Friday, July 22, 2011

30-Day Craft Cleanse!

My latest venture has been to join Moira Richardson on her 30 Day Craft Cleanse project. We are being challenged to abstain from purchasing any new craft supplies, from picking up any new free craft materials, and to focus on the act of art creation instead of the act of craft supply acquisition.

It’s not easy, but it must be done!

Since the beginning of the year, I have been looking at my craft stash with a sense of dis-ease. I have wanted to focus on what I already have, rather than buying new things.

Every time I have given it some thought, I have quickly followed up with a trip to JoAnn’s or a craft book purchase from Amazon or Borders!

I discovered Moira’s blog through our mutual participation in Natalie Malik’s In the Sun art journal e-Course. She mentioned on her blog that she was initiating a Buy Nothing Summer, and invited her readers to participate.

I respectfully declined!

I knew that there was no way I could spend a whole summer not buying craft supplies, magazines, or books.

But then she proposed a 30-day challenge, and I thought, “Surely I can manage THAT!”

So here I am, one week into the challenge. Besides the benefit of inventorying and thinning my craft stash, and spending more time creating and less time plotting my next purchase, I am also experiencing a Ning for the first time.

Moira has put her course on an Art Journal Ning. It’s basically a little social network of like-minded people. This particular Ning offers classes and conversations related to art journaling, some of which are free and some of which are fee-based. It’s a place to post messages, photos, and videos.

I have really tried to learn something new with each challenge I have participated in this year (remember how I discovered Flickr through Natalie’s course?), so I am happy to find out more about Nings from Moira’s class.

(I even looked up “Ning” on Wikipedia to make sure I understand what they are all about. I found out that as of June, there were 90,000 different Nings, or social networks. Wikipedia said that Ning is a competitor of My Space and Facebook, but I don’t see it quite that way.)

So, back to my “cleansing” efforts…

I thought I would offer proof that this is the course for me. Some of you have nice, contained craft spaces, with maybe just a bit of spillover to the dining room table. (We all seem to spill over to the dining room table eventually!) My fabulous purple craft room became my younger daughter’s bedroom, so I moved my center of operations to the living room/play room.
To the left of my work desk is a book case. The bottom two shelves hold my children’s books; the top three shelves hold my crafting “library”:
To the right of my work desk is an armoire, filled with all kinds of crafting supplies: papers, ephemera, markers, scissors, tools like my Cricut cutter and Xyron sticker maker.
I took a photo of the top portion of the armoire, but was too lazy to shove the kids’ toy chest away from the front of it to take a photo of the bottom portion. So that shows you how much I use what’s in THERE!

But that’s only the beginning! Across the room are some built-in bookcases and cupboards. I commandeered those for my crafting and art, too. The bookcases hold my crafting magazines and display some of the things I’ve made:
The cupboards below hold my rubber stamps and inks, my art journaling supplies, and my paint supplies and adhesives.
You thought that was all? Perhaps you’ve forgotten my new sewing machine! That has found a home on the corner of the dining room table.
My husband put a big filing cabinet in the dining room, intending to get rid of it. I immediately took it over, putting my sewing supplies in the top drawer:
The girls’ craft supplies are in the dining room, as well:
As you can see, I TRY to be organized:
So there you have it: my crafting presence on the first floor of our house. Not TOO bad, right? Not TOO hard to organize, right?

But THEN there’s the basement:
Yup, that’s ALL crafting stuff down there. Piles, totes, bins…some are organized, and some not so much:
My need is clear. Moira’s timing is perfect. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may want to join in the fun.

I’m not sure how much progress I’ll make in just a month, but I’ll keep you posted!


Janet said...

I know I should do this but I also know I'd probably fail at it! I applaud you for giving it a try and I wish you success. I think you have more stuff that I do so I sympathize with you.

storybeader said...

oh gosh! That does go on!
And I thought I had it bad, all stuffed into one room... and the dining room table, oh course! (I use the table for projects, one at a time...) Glad you came to Ning and joined the craft cleanse project! {:-Deb

laurie said...

oh, we must be twins! i have so much stuff that it has taken over my house. i thought about joining the thirty day challenge and may consider it still after being inspired by you.

Anne said...

I'm going to come visit and help you with your craft cleanse -- I'll be the one with the ginormous suitcase!

Anonymous said...

I realised the time had come to organise myself when I found I was painting on the computer table, there was no space in my sewing room, no room on the dining table (we haven't had a meal on there for years now), enough is enough I told myself so here I am struggling alongside you Andria....Janet B.

Regina said...

Wow! What a great idea!!! I guess I go in spurts. I'll go long periods without buying anything, them BAM! I'll grant myself an un-needed crafty shopping spree. I guess it's better to be more mindful about it all the time, but sometimes OH-so-hard!

Crafty Moira said...

I took a bunch of pictures of my space when I started. I've only shared a few updates, but I'm totally looking forward to the "big reveal" if you will of an organized space. It's gonna take a LONG time for me to get organized. I'm taking it one box at a time trying to purge, organize and use up what I've got. So glad you've joined us!

Joyfulploys said...

Hi Andria...good luck on not buying any more art supplies, etc. I would have difficulty abstaining from buying anything that because a few hours ago I sent off another order to Dick Blick. I have art supplies downstairs and upstairs but I try and keep my mess confined to the two areas. Thanks for coming by, I appreciate your comments.
Mary said...

Thank you for sharing this post. :]
I would have to creative people we tend to purchase more art/craft supplies than what we use. Telling ourself, "I want that, and I KNOW I could USE IT DOWN THE ROAD".
Yet, as time goes by... these items end up in our "craft closet" forgotten, out of sight/out of mind.
Good luck on the course, hope you keep us updated on your progress.
Take care <3

Parabolic Muse said...

Okay, now.

I was afraid to really examine what's in my 'studio'...

But you've somehow made me braver.

Andria said...

Thank you for your encouragement, everyone! I have already started to make some progress, and I'll try to get some Before/After pics up later this week. That basement is another story, though!