Eight Years & Counting (Stitches)

Eight years ago today I started a local stitch & bitch in our small Texas town. Knitting and crocheting may be a solitary activity, but regular community with other knitters and crocheters is a bright spot in my life.

I had started one while living in Austin and was craving this community again, so I began by asking a local business owner Molly Alexander if we could meet once a month in her new fairly store. I knew it would be a great fit for a knitting group and her business. I had planned to call it a Stitch & Bitch, but decided Stitch & Hoot was much more on brand for her lovely store The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods Store.

I knew that the community I craved could thrive in such a welcoming space. Eight years later this group of mostly women, still meets once a month to knit, drink wine or Topo Chico, and catch up with each other’s lives, or rather to Stich & Hoot. Covid-19 created a brief interruption as we pivoted to Zoom then back again to The Owl at their adjusted hours.

We could have met in each other’s homes, but meeting publicly allows us to post on social media and attract new members, and sometimes knitters just visiting family for the holidays will pop in… this really does happen. Also, I should point out that She Creates Union exists because Emma Clark saw our flyer at The Owl and showed up to crochet. Kismet.

Our September Stitch & Hoot will be Thursday, September 23rd 5-7pm. There will be cake. Bring your pointy sticks or even sharper wit and join us in celebrating eight whole years of Stitching & Hooting. All are welcome!

If you ever find yourself near Elgin, Texas on a 4th Thursday, come by The Owl at 5pm. We’d love to have you.

Some come to stitch, others come to hoot.

Cheers, Stacey

Summertime Blues

I should be busy printing cards for the holiday season markets and pop-ups, so I printed these cyanotypes instead. 

I’ve found that learning something new is how I find my mojo. I may never print another cyanotype, or I may become obsessed with them. The beauty of not knowing the outcome creates space for new ideas.

I’m reminded of the chapter in Elizabeth Gilchrist’s Big Magic where she writes about an artist who was blocked and painted stars on his daughter’s bicycle. After the neighborhood kids saw his handiwork they all wanted stars on theirs. He dutifully painted stars on a their bicycles, and somehow found his mojo to get back to work.

Elizabeth Marzec: The Five Question Interview

Elizabeth Marzec wearing one of her whimsical headbands.

As Program Manager for Elgin Parks & Recreation, Elizabeth Marzec’s creativity shines. When she’s not applying for grants, training and managing recreation center staff, lifeguards, and coordinating community volunteers, she creates and facilitates many unique events, programs, and classes for the Elgin community. In her spare time she creates whimsical pieces to wear, paints, and is a self-confessed dabbler.

She is an avid reader, gardener, and loves to travel.

1. Why did you move to Elgin? 

I went to university in Georgetown, TX and liked the small town vibe, so after living and working in downtown Austin for half a decade, my fiancé and I decided we wanted to buy a house in a town near Austin. We looked at a few towns and finally settled on Elgin because of all of the things it offered. There were events and programs, and a sense of vibrancy that we didn’t see in any of the other towns that we looked at.

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

Creativity is the spice of life. I create to keep my imagination sharp, to express my creativity, to explore new ideas. To be frank, I don’t have a picture of what my life would look like without a creative outlet. I’m fortunate that in my chosen career I get to express my creativity in a number of different ways.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

  1. You’re nothing without your community. Find your people and build those relationships.
  2. Burn out is real, and self-care is necessary. You can only help others when you take care of yourself first.
  3. Most people love to help, partner or collaborate on projects, you just have to ask.

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

Lately I’ve been playing with resin in order to preserve flowers, but I’m still learning about it. Otherwise I’ve been practicing water colors and line drawings. When it comes to crafting, I’m a bit of a dabbler, so the house is always full of the strange and unusual. That, and true crime podcasts.

5. Cake or Pie?

Cake for sure, but it has to be home made with real icing… or even better, fruit! Something I’m currently planning on is baking a cake and soaking at least one layer in Elgin Meadery’s Strawberry and Vanilla mead, then layering it with cream and strawberries! 


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