But that's a post for a different time...
A few pieces were acquired / rescued / kept because of their potential. And, OK, yes, a large dose of sentimentality. These items are the ones that we are going to "re-finish." "Re-finishing" is right up there with "make a cover for," "make potpourri out of," and "send to Goodwill" on the big list of GREAT IDEAS BUT WHO ARE YOU KIDDING?
For two of these items (a vanity and a sideboard) our procrastination has not been a big deal. These items are functional, albeit covered by several generations of paint. You see, our predecessors' had the good sense to know that they were too busy to "re-do" furniture, choosing instead to slap on a fresh coat of paint when an item needed freshening up. I really think the distressed trend from several years ago came to be because a group of crafty folks gave up on trying to remove 100 years worth of various paints and said, "Oh for Pete's sake, just leave it like that." As Kermit once sang, "Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it..." and shabby chic was born...
But I digress. The third item on deck for "re-finishing" is an antique Singer sewing machine and case, purchased in, wait for it! 1996. To re-finish. Oh yes.
It lived in my parent's barn for several years, until one day my parents (who actually do re-finish things) were working on their own projects and stripped it for me. Then, it went back into the barn for another few years, after which my dear Dad declared that he needed the space and I would need to pick up my squatter. By now I was married with my own place and should have picked it up years earlier, but it seemed happy living with my parents. And so, we brought it home, with plans to "re-finish" it.
It's moved four times since then, each time elicited curses and curiosity from our movers, be they paid or volunteer. Turns out everyone wants an old Singer to "re-finish".
And so, it's on deck, once again this summer, for some love. IF I get this project rolling it will definitely be post fodder, so no more about my poor, neglected Singer for now. Because all this talk about procrastination projects has got me thinking about what's lurking in my craft room bins...
Oh don't be smug. Despite all the picture perfect craft room shots you've posted, I KNOW with certainty that those pics were taken AFTER a clean-up. I know this because I do the same thing. For all we moan about it, we are secretly proud of our stashes; after all, we wouldn't need craft rooms if everything fit neatly into one box, now would we? And yet, for all I love my room 'o treasures, I do occasionally feel a twinge of guilt and regret for the Lost Projects, those that really didn't make it out of the starting gate, but who live in hope of one day breaking free from their Rubbermaids, and maybe, just maybe, experiencing the joys of completion.
In the spirit of being honest, here is a by-no-means complete list of the Lost Projects, complete with approximate start date and a guesstimate as to their likelihood of being completed. Here we go:
- Embroidery floss, needles, hoops, and patterns Last used - Superficially, as a play prop in the early ought's. Voluntarily, for a week in 1996 (bad year for starting things, apparently). Vocationally, for two summers in the mid 2000's. Odds of Completion - It's looking good! Inspired by retro styles, I've been considering stitching up some cute atomic accented pieces on pillows, aprons, pot holders and the like. Stay tuned...
- Ancient Cutlery and Rubber Mallet (for making funky silverware jewelery) Last Used - The Millennium. Odds of being Used Again - Not good. Turns out pounding a fork into a bracelet is a lot harder than it looks. So many people do this well, I'd rather just support them. And my husband took the mallet for his tool box years ago.
- Crochet hook and cotton yarn Last used - To crochet - About nine months ago. As a knitting tool - About 4 months ago. Odds of completion - Guardedly optimistic. I prefer knitting, but I think I could get into crocheting with a bit more instruction.
- Tatting Spool Last Used - Never Odds of completion - Never. Tatted lace is not something I aspire to learn. The spool came into my possession after my Aunt Irene, an amazingly talented crafter, passed. I keep it out of sentiment and as a piece of inspiration from a simpler time where quality meant doing it yourself.
- Half of one man's sock (on needles) - I decided, one cold January night, that my husband needed real wool socks for those cold nights on the job. Last used - One cold, February night. It's now June. He wore McGregor's for the rest of those cold, Winter nights. Odds of completion - Actually, pretty good! I love to knit, his socks just got put on the back burner when I started looking for work, and a new house, simultaneously.
I could keep going, but for the sake of time and my self-esteem I will stop now. Why, you might ask, are the supplies for these Lost Projects still in my possession? Well, I might get to them someday! But more so, I like bumping into them, so to speak, when I'm rummaging through a bin of fabric or a box of beads. Seeing those forks and spoons, for example, reminds me of the "Little White Church" that I grew up next to, that was the spiritual home to my ancestors and that I thrilled to enter as a child (it was a rare treat reserved for Fall Fairs, Vacation Bible School, and the occasional wedding.) I got the cutlery at an auction of the church's contents just before it was demolished, breaking our hearts even as we knew it was necessary. I'll find a use for them (shadow box, wind chimes?) but in the meantime they take up little room and do no harm. And so they will stay, along with many other Lost Projects and their supplies. When I need to purge, there is plenty of fabric and scrap-booking stuff that, while lovely, until it is formed into a memory, holds little emotional meaning for me.
And so of course, dear readers, I turn the podium to you. What are your Lost Projects? Come now, don't be shy, I'm sure there must be some doozies out there somewhere! If I can admit to hauling a sewing machine around for 15 years, you can tell me about your taxidermy projects or plastic canvas nightmares. Out with it!!!