Crafting Small

2012 Misc-166

I finally have a little time for reflection after the craziness of my move and the push to get a working office and kitchen. Time to go through the rest of my boxes at leisure and sort, weed, organize and store a bit more thoughtfully. One thing that’s occurred to me was about my craft stash. Not yarn – that’s a completely different animal… But the other stuff.

Besides being a knittist and yarnie I also sew, bead, weave, paint and digitally scrapbook – and those are just the main ones! I also dabble in the occasional paper craft. All these activities has its own STUFF.

Sewing: sewing machine, serger, buttons, measuring implements, thread, needles (hand and machine), machine attachments, fabric, binding tapes, scissors…

Beading: beads (lots and LOTS of beads), beading wire, beading thread, tools (lots of different tools and all unique to beading), findings (if you’re making jewelry), bead looms

Painting: paints (yeah – lots of ’em), canvases, brushes, easel, paint knives, prep chemicals (don ‘t know what else to call them, gesso and that stuff)

Paper Crafting: I got rid of most of this (gave to my sister who does scrapbooks and cards) but I still have a few stamps and stamp pads, some paper

Digital Scrapbooking: scanner for the mountain of photos I have that are NOT digital, and said photos awaiting scanning.

So its time to pare down. Get rid. Donate.

I realized that I have 12 boxes of crafting stuff – not including yarn. That’s excessive – and compulsive. I like tools. I like gadgets. But nobody needs as much as I have.

I’m guilty of taking on STUFF from other people – like after my sister-in-law’s mother passed I somehow came into possession of a lot of her fabric, laces, buttons and basically stuff that nobody knew what to do with. This stuff needs to leave my place because I will never use it.

I’m guilty of buying a new thing when I couldn’t find the original thing (totally due to poor organization). Or buying a new thing because the old thing was somehow lacking – it was bent (although still usable), it was stained (yeah, like that’s going to affect how a tape measure measures), it’s paint had worn off (although the etched surface markings were still visible)… you get the idea.

Well, now I have a very different space. It’s large, yes, but I don’t want to have it swimming in stuff I don’t need/will not use. I want to be able to find what I want quickly – without having to dig through a lot of bins and deep storage pieces (like Yule/holiday decoration deep).

I have a large work table under which will nicely fit 3 IKEA carts. These will contain the sum total of my craft supplies (maybe 2 after I weed it down) with the exception of fabric, which will still need a bin. The aim is to tame!

From this:


some of my craft stash

To something more akin to this (this is still a WIP, but it really is much better than it was. I also had a lot of duplicate spices!):

kitchen cart

spice and tool organization for a kitchen with wonky cabinets and drawers


Lakefront 6-7-26

Ah, the Milwaukee Lakefront. I’ve had a love affair with it for as long as I can remember. Coming ‘down to the lakefront’ was always a treat – even before it was as pretty as it is now. It was actually designed by Frederick Law Olmsted along with 3 other Milwaukee Parks, something I didn’t know until I moved away.

But I remember hanging out here as a teenager (in my wasted youth :)). I’d come down here with my buddies and we’d walk or nap on the hill (gone now – there used to be a big hill and grassy area where that beautiful white winged building is located). Then I went to Arizona for college. No lakefront there… But I made due in the desert for a while – like 4 years.

I moved back to Milwaukee in the mid 70’s and my lakefront had changed a lot. To preserve the shoreline they dumped a whole lotta fill to create more land, creating most of Veteran’s Park and extending Lake Park to the east. Most of it was still mud at the time, but it grew slowly into the area that you see now. As I spent the next 20 or so years in Milwaukee, hanging out at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Summerfest grounds and Lake Park I was always restored by the water and the waves.

But in 2000 I moved again, this time to Upstate New York – to Saratoga Springs to work at the Quad/Graphics plant – and I loved it there. Instead of my lake I now had mountains to explore. The Adirondacks, the Greens, the Berkshires – I was surrounded by mountains. Every weekend I was off – to Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire. Need a lift from New Haven to Boston? No problem! Stuck at Logan and need to get to Manchester, New Hampshire? Be there in a couple hours. If my friends and family were anywhere in the northeast I was always ready and willing to drive off to adventure.

But I got to missing those friends and family. After moving away from Saratoga Springs to Rome, NY I lost touch with a lot of my friends there. When I moved back to Troy it was too far from Saratoga to do more than hang out on a weekend and, by now most of them were too busy. Life had caught up. I still toddled off to Vermont at every opportunity (my apartment was 28 miles from Bennington), but now went alone. I still met Steve in Boston every year and we’d hang out for a couple wonderful days, but then it would be back to Troy and alone. It started to wear on me. Fact is, I’m not getting any younger.

So I came back to Milwaukee again. This time after 12 years away – and you can’t even imagine the changes this time. I felt (and still feel) like I’m in some sort of strange time warp. The streets still have the same names, but they don’t look like they did. Whole neighborhoods that I remembered one way are now completely changed. And again I refer to that white winged building above – the Calatrava or, it’s official name The Quadracci Pavilion. Wow! I was blown away. And next to it the Discovery museum, the surrounding park with fountains and the bridge to Downtown Milwaukee. Who would have thought that all this beauty would be built here? In Milwaukee?? Now, before you look at me askance – Milwaukee has always had a world class art scene: one of the better modern art collections, world class orchestra, chorus and opera company. Lots of galleries. But now to have all this as well? Wow… just… wow.

Definitely time to get reacquainted.