Skip to content

Cut backs.

08/30/2007

View from Atop the Hill
View from Atop the Hill

There’s something about traveling with nothing but a backpack and a smile that makes you want to pare down all the bric-a-brac of your life upon returning. What was your home is transformed, and your possessions become naught but stuff. Burden-stuff.

It is freeing, this all-out reduction. I’ve hauled out clothing, out trinkets, even (and if you know me, this will illicit shock) a book or two. My biggest challenge, however, is my craft stashes. Remember this? Oh yes.

Here I give you the method of my madness: First, there is the throwing out. If I don’t know what to do with it or if the original crafty concept behind the purchase no longer excites me, off it goes to recycling, donation or (last resort) the dump. There is a very good chance that bits of this destashing will soon be up for grabs on this blog as a result of step one (consider this your warning). Second, re-storing in a more efficient and easy-to-access fashion: if I still want to make something but for some reason cannot due to missing tools or supplies, I bag all the required materials together along with a post-it noting what’s missing. Only projects with something missing get this treatment; complete projects proceed to step three of my mad method:

The making. One project at a time, I’m finishing things; as I uncover supplies, I sit down and use them. Once I’m done, I throw out what I don’t need anymore and store (typically a significantly reduced amount of) the leftover bits and pieces I think I’ll want to use it again.

This weekend (really the only time I have for this, making it a very slow process) step three resulted in the creation of these baubles:

Third in a Series
Third in a Series

First is the final Maneki Neko necklace, triplet to this one. The second one I didn’t show you, but that’s okay: it’s got an identical bead pattern to the first, but uses the silver bead caps of the second. The third, I started running low on the large amythest beads and so added some small ones in:

It's different, see?
It’s different, see?

Second was the long-neglected finishing work for this bracelet, which you may recognize as an example from this tutorial:

Spiral in Yellow and Teal
Spiral in Yellow and Teal

And then a simpler bracelet, made as an exploration of ways to use up certain beads:

I did not intend this to be so very Gryffindor
I did not intend this to be so very Gryffindor

The first time I ever bought something from an actual bead store, a lifetime ago, said store in the process of closing. I loved these particular beads and hell, they were on SALE and so I bought a handful with no particular project in mind. They have haunted me since- I’ve torn down every attempt I’ve made at using them for the simple reason that my work has a tendency towards the baroque, and these beads (complete with hand-painted dragons) require something simple.

Well, it doesn’t get much simpler than these earrings. And I love them- seriously, one of my favorites.

Simple
Simple

This leaves me wondering if I can pick up some blank ceramic beads and paints somewhere and hand-paint my own- I know where to find the paint, because I’ve been thinking about hand-painting piggy banks for a a while now. But no! Right now is destashing time, not begin-totally-new-hobby time. Still, I’ll keep the idea in mind.

Rounding out the jewelry work, I have new earrings composed from materials you all might recognize:

Like Confetti
Like Confetti

Next up: sewing! Sewing is a bit of a sore spot for me right now, as it’s one of my original crafts, but Beastie is still in the realm of the nonfunctional. I want to sew (oh do I want to sew) but still need to set money aside for her repair. Until then I must scratch my sewing itch by hand:

Insert 'Who' Pun Here
Insert ‘Who’ Pun Here

These are pins based off my own sketch (which I then turned into a pattern) and hand-sewn of felt. All they need now is for me to dig out some black seed beads and give them pupils.

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

The absolute final step of this great clearing out of my life is to move everything onto the Etsy store. This includes not only the new things I make, but old things that I have made and photographed and for some reason or another (typically my great hatred of writing item descriptions) never put up. These next few weeks will be your chance at practically anything and everything you’ve seen on this blog and liked, and quite a few things you’ve never seen at all.

Tonight’s plan, post-homework and other obligations, is to tackle my Sampler submissions and get them all packaged and ready to ship. Then it’s back to the stash busting, sitting cross-legged on the carpet before my closet with a box of ziploc bags on one side and a donation bag and trash can on the other. And once this is all done? I resolve this: comsume less, travel more, and never forget the joy of having nothing but a backpack and a smile.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: