*This post contains an affiliate link, but I only ever recommend something I will use or read myself.
Introducing Series 3
Welcome back to another series of The Cross Stitch Podcast! This series is all about getting unstuck. I'll be sharing resources I use for getting my creative mojo back and how to do it when you’re so busy!
These resources will mostly be books, but sometimes it's an action I do. Now you don't need to be a reader to continue listening; I am just sharing the lessons and tips I have got from certain books. But if you do want to read the book for a point of reference I'll be sharing it at the end of podcast episodes, if the month after talks about a book.
I'm still obviously going to be talking about cross stitch too, and sharing some tutorials if I have them and any tips I pick up. In fact I will be starting every episode now with a little tip and this month it comes from my Facebook group and that is to name and/or date the pieces that you stitch. This is not something I ever do, but I think it's time that I started doing it. However, I think remembering to do it will be quite difficult as it's like starting a new habit and I have already forgotten to do it on my first finish of the year.Before we dive in with the main part of the episode, for those of you who don’t know me, a quick introduction!
I’m Hannah, I’ve been cross stitching for about 4 years now, although my Nan taught me when I was much younger. I’m not going to lie, I’m not the most experienced cross stitcher out there, mainly because I prefer quite simple designs. And sometimes I get all those impostor syndrome feelings like who am I to have a cross stitch podcast.
But then I have to remind myself that I do know a lot about cross stitch. I’ve learned so much over the past 4 years and there are things that I wish I knew 4 years ago. And I manage to stitch almost everyday even though I have 2 kids and work from home, so I like to share tips on how I do that as well as I know the biggest problem for a lot of people is the lack of time they have for stitching. *I did speak a little about this last series in episode 2 if you want to scroll back and take a listen. *
Also, I love listening to podcasts and when I was trying to find ones about crafts and creativity, there were none centred around cross stitch, so I just thought I’d start one myself.
De-clutter Your Craft Supplies
Ok let’s dive in with what I do to help get those creative juices flowing.
January is a great month for this one, and something I am doing, which is de-cluttering! I’m taking part in an online challenge by Allie Casazza called De-clutter Like a Mother. I actually did this last year too, but kind of gave up half way though. But ever since then I’ve been slowing purging the house of all the stuff. And then Christmas came around and ruined all of my progress so I’m going in hard this month and really being quite ruthless with getting rid of things.
I’m an extremely sentimental person, to the point where I didn’t want to get rid of the chair in the kids bedroom that was literally falling apart because that was the one I fed them in, and held them in on the middle of the night. And I just wanted to keep it. But this month it went! There is so much more space now, and of course I still remember all those moments in the chair.
So the Declutter Like a Mother Challenge is just 30 minutes everyday decluttering some part of your house. I know some people might be into Kon-Mari (especially now she has a Netflix series) which is another good way to declutter. But I didn’t really find her too useful for mums in the book, but I haven’t watched her Netflix show so maybe that’s a little more helpful.
So one big place would be useful for us to declutter and organise is our craft stash! I did this at the start of January and it was so nice coming back to work with a clear space. Decluttering just gives you that feeling that you can breathe a little more easily and let’s go mentally, as well as physically, of the stuff we were holding onto to allow more creative thoughts to start flowing.
We need to make more space for the things that we love both physically and mentally. Now the only problem I’m having with decluttering is that while I’m in the middle of doing it I actually don’t have much time to stitch. I’m still getting some done, but not as much as usual.
But I know that once I’ve finished I will be tidying up less and just feel lighter, and I’ll soon catch up on my stitching.
You can follow Allie in all the places and she has a podcast called The Purpose Show which I love! She gives out so much free advice on there. She also has some courses on simplifying; I have a couple of them and they’re great too. And you don’t have to be a mum to listen to her podcast, some of the things could be applied to most situations.
Ok so my little challenge for you now! I want you to go to where you keep your craft supplies, or if you store them all around the house bring them to one place (preferably somewhere where you can sit down), set a timer for 30 minutes and just sort the stuff out. Get rid of the things that you really thought you would use, but haven’t yet and they’ve been sitting there for 3 years still in the box.
Are there any kits you bought but you don’t really love them and know you probably won’t ever pick up? Maybe try and sell them on. There’s a few buy and sell cross stitch Facebook groups, but this goes for other kits too.
Do you have any really old scissors that squeak when you use them and don’t even really cut well anymore? Bin them!
How are your threads? Do you have just one brand you love to use and barely pick up the others now? Get rid of the ones you don’t use!
What about hoops? Have you switched to Q-snaps so just have a load of hoops sitting there now because you don’t use them to frame? Maybe hold onto a couple, but do you really need them all?
And the last one ... magazines! How many cross stitch or embroidery or quilting magazines do you have? Probably too many right? This was a particularly hard one for me, but also something I actually tackled 2 years ago now. I just stopped buying physical magazines. Unless I was featured in them because how cool that something I made is in a magazine right? But I went a whole year without buying one, not even digital at first. Then in September 2017 I got a digital subscription to cross stitch crazy.
I also purged the ones I had already bought. This might seem a little scary for you because you might think one of the patterns will be perfect for the future such as a wedding pattern you would love to stitch for your daughter or a Christmas one you want to stitch next year. My advice is to cut out (carefully) the ones you really really love and get rid of the rest.I'm sure lots of you like the idea of making your own collection of the patterns you love. Buy a nice scrap book and keep all of those ones. Then you can even put ones in there that you get in kits, or ones you download and print. No more scanning the stack of magazines you have; you can just go to your own collection.
Now, if you don’t have many magazines or you really really love having them then of course keep them. I used to love looking at them all lined up, but it got to a point where it was getting a bit stressful for me as I had soooo many.
Now that your craft stash is sorted you should easily be able to grab out what you want to do that day or morning or just for a quick 5 minute craft break, and find the things you need quickly. You might have even found a project you had forgotten about and now you're really excited to start it. I hope that is what happens for you.
As well as helping us clear space for creativity, the actual act of decluttering can help up have some creative inspiration. See what happens when you let your mind wonder as you’re sorting your stuff out.
Now this is the part where I usually have a chat about what I’m stitching but as I’ve just shared, there’s not much of that going on right now. Butt I can give you a date for the Spring stitch along. It’s starting on March 3rd (2019 for future listeners) and that just happens to be my birthday!
All the pre-orders for kits and patterns will be up in a couple of weeks but I’ll pop a mini episode up when they’re ready. This one will not be free like my Christmas ones are, but the pattern on its own will only be a few pound. And because I’m charging for the pattern this time it will be emailed to you rather than taking part via my Facebook group, but obviously we can all share our progress in there.
Pattern of the Month
Now a pattern recommendation! I asked in my Facebook group for what people were working on this month as I needed a bit of inspiration for a personal project to do because I finally finished my Emerald City that I was stitching for almost the entire year last year. I'll be talking a bit about that next month. And there were so many comments, and I found a pattern!
Many of you may have heard of this one; I had heard of it but not actually looked. It’s Epic Princess Storybook by Cloudsfactory and it’s amazing!
Now the full pattern of all the princesses is huge and costs $78. It comes in like 3 columns though and literally amazing. Then you can buy a single column from $28 which has a few princesses on it. Or you can buy singles for $9 which is what I have done for now just to see how long it takes me to stitch a single, then I might add more to it.
By the way, I say princesses, it’s not just the princess. It has many characters on it. For example, I’m stitching Frozen and it has Ana, Elsa, Christoph, Sven, Olaf, Hans etc plus the mountain. And they’re all in a line.
Then on the column ones the separate stories are under each other in rows all the way down. It’s fabulous.
Before I go I’m trying something new this year. I would love it if you could leave a review, but I know it’s so hard to remember. So I’m giving you an incentive! Write a review, screen shot it before you send it in, and email me the screen shot and every month I will pick a winner to win something cross stitch related. Maybe some supplies, a pattern or a kit.
Next month I am going to be talking about the book “What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything”.* If you want to read this before I chat about it I highly recommend it. I can’t wait to be back next month to talk about this book and hopefully share something exciting! See you then!
- 5 Ways to Find Time to Cross Stitch
- 20 Podcasts for Creativity, Motherhood and Business
- 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Cross Stitching
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