10 Nov 2013

Art and hobby supply cleanup part 3

The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less ~ Socrates

This is the last part of my supply clean out and the toughest for me. The scrapbooking stuff, tools and misc stuff. As I mentioned in my last post, scrapbooking is my kryptonite. I collect ephemera and papers etc but I don't end up using them and have a hard time parting with them because they're pretty and they might come in useful one day. It's also made more difficult by the fact that I also like to make mixed media collages which can also use some of these things. The thought of separating the two is a headache on it's own.

Something that makes it a bit easier to part with them though is copyright. Printed paper, other people's photographs, fabrics and I'm sure some postage stamps have some kind of copyright protection on them. I may be able to use them in personal images but maybe not in images I want to sell. (It looks like a minefield when you look for information online). I'm not 100% sure on how this all works together when you add these items into your mixed media work but I prefer to err on the side of caution and create my own textures and background images either photographically, hand painted by me, or created in photoshop or illustrator by me. This all takes extra time and effort but at the end of the day I know that when I put an image online, I created everything myself so I don't have to worry about someone else's copyright. This in the end, made the paper collection much easier to part with.

As for the rest, it was time to roll up my sleeves and start going through the boxes.
  • I love old postage stamps and will keep them for use in my private work in my journals and smaller canvases.
  • I'm keeping the lino pieces and carving tools. The only reason I haven't used them yet is that I can't make up my mind on the logo I'm trying to create. I'd like to be able to print my logo on things. So far I've created lots of different logos and have lots of ideas for new ones but I just can't seem to be satisfied with any of them. I'm too fussy I guess or fickle maybe?
  • The playing cards are a bit like the scrapbooking stuff really, I want to try making ATCs (Artist trading cards), but have never gotten around to it. On the plus side they don't take up much room and we could always play with them. I've kept them for now with a six month expiry date on them. If I don't use them before the six months are up then out they'll go.
  • The ink and stamps are used mostly by my daughter and occasionally by me. (Copyright again in my mind). I've found them a new box and put them where my daughter can easily reach them.
  • The lettering stencils, plastic set squares, protractors, and rulers etc, I've stored in a desktop file box. Much easier to reach and keep tidy. (See image above).
  • The wire and solder has moved down to the garage where the soldering iron and vice etc are. My son wants to try making metal sculptures out of scrap metal and bolts and my hubby has agreed to help him with this. 
  • I've kept the buttons and various paper fasteners. They might be useful when I start making my own journals.
  • One other large thing that I got rid of was an old wooden table that I was using sometimes when working on larger projects. It had a chipboard top that water had ruined and was too low to work on without getting a sore back. It also took up a lot of space when I wasn't using it. This will be replaced by a plastic topped table that folds away for storage. It will save space and my back. I'm lucky our town is holding it's annual inorganic collection at the moment. (This is where the council allows us to put old furniture and appliances out at the kerb for collection for free. Many people drive around the neighborhood and pick up free bargain furniture and the council cleans up what is left at the end of the week).
  • Everything else left, tools and metal fastenings mainly, I've put into a large plastic tool caddy on wheels. This gets them out of the way but easily moved to where I need them.
    That seems to be the bulk of it all sorted out now. I've cleared a lot of space (magazines and scrapbooking papers mainly plus the table and a few canvases), and organized what's left so that the people that use it the most have the best access to it. It looks much better now. In six months I'll review a couple of things and maybe prune things a little more but for now I'm happy with the results.

    I'll finish by saying that it's well worth the effort to go through your art and craft supplies every now and again. You may find that like me you have been storing a lot of supplies for a hobby that no longer interests you or one that you will never start. It's also amazing how many old broken rubber bands and solid liquids in bottles and other broken things that you may find too.

    Have a great week :)

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