not ONE stitch would ever be taken, and that would lead to much disfunction in the world!

    Frank looks marvelous...I wonder if he would recognize himself.

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  12. Hiya Coni -
    you should send a shout out to Frank and have him come take a look at your finished canvas!

    http://moseynme.com/

    I think he looks great front and back - and really, your backsides are very neat so I'm not sure what you were spazzing about!! LOL

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  13. A seminar teacher gave some good advice: the back is only a problem if it affects the front. So if you have open work where trailing threads can be seen, you need to pay attention. If your back is so messy that there are lumps on the front when you finish it, that is not good. But if the back isn't perfect, it's OK.

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  14. Being an anal retentive stitchy freek myself, I can relate. I must say that ol' Frank looks good coming OR going! I have never attempted any canvas work myself, but following this adventure of yours, and looking at the awesome result, I am tempted to wade in. He looks grand-- I'm sure his dance card will be filled!!

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  15. Frank looks lovely...I don`t know if backsides affect frontsides in needlepoint, but they sometimes do on linen stitching. If my sampler is meant to be reversable, then I get very anal retentive and make sure it is reversable. If it`s not meant to be, I keep it neat, but don`t fret too much. As long as the front is smooth. I do have a pet peeve about trailing threads showing through to the front. Why put that much work into a sampler and then have threads show through?

    Your stitching is lovely Coni...Franks backside is very tidy!

    Kisses to Stewey...

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  16. I can't get past the your backside is supposed to be a hot mess sentence! Reminded me of the toilet paper leaving pieces behind conversation we all had not too long ago! That being said, Frank's backside looks pretty darn good and nothing clinging inappropriately!

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  17. Dudette, you are late to that parteh.

    I stopped worrying about my backsides years ago. My epiphany occurred while stitching Teresa Wentzler designs. In a discussion of backsides on the old TW BB about 10 years ago, one poster whose name I unfortunately have not recorded wrote: "as long as there are no pets or pieces of clothing attached (the back is good)."

    I think Stewey would agree.

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  18. Who cares about the backside, but Franks looks great LOL

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  19. Thank you once again for making me laugh. When my grandmother first introduced me to stitching, I proudly marched up to my eighth grade home-economics teacher to show what I had been working on and she immediately turned it over and began telling me what a mess my "backside" was.
    I was forever crushed....thanks for freeing me of those awful 30 year old awful memories and making it possible for me to laugh at them!!

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  20. Frank's backside looks MUCH better than mine! (Oh whoops, you were talking about his "stitching backside", not his real backside)....sorry, I went wandering there a bit....At any rate, I still think it's a a beautiful back (and FRONT side too!!) :)

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  21. When I saw the post my first thought is we all agreed No More Charmin Bear Butts! Frank's backside is much better looking then my own which I avoid looking at no matter what.

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  22. Poor Frank. He must feel naked and exposed. You pulled his boxers off and showed the world his unmentionables. But I do have to say, I liked peeking at his backside. He is very cute and has a nice butt. Good job.

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  23. I sometimes worry about my backsides, but then I think about when I was very young and I used...yes...KNOTS...and when I was just starting I used AIDA and the knots would pop into the frontsides. So now I say as long as whatever happens in the backside, stays in the backside, it's all good!

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  24. As long as Frank Doesn't have any holes in his backside, I'd say he is just fine.

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  25. I just wanted to add that I find it next to impossible to safely and discreetly anchor fibers in anything larger than a continental stitch, and you have done an outstanding job!!!

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  26. You are such a neat stitcher... Wonderful backside. But then probably it all does not matter unless Stewey gives his nod??!!

    The word verification says modyf, oops. Hope Stewey doesn't mean modify your method. Hope not.

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  27. Frank's backside looks good to me!

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  28. Nope. I won't do it. I'm with Chrissy.

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  29. Too funny! Yes, I've worried about my backside a time or two as well.... However, your Frank is gorgeous. You shouldn't find anything to fret about there....:)

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  30. I think Frank's backside is just fine since we all know that it is the business in the front that we really want to see! And I must say, the front side ain't too shabby!! (Sorry, I've been watching Cloony and Costner movies again...and my mind is drifting.) Love the french knots, they add great texture! What an exciting and fun stitch!

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  31. My backsides always look like something the cat threw up. Who cares? Life is short. Viva la revolution!

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  32. What's so messy about the back? From either side, Frank looks great!

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  33. Frank is beautiful! His backside looks just fine. I frame my stuff right away so I don't even have to worry about the backside... as long as it doesn't affect the front.

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  34. Hey, I think your back side looks pretty darn good !!!

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  35. Nothing wrong with that backside. Mine is definately not so neat - don't judge me! lol I should really try this canvas work - it is beautiful.
    Chriz’ stitchy spot

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  36. I care a little too much about my backsides as well --- but pleeeeeeaaaaaaaase - that's about the neatest backside I've ever seen!

    And believe me, you are NOT the only person who turns over someone elses work to see their backsides!!!

    You just keep right on thinking that you have a rats nest there - but you don't!!!

    Debby in CO (near Denver) where we've had a whopping 1.5" of snow since September ---- send some to us please! LOL

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  37. Nice backside!!!!

    I don't normally stress about my backside... Being a male LOL! But for some reason my latest piece is the neatest ever:o)

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  38. Hi Coni, you are one brave woman showing your backside... and a very nice one it is!

    I have joined your revolution and now shown my backside!

    If you want to have a look I have list my posting link below

    Look forward to seeing more of your front and back sides soon!!

    Cheers, Leonie

    http://firefliescatsinthegarden.blogspot.com/2011/01/thomas-tank-engine-update.html

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