Regrets? I’ve Had a Few.

Cement leaf, cast from our Big Leaf Maple tree.

I think in a previous post I may have made some kind of grandiose statement to the effect that there is nothing I regret having thrown out in our attempts to downsize and restructure the way we live. I believe I may have implied, or perhaps directly stated, that I’m  actually happy I have rid myself of all the many truckloads of stuff that now languishes somewhere in the thrift shops of the world.  I would like to amend that statement now. That statement is not precisely true. In fact, just today I realized I had thrown out something that  I really wish I had kept because, as I feared, I now want to use it. Isn’t there some kind of saying to the effect that the moment one gets rid of something, one needs it?

What is this very important item, the intrigued reader wonders? Why, it’s a completely unopened aqua blue mosquito netting, made to drape over a bed. It’s not a high quality one, but I bought it because I found it for less than 3$, loved the color, and I figured someday I would either use it, or would give it as a gift. What it represents to me now is yards and yards of gauzy fabric in a perfect shade of aquamarine.

The problem is that I craft. It’s not a constant problem,  I don’t always make things, but occasionally I get a wild hair and begin working with different materials in a creative sort of way. In the past I have worked with fabric, photography,  mosaic, and cement. I’ve made some pretty nifty things with those materials, and always I have had to spend some time gearing up by learning about the materials and what they will do together, etc. In other words, I play with them; sometimes lots of them. I have to learn what the materials will do before I can make them do what I want.

Simple mosaic on top of a garden wall.

And that’s the space I’m in now, and that’s why I save so many things. I never know what I might do with them. I never know when the urge is going to strike, the artist’s muse can strike at any time, unpredictably. I like to be prepared. And it’s hard to be prepared when you don’t exactly know what you will need!

Just before the storm, it struck me that when we begin living on a boat and cruising around, I really have nothing to offer others that’s worth much in terms of selling or bartering for goods or services. I mean, Mike can fix anything electrical or computer oriented. He’s also pretty good at engines. He’s a guy’s guy when it comes to those kinds of things. In his career he started out in electronics and ended up writing computer applications. He’s all over that stuff.

I, on the other hand, am a psychotherapist.  I can tell you right now that I am NOT going to be offering those services to other cruisers. Those days will be gone by the time we get to cast off. Cruisers who need therapy will be referred to the local village shaman. So I need something else to offer. What do I actually enjoy doing that might be worth something to others? And is there something I could even sell through this website that might make a little money for the cruising kitty?  And I came up with a nice little idea that involves making certain things with wool felt.

Dale Chihuly glass, photo taken at the Bridge of Glass in Tacoma, then played with on the computer.

So now I’m fully invested in the development of this idea and  I’m excited to play with all the pretty colors of wool roving. I want to use the wool roving with different fabrics to see what works for this idea, so I NEED that mosquito netting now and it is long gone. Frankly, I was just about fit to be tied when I remembered that not only would it be perfect for the experimenting I want to do, but it is even the right color and there would have been plenty of it, giving me a good supply to work with if my idea bore fruit. My knickers are really in a twist about it. It’s not that I cannot find more, it’s that I already had it once and it feels like a considerable waste of resources to go out and find/buy more.

Now when I face getting rid of more stuff I’m going to do so  with a little fear and loathing because I would much rather use things I already own than try to go find them again. This is the same argument that allows me to keep things that I currently have no use for, which completely flies in the face of the ‘purging’ mentality. And the ‘if you ‘ve had it for more than one year and haven’t used it…’ rule does not apply here. Frankly, that rule just never applies to craft supplies. But who knows what will become material for crafting? You can never tell.  I had that mosquito netting for at least 2 years.  Come to think of it, there’s a sarong I wish I had kept, and a couple of silk scarves as well.

Rats. It’s going to take me some time to untwist my knickers over this.

Cement birdbath, the product of many hours of play.


13 thoughts on “Regrets? I’ve Had a Few.

  1. That maple leaf is GORGEOUS!!

    I remember when I was getting rid of all of my crafting stuff – I loved crafting and used to have a home based business – it was not as difficult for me as I hadn’t had the time to create anything in years. But I sure do miss having ribbon and bits and bobs to decorate a wrapped present with, or just the right color craft paint to touch up a (whatever). And everything I got rid of, I gave away when it came to the crafts. Some I gave to my daughter but most to the thrift shops. When I think of the money that represented and what I could do with that now!! But I have to remind myself of the pleasure it gave me while I had it and used it all.

    Have you read the blog Zero to Cruising? He was mentioning yesterday in a reply to a comment that he plans to blog soon on what they wish they had kept when they sold all they had to cruise full time. I thought of you as soon as I read that… it might be worth watching for before you sell something you actually might need out on the water one day.

  2. Glad you like the leaf! I spent a few years making all kinds of cement leaves. It’s one of my favorites.
    You know, I do know that blog, Zero to Cruising, and don’t know why I haven’t read it lately. I’ll go catch up with it! It sounds like it is quite appropriate just now.
    Also been meaning to comment on your post about friends, so I’ll get to that, too.

  3. I like your ideas with regards to crafts and money making ventures while sailing. I laughed at the comment about psychotherapist for cruising couples. I have met a few cruisers who offer website design and computer assistance. Just a hint.

    • Thanks, Scott. I’m still developing the idea. It’s one of those things that is not really necessary, but I’m hoping it will be attractive to people anyhow because it won’t take up much space. I’m keeping the details close right now just because I’m still working stuff out. But I’ll be ready to post about it soon so stay tuned.
      Frankly, many cruising couples could likely use a therapist, but I just don’t want to know about that. I have a feeling that by the time I am actually cruising, I’ll have left the ‘therapist’ part of me back home for a long time.

  4. You can come craft at my house anytime you want…. 🙂

    Seriously, I have the same problem. I’ve been trying to reduce the crafting stuff lately to have room to use some of it, even, and it’s really, really hard. Even just ditching stuff I’m sure I’m not into I run into the “not into it RIGHT NOW” problem….or the “But it could be such a cool […….] if I just ……

    (The wife from the family who cycled to S. America makes beaded jewelry-that doesn’t take a lot of space.)

    I’ve been thinking about your $$ post. I haven’t gotten my thoughts fully into a cogent form yet, but I hope you don’t mind if I add my thoughts to an older post

    • If it were only craft materials, I could work my way around it. It’s the materials that are not TECHNICALLY craft items, but would still be useful that give me pause. I supposed there won’t be that many of them, but sometimes it’s just hard to know.

      Hey, comment on any post, anytime!

  5. Yep, got problems with the “not technically craft items” stuff too! Love finding clever new ideas or thinking of interesting new crafty uses for stuff. Sadly, just having the idea doesn’t magically transform the whatever, or give me space to keep it around, either…… 🙂

  6. What??? Wait a minute… mean.. that means.. that all the books I have on my shelf actually have to be READ to be digested? That the buying and holding of said books doesn’t constitute ‘using’ them? I know I’m extrapolating here, but now I’m scared 🙂

  7. Oh, books are totally different, as all cats know, 😀 l!

    I’m now hoarding lots of virtual ideas and stuff on Pinterest…my latest addiction.

  8. Lol! Yes, you probably would totally love it. Very addictive and so full of creativity. I’ve collected more DIY ideas and gorgeous pictures of projects (and gardens) than I could do in at least a year with no signs of stopping….

  9. Yeah, cool maple leaf. There are lots of people who do crafts while out sailing. I know people use material that is local to wherever they are. I’m sure you will think of something!

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