For this project I embroidered paper napkins, paper plates, party hats, doilies, and more. You’re not “supposed” to stitch on these things. And the messages aren’t celebratory.

Embodying these words through party favors brought them into a physical space, when before they’d just lived in my head. Once I started stitching, I kept finding objects that seemed to speak to this series–an invoice for “Cry Baby” fragrance, or a card from a party game called Taboo where the players had to arrive at the idea of an ultimatum. These objects found their way into the party as well.

Come to my pity party, where I set the table with just a few of the phrases I obsess over. They sting a lot less now that they exist outside my mind. (But they still hurt.) It’s probably pretty petty to keep them around. Come anyway, I baked a cake.