Monday, November 17, 2014

Revamping Your Hobbies

 My hobby corner of the living room.

I'm a pretty crafty person and find joy in making things myself, but in our war against stuff I found being a serial hobbyist is antithetical.  Thus, I went through all of my hobbies picking out just the two that bring me the most pleasure and scrap the rest along with all their equipment.  The two I picked are knitting and spinning as fiber really is my true passion and not much more than a day goes by where I don't do one or the other.  

Beeswax candle making with all it's melting pots, molds, jars and wicking supplies was one hobby that met the chopping block.  Soap making was another, with it's dedicated stock pot, hand mixer, spoons and vast variety of oils and nut butter ingredients.  I also used to make all our lotions, lip balms, shampoo, beauty masks, sugar scrubs and even toothpaste all of which had lots of left over ingredients and containers to be sold.  Being an Art major from undergraduate and graduate school I accumulated lots of supplies for many different kinds of art making, but after I culled a few things for my son's use I sold the rest which included paints, litho print blocks, inks and tools, drawing supplies, woodworking chisels and gouges, and all of my metalsmithing materials and equipment.  It was very freeing to let go of all these supplies as I'm no longer interested in these pursuits.  I used to play the piano too, and while we have a piano now there will not be room in our next house for it so I have sold my stacks of music books  keeping only four with songs that I still play from once in a blue moon.  When we move I'll give these last books to my father or brother who still play regularly.  

The last to go was sewing and it was a hard one for me.  I've sewn clothing since I was a child, but I really don't have the long stretches of uninterrupted time that I need now that I have a child of my own.  Fabric and patterns were just accumulating on my shelves and I felt guilty over the waste, but thought I would still get to using them.  Well, now I've admitted to myself that even if I had the time I probably would choose knitting or spinning over sewing as they are very relaxing for me where sewing, if I'm truly honest, has always stressed me out.  You see if you cut the fabric wrong you now have scrap fabric as you cannot redo a cut.  Whereas with knitting you can always rip back your knitting, wind up the yarn and start a fresh.  So, I have sold most of the fabric (still have more to do), notions, lots of thread, some tools such as scissors, pinking shears and marking pens, but I do still have my sewing machine, basic thread and sewing needles for patching and making repairs.  I would eventually like to sell the sewing machine, but I'm just not ready.

And I think this is an important thing to note that I did all the above in stages as I couldn't "see" everything that needed to go all at once, but instead getting rid of one hobby made it easier to get rid of the next and so on.  Also, some items are simply harder to let go of then others, but eventually they will go if that's your goal.  I sold almost all of this on Craig's list with the exception of the fabric which I sold on Etsy.  I already had an Etsy shop so it was easy for me, but it may be worth setting up a shop if you have lots of new craft supplies with name brands (most of my fabric I knew the designer's name, company, and name of the pattern) or antiques.  People really do search for specific designer brands on fabric nowadays and I found I got a good price and they sold fairly quickly on Etsy compared to when I tried to sell my fabric and patterns on CL.

Actually, I do have one more hobby I kept, but it only takes up the space of a regular sized shopping bag and it helps me with my downsizing.  Have you guessed it?  It's scrapbooking.  I scrapbook with my friends once a month whittling our photos, child art and mementos down to a book.  I could simply keep all our photos digitally and dump the physical ones, but I find we don't enjoy them that way.  We enjoy looking through our past in the form of a book on a lap sitting close to one another on the couch.  I fit a couple to a few years per scrapbook (or in my case one scrapbook for all my childhood and youth) saving only a few special photos to remember events by.  Again, my hope is to give my son Sam memories, but not weigh him down with the past.

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