Trash or Treasure

I’ve just begun a rather difficult reassessment of all my crafty stashes. This is not going to be done quickly or without pain – both kinds: physical (books and magazines are heavy!) and emotional (that item reminds me of a special time/place/person and I had plans for it!). No, I haven’t gotten on the Kondo bandwagon. I’m not going by “it sparks joy” but more like “will I use it, ever”. Some of this stuff has been lurking about here for 40 years! Also needs and tastes change. Honestly, I only have just so long left in my life even if I consider the best-case scenario. How many projects can I finish before I’m incapable of finishing them?

So here’s part of the first lot sorted off the shelves:

Yes, I’ve read every single one!

Some has already found new homes. This bunch represents crafts that I think are exciting and inspiring and all, but I don’t want to do them myself anymore. These books and magazines are mostly from the early 2000’s – kind of the heyday of publishing before the Internet stole it all. Showing off these types of embellished creations are what Instagram and Pinterest are perfect for and all you need to see them is a device and an online connection. Since that is considerably cheaper for most people, bye-bye paper magazines. If you’re into perusing through them though, a lot of the lovely stuff in these publications remains relevant today. But I’m ready to move them on to someone who hopefully can appreciate them. I’ve already booked a table at a one-day craft supply sale in April (at the Silk Purse, West Vancouver, BC, noon-4pm). We’ll see how that goes. I hate selling. Just sayin’. Mostly I’ll probably just be giving it away.

And I’m not finished sorting yet! I’m kind of stalled on the beadwork shelves. Actually I would love to do what I did with my lacemaking supplies – find someone who belongs to an interest group and let them have it all to distribute in whatever way works for them. Know any local-to-me beaders? I used to years ago but interests change. Another thing that is stalling me is that my oldest granddaughter is becoming interested in making jewelry as an adjunct to her cosplay makes. She needs a chance to tell me what she would like to use before I sell anything. And then there’s the beads that will fit on my knitting yarns that I’d like to keep. And Thom doesn’t want me to get rid of the wire stuff quite yet. Ummm…it’s complicated.

Which is why I haven’t already done this job in any major way before now! I’m (mostly) ready to do it but it’s obviously going to be an ongoing project for awhile as I make multiple passes through everything. The good news is I’m getting a chance to look more carefully at it all and remember what I actually already have. That should prevent me from adding very much to the collection(s). Notice I’m not saying that I’m never going to buy any crafty stuff ever again? That would just be mean, wouldn’t it? Especially with Fibres West coming up very soon!

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6 thoughts on “Trash or Treasure”

  1. Alas, earlier I wrote a goodly long reply to your post, and as often happens, WP, complaining about my attempt to “fill in my details” decided to eat it rather than send it along to you. But anyway… I definitely can relate to your current challenge! I started dealing with my clutter of supplies and inspiration by first deciding that I wouldn’t bring home any more “oh this could maybe be useful someday” kinds of random objects.

    Since, sadly, one cannot live long enough to do All The Things, I gradually began sorting through what I have here, basing my choices about what to keep and what to rehome on the “is this one of the four categories of handcraft that I am currently actually doing” mantra. If not, it could leave the building, if so, it needed to find a good storage location. Supplies for former enthusiasms have gone to either a thrift store, or to SCRAP, which is an arts and crafts reuse store. SInce this weekend I did bead stringing with my friends Isabel and Genevieve, I realised that I have a vast amount of seed beads from my long ago enthusiasm for beaded embroidery. I will be sorting through those, and taking out the ones that are colors in my wardrobe, and the rest I will donate to the local First Nations school, as they can use them in their traditional beadwork.

    Since I actively do: textile arts (knitting and tablet weaving), scribal arts (calligraphy and illumination), sewing (modern and historical) and jewelry arts (enameling and metalwork), this is still a lot to find tidy places for. It has helped me to periodically sort through one area at a time, though I expect I will continue this process as long as I have life and breath.

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    1. Sorry if you are still having trouble leaving comments, Alison. If it makes you feel better I can’t comment on your blog at all! Maybe from my desktop but I don’t read blogs on that.

      Anyway, thanks for persisting! I hear you on having multiple crafts to stash for and trying to decide what is still useful and what not. I guarantee I’m going to need something the minute I get rid of it! The only reason I’m in a hurry is the sale deadline. Otherwise I could take my time. Or just ignore it all for another 10 years. Sigh.

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  2. I am doing exactly what you’re doing at the moment as well. All those years of Spin-Off, Knitters, Cast On, etc all lined up in magazine cases. I will never live long enough to make everything I love. Since I’ve been renovicted, I now have to move & store them all. Do I want to move a ton of old magazines?? I only just gave away the first 30 years of the Mother Earth News, fer gosh sake. I love craft magazines but DO I WANT TO MOVE THEM?? That is the question.

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  3. It’s not just me that hangs on to old mags then? But they’re so pretty…and I might want to make…and maybe one day…nevermind! I know I should probably get rid of even more of them. Eventually.

    I’m sorry you’re having to move, Sharon. After so long that’s got to be hard. Can’t imagine moving from our house since we’ve been here 40 years but I’m sure it’s going to happen one day.

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  4. I love those Stampington magazines. They are so pretty and inspirational. I got rid of a lot of magazines a few years ago and it hurt. However, now I have no idea what I got rid of, so it’s all good. But I still have ALL my Threads magazines.

    I did something clever a long time ago, I went through all my kitchen gadgets (I love kitchen gadgets), I put all the things I haven’t used in forever and put them in the garage in a box. When I found the box three years later, i knew I wasn’t missing anything and donated the bag. Admittedly three years is a long time, six months would work just as well. I highly recommend this system. No emotional pain cause you can go and get it anytime you want.

    I may have to do this again, but with crafting supplies.

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    1. I still have Threads too! From #1 up until several years ago when I quit collecting. Yes, I’ve done the “stow it for awhile” thing. Haven’t rescued much but still have stuff to get rid of. I seem to get caught on the part where you actually dispose of it!

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