On Change

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Phew. Sorry for the extended absence. Normally when I know I’m going to hit a busy period I try and get organised and make sure I have a few things prepared in advance but with everything that has been going on I’m afraid my organisational skills haven’t been extending more than five minutes into the future.

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Part of the reason for all the upheaval has been another big move for me. New place, new job, new year. You would think I had moved enough by now I would be some kind of expert but I think that the only things I have learnt is that moving is always rubbish and packing is always best left to the last minute. That, and Really Useful Boxes are genuinely amazing. I have some that have survived four or five moves, rather rough treatment and they stack really well together.

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Not Really Useful Boxes but significantly less useful cardboard boxes!

The good thing about the unpacking part is that it can take as long as it needs. As long as you don’t have grand aspiration of having a housewarming party 3 days after all of your possessions arrive, then it can be done in a fantastically leisurely fashion.

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One thing that moving does give you an excuse to do is to go through and invent all of your belongings. I don’t know whether I should be pleased or concerned by this, but it turns out I own very few things that I would consider junk but… most of what I own is craft related! I don’t know if going through your stash is supposed to make you happy or ashamed, but it was definitely the only part of moving for me that was actually enjoyable.

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Unpacking does provide an opportune moment for some reorganisation. As regular readers of the blog have probably gathered, my craft-related interests run rather diverse and that means for a lot of bits and pieces, equipment etc. It adds up as well, from finding somewhere to put the carders, the hackles where they aren’t a health and safety hazards, as well as the sewing machine, the marduai and don’t remind me about the loom

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One thing that I’ve found (and Mary Corbet is a proponent of as well) is that one of the best ways to find more time to work on projects, or manage a range of projects is that organisation is key. I find keeping things organised and accessible helps on two fronts. One, it reduces the activation barrier to going and working on a craft project. I hate thinking ‘oh I fancy doing some stitching’ only to be waylaid for 30 minutes trying to locate the right threads or needles. Two, it also frees up more time for doing the fun stuff, working on the project.

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I have a relatively good system for travelling with a series of project bags (I love the gamaguchi purses for this – a lot of mine are from tough fabric too so will survive any stray needles or pins). However, I’ve been feeling increasingly constrained at home with drawers and growing towers of fabric just shoved in and absolutely no system for my embroidery threads and ribbons. I have recently bought one of the lovely Mettler cases for spools which are impressively durable and the foam lining means you can squeeze in reels of whatever size) and a Hemline thread boxes and bobbins (with bobbin winder! Takes some of the pain out of unskeining). I like being able to have all the colours on display to search through – it helps with design choices and helps so that I don’t accidentally buy duplicates.

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However, while I like the floss cards box, it’s not ideal for storing a mixture of skeins and gets annoying when you have half used bits and pieces. Also, how do you all cope with goldwork threads? Do you keep them in their small packets? I sometimes feel there isn’t really a great solution other than investing in a lot of small boxes but that always feels a bit frivolous splashing out on drawer organisers or a near infinite amount of boxes.

Pinterest seems to have a lot of nice ideas for different storage but most of it looks suited to people who have the freedom to drill their walls or splash out on huge amounts of furniture for giant houses. How are there 20 minute Youtube videos on folding your fabrics… Do I just have no standards? Also, who has fabric that is always in fat eights or quarters? I can’t be the only person on the planet who has a whole range of amounts of fabric in imperial, metric and random sizes? Plus, scraps that aren’t big enough to wrap as bolts? I know people tidy things up for the camera but I am inherently suspicious that anyone who has a space that looks that neat and perfect spends more time tidying than doing… Although Tierney has a very wonderful but achievable looking space…

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Priority number one will be getting things unpacked and away so I can make a real assessment of how much space I have to fill but if anyone has any of their revolutionary hints and tips that make their lives less frustrating (especially if you have thousands of small, odd bits and pieces that embroiders tend to acquire…) please do share! I sadly don’t have a dedicated craft room… which, on the plus size, does mean that the whole apartment can potentially be used!

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Part of this is an act of rebellion and frustration against how little time I’ve had for anything lately. Yes, there are good ‘mitigating circumstances’ for that but I think there’s a bit more grumbling ahead for a future blogpost as well as the annual recap and outlook. For those of you who have holiday time at the moment, I hope you are resting well in whatever form suits you best, and for those who don’t, may work be easy and you get a rest soon!

4 thoughts on “On Change

  1. Sorry you are having all the stress right now! Hopefully the chance to set up your craft stuff in a new way will help with that, at least a little 🙂 Happy Holidays! Where did you move to, may I ask?

    Liked by 1 person

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