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Be You – (and try not to hoard)

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For your consideration today, a couple of doodled Little Peeps cards… I’m trying to pack everything up in my house and, unfortunately, that includes all my craft stuff.  So, doodling is about the best I can do right now.  Otherwise, I will do like I’ve done in the past and have stuff EVERYWHERE and try to create things in the midst of boxes, packing tape and general chaos.  Like the year I made a whole bunch of Christmas cards, despite the fact we were moving in a few days time and I was supposed to be tidying up, not making more mess.

As I pack up my stuff and decide on which pieces I should cull before I move (SO hard – you know I can’t get rid of stuff, right?), it occurs to me perhaps now is the time to develop some sort of decorating identity based on what I actually like, and what speaks to my nesting soul.  I am going to try and keep only what really resonates with me and not what I think I SHOULD keep, for whatever bizarre reason.  But this new plan has some fatal flaws.

For instance.  I have an ugly, stained-glass rooster lamp.  My cousin gave it to me when I moved in to this place, my first rental by myself.  It’s ugly, the lamp.  And slightly demonic-looking when lit up.  But I keep it because I love my cousin and she bought it for me because she thought it was quirky and different.  Like me, she said.  How can I get rid of it, knowing she bought it because she was supporting me in my individuality and going completely against her own decorating taste which would, in all honesty, have burnt the rooster lamp as some sort of effigy to the design-deprived?

I have ornaments that sit in boxes because they don’t really appeal to me, but the person who gave them to me does.  Getting rid of them would be like telling the person I no longer have a need for them.

I have teddy bears given to me when I was ill in hospital.  I’m 42 years old and I don’t need teddy bears, don’t particularly even want them, but there they sit, in my lounge room, on their own chair.  Because someone gave them to me.  Out of love and a desire to bring me some comfort when I was at my lowest.  I feel like I should keep them just because of what they represent.  Even if I really don’t have room for them, and the people who gave them to me in the first place would probably tell me get rid of them anyway.

So, this packing up process is going to be a tough one.  But probably an important one.  I need to stop hanging on to things that really don’t matter, and focus on what does.  I should surround myself with things that say “This is Me”.  As opposed to things that say “Someone really nice gave this to me and I like them a lot so I can’t get rid of it, even though it clashes with everything else I own and doesn’t actually fit anywhere and kinda makes me a bit miserable because I could actually put something nicer there that speaks to my soul and makes me feel good”.

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I should probably have a chaperone.  Someone who will shake their head and say “No, you do not need that broken teapot/frayed cushion cover/doll-with-no-legs and [insert friend or family member’s name here] will not mind if you remove it from your home. In fact, they will probably wonder why in the heck you have kept it for seventeen years…”

I WILL do it.  I will.  Maybe.  Bit by bit.  With a few relapses every now and then.
Although, my new place will most likely have an extra bedroom so, y’know,
that means extra storage space.

🙂

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Authentique (A Lesson in Hoarding)

I am a bit of a hoarder.  I may have mentioned this once or twice before.  I’m not like the stacks-of-newspapers-and-empty-cat-food-tins style of hoarder, not yet anyway (just wait until I get a cat!), but I do tend to hang on to bits and pieces that most people would just get rid of.  Especially things that can be used in crafting.  And, usually, those things will never actually get used.  I won’t ever need them.  Well, not until two seconds after I’ve thrown them away.  Such is the thinking of a hoarder.

Occasionally, when the stars are properly aligned and the crafting Gods are smiling down upon me, I do come across a scrap of something-or-other that has been saved, that just happens to be EXACTLY WHAT I NEED RIGHT NOW TO FINISH THIS CARD.

Take this card, for instance.  I struggled with it for some time.  It was late in the day and I was getting a bit squinty and sweary and was in a total mess.  I had made the little bird lady and was happy enough with her.  I quite liked the bird cage behind her.  But the whole thing needed a word or phrase to finish it off.  Do you think I could find something appropriate?  No, I could not.  I wanted “Unique” or “Quirky” or something similar, but nothing I found was the right size or colour or style.  I started eyeing off my bookshelves – maybe I had a book I could cut some words from?

Then, when I had just about given up, I found this little scrap of packaging, with the word “Authentique” on it.  Right size and style of font.  That would do nicely, thank you.  Edged it with some ink, glued it on and sighed with relief (feeling a little smug because hoarding had come to the rescue at last, just as I knew it would).

So, sometimes, just sometimes, hoarding pays off.  More often than not it just makes a mess and clutters up your house but, just very occasionally, it saves the day and stops you tearing your hair out or cutting up your library.

Hope you are living clutter-free and authentically today.  But if “authentically” for you means keeping bits and pieces you might need one day, your secret is safe with me 🙂

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Stash

I have been trying to cull my craft stash.  This has not been going well for two reasons – a.) I am crap at getting rid of ANYTHING, and b.) I am very good at procrastinating.  But then, this week, I also have another, much more pleasant, reason.

My Mum’s friend Barbara asked Mum and I over to see if we wanted any of her “no longer needed” craft items.  Well, I don’t move quickly very often but, on that occasion, I moved like the wind ha ha!  You can probably imagine my face on hearing there was free craft stuff up for the taking…

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Barbara had laid out what appeared to be an entire wardrobe of stuff.  Papers, ribbons, various adhesives and varnishes, paints, stickers, rub-ons and embellishments.  Sigh.  I could have been restrained and not taken anything or even just taken a few samples but no, I pretty much gorged on crafty goodness and took a LOAD of stuff home with me.  I tried to just take what I thought I would actually use – papers in the colours I like and use often (browns and blues and neutrals) and embellishments that would suit what I do and not sit in a “what can I do with this?” pile.

There were a lot of text papers – I use them all the time for my cards as backing papers – so I grabbed them.  Barbara had loads of rub-ons, which I use less frequently but mostly because I just never seem to have any, so I snaffled them too.  Brads and braid, sentiments and quotes and awesome vintage advertising.  There was even a couple of lovely craft books (but I had all but one of them, so only took that one).
It was all so good, like a giant buffet 🙂

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I felt kinda bad afterwards for taking so much, but I guess if she didn’t want it any  more, then I was doing Barbara a favour.  In fact, thinking about it that way, with the amount I took, I was being downright altruistic and ha ha.

So now I am back to where I started – lots of craft stuff to find homes for.  I am still going to keep culling my own collection of supplies – I certainly don’t need half of what I have and I am sure someone else could use it.  I’m having a car-boot sale soon with my cousin, at a local market, so I could probably sell off some of it there.  I don’t want to throw anything away, and I want to make sure it goes to a good home where someone will be happy to have it and make good use of it.

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 I was going to post a proper picture of said stash but, every night after work, the lighting is so bad in my house it’s just not worth trying to photograph anything.  So, lazily, I will leave it up to your imagination and try and make something with the supplies on the weekend, and photograph THAT.

Hope you are having a good week.  May it be uncluttered (unless it’s cluttered with free stuff and things you love) 🙂

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Culling and Doodling

Firstly, apologies for not posting anything this last week or so.  It was a busy, stressful time and I just lost track of the days.  Plus, I had nothing of interest to say!  Which isn’t unusual for me, let’s be honest.  I’m not exactly a thrilling person to be around (or read about)!  But the last week or two was focused on work stuff and other boring tasks and obligations.  I had some friends and family in hospital too, so that took up some time and brain power.  Basically, I didn’t have the “ooomph” to post anything.

I am currently on annual leave (thank the heavens!) for three weeks.  I just really needed time off – I was feeling like I was going to have a nervous breakdown or punch someone in the face (possibly one of those things, followed by the other).  I had time owing,  so I took it.  I was going to travel to Melbourne and have some time there, but decided to save my money and stay home and sort my shit out.

I have so much I want to do.  Most of it involves culling and cleaning.  LOTS of culling.  I have so much stuff and it is overwhelming me.  Most of it is just clutter and junk and silly little things I can’t get rid of, for whatever reason.  Today I went through my wardrobe (precipitated by me going to the op-shop yesterday and buying more clothes) and sorted tonnes of stuff out.  I made up three big garbage bags full of items I know longer need or want.  Shoes and handbags and pants and skirts and tops and EVERYTHING.  I seem to keep more handbags than I actually will ever need, in case I have a wedding to go to.  What kind of crazy reasoning it that???  If, in the event of being invited to a wedding, I find myself without a suitable handbag, surely I can just go and buy one at the time?  I don’t actually need to keep twenty of them in my house at any given time.  Plus, most of the ones I have are really old now and probably not in style.  Not that that normally bothers me, but it seems a bit ridiculous.

I have put on a lot of weight in the last year or so, so I really needed to bite the bullet and get rid of my “skinnier” clothes that I do not fit in to anymore.  While it pains me, and it does, these items are just sitting around, reminding me that I am a fatty.  I might as well get rid of them and use the promise of being able to buy more when I am thinner as an incentive to lose weight.  So, out they go.  I even have pants from when I was just out of hospital after my meningitis and they are like crazy small sizes.  I will NEVER fit into those again so why keep them?  The op-shop is getting LOTS of stuff from me this week.

I’m also taking the opportunity to sort my remaining clothes in to Summer and Winter stuff – storing the Summer items away in plastic tubs.  There are no in-between seasons for me – I am either freezing cold or warm.  Trans-seasonal does not exist in my house.  So I’m either in shorts or I’m in in thermals and walking around the house wearing a blanket. That’s how I roll.  It is still Autumn here but it may as well be the middle of Winter, as far as I’m concerned.  So, out come the jumpers and cardigans and long pants (ugh – how I loathe pants) and *shudders* jeans.  They all need ironing, mind you, so that’s the next big task.  I hate ironing and avoid it like the plague.  But I am not totally feral, so iron I must, if I don’t want to look creased and prove myself to be failing as an adult yet again.

My craft room will of course be on the list of things that need sorting.  It’s in such a state.  I will have to be brave and get rid of stuff.  I have a few arty-crafty friends who might take it off my hands, otherwise I will box it up and give it to the op-shop as well I guess?

Speaking of crafting…last weekend I spent a few happy hours at a friend’s house, having a lovely card-making day.  It was so nice.  Four of us brought our supplies and things to share and had great fun working away at our own little projects.  I’m not very good at working in a group, to be honest.  I think I am so used to creating on my own that I get a bit self-conscious around other people.  But I had fun anyway and made a couple of cards.  I didn’t bring a lot of supplies with me – I just wanted to finish some things off more than anything.  So I completed a couple of my “doodled” Little Peeps cards and I am reasonably happy with them.  One of the ladies at the table had a Big Shot embossing machine so we were able to have a go with that and create some nice backing papers and card (for example, the dotty white one I used in this Happy Birthday card).  We had some yummy lunch and caught up on each other’s lives and enjoyed some quiet, yet busy creative time.

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I stuffed up the stamping (of the text) in this one but it is ok I suppose…

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I won’t be doing any crafting this week, I don’t think.  I need to knuckle down and sort my life and house out.  I can reward myself later with some mess-making crafting.  For now I have to concentrate on culling and de-cluttering, sorting and organising. Not nearly as much fun, but definitely necessary for my sanity and state of mind.

Sorry for this boring post – just didn’t want to be neglecting my blogging duties altogether.  Have a happy weekend and Happy Anzac Day (tomorrow) to my fellow Aussies and Kiwis!  Lest We Forget x

Clay Tags

Clay Tags

I have been cleaning and tidying all day today due to having yet another rent inspection tomorrow.  I was hoping to be tidied up before today but, with the Christmas festivities and then New Year and my general procrastination, I didn’t get really stuck in until today.  I have to go back to work tomorrow (sigh) as well so it’s kind of a double-whammy of getting-my-act-together-ness.

Whilst tidying up, it is a general habit of mine to get distracted by anything and everything.  Mostly, I get distracted by my own stuff.  I find things I had forgotten about – unfinished projects, supplies I never put away, bits and pieces that are supposed to be part of something but never made it that far.  Today I found, amongst other things, these clay tags I had been making MONTHS ago to put on Christmas presents.

They’re just made from air-dry clay, rolled out fairly thick (to prevent breakage), pierced with a skewer, allowed to dry out and then stamped on with various phrases and sentiments.  Easy-peasy.  Now if only I had remembered to use them 🙂

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Worried that I will forget them again, I put one of them on the outside of the basket I have stowed them in – as a visual clue to what’s inside.  There’s not telling if that will actually help me remember…I could stamp “do the dishes” on my forehead and I probably wouldn’t remember to do them, so there’s no guaranteeing this will help me in this instance either.  But here’s hoping, I guess.

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So, I am aching and tired and over the whole cleaning scenario.  I even weeded the garden and did ironing today (!) so my body is basically going “what the hell???”  and hurting left, right and centre.  My feet are confused, due to me being on them all day, too.  Being tidy – it’s not good for you.  I think it is actually a health hazard 🙂

Hope you’ve had a productive day x

My Week in Pictures

My Week in Pictures

It’s been a busy week.  I haven’t had time to even think about blogging, let alone do it.  Plus, it’s been so hot and my little office where my computer lives is stifling and stuffy and ugh.  So I’ve spent as little time on the computer as possible.

I have been crafting though…I had to make some hot pink earrings for a friend at work but, as hot pink is not a colour I usually work with or like, I had difficulty finding anything in my bead stash to even start.  Which meant I had to go out and buy some more beads, of course.  I won’t show you what I made – I’m not at all happy with any of them.  It’s funny how colour choice affects your (or, at least, my) ability to make and create.  I like paler pinks – more shabby than shocking I guess.

I got them done as quickly as I could then moved on to other orders I had to complete…

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…I had a go with memory wire (and managed to stab myself in the thumb with it – blood everywhere!)…

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…my iron count has been a little low the last few months so I had to have an iron infusion
(look away now if you don’t like needles and hospital stuff…)…

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…I went for walks…(but not as often as I should have…)…

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…lots of bird watching…

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…baby swans!…

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I got some belated birthday gifts…including this gorgeous handbag from a friend of my Mum’s…(I don’t normally wear or use leather but as I didn’t buy it I guess it’s ok…plus it is so lovely and soft and stylish.  Sorry cows, I will still keep to my non-leather-buying values, but I’m keeping the bag…)…

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…and a lovely jewellery box from (drum roll please!) TIFFANY’S!!!…

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…the same lovely lady (my volunteer library assistant) gave me this beautiful gift AND  made me a take-home curry
to have for my dinner (Oh my God – so yum!).  She is too good to me…

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…my penal Rem’s partner Dianne sent me a lovely Valentine’s card…
(you should check out her blog if you haven’t already – it’s great!)

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…I discovered my new favourite sweet treat – frozen grapes!

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I also went op-shopping and bead shopping with my Mum and bought a ridiculous amount of beads.  I think I have a problem…

Now it’s Sunday evening yet again and soon I must pack up and get ready for bed.  I am trying to get to bed before 10pm these days because I am always so tired and can never get up in the morning.  I have a busy day tomorrow – lots of meetings and a three-hour “fire suppression” training (as I am supposedly a fire warden for my building).  I’m hoping the day goes quickly and that I manage to get some things done even though I will not be at my desk.  Every week I tell myself I am going to sort my desk out and get things in order, but I never have time or anywhere to put everything.  So I just try and make all the piles of stuff look tidy.  Moving them from one place to another helps, as does shuffling them, hiding them under the desk and shoving them in the filing cabinet marked “to deal with later”.

Have a great Monday everyone – hope you are more organised than me 🙂

Tidy Up

Tidy Up

Once again I am in the process of tidying up my craft room and office.  This is a process in which I start strongly, peter out in the middle and finish with a less than resounding success (which generally means I am in a worse mess than when I started).  I have a lot of stuff (you know this already if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time) and, truthfully, I have a big enough house to fit in all in.  If I was organised and neat and able to keep things where they are meant to be.   I am also guilty of keeping tiny pieces of paper with mysterious notes or information on them, which means I don’t know if they are important, or, in fact, complete rubbish and possibly not even pertaining to me.  For example, today I found a piece of paper with a phone number and “dude” written on it which isn’t terribly helpful in any way, shape or form.  Who is the “dude” (besides a character in The Big Lebowski)?  Is he a handyman, electrician, rental inspector, landscape gardener or guy next door?  It could be anyone and because of that I have bravely thrown the piece of paper away.  I’m a risk-taker like that.

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I have boxes of magazine clippings of clothes I’ve liked, recipes I want to try and general articles on everything from what to feed your guinea pig to how to throw a bridal shower.  There are countless “notes” from hubby (in better days when he used to leave me little love notes in my lunch box) and, for some reason, about four billion (slight exaggeration) post-it notes of various designs and shapes.  Lots and lots and lots of magazines to go through and recycle/donate.  Bills, receipts and invoices dating back to Lord only knows when.  I found several hospital ID bracelets (you know, those little plastic ones they put on you when you’re going to be staying a while) – why keep them?  They were hardly a reminder of happy times.  I have a lot of notebooks (today I counted 32, which is ridiculous, and that was only on one desk).  I have knick-knacks and ornaments, photo frames and albums, diaries and homework assignments from twelve years ago.  I am trying to de-clutter and make sense of it all, but, if it doesn’t make sense in the first place, I’m not sure how to do that.

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My craft room is no better.  I tend to “store” things on the floor.  Which means that when I buy things, I bring them home, put them on the floor in the bag they were purchased in, and they stay there, for a period of days (or, let’s be honest, months) until I start t use them or when I remember I actually bought them for a specific purpose.  I have a bookcase which is overflowing with books as well as wool, containers of bamboo and scrabble tiles, paints, moulds and unfinished artworks.  I have two desks, each completely covered in stuff. I have boxes on the floor and two drawer units filled to bursting.  It’s a mess.

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But I am determined to have it all neat and tidy, spick and span by the time I start my new job, which is looming ever closer in the distance.  If nothing else I want to just find the floor and maybe empty out a couple of boxes that are filled with goodness-knows-what.  Or I could just go out for a few hours and pretend it’s all not there…that sounds like a plan, now where did I put my keys?