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the cluttered state of crafting… and a giveaway!

This week, random stories and pictures, and a giveaway! Read through the post, then find the giveaway bit at the end, where you can win this adorable wee tentacled friend:

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Since high school, I’ve moved to six different homes in two different countries, which isn’t that much moving compared to a lot of folks I know, but it’s been enough to help me cut down significantly on stuff. Every time I move, I get rid of more things (and it’s never enough). During our last move, my boyfriend and I got rid of a lot of books, and nearly all our DVDs. CDs all went in a binder in the closet and every. Last. Jewel case got thrown out. These were all things that we, at one point in time, were so proud to own, and so sure we’d want to keep forever. And we haven’t missed any of them.

Lately I’ve been trying (and mostly failing, but still trying) to clear out my crafting room a little and get rid of things I don’t need. It’s hard. Because with crafting, you could need just about anything at some point in time. All of it might be useful. But it certainly can’t be useful all the time, and in the meantime it takes up space. Space I could be using to craft in. Just the projects I actually am working on are enough to make my desk look like Santa’s Workshop after all the elves went on a bender and trashed the place.

There are the secret projects, and the projects completed but not yet posted, listed, sold or sent out,

the finished projects just waiting for their time,

the projects nearly-but-not-quite done and left unfinished for months,

the projects-in-progress,

the projects that are totally done except for that one last little tiny thing, or that need me to go buy that one material I ran out of so I can finish them up,

the materials that don’t really have a home, and are waiting to be used in future projects that are just waiting for the right time, or for there to be time (that cider is delicious, by the way – you should try it),

And boxes of finished things waiting to be shipped. (See that Tally’s Treasury logo on the side? Yup, I have discovered spray paint! Wheeeee!!!)

Although my desk currently looks as though a very colourful whirlwind swept over it, I have made some recent progress in organizing other areas of the room. Slowly (very very slowly), I am sorting through each area of my crafting lair and lessening the chaos therein. I got rid of a ton of old fabric scraps that were simply never going to get used, and can now actually close the lid on my scraps bin – a minor but deeply satisfying miracle. And my fabric shelves are no longer an utter visual embarrassment:

I even made a couple little felt containers to help maintain order.

Of course, there’s also this corner. But let’s just move quietly away from there for now. Baby steps, people, baby steps. Rome was not built in a day, and this crafting disaster may not be dealt with in a year.

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 Giveaway!

And now, in the continued spirit of getting rid of things, I am going to pass something along to one of you. We’re all friends here, right? My stuff is your stuff. Here, have some stuff! It’s giveaway time!

Remember I recently mentioned I’d made a lot of octopuses in the last while? Well here is a chance for you to get one of your own. The wee adorable fellow below will be given away next week, to one of you lovely readers. For a chance to win him, simply comment below with one of two things. Either:

  • Tell what part of your life you would most like to clean up and organize,
or
  • Tell what creative project you most wish you had the time to actually do!

At the end of the week, I’ll draw a winner from all the people who’ve commented. One entry per person (you can comment more than once, you just won’t be entered more than once), and if you win I will ship it to you anywhere in the world – none of that Canadian or US-participants-only jazz.

See you next week!

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48 Comments

  1. Alexander

     /  September 21, 2012

    The thing I most want to organise is my ambitions. There are too many things, both in crafting and circus training. I could just let everything sit at a mediocre level, but focusing would lead to something much better.

    As for the craft project, I really want to get more into pop-up papercraft. I need to learn some new techniques so that I can do fancier stuff.

    Reply
  2. Denise

     /  September 21, 2012

    Organizing the yarn cabinet and WIP seems to be a never ending battle! You make lovely things!

    Reply
  3. I want – and NEED – to organise my work towards my master’s degree thesis. Once that is done (aiming towards spring 2014…), I will have time to get on with my craft projects for real, which are mostly cosplay costumes (first out, Medli from Wind Waker, I think).

    Reply
  4. Youri

     /  September 21, 2012

    I really want to have more time to write storys. But with internship and sports I don’t have the time or energy to do it. Besides that the internship has stolen my notebook for all the notes I have to make. I compensate it with doodles where there is some space left on the pages.

    Reply
  5. I want to organize the hundreds and hundreds of rubber stamps that I own (and use!). I’m working on cataloging every.single.oneofthem. I’m crafting sleeves for the unmounted ones, and trying to track down the supplier for each image. It’s gonna be GREAT when it’s finished…

    Reply
  6. Adrian

     /  September 21, 2012

    I’m trying to organize my workload. I’m entering my final year of college, I’m currently working everyday on video game art as a hobby-to-career kind of thing, but I keep feeling bad that I don’t have enough time to keep working on the boat I’m building out of matches. I’ve got the upper deck done and many of the ribs in place, but I need to finish it and cover it in an outer shell. Not exactly crafting, more like model building from scratch.

    Reply
  7. Pat Upton

     /  September 21, 2012

    Sigh. My craft room is also a disaster. I try to keep the doors closed so that no one can see my hoard and so the cats can’t get in there to disappear forever! Like you said, baby steps!

    BTW, I love your octopus!

    Reply
  8. Will Coleda

     /  September 21, 2012

    Mine is a two-fer. I have a home office that is a disaster area of boxed books and electronics, and old bits of jobs from way too many years gone by.

    I want to not only clean up that mess, but also build custom shelving and a desk so that all the things I do keep are easy to find and/or on display.

    Reply
  9. I would really like to organize and condense my old crafting supplies–the ones I don’t want to throw away. I was injured awhile ago and still can’t really craft…so I wish there was somewhere I wasn’t always tripping over them. Alas, I’m in a 1-bedroom apartment with my husband, so for now they’re in the living room and bedroom. :-/

    Reply
  10. Hopefully not being too literal, but my attic is the part of my life I need to clean up most. Where I put things that I don’t want to have to think about but am not sure I should dispose of.

    As far as creative endeavors, I would really like to get back to painting miniatures. I miss it as much as I miss gaming.

    Reply
  11. My house sits right next to a lovely greenbelt. If I had the time I would LOVE to build a treehouse for my kids back there. I have several ideas on how to lay it out, and there is a perfect spot where several solid trees are next to each other. Between our work schedules and keeping up with regular chores it’s just never come together. Some day!

    Reply
  12. UNHchabo

     /  September 21, 2012

    I’m a software developer, and for a good while I’ve been so busy at work that I haven’t been able to put any real time and energy into personal software projects. I’ve been trying to get into game development, but can’t seem to put more than a couple hours in without having to put it down for a while. That just means I’m always out of practice.

    Reply
  13. JenLuck

     /  September 21, 2012

    I think I’ll go ahead and answer both questions. For the thing I’d most like to organize it would be my bookshelves in the den. Sweet Lord these shelves house everything from my books to my kids’ art to photos and picture frames to the ashes of my dog and cat. Yes, my pets’ ashes. That’s both “aww” and “eww”. In short, the shelves are super cluttered and it looks like a library and a knick-knack store came in and puked all over the place. I’ve been thinking for a long time about how much I need to sort through it and thin it all out. I tell my husband at least weekly that I’m planning to work on it but really it hasn’t gotten past the planning/thinking stage.
    As for the craft project I would love to work on, it would be the needle felted pig and lamb I am hoping to make. That’s another project I’ve been thinking about and talking about for months. I’m going to teach myself how to needle felt and the pig & lamb are the first project. But…well….I just need to start them.
    Jeeeesh, this post has really made me realize what a huge procrastinor I am.
    Sigh…… Eye opener!!

    Reply
  14. Terra Bos

     /  September 21, 2012

    I need to organize all of my children’s schoolwork ad artwork. They bring so many things home and it all gets thrown into a pile until I have time to look through it. Who am I kidding? I never have spare time!

    Reply
    • Tally

       /  September 21, 2012

      Terra, I don’t know what you’ll think of this idea, but here’s what my own mom used to do with our school artwork (cuz there was always tons of it).

      When we brought a batch of it home, she’d put it up on the fridge or wherever. When the fridge got full and we brought more artwork home, she’d take down the old stuff, lay it out on the living room floor, and take a picture. Then it would go (quietly, when we weren’t right there) into the recycling, and the new stuff would go on the fridge. She kept her and our very very very favourites in a file, but apart from that we just had a photo record of all the piles of art we brought home throughout the years. I thought it was a nice solution – a way to keep a record and still see all the work we’d done, but without having to keep stacks and stacks of it around forever.

      Reply
  15. Robyn S

     /  September 21, 2012

    I wish I had time to work on redoing my webcomic to print it. I have to redraw some 100+ pages for it.

    Reply
  16. Ahaha let’s just skip over organizing my life *cough* and move on to crafting projects. I’d like to learn more embroidery – I’m only really familiar with cross stitch – and make a big embroidered Dream from Sandman. I’ve had that idea in my head for probably a couple years now but haven’t gotten around to it. I also want to learn how to crochet (partly because of all the awesome blankets etc. donated to Desert Bus) and play with amigurumi, and I want to try needle felting again because all I’ve really tried are those eyeballs…and then there are all those ideas for cross stitch pieces that I just haven’t gotten around to making yet…

    So, y’know, just one or two things.

    Reply
  17. Peter S

     /  September 21, 2012

    Well, I’ve got a lot of plans that I’d like to do but cannot do since my hands are shoddy. I’ve always wanted to collect whatever clothes I find laying about the general area where I happen to move around (you’d be surprised what I’ve already found walking around this town) for about a year. Then make some kind of statue, dressed in ‘lost clothes’. For a final note, I’d try to sneak it unto the town square and just leave it there while waiting for peoples reactions. Leaving them wondering who the heck made such a strange monument.

    Reply
  18. My answer is the same to both questions. I have a ton of screen printing materials laying around in various boxes and piles. I keep meaning to take the time to go through and organize, make screens up, and actually ink up some of my old plain t-shirts and tank tops, but I just never seem to do it!

    Reply
  19. I recently saw an amazing pair of steampunk heels that I want to try and recreate, because ever since I completed my Avengers comic book heels I have wanted to mod more shoes and these seem really cute. I have the gears for it but that is about it.

    Reply
  20. Katherine

     /  September 21, 2012

    For last Christmas, I started making my mum and dad a patchwork quilt. I ran out of time to finish it for Christmas, but I managed to put all the patchwork pieces together and gave them that with the intention of finishing it in the next few weeks. It has sat on my crafting table almost untouched since then, it needs to be finished before this Christmas, but what with changing jobs twice and packing up to move house I never seem to have time! So I need to organise myself to work on this!

    Reply
  21. Bryanne Colver

     /  September 21, 2012

    I really really wanna make me the bear off of the, Yeva, Natures Herald, magic the gathering card. I think it is adorable! Alas, I am in school and getting married so I have no time whatsoever to spare for such joyful endeavors!

    Reply
  22. I would love to organize my apartment. We live in a loft with the only closet being the utility closet and no kitchen cabinets (the designer was afraid of closed doors, not kidding) so everything we own is on display or in plastic bins. I would love to have the money and time to organize everything beautifully instead of just stacking carefully and pretending it looks pretty.

    Reply
  23. Helen C

     /  September 21, 2012

    What doesn’t need to be organized! Home, studio, brain…

    Leather working, and after watching the crafting panel, I’d love to try my hand at a leather mask.

    Reply
  24. DayleSaums

     /  September 21, 2012

    I actually just finished a project that I have been trying to finish for three years. Its a laptop bag made out soda can tabs! Now I just need to finish making the lining! :)

    I also need to organize my life, as a fourth year genetics student, homework and having some sort of resemblance of a social life is hard.

    Reply
  25. Need to clean my closet…at my parents house, and in my own apt, and my sisters house where I stashed a bunch of stuff. Who knows what could be there?

    I need/must/will do start and complete an illustrated book.

    Reply
  26. Fayili

     /  September 22, 2012

    So many ideas and so little motivation when it comes down to it. I really just need to organize my brain into a better-motivated project-completing machine. I’m so good at motivating others… why not myself? Pah.

    Reply
  27. Jenn

     /  September 22, 2012

    I would most love to clean up and organize my “control room,” which house my boyfriend’s and my computers. It’s a wreck most of the time with my school stuff and I just wish I had the time!

    As for crafting, I have been wanting to try out screen printing, but I just don’t have the space/time/a place to get dirty.

    Reply
  28. I have a cushion in the shape of a little terrier that I really want to finish. It’s hard to do a project because I have to split my living between university and our home in Germany, so a craft project cannot be transported. This poor dog, he makes me feel so sad and guilty, I was going to do him last term, then this holiday, and now I can’t take him back it’s going to have to be next break at Christmas time! Oh, I has a sad now :( I wouldn’t even class myself as a crafter, I don’t do enough in either quantity or quality, but I am not immune from crafter’s guilt, so it would seem.

    Reply
  29. Emily

     /  September 22, 2012

    I would most like to organise what I’m doing with my life, completing a bachelor of science this year but no idea what I’m going to do with it!

    I wish I had time to learn how to sculpt with polymer clay. Some creations with it are simply amazing, and there are endless amounts of ways to use it.

    Reply
  30. Monica

     /  September 22, 2012

    Is it a problem if my answer for both would be everything? I just feel like I don’t have the time or energy to do everything I want, and organizing is one of many things I need to do! We moved into our house in December and my new craft room is STILL trashed. In fact, there’s still art not hung and boxes still unpacked….

    Reply
  31. Rebecca B.

     /  September 23, 2012

    Hi! I would like to most organize my craft room and finally get caught up with my daughter’s baby scrapbook (before the next baby is born!)

    Reply
  32. katka1221

     /  September 24, 2012

    Oh, I just did a big move in this weekend and I need to organize my kitchen – i think it’s too small for all the stuff i have. also, i’dlike to have time for my project of atelier creation – with all the time I spend at work, with my babyand upgrading our house, there is NO time (and space) left to make any project :( sniff..

    Reply
  33. Its a creative project that the local City Council just approached me about, so I’m still working out the details.
    Around Dublin, Ireland, are various junction boxes used for traffic lights. Last year a bunch of these got decorated by local artists, and one was turned in to a fake blank bookcase. Graffiti artists got busy making fake (and real) book covers and spines. I blogged about it mentioning that I’d like to apply QR codes to these fake books so the fake book case could become a mobile phone library centre linking to project Gutenberg’s collections.

    And the council has just approached me about it.

    Right now I’m stoked and terrified. Any Canadian (or Irish-Canadian) titles I should include?

    The approach
    https://twitter.com/DCCBeta/status/249587747684245505

    Reply
    • Tally

       /  September 24, 2012

      Will, that sounds incredible! What a completely awesome project! I’m sure you’ll do a stellar job of it. :)

      As for Canadian titles, perhaps something by Margaret Atwood, something by Mordecai Richler? And one of Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe story collections would be fun – those are enjoyable and easy reading for everyone, and full of Canadian culture. I don’t think any of those would be Project Gutenberg, though.

      Best of luck with this project!

      Reply
  34. Renee C.

     /  September 24, 2012

    I would most like to clean and organize my closet, but I’m scared to. Every time I take everything out I throw away and donate a bunch of stuff. The things I’m left with, that I want to keep, never fit back in!!

    Reply
  35. Kaiserin

     /  September 25, 2012

    I would most like to organize my ambitions. I wan to do so many things and life’s so short, I have to figure out which one I want to do for a living and prioritize from there.

    The project I’d really like to have time for now is to expand to making some more shamanistic masks. I want to make a winter god!

    Reply
  36. Dani

     /  September 25, 2012

    I would like to start crafting some felt dolls of my friend’s characters Captain Flair and Lt. Snuggles!

    Reply
  37. Sarah Anne

     /  September 26, 2012

    The one craft project I wish I had time to do was make socks. My Mom taught me how to make socks, but the project itself (although fairly simple) is time intensive! (Also, I would like to do a giant cross stitch of Adventure Time.) :)

    Reply
    • Tally

       /  September 26, 2012

      One nice thing about projects like making socks and doing cross stitch, is they can be carried around with you and worked on wherever you are! I tend to do a lot of hand stitching projects on trips, in meetings and while waiting for friends at events and such.

      Of course, if it’s a truly GIANT cross stitch, then maybe not so much with the carrying it around. :)

      Reply
  38. Samantha

     /  September 26, 2012

    I’d most like to clean up……..goodness………I guess all my crafting supplies. I have fabric/paper/etc. scattered all over 2 different houses and a garage. I’d like to finish up the quilts I have started.

    Reply
  39. I have tons of “to be crafted” stuff sitting around and eating up space in my room back in NYC (I’m at Grad school now) including a bunch of fabric I need to make use of. The most trying of which is some super thick leather that I want to make into book covers or belts or something, but that requires some intricate cutting and work with a leather sewing awl (which I have bought, just not used!) It will get done…some day.

    Reply
  40. Okaaaaaaaay…. (and, first of all, sorry for my poor english)

    I love your blog. Really. I cannot just imagine how you can be soooo creative. I come very often and I want to make a lot of your creations… Cthulhu, jellyfish and others are on my todo list and I really THANK you so much for your tutorials and ideas.

    Hum…
    Well… for the organisation, my practice is a bit “entangled”: I have to organize my space, my room, to organize my mind. If my mind is in a mess, I have to arrange my home to “be tidy”!
    Today, I am in a career transition, and I am always arranging my apartment… It’s a way to keep quiet!
    So, today, I would like to better organize my life!

    Reply
  41. Lucy

     /  September 27, 2012

    My box(s) of clothes to alter, or use as fabric never seems to end, or be contained, so I guess that would count as both a craft project and some thing in need of organization

    Reply
  42. Eliza F

     /  September 27, 2012

    I’m DIYing my wedding and knitting up a storm for Christmas, but I’d far more like to find the time to DIY screenprint shirts for my fiance and myself for our first marathon (Philly marathon!). I plan to be completely nerdy in our dual shirts, quoting from The Fault in Our Stars, one of several titles that have become incredibly important in our relationship. But I don’t even have time to train for my marathon, let alone screenprint shirts!

    Reply
  43. Zulie

     /  January 11, 2013

    OMG this octopus is sooooo cute, it will be awesome among my other octopus at home… yeah i collect them xD

    I have a creative project for years and and i don’t seem to find the time to do it, i wanr a doctor who cosplay, trying to make a tardis dress, i even got the perfect dress to do it ! but there’s a little problem, i can’t sew xD I do a lot of thing in polymer clay too… but i don’t manage to make little tardises earrings either lol

    Reply
  44. Steph

     /  August 5, 2015

    Hi,

    I’ve just stumbled across your gorgeous site and fallen in love with the blue octopus you were giving away in 2012.
    My daughter is doing a class music performance in a couple of months as a mermaid and i was wondering if there was anyway at all that i could get hold of one as it would look awesome in her hair with her outfit.
    Is there anyway you still have any, could make any or have patterns??

    Living in hope
    Steph x

    Reply
  1. blue octopus giveaway – the winner is… | Tally's Treasury

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