Setting limits for hobbies and crafts?

quasifishNovember 1, 2012

Curious if others have any philosophy on setting limits and establishing criteria for the keeping of hobby related supplies?

In the past few years, I've quit doing a lot of crafts (liked the idea of better than the application), so got rid the stuff related to crafts and hobbies that I no longer do. I still have a couple of crafts I enjoy, though don't have as much time as I use to, I still do them from time to time (sewing and yarn crafts). Over the past few years, I've not purchased any new yarn or fabrics, though some has been given to me by well meaning people. I don't really have that much (compared to some crafters I know- roughly 6 rubbermaid bins total), but in some ways it feels like a lot because I don't have that much time to devote to these things, so I feel like I should thin them down. I'm trying to get started on these and having problems deciding what stays and what goes, since I can't exactly know what project may come up in the not so distant future.

Any ideas? Advice? Has anybody BTDT with the craft thing? Still participating in a craft, but not wanting as many supplies on hand?

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I thinned out sewing and embroidery supplies. Ingot rid of ALL fabric but kept sewing notions and accessories, embroidery floss and a few pairs of stamped pillow cases for embroidery.

I decided if/when I ever wanted to sew again, I'd rather have the fun of shopping for fabric for a project. Now I have that opportunity. A friend gave me 2 beautiful wicker chairs for my breezeway. I am going to recover the seat cuchions to coordinate with the cushions of my black iron furniture that is out there. None of the fabric I gave away would have worked for this.

I thin most of the fun of sewing is the thrill of hunting for just the right fabric.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 11:50PM
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mommabird, that's kind of what I was thinking. It seems like when a project comes up, so often what it is on hand, is not what would work best. Often I end up out shopping for something more appropriate. Especially now that much of the sewing is done for a child, the fabrics should look modern, and even many fabrics that are only a decade old, look like fabrics from a decade ago. Since I don't do much of this anymore, compromising and using second best fabric does not sit well.

Same thing with some of the yarns, particularly ones that were sent this way after my grandmother died. Most are really beautiful wool yarns, but wool is hard for me to work with, and the colors are not right. Part of me thinks I should just let them go, but then again, they are some nice yarns...

I did go through a few months back and got rid of anything that didn't hold up well (faded in the wash, wore prematurely, etc), as well as smaller scraps that I couldn't imagine finding a use for. My mother was one who kept even the tiniest scrap declaring that it could be used in doll clothes or to make a doll quilt- great but that is not how I want to spend my limited time! I've got to break that influence that all resources are resources to be kept and used.

Thanks for the feedback, I'm excited to get started going through this stuff, but fearful that I will freeze up and just put it all back away!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:59AM
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Hi, Quasifish and Mommabird

I have the same problem, but am not as far along as you. I have a huge stash in my craft room and have not given away any in years. I cleaned it out before painting the room, but need to donate more, as I have not done much crafting in the past five years. I am organizing and cleaning out the rest of the house first. Part of me thinks that when I retire, I might do more crafts. If not, all of that stuff will go out the door.

I totally agree that the shopping for fabrics and dreaming of what could be done with them is the fun part. I used to do so many hobbies and now just don't have the enthusiasm. I think the internet sucked it all away, LOL!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:19AM
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I find it MUCH easier to declutter craft supplies (and other things) when it is going to someone that is appreciative or a good cause. If I am able to find a charitable organization (like the ones that make quilts for vets or sick children) or someone that can't afford to buy supplies but would really appreciate them, it's much easier for me to let them go.

For me, it generally helps to have physical limits, like your six rubbermaid totes. When they are full, I can't get anything new unless i get rid of something old to keep them in balance. My craft area has two five shelf shelving units. That's my physical limit on what crafting supplies I allow myself to have.

I have very deliberately avoid crafts like rubber stamping or scrapbooking, because I know myself and I know I would want ever doohickey and toy out there associated with them. It would rapidly become a very fun, but very expensive hobby.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 5:46PM
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