Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Dining Room Is Now Empty (of art and craft supplies)

I began decluttering, straightening, reorganizing the house and also cleaning the house in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday four days ago. I systematically did various tasks plodding along.

Yesterday was dedicated to getting all the art and craft stuff out of the dining room. In September I had straightened up and put everything in cardboard boxes and then stacked them along the walls, so that homeschoolers coming here for a co-op could eat on the table. But anyway between the last meeting and yesterday the table was a bit cluttered up.

I sorted everything on the table. I put the two rolling carts full of rubber stamps into the basement.

I sorted what was in the copy paper cardboard boxes. I put all the books and magazines to be cut up to use in making art or else to become an altered book in boxes dedicated for just those things. I then put random ephemera, saved, free stuff in other boxes. I had only half of one box full of purchased supplies such as some colored papers from the craft store. Most of what I have saved is random ephemera such as junk mail, colored paper from junk mail, clippings from mail order catalogs or newspapers, old ticket stubs and other random things. I labeled the boxes to tell what was in it “random ephemera” or “books and magazines for making art”.

My filing system is not very organized. I basically fill boxes with the papers. Then when I go to make something I sift through it. I toss out the stuff that I determine won’t be used and I use or save what I see as the best or most interesting.

I think I have enough stuff saved. I was not angry at myself for saving up all this stuff. However after looking at ten boxes of books, magazines, and random ephemera, I think that is enough.

I was inspired by doing that task yesterday and really wanted to sit down and make some art.

However instead I hauled everything to the unfinished basement, where I have ample storage space for stuff like this.

Oh did I mention I already have some boxes of stuff down there similar to this stuff?

I have enough, I think.

I also found two blank journals that I purchased at a used book sale at a library fundraiser. One is big and square shaped, about the size of those old large square photo albums. The other is a leather bound journal with lines on one side of the page. It has an advertisement for a prescription drug embossed into the leather but perhaps I can alter it in some way to hide that.

So anyway right now the dining room looks like a perfect dining room with (just) furniture and framed art on the walls and vases and candlesticks to decorate the room. The room looks quite nice but that art-mess that defines that stress-relieving part of me is absent.

One problem with this house right now is that so many rooms look good and the way they are ‘supposed’ to look but that leaves me no space for things such as a place to sew, a place to make art (and to leave the stuff out), etc. I could convert a corner of the unfinished (dreary and dark) basement for this endeavor but the atmosphere would be so depressing I would dread being down there (with the spiders). Ugh. So for now it will be stuff stored in boxes and hauling things out when I want to do something then cleaning it all up when done and putting it all away, I guess.

Confession: for a few months earlier this year I kept the art supplies in boxes and stacked them along the kitchen floor near the table. I made a lot more art during that time as the materials were two feet away from the table and I could pull them and out throw them back in very quickly. It didn’t look so great to have copy paper boxes lining the wall over there but it sure was good for creativity.

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