Tuesday, May 29, 2012

reverse finds revisited

Nearly two years ago, I made a deal with myself (and my blog) to find a new home for some of my things every week during Spring. I called it "reverse finds."

In doing this, I realised that, while I am by nature a hoarding type, it can feel pretty great to give things away...

I look around our cluttered place today, and know I need to get on the reverse finds bandwagon again... but I need some inspiration - so I thought I'd tell the story of something big (for me) that I gave away last year - a story that still makes me smile.

This old printer's box was one of those things that became "mine" because no-one else wanted it. I can still remember the strain of carrying it to my car with all the drawers sliding out (until I worked out I should carry it the other way around).

I remember finding a few odd tiny letter type pieces in one drawer (they are now safely stored away somewhere I can't remember...).

I remember trying and trying to come up with some way I could use the tiny compartments - but they were just too small for anything I needed to store... even too small for buttons, or a little person's stone collection...

In the absence of any "practical" use for it, I used it as a little side table.
Then, I visited a work friend at her new home, and was lucky enough to be given a tour of her husband's studio. He designs and makes beautiful stationery using a beautiful old letterpress machine - a really old, carefully restored working piece of history... and I knew where "my" little box should live.

It took a week to convince my friend that the printer's box should become a printer's box again.

The day before I gave it away, I took a mountain of photos, to help me remember all the little details I'd loved but never used.

I love that I gave this box a home for so many years, and "saved" it from being scrapped.
I love knowing that one of the marks on the top is from when I left a drink on top and fell asleep after a long solo drive from my Adelaide "home" to my Melbourne "home".

I love imagining it being used back in the 1940's and wondering what was printed - newsletters? cards?

I love love LOVE that it has a new, more fitting home...

and I love that the week after I said goodbye, I found myself able to rearrange furniture and see new possibilities for our room - that one less thing really made a difference...

Do you have any favourite stories about things you've given away?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

trying and not trying

A few days ago I made my first toy from this gorgeous book - to celebrate the birthday of a delightful, adorable one year old boy.

It took me days to choose the pattern, and hour upon hour to make... not because the pattern was hard, or the instructions hard to follow (it was in fact beautifully set out), but because of me... my worrying, my procrastinating, my trying sooo hard (I tried so hard I managed to break an embroidery needle)...

In the end, this little hippo turned out pretty well, but I see him and think of my struggle making him, wishing I'd felt joy instead.

Last night, just before bed, the curly haired girl announced that her whale Teacle was now fully grown and wanted to have a baby (!)...

I found my chance to make with more joy and less trying.

A rough pattern was made, the trackie pant and t shirt scraps box found, and by the time QandA was finished (with regular breaks from stitching to talk back to the television), a baby whale was born.

Baby whale is by no means perfect, but is absolutely gorgeous.

Teacle is a very happy mum...

I'm glad I'm a person who tries hard, and cares and worries a lot about things, but I'm glad to learn the lesson that less worrying and less trying can sometimes be a better path...