Thursday, February 21, 2013

So you said you decluttered... and deciding what craft clutter stays.

As a result of my decluttering kitchen and parts of the attic....6 bags to the Salvation Army, 1 bag to a Women's Shelter. and 4 boxes of ebay sales.

If you are reading this blog, there's a good chance that you sew, because that's mostly what it's about.  In the spirit of 2013, my only resolution was to get rid of current stuff to make way for more productive stuff.  The house is generally in good shape except for....... the sewing /creative stuff room.  What is here that isn't sewing related.... well if you sew, there's a good chance you also dabbled in other crafts.  Here's my list..
Knitting, not just with knitting needles but with a knitting machine
Flower making (clay, silk and beads)
Cross Stitch
Furniture refurb
A million patterns, charts, books on all of the above topics...

Then there are the associated DIY projects.... the foot stool that needs that beautiful needlepoint to cover the top cushion, the campaign furniture folding chair that I also thought of making a needlepoint cover for.... the table that I stripped that needs to be gilded, the canvas that I bought to make a wonderful cross stitch rug from,  the boxes of tile I brought back from Brazil to create a one of a kind mosaic, the knitting machine and the pounds of yarn for those marvelous St John Knit creations..... you see my point?

It's sometimes difficult to admit defeat, so in order to carry on with my goals, I need to get rid of some of these things.  So how to make the decision on what goes and what doesn't.

List the project, then assign the time it will take for you to complete the project next to it, and any additional outlay of cash or instruction.

1) Needlepoint for foot stool - 2 months (it's a small stool)

2) Campaign furniture folding chair - 5 months

3) Stripped table Gilding - 3 days + $$$
(buy more supplies to complete this project out, including buying a new piece of glass to replace the one that broke while it was waiting for me)

4) Cross Stitch Rug - 1 year?? + $$$
(I don't have the yarn or the design picked out, so yarn will be a large outlay of cash, and you know I won't want to actually use the rug after painstakingly making it, I will tell people to walk around it.... I don't want to turn into that person)

5) Mosaic - 1 year +$$$
(Design will mean buying more items to complete it, and tool purchase)

6) Knitting Machine - Years
I think I have forgotten how to cast on the stitches, the machine will only stitch a fixed gauge.
Although it will not involve an outlay of cash, because I have plenty of yarn, I don't live up north anymore.
Do I really need to keep this machine?

Now we all know which projects or supplies that we will absolutely not get rid of, it's not even a question of space, they are in constant use, or they are so dear to us we will fight to the death anyone who tries to persuade us to eliminate it.  Those items stay without a question.  You might have also amassed a stash of supplies because you're taking that wood working class in the summer, you keep those items.

Is anyone else exhausted from the list (this is just a partial list), I will not take bets that the first three projects will be completed this year.  I may even find myself blogging about this same list next year (now that would be sad).  Realistically I can get rid of three things and be happier for the space that opens up.  The other three I will have to attempt and if some headway isn't made in the next 6 months, they will be eliminated.
Did I mention, this is just a partial list, my list is more like 50+ years of projects.  Here's the other reality, some of these projects might be dated by the time I get around to them, and here they've sat, cluttering up my space and my brain.

I find that "stuff happens", if we don't see it, we forget about it, sometimes things get ruined while being stored, it's a bit like money making no interest.  I also haven't listed 4 cross stitch projects that will take me 5 years to finish, but I am right now interested in keeping them because I have all of the specialty yarns and fabrics purchased, and I've eliminated almost all of my cross stitch books and kits.  One day I may decide to eliminate those and when I do, they'll be easy to find.

Now you know what I've been up to these past few months, grappling with making room for future opportunities.  I hope you all have had more fun in the first few months of 2013.


corinne said...

She has been a busy bee! There is something very cathartic about a good clean out. I should do it again soon. Which project will you start first? I have a friend who is a cross-stitch expert. She keeps a project, in a box or basket by every phone, every favorite chair etc. That way she never sits down without a project in hand. She is a little irritating!

ELMO said...

The first project will be to finish the jacket that I started. That will have to be finished this weekend. Then I need to move on that quilt top I finished last year.... but I won't get to that until a few weeks from now. ARgh!!

Clio said...

Oh, this is a good post! I think you are absolutely right about how once you do one craft you start to dabble and the accumulation of craft stuff can be overwhelming. I would not get rid of my sewing or knitting stuff, but I have a guilty corner that hides embroidery stuff, jewelry making stuff and a hot glue gun. I'm not quite ready to come to terms with this corner yet...

ELMO said...

When you're ready you'll know it. Much of what I am letting go of I wouldn't have let go 2 years ago. The slap in the face is when you are buying duplicates because you can't find things easily because they are "stored" or forgotten.

Mel said...

I haven't quite been brave enough to get rid of entire categories of abandoned crafts but I have been able to get rid of the more common supplies. Items that that be quickly replaced with a trip to the craft store were donated, specialty items were labeled, boxed and put into the closet. For example doll hair was donated but the 6" sculpting needles were stored. Now if I could get rid of the books. (-:

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Oh man, I know the feeling. I gave away all my yarn a couple years ago. A couple of weeks ago I finally parted with all my polymer clay (I was very into making polymer clay beads 5 or 6 years ago). I haven't yet been able to give up my mosaic supplies, though I haven't mosaic-ed in at least 4 years. And then there are the precious metal clay supplies on which I spent a large sum of money 5 or 6 years ago and have never TOUCHED. And the latch-hook rug supplies for making bath mats. It's hard having so many interests!

Mo said...

Inspirational post, I am now thinking about my various "stashes" I am a newbie sewist of clothes and I keep my craft items and knitting supplies around when I need that "fix" of a quick project...but that pile of craft "supplies" grows and grows, along with fabric scraps from sewing, and I've take over half of the basement! I keep hoping that I will learn how to fix that wadder or RTW that never quite fit right, so hesitant to part with something I know that some day I can fix...hence the piles and piles

ELMO said...

I'm staring at the pile of yarn now. Also the last pile of clothes that I do not fit into and will never fit into again, I'm taking photographs of a few and releasing them to the Salvation Army.