A couple of weeks back, I started a craft stash buster self challenge – which I failed miserably because a couple of days after I decided to use only craft supplies I had on hand, I broke down and bought some supplies that I thought I really “needed” to complete some projects. So after that breech in my challenge, I buckled down and have successfully lasted almost 3 weeks without going to the craft store. Score 1 for me! During this time, I finished a pair of earrings, a bracelet and a necklace. I am donating them to my son’s school for their fundraiser. The pictures are a little bit dark because I am a night owl and I finished these around 11:30p last night and had to take a picture before my bead explosion crept back onto the necklace board.
Everything I used, I had on hand. My only hang-up is that I’m still wondering if I should make the necklace 3 strands instead of 2, but it’s pretty busy and getting heavy.
My creative process – total chaos:
Finishing something feels like such a great accomplishment. Now that I’ve successfully made these pieces, I can use the remaining beads (and I have way too many) to make something for myself, gifts and to sell! Yay!
A few weeks ago, I bought an old embroidery hoop at a thrift store – one of the ginormous ones. I was going to run strings up and down in it, weave yarn through the strings and use it to display jewelry that I make. But then I decided that I really wanted to try my hand at making a mobile for my 7 month old daughter, Posey. I searched for mobiles on Pinterest and found an easy one I could make, and then I saw how much they sell for on Etsy – and I thought, this I can do. I think it took me about 3 days to complete.
Let me go back a bit. My mania has gotten me all fired up about making things – crocheting, jewelry, sewing, and therefore all of my craft supplies have sprawled across every flat surface of the house – totally on my way to the Hoarder Alarm System, I know. But although I have some very cool projects in the works, I’m having a sort of creative paralysis. Everything is out and ready to go, some of it even half put together, but I can’t seem to finish anything. It’s like I have a fear of completing something – fear of success, fear of failure.
I envy people who can see the potential in old, beat up objects and create truly amazing things with them. I have to see the end result and then use similar supplies to make my creations. And I can’t pick out colors to save my life. I have so much trouble when I crochet blankets trying to decide what colors go together, same thing as when I paint furniture. Thank the gods for Pinterest. I actually do use my boards for ideas I have found and pinned in the past and I update and delete pins as I try to use the ideas the pin gave me. And you can find color schemes galore – I like www.design-seeds.com – the colors are nice and the pictures are so pretty and soothing. I went to a small craft show here in Salt Lake City – miracle of all miracles, it was held on a Sunday – this whole town shuts down on Sundays, so it was nice to have something to do. The other fun part was the name – Craft Sabbath! There were some really cool vendors and all sorts of artistic creations. I would have taken some pictures, but I’m not really sure how to go about asking people if I can take their pictures – with their wares for my blog that I’ve just started.
Even though it was a very small craft fair, I hope to see them grow and can’t wait for the next one. When I got home, it was like I had ants in my pants – not literally, but I went into a mobile making frenzy.
I had my embroidery hoop and the silk flowers I bought last week when I broke my self challenge to not buy new craft supplies. I had all sorts of sari silk scraps on hand that I bought like 2 or so years ago on etsy. I wanted to use clear string – like fishing line to hang some shiny beads – which I also bought last week, breaking my no supply buying rule (that lasted like 3 days). I almost broke down at this point…”can’t hang the beads without clear string, I’ll have to hit the craft store, but then going through my stuff, I found some bead stringing wire and used it since the sari silk was too thick to string the beads on. Then I couldn’t find my ribbon stash – they’re in a box somewhere – I keep saying it but it’s definitely time to put my Hoarder Alarm System in place so that I can find all of my craft supplies since not being able to find something almost stopped me again, but the sari silk did come to the rescue this time.
I also bought some shiny beads last week during my no craft buying relapse, but then went through my bead collection and used some ones I already had as well as the new ones. Other supplies were a hot glue gun, wire cutters for the flowers, scissors, something to string the beads on and rings for the end of the bead strings (jump rings) to tie some sari tassels.
I’m pretty impressed with myself and the finished product. Mostly because I made it. I would love to make some to sell, but not this one because it was my first attempt and really I don’t know how well the glue I used will hold up over time. That being said, here are a couple of things I would do differently next time:
Use better glue. I used a low temperature glue gun because I always burn the piss out of myself with the high temp ones, but like I said, I’m not sure how strong that glue is – some of the larger flowers fell off and I had to glue them back on. They’ve stayed on since then, so I’ll have to just wait and see. I’m not even sure what the best glue would be – maybe super glue? I would need it to dry quickly, maybe I’ll try that next time, although knowing me, I’ll end up gluing my fingers together or glueing a flower onto my hand, which might not be bad – maybe I’ll start a new trend.
Use a smaller embroidery hoop. The one I used is huge hoop, approximately 18 inches across which made for a lot of leaf and flower glueing, but it was thrifted, so I used it.
Glue the flowers on first. As you can see from the pictures, I glued the leaves on first to cover the hoop, but then I needed to glue the flowers onto the hoop and the leaves were in the way. I didn’t want to glue the flowers to the leaves – I felt like they wouldn’t provide a strong enough base to hold the weight of the flower.
Possibly paint the hoop green or even white. I ended up glueing leaves and a couple of flowers on the inside, and it covered the hoop pretty well.
Hang more beads and crystals on shorter strings – maybe even ribbon or sari silk. I had to limit the beads due to that huge hoop getting heavy.
Some ideas I had while doing this was that you could use burlap to wrap your hoop and incorporate it into the flower arrangement, or use ribbon, even fabric. You could use real evergreens and pine cones, or pom poms. The sky’s the limit. Really, though, there is no limit!
So in the midst of some rather large projects, I’m making some items for my son’s school fundraiser, and in the spirit of going through my craft stash to make the things, I’ve decided to do a stash buster self challenge.
In my head, I’m super creative. I have so many ideas and no fear that I can’t do any artsy-craftsy thing I put my mind to, but when it comes to the execution of the projects – like finishing them, I fall apart.
The challenge would be that I wouldn’t buy any more craft items unless it was something small and absolutely essential for finishing a project for which I already have the supplies. I came up with this self challenge on Tuesday 4/26/16, it is now Friday 4/29/16 and I’ve already failed. I knew I might have to buy a small thing here and there to finish the projects and that was totally my goal today when I hit the craft store, but I have a serious problem.
For example, I got these really cool beads a while ago at a Gem Faire that comes through every few months. I love boho inspired jewelry and thought I would make a set of earrings, necklace and bracelet for the school fundraiser. Of course I bought enough beads at the time to make myself a set as well and maybe even one or two for gifts or to sell.
But after searching through my hoarded stash:
And there is a lot more, not pictured. I realized that I didn’t have enough chain to make a necklace. I know, I know, I’m sure there was something I could use instead, but like a broken record, my psychotic mind kept looping, “I need chain, I need chain. Can’t finish this project without chain.” So I went to buy the damn chain. I had coupons, after all. Here is what I left the craft store with – and this is like the lightest load I’ve managed in a long time. See those two small packs of chain on the far left? Yep, that’s what I “needed.” The flowers and shiny beads are for a mobile I want to make for my 7 month old daughter. And of course I needed a new bag – so I paid $1.59 for a new bag – I only have like 10 of them. In my defense, they’re all different and I keep different crochet projects in them.
So I texted my husband after this trip to tell him I had a serious problem. He didn’t even ask. I told him about my recent debauchery in the craft store, but I came up with a brilliant plan for my craft supplies in the meantime AND when I put my plan into place, I’ll need even MORE supplies.
Here’s my idea:
The Hoarder Alarm System™
And not just any old hoarding system. I would organize all of my craft supplies in a usable fashion starting right inside the two doors leading outside of my house. That way when someone tries to break in, they’ll be like “what is all this shit?” And I wouldn’t stop there – I would organize my things all along the walkways – so you have to step in certain places to make it into the house – like the hot lava game you may have played as a kid. I know – awesome idea, but now you’re wondering what you would do if you’re home when someone tries to get into your house? But the brilliance of this plan is that all of your craft supplies are organized so each section has its own weapons. For example – the sewing section has scissors and needles, the crochet section would be similar – small scissors, needles, plus you can use the yarn to tie your intruder up. If you have spray paint in the house, you can use it like pepper spray, but your burglar will leave with a pretty color on his or her face. And if all of that fails, you can just start throwing things – think about the damage a well aimed mason jar would do to someone’s head – although you’d have to have pretty good aim, which I don’t. But by this time, the intruder would be so freaked out both by your house and your amazing use of non-conventional weapons that they’ll just say – forget this crazy bitch and run for their lives.
This is just to let you know that if you’re like me, you think better surrounded by total chaos and that those nice, neat pictures on Pinterest and on other blogs are all staged. No super creative genius works in a clean, clinical setting. Let loose your inner genius and hop aboard the hot mess express!! Let’s create people or is it let’s create, people? Anyway, the new Stash Busting Self Challenge starts now.