Thursday, February 26, 2009

Collection or Addiction?

For those of us on the verge of being overwhelmed by our "stuff", we have to find ways to justify our need to have a bunch of things we'll never have time to use or maybe even look at much. I learned a long time ago that calling it a collection often works fairly well. However, when I say that one of the things I collect is fabric, the jig is up. I also don't think many are buying into me calling the basement a production facility in order to justify the mess. I do sort, organize, sample and redo the collection quite often. How to sort and organize it all is problematic though. Over the years, I've sorted by fabric type, projected use, color and care. Nothing works all of the time when I am searching for just the "right" piece. I resorted at least 4 times just in the last two years and still would like to find a better system.

When people see my collection for the first time, they are often overwhelmed. I try to warn them, but perhaps there is no way to be adequately prepared. It is nice to almost always have the right piece of fabric or trim for any project. Right now, at our Little Theater I have furnished the fabric for 3 sets of curtains, the tie backs for the drapes in the dining area, the "water", "dirt" and "grass" for the dining room stage decorations, and I have over 20 table cloths in the storage area. When I get a special request on etsy, I rarely have to go to the store (although I often do, just in case I find an even better treasure)

Within the last few years though, my collecting mania has spilled over into other items. I finally made myself quit at 13 sewing machines, and I'm trying to be strong when I see a great tea cup. The tea cup collection started because about 4 years ago, I decided to host a tea tasting baby shower for my daughter-in-law. It was so much fun, that I kept going. I've hosted several more tea tastings and have ended up with a whole cupboard full of tea pots and tea cups. I'll never be able to stop now unless I post the whole set on Craig's list !

My husband and I both have a true addiction to books and he has accumulated an amazing collection of Native American books, videos and art.

Our children are both nagging us to downsize so they don't have to do it for us! I've noticed though that they like it when we can come up with something they need though.

Maybe we should join a 12 step program, but I'm having too much fun right now to consider it! Happy "collecting" to you all.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Craig's List

I LOVE Craig's list! Not only have I managed to get several good deals (more on that later) and sell some items, I really enjoy reading the postings. The typos, funny misuse of grammer and misspellings are the most fun. One person wanted a two year old teacher. I wondered what would happen when the child turned three. Many people want to sell scrapebooking supplies. I've never seen a scraped book, so would like to know more about them. I can't even count the different ways to spell armoire. Of course, I had to look up the spelling myself. I also like to read the posts from those who want to report abuse by another, those who are trying to sell the spouse's things, and those who think their junk is worth a lot of money. Many also seem to enjoy breaking the rules by putting in lots of little do dads and using caps. Oh well, it makes it more interesting for the rest of us. It seems to me that those who do best are the ones who don't overvalue their product, explain it well and include pictures. Humor seems to help too. Just recently I noticed that junque costs more than does junk and there is a big difference in what I consider vintage and antique and what others think those terms mean.
As for the deals, I found a huge supply of purse and bag fabric from Craig's list. I read that there was fabric for sale for $10.00 a box. By the time I drove away from the woman's house, I had 6 boxes of fabric and 5 large rolls of fabric which I had traded for two purses made from vintage fabric. There went my plan to cut down on my supply. I am currently in contact with two other ladies to buy some costume type fabric and a large supply of rip stop nylon. Oh, and there was the wonderful free standing oak mirror I got for $25.00 for my bazaar booth.

I suppose if I were to spend more time sewing and less time on Craig's list, I'd be better off!

Here is a picture of a diaper bag I made from the large stash of bag fabric.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What I learned in Las Vegas

My husband and I just returned from a last minute trip to Las Vegas. We were going to lose a time share week and decided to escape the cold weather. I, of course, used the time there to check out what's happening in the upper end stores.

I learned :

that I'm not skinny, rich or young enough, but then I didn't need to go to Vegas to learn that!

that the pettiskirts I've been making and selling for 40 to 50 dollars go for $191.00 in the Betsy Johnson botique, and they don't even have a very nice finish.

that I wish I'd taken a draping class along with my flat pattern classes because everything is draped.

that mixtures of fabrics are still being used a lot.

that there are STILL more ideas for using demin. One is to use the waistband of a pair of jeans for the waistband of a tu tu. It also had a chain. Can't wait to try it.

that lace is very popular and is often mixed with that mesh type sheer I bought yards of at Wal Mart.

that it seems everything has a flower trim

that the fairy and princess look doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon

that I LOVE to shop and get new ideas!

I DIDN'T learn how to make any money gambling, so will have to continue to try to make some with my sewing.

Why I sew

I have loved to sew, or rather design something and sew it, forever it seems. I used to love to design clothes for my paper dolls, made clothes for all of my nieces dolls and sewed for others all through high school and college. There were a couple of higher end clothing stores in Boise when I was in junior high and high school. I used to check them out and try to copy what I saw with the fabric my Mom and I bought from Sears and Penneys for 4 yards for $1.00. I was sure they looked just like the originals. Some of my designs worked and a lot didn't. Of course, when I got to college and took Home Economics clothing classes, I learned about all of the mistakes I'd been making!

I believe that everyone needs to have something they can do well enough to be able to use it for therapy. For me, that is designing and sewing.

As a result of my love for design and sewing (and because I needed to pare down my fabric and trim stash) I started a sewing business as a retirement job. Well, with the first blush of success, I proceeded to quaddrupple my supply, so now I'll have to sew until I'm 100 at least. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I have 13 sewing machines and I'm hating to give up the serger I just bought for my daughter from Craig's list!