In this episode, I am going to talk about how to get cosy with cross stitch and how cross stitch and getting cosy can lead to more peace and calm during your days.
You can listen to the episode below or keep scrolling to read the blog post instead.
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Can you get cosy with technology?
Finding moments of peace and calm in this world can prove to be quite difficult. The world is so full of expectations now and it’s easy to think that we need to be busy when usually we just need to ‘be’.
Just ‘being’ is hard mostly because something always has our attention – and that something is usually in our back pockets.
The explosion of technology has been amazing, I’m not denying that. It’s allowing us to communicate right now. But of course, explosions inevitably lead to some destruction and the technology explosion, I believe, has led to some destruction of stillness, peacefulness and cosiness.
I don’t really believe that you can get cosy with technology, mostly because the lighting is all wrong and lighting is everything.
Of course, we can snuggle up with a cosy film or we may need our devices to play some cosy music (more on that soon). But scrolling through social media, going down internet rabbit holes (which I’ve been very guilty of this year) or flicking aimlessly through TV channels does not bring me feelings of calm and cosy.
The Danish tradition of Hygge and getting cosy
Back in 2017/2018 it seemed cosy was making a comeback with the Danish tradition of Hygge.
I am drawing a lot from that tradition today as I just adore it. But it’s more than just lighting candles and turning off your phone.
“Hygge is about savouring simple daily pleasures and enjoying moments of calm”.
Jonny Jackson, The Little Book of Lagom*.
So Hygge is a daily practice. One I tend to practice more during the colder months as it’s just easier but we can try and bring some of it into Spring and Summer too.
The trend of Hygge seems to be slowing down here in the UK, but it was through reading about Hygge and researching more about it that I realised how much I love getting cosy and how cross stitch makes getting cosy so much easier and even more fun.
Now Hygge is about a lot more than being cosy, as I said, but this element goes so well with cross stitch and if I spoke about every element of Hygge today we would be here a while.
Plus, it’s not just by following Hygge that you get to be cosy, that’s just a tradition I personally love. You can not care about that tradition at all and still practice getting cosy in your day to day life.
So whether you love Hygge too or have no idea what I’m talking about, it doesn’t matter as I am bringing it all back to cross stitch – something we all love to do.
When I think back to childhood our house was always full of candles; the rooms had rugs and throws and cushions galore. And this made our home.
And in my nan and grandad’s house, where I spent a lot of my childhood, their house was full of lamps. I never remember having the “big” light on (the overhead one from the ceiling), just the warm glow of lamps scattered throughout their home in all the right places.
And this is also where I learned to cross stitch. I have very vivid memories of being sat on their comfy, orange couch, their touch lamp on next to me, a big rug on the floor, and my Groovy Chick cross stitch kit on my lap.
Now I have my own home I try and recreate these cosy memories through candles and lamps and of course, cross stitch.
I still remember that feeling of safety and home that those rugs and lamps and throws instilled in me and I want my kids to have that too.
And this quote sums this feeling up for me perfectly.
“Coziness helps you feel comfortable and safe… When you’re cozy you’re more likely to be happy, content and at peace with yourself and the world around you”.
Maya Thoresen, Hygge: The Danish Secrets of Happiness*
So with all that in mind, today I’m sharing some ideas with you on how you can create a feeling of cosiness when you are cross stitching and also use your finished pieces to make your home cosier.
How to get cosy with cross stitch
You may not be able to do or buy all these things that I talk about today and that’s ok. Just a few of these small acts can bring such a sense of cosiness to your stitching and it will hopefully relax you even more.
Because as well as the feelings of home and safety, that’s what else getting cosy means to me on a day to day basis; relaxing. It’s like that sigh you make at the end of a day when you settling down on your couch with your project. Only, we can try and recreate it throughout any part of the day and maybe be a little more intentional about the cosy part.
By the way, I’m an enneagram 9 so we are all about peace and harmony and cosiness. If you’re an enneagram 9 too I know you’re loving all of this too.
Let’s start with how to actually make your cross stitching time cosier.
Find a cosy spot
First, I recommend finding a spot in your home that will be your Cosy Cross Stitch Spot.
You all know I’m a fan of stitching all around the house, which I still recommend, but it would also be nice to have a spot that is specific for a longer stitching session and for getting cosy. This isn’t going to be on the playroom floor while you’re 2 year old is playing blocks. Save that for the quick, non-cosy stitching.
So, this can be a corner of the couch, an armchair, your bed. Just somewhere comfortable and a spot that has a place close by to keep your supplies safe. For example, a bedside table or a sewing box next to the couch.
Now I’m going to list some things you can keep in your cosy spot, but you do not need them all. These are just ideas so pick a few that will help you instil that cosy feeling into your stitching.
Items to make getting cosy easier
1. Cross stitch project
I mean that goes without saying but why not choose a project that you only stitch when you’re in that cosy spot?
Something with an autumn or winter theme or something with soft, calm colours or a specific project that will make your home cosier (more on that below).
2. Reading light
Having a reading light handy means you can keep the rest of the lighting in the room softer, and the one I use and recommend actually has a warm light setting.
3. A lamp
If you can choose a room with a lamp that would be the perfect background light so you’re not straining your eyes too much.
A reading light is great for seeing stitches but I always remember my mum telling me off for only having a reading light on in bed when I was doing my secret late-night reading as a child. And now I wear glasses full time so maybe she had a point!
4. A candle or a wax melt burner
I love candles and ones that have a scent are even better.
I have a wax melt burner than you use a tea light in so I get the glow of the candle and the scent of the wax melt. The perfect combination and much cheaper than an electric burner.
5. A fire (fake or real)
If you have a fire in the room you’re in then light it or turn it on.
If you don’t, then you can also use the Netflix fire on the TV. This is possibly one of my favourite parts of Netflix; it even plays that crackling noise.
6. Fairy lights
I have some pretty golden lights hanging in the window of my office, but they’re so easy to take around with me and sometimes I will just scrunch them into a ball next to me when I’m stitching. They’re battery operated so easy to move. But you could hang some in your specific spot too.
I told you lighting was important to this cosy feeling didn’t I. I’ve just given you 5 lighting options and I’m not opposed to using all 5 because even together they won’t be too bright and still give that cosy feeling.
7. A cushion/s
You want to stay comfy, so a cushion or 2 is recommended. I actually love grabbing the pillow off my bed and taking it onto the couch for cosy moments.
8. A warm drink
Tea, hot chocolate, coffee, warm lemon water. Just something to sip and enjoy between your stitching.
Always snacks, right?
Well, I actually cross stitch to try and stop myself snacking, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little bit of chocolate or cake nearby. Or some healthy snacks. You don’t want to have to leave your spot for food once you’re all settled.
But maybe have a tissue or wipe handy too as you don’t want to make your aida sticky!
You may want some soft background music for your stitching, such as an instrumental playlist or some acoustic music. Gather your favourites together in one place such as on Spotify so you can just press play whenever you go to your comfy spot.
I created a cosy cross stitch playlist on Spotify that you can listen to here.
As I said at the start, I’m not opposed to having a cosy film or programme on in the background for these cosy sessions sometimes. Just not every time.
My go-to cosy programme is Gilmore Girls and every year on the 1st September I start watching it from the beginning. And if it’s near Christmas then a cute Christmas film is always welcome.
I’ve only started getting into audiobooks this year and I’m pretty picky on what I listen to, but that could be something you want on when you’re stitching instead of music or TV.
13. Items to keep you warm
If it’s cold you can also add a blanket, chunky socks, fingerless gloves or hand warmers. My hands are always freezing when I’m stitching! And if it’s just me in the house (which is rare right now as it’s Summer 2020, but soon, right??) I loathe heating up the whole house when I’m only in a few rooms during the day.
Some other things that I have near is an actual book to pick up if my hands are a little tired. And a notebook/journal with my favourite pen. You never know what you might need to jot down if you take a break.
This is a pretty similar list to the episode I did on creative retreats at home, but I want this to be your specific cosy cross stitch spot through the autumn and winter and somewhere you come for that relaxing, sigh at the end of a busy day feeling. But it doesn’t actually have to be the end of the day when you go there.
Cross stitch projects to make your home cosy
Adding texture is a great way to make a room cosier (without having to decorate) and there are always projects you can be making from cross stitch designs to add that texture.
- A lampshade
- A mug cosy
- Banners (link this autumn banner with tassels)
- An advent calendar (which we are making in the 2020 Christmas SAL)
- A garland
- Or just pieces framed in a hoop will add that nice texture to your wall and cosy up your room.
All of these are projects you can find on my blog, but you may need to alter the patterns slightly for cosier designs.
However, I am sharing 2 new projects on the blog this month that will be perfect for making your home cosier so keep an eye out for those; they also have cosy designs on them.
So I hope this episode helped inspire you to bring more cosiness into your home and into your cross stitch.
Be sure to show me your cosy cross stitch projects and your Cosy Cross Stitch Spot. You can email me photo hannah@hannahhandmakes or tag me on social media @hannahhandmakes.