If you're just here for the crafty stuff, you might want to skip over my "Order in the House" manifesto below. (g) Just jump down past the two sets of dashed lines.
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The past couple of days, I've put a little time into cleaning up my craft room. Again. (I get the feeling that I've written more than one blog post about this before-- and probably drawn similar conclusions-- but that doesn't mean that this can't be the time that it sticks.)
While sorting through the stacks of things that have been out on messy display for months (oh, okay, years for some of it), I realized that for too much of it, the issue was not simply that I hadn't put it away because I was planning to use it again (or finish it) soon, but then never did (though that is still an issue). Rather, the problem was that too many objects had no "home base"-- no designated spot to go. A lot of it was "stuff" that I hadn't decided whether or not I even wanted to keep-- or where it would go, if it got to stay-- or exactly what I needed/wanted to do with it before it could be assigned a "home". Frames without photos. (That's a biggie for me. I never seem to get around to having photos printed! I'm going to sit down and choose and order photos within the next month. Then we'll have a frame-hanging/placing frenzy.) Shelves that need painting-- and some that I may not even want to hang, at this point. The list goes on.
I need to get better about making decisions and not putting them off for another time. So what if it's not always the perfect decision? Most of the time it won't matter, anyway, and the few times that waiting might have yielded better results won't compare to the benefits of just making a decision already. (The perfect is the enemy of the good, in other words.)
Recently, I read something interesting about the paper that accumulates in a home. Something to the effect that every piece of paper you toss on a pile is a decision deferred. You set it aside because you don't want to have to make the decision yet-- but the need to make a decision won't go away. If you go ahead and deal with it right away, you're saving yourself the time and trouble of dealing with it at some point down the road-- not to mention the stress of knowing that you're procrastinating. That is so true.
Paper tends to pile up in our house, and clearly, paper's not the only problem! I'm tired of the clutter and the stress it brings. Something needs to change. I'm going to make an effort. First, there will be the big push of clearing out some of the clutter. Making lots of little decisions. Throwing some things away. Dropping off donations. Filing papers. Organizing things deemed worth keeping so that they have their place. (Hanging shelves, frames, etc. Stowing away all but the truly active WIPs.) After that, there's the daily/weekly/monthly maintenance. I suspect it's like changing your eating or exercise habits-- i.e. not easy-- but it is possible to break bad habits and cultivate good ones... Sorting mail immediately, for instance. Filing papers on at least a monthly basis (last or first day of the month, maybe). I used to be disciplined regarding paper clutter, and I can be, again. It's worth the effort.
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It's madness, I know, with so many WIPs and loose-ends already sticking out every which way, but I'm seriously considering joining a mystery crochet-along. Designer Julie Yeager (see her Ravelry group here) is hosting another "mystery'ghan along" this summer. The theme is art deco. I enjoyed last year's MCAL, though (*ahem*) I still need to weave in some ends before I can photograph the completed afghan. (I know. I'm disappointed in myself, too. I'll work on them tonight, ok?)
Anyway, I think the art deco theme sounds really interesting, and I have a lot of acrylic worsted just waiting for something to do... Why not?!
I haven't looked at my yarn, yet, to start to decide what colors I'll use, but I did search for inspiration photos. At the moment, I'm feeling drawn to emerald green, gold, black... and I'm not sure what else... possibly rust? Another shade of gold or green? Grey? Hm... Needs more thought.
If you're interested, you can download the first mini clue right away, over on Ravelry. If you do so before June 1st and use the coupon code (which is listed on the pattern page), you'll get the rest of the pattern updates for free, as they're released. If you come to the party late, you'll have to pay for the pattern, but you'd be more than welcome to join in the chat and fun. The rest of the clues are supposed to come through June and July-- or maybe July and August, depending on the designer's progress-- so there's still plenty of time to choose colors and get your yarn ready!
(Oh, and JulieAnny is currently running a promotion in her Ravelry shop. You can buy any of her previous mystery'ghans for half the regular price-- so $3 per pattern. The deal goes through the end of August, and you need to use the coupon code "mystery2014" at checkout.)