In this episode I give you 5 actionable tips to find more time to cross stitch and be creative, and I share the first pattern of the series.
What you will hear:
Ella's comments - “I got started in cross stitch when I was around 14 I think, when a little club was started at school and they showed us the very basics. We did tiny designs and nothing fancy” Sounds like my kind of club. “I’m mostly self taught, I haven’t done any cross stitch in 14 odd years and picked it back up last year. For me it’s relaxing and mindless and I like that projects can take a long time to complete, so I can keep coming back to them. Currently I don’t have time to cross stitch. I have a 2 year old and our second was born at the end of October so me time is limited. I do try and make time each day ideally for said me time and to do some crafty outlet – so knit, crochet cross stitch etc”.
Making more time to be creative is impossible. Everyone has 24 hours in a day and things need to get done, and some things may have to be sacrificed so you can be creative. I would much rather be stitching than cooking but unfortunately cooking is a necessity. So instead I watch less TV, I don't check my phone, I get up a bit earlier. It's important to find the reason why you want to cross stitch before you start sacrificing things as other wise you might start to resent stitching. Some of you may need to stitch because it's your job, others may do it for a hobby. For me, it's a bit of both. Although I have a business around cross stitch, this isn't the only reason I do it. I stitch to relax and de-stress. It takes my mind off my busy life and sometimes I have my best ideas while I'm lost in a cross stitch project. And of course the satisfaction of finishing a piece of work is an amazing feeling.
- Tip number 1 - Work on 2 or more projects at the same time. This might seem counter-productive but I promise it helps. I have 1 bigger project that needs my undivided attention, and a smaller ones that I can pick up and put down. I save the bigger one for an evening when the kids are in bed and I can sit and stitch with little distraction.
- Tip number 2 - Have your smaller projects out at all times. For me, this involves keeping it high up and out of reach of little hands and this is where project bags (link) come in handy. I keep it on windowsills and draws and the kitchen counters and whenever I have a spare 5 minutes I can grab it out and have a little stitch.
- Tip number 3 - Double up some tasks. For example, take your kit into your work and stitch on your breaks or lunch hour. Stitch in the bath, or while you're stood at the oven cooking (watch out for getting food on it though). Or maybe the kids are playing happily or you're watching a film together - take 10 minutes for a bit of stitching.
- Tip number 4 - Stitch while you're commuting. This could be while you're on the train or bus to work or maybe you're going on a road trip or flying abroad. Have your project bag handy and take it with you. Stitching in the car isn't the easiest but practice makes perfect here.
- Tip number 5 - Find ways to stitch without needing your pattern. This makes it much easier to stitch in those 5 minute gaps and while you're commuting. For example, stitch the outlines of the pattern first and then you can fill the insides without needing to look at your pattern. Or stitch the whole pattern in half stitches first and then you can go back over them to make the full stitches.
- The productivity-ist in me wants to batch everything including my creativity, and sometimes I do. But when you work at home with at least 1 child there 24/7 this isn't always possible so I need to stitch in those gaps that I get. And I don't feel guilty for taking those 5 or 10 minutes anymore because I know after it I will be calmer and happier.
- The pattern on the month this month is from Yeesam Art and was recommended from Ella in my Facenook group; “My favourite pattern is one you can find on Amazon called Rainbow Bubble Girl” and even better, it's actually a full kit.
I hope these tips have given you some ideas to help you find some time to get creative. And I would love to know if you have any other tips for how you find the time to cross stitch and craft? Get in touch via the contact page or through social media, I love hearing from you.
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Carefree Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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