About Me

Who is that Masked Cross-Stitcher?

When I first started this blog in August 2003, what you said online could get you fired. (Hasn't changed much, but there's less mystery associated with it.) And since I was looking for an academic job--where I'd no doubt be Googled--I decided it was better to blog anonymously. I chose the name "Anna Van Schurman." Anna was an over-educated German-born Dutch painter who is best known for her extensive learning and defense of women's education.

I first encountered her at Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party (now housed in the Brooklyn Museum). Her place setting is the only one that uses cross-stitch; she was opposed to the craft in her lifetime believing (rightly) that domestic arts were used as a substitute for real education for women. The quote cross-stitched at her place setting is:
Woman has the same erect countenance as man, the same ideals, the same love of beauty, honor and truth, the same wish for self-development, and yet she is to be imprisoned in an empty soul of which the very windows are shuttered.

As a holder of a PhD in English, and a graduate of women's college, you might imagine that I have a lot of respect for Anna's ideas.

Mugging with a mug I made for
National Craft Month
Today, most western women can access higher education but they don't necessarily learn the more creative arts that were once de rigueur. I use my book learning and my twenty-five years of cross-stitching experience to bring you interesting ideas about cross-stitch while also sharing my works-in-progress, stitching tips, and news stories about how we're all a bunch of old ladies.

This blog focuses on stitching, but I am also a card maker, knitter, and general crafter, and sometimes I've just gotta share.

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