Stitch Merchant


Just Talk About What You Love

Photo by Julia BreckenreidI had worked myself into a bit of a frenzy over hosting the Designing for Letterpress workshop at nook last week. I'm not a teacher. I'm not an orator. My hands shake and my voice quivers whenever I have to speak in front of large audiences. It's like my grade six speech all over again. And I panicked a little.

Frozen in my fear, I put off planning for the workshop. I put off blogging about the workshop and I stopped talking about doing the workshop. I just couldn't see how I was going to pull it all together. The thought of all those eyes staring at me in the hopes of receiving some mind-blowing letterpress wisdom was terrifying.

No matter how hard I wished for the clock to stop ticking it wouldn't and before I knew it entire days were flying clean off the calendar. With the fear of not being prepared for the workshop becoming greater than the fear of the workshop itself, I got down to business.

I don't know about you but for me getting down to business means that I usually start with a healthy dose of procrastination. I'm pretty clever about it, though. I don't leave my office to go and bake cookies or fold laundry or do dishes. Domestic chores are reserved for flat-out procrastination and not get-down-to-business procrastination. I distract myself with things that would look like real work to an outside observer. In this case, it was a quick tour of the nook website.

"Our studio is a hub, a classroom, an artistic swap–meet." It was this line that brought me out of my melodramatic ways and into reality. I could visualize this incredible place where different people come together to learn and grow and propel each other forward. Not a school but a place where everyone is on an equal playing field, working with different points of view but always moving ahead. And I wanted to be a part of it. That's when it hit me. I already had the opportunity, I just had to use it and do the very best I could with it. It would just be an in-depth conversation with people who wanted to listen and offer ideas in return. Even better than that, it would be a conversation about something that I love. Nothing is as easy to talk about as something you love. From that point on, I was obsessed with the workshop. I could barely keep up with the ideas as they poured onto the paper. Organizing them all proved to be the most challenging part of the whole experience.

When the workshop came to a close and everyone had shaken hands, exchanged cards and disappeared into the night I smiled at how far away I had moved from the fear. I had the best time hosting that workshop. I enjoyed meeting all of the participants. And I loved seeing what sorts of things they wanted to produce with a letterpress. It was pretty inspiring, actually. And fun. So fun that I think I just might have to do it again.

A huge thank-you to nook for giving me this opportunity and then letting me run with it.