Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Stash And Stashing It

Today’s theme is a frequent one among fibre craft enthusiasts — including me. Accumulating, storing, hiding, and hopefully ultimately using all that good stuff we need and the even more stuff that we want. I’ve discovered that those lovely clear plastic boxes that organic baby salad veggies come in are the best for holding small projects. The lid fits tightly and they stack beautifully. The clear plastic allows you to see what’s in them at a glance. The labels come off easily if you heat the back of the plastic with hot water (not the label side) and peel slowly. There are two sizes, smaller and larger. Mu Ni, my Celestial Moon doll is in the one large box that I’ve so far collected. The lid covered with one of my beading mats makes a perfect working tray. The trick is to be able to eat all the greens in the big box before they croak! Of course now that my garden is producing its own baby salad veggies, I’m not getting any new boxes for awhile.

Another great source of containers is the local dollar store. Mine is only 3 blocks away (dangerous!) and has lots of goodies that can be put to uses unthought-of by the manufacturer. Among other things I got several brightly coloured rectangular plastic baskets at 2 for $.99. They hold a few more of my never-diminishing pile of WIPs (that’s Works in Progress, in case you aren’t up on your acronyms).

Of course the frightening part of all this organization is that you can easily see how many WIPs and UFOs that you actually have going. Another downside is that you can end up with supplies scattered into different boxes and baskets so that you forget where they are or that you even have them. I spent quite awhile one day looking for a set of my Denise needle tips without success. A week later I found them on a languishing project in one of the baskets. At least with Denise needles you can remove the needle tips and leave the knitting on the cord with the stoppers on the ends so the stitches don’t fall off. Of course you have to remember what size needle tips you were actually using when you go back to finish the project. Might be a good thing to make notes. Before you remove them.

Another great storage item is those plastic drawers on casters. I have 5 of them but it’s still not enough. However I’m running out of places to put them and with my slanted ceilings it’s not easy to stack them up. They have to be the same type to stack too and then when they’re stacked you can’t use them for tables and you can’t move them around so easily. The drawers are only good for smaller items. They fill up pretty quickly.

In my attic (fibre storage side) I have several lovely big wicker baskets that are great for wool while teasing and carding and spinning a large amount. However you can’t keep wool in them over time or the moths find it through the large spaces between the weave and chow down. Ask me how I know. So far the m-words have stayed out of the good lidded boxes that my birth mom made out of recycled cardboard. And they’ve stayed out of the pillow cases that a lot of my wool lives in. However, puffy pillowcases don’t stack well. I get avalanches happening if I’m not careful. I’ve even made use of those zippered plastic bags that bed linens and comforters come in for fibre storage. I also have several of those big Rubbermaid tubs and would love to get more. They cost money though that I’d rather spend on other things. Recycling and reusing are much more satisfying.

Most of my fabric stash is also folded in recycled cardboard boxes. Some of those are 30 years old or more! Keep ’em dry and they last for a good long time. I don’t think I’ve ever had much of a problem with fabrics discolouring or damaged from being in contact with non-archival cardboard. If it’s really delicate or expensive I’d put it in a plastic bag or tissue first though just in case.

I never have a problem slipping my purchases past the T-Man. He’s pretty observant so it’s not much use to try! Besides he pays most of the bills. That does tend to slow my rampant spending down a little, but not much. I’m very lucky compared to some women because he never (hardly ever) gives me a hard time about it. He has his own stashes of wood and glass and his tool collection. He does tease a bit sometimes and we both have a good chuckle. Anyway, I don’t hesitate to tease him back! In the past we had to be more careful of our money while bringing up kids and paying off the vehicles and the mortgage but now we have enough that we can play with — within reason. I also don’t buy cosmetics or expensive clothes or even eat out all that much so I have different priorities for the family finances.

Speaking of purchases, I got the last of the books I ordered today in the mail. It’s Crocheted Wire Jewelry: Innovative Designs & Projects by Leading Artists by Arline M. Fisch. This book is just been published by Lark and I’ve only glanced through it so far. The pieces seem very sophisticated and professionally finished. It’s somewhat more advanced than Nancie Wiseman’s Crocheting with Wire book and benefits from a larger number of individual designers. Arline is well-known for her book Textile Techniques in Metal and it’s nice to see just one of those techniques finally presented in more depth.

First of June already! Hope it’s not raining where you are. I want my sunny days back, even if they’re too hot! (Don’t listen to my complaining.) It’s pretty warm today anyhow at 19 degrees Celsius. And damp. Did I mention rain?

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