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Overcoming eight obstacles to a clutter-free creative space, part one by Helen Sanderson

We are delighted to have decluttering guru Helen Sanderson on The Daily Stitch today to share the first of a two-part series on how to declutter your creative space to make room for artistic inspiration! Over to you, Helen!

Helen Sanderson

As a creative person, you see things differently to other people. You’ve lots of ideas a great imagination and loads of energy to start things. The downside is you can sometimes be chaotic and not great at completing and finishing projects. The result; you often have a home or work space that is piled high with clutter. Mess is okay in the midst of a creative project, but not as a way of life. The good news is that you’re a resourceful personality type, and so with the right approach you can overcome this.

Overcoming eight obstacles to a clutter-free creative space

Why do people have clutter?
The first step to change is awareness. Clutter isn’t just physical stuff. It accumulates as a result of avoiding making a decision about something or sometimes even burying an unresolved emotional issue. The clutter itself can become a distraction from being present or avoiding starting or completing a challenging personal change or creative project

Making the change
Once you have made the courageous step of recognising you have a problem, the next step is to make a decision to change. However, we all know that change isn’t that easy and even when you’ve done that your unconscious may still try to sabotage you. In conversations with hundreds of people who are struggling with clutter, there are eight common things I hear again and again. In this blog, I’ll reveal what these are and some effective ways to deal with them.

1. “I feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start”
95% of my clients tell me they’re stuck because they feel overwhelmed. They DO want to sort it, CAN sort it, but just don’t know where to start. To address this, it really helps to have a clear, structured approach. I have six-step easy to follow process and work with illustrated prompt cards to help people make decisions. The inspirational images help engage your inner child with the process. I’ll set out some of the key principles of my six-step method here. For more details, check out my Home Declutter Kit at homedeclutterkit.com and download a sample chapter here.

Overcoming eight obstacles to a clutter-free creative space

2. Lack of motivation
Let’s face it, for most people the idea of sorting out your clutter is not something that fills them with excitement. The process is hard work, and although it can be fun it’s not easy to get motivated when you are looking at piles of stuff. The key is to motivate yourself with clear objectives and goals. Imagine the positive outcomes you want and write them down. Stick this up somewhere clearly visible when you’re decluttering. When you your motivation or energy levels drop, read it again and remind yourself why you’re doing this. Most people find it helps to pledge their goals in our Home Declutter Kit Community group on Facebook and check in there to be accountable.

3. Emotional Challenges
The best way to declutter is to work quickly – making lots of gut decisions: “Do I keep, bin, donate or recycle this?” If you have emotional connections or reactions to certain things, you may struggle to make these decisions. Try not to get caught up in this thinking. Simply put the item in a ‘Don’t know’ pile and move on to the next thing. At the end of the session, come back to the ‘don’t knows’. Hopefully the pile won’t be too big! If it is, I suggest sleeping on it or chatting it over with someone. This is where a friend can come in handy, ideally someone who’s a good listener and happy to talk through any difficulties you’re facing.

A few things may have such a strong emotional charge that you won’t feel ready to look at them: these are your ‘gremlins’. Put these in a box, seal it up and give yourself a time limit. How long do you feel needs to pass before you’ll be ready to face it? Aim for no longer than a year and put a date on the box. Then put it somewhere you can’t easily get to and note the date in your diary when you commit to dealing with it by.

Overcoming eight obstacles to a clutter-free creative space

4. Procrastination and distraction
People often start with the best of intentions then get distracted. This is particularly true when doing something you don’t like, or find challenging and emotionally overwhelming. And let’s not forget the allure of social media, texting or even things like doing the washing up that can become really complelling when faced with a declutter project! Try to be mindful or your decluttering time will be quickly eaten away.

Ask someone to help shift and carry in things for you to decide about. They can also keep you on task and prevent you getting distracted. You can then stay seated and focus on making decisions. Don’t get caught up in putting things away until the end. This is my best tip for you! Practice delaying gratification and reward yourself.

‘Read it’. In the midst of a decluttering session, it’s amazing how a magazine you’ve found can suddenly become really interesting. Maybe you’ve unearthed something that is genuinely of interest, or perhaps you’re looking for a way to avoid carrying on with your declutter. Either way, now is not the time to start reading it. Instead, have a ‘read it later’ pile. Put those articles, recipes and old love letters there and carry on sorting the clutter! At the end of the day, you can enjoy reading them to your heart’s content.

‘Action it’. If you come across something that you need to action, watch out for the urge to get drawn into doing it there and then. Put it into an ‘Action it’ pile. At the end of your session, revisit this and make a list of what you commit to doing. Gather the items into a box so you can get to them easily, or put them in an in-tray. Label it ‘Action’ and create a to-do list, committing to a time and date when you will action it by. No more procrastination!

Overcoming eight obstacles to a clutter-free creative space

I hope you find these tips helpful. I’d love to hear what obstacles you find when trying to get organised. If you need a little more support, visit my website helensanderson.com/declutter and book in for an online mentoring session to get you going.

Check back next week for part two!

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New in stock at The Village Haberdashery

Note: The content of this post is similar to what we shared in this week’s newsletter. If you want updates delivered to your inbox each week, pop your email in the box on the right or sign up here!

Sun Print 2018 by Alison Glass!

Sun Print 2018 by Alison Glass 2018 has arrived! Sun Print is a collection of modern quilting cotton basics with a variety of prints and colours meant to give sewists a paint box of fabrics to choose from when creating.

Sun Print 2018 by Alison Glass

The 2018 selection has all of the saturation and variety that Sun Print is known for, but with an added element of an increase in value differences throughout the line. It’s even more useful for adding to other fabrics or using as a stand alone collection!

Sun Print 2018 by Alison Glass

You can shop all 27 new fabrics here, grab a fat quarter bundle here or build a custom bundle of your faves here. And why not browse our quilt patterns to pair this collection! We stock a range of patterns in different sizes and designs that could be perfect for your next project.

Sun Print 2018 by Alison Glass

We can’t what to see what you are going to make with the Sun Print Collection! And don’t forget to tag us at #thevillagehaberdashery so we can share your beautiful creations in our instastory!

Tropica Palm Leaves

The Tropica collection from Fabric Freedom is a lovely smaller scale tropical botanical print perfect for quilting, summer dresses, accent cushions and more! It has us dreaming of warm weather! Find it in the shop here.

Tropica palm leaves fabric

Echinacea lawn in Tomato and Pink

This stunning floral cotton lawn has a retro colour palette that just pops. The echinacea print is perfect for summer dresses and tops with wow factor! Find it here.
Echinacea cotton lawn

The Space Collection

Calling all astronauts! We have the perfect collection for you. From Fabric Freedom, these quilting cotton prints will add adventure to quilts and kid bedroom decor! Find it in the shop here.

Space quilting cotton

Silhouette Floral lawn in Turquoise

We are crazy about this cotton lawn with an electric blue floral print on black. This striking combination that is just right for dresses, blouses and scarves. Think party dresses! Shop the fabric here.

Silhouette floral lawn

Bananas in Navy

We are bananas for this fabric! Super novelty, yes, but this quilting cotton print is just right for little girl dresses, cushions for a kid’s room…a silly tie for him and maybe a fun top for you? It’s nuts, but we love it. Find it in the shop here.

Bananas quilting cotton

Upcoming crochet classes!

Our classic Granny Squares class is going strong, our Crochet a Rope Basket class is back and we’ve added a Granny Square Next Steps follow up for honing those skills. Want to crochet? We’ve got you! Click here to find out more.

Crochet Classes


Party, party! We’ve added select party and baking supplies to the Sale section at 40% off. Start shopping here.

Pom Noms

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DIY Embroidered Plant Lady brooches tutorial

We are obsessed with Laura Howard‘s latest creation: Plant Lady brooches! Perfect handmade flair to show off your plant lady status or a fabulous gift – Mother’s Day is just around the corner and let’s not forget it! Over to you, Laura…

DIY Embroidered Plant Lady brooches tutorial

Add a bit of plant lady style to your outfits with these fun felt brooches! There’s an embroidered “plant lady” badge, a cute cactus and a massive monstera leaf.

These leafy designs would make great gifts for the plant-lovers in your life. You could also leave off the brooch backs and use the designs as patches to sew on your rucksack, jacket, or other items that don’t need regular washing.

Finished sizes:

Monstera – 3.5″ x 2.75″
Plant Lady – 2.25″ round
Cactus 2.75″ x 2″

Tools & Materials:

The template sheet provided
Evergreen, Grassy Meadows, Chartreuse, Fuchsia, and Cotton Candy wool blend felt
Matching sewing threads
Light green, mid green, dark green, light pink and white embroidery thread (I used DMC 699 for the dark green, DMC 905 for the mid green, DMC 907 for the light green, DMC 603 for the pink, and DMC BLANC for the white.)
Brooch clasps
White tissue paper
A pencil or fine pen
A sewing needle and pins
Sewing scissors or embroidery scissors (these are great for cutting out small shapes!)
Optional: an air erasable fabric marker
DIY Embroidered cactus brooch tutorialTo make a cactus brooch:

Use the templates provided to cut one green cactus from bright green felt, one plant pot from light pink felt, and one heart from bright pink felt.

One by one, sew the shapes to a backing piece of dark green felt. Use whip stitch and matching thread, taking care to sew the bottom edge of the cactus and the top edge of the plant pot flush with each other.

Add the stitched spines to the cactus, sewing lots of single stitches with two strands of white embroidery thread (out of the six strands in the skein).

Cut a small flower from fuchsia felt. You can carefully cut this freehand, or draw a flower on the felt with an air erasable marker pen and cut it out. Sew the flower in position with three strands of light pink embroidery thread, sewing one stitch along each petal as shown.

Trim away the backing felt, leaving a narrow border around the cactus design. Then use the shape you’ve just cut out as a template to cut a matching backing piece from dark green felt.

DIY Embroidered Cactus brooch tutorial

Turn over the backing shape. Sew a brooch clasp in position with a double thickness of matching sewing thread. Place the front and back of the brooch together and sew around the edges with whip stitch and more matching thread.


DIY Embroidered Plant Lady brooches tutorialTo make a Plant Lady brooch:

Trace the brooch design onto a piece of white tissue paper, with a sharp pencil or a fine pen. Roughly cut out the design and sew it to a piece of light pink felt with large tacking stitches.

Embroider the lettering and the outlines of the leaves with backstitch, sewing small stitches as you sew around the curves. Use three strands of dark green embroidery thread (from a skein of six strands) for the lettering, and two strands of mid green thread for the leaves.

Remove the tacking stitches and gently tear away the tissue paper, carefully removing any remaining small pieces of paper with a pin.

Fill in the leaves with two strands of light green embroidery thread, as shown.

Trace the circular brooch shape onto a piece of white tissue paper and cut it out. Position this over your stitching so it’s centred and pin it in place. Cut around the circle then unpin and discard the tissue paper.

Place the felt circle on a piece of bright green felt and whip stitch it in position with matching pink sewing thread.

Trim the green felt, leaving a narrow border around the pink circle. Use this shape as a template to cut out a matching backing piece of bright green felt.

DIY Embroidered Plant Lady brooch tutorial

Turn the backing piece over. Sew a brooch clasp in position with a double thickness of matching sewing thread. Place the front and back of the brooch together and sew around the edges with whip stitch and more matching thread.


DIY Embroidered monstera brooch tutorialTo make a monstera leaf brooch:

Use the template provided to cut out a monstera leaf from mid green felt. Place it on a piece of light pink felt and sew it in position with whip stitch and matching mid green sewing thread.

Embroider the veins of the leaf, using the photo and the drawing on the template as a guide. Use backstitch and three strands of mid-green embroidery thread (from the six strands in the skein). Start by sewing the central line down the middle of the leaf then add the other lines.

Trim the backing felt, leaving a narrow border of felt around the leaf. Use this shape as a template to cut out a matching backing piece of pink felt.

DIY Embroidered Monstera Brooch tutorial

Turn the backing shape over. Sew a brooch clasp in position with a double thickness of matching sewing thread. Place the front and back of the brooch together and sew around the edges with whip stitch and more matching thread.

Show off your Plant Lady brooches with the hashtag #thevillagehaberdashery so we can see what you make!

DIY Embroidered Plant Lady brooches tutorial

DIY Embroidered Plant Lady brooches tutorial

DIY Embroidered Plant Lady brooches tutorial

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All the ways to say ‘I Love You’! Our favourite Valentine cards by some of our favourite designers

Last week we featured products for crafting your own Valentines and this week we thought we’d share some of our favourite already-made Valentine’s Day cards in the shop. No shame in giving a beautiful card made by someone else, and ours are so lovely! With love in the air and Valentine’s Day round the corner, we’ve got you covered! We have the most perfect selection of Valentines cards you can find! Whether you are a hopeless romantic or in the early stages of a relationship, we have a card that says just the thing!

Valentine's Day Cards

Find the perfect match with À L’aise sophisticated stationery. Designed and printed in the UK by Suzie Dicker, these beautiful cards are stamped with gold foil. ‘Written in the Stars’ is a favourite!

Valentine's Day Cards

Yellow Owl Workshop have the quirkiest ways to say I love you, and the ‘Hey, Hot Stuff’ card is just right if your relationship status is undecided. These fabulous cards are risograph prints and the vivid colours and playful designs will brighten up anyone’s day on Valentines!

Valentine's Day Cards

All the ways to say have hipster love in mind with their ‘Love Tattoo’ and ‘On the Road Together’ illustrated cards. Illustrated by Claire Leina in Aix en Provence, these beauties are worth framing! Another favourite card for couples is Meri Meri’s ‘On a Bicycle Built for Two’.

Valentine's Day Cards

We love the ‘Wild About You’ tropical-themed card by local designer Erin Hung of BerinMade! It’s another perfect card for relationships in the early stages. Meri Meri’s confetti cards always make use smile and this ‘Love & Happiness’ design will do the same for your Valentine.

Valentine's Day Cards

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New in stock at The Village Haberdashery

Note: The content of this post is similar to what we shared in this week’s newsletter. If you want updates delivered to your inbox each week, pop your email in the box on the right or sign up here!

New colours of Hawthorn Handmade’s weaving supply packs

We’ve restocked the super popular pop up looms from Hawthorn Handmade along with two new colours of the weaving supply kits!

Hawthorn Handmade Pop Up Weaving Loom

These gorgeous packs contain everything you need to complete a wall hanging or a woven panel. Each pack contains British wool yarn, British wool tops, cotton warp thread, a tapestry needle and a detailed guide to introduce you to weaving. Everything you need to get started!

Hawthorn Handmade Weaving Supply Kit

Find all of our weaving supplies the shop!

Hawthorn Handmade Weaving Supply Kit

Hoooked Zpagetti t-shirt yarn restocked

We had a huge new delivery of Hoooked recycled t-shirt yarn this week! If you can, it’s the best to browse in store right after a delivery because the selection of sizes and colours is so good.

Hoooked Zpagetti T-shirt yarn

We love this yarn so much for macrame, crochet and even knitting projects. Check our our macrame plant hanger tutorial here on The Daily Stitch and our Projects for T-Shirt Yarn pinboard for inspiration! Shop the whole range here.

Hoooked Zpagetti T-Shirt Yarn

Cotton webbing back in stock

Start dreaming up your next bag project, we’ve got alllll the colours of cotton webbing in heavyweight 1.25″ width and lightweight 1″ width options, including a handful of fun new colours. Shop the whole range of colours here and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like help matching your fabric to your webbing.

Cotton Webbing

Slalom Quilt with Jenny Haynes

Jenny Haynes of @pappersaxsten is back in our studio to teach later this month! Classes are filling up but you can still grab a spot in her Slalom Quilt class on Saturday 24 February! Learn how to cut, shape and machine-sew curves with bias tape while you make a start on fun and clever Slalom Quilt. Find out more and book your spot here.

Learn to make the Slalom Quilt with Jenny Haynes


Lots of beautiful yarn added to the sale section including select colours of Loopy Mango Big Loop, Madelinetosh Tosh DK, Malabrigo Worsted, Blue Sky Fibers Skinny Cotton, Cascade 128 Superwash and more. Start shopping here.

Shop the sale

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