This morning I watched the Oprah episode I blogged about on the 27th. Since that post I've begun to realize this hoarding/acquiring thing really is a problem for me. I buy way, way, way too much stuff from ebay. When I watched Oprah's hoarding episodes (2 episodes) this morning, there were many things the hoarding woman said which I could completely understand. I've been agonizing over this quite a bit not because my house is even remotely to the point of the woman's house on Oprah's show, but that I can completely understand how it happened to her. Ten years ago I would not have been able to fathom it. My psychological well-being has diminished in the past 10 years to a point that I am barely the same person. Now, how do I find my lost self? How do I remember who she was and how do I go about finding her again? I know there are many and varying emotional blows that have brought to the place I currently dwell. It's not like I need to dig to figure out what's caused my problems. I've never buried any of it and I'm over all of it, but I still have this obsession with acquiring. I'm not saying I intend to stop acquiring cool things for my art. Vintage finds give me great pleasure and creating art from those things brings even more. What I am saying is I haven't really made anything in months. Yes, I worked my fool tail off on my Easter swap, but that was an obligation. I haven't made anything for the sheer pleasure it brings in a very long time. My free time is devoted to searching for more stuff to cram in drawers. I've been looking for my tin type collection for over a year now. I, of course, have started another tin type collection, but I still can't find the original. I've cleaned out my entire studio twice and it still hasn't turned up. Now, get this, I've never made A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G from a tin type. Nada, zip, zilch. I have too much trouble parting with them.
With the tin type revelation we have a seed of understanding the problem. The joy of acquiring cool things should be nothing but an extension of the joy it gives to transform those finds. For those of you who acquire and actually use your acquisitions, you don't have my problems. When the woman on Oprah talked about the high she gets while shopping, finding and buying the bargains and how, when she comes home, she feels miserable about it. It made my cry. For her because I understand how someone could get to that place and for me because, although, I don't buy nearly the panoply of things she buys I still get a high knowing that John will be barreling down my drive with packages he can't fit into my rather huge mailbox. The thing is when I open all that stuff I often think, "now why did I buy this especially since I already have hundreds of the same thing" that I haven't used BTW. Not that I don't buy many things I love, and use, and share. I do and I don't want to stop getting cool vintage things to use in my art and share with my friends and sell in my etsy shop. What I want to do is take control of it all. I want to be discerning instead of reckless. I want to stop buying things with the idea of selling part of it and then deciding, when I receive it, that I really NEED to keep it all. Scroll down and look at all the vintage rhinestone jewelry I have. Go over to ebay and search "vintage rhinestone jewelry." It's gonna be a while before that well runs dry and that's just what's on ebay. I'm going to force myself to put some of my jewelry in my etsy shop. No matter how painful it may be.
Problem Part 2: After my big studio purge, I mounded a bunch of vintage trims I either don't really want or don't have room for on the dining room table. They have been there for the past two weeks.
A few other things on that table too. Those gold wicker type cup holders are now in the trash. The kids always lay their stuff around. My stuff didn't bother them at all they just put their stuff on top of mine. There were several stacks of vintage greeting cards on the table too. Still haven't found a place for those because I also have several more stacks in my studio. Hundreds and hundreds of those things not to mention postcards. I haven't even looked through them and I've had them for months. See.....ya think I have a problem?? I also put all my wallpaper scraps in tubs and put the tubs in the corner of the living room where they have been sitting for 2 weeks. My plan is to make scrap packs to sell cheap in my etsy shop.
Today I cleaned off the dining room table and took photos to sell that trim in 2 lots on ebay. PURGE. We even had dinner at the dining room table again. Works really nice for dinner. Almost like it was made for serving meals.
Getting the wallpaper ready for scrap packs will take a while, but I'm determined. Next, I'm going to move ahead with this home remodel. I'm going to stop being stifled by the overwhelming thought of all that will need to be done. I'm going to put one foot in front of the other continually until it's ready to paint. Then we will rip up the carpet and get the wood floors in. Then I can have SO MUCH FUN decorating. First, I've got to get everything purged. I'm doing good. Need to work on Jackson's room.
Here's a picture of the dumpster outside. I actually threw away some fabric and it was VERY HARD. You know those massive bags of fabric they sell in thrift stores? Well, I got out the few fabrics I wanted and turned to stone when I was faced with what to do with the rest of it. After watching those shows this morning I marched to the dumpster and threw it away. Then resisted the urge to fish it back out. Now, it's covered with lots of other things so it's GONE forever.
I promise it's a bigger pile than it looks like here. The next thing I've had a problem pitching is these tins I bought several years ago. Do you remember when these tins were all the rage??
There was a point when these things were impossible to find. A friend of mine had found a bunch of the Singer tins at Walmart and sent me 4 or 5 of them. So, tell me why in the world I bought 3 more of the plain white ones a couple of weeks later when I found them at a scrapbook store?? I've now had them for 3+ years. The really funny thing is I like the Singer tins much better. I was fully ready to keep the one remaining Singer tin because I intend to alter it and keep my own cards in it. While heading out the door to the dumpster with the white tins, I happened to see the bottom which revealed I had paid $5.50 each for them. BACK into the house they came where they still sit. I have no room for these things. I am going to try with every fiber of my being to throw them away tomorrow. I'm gonna do it.
Finally, I see from my comments and emails that I'm not the only one who felt like I was looking into a crystal ball while listening to that woman talk about her problem. I don't want to get to that place and I want to enjoy acquiring cool things for my art in a healthy way. I know we all do. Many of you girls don't have this problem and I know many of you do. Kari Ramstrom is a great example of one who runs her finds out as fast as she brings them in. She's a great example in this and so many other ways. She actually experiences the joy of creating prolifically with all her finds and lets go of the excess. Let me know where you stand on this. We are all devoted to a hobby that can bring great joy and growth, but it also lends itself to developing a problem with hoarding and acquiring. I noticed the woman on Oprah had at one time been a pretty serious crafter. I wasn't surprised by that. This is all about making a decision and following it through. Just like Peter Walsh advised, we must visualize what we want our lives to be and maintain limits to insure we have the quality of life we and our families deserve.
Since I put so many ugly photos in this post I thought I would leave you with something pretty. I love the little brown lines that run inside the negative space of the damask pattern while not running outside the pattern. Very nice.