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Arts & crafts

So much stuff!

(21 Posts)
Hamalasyno Tue 17-Sep-19 13:20:23

I’m 73, have been sewing continuously since I was 25, (learned at age 14) and quilting since I was 32. Learned embroidery at age 27, and taught myself to knit in high school. As if I needed more hobbies, in 2001 when my first grandchild was born, I started scrapbooking. I have ongoing projects in all my hobbies at all times. Unfortunately, I'm quite behind in my Scrapbooking. Some days I feel just a little overwhelmed with all that I love to do. My biggest supporter is DH, who has been my partner for 53 years. He always made sure that I had a room in whatever house we lived in, that was all mine for all that I love to do, which is why I’m writing. I keep thinking of the unbelievable amount of time it would take my children just to figure out what to do with my stuff. As much as I love all my hobbies, there are times when I wish I didn’t! So many hobbies, so little time. Thoughts anyone? Would love to hear from those of you who also have “too many hobbies”. Thanks.

Lilypops Tue 17-Sep-19 13:32:15

Hi Hamalasyno ,, I have hobbies too , mainly sewing and knitting , I have drawers full of fabric and patterns that I feel I will never get round to making , and if I did when would I get the chance to wear what I made ,
I have bags of wool I knit and crochet and I can never resist buying a new ball of wool , I make crochet throws and I usually have something or other on my needles,
Oh and I love glass painting , gardening and golf , it's finding the time to do all these hobbies, I am lucky enough to have an attic room as my " den" where i can leave all this stuff,

NotSpaghetti Tue 17-Sep-19 13:44:01

I have just had a major (ruthless) clearout of craft items I know in my heart I will never get round to.
My daughter has taken some to use with her children, some went to a charity shop and the odd bits and pieces (remainder) went via freecycle to others.
I have lightened the load by about the space of a large airing-cupboard...
Hooray!
It as my husband wryly remarked "more room for more wool"... hmm

Oopsminty Tue 17-Sep-19 13:51:17

I mentioned this to my children recently, funnily enough.

I am not a minimalist. I am the opposite. I too have my craft stuff but also books, colouring pencils, books, fabric, embroidery stuff, books, wool etc etc.

I was saying I had to get rid of some of it as it will be a nightmare. The three children were absolutely appalled and told me in no uncertain terms not to get rid of a thing. So that was my quandary sorted.

If you're genuinely wanting to get rid then do so. NotSpaghetii's ideas are great.

But if you are in two minds just close the door on the stuff and maybe go back to it another day.

NanaandGrampy Tue 17-Sep-19 13:53:13

Oh I know this feeling !!

I have a whole log cabin full of papercrafting paraphernalia! And machines, a heat press , a die cutter, a light box, and on and on and on.

I have promised myself this winter I will sort out and give away some crafting things I no longer use but there will still be a craft Mountain left. A lot of it is ‘ I might need that’ stuff 😁

So I can’t help Hamalasyno all I can say is enjoy it..... they can sort it out when you’re gone 😀

Amagran Tue 17-Sep-19 14:00:24

Wow, Hamalasyno, what amazing skill and creativity you must have. Why worry about how long it would take to sort your stuff? Your OH is clearly very supportive - he obviously recognises that this creative and skilful person is who you are and wouldn't want you any other way. I doubt also that your children would want you any other way.

I could be wrong, but I very much doubt whether Picasso or Leonardo da Vinci or any other great artist lost any sleep over who would clear away their stuff when they could no longer use it or how long it might take! Like you, they were just driven to create, and also felt 'so many creative outlets, so little time'.

I think your 'stuff' and all your creations are a wonderful legacy for your ACs and GCs.

Power to your elbow!! smile

Happysexagenarian Tue 17-Sep-19 16:37:36

I too have been pondering this dilema recently. I have too many hobbies and interests to list (sketching, painting, sewing, papercrafts, making jewellery, macrame to name but a few) and I have a dedicated craft room, but it is so stuffed with materials and equipment and finished jewellery that I have not sold that I still end up working on the dining table! Added to which there are boxes & boxes of stuff under the beds, in the loft and even in DH shed! I have tried offering surplus materials and equipment to craft groups, schools, day centres and care homes. They weren't interested, many said they wouldn't know what to do with them. I no longer want to do craft fairs to sell what I make, but I do have an online Folksy shop though sales are few and far between. I suspect that most of my beautiful handmade beads and gorgeous fabrics will be binned when I expire as my AC won't have room or need for them either. I just hope they'll remember some of the things I've made over the years. My consolation is that I get a lot of enjoyment out of making things regardless of what happens to them.

Bordersgirl57 Wed 18-Sep-19 10:01:50

Oh what a talented lady you are! If you are still getting enjoyment from these hobbies then don't stop. Perhaps you could ease your conscience by doing a bit of sorting and labelling so that anyone having to clear it knows immediately what is inside boxes etc.

Bless your OH for his wonderful support. I couldn't help but feel a stab at that as mine has 5 sheds (full of hoards of ???) a dedicated train room full of boxes and trains that haven't run for 3 years. Finally he replaced the summerhouse and I have that for my art - had used a corner of the dining room up till then. It's tiny but better than nothing.

BradfordLass72 Wed 18-Sep-19 10:29:06

I've just done the same thing but for a different reason, I can no longer see to do the beloved crafts I so enjoyed.

I recently gave all my arts/crafts equipment away.

But to answer your question, we really shouldn't limit or edit our lives and hobbies according to what the next generation will feel, do or say about our crafts.

If we have precious heirloom quilts or paintings or embroidery, then give them to family now. The rest is up to Fate.

I have been writing a diary for over 40 years; each year in a ring binder with a few relevant documents and things such as the occasional receipt from supermarkets as a means of comparing the history of the time. I used to stick photos to the pages, now it's all digital.

I put it to my son, when I heard the NZ National Library would be interested in having them, if I should leave them for him to read or turn them over the the Nat. Lib now. He was most adamant that he would read them.

If he wants to give them to the Nat. Lib eventually, that's his choice.

Almost everything else I've made was either made specifically for someone (my bone carvings and painting for instance) or given to charities (quilts) so whilst I still had the arts and crafts equipment, I no longer posess the items I made.

But then, apart from my embroidered hats, I was never making things for myself anyway.

LondonGranny Wed 18-Sep-19 10:58:54

I was quite arts and crafty before I had children but then anything creative was geared towards helping them making stuff, plus for years my job was an Arts worker so it was all about activities for 5 to 16 year olds. Everything from photography (and developing) to enamelling, clay, you name it, I did it.

When my kids were grown I discovered my old watercolour box and realised I hadn't done anything non-child centred for thirty-odd years and now I'm retired I do loads of creative stuff for my own enjoyment.
The most recent thing was making tree covered mountains for a five-year old's Brio railway set-up (cardboard, Modroc, paint, moss and plastic ferny stuff from a bunch of artificial flowers that resembled conifers). While I was doing that I managed to get grey acrylic paint on my favourite linen summer dress so I embroidered a wheatsheaf over it. Looks great!

Callistemon Wed 18-Sep-19 11:27:01

This struck a chord with me too

Some of my paints have gone solid but other art equipment is still fine, my yarn stash is overflowing (but then I have to buy more because I never have the right colour), fabrics which I've had for years may come in useful. I tried other crafts which I never got to grips with but just might one rainy day etc etc
Enough knitting patterns to start a shop.
I gave one scrapbooking book to DGD and she has enthusiastically turned it into a scrapbook of animals!

Time for a clear out.

Callistemon Wed 18-Sep-19 11:29:58

I suspect that might paintings could end up shredded or in the bin - I am no Constable or Van Gogh

Callistemon Wed 18-Sep-19 11:30:50

Auto correct!
my not might

rockgran Wed 18-Sep-19 15:36:17

I have recently cleared out a lot of other possessions so that I don't feel too guilty about my craft stash. (Mainly fabric but lots of other things.) I make things for a charity but even so it mounts up. I look on it as a bit like doing crosswords or jigsaws but with an end result. If it gets binned then at least I enjoyed doing it. I'm sure our children would prefer that we are gainfully entertained rather than bothering them or complaining about being bored (I'm thinking of my ex MIL). I'm always pleased to see the stash reduced by a new project and just try not to overstock again. My aim is to live long enough for it to be reasonably manageable!grin

Marydoll Wed 18-Sep-19 16:01:26

I'm about to start clearing out my craft room, as it will be a nightmare for my children to clear out when I die. sad

Card and jewellery making were my hobbies, but my RA has put paid to that, I no longer have the dexterity to use pliers etc. I got such pleasure out of the jewellery making.

I plan to donate much of the crafting materials to the local nursery, it should keep them going for years. grin
My wee granddaughter loves my bead stash and likes to play at pirates looking for treasure. Like myself, she is a lover of all things sparkly, so I will be hanging onto them for her.

Witzend Thu 19-Sep-19 08:33:16

I have a vast mass of knitting yarn, much of it left over from a lot of Christmassy things I made last year. Umpteen different colours of relatively very cheap, 100g balls of yarn - the projects didn't need 'quality' yarn.

Despite more Christmassy knitting now, I don't see how I'm ever going to use anything like it all of it. I've made some twiddle muffs for the local hospital but they don't use much either.

I can see that one day I shall have to add to the 'after I'm gone' instructions for dds (or dh) to take it all to charity shops. Despite one dd being an avid charity-shopper, I'm not sure it would occur to non-knitting dds otherwise.

I don't have much else, except leftovers from making curtains. One such remnant was left after making a couple of huge garden cushions for a dd. It's lovely material and would make a couple of v nice normal size cushion covers - maybe I'll get around to that one day.

Hamalasyno Wed 25-Sep-19 01:09:26

Thanks so much to all of you who have replied to my dilemma. As luck would have it, actually kind of spooky, but a few days after I wrote this, one of my nieces called, and knowing how much craft stuff I have, she asked if I had any items left from selling on Etsy for 8 years. I gave it up when my 5th GD was born. She was on a fundraising committee to help exploited children. Yes, I had some aprons for adults and children I had made, along with some tote bags. Then it occurred to me that she teaches Middle School Art, and could she use some of my yarn. OMG I thought she was going to flip. I told her to let one of my other nieces go through the box first, because she has taught herself to knit. That’s one hobby I know my girls aren’t interested in, so that was easy. Something else that I discovered is that there is a lady in town who makes dog beds for the animal shelter, and she loves to use cotton fabric scraps for the filling. Hooray, because I have scraps I know I will never use. (Probably enough to make 1,000 dog beds.) So there you have it ~ I guess I needed to vent before I could figure out what to do with some of my stuff. Don’t worry, quilting, sewing, knitting and Scrapbooking will be ongoing for quite a while. Thanks again for all your suggestions!

whywhywhy Sat 28-Sep-19 01:15:09

Hamalasyno I know how you feel. I have loads of wool, fabric, needles, paints, brushes etc. My first love is knitting, then crochet, watercolour painting, quilting, sewing, glass painting, reading, gardening and designing jumpers. I also want to learn to play a musical instrument. My first choice is the saxophone and then maybe the piano as I didnt have a chance when I was young. My mam taught me to knit at the age of 9 and I taught myself to crochet at the age of 22. Sometimes I panic that I am not going to get everything done before I die, which is silly, I know. The secret is to carry on and not worry about the future but to enjoy the present and all of our wonderful hobbies. Happy crafting! x

Lyndiloo Sat 28-Sep-19 01:56:55

Oh, this struck a chord with me. I love to crochet - throws mostly. But nobody wants them! Why do I keep on ...? I have three huge bags of wool - and have now stopped myself from buying any more. (Shopping in Aldi yesterday, and they have some wool on sale - various shades - and my hand actually went out to pick some up, before I mentally slapped myself!)

I, too, keep being reminded that my daughters will have the onerous job of sorting all this stuff out. Not just wool - paints, canvasses, caligraphy stuff - not to mention heaps (and I do mean HEAPS) of junk jewellery! And candles! (Why have I collected so many candles over the years - smelly candles, changing colour candles, fat candles, thin candles, Christmas candles ... ?)

Time for a clear-out!

Thank you, Hamalasyno, for reminding me! I'll start tomorrow ... or next week ... or the week after ...? smile

Willow500 Sat 28-Sep-19 07:02:49

Oh gosh how much stuff I have is ridiculous! I crafted for years doing so many different things including making dolls houses and then I got into card making. I have tons of card, CDs, paper, card kits, glitter, machines, stamps etc. etc. We put the house up for sale 3 years ago so I packed a lot of it away in the garage but when we took it off the market I didn't bother getting it out again - my craft room is still crammed though and I really need to clear it out. I haven't made any cards for several years - I can't find the enthusiasm for it now. Giving all the stuff to a school might be a good idea if they want it.

travelsafar Sat 28-Sep-19 08:00:00

My hobbies include knitting and sewing as well. How i would love a dedicated room to set up my machine with an area for cutting out. I am no expert at either subject but i can get by and find both very relaxing. I have wool and knitting 'stuff' packed in baskets behind the sofa and in a chest of drawers, and sewing stuff under the bed and in the bottom of my wardrobe. I try not to leave it all out on display as it makes me feel messy in my head!!! smile My dh on the other hand has a whole spare bedroom with his models on display and he has gravitated to the kitchen table a small cupboard in the hall and we currently have several large packages delivered a couple of months ago still unopene.d sitting in the corner of the lounge!!!! He also has a whole garden shed too!!!!!!