Did I accomplish my goal of collecting 465 items to let go off?
Yes, I've found them and have cleared space.
But I'm not done...
Yes, light bulbs.
I've been saving light bulbs.
There is a project that I found in a magazine where the light bulb is used as a mold for cement to make a paper weight...it seemed like a fun idea. About 10 years ago I bet.
They are in the "go pile."
Sometimes I think I need a time limit.
Like this: If I have a project that I want to explore and the materials I need to do it with, it needs to be done within 30 days. If it doesn't happen the materials move onto a new home.
Today's project, a pillow for Lola or Hazel. I used the last of a wool comforter as the stuffing and salvaged material from 2 pairs of jeans, a tank top, and a strip of white denim from some fabric I have for another project for the cover.
Lola's already tried it out but it wasn't the preferred spot for the moment. I suspect that I will need to make her a blanket so that she can build a nest on the pillow.
Over 25 years ago I went with a friend to her parent's house over the 4th of July. Her mother served warm vanilla pudding and raspberries one of the nights we were there and I fell in love with the combination.
Years later, after being able to plant my own raspberry patch, I started making vanilla pudding to eat with raspberries for my housemate and myself.
It's been over 13 years since the last summer I made pudding for the two of us. Every summer I make vanilla pudding, pick raspberries, and remember two very good friends.
2 cups of milk + 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 1/3 cup honey heated until thickened. Boil for 1 minute.
Pour half of the milk mixture into the eggs slowly to temper the eggs and then add the egg mixture back to the rest of the milk and cook for one minute.
Remove from heat and add a good splash of vanilla.
The most important things to remember about making pudding from scratch is to stir most of the time and to be careful to temper the eggs so they don't scramble. To borrow a phrase from the children I work with, it's "yucky" when that happens.
I've been sorting through old photos, deciding what to keep and what doesn't need to be stored. (Clockwise from tiny puppy, Lola: a photo I took when I was nine of one of my grandfather's ponies, Briar and a neighbor's puppy playing, 2001; baby Briar on her pillow, at my grandparent's in Northern California, probably taken sometime in the 80's). These are all keepers.
Photos are funny things. I have very few photos of Lola as a puppy. I wasn't very good about backing up photos around that time so when my first computer crashed I lost just about everything I had. What I realized from that experience is that it really isn't necessary have multiple photos of pretty much the same thing.
I've been thinking a lot about memories, how we hold them in our minds...objects and photos can spark a memory, but they really live within ourselves.
Lola and I sat in the sun this morning.
Today was one of those days that I would have rather stayed at home. Not because I didn't want to go to work but rather because I didn't want to go....
Lola barked at the birds and the water meter reader while I stitched.
The portulaca caught my eye.
Later, while riding the bus to work, I layered and added filters and considered what it is that I like?
I think it's partly because it makes me think of other worlds, magical worlds, myth, fairy tales and folklore. Worlds in between worlds.
I imagine how things might age.
I imagine seeing the world through other eyes...
Is it useful? Do I love it? Does it bring me joy? Does it hold a story for me? When the answer is yes then it is probably something to keep.
My dad recently gave me this. It belonged to one of my great-grandfathers. Still useful. Something that I need. And it holds a beauty that is it's own.
It's a very good example of something that holds all the qualities of something that I want to keep.
At the bus stop, noticing the reflection (it rained all day long), thinking about life without a car.
Thinking about need, about needing one thing more than another.
Thinking about what can be gained by sitting at a bus stop on a rainy day.
A piece of blanket that I am stitching on, layered with a feather that fell out of the mattress topper that was in the "go pile."
The layers of fabric were salvaged from other projects, something to keep.
The digital layers and filters added to change perspective.
I have been erasing digital photos as part of the challenge. 100 photos = one item for the go pile.
The heart itself, being mended, and not for the first time.
I can't remember where I found this but this is interesting and appropriate here: "Is Mending the New Shopping?
My answer is yes, at least that is where it starts. Perhaps when we attach meaning to an item? Or if we thing it might be useful someday. Or when we think, "This could be made into this or that or the other...."
Because I have a fascination with how things are defined, I looked up "clutter" and learned something new; Clutter is not only a "disorganized jumble of things,"
it is also the collective noun for cats.
This particular clutter includes a stuffed cat that was my mother's as a child (absolutely in the keep pile), a red rose figurine that was a secret santa gift and two cat pins.
And here's how my mind goes...
I never wear the pins but they could be turned into magnets. I like them but do I really need more magnets?
I've been wanting to make some terrariums (which will put some old canning jars to use) and the figurine could be fun there, but so could a lot of other things I have.
Yes, I think clutter starts in our minds.
Total items being relocated as of today: 66.
By 11:00 AM it was already 80 degrees F, that's hot for around here...especially this time of year.
The pansies are lanky and sad looking once you look past their cheerful faces.
The spring flowers are almost done, but there are peas to pick, strawberries, raspberries, cherries and blue berries...
And a tiny little fairy out in the garden
A gift from a friend.
Something that I am keeping.
Things that I am giving away:
6/2 2 cookie cutters
6/3 button covers, a pin, and a stuffed animal/magnet
6/4 a bunch of magazines (decided that magazines need to count as one item) and 3 books.
6/5 3 hats, one duck, and a cat pin.
Issues and ethics. I've been thinking a lot about different issues surrounding this challenge, the ethics of belongings, clarifying my goals and thoughts about this. These are things that won't be easily resolved and that I don't have complete answers for at the moment.
Ultimately, I realize that a lot of my need to remove things at the moment is from a place of realizing that I am done storing things because I might use them someday. Whatever I am storing would be better of being used by or enjoyed by someone else. It's the result of refining who I am, what I value and how I want to spend my time.
I have had a long interest in tiny houses, like this one (my mother will confirm this).
Sometimes I play a mind game with myself, what would I keep if I lived in a 400 square foot house? What about a 200 square foot house? My current space is about 800 square feet, a bit less than the size of an average apartment and even less than half the size of an average house (some statistics on that here).
As I followed links and read various things I came across this challenge by The Minimalists and I want to give it a try...
For the month of June I'm going to give away, recycle, remove things from my house. Following the pattern suggested by The Minimalists:
June 1st = one item
June 2nd = two items
June 3rd = three items and so forth...
For the really scary math, by the end of June that totals 465 items!
At least once a week I'll document what I've gathered to give away.
For day one:
A bag of stamps that I am taking to a co-worker.
And yes it might have been easy to save this for day 10 or so, but the reality is that I could easily gather 400 or so small items like this to meet the challenge so I need to work a little harder than that!