Decluttering by making time for projects: Here’s a cross-stitch portrait of Justin Timberlake

jt hoop

I’m bringing cross-stitch back

Sometimes you keep a “Cross-Stitch Crazy” magazine for 10 years because there’s a pattern in it for a portrait of a celebrity that your sister-in-law is hopelessly devoted to. I think we keep things like this to buy time. We think if we have the things for projects we want to do someday, then that someday will come. We’ll live long enough to find the time to do all the things we’ve ever wanted to do. And when that time comes, by golly, we’ll have the pattern for it.

It was way back in February, during a week my mom was visiting, that I decided to go to Michael’s and pick up the 15 shades of embroidery floss I needed to make this thing a reality. It was so long ago, I honestly don’t remember whether there was something specific that made me finally pull the trigger other than my general drive to “make time for projects” that I’ve been riding ever since reading “The Happiness Project.”

jt close up

The whole thing took about 9 months to complete (yes- like a baby for people who get to have full-term pregnancies…). I worked at it while we did movie nights so I wouldn’t fall asleep 20 minutes into the show like I usually do.  I took it to craft night events. It was ridiculously difficult to not say anything about it on social media. It was the longest and most intensive craft project I’ve ever completed. And I can cross-stitch now! Right after I finished this project, I quickly churned out another SSDGM hoop for my book-club secret Santa. (Bloody alphabet pattern from Starkissed Jade on etsy & flower pattern from this image I found on Pinterest... don’t know where it originated from…) It’s also like I didn’t know what to do with my fingers once the portrait was done… And MFM hoops are SO IN RIGHT NOW.

ssdgm hoop

Cross-stitching is oddly addictive. It’s like checking off a million boxes on a to-do list. I’d always be like- yeah I’ll go to bed once I’m done with this row but then I’d be like OMG I GET TO START A NEW ROW!

A few days before I finished the Justin Timberlake project, my son threw up on the pattern (the pattern in the magazine, not the project). So then I did part with that magazine. I don’t know what I would have done with it if that hadn’t happened… I’m afraid I might have still held onto it for nostalgia’s sake- or maybe I would have cut out the pattern and put it in my art journal…

But anyway- I write about this thing I made and let go of on the day when I’ve acquired so much more stuff, including a sassy little Chromebook I’m writing this post on. (My old computer stopped working with WordPress so I had to abandon blogging even more than I already abandon it.) It was so awesome to be able to give a Christmas present I’ve been meaning to give someone for 10 years (I didn’t actually get to see her open it since she lives like 3,000 miles away. It was still absolutely worth it). If any of you are holding onto something for the same reason, I highly recommend you make like Nike and just do it. “I haven’t done anything with it in 10 years” might not be a good reason to get rid of something. If you think about why you’ve kept it for so long- maybe it’s worth it to you to make the time to use it.  You can declutter by making time for your projects.

smile selfie jt

And Merry Christmas!