On Oct 31st, I completed my 100th embroidery as a sweet ending to my 100 Day Project this year! I’ve been joining this creative challenge for five years now (but only four projects in total because one took almost two years to complete!) and every year has been such a big learning experience for me, helping me grow in courage, skill and creativity. It has definitely become a highlight of my year.
It is never easy. I get lazy sometimes and I always reach a point when I question myself why I’m even putting myself through it. But no matter how long it takes (because I always go way beyond 100 days), I push on and do my best to take the process to heart because I see that that’s what really matters. It has become an exercise on perseverance, discipline and resourcefulness for me, more than just artistry.
I cannot claim to be an expert on sewing or embroidery. I actually think I’m technically quite bad at it. But I’ve always enjoyed dabbling with sewing, even incorporating threadwork into my paper collages, so I thought it would be a good idea to challenge myself to turn it into my 100 Day Project. It was a way for me to practice and improve as well as see what I could come up with.
Turns out, it would be my most challenging endeavor yet. Yes, there are so many things I could think of to embroider but they were almost always tedious and tricky to make, specially in the style I was going for. There’s a lot more technique involved than I had expected. I also had a limited selection of thread color because I chose to only make use of whatever I already owned. But inspite of all the challenges and restrictions, I did my best and took inspiration from everyday objects such as an electric fan or a pencil or laundry, then simply added my own little flair to each piece. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfect, I make sure it always has a little of me in it. I tried my best to make one piece a day but when not possible, I didn’t beat myself up for it. I just carried on and made sure I enjoyed the process.
On bad days, embroidery has become an escape for me too; a way to process my feelings and calm myself down. It is naturally therapeutic and relaxing to the mind and body, much like meditation. I’m quite thankful for all the good working on this project has done for my soul.
Compared to the first few years joining 100 Day Project, I feel more confident now to showcase my work and actually sell them. I’ve always felt iffy about selling my work. I always feel like they’re not good enough that someone would actually pay money for it. But when people do show interest in purchasing the things I make, I am both surprised and encouraged! I shared on Instagram the other day about this quote I read from Amy Tangerine’s book called “Craft A Life You Love.” It’s what she calls the Rule of Positivity and she wrote:
“If you throw something positive into the Universe, it will respond with something good as or better than what you wished for. The Universe cannot help itself. It is naturally benevolent…Throw something wild and wonderful out there. See how good things begin to happen with each step you take.”
This really gave me the boost I needed to sell. Whether or not people buy them, putting it out there and sharing them will eventually merit me some good in whatever form. Every piece in this series has brought me joy or helped me get through a bad slump so I really just want to share that and hopefully bring a positive jolt to those who purchase them too.
The last few days, I’ve turned 80% of my 100 embroideries — the ones I think are the best — into individual art pieces, some for display and others for wearing. I had some framed in wood and glass, some are in rubber hoop frames, while the rest are now brooches. I think I enjoyed this part too just as much as making the embroideries. I love seeing them ready to be hung and as fancy wearable art. Each of them are labelled with their number in the series, #100everydayembroideriesbynica. I figured, instead of putting the title, having just the number tells how each of them is just a piece of a bigger whole, one of one hundred, a moment in an extensive creative process that was enriching for me. The title doesn’t matter. Whoever becomes its owner can decide what to call it and how to define it.
I’m so so thankful and humbled because upon posting the finished pieces the last few days online, people have been reserving and buying them already! It’s also perfect that our company, Honeycomb is co-organizing a makers fair this weekend as part of a pop culture event called WarnerTV Pop Expo, so you’ll find me there this Sunday, in my own booth, selling these babies.
I hope you can join me. I’m so happy to be celebrating the completion of this project this way, with many others taking part in it. ❤
To those who have bought and are buying a piece, to everyone who liked and commented with praises in my feed, to all of you who gave me extra thread or fabric, suggested things to embroider and simply cheered me on… a big big THANK YOU! You all made this entire process much more bearable, fruitful and enjoyable for me.
See you on Sunday!
Check out my previous 100 Day Projects here: