A few days ago we went to an estate sale. At least, I’m pretty sure we went. It could have been a dream in which I was being guided by some character only Dickens could think up.
As I walked through only two rooms of the home, I saw jars of beads, crates of fabric, paint, yarn, how to books on beading, mosaics, drawing, water coloring… I have all these books! I also have jars of beads, drawers of fabric, a closet full of paints, baskets of rubber stamps and stacks of paper – don’t even get me started on the paper. Then there are the interesting assortments of miscellaneous items I’ve hoarded away, all of which I’m positive I need to create my magnum opus ..SOMEDAY.
I only made it through two rooms of the house because frankly, I got sacred. I felt a surge of panic well up inside me. Much like a junkie might feel when they walk past an old familiar crack house. While I had an overwhelming urge to quickly hire a U-Haul to have all those wonderful goodies speedy delivered to my house, I also had a short (somewhat terrifying) glimpse into my future. Or should I say my kid’s future.
I could see the expressions on their faces as they sorted and catalogued all the items for my future estate sale. Each hoarded item reaffirming what they joked about my entire life – “Yep, she was a crazy one”. I imagined their confusion when trying to explain to my grand kids just what their grandmother could have been thinking by keeping all this JUNK.
And why in the world would she want to save all this?
I can only imagine their horror and confusion at this:
Now, I didn’t take this picture, but I did happen upon such a find last year while unpacking our house hold goods. My initial revulsion quickly turned to love at first sight as I thought of how I could use this little guy in a nature collage. And yet, a little voice inside my head kept yelling:
CRAZY LADY! Look Out!
Since I’m not 100% ready to make the jump from artsy old cat lady to freakishly creepy shut-in I had to let him go; in symbolic recognition of my still intact sanity at least.
But yet am I really crazy? What I truly find crazy is all the stuff people throw away; the lack of creativity and resourcefulness. Sure, there might be little use for ten-year old cell phones or a decaying critter carcass, but I find it just a little sad when I see past “must haves” tossed out on the curb.
And while it’s true, I’ve hoarded away a lot of miscellaneous items which on their own are junk, I have managed to actually do SOMETHING with some of it (eventually).
I’ve blogged about a few of my “creations”; a pouffe from a discarded cable spool and fabric scraps; a painting from old cords, tiles and a ripped canvas; a mosaic stool from old CD’s and beads; a mosaic table from an old papasan chair base and a stack of plates someone threw away.
While my work may not be gallery quality, I enjoy doing it. I find great satisfaction in making something from nothing while feeling I’ve also contributed in a small way to the survival of mother earth.
Yes, I will continue to gather and collect, build and create and also question my sanity daily. So far, my collecting has little impact on our quality of life; my house isn’t cluttered or in disorder and perhaps my creations will give my kids and grandkids something amusing to talk about at my estate sale (rather than just rummaging through buckets of cords and jugs of buttons mumbling about my questionable sanity).
What about you? Are you a collector / saver / hoarder? Are there certain items you just can’t throw away? What creative things have you made with your found and saved objects?