Sir Whitman, Semper Fi

by Anne Bennett on November 20, 2015

 

Sir Whitman, lovingly and painstakingly stitched in silk thread.

I recently finished a needlepoint project for one-year-old grandson Thomas. It’s a depiction of his big white poodle, Whitman. Whit’s duds are a nod to Thomas’ dad Brendan,  a proud former Marine.

Daughter Liz photoshopped Whitman’s head onto a vintage Marine uniform and I painted the picture on needlepoint canvas. Then I set about stitching Whitman, a project that I worked on for more than a year.

Allow me to allay your conclusions that I am an artist. I am not. I traced the picture onto canvas and then painted it with acrylic paint as accurately as I could.  I colored within the lines, so to speak. Take a look:

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 6.10.46 AM

Photoshopped picture on left, painted canvas on right.

I am, however, a lifelong stitcher, a craft taught to me by my mother when I was in Catholic grammar school in the early 1960’s. It is because of needlepoint that I am (relatively) sane. It is also because of needlepoint that I have been able to largely (figuratively speaking!) keep my weight in check lo these many years. Needlepoint and Weight Watchers.

Speaking of which, Weight Watchers will be taking a much more holistic approach to weight management in 2016. Losing weight is one thing; keeping it off is quite another. Example: how many times have you lost weight and then gained it all back? See what I mean?

There’s got to be a better way. WW has realized that in order to be successful long-term, we must be vigilant, not just of the number on the scale but of all aspects of our lives. If we’re not happy and fulfilled as individuals, we might be able to white-knuckle off a few pounds with a strict diet, but those pounds will find us again, fast. It’s called emotional eating. Been there, done that, too many times.

So, back to needlepoint. This is what I do to be happy and content. It’s also a non-food way to entertain myself. (Big bonus: you can’t eat chocolate while needlepointing with silk thread.) And, because I’m a typical Type-A temperament, it’s as close as I’ll ever get to meditation.

In order to keep my weight off, I know that I need to be occupied with a project that thoroughly engages me, because that is what makes me happy. Reading books, stitching, knitting, painting, woodworking, scrapbooking, volunteering, these are all noble ventures worthy of our consideration. What makes you happy? Pursue it and then join Weight Watchers. The rest will be easy.

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Courtney November 20, 2015 at 10:58 am

Beautiful work Anne! I’m trying to find my needlepoint these days. I hope you are well. Courtney C.

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