Being a Minimalist Crafter

I’ve often heard variations of the joke; I’m not a “quilter”, I’m a “collector of fabric”.  Which is very true in my case.  Buying new fabric and other craft supplies brings so much joy with their potential.  Further, I don’t just collect supplies, I start projects-and then never finish them.  In fact, my only two posts before this were about starting a new project after I had delved into my stash with the explicit intention of finishing one.  Whoops.  I gloried in that New Project feeling for a couple of days and then the glow wore off.

See, I’m also a Minimalist.  I’ve read up a bit on modern minimalism, and spent the past year chucking any possession that isn’t something “I know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.  Being both a Crafter and a Minimalist means that I am often at odds with myself.  I started my Happy Owl-O-Ween cross stitch.  But that meant something else had to get the ax.  Taking a good hard look at my stash I zeroed in on two targets.

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This was my first foray into sarcastic modern cross stitch, and my first self design.  The full quote in from the film Wayne’s World and says, “I once thought I had mono for an entire year.  It turned out I was just really bored.”  I never loved this design though.  I was more concerned with exactly even spaces between the words and lines, rather than playing around with what looked best.  Plus, while sarcastic designs are fun to look at on Pinterest, when it comes to projects I feel dedicated to work on, this was not it.  Into the trash it went.

This was the second project to go.  It was an extremely difficult decision, and I had mixed feelings.  I bought this back in about 2008.  Those were the Limited Days, when I relied on buying whatever kit were least ugly at JoAnns or Walmart.  I never loved this design, but I bought it for the colors.  I was actually a bit surprised that work had even been done on it.  I don’t remember doing so.  Since it was a design I didn’t love, and I hadn’t done much work, it seemed like it would be an easy choice to throw it out.  BUT.  I did like the pattern (or at least the colors) and I had put some work into it.  On principal, it seemed a shame to throw a project out.  I was very torn.

To cure myself of the temptation to hold on, I looked at my (looong) list of other projects I want to do.  I realized that I wanted to work on all of those projects before this one.  Further, I know I will continue to find more amazing projects from my favorite, and ever bountiful store, called the Internet.  Really, my decision was made for me and I chucked it out.  (Side note: Is there somewhere I can send half finished cross stitch projects, other than the landfill?  Are there actually people out there who would want to pick this up where I left off?)

My current project tally stands at 11 finished projects, and 6 half started and thrown out projects.  Not a great batting average.  This just goes to show that you should only start things you really love, and not what happens to be lying around.

While I think about the work that was wasted, I still feel so much lighter!  I love being Minimalist.  Getting rid of these two projects really cleared my mind out, as much as my craft space.  Now I can focus, with enthusiasm and joy on what I want to do, and not be constantly reminded of projects I feel guilty about not finishing.

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3 thoughts on “Being a Minimalist Crafter

  1. If you have a good charity/thrift shop close by, many of them will take partially-finished projects. People do buy them, either to finish or to use the materials for something else. A charity gets some money, and someone gets materials to put to use. Nice all around. 🙂

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    • Thanks for the info! On another blog I saw someone who buys partially finished pieces, but I wasn’t sure that was something more people do. I am considering unloading a couple more WIPs, and will definitely donate them if I do. Usually, I go to Goodwill. Yay, or nay?

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