A quick shout out to Kristin Marr, the “Live Simply” mama, for her tutorial on how to make dryer balls.
I remember what it was like to live simply. Those pre-kindergarten years were great.
When did I become a more-is-more kind of girl?
These days I’m trying to get back. Life’s a bit crazy and I want to slow down.
Is crazy the opposite of simple?
To me, at this point, yes.
By crazy, I mean living with too much stuff, too many hobbies, and just… too much of everything. To top it off, now my creative and active children all have hobbies, too. I feel like the old woman in the shoe.
Sixteen baseball caps, several skateboards, and golf gloves in the mudroom, three phones, four tablets and all the chargers and ear buds that go with them, dozens of boxes of seasonal decorations in the attic, china we never use in a hutch that stores stuff in a dining room we never use, a garage full of stuff, a library of books, a well-stocked craft room, a yard full of weeds since the draught hit and no one waters anymore (just as well)… Oh, and did I mention I work from home?
It was a long, slow, enjoyable climb to crazy, though.
I’m trying to remember how it all started. Like all great sagas, it’s a generational thing. This particular problem is rooted in the post depression era, when my grandma kept peanut butter containers filled with twist ties from bread bags.
If I could put my finger on a single irreversible incident that pushed me down the road to “Stuff Overwhelm” it would have to be when I decided to start making dolls when my daughter was just four or so.
The memory of a scrapper’s convention in Austin was the tipping point of my craft supply hoarding. With the baby attached to my front side, like an oversized, Velcro-ed action figure, I perused the booths and decided I just had to have these two tiny precision-cut snowflakes made out of silvery plastic. I could see them on a little doll’s winter white head, all sparkly and new.
I knew exactly how I would sew them on the doll I intended to make. I bought some ice-blue embroidery floss to attach them, and then…
My arms were long enough to reach past the Baby Bjorn and my child’s waving appendages, as I shopped. I felt invincible. I could manage it. I would make this doll when the kids were sleeping.
This doll would be my little project.
By the way, I did not hoard, but actually used those snowflakes, just so you know. I named my doll “Snowflake” and Art Doll Quarterly published an article about it.
I was an overachiever when it came to crafts, and this doll was pretty. Mm hmm.
Anyway. I like to make stuff. Or I used to… Lately, I’ve been setting my sights lower. In my quest to live more simply, I am creatively finding a way to use up all these supplies I seem to have hoarded accumulated. That is, using them in things like yarn balls that have a function – NOT handmade dolls that take dozens of hours to make, and that everyone thinks are creepy.
I’ve also been donating, throwing out, selling on Etsy or the local swap meet group on Facebook.
Oh, and did I mention? I’m a Kondo convert. At least very soon I will be. I envision taking each and every item out of my purse daily, so they can breathe, and lining them up on my floor next to my single beloved pair of shoes.
I am dreaming of this. It’s whom I want to be, moving out of this old shoe, building myself a tiny house, and hugging my sweater before carefully folding it into its drawer each night before bed.
Very soon, I will have no use for a bagful of yarn, no matter how beautiful.
Cleaning my craft room, I came across a rather large quantity of said yarn recently, much of it wool, and hand-pulled by lovely women whom I personally met at weekend art retreats or meet-the-maker events. I can tell from the handwriting on the cards attached to each skein.
See my idea of living simply used to be accumulating supplies for all the dolls I was going to someday make, which will need hair, which means I simply must run down to Hill Country Weavers, which means I would pet the cat that roams around all those baskets of wool, which means, I would fall under a spell and, it goes without saying; I would buy yarn.
Yarn and expensive, handmade buttons.
Now, I’m different, I’ve seen the light. And thank God I had half a brain and bought wool yarn and not some synthetic yarn. This fortuitous detail prevents me from saving the stuff for another decade, barring finding someone who loves it as much as I do to gift it to, for now I can make dryer balls out of it!
Dryer balls! You know, the dryer sheet replacement craze that’s sweeping the country!
Why, I don’t even have to go out and BUY wool yarn to save all this money, conserve all these resources, living toxin-free — and simply, by making and using my own dryer balls!
[Never mind that I’m late to the party, and that every other simple, wholesome homemaker made dryer balls last year.]
The only thing that gives me away (the ex-doll-making hoarder) is the fine silver threads woven into that blue and brown dryer ball. It was a fancy skein of yarn shot through with the finest threads of silvery (yes, synthetic) fibers… hey, but it still felts, just like the others.
By the way, just because I’m feeling so good about myself — living simply and all — and my new Japanese inspired aestheticism; I also added a few drops of lavender to my dryer balls. Secondary to the dryer balls being useful and pretty; I get the irresistible aromatic pleasure of pulling warm, wonderful-smelling laundry from the dryer.
Let me tell you, it’s almost as yummy as opening the oven when the cookies are done, and reaching for one of my seven spatulas — but not quite.