Tuesday, January 10, 2012

clothespins and neurosis


One of my goals for this new year is to organize myself better.  Organization isn't my strong suit, it takes real effort for me, but I recognize that when I am organized it makes a significant impact on all aspects of my life.

One area that grew to monster-like proportions during the busy pre-holiday season was my case of floss.
 
Behold:


Not only is it less-than-delightful to try to find a certain color of thread in this mess but I've also jabbed myself with porcupine quills, more than once, that have nestled themselves in there.  Also my ipod is in there somewhere but I'm reluctant to dig because of the aforementioned quills. (what? doesn't this happen to you?)


I needed to tame this beast but I don't like using the cardboard bobbins for floss.  I liked the idea of clothespins though so I grabbed a handful of well-worn ones from the line and started winding.


It worked out rather nicely but since I had a limited supply of these perfectly greyed pins on hand, I fetched  a couple of packages of new ones from the closet.


I looked at the new pins and thought "they're so... new."  And it bothered me.  They're perfectly functional of course, which is the point, but... and here's where I face the fact that I am, in fact, a freak.


Rather than wind the rest of my floss on those unsightly new pins, I decided to age them.  I keep a jar of iron solution on hand for aging wood and for overdipping when I'm doing natural dyeing, so I grabbed it and got to work.


That's better.  Some of them even look spalted, which is cool.


I'm still kind of shaking my head at myself for going through the (admittedly minimal) trouble of aging the pins.  Why should that matter?  It doesn't affect its function.  I'm not sure why it mattered, but it did...

I'm not the only one, right?

25 comments:

Amber said...

Lisa, I just love this post. Because my thread jumble got really bad too and I thought I must be the only one who would allow such a thing to happen--yes, so unpleasant trying to find a color (or my iPod, which also ended up there over the holiday break!! I jabbed myself with a stray needle, rather than a porcupine quill). So why not fix it? I hadn't gotten there yet-to the point of actually thinking of how to organize it. But if I had, I don't think I would have thought of the clothespins, but I love it! , so thanks! And I am totally with you on the importance of new pins needing to be aged. The floss simply looks more at home on the aged ones than the new. And the bright, new pins looked out of place among the old, grey ones. Also, it just seems right for these old, weathered pins to retire in the thread basket and let the young, shiny pins take over out in the weather (the ones that weren't pre-maturely aged, that is).

RedTwigBrownTwig said...

You are definitely not the only one. If you're going to look into a supply box and get that creative jolt of energy the things you're looking at absolutely need to be pleasing to your brain. Magnify your floss box to dozens of one pound coils of dyed rattan. That's my studio tangle. So I go to the woods and get myself the loveliest of branched twigs and make wall hooks for my reed. It makes it a much nicer mess to look at, inspiring even. Enjoy those beautiful clothespins, they really are lovely to look at with their floss sweaters.

Jodi said...

Just perfect! As I was reading, I was thinking, I can send you some old ones! Never thought of that, what my mom would call American Ingenuity! (Not sure where you're from, but, ingenious just the same!)

lynn bowes said...

Mercy, girl. I won't send you a pic of my floss, each one wound on a little plastic card with the color code label tucked inside, all in an organizer box in color wheel order. And you think you're sick???

Tumus said...

How are you going to store the clothespins now? It would be cute to string them up on a bit of twine or something. I like this idea but since I've got nearly two cases full of embroidery thread I'll have to stick to the cardboard floss holders as I've already got around 100 different colors wrapped. I actually have specific DMC floss color numbers memorized. Is that normal?

Alison said...

You are so not a freak, you are a true artist! What a great solution to the floss organising. It would have also driven me crazy to have a mixture of weathered and new clothespins.

I get so frustrated at having to use visually unpleasant things for my organising that it keeps me in a muddle sometimes. I am currently struggling to organise my giant stash of garment fabric and textile scraps-for-trimming; the common solution for storage is plastic totes (either clear or opaque) which I find to be really ugly. At least I now have a new idea of a possible way for organising embroidery floss

Annmoore said...

You're absolutely not the only one. We are cut from the same cloth, I believe.

Amy O'H. said...

Aesthetics are important to the creative at heart! Great idea as well!

Chrissieday said...

you are not alone I weather mine before they go on the line and yes I too use them for bits of wool silks etc
let's start a club.
Happy New Year

A Deegan said...

i love your attention to the little details, and thanks for pointing back to the ageing recipe :)

Tara said...

The clothespins are not only a great idea, Lisa, but look how pretty all your threads look now. And neurotic? no, not at all. It is called an attention to detail.

Anonymous said...

Love the idea! And the "aged" clothespins are so much more pleasant to look at than the new ones.
Pauline

vesna said...

Great idea and lovely aged clothespins!!

curlygirlpress said...

You're in good company. I know I would have thought about it every time I looked at all those new pins mixed in with the pretty ones. = )

Craftysquirrel said...

Ha - your post made me smile, my thread is in a similar way and I love the clothes peg idea. I also totally get the need for "old" pegs to match - appeals to my sense of order , or disorder as it may be!

Annie said...

If it's any consolation, it would have mattered to me too, a lot! So no, you are most definitely not the only one.Not that I'd ever have thought of applying iron solution to mellow them, that was inspired :)

leFiligree said...

ah, it's the little things that bring us joy. like oxidizing your pins to bring them in harmony with the old ones. makes perfect sense!

Lisa Gatz said...

They definitely look better aged. Is your solution just the steel wool and vinegar that most people use? I couldn't really figure it out from your past referenced post.
Nice work!

Kim said...

Ditto to all of the previous comments, you are not alone. I'm some what relieved to know I'm not the only one.

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

You wonderful people have no idea how much I appreciate your feedback. I feel so understood! Embraced even. What a fine flock we are. :D

Tumus and Lynn - I think you two should get together. R - I can't believe that you actually have thread numbers memorized!

Alison - I know! I have my wool fabric in plastic tubs and I can't stand the way they look. I can't think of a better alternative to them though so for now I'm stuck with them.

Shari - I bet your workshop is amazing with all of the natural pieces you've brought in.

Chrissie - if we form a club I think we need matching jackets and a secret password...

Oh, and I'll clarify the iron solution in my next post, for those of you that were curious.

Lisa

This is My Life said...

I love that you posted your stash of tangled embroidey thread. It make me feel normal when folks share the parts of their life that are not tidy and perfect. I love the clothespin idea.

Margie Oomen said...

of course you are not alone

Scrapiana said...

Oh, that's funny! I have picked out three pictures on Pinterest to exemplify organised (and beautiful) studios and two of them happen to be yours (one's the wool pockets, remember?). Lovely job, Lisa.

lynda Howells said...

Ha..love this entry and reading everything every one else has writtenxx No you are not the only one! I dye my empty cotton reels, so they look old and then l put my eco-dyed thread on them!!!!xxlyndaxx

by Frizzi said...

Wow, this is amazing. Thank you very much for this great idea.

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