Saturday, December 24, 2016

Use It or Lose It

Although I've been adding stuff to my collection of collage materials, I like that I've begun using things I've had for years that I haven't wanted to use previously.  Like, always saving the best for last.  The thing is, when I go, most if not all of what I've collected will end up in the landfill anyway.  So I might as well use it now, while I have the energy and inclination.  You know what they say, "Be good to yourself -- use your good china, wear the clothes you love the most," or something like that.  What am I saving this stuff for?  There's no one to inherit it.

A couple years ago when I began making mail art, my early love of postage stamps was rekindled.  So then I started collecting stamps, which I buy from a seller who comes to the local antique shows.  And then just putting them by country in clumps in plastic sleeves in a couple of binders.

I'm not a real stamp collector, I just like them, especially engraved stamps.  I decided recently to start using them in my collages, on mail art, wherever, instead of just collecting them to sit in binders.  At least that way I can see them and enjoy them.

Similarly with the old books I've collected.  I'm not really a collector of old books, I won't pay ridiculous prices for something just to have it, what I have isn't worth trying to sell and I don't want to anyway, so I may as well tear out pages or cut out illustrations to use in my art.  That's why I bought them in the first place, really.

And then there's cool scrapbook paper that I collected for bookmaking.  Some of this, now, is going into my collages.     

I've been using my collection of handmade fabrics in recent stitching projects.  Although I used the bulk of what I originally had in art quilts I made from 2008 to 2012, plus I sold quite a bit of it, I held back enough fabric that I really loved for future projects.  That's what I've been using for recent handstitched pieces.  And I still have enough to last me the rest of my life.

So...use it or lose it.

Hope you enjoy a peaceful holiday weekend.



jacki long said...

Good for you, Connie! I so agree.
I used to save, now my goal is to use it all.
An only child & not skilled at sharing,
I now take my stuff to my classes & share, well most. ;o)

Charlton Stitcher said...

I might even post tomorrow if time and family allows! Meanwhike, fond wishes and season's greetings to you too, Connie.

Jan said...

This is one of my goals, too, to use what I have. And I love to share: that makes me happy and the recipient happy, too. Simple.

Jan said...

I love these collages, BTW. xxxj

Meg said...

I've found out something a bit strange about my precious stuff. When I'm in Japan, my collage work is more interesting as I am away from my good stuff and use whatever I can find. Back here, I've been culling my collage material because I had too much, and now that I'm working with only my best stuff, my collages have become boring. Even when I add a lot of drawing. Curious discovery for me. :-D

The Idaho Beauty said...

These collages are unexpectedly bright and almost springlike. You are so right about using things up. I hit that stage myself in the last few years. No kidding that our stashes of everything are at a point that we could never use them up if we did nothing but sew, collage, bookbind every minute for the rest of our lives. So yes! Use use use!

May you also have a peaceful holiday weekend. :-)

Judy Sall Fiber Art said...

These are lovely, Connie! Years ago, we discovered an old scrapbook in a house my parents bought that had cherubs, calendars, and other paper images on the pages from the early 1900's. I kept it for decades, but a year or 2 ago I gave it to one of my fellow Artist Coalition members who makes greeting cards. She has been able to use a number of the treasures in her work, so that makes me happy. I haven't done much collage work, and really don't know the proper methods and materials to use, but I sure have a lot of saved magazines! Any recommendations on books or tutorials to teach me the basics?
Enjoy the weekend, and I hope you continue to enjoy whatever you are doing each day!

Anna H said...

Yes, Connie, I agree, I am trying to do the same, using only what I have, sometimes difficult when I see something new that I think I must have. I love the journal pages in your post, and I am wishing you a new year filled with endless opportunities and exciting adventures......Hugs.....

KrisR said...

After going to a garage sale - where a woman's dreams and unfinished projects were on sale for pennies - I decided to try to use everything I had - not save a thing. My collection of fabrics is actually amazingly low right now. It feels so good. By the end of this year - I might need to beg scraps from friends for quilt projects. That would make me smile.