Wednesday, April 28, 2021

I am not a hoarder


One thing leads to another. I’m sure you know this. Last week our furnace died. It was good news and bad news. I’ve been secretly wishing for this for years. The bad news, of course, is that new furnaces do not come cheap and replacing one is kind of a big deal in terms of workmen in the house, trucks in the driveway, doors off hinges, ladders into the attic, moving all the stuff nestled in around the old furnace in the storage/furnace closet and general disruption of the peace for most of a day. But now it is done and now we have AIR CONDITIONING as well as heat. The AC is what I’ve really been wishing for, when I was wishing for the old furnace’s demise. And now, for the first time in my life, I live in a house with central AC. 

So today I started organizing and putting back all the stuff that had shared the closet with the furnace. It  is where we keep mops and brooms and garbage bags and lightbulbs and rags and, sadly, stuff that doesn’t go anywhere else.  That last category becomes problematic and I found some forgotten treasures—two brand new timers for lights, new sponge mop heads...  I also threw away a garbage can full of stuff.  And I sorted through my huge stash of paper plates, plastic cups and cutlery and paper napkins. You know, how you buy that stuff for a party or cookout and then stash what you didn’t use—over and over and over....? It adds up. So that’s what is in those bags, above. I just posted those, to give away, on my Facebook “Buy Nothing” group. 

Do you know about “Buy Nothing”?  I discovered it a couple years ago and I love it. Do you have something usable to get rid of? Don’t give it to Goodwill, who are terrible people who exploit their underpaid disabled workers and pay themselves huge salaries-—don’t get me started— instead, give your good stuff directly to a neighbor who needs it—no strings attached.  Besides getting it out of your house you can feel good about where it’s going. In this year of pandemic, layoffs, illness and all of it, you wouldn’t believe how many people are in need. I read the sad stories in the “Buy Nothing” posts and I see the responses of empathy and generosity and simple neighborliness. So far I have given away a lot of stuff and received little, except for a renewed appreciation for how good and kind people can be. That’s actually a lot. ❤️

I cleaned out my closet awhile back, then I realized I was about to give away two good cotton, striped shirts. I need that fabric!  No need to go overboard on this purging business...

Hey! Somebody’s interested in my paper plates.....

Monday, April 26, 2021

Maybe I’m Back

 This last week was the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) online Conference. It was good in just so many ways that I’d have a hard time explaining, except to say everybody needs to find their people and hang out with them for a week, even if it’s online. So very good for the soul.  One of the best things among many good things was the keynote talk by artist/author Austin Kleon, who talked about his artwork and its quilt connection and about making art and about writing—all in such an upbeat, inspiring way that I wanted more. So this morning I went searching for his website and his blog and I was not disappointed. He’s been blogging about as long as I have, but he didn’t peter out like I did. He says:

“One little blog post is nothing on its own, but publish a thousand blog posts over a decade, and it turns into your life’s work. This blog has been my sketchbook, my studio, my gallery, my storefront, and my salon. Absolutely everything good that has happened in my career can be traced back in some way to this blog. My books, my art shows, my speaking gigs, some of my best friendships—they all exist because I have my own little piece of turf on the Internet.”

And that paragraph brought back everything I loved about my blog. It brought me so many friends and opportunities. I can’t even count them, but they include TV shows, writing for magazines, the whole 12 by 12 project, including the book, the exhibits, the wonderful people! My writing improved. My thinking changed. I grew. I changed. I found my voice.  I’m not sure why I got away from it. Austin Kleon also said something like, “people think you write a blog because you have something to say, but, really, you start a blog and find something to say.”  So true. When I was blogging regularly I was aware of the world in a way I hadn’t been. I was observant, watching for what Ray called “blog fodder” but also what delighted me in big or small ways. I miss that. Maybe I can get it back. Maybe I can’t...

And now, because I can never bear to publish a blog post without a picture, here’s a little drawing I made of myself. 

I know, it doesn’t really look like me, but that’s not important. I quickly traced over a photo, without lifting the pencil—all one continuous line. (To be accurate, it is a digital drawing, so it was an Apple Pencil—). It’s a good exercise in finding the important parts and leaving out the rest. Make of that idea what you will. Try it.