Sunday, July 5, 2009

Operation Paper


During my free week I've struck a nice balance between real productivity and lots of play. I've been scarce around your places, but I will return soon. I promise. This week I've enjoyed two girlfriend days with lots of shopping, and I celebrated the Fourth with my parents. The rest of the time I've been bouncing between projects at home. I've been puttering. I do love to putter. I alternate listening to a great book on tape, music to get you movin', or a movie for background noise. Do you putter? Do you have something playing to keep you company? What projects do you do during your puttering times?

I've been calling my biggest project of the week Operation Paper. You see, I love paper any way it comes. I could also have written a personal passions post about paper. Aside from its frequent beauty, what I love about paper is all the wonderful words, ideas, and images it can hold. Art paper, wrapping paper, odd sketches, scraps of doodles, old wallpaper, ATCs, old letters, notes passed in school, scrapbooking paper, my old journals, Sloane's old journals, new journals waiting for words, notecards, snail mail, old school art, paper copies of great emails, books, old photo albums, two boxes of loose family photographs, letters I need to respond to, studio photographs I never did anything with, a collection of vintage images, vintage ephemera, vintage books for some-day art projects, ticket stubs, memorabilia, inspiring catalogs, magazines, magazines, magazines... Collections of paper seem to sprout in all the the corners of my home, endlessly multiplying at night while we are all sleeping. By the end of today, it will be taken care of. Every bit of it will be sorted digitally with only a fraction of it taking up real time space. The rest will be donated, recycled, or stored appropriately. I've even found a place that will convert my boxes of photos into digital images. WAHOO!!

Now. How to keep the paper creep away?

  1. I am ripping up my collections of magazines, scanning the pages I loved, and getting rid of the rest. Believe it or not, I have every issue of Real Simple - ever. The same for Victoria magazine and Mary Englebreit Home Companion. I also have a ton of Martha Stewart Living. Man! I am showing myself to be pretty obsessive, aren't I? It's just that such wonderful ideas, thoughts, and images are stored on all that paper. (Please note, I've done the rip and scan thing for my other magazines all along. I'm only just now willing to let go or Martha, Mary, and RS.)
  2. I am catching up on scanning Sloane's old art and mailing it along with chatty letters to relatives and friends that might actually care.
  3. I am giving away all those snapshots and studio pictures I never did mail to friends and family.
  4. I am planning to use my plane time to catch up on all those owed letters.
  5. I've added a line in the budget for all the postage I'm going to need.
  6. I've made a commitment not to buy any more pretty paper, art paper, or gift wrap until I've made a substantial dent in my supply. Even at the amazing Urban Arts + Crafts in Kansas City, I made good on my promise. OK, I did buy two pieces of paper, but I've already got a project for them both.
  7. I already told you about digitizing my photographs.
  8. I've also created a notebook to organize the incoming paperwork for the future. Other than that notebook, I've got a plan in place for the rest of the clutter. I'll just have to be sure to keep up with it.
Phew! I just reread this post, and I am feeling pretty good about myself right now. I can't afford to get too smug, though. I have still got plenty to do. I'm off to the piles. I'll be thinking of you. Happy Sunday.



All the wonderful art in this post is by Amy Abshier Reyes and is used with persmission. Please visit Amy's blog to learn more about her and have a chance to win some of her wonderful artwork. If you're like me, when you visit her Etsy shop you'll have a hard time deciding which one to buy.

31 comments:

Southern Drawl said...

Wahoo...I'm first today...I think, if I don't get too long winded. Anyway I'm with you on the multiplying paper. How does it do that??? You'll be good till those sweet faced little students come around selling gift wrap paper this fall...then you'll probably fall off the wagon like me! I don't putter as much as I piddle, remember? And, of course we girls know the difference between the two, haha. We putter around the house; we piddle in the yard.Have a lovely, lovely week. :)

Gigi said...

You rock, Relyn! I am such a paper fiend that it piles up everywhere around my house, along with the stacks of books. I have a special addiction to vintage photos, and while I know that I will always have a weakness for sepia tones, I am getting better at resisting those shoe boxes of old photos at flea markets. I love your ideas for cutting down on the paper clutter! I have been eliminating all my old magazine stacks and filing favorite pictures--a long process, but oh so freeing! I've also stopped subscribing to so many magazines. Most days I'd rather read an inspiring blog (or five) than a magazine. How lucky I am that there are so many great blogs, like your fabulous one, out there!
Have a great day!
xo

spudballoo said...

Oohhhhh good for YOU!! you know, i'm the other way...I chuck away, I throw, I rip up...but I think I will regret it later. I never ever print photos, I don't keep letters etc. I have a handful of important bits which I inherited from my mother, othewise my whole past is in the bin!

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Good for you! That sounds so much more than puttering! For me, puttering is putting on eggs to boil to make egg salad for the weeks lunch, going upstairs to make the bed, getting on the computer for a minute...and the eggs boil dry, so they go out for the raccoons to find in the woods...now, to get back to my basement...

Joanne said...

That's a Whole Latte Puttering going on there! Sounds like paper is a perfect extension of your passion for words, for expression. What a canvas paper is, for so many different mediums. Kudos to you for reining it all in and organizing. Feels great, doesn't it?

beth said...

I'm so impressed with your strength...really I am and I do know it takes some deep breathing to start getting rid of all those loved paper items as I've done it myself....

but I do have some paper that has your name written all over it and I'd love for you to have it...

can you send me your snail mail address ?
xo

elizabeth said...

ahhhhhhhhhh! i had every issue of real simple ever (except one, and you would not believe how that bugged me)!

i'm not alone.

*breathes a happy sigh*

a few years ago, i re-read every issue (just as good the second time), but out the good articles, and sent them to the recycle bin. i was so proud of myself.

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

Wow Relyn, you are so ORGANIZED!!! Wish I had your energy. What a great idea to scan your favorites from your magazines and then throw them out! I've been looking for a way to get more organized and you are such an inspiration! Btw, I like to listen to books on tape when I do housework. Instead of wanting to be done, it makes me want to find more to do!
Happy Sunday to you!
Kirsten

dulcy said...

Oh gosh.....I know what you mean! I don't even like to look at paper because there's just so much wonderful stuff out there, and so little time to use it all. Remember last summer I covered my file cabinet with wonderful prints in burnt reds (somewhere in old posts on my blog). I finally found a drawer that I mostly emptied so I could lay it all flat. Been getting into it for bits and pieces for flea market tags and such. Hope to visit in person again before the summer is over.

xo
dulcy

Susan Tuttle said...

i LOVE your latest work -- gorgeous! I really like how you said you are striking a balance between work and play and having oh so much fun!

:)

dustjacket attic said...

Hi there Relyn, thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

I just love those images of Amy's, I'm adding her to my Etsy favorites list, I'm a huge fan of Etsy.

Great post :)

Char said...

I'm a compulsive magazine hoarder and am loathe to give them up. It's just not the same reading them on line for some reason. But, I'm getting better. I think it's great you're getting this all done.

A Cuban In London said...

I loved this post. It felt as if it had just jumped off my hand and gone off somewhere. The fluidity was incredible. Suddenly there were shopping trips, 4th July dinners with parents, puttering and paper. And it all fell into place marvellously. Many thanks for such a beautiful and well-crafted column.

Greetings from London.

Derrick said...

Hi Relyn,

Thanks for visiting and leaving lots of comments. Glad you caught up. Actually, I've tried visiting you a few times lately but your site kept making my computer sieze! I think it's to do with your music. Here in UK we aren't allowed to listen anymore because of licensing!! So if you don't see me so often, you'll know why.

Moving house is a great incentive to clearing out the clutter, especially paper - but it is rather a drastic solution! Glad you are managing to achieve your goal!

Jeanne said...

I love hearing all about your life......
You are gorgeous and fascinating
I love you
Jeanne♥

elk said...

the title fits ! When the paper get organized and culled through it is like a major undertaking...but I know you have a sense of accomplishment....now rest some

Meri said...

You're an inspiration. Now, if I could just follow your lead.

Tracy said...

Love you latest work, Relyn...such spirit and playfulness abounds! Having a break and fun always does the body and creative spirit good. Like you, and many others visiting too, I am a paper person...my hubby & I are both paper people--books, magazines, art paper & materials, oh, my...LOL! I like your tips offered here. I do some already--but always room for improvement ;o) Happy Day!

Marilyn Miller said...

How organized! and such progress for such a short time. A year ago I started putting recipes I had torn out of magazines into a 3 ring binder. I have 3 binders now and still not finished. Now pictures, that is a different story. I am not sure I will ever be organized there. Oh and Victoria magazine, I don't think I could tear them apart or part with them.

How proud you must feel. What a good feeling to be organized.

dutchbaby said...

I share your love of paper and understand the battle to curb my appetite for it. A few months ago I spent some time organizing my scrapbook papers, the kids schoolwork, and our printed vacation photos from the pre-digital days. It took me about a week and I still have some stacks of torn out magazine pages to sort out. Good luck with your project; it will feel sooooo good.

Gayle said...

Wow! What a big project this sounds like! Good for you! Have fun and make sure you take moments to feel good about all you're getting done!

Jessica said...

I've spent my few days without work organizing paperwork and filling out paperwork and writing papers. Gah, paper! It finds me where ever I go. My next goal would be to go as paperless as possible...but I'd have to get my scanner out of storage first!

Caroline said...

Oh my gosh...every issue of Real Simple, Martha & Victorian Mags!? LOL...you must have a huge house to store those!!! You have been busy...best of luck in all the streamlining ;)

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

By the comments, I gather we are all paper hoarders! I always hate to edit through old magazines I have stred at and put away because I liked this or that in them. When I go back to look again, I find another reason that I saved them! The joy of a letter or a piece of paper is that it can keep on giving long after the delete button is pushed. Good luck in your editing. If you are anything like me, it will still accumulate a month from now!

Gillian said...

I DO love to putter!
Puttering is almost as good as putzing. Do you putz? I do! lol
Puttering and putzing is likely the same thing.
Some music here, a snack there, a walk. Pick some flowers, clean the bathroom...read.
You know?
Paper can be an addiction, no doubt.
I've streamlined my life recently by cancelling the cable. The kids are in for a shock!
We are endeavouring on a t.v. free summer...stay tuned. lol!!!
xxoxo

simply hue (vicki) said...

Hi Relyn,

Thanks so much for commenting on my blog today. I love your blog, too, and you've got one of my favorite songs playing in the background..."Wonderful World". I'll be back. :)

amy abshier reyes said...

Oooh, I know all too well the lure of paper and ephemera. I finally culled my own huge collection of Victoria magazines, keeping only the pages and images I really could use. It's difficult, but I'm getting better at paring the masses of paper down.
Thanks so much for featuring my work! Your blog is really lovely to look at, as well as read. I'm so glad you stumbled across my stuff--it was great to meet you!

Ragamuffin Gal said...

Leave it to you to write the perfect post to go with those beautiful prints you admired and bought. I love the way you surround yourself with beauty ~ as for me ~ I am a hopeless paper-holic and will be until the day I die. Miss you too ~ have fun with your family! Love you, me

Wendy said...

Oh boy, now you're making me feel like I should be doing something! Um... nah. ;)

Jeanie said...

Oh, Relyn, Relyn, Relyn! I so needed to read this right now! I think we are kindred spirits in the paper department and while it is joyful addiction and one not too harmful (unless lifting the box of it strains the back!), it does overtake a person! I've started some of the projects you've mentioned -- the scanning, trying to get some of the photos back to the rightful recipients, but you're handling that magazine thing -- and for that I have the highest regard! You go, girl!

Dawn said...

Oh my Relyn, what am I to do with you and your wonderful ideas? I need to channel you immediately. I have paper everywhere. I have lists for organizing the paper I have stacks of magazines. But I definitely need a scanner. What an incredibly great idea!

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