Drink Tea Bookmarks – Cross Stitch Kit

What is Cross Stitch…

Cross stitch is a form of counted thread embroidery that has been around for ages, and it is one of the easiest forms of hand embroidery to learn. Cross stitch is comprised of X-shaped stitches done on fabric with an even and open weave. The cross stitch is repeated numerous times to create a design. Counted cross stitch designs are made by following a grid or chart where each square that contains a symbol represents one stitch.

Just keep reading and you’ll see where I am going with this. BE PATIENT! There will be tea involved.

Covid – 19 strikes…

 It has been over a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed millions of lives and changed the ways in which each of us related to and navigated the world. Many of us faced challenges that were stressful, overwhelming, and caused strong emotions. The various public health actions, such as social distancing, which were implemented to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, made us feel isolated, lonely, which in turn increased the stress and anxiety in our lives. We learned to cope with the stress in a myriad of healthy ways, which lessened the “upset.”

My Stress Reducing Activities…

Our solitary confinement to our own “Hobbit Holes” (my personal description of our isolation), which totally disrupted our lives and made us feel out of control, drove us to find ways to adjust and adapt to the ever-evolving situation. I filled up an entire “bag of tricks” to fight the good fight against COVID. And one of the tricks was, I began embroidering again, something I had done a great deal of in the past. But there is a but involved here… I only wanted to find a project where tea in any form was highlighted and that was easy – since it had been a long time since I had picked up a needle and thread. It was then, I heard Hobby Lobby calling my name. After a short drive, there in aisle twenty-three, at the very back of the store, I found what I was hoping to find, an easy tea related kit. A set of two bookmarks, that when stitched would read…  Drink tea and read books”, complete with a stack of colorful teacups!

Best of both worlds…

So, with the combo of copious cups of tea and my tea bookmarks, I had found the perfect stress reducer. I realized that the tea and the cross stitch had much in common- both provided the same solace. First was the feeling of calmness. The simple act of heating water, measuring the leaves, and then steeping tea, for me is such calming, comforting and soothing experience. The cross stitching was also very calming. Just the simple task of pulling the floss through the fabric, doing that same stitch over and over, that gave me a sense of well- being.

Focus was another commonality. Tea as we know, has stimulating, clarifying properties that help improve cognitive function. A cup of tea also improves mental clarity and focus. My cross-stitch tea bookmarks required me to stay focused. My brain had to concentrate at the task at hand–stitching–and not COVID. The stitching demanded that my brain focus, and it gave my body something to do, working together both mentally and physically.

 From focus to stress reduction, both the tea and the cross stitch helped my mental well- being. The cross-stitching made me redirect my energy and then use that energy to create something beautiful. Ultimately, I was able to connect with myself, with my breathing, my mind, and my body, becoming sane again, if you will.  The combination of the tea and the stitching in the ended up being not only good for my mind, but also, they were good for my soul.

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