Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A day to purge

Yesterday was a purge day. I have been putting this activity off for nearly two weeks, and the time had come. Needless to say, I didn't get anywhere near finished. In fact, like all good organizing jobs, I made (and left) more of a mess than I had when I started. I originally started because I thought Dana would be by, but she kept calling me and getting a busy signal. Unfortunately, I was not on the phone, but was waiting for her call. I finally called her around 3 pm, which of course was too late to do anything. So now I can continue the sorting and organizing again today, since she has company all the rest of the week.

I had to laugh because this is what I found on my work table when I walked into the craft room yesterday morning. I had stamped these and sectioned them off, thinking I could whip out a few while watching TV Sunday night. You saw how far I got with them. These will go in some pile, just not sure which, yet.

Believe it or not, this is sorting! Dana gave me this seed kit and I got tired of it sitting on my dryer, so I decided to dig out my basil and plant it. The dried basil, picked in my garden last fall was harvested at the end of the year. Any viable leaves were saved and the rest went into a brown paper bag. The seeds were then allowed to drop into the bag once the stems and blossoms dried. Once the seeds are off the stems, I save them to use in my chiminea. They create the most wonderful scent when they burn.

Because basil seeds are teeny tiny, they stick to the paper bag and refuse to leave. I think I got some from the bag, but I won't know until they sprout.

The little kit came with these seed packets. Yes, it was a Mary Engelbright, but I knew I didn't want to use her seeds. After all, peas and radishes are too big for this planter, and I've found that peas simply don't transfer well into my soil. I will save them for spring planting, instead.

Speaking of planting, I did just that, added some press-n-seal, and created a mini greenhouse in my kitchen window. If the seeds don't sprout in a couple of weeks, I will know there were no seeds in the paper sack.

At certain times, usually when my small old phone book is overflowing, I remove the pressed leaves and flowers, then place them in envelopes for safe keeping.

My favorite way to store them is in those glassine type envelopes the USPS puts your purchased stamps in. You can see I've also removed flowers from the paper towels, which are now ready to go once Spring produces something for me to press.

Did you wonder what was in the red box above? Well, it's what took most of the morning to sort and pitch.

The back story is a bit long, so if it doesn't interest you, I'll totally understand. When I first got into altered art, it was by way of a stamping/scrapbooking group my neighbor introduced me to. She thought I was crafty, probably because I can decorate walls and make pleasing vignettes on flat surfaces, but that is where my talent stops. For some reason, I have not learned how to translate that to paper crafting.

I only went to their group sessions about six months (they met once a month) and one time I was searching the internet for handmade card designs. Now this was back in mid to late 2001, and blogland had not been invented. In fact, the internet was still in its infancy compared to today. While searching for card designs, I found altered books and never, ever looked back.

The women who I exchanged cards with were not into altered art (even though they didn't call it that back then) and I wasn't really into their style of art. Once I realized I was not crazy or alone in my artistic style, I stopped going to their monthly card exchanges and began pursuing my own art interests.

Part of my problem was (and probably still is), I use mostly free stuff. I don't go out and buy the latest supplies, tools, bling, or embellishments. Instead, I make my own from items I have on hand. In fact, my main staples back then were paint chip samples from the paint store, scrap window screen, magazine images, maps, and old book pages. I used a lot of my dried materials, too. Although no one ever said anything, I know they didn't care for what I brought each month to the exchange.

Here are some of the cards I pitched after I scanned them for posterity.

And more.

Even more.

I was pretty bad back then. My engineering degrees didn't prepare me to adding paper to paper in a decorative way.

I used anything I could find.

Once in a great while I actually used a rubber stamp or two. I even attempted to delude myself into believing that I could make their style of art.

But mostly, I used what I had. And before you ask, I burned the sheet music pages using a stick of incense. It sure took patience!

The above cards are mostly all gone, now, thrown into the trash so they can clutter up the landfill. They live only in my memory and on this blog as bad art.

By the time I finished sorting and purging (more purging than sorting), I was ready to tackle my ribbon supply. I have a very, very limited supply of ribbon, although these boxes make it look like I have tons. This ribbon is all mostly from the 80s, more like paper than fabric, and too wide (some spools are 3" wide) to use in altered art projects. I had planned to sort it and donate what I couldn't use to the thrift store, but I got hungry and fixed a meal, then called Dana, and yada, yada realized I had nothing to put the sorted ribbon in. So this scene is how I left my craft room. I'm NOT putting it back. It's definitely going today.

I stumbled onto today's blog yesterday and learned there was a giveaway contest going on when I got there. Lila Tueller designs fabric and she is generously offering a quilt to introduce her new line called "Eden." Her fabric is playful, colorful, full of flowers, and gorgeous. Her quilt is beautiful.

Before you go to her blog, let me explain about the giveaway. She asked for comments about how we would use the quilt. Although it would liven up the wall in my studio or guest bedroom, I was reading the comments, and one gal by the name of Molly said she wanted it because she had MS, was confined to a wheelchair, and it would be perfect for warming her legs while in the hospital. I was so touched by her story, I asked that, if I should, through some twist of fate, win the quilt, it be donated in my name and sent to her.

So, I challenge each of you who have more than you need, think of someone YOU would donate this quilt to, who actually would put it to better use than you would. If your need is such that you need it, by all means, please add your name to the contest. If not, please consider offering it in your name to someone who really needs it.

Have a great sorting and organizing day on me.

6 thoughtful remarks:

Halle said...

Three of the first 4 cards you scanned weren't so bad. I have a collection of my early handmade cards as well. The scary thing is that I gave them to people!!

La Dolce Vita said...

very industrious! love the idea of throwing the basil in the fire pit!

Tess said...

Ahh, I cannot believe you pitched those wonderful cards. Etsy, hon, etsy. I loved them and I know others would too. It sounds like you had a very interesting start to your artistic life.

Marlynn said...

I loved your post - OK, as you know, you got me into my sorting, purging, what-ever-you-want-to-call-it frenzy at the moment. And, you threw stuff away.... that is always the part I bump over. I was thinking just last night, if I took a pile of paper and tossed it (had been in a file of quotes which I have never used), would I miss it. Probably not.... hmmmmm, a new direction is coming. And the ribbon is my albatross, yes I could hang myself with my mess of ribbon. Donation is an idea but the minute I do that -- OH NO, I need that EXACT ribbon for a project. I know it is all subconscious! LOL. Now headed over to Lila's blog. Have a good day.

Donna: said...

Aren't Purge days/weeks great? Your beginning cards show what was to come. I can see design principls starting to flow, color, texture and imagination! However space is important also, and scanning them was a wonderful idea! My favs of the cards are the lace with the dried flower head and the red one next to it. Had to click on them several times. You could print them off anytime and use them as backgrounds for other colages!

Carol Anne's Boutique said...

Hi Elizabeth, Oh, I really liked your cards, especially the one with the lace and dried flower, I think it's beautiful!! I was just cleaning and sorting through my craft room yesterday. It's not really a room like you have, it is a utility room off my kitchen where I keep my supplies and I do my crafting on my kitchen counter. :) I received the kit from UHU today so will be working on the box tomorrow.
Have a great week Elizabeth!
Hugs, Carol Anne :)