Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ok, sometimes it pays to be a packrat.......

God love 'em, but at least 4 generations of the women in my family have been packrats & we're talking serious packratitus. Where upstairs bedrooms are so full of things that "you might need someday" that all you can do is walk into the room & walk back out backwards in your same foot steps. Hallways crammed with filled boxes of outdated fabrics & patterns. Closets of extra serving dishes & platters. My grandpa, bless his soul, also had this "problem" (don't want to call it a disease, since I question if it was something brought about from living during the Depression Era). He would go to estate sales & bring home boxes of "things".

Growing up with this, it seemed "normal". I never questioned the clutter. Once I moved away I realized, "oh my God, these people are packrats!" I vowed from that day on, that I would break that chain in my family.

I did pretty well until I started creating art again. It's a lot easier creating when you already have the paper you need for a journal signature or the right color of thread to finish a quilt. I spoke with other artist friends on how to "cope" with this disease & if it was acceptable or shunned & I was reassured it would be ok, but that I had to be careful, that it could easily get out of control. So, I keep it "in check" by organizing. All of my paints are in 2 clear rubber maid totes, my rubber stamps in another, fusible webs, etc AND they are kept in my studio either in the closet or underneath my work table. I cannot store extra rubber maid totes visibly in my studio, so this is a way of me controlling how much I can "hoard".

I generally give my grandma a hard time about all the things she keeps & shouldn't, but this time, I'm glad she did. When we went back to see her last week, she gave me a grocery bag full of the postcards that you see here. There had to be over 150 of these postcards & in fabulous shape for being over 97 years old!! They're all correspondence between my great grandmother & a friend of her's, most of them still have the 1 cent stamp that was needed to mail them on it still.
I feel like these postcards are a small part of my family past so I won't be cutting them up to use in my art. Instead, I have plans to scan them into my computer & then use them possibly in my work & as for the actual postcards, I think they'll be put into an archival binder where one can easily enjoy them any time!!


Dotti said...

Hmmmm...when DH and I moved into this 1600 sq ft space with two teenagers, two dogs, and 3 cats it seemed like a mansion. Today we are empty nesters and the pets have died and gone to heaven. The two extra bedrooms are so stuffed with stuff that we put our kids up in a motel when they come to visit. I'm thinking that sometime between then and now there was a tidal wave that deposited all this stuff. Rats have nothing to do with it especially those of the packing type; this is my story and I'm sticking to it!

Sherry said...

My mom is a pack rat. One entire bedroom is stacked from floor to ceiling with totes that contain fabric, all sorted out by color. When I need something, I just go shopping at mom's. Thanks for sharing the cards. They are fabulous.

Karen said...

These are fantastic Tracy and I'd be hard put to get rid of stuff like this as well.