Anna Hergert, Art & Design

Stitching Bliss and Happinez…

IMG_6764This week has been rather productive, and I am excited to share a first glimpse of what a week with needle, thread and fabric in hand has yielded. I mentioned before, I am working on samples for the Kantha book.Β  Below is the array of samples I have created. If you own the eBook or original primer I self-published these may look familiar to you. I decided to rework the sketches in actual fabric and thread and… learned a lot!

IMG_6762I experienced certain realizations: The most important insight was that as I add stitches to samples new ideas spark and I feel compelled to add these as messages to the content of the upcoming book. I can’t stress enough how much peace and comfort hand-stitching brings to one’s life. By keeping the projects smaller the sense of accomplishment enters early in the process.

Just yesterday I started on a small bag. It is the bright fuchsia and yellow pictured above. I started it around 2 pm, connected with a friend for a long chat via Skype (in an attempt to solve the problems of the world… πŸ˜‰ )and managed to finish the back of the bag all worked in Kantha running stitch by the time we decided that we had done enough problem solving.

After dinner I continued on the front of the bag with the hexagon design. By mid-night (I just could not put it down!) I had the stitching on the motif and background complete. I am ready today to join the top with the main body to complete this small project. I have recorded the progress in pictures and plan to include this as one of the projects in the new Kantha book. Was this in my initial outline – absolutely not! But you know how life goes. Ideas are around every corner. Once I catch a glimpse of them I just have to give them a try!

Speaking of ideas and opportunities and treasures to be found around every corner: Shortly before Christmas I stopped into a Chapter’s store. As I rounded the corner in the magazine section I discovered “Happinez”. A quick flip through the magazine brought on the urge to own it. Well, I was in the process of purging and when I saw the long line up at the till I took it as a sign that I do not need to purchase the magazine.

We were back the following week and the magazine was still available… this time the line up was a little more manageable. I bought “Happinez” with a “z”. This was the second issue in English available in North America. I am not going to hold back: I L-O-V-E this magazine. It has stunning photography of landscapes, travel destinations, people and even textiles (depending on the country the editor focuses on for that issue). The primary focus of the magazine is all about the simpler life, how to immerse oneself into an environment that has a calming influence. How to do with less and experience bliss/peace/contentment… you choose. A subscription in North America is not available yet, therefore I ordered the premier issue directly form the publisher in Holland. It arrived a couple of days ago and I have a difficult time putting it down. The articles are just the right length and it doesn’t feel as if I am spending too much time reading and away from my deadlines. However, every time I finish one essay I am ready to embark on another creative endeavor.

IMG_6763Here is my encouragement to you: If you see this magazine on the rack, on the coffee table of your friend’s living room, in the doctor’s office pick it up and open it anywhere. You won’t be disappointed. (Note: I do not receive a commission from future sales πŸ˜‰ )

Enjoy your weekend! I know I will. I am meeting a friend for some photography around Moose Jaw on Saturday. The weather promises to be good… let’s hope for the best.

This entry was published on February 5, 2016 at 11:13 am. It’s filed under Art, Creativity Update, Design, In the News, Journaling, Kantha Book info, Motivational, Networking, Product review, Refocusing Creativity, Sharing Resources, sharing touching the soul, Something to Smile About, staying in touch and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

16 thoughts on “Stitching Bliss and Happinez…

  1. Katina Chapman on said:

    Hand work has become an important part of my life, almost daily. It is so calming. Unfortunately I have not been able to do any for awhile. Since cataract surgery in November I have been without glasses and not allowed to drive. My eyesight is improving but not as fast as I expected. I am anxious to re visit Kantha stitching and embroidery. Thank you for giving us a kick start. I am happy to hear you have found your muse.


    • Katine, don’t rush the recovery. Instead use this time to gather ideas and inspiration! Soon you will be back wielding needle and thread to create one-of-a-kind pieces that make you feel excited and leave you satisfied. All the best for your recovery!


  2. Great post, Anna. Your enthusiasm comes through for your hand stitching & Kantha book. Very inspiring! I look forward to getting out with you & our cameras. πŸ™‚


  3. A wonderful post Anna & I can certainly relate to the peace, relaxation & comfort hand stitching brings. Lovely kantha samples & I’ll keep an eye out for the magazine. Have fun with your camera on the weekend.


    • Thanks, Jeannette. The sample stack is growing. I am going about in an almost backwards manner. Just finished a stack of step by step samples to demonstrate back stitch, stem stitch and the Kantha Outline stitch.


  4. Helene on said:

    I LOVE your samples! I’m going to have to revue your little booklet and create my own Kantha sampler book once I finish the blackwork sampler book I’m currently working on for myself. As always, you are such an inspiration to me!

    I can hear your delight in your writing. You’ve got your mojo back! Woo-hoo!

    I too am spending far too many hours stitching til the wee hours of the morning now that I have rented a studio space. I just finished my latest little hand-stitched piece and am now ready to give my poor calloused fingers a break (and reconnect with my abandoned dearly-beloved). For now admin calls me, but even that is inspiring now that I’ve gotten those stitches out of my system.

    Welcome back, Anna!


    • Helene, I hope you bring the Blackwork sampler book with you to Art Quilt Campus in August. This could be a very interesting topic to share one night. I am talking more about the experience of hand work, not so much how to do it… I also hope that you will let me include some of your Kantha examples in the gallery. I have been encouraging students in classes but I am also putting our an invitation to anyone who has created work inspired by one of my Kantha workshops. Hope the transition to regular life is smooth… πŸ˜‰


      • I’d be happy to share my blackwork sampler at AQC, (glad to hear it would not be so much for a how-to:)). I’m focusing on admin stuff this Feb which includes a photo shoot. I’ll pull out my Kantha bits and will send proper photos soon. Thanks so much for considering my work!


      • Hi Helene,
        Send me a private email and we can talk about the Kantha submission for the book. I need to take the images to have them considered. No rush to respond. Can’t wait to see the Blackwork Sample book!


  5. Alison Cowitz on said:

    Great blog today Anna! I am so happy to hear about your positive experiences stitching and preparing for your book. One step at a time, one stitch at a time. I want to channel that peace and happiness into my process as I work over the next few weeks to finish a project. Thanks for the inspiration today! I needed that!


  6. So like receiving your messages, pics and info. Wishing that I was creating more but seem to be stalled again. Will start a small journal next week and that may help.😱😹spring will help chase the winter blues away. Am taking a dying class with Gill and Barb this weekend, just for fun as I have already done the techniques in this class with you. Have made a bag and did some hand stitching on it and liked that. It is rewarding and not difficult to do and looks nicer than machine stitching.
    Have a great day taking pics this weekend. Katherine has been bugging for a camera so have decided to give her my old Olympus C-60 Zoom digital camera for her BD this month. This should be adequate until we discover if she is serious before we head to something more expensive. Yikes I am rambling. Sorry. Leona


    • Leona – I have had my own long dry spell that went on way too long. I am cherishing the creative energy I have right now. It will disrupted soon enough with another teaching trip. The samples I am working on will be a great starting point for a new lecture I have yet to prepare for the Mid-
      Atlantic Quilt Fest at the end of the month. The lecture is all about embracing the slow stitching process and celebrating the process rather than the project itself. – Katherine is one lucky teenager to receive her grandma’s camera. Great solution – that is similar of how I caught the photography bug. I was 9… but I didn’t really get into photography in a serious way till about 2008. – In case you choose to replace your camera – I have my mirrorless Nikon for sale. It is like new, still in its original box. πŸ˜‰


  7. Hi Laurie, great minds think alike. I am sure you will love the magazine. Happy stitching! Enjoy your weekend.


  8. Anna, I’m so happy to read what a productive and happy week you’ve had! your samples are great! I totally get it about the hand-stitching. I’m totally addicted to the small piece I told you about; although, my “late night” stitching is much earlier than yours. and, as you said, I get ideas about what to incorporate in the stitching as I go along. isn’t that usually the case with creative minds?! πŸ™‚ I went to the Happinez website, saw that it’s sold in Barnes and Nobles bookstores in the U.S., called my local one, and was delighted to learn they have it in stock. I’ll pick up a copy when I go to town tomorrow. thanks for the enthusiastic recommendation!


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