Clicking on the tab for Up All Night Again, the thought flitted quickly across my mind, “I wonder if there are any new posts?” Er no, dear, not unless you actually bother to write them!
It reminds me of the time that I accidentally hit backspace while surfing and wound up at my own Livejournal profile page. I glanced uncomprehendingly at my own interest list and thought, “hey, this person sounds way cool, I should friend them – oh, wait a minute…” Still, I guess the fact that I instinctively liked the look of myself is probably positive.
It’s been a hectic week. My 40th birthday was on Saturday and my family threw a rather fabulous party for me complete with mountains of healthy yet delicious gluten-free food. We had about 30 people there and I was very touched that so many people, some of whom had travelled quite a distance, came to celebrate with me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have decided that I should have birthday parties more often (although probably not every year).
The chocolates are all gone and the many bunches of flowers are starting to wilt but I’m still happily playing with several of my presents, which included a pile of books, a full set of Sakura glaze pens and a very cute, tiny set of travelling watercolours with a little water brush. Art materials – the gifts that keep on giving!
Unfortunately everything else is in flux at the moment because as soon as we got the party out of the way, I had to empty my study so that it could be decorated. I can’t think what possessed me to arrange two such major events within two days of each other. I am temporarily installed in the living room and connecting to the net through the X-Box cable. The painters finished this afternoon but I need to buy a carpet and have that fitted before I can move back in. I also need to have a rethink about where everything goes and what I need to store. Oh, and buy a new desk because this Ikea one has bowed drastically in the middle, which is rather worrying in a piece of furniture that’s holding a heavy and expensive Mac!
Continuing the decluttering and organising theme of the last few months, I’m using this an opportunity to get rid of some stuff. I’ve drastically culled my art magazine collection – I gave away about 50 of them and have another huge pile to donate to the art college where I do my jewellery course. I’ve kept the ones I still refer to but it feels wonderful to pass the rest onto people who will actually use them. And as an added bonus, it frees up a lot of storage space on my shelves. Next I have to tackle my many folders of saved articles and images.
I’ve come to understand that having too much stuff weighs me down and makes it far more difficult for me to create. I had the realisation about a month ago that it didn’t matter how many neatly labelled boxes I had, if I simply had too much to store, then my shelves and cupboards were always going to be an impenetrable mess.
So lately I’ve been tackling The Cupboard Of Doom, a huge walk-in cupboard that we’ve thoroughly filled up with stuff. I’ve been systematically clearing it out; going through boxes, throwing things out, visiting the dump, filling up our weekly recycling bins and giving away hundreds of items on freecycle.
I’ve even surprised myself by being able to give away some art and craft supplies: usually I hold onto those for dear life but sorting out my studio has helped me to see what I already have and what I no longer use. Having too many supplies can actually be a disadvantage when making art because you can suffer from a sort of mental paralysis when faced with too many options. In addition, having vast quantities of supplies makes it harder to find the things you actually want to use.
Decluttering may not seem like it has much to do with art, but it feels as though what I’m really doing is making a much bigger space in my life for my art.