Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sewing Rooms and Stuff

 A little off topic here but here goes:

Do you have your own sewing room? Or a shared space? I have an attic bedroom for sewing. Some of my daughter's things are in there but for the most part it's mine. And I've come to realize why this space is so important to me.I am currently reading a rather interesting book.  The book is called

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Gail Steketee and Randy Frost

I'm reading it for several reasons. But mainly to understand it better and understand the effects of living in a hoarded home from my teenage years and early adulthood. And the effect it had on me. It's relation to sewing? Sewer's are set up to collect a lot of things, fabric, buttons, thread, etc. I've seen sewers and quilting collect more fabrics then they could ever sew up in two lifetimes. Also while working at Joanns I saw people buy outrageous amounts of fabric. One lady came in once a month and brought $500 worth a fabric at a time. And this was back in 1994 so that was a LOT of fabric. I waited on her once it took me 4 hours to cut all her fabrics.

Hoarding (I hate that word so will use acquirers from now on) always brings to mind the house filled with newspapers and trash  and a lot of other junk and a lot of time that's the case. But you don't hear about the neat collectors. People have collected more stuff then they could possibly use but because it's kept neatly and organized it doesn't raise any red flags. Case in point I got addicted to watching extreme couponing on Netflix. These people literally save thousands with coupons and on the show anyway, show them walking out of the stores with $700, 1,000 dollars worth of merchandise for pennies on the dollar if not free. What do they do with all this stuff? most of them take it home and neatly put it into organized shelves that invade their living spaces. They often buy stuff they have no use for but because they can get it close to nothing they buy it. A few give it away to charity. That makes sense.

In most cases /Acquiring is brought on by loss, loss of a family member, loss of shelf, shelf esteem issues or traumatic events, abuse of all kinds in early life. That's why no one should judge a acquirer by calling them lazy, stupid, dirty etc. Pretty much in all documented cases the acquirers have above average intelligence. And they see what we don't in objects and appreciate what we don't see in objects. Therefore making them harder to get rid of. Also their minds work a little differently making it very difficult for them to organize their stuff and making decisions. Think of a tree with a lot of normal amount of branches, branches being thought lines, hoarders have many more branches then the rest of us. They have proven this by actual brain scans etc. But enough about  the medical end of it.

It was very difficult for me to live like this when I was a teen. I lived with my sister after losing our parents, one at a time and then losing a brother to suicide. With my sis the hoarding kinda of started after my father died. I was 13 and she was 23. Then after my brother died two years later it when it really started but it exploded when I moved out of the house. I feel in some ways I looked now upon it as an escape. I moved in with then boyfriend, later husband.Her behavior continued up through her death. With the usual cycle of us cleaning up for her and it filling up again.

Which brings me to me. I have been always careful to contain my stuff. As I can see the shopping thing could get out of hand. First it was clothes when I was younger, then it was for house stuff, then things for my daughter, toys, clothes whatever. Never got too far as not enough money for it too. But I will admit I love to shop for whatever I'm into at the moment. But  if not for the  lack of space and money. I might be right up there with the rest of the "neat" acquirers. Books, music, sewing and quilting things and embroidery designs are my downfall. Also the Internet the vast mall in the sky doesn't help either. This is a society thing also. A lot of cheap goods, rental storage spaces make the problem even worst.

So I guess my point is to those of you that are buying stuff for any craft. Don't let you stuff take over your life, space and bank account. Count to ten before you hit that buy button. And think if it's something you will need, will use. I know all of use like retail therapy but it can get out of hand.You can get a lot more "therapy" by working on a project then just buying for it.

Back to the first paragraph. The reason my sewing space is so important to me is it's my space. My space where I can relax and don't have to worry about anyone else's  clutter, acquiring etc.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree. I have zero desire to ever own a Bernina even though it may be a nice machine. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing the name. I would much rather collect a few more vintage machines. They so faster and straighter, they last longer, and they are cheaper to repair. Also they're just plain beautiful. There's definitely something lost in modern machinery design. I have made beautiful things on a machine that cost $40.. quilts and costumes over the years. Machine snobbery is driven by marketing and I am learning to ignore all of it. As long as my machine does what I needed to do I'm happy.