Inspired by my Buy Nothing Summer, I'm doing a free art journaling course that starts on July 15 and runs through August 15, though you can pick up and start at any time. Here's the introduction to the course. Maybe you'd like to stop by the 30 Day Craft Cleanse and check it out?
If it's true that it takes 30 days to make or break a habit, we've got the next 4 weeks to kick those greedy craft demons living inside us to the curb. Hello, my name is Moira, and I am a crafty packrat. There, I've admitted it. Yes, if you were to come to my house, you would find it packed to the gills with crafty wonder. And do I mean packed!
I recently moved from a three bedroom apartment that I share with my boyfriend, Nick, into a one-bedroom place. The reasons for this move were threefold: location, location, location. Also, the price was so very right. Plus, my fabulous crafty diva friend lives right across the street. Things are good.
The problem, as I'm sure you've already surmised, is all the stuff that had accumulated in the two years we'd been in our last place. We were spoiled rotten, all right? He had his studio; I had mine. The living room in our last place started out with good intentions but soon became my crafty storage area. Couch? What couch? Doh!
Where did all the crafty wonder come from? Well, naturally, a lot of it came from arts and craft stores over the years. Super sale? Awesome, I'll take three. Clearance rack? Great, load up my cart. 40% coupons, you are my nemesis.
In addition to a serious craft store habit, I have a tendency to acquire all sorts of things for free. I have found objects on the side of the road, from Craigslist curb alerts, and, I'll admit, I have climbed into many a dumpster in my day. [If you aren't already aware of this, you'd be surprised at the sheer volume of stuff being thrown away by your favorite craft stores. One dumpster hot spot in my old neighborhood was Joann's.]
People who know my crafty ways often present me with gifts of craftiness: stacks of magazines, bags of yarn, beads, you name it.
Oh, and I’m an art teacher. (Insert groans of super organized people everywhere.) I am a freelance artist-educator who provides programming for middle school youth and, occasionally, older teens and adults. I teach classes all around the state of Rhode Island, and all of the many, many supplies that I use for my classes live in my house.
Often I feel like conquering my crafty demons is a never ending battle, one I will never win. So for ages, I have succumb to the demons and allowed my crafty wonder to grow and grow and grow. While I’ve never had a problem getting rid of clothes, furniture, or books, I hold on to craft supplies for years, even if I never use them. No longer!
On June 18 I made a vow. A vow to keep my wallet in my pocket and to keep on walking when the craft sales are talking. I called it my Buy Nothing Summer and started a series of blog posts about the adventure. I decided that if I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of all my crafty wonder, I would do my best to use it up. I am determined to bust my crafty stash this summer. I’m three weeks in and going strong.
What does all this have to do with you?
Well, here’s the thing. when I issued the challenge to myself, I invited other people to join me, and I did have a few brave takers, but the response by far has been, “Gee, that’s great & I should do it, but I could never keep that promise.”
And I totally get that!
The past three weeks haven’t been easy. I won’t deny that I haven’t thought on more than a few occasions that I should just stop at Michaels while I was driving by, maybe just look around a little, maybe buy something small, no one would ever have to know... But I have successfully resisted temptation for these last three weeks, and you know what, if I, Moira, queen of the crafty packrats, can do this thing, so can you. For sure. I know it.
So why not try it? You’ll be in good company here. This is a safe place. And if you fail? So what? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, put away your credit card, and try not to do it again for the rest of the 30 days. Your wallet will thank you.
I challenge you to make a vow to not purchase any new arts and craft supplies for the next 30 days. Feel free to add a couple of rules to the process like I did, but try not to go overboard. Art isn’t about the stuff; it’s about the creative process. Let’s see just how true that is during our 30 Day Craft Cleanse.