Update March 2020: Namaste Embroidery is now Jessica Long Embroidery! I will still be offering the same quality embroidery supplies and patterns under this new name.
I originally picked up hand embroidery as a hobby during maternity leave. My hands had become restless and I needed to feed my creative spirit. I thought my paintings and drawings would translate well to embroidery design, without the mess! This new medium proved affordable, portable, and easy to toss aside when faced with a toddler emergency.
Thanks to the encouragement of wonderful and supportive friends on social media I began to sell my original designs as patterns and kits. Sharing my experience and teaching has been such a gift - I love to see others enjoying the meditative process of hand embroidery!
When I'm not busy chasing around my son or stitching up a new pattern I am practicing and studying yoga. Thanks to yoga I am more strong and flexible than I have ever been in my life plus I have found an amazing community of yogis to connect with. Most importantly, when I am on my mat breathing and concentrating on a pose there is no room in my head for any other thoughts or worries. My teacher calls yoga a "moving meditation" and I have found this same sense of calm and connection when working with embroidery. Just moving with my breath gives me such peace, whether I am creating art with my hands or making shapes with my body.
Standing Bow-Pulling Pose in the sun
About the word "Namaste"
From Miriam Webster:
"Religious and secular culture come together in the increasing use of namaste (pronounced \NAH-muh-stay) in English: the term is associated with both Hinduism and yoga. The word comes from Sanskrit and literally means “bowing to you” or “I bow to you,” and is used as a greeting. Sanskrit is the ancient and classical literary language of Hinduism which today serves as a learned language and lingua franca among scholars. Other well-known borrowings from Sanskrit in English include karma and nirvana."
Many modern yoga classes end with the word "namaste," used as a greeting, a way for students and teachers to acknowledge each other. For me, I find it to be a respectful way to thank my teacher and those who brought yoga to the West. I love that the greeting and bow are reciprocal - we learn from each other. I feel the same about my embroidery students and I aim to remain a student of embroidery, yoga, and life forever. Perhaps I have a little "warm-and-fuzzy" feeling associated with the word as I usually hear it from my favorite people (my yoga teachers) after my favorite activity (yoga class) when I am full of euphoric post-yoga endorphins.
I try to apply the principles I have learned through my yoga and meditation practice into daily life, which includes my business, my designs and my art. I use "namaste" as a term of respect and gratitude for my students and my customers. No other word captures my experience or that feeling in the same way. My goal is for my students to find the same joy and relaxation that I find when I am creating art through hand embroidery. (And maybe some of you will try some yoga, too!)
|Oil paintings featuring my favorite asanas|