As is often the case, the most enlightening aspect of my last post was the comments. The collective wisdom seems to be:
- "Your house is not an alternative landfill." (Thanks Amy.)
- Clear the clutter: sell some stuff on Ebay, donate the rest.
- Organize what you want to keep.
- Use the Ebay money to buy only what you really want.
So, steps 1 and 2 are in action. I'm finding that the hardest things to get rid of are half-finished projects that I began with so much hope and enthusiasm and then, for whatever reason, became tired of and forgot.
With unfinished knitting, I ripped some of the projects out and rewound them. It was initially hard to start yanking on a string to unravel the hours of work, but as the project morphed from knitted fabric back to a simple strand of yarn, I felt like an Incomplete was being erased from my crafting transcript. I was left with yarn with no discernible past ready to be somebody else's dream project.
I wish the same could be done with botched sewing—or botched anything, for that matter.
At a deeper level, a most thoughtful comment came from teaweed: "I guess the ways that potentials have been interfering with actuals in my life has been percolating in the back of my mind."
I think this is at the very the very base of what all creative people struggle with. For me to be creative and productive I need both inspiration (patterns, pictures, mental images) and "art materials." Yet, when there are too many ideas and too much stuff (and especially, too much of both) the masses of potential and partial projects agitating for attention don't leave any space for actual creativity.
I need to discard old projects that didn't work out, particularly those remind me of failure or are preventing me from moving on. Easier said than done. Very little is harder than giving up on something that just didn't work out—especially when I'm the responsible one.
And that brings me to the third theme in the comments: Organize what I want to keep, and decide exactly what I want to let into my stash (and, I will add, into my "to do" list).
At first this seems like work, the kind of detail work I don't like and am trying to do less of. But, on the other hand, it could be rather fun if I were to undertake it not in as an inventory clerk but as as a "creative wardrobe designer." I love Alssea's idea of sketching ideas and adding swatches. If I took the time to make a croqui like she and some other lovely sewing peeps have done, I think it could take the whole organization process to a whole new level of creativity and distraction. Which could be a problem in itself.
How do you all get rid of past projects and plan your future ones? Is there more method or madness?