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Confessions of a Conflicted Crafter

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Paige's craft issues started young, when nonstop begging earned her first supplies, which were as protected -unused- as a dragon's hoard.

the-conflicted-crafter

A Craft Hoarder is Born

My earliest crafting memory is of being a preschooler and wanting- oh so desperately wanting- a particular kid's jewelry making kit. I don't know where I'd seen it, but it the only thing on my birthday wish list. I'm sure the begging was relentless, because someone, surprisingly, gave in.

Understand that my mother was not crafty, and like most mothers, deeply anti-mess, and I assumed she'd have quietly threatened bodily harm against the relative foolish enough to buy it.

I'm sure she imagined beads strewn everywhere- underfoot, in between cushions, rolling under the stove and melting into a stinky, sticky goo.

What happened might've actually been worse.

I loved them, carrying them everywhere, taking them out multiple times a day to gaze upon. Arranging them, sorting by various attributes. Yet never, ever, were they strung on the conveniently included cords to be worn.

Oh, I'd try them out on the necklaces- trying this configuration, then that one...but never once tied the knot to make them wearable. That would forever lock in what might be not the perfect arrangement!

The horror! What if I got it wrong? How could I ever live with the monster I'd become?

Instead, I'd become Gollum, protecting his precious.

the-conflicted-crafter

Escalation

Overall, things didn't improve with age. Sure, for a while Girl Scouts kept me in line because you'd go to a meeting, operating under a deadline with supplies they provided. No choice there but to stay on the straight and narrow.

At home, though, things tended to accumulate before quietly disappearing, likely discreetly tossed by Mom when she realized my attention had wandered to the next shiny thing. Probably for the best, really.

Once on my own, the wheels came off the cart. And the cart kept getting heavier, and fuller, groaning under its own weight until we arrived at this point:

Beads, so many beads.

Beads, so many beads.

More beads. And overflowing papercraft.

More beads. And overflowing papercraft.

There Came a Culling

When the scales fell from my eyes and I saw it for what it was, it took my breath away. All this stuff. So much I was drowning in it.

At the time I wrote:

The last few years have been rough ones, and although I’ve accomplished very little, creativity-wise, I have apparently been stockpiling for the craft-pocalypse, that dread day when all the yarns, paints, beads and baubles are “called home,” where they shall be judged and made to walk this earth no more. Well, honestly, mine never walked the earth. They sat in drawers, in boxes; basically wherever I could stuff them, and there they waited, glowering and making me feel bad about their stint in my purgatory.


It was time to break their chains and set them free.

A Tiny, Ironic Fraction of the Sacrifice

I'm particularly taken by the "How to draw dragons" book, given that I have no drawing skill whatever. Not sure what I was thinking, really.

I'm particularly taken by the "How to draw dragons" book, given that I have no drawing skill whatever. Not sure what I was thinking, really.

It took awhile, but I went through everything, physically touching every single object, not so much in a "does this bring me joy," Marie Kondo way, but in a "am I likely to ever use this?" way. If the answer was no, it had to go.

I was pretty ruthless. Some went to friends and family, a literal grocery cart's worth to our local school. And yet, there was still so much here.

I organized. Reorganized. Scoured Pinterest for tips. Coveted but could never justify a Dreambox. Everything confined to a single rack was the goal, but that didn't work out so well. Supply creep is a real hazard, y'all.

Still, progress was made, but when I realized The Culling was 3 years ago, I panicked anew, because nearly everything left then is still here, now. Not to mention... there's been some backsliding.

Or, in this case, "I can tell myself I can make it, if I just had the supplies..." Whether or not I get around to DOING it is irrelevant. Better get the stuff, just in case.

Or, in this case, "I can tell myself I can make it, if I just had the supplies..." Whether or not I get around to DOING it is irrelevant. Better get the stuff, just in case.

As God as my witness there will be a stash busting like never before!

I'd continued to sort and condense while new, previously unexplored corners of the craft world crept in.

Resin? Yes please- more plastic is just what I need in my life!

Alcohol inks?! Absolutely, not entirely sure what you do with them, but bring all the colors!

A Cricut on sale on Black Friday? How do I say no- they're never on sale!

And the newest potential quicksand- mosaics.

Coming up on the 3 year anniversary pulled me up short, though, and here we are: organized but unused. I'd simply swapped one problem- accumulation - for another - justifying the accumulation by organizing it really well.

Top row- beads, so many beads. You'd be shocked how many you can fit into those binders.  Middle row- attempting to show the layout, but it's too tight for a real panorama  Bottom- cart, paints and glitters. Drawers- Papercraft, Cricut & resin

Top row- beads, so many beads. You'd be shocked how many you can fit into those binders. Middle row- attempting to show the layout, but it's too tight for a real panorama Bottom- cart, paints and glitters. Drawers- Papercraft, Cricut & resin

The Plan of Attack

I realized that a main source of temptation was being lured by videos and/or Pins and deciding I could, for sure, do that. And maybe that's true! Supplies are gathered, generally speaking, but projects rarely actually attempted.

My intention here is to create a series of pages where original project is tracked down and shared, and see how it goes.

It could be hugely funny/embarrassing! Or, just maybe it'll be wonderful. Either way it's a win, because things are finally being put to their purpose, and hopefully you'll be encouraged to try something new, too!





Sticking to the Plan- How the Stash is Getting Busted:

  • Learning to Make 3d Layered Designs on a Cricut
    Seeing lots of content about layered, intricate images done on a Cricut, including subscription packages. I need to learn how to use the Cricut anyway, and this seemed like good concepts to start with.
  • Yarn Pompom Rugs- Worth the Work?
    Videos showing how easy it is to make pompom rugs are making the rounds again- how easy is it, really? I decide to find out.

Comments

Paige (author) from New Orleans, LA on August 22, 2020:

Exactly! I tell my husband he should feel lucky that I just want to *make* stuff, and not have him *buy* jewelry. Luckily he doesn't really know what the combined cost of some of this is...lol

Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on August 20, 2020:

I read this and thought I had written it!!! I think us creative crafty types are natural hoarders, in a good way, because you truly never know when something will come in handy for a project. I, too have became a victim to the recent resin craze and have easily spent hundreds of pounds on inks, glitters and pigments. At the end of the day, we only have one life, so we may as well enjoy it! I am crafty, therefore I craft. Thus is enjoyment... that's what I tell myself anyway...

diwaliessay on August 19, 2020:

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Danny from India on August 18, 2020:

A school hobby is making a comeback. Crafts which was our school work and we never took the subject seriously, but now the topic is gaining momentum as not only a school subject but for any recycling and upcycling task carried indoors.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on August 17, 2020:

I loved reading about your 'addiction'. I have whittled down my interests to felting and leather-work and I know how difficult that was. Good luck with your project.