Learning to Live With Less. Craft Stuff, That Is.

My title today comes almost directly from Leo over at mnmlist.com, one of my favorite new blogs. I’ve spent the morning (the day already, I guess I should say!) cutting back my craft supplies. On my road toward minimalism, crafting is my biggest obstacle.

Artists are keepers. We see an interesting pattern or a new tool or the perfect paper or some other such thing (even what seems like trash to someone else!) and we can visualize what it will become when we take the time to create with it. The problem is, there’s always something new that catches my eye and I forget all about that other project I have waiting in the wings. The wonderful things I bought/found/collected/saved are forgotten when I find that perfect something new. I’d like to alter this cycle a little bit.

I’m trying to go through my art studio/office with the ultimate clutter buster questions in mind: Do you use it? Do you love it? If not, it goes into the giveaway pile. I emailed my crafty friends and I’ve already had four women drop by today (with two or three more coming later.) We had nice chats and caught up as they went through my freebies, and I was happy to see my neglected supplies go to good new homes. It makes it a bit easier to let go of them. They kept asking me if I was sure I wanted to give away such nice and usable things and I told them yes but please don’t ask me again or I might reconsider! When you’re hanging onto several one dollar rolls of organza ribbon from an invitation business you shut down five years ago, you know it’s time to let go and move on!

…a day later… I’m now in the process of putting things back into my studio and am so thankful that some of my newer fine art supplies (paints, lino carving tools, watercolor papers) will fit nicely into the spaces left behind from the big clean out. They will be glad to get out of their big tupperware tub that was sitting on the floor in the corner of the studio, and I will be glad to avoid looking at that eyesore anymore! Even the boys’ art tub found a spot on the bookshelf and I’m putting some more of their craft supplies into nicer boxes leftover from the clean out. Why is it harder for me to pare down their art supplies than it is for me to pare down mine? I just feel like there’s so much possibility in every empty tin canister or strawberry basket or egg carton. Sigh. I guess I’m not as far down the road towards minimalism as I think I am. It’s all a process, I remind myself. Now I’m off to tackle my mountain of beautiful rubber stamps. Wish me luck…I’ll need it!

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