Tag Archives: decorations

Glass Door Knobs: the Problem

My husband and I had a conversation the other day about how we’ve gotten so much stuff and how hard it is to get rid of it. He was helping out at the gallery’s tag sale today and took donations with him. I donated a few more things to the swap shop and made 2 dump runs of recycles, yard waste, etc. today too.

The realization I came to a little while ago was this: I was raised by an engineer, who talked about design, how things worked or didn’t — all the time. Everything from chairs, to lights to airplanes, to street paving equipment was fodder for Dad’s design discourse. So I was taught to view almost everything with an eye to its design, good or bad.

Accordingly, I am attracted to things I think are designed well, WHETHER I NEED THEM or FIT MY PERSONAL TASTE, or not. And I am reluctant to get rid of things which fit that category, whether they are practical for my home or not. The candelabra (which hadn’t sold as of yesterday) is like that. Some thing else like this is two sets of glass door knobs I’ve had for 10+ years now. I like door knobs like these:

clear glass door knobs 2

(The image are new ones.) For years they were all but impossible to find or insanely expensive. Mine are old ones. I love them, and they won’t work, or won’t work easily in my home. Where I had anticipated using them was the closets: one in the hallway and one on the landing. But my knobs are so old they won’t work that way because there’s no provision for latches.

Anyway, both the candelabra and these knobs are the same type of thing. I love the design of them, love the objects, but I really have no practical way to use them in my home. That automatically makes them clutter, because they’re just being stored, unused. And so I should cull them and really, really do NOT want to.

DH is the child of an engineer too, but he’s also an artist. So we both have the “good design” problem. We get things because we admire the design of the object, without a clear need for it or any notion of where it will be used or put away. We know there’s no way we can get/keep/store/afford to buy all the things we like.

The first or second or third culling isn’t hard. Duplicated, broken objects, things you no longer remember why you bought or kept are easy. After that, for me, it gets down to things like the glass door knobs, which I still love and still want to use, and know that if I’m being an adult, I’ll need to shed more than a candelabra and 2 sets of door knobs, but it’s no longer easy.

This isn’t because I think the stuff is valuable. It isn’t because I have a sentimental attachment to them, both of which are the most common things people seem to think hoarding is about. Nope. I just plain love these as objects and I have nowhere to use them. Unless I find a way to use them (I have an idea which might work.) they need to go. DH was talking about wiring the candelabra and putting it in the stairway, the only place really big enough for it. . . . if it hasn’t sold . . . ? So, we may actually keep and use both the door knobs and the candelabra, but we also know we can’t keep that up. At some point, we’re going to be selling or giving away things we love.

I’ve gotten past the “I really like this and I’d like to keep it” things. In most cases, other people really like those things too — the stuff I pull from here which I had intended to keep usually sells before things I buy for resale. The last one was a small standing black metal crow. I’d kept it for a while and finally went, “Halloween is coming and I do not need this, although I like it quite a bit.” Yep, it sold in a week or so.

But I’d really like to use my glass door knobs!

 

 

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Dismantling Christmas

On the 27th, I took the tinsel and beaded icicles off the tree. I was curious what it would look like, and frankly it looked rather barren.

I have to both find the glass ones I bought years ago and make more beaded ones. Most of the ones I have were a gift from a family who crafted items for sale, including beaded icicles.

I’ve been beading since I was a small girl. When I’d visit them, if they were making icicles, I’d grab a needle and do some while I was there. They didn’t pay me, it wasn’t for that. It was just a friendly thing to do, fun, and it helped them. That Christmas my present was several boxes. Usually their gift was sweet breads and cookies. But that year there was a box chock full of the icicles. What I have could be the ones I made, or not. It doesn’t matter. I value them as a reminder of the friendship I had with Lois, Gini, and Char, all gone now, alas.

I started to take one of my beaded garlands off the stair hand rail (I had wrapped two around it). The monofilament I’d made it with years ago broke. Although I kept it from fountaining beads up and down the stairs, I have to restring the several yards of garland. I’m in the midst of  restringing it on stronger, new monofilament. There’s one other Christmas ornament, a fimo one, which needs to be glued back together.

Ninety-five percent 0f the Christmas stuff is packed. The moving box I’d wrapped is full and I started a second. (I’d packed smaller  boxes inside bigger ones.) The idea that I now have less than the small trunk’s worth of Christmas stuff was overly optimistic. Yes I broke some things. Yes, I sold some too. Yes, I gave some away. But, aside from the tree, there were pieces on the console table, in the kitchen, on the end tables, the front door and the hall. If it was just the ornaments I had on the tree, yes, I have less.

I broke 2 balls and gave away a box of balls, a bag of lights, a box of tinsel, the few hangers I had on ornaments. I sold/put out for sale 5 ornaments that had been in the attic, a small box of them, and a few others. I’d already sold 3 table top trees. Need to do more culling and the items which haven’t sold are going away, somewhere, somehow, but they aren’t coming home again.

I also have to make the box(es) up for next year. My intention is to make it like a big gift box, or find some, I doubt I can find them big enough though. What I’m thinking about is a box which has a deeper lid than file boxes usually do, something like this:

moving-box

If I can get these, I can do what I want, have it look neat, and have storage the way I want it at the same time. We’ll see! I can buy them of course, it’s if the shipping cost is insane or not. I found a source locally! I can do what I had in mind. Cool!!!! I may (or may not) post images when I get it done.

Anyway, the tree is down, the ornaments are packed. The tree is outside ready to go to the dump, the table has been polished and the large ornamental piece which normally lives on it has been replaced.

The reason that I’m so focused on the decorative stuff is that we decided no gifts this year. Those we got were all consumables, and that is exactly what we wanted. No more stuff!

Although the two boxes and the tree stand haven’t been put away, Christmas has definitely been dismantled and the process was much tidier and more timely than in years past.

Going in the right direction!

If I can do things the way I want, I’ll get through enough other stuff this year so that I can get back to and cull/edit the Christmas stuff again, before next December. We’ll see!