I like graph paper. I like to make to-do lists on graph paper so I can draw a tidy little box next to each item and mark it off when the chore is done. That's probably why I like gingham. And January. A fresh calendar, a new year, all those open calendar squares filled with nothing but possibility. I spent a lot of January thinking about fresh starts. More to the point, I spent a lot of January doing some particularly non-blogworthy activities but getting what feels like a good beginning.
One piece of fabric, one color of thread, and a hundred different designs that can result from it. This is chicken scratch embroidery, which also has been called depression lace and gingham lace. (I think I like those names even more.)
The reason I have my gingham aprons out is because I'm selling them. Actually, I'm selling pretty much my whole apron collection. It feels good. Every year I go on a decluttering binge in January - I think a lot of us do - and somehow it never quite works. Now, I'm not a big fan of self-help books, and when I heard a radio talk show advertise an upcoming interview with the author of the book "Throw Out Fifty Things," I mentally - perhaps actually - rolled my eyes. Been there before. If you ask me, 50 is on the low end of the decluttering scale.
But I enjoyed the interview enough to read the first chapter of the book on Amazon (you can read it here), and here's the part that made an impression on me: She's not talking about 50 items. She's talking about, say, 50 collections. If you pack up 50 of your old books, you aren't done. That's not 50 things. That's one thing: your old books.
And somehow, that made a lot of sense to me.
By the end of this week, I'll have sold (or given away) at least 50 aprons. I had a good collection. I've even exhibited them a few places locally. But for the past few years I've had them stored in a huge vintage suitcase. Every once in a while I'd forget what was in the suitcase, and I'd open it up and see the aprons. And I was not excited to see them. It was more like seeing a relative you know you should love but don't really enjoy.
So the aprons: that's one thing. I took boxes and boxes of books to our local library yesterday for their annual sale. That's two. Vintage wallpaper, vintage millinery - out. I have washed, pressed, folded, photographed, sold and shipped literally hundreds of yards of fabric in the last couple of weeks: All the fabric that I said I'd sell someday has either been sold or will be in another week or two. An attic closet filled with household whatnots - cleaned. So I think I'm up to around six things. It seems like a lot of work to have only six things to claim, but I think that's the point.
So that's where I'm at and what I've been up to. (Can I just say how nice it was to hear from some of you who wondered where I'd been? That was just very kind.)
Am I done collecting? Not a chance.
Am I done sorting? Not a chance of that, either.
(I'm adding this only because some of you will ask: If you're ever interested in what I'm selling on eBay, you can always search by my seller name, kremisclub. I wanted this post to be something other than a big old advertisement.)