Stimulation is a word that’s not often used anymore when it comes to the textile and fibre arts.

We’re inspired.

And while they have very similar meanings, they can also be used quite differently.

Let me explain.

I was reading a very old book recently by Australian embroiderer and author, Effie Mitrofanis, entitled ‘Creative Canvas Embroidery – A Stitch by Stitch Guide to Needlepoint’ – a truly fascinating and informative dip into canvas embroidery circa 1990, published by Simon and Schuster.

Dated it may be, but the information therein is not.

Effie covers every aspect of canvas embroidery – a form of counted threadwork, stitched onto a canvas ground.

But, what jumped out at me was on the last two pages – it was gold, pure gold, and it’s where Effie offers a checklist of suggestions to assist in supporting creativity in stitch.

She finishes this checklist and her book with the following:

‘Finally, think of these elements as the main ingredients for creative embroiderers:

  • stimulation
  • inspiration
  • imagination
  • enthusiasm
  • information

Here, Effie names stimulation at the top of the list, even suggesting that it’s become an ‘after-thought’ or that it ‘just happens’ to a lucky few.

However, Effie believes stimulation is something that needs to be cultivated, nurtured, and developed, and I agree with her.

How often have you been stopped by a display of threads or fabrics in appealing colorways that just beg to be stitched?

How often have you been stopped in your tracks by Mother Nature’s colourful abundance of line, shape, pattern, and texture?

That’s stimulation.

And it will mean something different to each of us, but it’s at the forefront of creativity.

So feed and nurture stimulation regularly.

Nourish, bolster, and stimulate that need to be creative – fortify and encourage it regularly.


All views and opinions expressed are my own, except where acknowledged information is included from other sources.