Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Admitting you have a problem is the first step

Well, I have a problem. It's more of a habit really. I have never been good at keeping my bedroom in a good state. It's somehow got worse since I moved into my student halls and only see my bedroom once a month or so. It seems every time I come and stay, I rush in, dump stuff everywhere, grab other stuff, and leave. The result of that is this:

I will point out here that it's not dirty. It's just messy. There aren't dirty plates or banana skins lurking around, it's all just clutter that needs culling and hasn't been removed for some reason or the other. I am a clutter junkie.
Anyway, at the end of my bed, buried under layers of other crap, is a wooden chest.

It's there, I promise. Ooh, rollerblades!

This is where I keep my fabric scraps; bits left over from planned projects, offcuts from shops that are odd sizes, old hacked up clothes and any other textile pieces I've come across that aren't nice enough to live in my black box with my fresh fabric. This chest is overflowing, bits and pieces are literally leaking out of the handle holes.
Having got to the point where I couldn't remember what was really in it, it needed clearing out. I'm an art student (Ceramic Design BA at Central St Martins, woo!) and right now I'm broke and on Easter break for 3 weeks. Broke on break and with no job lined up means I need to start using up some of the materials I already have instead of rushing out to buy more all the time. Who knew what treasure this chest held?

Treasure isn't the word I'd pick, but hey.

I was shocked when this lot came out. I had no idea so much stuff was crammed in there. It covered my entire bed and occupied a space about twice the size of me. Here's a closer shot of the bits and bobs:

I started digging with the vague hope of sorting by colour and culling based on size. Any thin strips would go, as would any with stains or tears. Any intact clothing would get the seams cut down to reduce bulk. The pile was ridiculous. It smelt musty and neglected. Considering I got this chest when I was about 16, some of the pieces had been there more than 5 years. There were more than one whole pair of jeans, and a hideous dress I wore on my gap summer (it smelt like it hadn't been washed since it's tropical debut in Hawaii).

It took all day, but eventually the mass became neat colour sorted piles. I was surprised, there were some good sized pieces that could easily become patchwork and enough denim to make a jeans quilt.

'scuse the blur, the lighting in my room is awful

I was also surprised by the absence of green scraps. Green in my favourite colour. I've obviously not been making enough stuff for me. I had enough tiny scraps to fill the Monsoon bag on the floor as well as a pile of stuff that just did not belong in the chest, including a horrible tote bag made of a tea-towel and a giant cushion cover.

I bagged it all up and chucked it back in the chest, to iron another day. It felt successful, even if all I'd really done was discover I like pink florals more than I'm letting on.

ooh look, an orb!

And well, that's it for this first post. That's what I did. In later projects some of these fabrics will probably reappear, but until then, they are shut away where they belong, smelling slighting less like a very old gym kit.

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