18 December 2009

RAW::Use What You Have

The e-card picture created by Grzegorz Łobiński for EcardSphere.com.

"Materialism is buying things we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people who don't matter."
~Today's Random Act of Wisdom comes from Jeff Mowatt again.

A good thought to remember this holiday season. And one that I intend to process deeper in 2010.
Oh, I know that it is very late in the game to be thinking about this, especially if you are done with your Christmas shopping...but if you are like 43% of shoppers you may have not even started looking for gifts yet so this advice is better late than never! And it might inspire you to look at your purchases in the new year a bit differently so that by this time next year you are less encumbered by the consumerism that is rampant not just at Christmas but all the year through.
Moving has taught me that I really don't need that much stuff. Of course, it is still in boxes in my garage, {and in my old house}, and glutting my new closets, and I will find a place for it all {eventually} or give it away, but it certainly makes me more aware.
The kids know what a big deal this whole move has been. I think that they were quite aware of the gravity of this when we have asked them what they would like for Christmas. Both of them asked for new bedding. Not that their old bedding was worn out, just that they wanted to start fresh. I can completely understand this.

If you know me at all you will understand that I am not always the most practical person. I wear high heels on the ice and rarely dress for the weather. I buy things in bulk because they are a good deal, not just because I will use them. I have more lotions and candles than I could ever use. I think that I do this on the off chance that I might need/want that...{it is a good thing that I don't live too close to a Costco...} so I am fairly surprised that my kids were being so practical. They are getting the chance to decorate their room any way they wish, and I know that is a great gift in and of itself {when I was about 10 and we moved to a new home, my mom asked me what color I wanted my room... I said purple and green, like lilacs. I got baby blue instead. Must be why I hate baby blue.} I wanted to do something special just from me and try to fulfill my pledge to buy handmade {I know I can't do all handmade, but I want to try to do some} so I am painting them each an oil painting to adorn their walls to match...{wish me luck on finishing that project in the next few days...haven't started on Sport-O's yet!}.
So, yes... I did buy them bedding of their choice, but I am also making things to coordinate with it. And we are not going hog-wild buying every new gadget and widget that is advertised just because...

I also have this problem with my bead stash. I cannot pass up a "good deal" on beading supplies. And even if I have a gift certificate to use, I rarely stop at the amount listed. I usually double it at the very least {it's like buy one-get one free then, isn't it?}. I have strands of beads and beautiful clasps and a whole herd of art beads that have not yet found their way into a special piece. Or maybe it is too special to use {does that sound familiar to anyone?} and so I horde my herd in carefully labeled baggies stuffed in towers of Snapware boxes. I get them out and fondle them every once in awhile, but then I put them away for another day. I need to stop that.
One of the goals that I have for myself in 2010 is to use what I have. I need to create more for the Gallery Q, the publications and contests, and for clients... I want to be selling online in 2010 and will need something to stock my site with... but I likely have all that I need. So I declare 2010 a Use What You Have year... well, as much as is possible.... I mean, I can't pass up a bead sale from my favorite Etsians... or a $3 strand table at a regional bead show... can I?

What do you think?

Check It Out::OnSimplicity

Speaking of Use What You Have... you have until 11:59 pm CST on Sunday, December 20th to enter the final Inspired by... challenge. Read about it here.
Enjoy the day!


Anonymous said...

great post, i agree! i buy way too much and now that we are also moving, all the way to TN, i am just appalled at all the stuff we have and don't use.
i too like to buy new beads and findings, something always catches my eye. but i am also going to use what i already have, which is a lot; 2010 is my year to tone it down. and i will use what i have.

peacockfairy said...

What a great quote! I totally agree! I have really been trying to "use what I have" too!

Marie Cramp said...

I agree. I need to do the same thing. I don't get bead shows around here, but I love Etsy!! I can't wait to see what you have in store for us this coming year. I have an Art Beads draw on my blog right now too... ;)

Merry Christmas


WTF Store said...

Use what you have - that's tough advice for a bead lover! I made the same pledge last month, and I'm following through so far! It's a good excuse to get creative with what's on hand and see what happens.

EmandaJ said...

Hi Erin,

I've been unemployed since July and so I HAVE been using what I have and . . . I have found I don't want to spend money on stuff I used to buy -- in bulk -- like you. I wish you great success in your endeavors.

Happy Holidays,

Mary K. McGraw said...

I really related to your post, especially in regard to my stash of beads. i like to just play with my beads, fondle them and admire them and then put them away. But, this Christmas I have tried to use what I have, even susing some of my favorite beads in gifts I am making. But Saturday my favorite bead store is having a sale and i cannot wait to add to my stash.

mairedodd said...

i think that is a wonderful idea and can actually force one to be more creative... seeing what you have and how you can put it together presents an interesting challenge... i, too, have many focals that need to be used, not just hanging about... hope you are well...

rosebud101 said...

I love the idea of using what we have. I need to do that, too, and I am trying, but sometimes, it's just sooooooo tempting to try that new color or buy that new bit of glass. Oh, well, temptation won't cease, but maybe I can develop some self control.

Judy said...

Great post Erin...I so agree with you,we have more than we need.

A "use what you have" challenge...hmmmm.

Off the Beadin' Path said...

I think it's unanimous that we should buy less and use what we have, a worthy goal, but old habits... I think all true beaders hoard and fondle, it's our passion. I would love to see a place where we can swap the beads we wish we hadn't bought! And finally, of course it's buy one, get one free when you use a gift certif and then spend the SAME amount!

Debbie said...

I've been trying to use what I have lately, since my husband lost his job. For me, it's all about paper and paints! Have a Merry Christmas!

Riki Schumacher said...

I hear ya, use what you have!! That's a great idea for 2010, so I better order a lot soon, ha ha. Thanks for stopping by! Making the frame was a lot of fun. Merry Christmas, have a wonderful holiday season. Great getting to know you this year. Take care.

Kate said...

I have been moving towards this same goal Erin, I don't always make it but I try. Actually I find it more fun and inspiring to have less to design with, it kicks in inovation, creativity and upholds the old adage, 'Necessity is the mother of invention'!

I did succumb to an awesome sale on a newly found craft shop online recently, but with 25% off on clay I can't normally find and free shipping, who could resist? :)

sandi m said...

I agree with all you've said. I guess being older, I have all the 'stuff' that I want. So even though I still like to shop/browse, I'm less inclined to buy.
As for beads, well there should be 12-step program for bead buying - ha!!! I also like to do an occassional 'review' of my stash: pull out, touch, think about creative possibilities, and return to its storage home. And yes, I also have those 'why did I buy those beads?' beads.
Being unemployed for the past several months really makes you step back and rethink how you budget money for everything. So while I have purchased a few new beads, I have been using stash on hand.
A de-stash exchange would be a great idea.
sandi m

Jenners said...

I love that you are letting your kids have a hand in decorating their own rooms and working with them on it. I think that is so cool.

And I vacillate between not being an overconsumer and then getting the "spendies."

Stories They Tell said...

The amazing thing about the beading community is that, not only do new beading ideas seem to spring up simultaneously in various minds at the same time, so do other concepts-- like downsizing your stash and using what you have. Brilliant! "Using what I have" is harder for me, since I can always make a new bead out of clay if I can't find something that works. I vow to address this in 2010! What I DO try to do is to start a project using as much as I can from what I already have on hand and only then do I think about ordering anything extra. Not surfing Etsy favorites helps too AND adds more to your productive work time as an added benefit. Thanks for the inspiration, Erin!

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what I've been trying to do for the past few months - use what I have instead of shopping for new things all the time. To make it a little easier, I did allow myself to buy - _if_ I had a great idea to use something from my stash, _but_ the idea would include seed beads or swarovskis of a certain colour, beads of a metal I did not have etc. And I excluded findings. I just never have enough of those, and never the right ones. But it has helped me anyway to use some of the things I had just kept and admired for a while. Now, for the christmas holidays, I'll allow myself a little break, and go on a shopping tour without a particular goal in mind.

Jannie Funster said...

I think adding to a bead stash is a WONDERFUL thing!! Like my fine stationaries, it's a collection, a joyful hobby. Nothing wrong with that.

Now the candles... I'd advise lighting them all at once and really enjoying them. Maybe not getting more until the others are gone? 'Cause after all, they do lose their scent after a while and you want only the finest fully aromatic ones around. Right??



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