Lifestyle

Preparing a Space to Create: Limit Yourself

RSS
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.journeytohandmade.com/preparing-a-space-to-create-limit-yourself/
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram

Okay, you have to hear me out on this post. Because what I’m about to propose will go against everything you instinctually want to do as a maker.

In fact, this is an idea I’m wrestling with myself, and I haven’t decided yet where I fall.

Here it is:

Limit your stash and create more.

Wait, what? You say. She must’ve forgotten to edit. All knitters/spinners/quilters/seamstresses/scrapbookers know that the first step to becoming a master is to accumulate everything you could possibly need or want and hoard it like there is no chance to buy it tomorrow!

Girls, you read it right.

I think we need to stop the madness of accumulating stuff.

Now don’t get me wrong – I love to shop for crafting tools. Stick me in a quilt shop with a credit card and I’m the happiest girl in the world. Let me wander a farmer’s market and buy wool roving that has been hand dyed and it is pure bliss.

But it recently occurred to me that I buy this crafting stuff with such great dreams that I kinda maybe (Okay, definitely) treat it as if the purchasing IS the creating.

You see, I buy my fabric/yarn/supply with these great dreams of what I can do with it. Design the trendiest quilt ever. Make the perfect fitting blouse. Knit the most intricate mittens.

But before I get around to doing that awesome idea I’ve dreamt up, I find another really fabulous fiber that I need to buy. Or a new line of quilt fabric is released by my favorite designer and I just know I could do something amazing with it. Or there is a sale!! (And those might never come around again, right)

So before I know it, I’ve built up an epic stash of projects I’ve dreamt up.

Sounds perfect, right?

But here’s the thing. That fabric that I just had to buy? I didn’t make anything with it at the time because my to-make list was too long. Now I don’t even like the fabric and my pattern has gone out of style.

That yarn I bought skeins of so I could knit a baby sweater? The baby has grown into a first grader.

That quilt fabric I stashed up? I no longer feel drawn to make that bargello quilt.

You see, what ultimately happened to so many of my project dreams is that I never got around to making them when the time was right. Now I just have a pile of stuff. Some of it I can incorporate into other projects, it’s true. But really, I’d rather buy the just right, perfect piece that completes my current dreams.

It turns out that stores do have other sales.

It turns out that sheep keep making wool.

It turns out that paper companies keep producing paper.

It turns out that fabric continues to arrive on bolts in my favorite quilt shops.

So maybe, just maybe, we will have more joy in creating, less “I should” when we look at our spaces, if we limit our stashes and instead buy what we need to make the “just right” piece we are inspired to make today.

What do you think? Where do we draw the line between having supplies to create with and too much to create?

RSS
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.journeytohandmade.com/preparing-a-space-to-create-limit-yourself/
Pinterest
Pinterest
Instagram

10 Comments

  1. Debbi

    This absolutely resonates with me as I’ve had many of the same thoughts! It’s what has pushed me to donate away so many items that were wishful projects but still weighed on my mind as incomplete. It’s also what encouraged me to make my crafting space intentionally structured so that storage space is limited and I’m working towards shrinking my accumulated items to fit into it and I will continue to do more of that over the next year as I finish projects and shop-from-stash to eliminate the extra storage containers. The knitting retreats I go to every year have a “lost the love” table that I use to hand on things that had good intentions but poor follow through.

    All those examples to say….. Outflow is “progress” at first to eliminating the backlog from years-gone-by but limiting the inflow is still where I struggle yet try to focus. A few years ago, I started tracking what specific pattern I had planned for a particular yarn (the Ravelry Queue is great for this!) And I saw that while it limited my purchases to first require a plan (no just-on-sale skeins) it didn’t move me far enough. Like you said, the pattern may not interest me anymore by the time I got to it. Or, more honestly, I focus on too many projects and then rip out half done sweaters that I lost interest in half way!

    Thank you for this reminder to keep pushing forward on limiting the “I should” in my space and focus on right now.

    1. admin

      Yes! You hit the nail on the head: it is so hard to stop the inflow of new supplies. I think that is a symptom of our culture, which isn’t an excuse, but can help us understand why we do it and how to be intentional about living differently. It’s so tough! (Says the lady who just spent a small fortune on sale yarn…)

  2. Debbi

    Also, I’ve use ravelry favorites to digitally mark things that interest me without having any $/space requirement as I’m browsing…. Then years later I laugh at the lists and clean them up at “thank goodness I never made X to wear”….. Digital clutter is also very real, but this little bit helped me stop acquiring physical patterns and yarn and instead curated a reference list for when I have space to start something.

    1. admin

      Ooh I like that!

      1. Debbi

        Are you on Ravelry? I should friend you! I’m debbilynn42 over there.

        1. admin

          I am! Currently I’m on as pevestal, but I’ve really underutilized it in the past. One of my goals is to have a JourneytoHandmade account made there by January and do it properly 🙂

  3. I absolutely agree! I might not practice this but I know it is right.

    1. admin

      Same here 🙂 It is hard to implement these thoughts, but they nag me as something we should pay attention to

  4. Jess

    Well said! I did a very tiny amount of purging last night and am ready to do more! I want to see what I have so I know what I can make:)

    1. admin

      Starting to clear out and organize definitely gives momentum! Way to go!

Comments are closed.