VIRGO

A STITCH IN TIME

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page - By Os­car Cainer

(AU­GUST 24–SEPTEM­BER 23)

You are feel­ing over­whelmed by other peo­ple’s opin­ions. You’re such a free-spir­ited soul (who never likes be­ing told what to do), I’m sur­prised you’re even read­ing this! So all I need to tell you, as your ruler con­nects to Nep­tune this week, is to bear in mind that you can’t change what’s done, and that things might not be bet­ter if you could. If you can let go of your in­ner critic you’ll see that this chal­lenge, al­though daunt­ing, is an op­por­tu­nity. Call if you’re look­ing for some in­spi­ra­tion: 1900 957 223. you do, you ap­pear to be stuck with an un­ac­cept­able sit­u­a­tion. There’s only one course of ac­tion left: you’ve got to find a way to be OK with it. As your ruler Venus moves signs, if you can find a way to put your fears and your rest­less­ness aside you can find a healthy and happy way for­ward. There are in­sights in store for you this week. Call 1900 957 223.

GEM­INI Shake­speare was spot on when he com­pared the world to a stage. The prob­lem is that none of us come here hold­ing a script. That doesn’t stop us from look­ing for one, though. As your ruler links with Nep­tune this week, your imag­i­na­tion is be­ing fired up. You can be de­light­fully cre­ative with your sto­ry­line and re­write your fu­ture. If you’re look­ing for some in­spi­ra­tion, this is your week. Call 1900 957 223.

(MAY 22–JUN 22)

CAN­CER Apart from one ir­ri­tat­ing sit­u­a­tion, your out­look re­mains good. Yet this par­tic­u­lar is­sue is hav­ing such an im­pact, it is in­flu­enc­ing your at­ti­tude to ev­ery­thing. But you can find a way to see it from another an­gle. De­spite what you fear, it is go­ing to work out for the best. Just do what you can and stay re­laxed about what you can’t. Be pa­tient and you’ll like what even­tu­ally man­i­fests. The plan­ets are spin­ning into in­spi­ra­tional new align­ments. Call 1900 957 223.

(JUN 23–JUL 23)

LEO With Venus chang­ing signs this week, you can be­gin to feel sup­ported. Life won’t be as hard as you’ve been find­ing it re­cently. It’s been a roller­coaster of con­trasts. Now that you’ve vis­ited one side of the scale, it’s time to shift over to the other. Ac­cept the gift you’re about to be of­fered. It may be dis­guised as a chal­lenge, but it holds po­ten­tial for a break­through. This week can bring the suc­cess you de­serve. Call 1900 957 223.

(JUL 24–AUG 23)

When I look at my hands, they re­mind me so much of my mum’s – they are strong, weath­ered, worker’s hands. I have an un­usu­ally clear pic­ture in my mind of my mother’s hands since she was the one who taught me to em­broi­der when I was young; I would have to fo­cus in­tently on them as she set about teaching me the var­i­ous stitches.

The time I spent sewing with my mother al­ways felt spe­cial be­cause she worked mul­ti­ple jobs to sup­port me, my sis­ter and my two broth­ers. When I was seven, my dad fell asleep be­hind the wheel and died. Mum had been a stay-at-home mother un­til then and sud­denly had to work as a cleaner and in a bak­ery, all while rais­ing four kids alone. But she would come home be­tween jobs and teach me to stitch.

And stitch I did. My Cab­bage Patch dolls all had new dresses and I made my broth­ers polka-dot ties. “So­nia,” my mum would say, “get off that sewing ma­chine! You won’t ever be able to make money sewing. You have to try hard at school.”

Then when I was 14 years old, my mum also fell asleep be­hind the wheel and died.

We were all dev­as­tated. My youngest brother’s school prin­ci­pal, Gra­ham, and his wife Mar­garet took him and me in, as we were too young to stay at home alone. They al­ready had five chil­dren of their own, yet they gave us so much love and sup­port. As strange as this sounds, it was a time in my life when I felt no­ticed. This beau­ti­ful cou­ple en­cour­aged me to study hard and be­come a teacher.

I went to London in my 20s to teach, and I ended up study­ing fash­ion there. I worked with a stylist and big fash­ion houses. When I came home to Aus­tralia I met my hus­band Alex. We got mar­ried and had a lit­tle boy, fol­lowed by two more – twins. Dur­ing those crazy, early days of mother­hood, sur­rounded by all these boys, I found my­self think­ing about em­broi­dery. It’s very ther­a­peu­tic. You learn to be brave. You learn you can al­ways un­pick a mis­take and start again.

I de­cided to take a risk and set up my own busi­ness selling small wooden em­broi­dery hoops on Etsy, a web­site fo­cused on hand­made or vin­tage items. Tra­di­tion­ally women’s crafts have of­ten been dis­missed, but they are a time­less means of fe­male ex­pres­sion.

It’s easy to stitch your way to a bit of hap­pi­ness. All you need is some pa­tience (em­broi­dery is a slow, med­i­ta­tive art form) and a touch of cre­ativ­ity. And if in doubt, look to the ma­tri­archs. There are so many older women who have a wealth of sewing ex­per­tise to share.

There’s a huge resur­gence in sewing at the mo­ment. If you could see a mod­ern day em­broi­dery cir­cle, it’s not in the least like ones de­picted in a Jane Austen novel. There’s lots of laugh­ter and plenty of swear­ing, too. Sure, there’s the quiet, re­flec­tive mo­ments of still­ness so many of us crave. But there’s also a bit of “stitch and bitch”.

I gig­gle when I think about what my mum would say if she could see how I have now shaped my love for sewing into a ca­reer. So­nia Lyne runs shop Dan­de­lyne on Etsy. Visit etsy.com/au/mar­ket/dan­de­lyne.

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