Oh, the hoarders, the hoarders!

When I watched a couple of episodes of Hoarders, I had to look away whenever one of the hoarders said, “No, I have to keep that. I might need it,” or “Oh, I forgot I had that. I can’t throw that away.” How many times have I heard those phrases inside my own head while cleaning out drawers, shelves, or boxes? Although the show has not scared me neat, it definitely makes me pay attention to what I tell myself whenever I look at all my “stuff.”

My stuff tends to fall into two large groups: books and craft supplies. I am not a shoe collector, nor do I collect any particular collectibles (both of which my husband is very happy about). The problems I run into with the books and crafts are the niggling thoughts that someday I might read that book again, or I might want to use that 6″ piece of ribbon for a card someday. And I know why I don’t just give some of my books to, say, Goodwill or some other secondhand service. I want the next owner to care as much about that book as I did. I don’t want it to languish on a shelf or in a pile somewhere, getting old and ratty and musty. (UPDATE: I just gave away two large bags of books to the local library. Then I went out and got more books. Oh, well.)

The craft items are hard to give up because they’re pretty or they’re part of a kit I have almost finished or I had this idea of a new craft project…the list of excuses goes on and on. The main reason I have so much stuff (and such a variety) is that I love all kinds of crafts. I love to crochet (yarn, needles, books, pamphlets, more yarn, crochet thread); I love to sew by hand (thread, needles, fabric, felt, buttons buttons buttons, rickrack, ribbon); I sometimes use a sewing machine (thread, fabric, patterns, buttons buttons buttons, interfacing, trims, zippers); I used to cross stitch (floss, fabric, needles, floss, floss, books) but my eyes don’t let me enjoy that like I used to. Don’t even get me started on all the paper crafts (paper of all kinds, colors, patterns, sizes; rubber stamps; ink; colored pencils; markers; paints; embossers; scissors; punches).

Why do I feel like I need to join a recovery/support group after writing all this?

The truth is, I’m really good at this stuff. And in life, it feels good to be good at something. So if I have to put up with feeling guilty for having too much just so the stuff will be there when I want to express my creativity in some crafty fashion, then I guess I need to make peace with the piles o’ supplies.

But I’ll let you know if I decide to finally have that craft-themed garage sale.

 

 

Getting organized is messy

McCall's Crafts M6374

I found a fun and practical pattern for making lots of things to help keep some of my sewing and crafts more organized. It’s McCall’s Crafts pattern M6374. I can’t imagine paying $18.95 for a pattern—remember back in the good old days when patterns were in the $1–$3 range?—so I was THRILLED when Hobby Lobby had their occasional sale of all patterns for 99 cents. (It’s beyond satisfying to buy things for 99 cents, isn’t it? I love to wander around dollar stores.) So I bought four patterns, but knew this one was the one I’d open first. Why?

Because I need to get organized. I thought the wall-hanging organizer would be a good idea so I can get things off my sewing table, but still keep them handy. I’ll just hang it within reach while I’m sewing. (Oh, and a huge THANK YOU to my DH, Eric, for buying me a new sewing machine! Love it!) But things had to get a little messier before they got better. Isn’t life like that sometimes? I remember hearing that when I was going through some counseling several years ago. It’s like needing surgery. In order to heal, sometimes we have to get cut open, which can be very messy and painful indeed. And sometimes we need someone outside ourselves to help. For me, that has included God, close friends, special family members, and the occasional mental health professional. The end result, though, is worth all the tears. It means moving forward with more light and less darkness, more self-control and less trying to control others.

So here’s the messy part of my project: cutting out the 20+ pieces that are supposed to become an organizer. When I saw how many pieces were involved, I have to admit that I almost changed my mind. Instead, I decided to read through the directions so I could understand what each piece was, how it was sewn, and what purpose it served when finished. I did just that, and **Surprise!** it all made sense! I cut out each piece and began sewing. Less than 24 hours later, I was finished!

I love this bright, sparkly, kitty-laden organizer. Now I want to get busy making some matching accessories: probably the square pincushion and some of the round boxes to hold lots of goodies. Stay tuned for finished products in the next post!

I hope you’re learning how to put all your pieces in the right places, too. Thanks, friends, for coming along for the journey.


Craft Therapy

 

There’s talk therapy—and there’s craft therapy. At this point in life, I’m not sure which one is actually more expensive (having spent probably a few thousand bucks on both). I do know, however, that crafts make me happy. Working with my hands, my heart, and my head all at the same time is what makes me feel real. I think a lot of other people feel the same way. We sew, glue, crochet, knit, bake, photograph, forge, spin, cut, hammer, plant, snip, paint, and hundreds of other glorious verbs. Crafting is creating—starting with an idea and making it appear as a tangible thing that others can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste.

I’m starting this blog and website to share with you my crafts: the processes, the ingredients, the final products, and even some personal insights that sometimes whisper in my ear as I’m working. Some of the projects will be things you may want to make. DIY, with my blessing. Please join me and invite others who share our love for all things crafty.

Tanya Anderson

P.S. Check back regularly—I’m known for doing spur-of-the-moment giveaways!