Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Stable Relationship

Do you know the acronym STABLE? It stands for "STash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy"  Liz has a theory [and I believe it is a good one] that craft people often have two hobbies - [1] the performance of the craft itself, and [2] the acquisition of "The Stash" - the tools, materials and books relating to the craft. Many people get so caught up in the second activity, that they never really have time to pursue the actual craft itself. 
Just think about it for a second with these crafts*
knitting- needles, wool, patterns, stitch holders, row counters
dressmaking - patterns, fabric, pins, tape measures, buttons
embroidery - charts, needles, thread, aida cloth, hoops
cardmaking - card, dies, glues, punches, stamps, embellishments
woodturning - wood, lathe, chisels, oils, waxes, gouges, callipers
floristry - oasis, wires, tapes, vases, ribbons, secateurs, 'frogs'
Not to mention all the books, magazines and notebooks**
These are just random pictures grabbed from the internet of Stashes belonging to other people.
The "Really Useful Box Company" have made their fortune through people like this!
And if you are not careful, you forget what things you have in the Stash...Or something gets put away in the wrong place, and you end up despairing of ever finding it again, so you go out and buy a replacement [only to find the original the following day] I freely admit to owning a Great Stash. It is in constant use. Much of it donated by friends 'because I am sure you will find a use for it, Ang'
But I must be brutally honest with myself. I have a couple of hundred skeins of 6-strand embroidery floss, 3 sweet jars full of spools of sewing thread, 15 boxes of fabric [at least] two large containers of lace and ribbon, a dozen large glass jars full of buttons, a filing cabinet full of dress patterns. And then there's the papercraft, the flower arranging, the knitting and crochet, and the library of reference books...If I were to spend the next twenty years doing 2 hours of craft every day, I might possibly use it all up. 
So my Big Resolution for 2020 is that this year I will NOT buy ANY craft materials, equipment, magazines, or books. Anything I want to make must be created from things I already have. And where possible, I will pass on things to others, and diligently use up supplies.
I've already begun. A young friend at church told me she is learning to knit. She had been given a kit with one pair of needles and 3 balls of wool. So I gave her a bag full of different yarns and a few sets of needles. On New Year's Day, I was looking after Rosie and we decided to make some Thank You Cards. She coloured the cards [folded sheets of A4 printer paper] whilst I made colourful envelopes using the pages of an old magazine. 
Look at that concentration on Rosie's face! 
* all of these crafts happen in our home
** I knew a woman who said "Whenever I see a fabric shop, I always go in and buy a 'fat quarter'. I have yet to make a quilt though" How sad is that?
How have you reduced your Stash? 
Do you consider yourself to be in a STABLE Relationship?


  1. My stash is much smaller now I live on a boat also I have granddaughters who craft and who know where to come if they need anything.

  2. Sigh, yes, I'm afraid I am in a STABLE relationship! I tried not to buy too many items for the stash, last year, but, I did buy yarn and fabric for projects, trying to take advantage of sales in order to do so. 2020 is going to be another "craft from the stash" year, unless absolutely needed for a specific project.

    Love Rosie's original cards! :)

  3. We have a couple of discount stores that I like to go into - they often have paper pads & embellishments at reduced prices. I HAVE to restrain myself from buying more, because I have loads - and I don't make cards so often now!! My stash is far too big. I do need to reduce it.

  4. I'm not a crafter so no - but - my stepmom is a quilter and has a whole room devoted to it with all the necessaries!
    My brother's hobby is fishing - about a year ago a sporting goods shop was closing up near to his store - he bought ALL their fishing gear inventory - including the fixtures and fittings and had it moved to his basement!

  5. I think Liz is right!!but wasn't it such fun accumulating all the tools of the trade. It comes as a bit of an epiphany that one doesn't have enough lifetime left to make use of them all!!I've been giving away as much of my woolly stuff as I can manage to part with but having a little part-time job in a local wool shop doesn't help my somewhat minimalist trend of late!

  6. One day it hit me that I made more when I had few tools and accoutrements for the hobby. Then I inherited my sisters stash on top of my own and I have spent the last two years purging instead of making...Yes I am STABLE.

  7. I have inherited my mil and aunts haberdashery and have now started to quilt to use up as much possible, the only the I have bought is a proper quilting ruler, we won't go into my embroidery stash.

  8. I don't feel so bad now. I have a bag of fat quarters that I insisted on keeping through the house move but I haven't done anything with it yet. Patchwork is the only craft I do and I am determined to go back to it. So maybe one carrier bag is not too bad


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