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Welcome All in 2012!!!

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‘Cancer Can’t Take Memories Journal’™ Project

Click & Visit the Successful First Workshop from 2012

That’s right! Freedom of Stitch LLC and the Fearless Studio have teamed up with Cancer Action KC to launch a Memory Journal class!!  We’ve now set about hatching a plan to spread the love far and wide for survivors, fighters, and advocates

Next workshop: Sept 20, 2013 at the Overland Park location

Read the History:  A Love Story…

How did this come to be? It began with my own cancer journey (story below) and how, in the year of recovery after my 2010 surgery, I wanted to turn my experience into something USEFUL and something MEANINGFUL for all those who would fight the battle after me. It is part of my nature to share my experiences with others so it was a natural that I’d approach a local organization to help out.

The long story:

In 2010, I knew I was dying. I was physically and emotionally depleted in a way that I could not rest to refuel,  or will myself out of. No one could explain WHY I felt like I did, but after more than 4 decades of tending to this body, I knew it was just finished fighting… finished with debilitating fatigue, with blinding headaches, with stroke levels of blood pressure, with dangerous weight loss… like an animal instinctively knows danger, I knew I was simply finished with life.

It was a blood pressure crisis, Thanksgiving 2010, that intervened. When you walk into the doc’s office at 238 over 142, people get serious. Serious about working the problem. Serious about saving a life.

It took an angel of a sonogram technician (as well as the most tenacious doctor who kept on asking WHY) and I found myself staring down the barrel of stage 3 kidney cancer. It was readying itself to rupture and spew a pound and a half of cancer into my system… I’d been living with it growing for 14 years. No wonder I’d felt like Hell my entire adult life.

As I faced the immediate removal of my kidney,   I tackled the situation the only way I know how:

I turned my creativity loose.

And in the calm before the surgical storm, life revealed to me a CRUCIAL lesson: Cancer CAN”T control you. YOU control IT.

And, what’s more: CANCER CAN’T TAKE MEMORIES. So, I WROTE my ass off.  I wrote to my kids, to my love, to my friends… I wrote to my clients, to strangers, to my heroes (dead and alive), to my enemies… I wrote, and drew, and stitched… and I let the entire scary, depleting, thrilling, exhilarating, awesome experience come rushing out of my hands. I threw myself into my exhibitSinister Stitch: 13 Ancient Poisons in mixed media embroidery’ and I began filming the documentary ‘the Sinister Stitch Chronicles’ that would follow me and my poisons through battling the poison that tried to take my life and through recovery…

I let my imagination wrangle the wild animals running around my head and used my sketchbooks as living talismans against fear, doubt, and a weird sort of paralyzing  “what the Hell do I do NOW?” confusion…

As I faced recovery, and the promise of HEALTH,

I invented SLUDGE: I bought a blender & became a green vegetable junkie, drinking spinach + kale + celery & cucumber, with blue green algae & avocado.

I found my fight again. I got sassy, and rowdy, and reached way down to grab on to the power that had launched my greatest adventures and my biggest turkeys… And it FUELED me!

7 months into recovery I got BRAVE, I WALKED. First, 1/2 a mile… then ONE and a 1/2 mile… then THREE miles… and I learned to make friends with this new body as I discovered what it wanted… And what it could DO– And what WE could do together!!

On a ROLL– A year cancer free,  I taught myself to eat and rest when I NEEDED it, rather than “powering through”… I learned to LISTEN, and to RELAX, and to LET GO…

And I kept on WRITING… AND JOURNALING…

And, NOW…  I’M COMING FOR YOU. I’m here to share SUCH a profound truth: We CAN’T have everything. THAT’s. a. LIE. 

But We CAN have ENOUGH. And the beautiful thing is: We CAN GIVE Everything BACK.

Starting with our own stories… CANCER CAN’T TAKE MEMORIES…

And because of that, We can ASPIRE… and INSPIRE… and SHARE our journeys to become better for ourselves and each other… And… then… we can DO IT all over again!!!

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