Stash Less is an ongoing series where I talk about creating a conscious stash. Have a look at my Stash Less project here....
I had a lovely woman on the phone the other day tell me that she felt kind of embarrassed with her love of materials - and talking about how she loved purchasing - in front of me because of Stash Less. The whole conversation made her feel a bit naughty, like she was doing something wrong. Which reminded me that it had been a while since I've stated "I believe in a beautiful stash".
I love purchasing beautiful things too. I love having them and holding them and opening a cupboard that contains them. I love having possibility at my finger tips.
The point of Stash Less was not to not have a stash, and not even to necessarily have a very small stash - but rather the point was to have a conscious stash. Because at the start of Stash Less that is not what I had. I had chaos - too many things and the wrong things. I had overwhelm. I had guilt.
What is a conscious stash?
A conscious stash is a stash of materials that supports your making practice. It should have materials in it that inspire you in quantities that are usable for the kinds of things you want to make. A conscious stash is one that holds possibility and inspiration.
It should not overwhelm you with it's size or it's chaos, make you feel guilty, frustrate you because there is so many things in quantities too small to use or that don't go together. If it does any of these things then in probably needs some work.
When your stash isn't conscious then it isn't as useful and inspiring as it should be. The possibilities are too disparate and too vast which leads to a brain that zips all over the place and constantly feels like you don't have enough time. And that "I don't have enough time" feeling - that we all have sometimes - sucks time and your energy. And who needs that?
Recently I went away for two days to write my book. When I was planning to do it there was a possibility that I could have extended it to three, when Martine wisely told me not to do it. "Three will make you feel like you have 'all this time'. Two won't and so you will feel a sense of urgency and get a lot more done". She was right.
And this is the case when we have too many materials. We are often overwhelmed by possibility of what we could do, which takes up energy. This leads to do less of the thing we really want, the thing that fills us up, which is the making part of making.
We all need tension in our lives. Tension helps us to prioritise what is important to us. And this is the case with our stash. When we have enough materials that we have a few wonderful project options available to us, but not so many we are stuck in indecision, we are in a happy place.
And speaking of tension, let's talk about the marketplace at Soul Craft.
The one thing that I didn't want Soul Craft to be was simply a big market with a few classes tacked on. I wanted Soul Craft to be our dream festival - with nourishing beautiful food, things to delight the senses like our exhibition, places to really get involved like our community projects and our craft dating, ideas to expand our hearts and minds like our talks, and community building in a million small ways.
I also wanted to have a marketplace to support your making for the coming year. But a small marketplace where I could bring together a bunch of amazing and thoughtful stores to the one place. Due to our vast geography, we often only get to see a small variety of materials in person, and many of us do much of our shopping online. While I'm grateful to have online shopping I have also made some howling mistakes....
And so at Soul Craft I have pulled together beautiful shops, brands and businesses - each with special goods, many of which have a great story. Weaving, spinning, yarn, fabric, embroidery, quilting, books...... my plan was to provide you a place whereby you could see and purchase what you needed to compliment your existing stash.
We encourage you to plan your purchasing, to come with a list and know what you are after. To know what will support your making over the coming year, and inspire you, to make rather than overwhelm you.
I have a strategy for these types of events (and for many of you coming from a long way away - trips!) which I've blogged about before where I come with a list which I mainly stick to, except for one special purchase. My special purchase is something beautiful, off piste and satisfies the rebellious part of me that is totally anti-list.
And to help you build a conscious stash - we have put together a Soul Craft Marketplace Page which we are launching today. This will show you who, and what, will be coming to the market so that you can think about your purchased before the event.
Many of these businesses have mentioned to me that they are happy to receive emails from you - asking them to bring specific things along to the Soul Craft Market for you to look at - so please feel free to browse their websites and ask them to bring specific stock.
Because conscious is where it's at; it's how we live a more satisfied life.