Decluttering my physical space helps me clear my thoughts as well. I had time in the week between Christmas and New Year’s to organize all of my various craft projects (I was quite the elf making presents before the holidays and the house was overrun with tools and supplies). And while I was sorting through failed prototypes and abandoned projects, I realized that while I acknowledge my mistakes along the way, I rarely go back and fix them.
Take for example this necklace I made out of the keys to luncheon meat tins. I became intrigued by Spam, Klik, Kam or whatever you want to call it after my friend John Webster posted pictures of some recipe he found on his Instagram (@sissydude). Processed pork shoulder was never a big thing with my family growing up. We maybe had it on camping trips. But I remember that the tins opened up with a key. When I bought a can to try to recreate John’s dinner, I had the idea to make a necklace out of the keys. It turns out that I quite enjoy luncheon meat with every thing from kimchi to ramen and soon I had collected enough keys to bring my concept to fruition.
I planned to hang them fringe-style from a strip of suede. And I did. The only problem was that the suede was too stiff and the keys didn’t hang right. I was going to accept it the way it was (and never wear it). But I thought, “hey! Why don’t I go back and fix it?”
And I did by hanging the keys off of crocheted cotton embroidery thread. I am much happier with the result, have been proudly wearing the necklace all day and resolve to eat even more luncheon meat in order to amass more keys!
The revelation that I could rework failed projects came a couple of weeks ago, when I made a little leather cross body pouch for my iPhone. Sewing leather by hand is hard and the end result looked pretty rough. About a week later, I got the idea to just turn the pouch inside out and also to lengthen the leather strap. And violà! I usable bag to carry my phone in when I don’t have pockets.
As good as it feels to be able to reduce waste by making a craft workable, I have also decided to pull the plug on a couple of projects. There was a fun fur throw that I wanted to turn into a jacket, a sweater that I kept knitting and unfitting because I was in love with the colour of the wool but not the chunkiness, and a fringed leather belt idea that I simply cannot execute due to lack of skill. I have packed up the material for these unfulfilled projects and will be donating them to whoever could use craft supplies.
I also plan to use this new insight to other areas of my life. I will try to fix things before I abandon them.