letting go

I’m letting out a big sigh of relief today…

I finally had a chance to remove a big pile of things from my living room and take them to the library for their annual fundraising raffle. I’ve been gathering things for the last week or two – several large baskets that I’d stashed in the basement months ago, and a pile of smaller things that I was ready to send on to good homes.

The stuff had been piled up in front of our Christmas tree! probably the worst place I could have put it, but all the little corners where I used to tuck things ready to leave the house are full of business supplies these days. I wish I had a staging area for things that need to leave the house!

I was really excited to pass the baskets on. They’ve been sitting on top of the dryer for months. One of them was an old cane laundry basket which will make a good gift basket for the raffle. It didn’t work very well as a laundry basket. The other 2 baskets were emptied out in one of my earlier purges – both quite lovely, but I don’t have any space for them and I got rid of the things that lived inside them anyway. Someone else will love them.

I was thinking about what other good things I could contribute to the raffle – things that might be worth bidding on in a silent auction type of scenario. I hit upon 2 of my quilts. One is a small square vintage-style quilt I imagined giving to a friend having a baby (but never did) and the other is a large Japanese fabric quilt top that I never finished into a quilt. It was one of the ones I backed with fabric to turn it into a cover or throw, figuring someone might choose to finish it as a quilt someday. I have no misgivings about giving these 2 pieces away. I’m keeping all of my favorite quilts, including one made from the same beautiful vintage-style fabrics as the small one. (In the end, the fabric is what’s most important in liking a quilt). In the picture below I’m using the top left and bottom left quilts daily, and have given away the 2nd and 3rd quilts (top row) and the 1st quilt in the middle row. The other 4 quilts are much loved but rarely used.

quilty collage

I also made a bunch of glass tile pieces this past weekend – some for gifts, some to keep for myself (to replace ugly magnets), and some to donate to the raffle. I ended up giving them 8 pendant necklaces, 3 pairs of earrings, and some magnets. I used up all of my glass tile supplies (which I had bought after learning how to make them in Nov 2012) and a bunch of hoarded pretty papers and stickers – some that I’d collected in Japan about 15 years ago.

glass tile pretties

One of my buddies is putting together a craft gift basket for the raffle and I figured I could contribute a lot to that. I went through my craft ottoman in a few minutes this morning and grabbed a lot of things that didn’t make my heart sing. I’m not getting anywhere near keeping my craft supplies in a pouch! but even after a major purge a few weeks ago, there was still a lot I was happy to pass along. Stickers that I’m over, papers I don’t need, lots of embellishments left over from last year’s Dec Daily kit – I was never going to use those flair badges. I haven’t even started my Dec Daily and I prefer simple clean layouts using simple digital elements anyway. Someday very soon I’m going to stop pretending that I’m into layering and frou-frou and crafty stuff (but for now I kept all my paper scraps for crafty greeting cards).

I’ve decided not to be the person who rescues all of the wrapping paper and gift bags any more. I hate to see stuff go to waste, but I’m thoroughly sick of the pile of bags and paper I had stashed away. I’ve been using it, don’t get me wrong. I’ve lasted 4 years on the tissue paper stuffed in the tops of gift bags from my nephew’s 1st birthday! I have wrapped countless gifts in that perfectly good paper. But I need to start fresh. The gals at work are going to use what I brought as part of the raffle.

I passed on a few little things that were gifts too. They were lovely gifts. Very thoughtful and in theory quite perfect. (I accepted the gifts of good feelings and kind thoughts). But a couple of them were just not quite “me” and the others I just don’t need in my space any more. I packed up my mini zen garden – put all the sand and rocks and the miniature rake into tiny little ziplock bags (once I finally remembered that that’s how it was packaged when I got it – for the longest time I couldn’t get rid of the damn thing because I couldn’t figure out how to pack it up!) I gave up trying to figure out something to keep in the beautiful little sakura-printed wooden box. Too many pretty things that don’t have a use… I have so many pretty things from Japan… it gets to where you don’t even notice each individual item because there are so many of them.

IMG_9639

The only things I’m a little torn to see go are my sock monsters. I made a whole bunch of them years ago and gave the vast majority of them away. They were super-cute and they made me smile, but… the last 3 I’ve been holding on to were my favorites. One is a cream sock monster called Jean Claude – he’s a secret agent posing as a librarian. I love the weird cock of his head and his curly tail and that he wears his heart on his chest. The other is named Gill the Argyle Monster and he is grey and purple argyle and wears the peace sign I wore as a teenager. He has traveled around with me, posing for photos at Pike Place Market and on the beaches of Oahu. I hope someone gives them a good home. I’m not generally sentimental about toys – I hardly remember the ones I made and gave away. I should have given these away sooner – the longer they stuck around looking adorable the more attached I got to them. I just don’t have any space in my home to display sock monsters. I don’t have a toy shelf. And they deserve to be on display.

I still have to figure out what to do with the one I’m keeping – he’s my hubby’s favorite. His name is Sven the flaming gymnast and he’s hilarious. His legs came out in a permanent splits position and his face is such a painful grimace and his socks were a Yahoo promotion with flames all over them that worked perfectly as part of his design. And I made him a sweatband! Yeah, he’s awesome, and I’m happy to keep him (happy that hubby insists on keeping him) and if I can’t find a good place to display him I’ll let hubby store him in his closet. (All of the sock monsters have been living on one of my closet shelves for years).

The last thing I got out of the house today was a bag of old towels that are going to an animal shelter. I’d been meaning to donate them for ages, but we never go out to the animal shelter. I finally asked my friend who donates to them regularly and she was happy to take my things. No more holding on to old towels. I had replaced them months ago.

I’m so happy to have all of these things out of my house!

I also have 2 bags of donations still to take to Goodwill/Vinnies. One bag of clothes, one of magazines and miscellany.

And I’m nowhere near done.

I’ve even been trashing things that belong in the trash.

Go me!

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