Last week I was lucky to have a long visit with my niece who is in the midst of one of life’s top stressors: Moving Your Household. I’ve moved more times than I can count (okay, full disclosure, I’ve moved eighteen times). There’s an up-side to it though: when you move every few years, you have a built-in way to sort through all your possessions with a discerning eye.
I’ve lived in my current digs for eight years, and for several months I’ve felt the need to live in a larger, less crowded apartment. The problem is, I love this loft. I mean, I really love it. So, I’ve made a decision: I’ll pretend I’m moving.
It’s simple really. Start in a corner of one room and look at every single object with the critical eye of K.D.D.: Keep, Discard, or Donate. It’s the perfect time of year (new beginnings), and it might actually be exciting.
I’ve given myself six months to complete this deep-downsizing project, and now, suddenly, everything I own looks different. For example, yesterday, as the kettle boiled for a cup of tea, I opened the cupboard, looking for a favorite mug I haven’t used in a while. As I moved other mugs out of the way, I found myself wrapping those four random mugs in newspaper rather than replacing them on the shelf. They now sit in the donate basket, and I’m pleased every time I see only the two teacups I love on the shelf, instead of six I have to shuffle around. The downsizing pleasures start immediately!
My goal is two-fold: to free up floor space, and then dispose of half of the contents of all the bookshelves and storage drawers. Half my possessions out the door by the end of June 2023. An ambitious goal! It’s important to start with the easy stuff first and build momentum.
What’s the hard stuff for me? The Art Stuff of course. Art Books and Art Supplies. Those have been my biggest challenge, because although much of it is dusty, I keep thinking I just might need that, or reread that, someday…maybe…hmmm.
So while sorting through outdated clothing and extra teacups, I’ve started, little by little, also giving away art stuff. I’ve donated spare watercolor palettes, etc. to local creative friends and that’s fun. I want more though; I want to include all of you in this adventure. Here’s how.
I have art instruction books which I have loved for many years and since I no longer need them, I’m giving them away in bundles of three. If this is a bundle you like, send me a note by clicking here, and I will box it up and mail it to you. (The three books are a bundle, take them all!) Your only expense will be shipping.
This first bundle weighs five pounds– you can research the shipping cost for the USA here. These books do qualify for Media Mail which is quite affordable but can be very slow. USPS Ground Service or Priority Mail is available too, up to you. (I can ship out of the country as well, but figuring the costs in advance is a bit trickier.) Here we go!
Jeanne Dobie’s classic Making Color Sing.
This is the book that first introduced me to watercolor in 1986. Our instructor, Giffin Russell, presented it like a college textbook, and together the class worked through every single word, doing every single exercise. It provided me with a priceless foundation worth its weight in gold. I have two copies actually: my original book from 1986 (which I’m keeping) is a hardcover copy riddled with class notes and highlights. A couple years ago I bought a second copy, a paperback, then paid to have a local printer remove the spine and add the spiral binding, so it would work better as a lay-flat-on-the-table textbook. This copy I’m offering you is in pristine condition.
Next, a lovely book by Judi Betts called, Watercolor: Let’s Think About It.
This book feels like a guided meditation, instructive through your heart rather than your head. It helps you reframe how you see your surroundings, and your artwork. This book, unfortunately, got a little water damage at some point but the pages are still legible an delightful.
Finally, a hardcover copy of Sketching School by Judy Martin, a rich overview of all the approaches to sketching you can imagine.
It explores various media, beginning steps, themes, and art basics like composition. It’s a rich resource packed into 176 pages.
Three books to start! To recap, together they weigh about five pounds including packaging. If you are interested, you can look here to get an estimate of the shipping cost to you. Then send a private message to me here, telling me you’re interested (and why!) and where you would like the box-of-three shipped.(If you live outside the USA and want to research your shipping costs, my postal code is 03301 in New Hampshire.)
Upcoming posts will tell you about more giveaways of books and art supplies. Stay tuned!
Your generous or tiny contributions to The Tip Jar help to keep this website solvent and are much appreciated!
As always, feel free to forward this post to anyone you think might enjoy it.
Questions? Comments? Public comments can be posted below.
Private questions or comments will reach me by using the Contact link here.
Wonderful ideas about downsizing. Thanks. We aim to stay as long as we can in our home where we have lived 49 years. Our story is long—had no children, cared for parents 35 yrs after cleaning their homes/offices. So began years back giving things including dining room furniture to young who passed through. More recently during Covid i learned of a co-worker who had two children, living in WA state. She sent a pic of family which included wonderful artwork on wall. I discovered young artists. So i begN to send art supplies, books, etc etc to this family. They were thankful to have fun pkgs during Covid shut-down. They also said that they would pass things on to others. Just remember the young people!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Beautiful story, Elaine, thank you so much for sharing it!
This decluttering/downsize ‘virus’ caught us too , now my husband is retired he seems to have found a new ‘hobby’ 😬 and started to empty our attic (not thàt big) and brought a lot to the thrift store and cut into bits a lot of paperwork and this gave a chain reaction and we are going through each room but I hear you when it is about art stuff , my studio is filled up to the roof after 30 years and even I want to downsize there to declutter my mind it is not easy at all ,but paint or other material I don’t use anymore will be brought to settings where they can use it , I think the studio will be the last part and all mine to tackle , 6 months is a feasible one to finish it …. when I start on the first of January 🤞 I wish you all the best for the New year and courage but also fun with the project ! 🍀
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi Debora, yes! We need to have FUN doing this, and the best part is we don’t have to wait until the very end for the delicious rewards. I just walked home and into my apartment, and I can already “feel” a subtle difference. Slightly less clutter. Slightly more empty shelves! Exciting! I feel like we are having our Michal Nobbs’ “Summer School” session twice a year now! Yay, focus!