Creating A Life Out Of Garbage And Chaos

I am sitting in my living room, fabric folded neatly on the couch, a pin cushion next to my empty coffee mug, piles of hemp blended cloth yarn cut into strips, a Simplicity pattern on the floor waiting for the right material to be found at the thrift store, sewing scissors, cotton warping thread, embroidery hoop, a bag of tolle and graphite sketches scrawled across paper. This is just what is going on in the living room. There are more rooms with more projects and more supplies waiting to realize their futures reimagined. Almost everything I use is used or rescued. Even my new sewing machine was put out as garbage and re-gifted  from an amazing friend.

There are old photographs of younger versions of myself proudly displaying my creations out of garbage. Paperbag marionettes, cardboard robots, illustrated books drawn and painted on paper pulled out of a dumpster behind a print shop and doll dresses sewn from scraps. It seems I was unknowingly ahead of the trend to upcycle and reuse (only by three decades or so).

I am always torn about tossing something out. The moment I threw out my toilet paper rolls I found a ton of great projects to do with them. Seriously?! Amazing cardboard woven baskets? *Sigh*.

I make do. I don’t need to go into Michaels and spend a ton of money to feel like Martha Stewart. I am never sure where I fit in terms of labels between crafter and artist or silly girl with too much junk and a bunch of Pinterest pins to pretend I am up to something amazing and inspired. What is the difference between crafter and artist anyway? I cannot say that I know. At what point when asked “What do you do for work?” do I answer “I am an artist.”? I feel like the cliche of an actor working as a waiter trying to align my desire and actions to create some sort of authenticity.

I pose this question. What if we are passionate about all that we do, what if the mundane actions of our daily life is done with such effort and heart that it is all art? I think we could then all create so much more beauty in the world. Then we could all be inspired by the little moments and small pleasures often overlooked.

I am not my job.



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