Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getting ready for Christmas

With all the newly found and organized supplies I have at my disposal, I have been working at night while watching tv on a few christmas swaps I joined in... Here are the matchbox ornaments for an advent swap with the Diva's.  The purple angel is a gift for a friend.  I am making a bunch of these from toilet paper rolls.  Yes Danita, I save them too, and a good thing, because I gave a bag of them away to a friend and then didn't have enough.  So I used gift wrap tubes, paper towel tubes etc.  I am making them for a boutique and filling them with homemade English Toffee...  Now that I know how to make it like my sister in law Krissy does, (I learned her trick last year) it comes out better than ever.

Now I have to work on my 12 days of christmas swap with the Gilding the Lily thursday night gals...  I got 11 pipers piping...  and I have an idea...  It seems to be coming out well, will post pix soon.

What things are you working on for Christmas?  I would love to hear.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Moving, packing and more purging

There is light at the end of the purging tunnel.  Man does it feel good to get rid of things.  I am so happy that the art community here in Orange County is as diverse as it is.  I have met a lot of lovely artists at my sales.  People who have become friends, art pals, and shopping buddies.  I can see the floor in my studio.  I can actually do a project start to finish and I can find everything I need to do it without a trip to Michaels.  I have been making things for boutiques, and putting together class proposals for art retreats. 

Hours spent at the scanner scanning old photos and ephemera have produced a hard drive full of images that need to be burned to a CD.  Yards of fabric donated to the Fullerton School District for their ren faire, art journaling supplies donated to my friends Mel and Katherine for their kids art journaling programs...  I feel good about where the stuff went...  like a mother hen watching her chicks leave the nest. 

We are moving again...  Where?  We don't know yet...  An apartment here in OC, up to the Bay Area,... Maybe to Europe... China... Singapore... Australia....  Wherever my hubby can find a job.  We are blessed in the fact that he is employable internationally.  We aren't stuck in the LA or Bay Area job markets.  I do want to find something here... My daughter loves it here... I have made a life, friends... I love the weather.  But we just don't know at this point.  Downsizing and getting our stuff contained to a manageable amount that can be moved and stored easily is not only prudent, but necessary at this point...  So the packing and purging and going through boxes has no end in sight... I think it will be going on for a while now...  I know God never takes you anywhere but up... It is we ourselves that hold us down....  so we are going where God sends us...  Just wish we knew where that was...


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Confessions of a hoarder

Has it really been since June that I last posted?  Man, where has the time gone?  I have been busy purging the art studio, selling off a ton of my hoarded supplies, making my life simpler and easier to manage...  It is so difficult to let things go... I am getting better...  I empty 5 boxes of stuff and save 1/2 a box for myself.  Then when my keep box is full, I go through it, really think about it... Do I have an immediate need for this item, can I make something with it in the next 90 days?  Have I touched it in the last year?  2 years?  Longer?  If not,. I pull it back out, put it in the sale box and off it goes to a new home.  Recovering from a hoarding addiction is difficult.  I have always been a saver...  but it has gotten worse since I started doing altered art... or should I say collecting altered art supplies...  It is pointless, when you have so much stuff that you can't find what you need to even do a project... I found 5 different rolls of fusible web from different times that I needed it and went and bought more cause I couldn't find it... How ridiculous is that... ? 

I am starting to realize I am NOT actually emotionally attached to the stuff per se... It is my attachment to the creative process and ideas I had when choosing that particular item.  I am attached to the creative energy generated from that object...  When I get rid of something, I feel like I am killing my creativity.  Like I won't create ever again if I can't make that thing I have been saving that lace for ...  Nevermind it has been in a box for 15 years, and now it truly IS vintage.... and I have not used it in all these years...  I still have the idea...  So...  evaluating my need for the stuff... constantly comparing my stuff to my family and relationships... is this stuff more important than a happy family.  Does it replace time with my family... does it hug me, make me a better person?   If someone... say the police... came in my house tomorrow and said "Choose now, the stuff or your family."  I would like to think that I would be able to let all the stuff go... but if I answer honestly, I don't think I could get rid of EVERYTHING.  I get sick to my stomach when I think about it... I can't even have the discussion with my husband, because it stresses me out so bad I get a horrible headache and can hardly function... 

I bring this up, because so many people I know are like me... Houses chock full of stuff, and yet it is never enough.  Is it the creative process?  Is it the need to collect and surround yourself with ideas?  What is it?  I would really like to know....  I struggle so hard with this....  I want to be better...  I am getting better... I am getting rid of so much...  and yet at the same time, it feels like it is not happening fast enough.  I can't just throw it all in a bin./.  There are tax records and memorabilia and family photos mixed in with the stuff.  It is fairly organized, but so packed full it is difficult to find things...  I am finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel....  I think after this sale coming up on Sunday,  we will really have a handle on it...  It feels better already.  I feel lighter and happier.  I have been creating more... Making holiday gifts, and participating in swaps.  Completing projects for class proposals.  Spending time with my new art friends.  I am happy.  And all of this stems from a lighter load...

My mom does a meditation in her class, where you have to picture yourself getting on a train to take a long trip.  You can never go back to where you are coming from.  What will you take with you?  You picture yourself filling large black trash bags with all your stuff and tying it to your belt.  I had about 70 bags.  I was pulling a freakin' train of bags... huffing and puffing along... Telling people, "I'm coming... I will be there in a minute...  I just have to drag these bags along..."  It looks so ridiculous when I think of it, that I laugh out loud...  Who would really do that?  Pull 70 garbage bags of crap around with them?  Well, I guess I do.  The stuff I have is my 70 bags.  It weighs me down and keeps me from really moving forward in my life.  Thanks to therapy, and some life challenges that have required downsizing... I am finally doing it...  I think I will succeed this time....  I feel different.  I imagined myself throwing the bags into the incinerator on the train, and fueling it for a long trip.  Then I went and sat by the window, next to my hunny, and enjoyed the view...This is the only ride I get with him... This life... and I really want to make it count.

To those of you who struggle with hoarding or addictions of any kind... You can conquer them.  You can overcome them and have a more fulfilling life... It just takes time, patience, and determination.  Be kind to yourself in the process.  Honor where you are at, and celebrate the little steps you are taking to attain your goal.  You will get there.... and the closer you get, the more you will start to see,
life on the other side looks pretty dang great!