Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hobbies & Collecting

For years I have had many a hobby and collection. Lately I have been wondering about giving some of them up. My hubby and I are leaning towards a more simple and clutter free life and some of my hobbies just don't fit in to that blueprint anymore.

I have been sewing since I was eight and still utilize my sewing machine to make clothing for my family or items for my home. I would like a new sewing machine but that is on the back burner as my current one works fine. I don't have a permanent place to keep and use it so I will wait until I do to get the one I want. I received a serger for free and just need to take a look at it to make certain everything works properly. I don't imagine I will ever give up sewing as it's useful and practical and I enjoy it.

About eight years ago I was introduced to scrapbooking. I really wasn't sure I wanted to get in to it cause I knew I would be spending a great deal of time and money on it - and I was bad about getting my photos developed. I have TONS of scrapbooking paper and supplies and several half finished albums.

My scrapbooks are all 12 x 12 which require a lot of expensive paper, especially with the way I do my pages.
I recycle a lot of my designed pages with different colors or themes of paper and photos cause I like them so much. I'm really behind too. I got married four years ago and I am only half finished with my wedding album. My trip to California three summers ago is still mostly in a large mailing envelope. I tend to be a perfectionist so that doesn't help with my scrapping budget. I LOVE embellishments, ribbon, buttons and paper for my pages. One of my favorite local stores is Lasting Memories, probably because they are really creative and always showcase other ways to utilize scrapbooking supplies other than in scrapbooks.

Now that I have a better digital camera (I want an even better one) I don't really print any of my photos but save them on the computer, post them to myspace, email them to friends and family or post them here on my blog. I would really like a digital picture frame. I think that would be a really great way to show lots of photos without having the physical clutter of scrapbooks that just get dusty.

So, I am seriously thinking of giving up scrapbooking. I still like the paper and ribbon and embellishments and I think it would be great to have a completed wedding album, maybe even a travel scrapbook. I think I would keep some stuff around to make the occasional card or gift tag.
Since I spent the money on the stuff I do want to use it up. I should probably start finding some projects I can make for friends and family. Maybe I will make some shadow boxes I can change out a couple times a year. However, I think it's time to simplify that past time to a few containers and move on.

Two years ago I took up knitting. I really like it and as a hobby goes it fits perfectly in with my lifestyle and criteria. I have a few projects going right now.
I'm making a wrap using a technique called entrelac. I'm using self striping wool yarn which has a ton of colors in it. I think I'm a little more than half finished with this project and really want to complete it before the cold weather rolls around again.

I have some gloves started and other projects I want to make like new kilt hose to go with hubby's kilt. Tons of other projects I want to make when I find the time and money for the yarn! I at least don't have much of a stash of yarn or even fabric for that matter.

I used to collect lot's of things too. One of the things I hated about collecting is you are then known for liking that item. Suddenly, all your Christmas and Birthday gifts have that "thing" associated with it. Even when you tell people you are no longer collecting that thing they seem to feel you really are not serious about it and still continue to give you items with that "thing" on it. This also gives them license to buy you that green and pink flannel sheet set with kittens on it or that framed artwork that totally does not go with your style because there is a cow in it.

I don't really collect anything anymore. I went through the teddy bear phase as a young girl, I liked rainbows and unicorns, then the cow phase (I even had cow Christmas lights!). At one time I attempted to collect old sporting equipment but got rid of it all in a purge.

One collection I do have going is secret. I have a friend who's aunt really liked Blue Heron's. Her husband was an artist and painted her a Blue Heron in every room. Some were obvious as part of a mural and some were hidden in a corner. It was her secret collection and she loved seeing them in every room of her home.

I really loved that idea and started something similar. Only my friend who's Aunt has the original Blue Heron collection and my hubby (and now you) know about it. My "Blue Heron's" are monkeys. I really like them as they are mischevious creatures. So far I only have two, a small statue of a monkey sitting on a stack of books wearing a fez on the mantle in my living room and monkey tassels holding back the curtains in my bedroom. Only I am allowed to by any Monkeys for my Blue Heron collection.

I guess you could call all of our DVD's as a collection since we have so many. I am just waiting for the day when you can digitally store movies (like on an iPod) and not have to physically store them in your home. If you pay for the movie once you can call it up any time and watch it.

I have not ever regretted any of the collections I have given up in the past and as long as a hobby causes me more stress than happiness I don't need to have it around.

Are you trapped by your hobbies and collections?

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