Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How I Chose to Simplify My Crafts

I love to make stuff. Constantly. That is not the best fit for someone who doesn’t want to have a lot of stuff. I also like to be as friendly to the planet as possible. The perfect outlet for this combination was to make really cool stuff out of trash then give it away or sell it. So that’s just what I’ve been doing until recently.

All of my family were great at saving the really good trash for me. I was having fun coming up with ideas for it all. Then the trash started rolling in faster than I could create with it. A lot faster. I found I was putting pressure on myself to make it into something awesome. Somehow I went from reusing stuff for fun to making myself personally responsible to eliminate all waste from everyone I know. As I was taking loads of stuff out of our house to simplify life, I was also bringing in loads of others’ trash. Not the best path to a simple life. My crafting had to be simplified.

After a much reflection, I identified my two favorite things to make:
  1. anything knit
  2. blank books

I can sit and knit for hours. Rarely using patterns or making the same thing twice. Each creation is truly my own. So I decided that I’ll spend more time on my knitting and also start writing my patterns down. (I hope to get my first pattern finalized and up for sale by the end of the year.)  

My other favorite item to make is blank journals and notebooks. This is a great way to use reclaimed materials, so I still get to redirect a little from the waste stream. My whole life, I’ve loved blank books. I would buy them almost compulsively. Imagine my joy when I first realized that I could make really great ones myself! There are so many uses for a blank book, who doesn’t have a use for at least one? In the past if I had a really great book I wouldn’t want to ruin it by writing in it! That is crazy, I know. Considering my new minimalist ways, I always use my blank books now.

With this narrowed focus, simplifying was easy. Boxes and boxes of craft supplies were given to better homes. The act of getting the unused supplies out of my house refreshed my creativity. I now feel free to come up with ideas based on my imagination instead of what supplies I need to use up. The two types of craft I decided to continue are different enough from each other to keep me from burning out and neither one requires me to keep a lot of bulky equipment or supplies around. Now that we’re so close to achieving our idea of minimalism at home, I have more free time to dedicate to my crafts as well.

Having less inventory of supplies has helped me enjoy my creativity more. Do you like to make stuff? How much do you hang on to that you know you’ll never get around to creating with? Try clearing out some of your unused supplies to make room for renewed creativity!

I've posted this on my other blog Life on Our Terms

Monday, February 8, 2010

Coming Soon- Americana Bottle Caps

Recycled bottle caps +

Recycled fabric=

Cool Americana pins/brooches!

Today I'll start assembling these. I got a little excited with the camera and started taking photos before they were done! There will be necklaces too, without the fabric yo-yos. Stay tuned...

Friday, February 5, 2010

birthday socks!

I bought this beautiful yarn for myself as a birthday present in December. I bought it from the fearless knitter on etsy and I absolutely love it! This will be the second pair of socks I've knit, both for myself. There are plans to knit socks as gifts, some yarn has been purchased. We'll see how long it takes for that to become a reality!
As usual, I've been busy making cool stuff. Lots of my newest stuff can be seen over on my facebook page. Go check it out and become a fan while you're there! I usually post my initial photos over there or on flickr before I get the perfect photos to list in the shop.
March 20th is my next craft show (details coming soon), so I'm busy making inventory. I also need to make some changes/ improvements to my display before then. Sounds like I need to get busy!