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Christy Savage (marketing & communication, Denton) shows some of her embroidery work. She only recently took up the craft. All photos courtesy of Christy Savage.

Savage stitches creative pieces in spare time

She’s a wiz at creating web pages for university programs and departments, but her creative efforts don’t end there. On her own time, Christy Savage (marketing & communication, Denton) uses a needle and thread for her artistic endeavors.

“Cross stitch was something I always wanted to try, but never got around to it,” Savage said. “One day I saw a friend working on a cross stitch project and thought this was a good time to try it, too. I ordered an embroidery kit on Amazon and loved it.”

Savage said she wanted a hobby that didn’t involve looking at a screen.

“Working on a computer all day, sometimes I just wanted to come home and not stare at my phone or TV,” she said. “I also struggle with anxiety and was looking for something to do with my hands that kept my mind occupied and made me feel more productive when at home.”

She started embroidery in January 2020. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of that year, Savage found herself spending more time at home.

“That’s when I began doing a lot more projects, trying new stitches, and started hanging them on my wall in a collage,” she said.

Savage started out using kits she got through Etsy or Amazon, which come with instructions and a pattern already printed on the fabric.

“I taught myself through YouTube videos and these kits,” she said. “As I got better and more into the hobby, I realized it would be less expensive to buy the hoops, fabric and supplies in bulk and move away from kits. This gave me more creative room to make my own designs or recreate projects I saw and loved on Instagram.”

Savage has lost count of the number of pieces she’s created, and though several of them are in the collage on her wall, she does give some as gifts.

“When the pandemic first started, I wasn’t seeing any of my friends or family as often,” she said. “It was a way to stay close to friends even while far apart.

“I started making personalized projects with designs based on their interests and favorite flowers. I made one piece filled with lavender flowers for a friend who loves lavender. My mom also has made several requests for specific birds and flowers, so she always gets them as gifts now.”

Her personal favorite is a realistic monarch butterfly.

“It was so challenging and intricate since I used one thread at a time to fill in the colors of the wings,” she said. “I thought it came out very well and looks so real.”

Savage contributed one of her pieces to the “Voices of the Coronavirus Pandemic: The Chancellor Carine M. Feyten Collection.”

“It was a simple piece about washing your hands to stay safe in the pandemic,” she said.

Now, she’s taken on a massive project.

“I had an idea for a huge piece with mountains and northern lights in the night sky,” Savage said. “I saw the northern lights in Alaska in 2018 and am really missing travel, so I felt inspired when I started the project.

“The hoop is probably a foot and a half wide, so that is a project I want to do but may never finish,” she said with a laugh.

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Some years ago, Texas Woman’s University had an event called “On My Own Time,” which featured arts, crafts, etc., that faculty and staff created on their days off. We want to take that idea and expand on it for a new series for Inside TWU.

We want to hear your story! Do you collect coins, antiques, or anything out of the ordinary? Maybe photography, pottery or woodworking is an outlet for you. Whether it’s a hobby you recently took up or have been doing for years, let us know. If it interests you enough to spend your free time on it, others may be interested in it as well.

It doesn’t have to be limited to hobbies, though. If you volunteer for a cause that’s close to your heart, we want to hear about that as well.

If you have (or know of a TWU colleague who has) an interesting pastime, let us know at  twunews@twu.edu, and we may include it in a future “On My Own Time” feature in Inside TWU.