Monday, August 27, 2012

Earlier Crafting

I was probably about 8 or 9, it was summer, and my two cousins Maureen & Charlene were spending their summer days at my house.  It had been raining, and I’m sure we were driving my mom crazy.  From somewhere out came a preprinted cross stitch baby sheet with 12 panels of bunnies.  She cut it out so we each got 4 panels, 2 boys and 2 girls.  That summer she taught us how to pick out colors, and do some basic embroidery stitches.  My Grandma told me when I finished it she would quilt it for me.  I don’t know about my cousins, but I didn’t do a whole lot of it during the summer, and the pieces were stacked away in the one day I will do this pile.  I started my stash early.  Perhaps this was my first long term craft project.  I remember carting it around with me when I moved first to Hamilton then to Ft Lauderdale, and ultimately to college.  In college the craze was counted cross stitch.  My friend Donna & I made all kinds of projects our freshman year, pictures for the wall, pillows and sachets.  One day I finished the bunnies.  It probably only took a few hours.  My grandma quilted them as promised 10 years ealier, and my children used the little blanket when they were babies. Kimi later used it for her dolls.  It now has a place of honor hanging on my wall.

My mom owned an art gallery in St Catharines Ontario - Folkersen Art Galleries at the Penn Center when I was little.  I loved to see the artists when they visited.  I had a huge crush on John Par who did portraits.  I one year he went to Morocco and brought me back a few glass beads.  I wonder what ever happened to them?  The gallery was cool, but for me what was better – Mr. Galloway’s store at the other end of the mall.  The Galloways played cards with my parents, so I think my mom was ok that I would hightail it over there every chance I got.  Mr Galloway was always quick to give me a package of beads that had a tear in them.  I think sometimes he tore them just for me.  The big craze then was tri-beads.  I made necklaces for everyone.  But my favorite beads were glow-in-the-dark.  The beads didn’t make it to Florida.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Where to Start

Do I clean the whole closet and room right now, or just one type of craft at a time?
I should start with a general clean up so I can start with everything put away in its place – however this isn’t what I’d call a deep clean, it’s more a stuff the shelves so my work table and floor is as uncluttered as possible.

This is why it’s hard for me to craft.  I have the closet, and the vanity, and the wall with the paper crafting, and even a bunch of file drawers.  But I hate to put away stuff that I am working on.  I’m afraid of the out of sight out of mind.  But it’s also depressing have to step over it all.  It would be so much more fun if I just clean up a little, then do something fun, then I will clean up some more.

Started with the beads, because I couldn’t get the box lid to close, which meant they wouldn’t fit back on the shelf.  My objective – get all beads into one box, and all bead making supplies into another.  Started by dumping everything on the floor.  Transferred the beads (many of them vintage from my mom) into small Ziplocs or into the bead containers that I bought many years ago.  Sorted them.  Look – there’s the broken coral necklace that Mario brought back from Italy – when I was in 9th grade.  I wore it death, and when it finally broke I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the beads.  I swear, that’s the only one I’ve kept.  Then not too long ago I was looking in a jewelry magazine and saw a very pretty necklace with a piece of white coral hanging from it.  I have the picture, the white coral, the pink coral and all the tools.  I’m going to do this tonight.  By the time I had all my beads and supplies put away nicely, I had pulled out four projects that I want to do right away.  The coral necklace, and a second one, a rose quartz kit, and a fabric covered button necklace.  I spent the rest of the weekend making the necklaces.  I finished them, posted them to facebook.  That was last weekend.  It feels good, friends like the necklaces, some more than others.  Everyone likes the pink coral – it’s the only one I have no intention to give away.

Next project – sitting on the floor under my window – two large bags of mardi gras beads, the hanging plant hanger, and the needed wire.  I had already made one hanging beaded chandelier (lights with an LED tap light) and I wanted a second one.  Both of them are for my NOLA lanai.  Kimi was busy finishing packing to head to Germany for three months, and had a friend coming over.  Blake was already away at school. And hubby Chris, was doing his favorite thing – reading the Sunday newspaper, made better because it’s the day before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and so the newspapers, yes we get two, are huge.  I started to clean the next area of the home office/craft room.  You know, if I make the chandelier, it sure would clean up a big space.  Having already made one, I brought out my notes on the supplies that I needed, cut up the necklaces, precut the wire, and I was off.  The best place to hang it from while in process is on the knob for the cabinet right in front of my computer.  That’s when I got the inspiration to start the blog.  Oh I’ve thought about it before, but never had a focus.  So here it is 4 hours later.  Kimi has gone to the movie, will be back soon.  Chris is at the grocery store picking up dinner.  My parents will be here soon.  The chandelier is complete, and hanging in the lanai.  I started my blog in Word, until I can figure out how to actually write a blog on the internet. I got this inspiration from 

It feels good.  I feel like I’ve accomplished something.  Not just by starting and completing a project for which I had everything.  I’ve also started a focus to craft intentionally.  Now I need to follow the rule above, and put everything away.  I took the left over beads out of the bags, and put them in a box so they sit on the shelf.  Tools need to go away, and I need to put away the next craft that I started to pull out.


I figure I have enough basic supplies to keep me crafting for 3-5 years without buying anything other than small bits and pieces needed to complete a project.  To be added to as I clean out the crafts and figure out what I have.

Mardi Gras/Gaspirilla Beads                Fat Quarters                                Vintage Zippers
Buttons                                             Thread                                         Floss
Felt                                                   Fabric Paint                                 Acrylic Paint
Paint Canvas                                     Cross Stitch Fabric                       Sand
Shells                                              Driftwood                                     Coral
Sea Glass                                         Mosaic glass/tile                          Paper – all kinds
Chinese paper                                   Card stock, plain and patterned      Origami
Dollhouse stuff                                   Ribbon                                         Beads           
Wire                                                 Fimo                                             Charms 
Glass sun catcher pendants                Stamps                                        Stickers
Ink                                                   Magazines                                   Silk flowers
T-Shirts                                            Corks                                           Wooden plaques
Yarn                                                 Soap making                                Lots of kits


Sewing Machine
Paint Brushes
Basic tools – pliers, small drill, hammer, screw drivers
Knifty Knitter looms
Knitting needles, Crochet hooks
Bead loom
Lots of books
2 Ott lights
Ziplocks all sizes, lots of boxes, all sizes
Clay roller (pasta machine)

Projects in the works

  • Scrapbooks – I really would like to organize all photos, including digital, and start scrapbooking again.  Maybe make photo books.  
  • Greeting cards 
  • Annual Christmas book – is it a craft or a writing project – all I know is that I am on the 2nd 25 years of family Christmas book, and I am several years behind.  I want to bring it up to date and give to hubby as Christmas present
  • Various cross stitch projects
  • Magazine purse –I have all the chains made, I just need to try my hand at sewing them together.  Make a commitment for 4 rows.  If I like it, wont be hard to finish.  If I don’t ditch it.
  • Shell garland – for the bathroom
  • Christmas Ornaments - all kinds, beaded, cross stitch, digital photo, frames

The Plan

I am fortunate to have a very large room including walk in closet and vanity to house and work on all my craft supplies.  My craft room also doubles as my home office, so the desk can get extremely cluttered.  I also have a very bad habit of not finishing what I start, and combine that with being a visual person, my room is a mess.  

I am interested in so many different crafting mediums, and I have to have all the tools.    The kids are in college, and we are thinking that we may downsize our home in the not to distant future.  I don't want to give up my craft stuff without a fight.  So I need to have a plan.

It's the day before my 49th birthday.  And I've decided to write about my journey to clean out my craft room.  Not by just putting it away, or getting rid of stuff, but by using my stash.

The starting point - incriminating photos.  This represents most of the supplies - I'll save you from the under and on top of the desk and the floor stash.

The Plan
  •  Figure out if there is a craft style that I truly love and would be able to take with me to a smaller home
  •  Complete craft projects – or dispose
  • Use up my stash
  • Make stuff for me & our house. I have so many artsy craftsy things that others have made for me, but very little that I have done.
  • Make stuff for family and friends
  •  Make stuff just to use up the product and then try to sell it
  • Give away supplies for things I don’t like doing
  • Rule #1 Put away everything at the end of the day – that means I probably need to clear off a shelf right away so I have some place to put unfinished project
  • Rule #2 Purchase only what is needed to complete a project like adhesive – OK I have an exception.  If while on my travels, I find something that I gotta have
    • The craft has to either be a complete kit
    • Must be something for me
    • Must fit in with my themes for my house
  • Rule #3  Always bring a project when I travel, these are where all my kits come in handy