Monday, 6 February 2012

Stash happy stocktaking, and a giveaway to come

The new year is traditionally a time to take stock of the past and make all sorts of worthy resolutions for the future, but I am never very good at worthy resolutions, so this year we plumped for something more mundane and resolved to run down our food stocks before ordering anything more, after finding an unopened kilogram bag of sesame seeds with a best before date back in early 2010 (not to mention various small bags of odd ingredients such as semolina and gram flour of very uncertain vintage, and bought for equally uncertain reasons). The hens have had a feast and we have 10kg of porridge oats to eat before we can go to the shops again.

Very neat

So that was the big resolution, stock control and stock rotation - all very good and proper, and all very successful. So how come this sort of resolution is so difficult to apply to the stocks residing so neatly in my sewing room?

Some nice tins full of bits and bobs

I decided that it was time to take stock of the fabric and yarn holed up in the store cupboard, and under the table, and other sundry hiding places, not to mention the stash which has escaped out into other hidey holes around the house, after reading a post by Cheryl, who is thriftily working her way through her own crafty stores.

A nice cupboard full of even more bits and bobs

Very bravely I thought that I would share with you some of said stocks, on the understanding that this is not necessarily a full disclosure, as there may be one or two other interesting surprises elsewhere (I am thinking that there might be something in a basket under the bed . . .).

And in a spirit of thrift and good intentions I am resolving not to buy any more inessential supplies until I have at least made a dent in the stores that I already have (although I do reserve the right to adjudicate on the definition of essential).

Some nice Christmas presents

But as any seasoned crafter will know, there is a difference between stash with future potential, and that with past history. Because one inevitably ends up with leftovers from projects, which may or may not have potential for something else.

Some leftovers and some left unfinished


There is also the speculative stash, which might well have proved to be a hopelessly unsuitable mistake, and undergone a transformation from tempting to hideous on the journey from shop to cupboard.

And the hopelessly optimistic stash, which usually involves a long trip to a festival or show, or even a holiday visit to some long dreamed of emporium, followed by the purchase of enough material to keep the most industrious crafter busy full-time until beyond retirement. (The words 'limited edition', 'today only', or Wollmeise often feature in such purchases.)

A drawer full of nice surprises

However, such stash explorations can turn up some interesting surprises, and really end up being almost as good as going to the shops (I am being positive, optimistic and thrifty here). I found a waffle dishcloth that only requires the ends darning in, and a coat hanger cover that just needs to be stitched onto a coat hanger (but where I did I put those hangers I bought for covering?) - two presents ahead for Christmas and it's only February. Not to mention a nearly finished jumper possibly slightly short on yarn, and a sock and a bit.

I like these, but some did not

And a cornucopia of quilting cottons bought to make a quilt before I went on the patchwork training day when aspersions were cast on my taste in fabric which put me off the whole thing. But time has passed, I stitched some of the cut pieces together last week, and hey presto! I rather like the effect, I remember that it was just what I was seeking for, and not only did the Head Chef say that it would look nice in our bedroom, but Princess Bunchy started making covetous comments.

A nice book

I think that these stash explorations could be quite productive - I must just sit on my hands and not let my fingers do the walking over the keyboard and add to the stores before I have dealt most firmly with the matters in hand. Trouble is, I was given a very nice book for Christmas, which has given me ideas of a most expansive kind . . .

Those little dogs keep popping up everywhere

And one last good thing - I suddenly came upon some things which I was given before Christmas for a giveaway for you - I will be posting about this very shortly!

29 comments:

greenrabbitdesigns said...

I love the little loophole you have created for yourself just so a purchase can be made without really breaking any rules. ;)
V x

Poppy said...

Good luck, I must sort my craft room out! I've got a habit of buying more and more bits.

Lou xxx

Madelief said...

You do have some nice surprises in your cupboard Pomona! Good luck with the stock taking!

Lieve groet, Madelief x

Alix said...

Great minds think alike (they say!) - I have been similarly stocktaking, tidying and getting on with some of the half-done things, trying very hard not to start anything new until at least a proportion of the hanging-like-a-stone-around-my-neck projects are finished. But sometimes, one has an idea so fab that a little shopping trip IS called for and one really MUST make a start straight away...
x

Callies Cottage said...

I am always stock taking and tidying- i just never seem to get it completed....
Happy Sorting!
Warm Wishes,
Callie

Carol said...

We are eating our way through the chest freezer at the moment (or should I say the 'contents' of the freezer!)as it needs defrosting.
It is very enjoyable going through 'what you already have' in your crafting stash, especially when you find 'almost finished' projects as you did.
I'm going to a "Make a Valentine Lap Quilt" workshop on Saturday, really looking forward to it.
Carol xx

Mousy Brown said...

I am in the middle of moving my craftroom and can't believe the things I have found...if I make ten things a day, everyday for the rest of my life I will never use it all...but that's good right???

Apple Blossom Barn said...

I am delighted to have found you
what a lovely place you live in!

Denise
xxxx

lavender attic said...

Half of the fun is checking your stash and folding it neatly into rainbow-hued piles! I too am trying not to buy anything, and make useful things, working through the stash (or hoard as it should be termed correctly).
Looking forward to your giveaway!
I am coveting your pile of fabric scraps!

harmony and rosie said...

I'm currently attempting to dent the fabric stash. I have so much that has been sitting there, in fact I quite often forget what I have and there are piles of the stuff on the floor now, since there's no longer any room in the cupboard. I think we're all the same aren't we?!
Have a lovely week xx

Lydia @ Twelve said...

I like your patchwork quilting too... the head chef has good taste!
Have fun sorting through...

Lx

Susan McShannon-Monteith said...

Good luck on the de-stashing.
Why would you care if someone else didn't fancy your sweet quilt bits... quilting is an expression of the heart and not dictated by what comes in a kit. Our ancestors would shudder at the thought of not using pieces from a stash that the quilter loves...
Susan x

Cheryl said...

Why didn't I think of a get out clause! Anyway, way to go with the stash busting. Looking at my cupboards and escaped piles of fabric, I have a horrible feeling that I'm really not going to need to visit the craft shop for several months ....maybe longer.

Katy Cameron said...

Oh yes, it's always fun to shop your stash and find all sorts of hidden treasures (well, when it's not 10kg of porridge oats anyway ;o) )

Little Blue Mouse said...

How nice to unearth some forgotten little treasure while having a sort out.

And no matter what they said on your patchwork course, I like your choice of fabrics! :)

**Anne** said...

I'm a girl after your own heart. If someone wants to make something slightly crafty I can normally find the supplies buried in the cupboard. I love finding hidden bags of wool I'd forgotten about. Such possibilities
Anne xx

taylorsoutback said...

Ah...you have succumbed to that task which seems to come with this time of year...I call it a reality check and always find it very humbling to see the riches unearthed. But on the positive side it also induces inspiration anew:o)

By the way - I am coveting that darling pincushion pattern...so sweet.

GardenofDaisies said...

Oh my goodness, you have some lovely bits and pieces in your stash!! Those are gorgeous tins!! I've been sorting through my stash too, trying to figure out what has potential, and what would be happier living with someone else.
Root beer... I've never tried to describe it before. It's quite sweet and mellow. It doesn't have the sharp "bite" that Coke does. And it makes the most marvelous foam head when poured. My son loves it!

Gina said...

I think it would take me several lifetimes to work through all the excess stuff I have accumulated (I'm talking fabric and threads... not food)

Jenny said...

Love the little tour of your stash!! I'm trying really hard to keep mine relatively tidy at all times (easier said than done!) and only to buy things which I really really love or that I know exactly what I am going to use them for (my recent fabric shopping online was an exception to this rule). Happy sorting! xx

Jak said...

Do you remember Carrie's closet in the first Sex & the City film? I have wonderful dreams of having a stash walk in closet just like that! I probably would sleep in in too, haha!

susan said...

People were not nice about your Simplicity fabric!! Well, that is just the fabric I used to make Helen and Emily's quilts so I am right up there with you in the 'quetionable taste' bit. I love the fabric and the soft colours. Not my usual thing but doesn't make it any worse for that.

andrea creates said...

i understand.i'm currently trying to use up my yarn stash or as much as possible before buying more :)

Annie said...

I was just sorting my yarn stash at the weekend and was rather horrified by its size ... we know we have books that breed, I think the woolly stuff is too ;D

Isisjem said...

when I cleared out a chest of drawers in my living room I decided all fabric had to live in here and get used before more was bought. On the whole I've been pretty good. Where I've come unstuck is I have boxes of stuff like tapestry/embroidery year and stuff for fibre and more creative sewing like silk throwers waste and wool roving etc. That really needs a home. I've got so many plans for it all in my head I just need to get on with using some of it up!

Mary Ann said...

Hello I'm a new follower:) I think that using up all your stash is a wonderful idea. It was one of my New Year resolutions.

Nicky said...

Haha, a bit of looking and stroking of one's stash is essential to keep it happy I think!

Peet said...

I recently sorted out my craftsroom (/guestroom/dump area)and found many lost and forgotten treasures. I can always use anything for some kind of project. Last year I needed a bead and I found just that one bead in my cupboard and remembered it came in some kind of crafty kit at least 25 years ago....
I'll post some photo's of my tidy craftsroom on my blog shortly (www.peetmadeit.wordpress.com)
Keep blogging, I'll keep following!
Best wishes from the Netherlands,
Petra.

dragonfly said...

I have found a marvellous way of sorting through my stash--I have invited my craft group to do a QAL from my stash (they are making a small contribution for each block). I do confess to having moderated what they can choose from as I do have some more precious fabrics than others ; )

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