Embroidery journal

Refreshingly different: embroidered snapshots instead of traditional vacation photos. Singaporean textile artist Teresa Lim shares her album. 

The first time Teresa Lim (who works under the name Teeteeheehee) embroidered what she was looking at was while on vacation in Australia. “I was sitting on Cottesloe Beach in Perth, watching the sunset,” she says. “The colors were so beautiful, and I wanted to take a picture, but the battery on my cell phone was dead. I had my embroidery kit with me, and that’s what gave me the idea to record the sunset using a needle and thread. I embroidered the scene on the spot in a couple hours, as a sort of alternative vacation photo.”

Teresa still embroiders nice moments or beautiful views while on vacation, and she shares them in the ‘Sew Wanderlust’ section of her website. “I kept getting the feeling I was missing something when I was traveling,” she says. “Like everyone else, I took a lot of photos. And if the storage on my camera or phone was full, I would delete a few of them.”


“Even though it was all so easy, I actually didn’t like doing it, because everything felt so rushed. I wanted to experience great moments on a deeper level. When I was embroidering that sunset on Cottesloe Beach, all my senses were stimulated: I smelled the ocean, felt the wind and heard the waves crashing. In order to be able to embroider the details, I had to pay really close attention. This allowed me to notice a lot more things than if I had just quickly snapped a photo.

Embroidering is like meditation for me. I sit down and work on a piece for two to four hours, depending on how difficult I make it for myself. In the meantime, my thoughts run free and I can recharge. It also cheers me up. I always embroider on location. Because what I wanted was to live more in the moment, there’s not much point in embroidering something after the fact. Granted, this might be more comfortable and my friends wouldn’t have to wait for me all the time.”

  • More of her pictures can be found in Issue 21 and on Teresa’s website.

Text Annalot Boersma Photography Teeteeheehee