Clutter and art and art clutter

Clutter from Tuesday is here - weird kitchen clutter. I was helped hugely by a post on zen habits, here. It talks about reducing things to the essential. I have discovered this year that I can be hugely influenced by just reframing how I think about a problem. I was tidying one day and found myself asking "Do I need this?" about an item. Framed like that, I easily answered "no!". Usually I would think "should I keep this?" - that leads to all the "well, it might come in handy" and "well, it was a gift, she might come over sometime..." scenarios. But "do I need it?" cuts through all of that waffle. And yes, if you love it, then you do need it. The zen habits post on the laws of simplicity did the same thing in my head, it all became clear... keep only the essential. Okay, I am applying that rule with a very light touch, but it was enough to convince me that two traditional corkscrews, a picnic corkscrew and a beer opener were probably not essential!

I have art too at last. I have been fairly behind in posting stuff. This is an unbound journal page for an "outside the book/inside the box" project for journal type work that doesn't seem to fit my everyday journal or my creative journey journal. I was really tired on Monday or Tuesday and headed to bed, but I felt irritable and frustrated. Reading a magazine in bed, I realised it was because I hadn't been creating since I got home, so I got up and grabbed some paint and a handful of magazine pages and other collage papers, whatever caught my eye while I was rummaging. I just started ripping up graph paper and envelopes and applying it, then the landscape got added. The face (smudged out to protect the photographer's copyright, but intact on my original) was a wonderful picture of a certain singer exhausted and satisfied after a performance. I added between layers, stamped and painted my words and transferred the self portrait. Very much just unconscious play. Then I had to laugh, suddenly realising that there was a connection between my words and the singer in the magazine portrait & I added the quote "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need." I love the way my unconscious created a page with the very words I needed to hear: I need to make art, nothing else matters, not how it is received, not my inner critic, just the process and the intrinsic growth.

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10 things - progress!

Well, I started on the 6th and got rid of 10 bits of clutter. Today I got rid of my 10 bits for today and an extra set too. I'd like to keep going each day, and make up the other 4 days that I missed. Not that I'm obsessive about complete sets or anything! You can see pics here, although come to think of it, it's a little weird to be taking photos of my clutter & and possibly even weirder to go and look at them!

I am also back on the Flylady path. I find it a very useful guide to 'grown-up' house-keeping. My natural state is bouncing between extremes - living amongst piles of projects in progress, or cleaning and sorting everything in sight. When I am following her programme, I am free to create in relative chaos, but the house more or less takes care of itself.

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Declutter, and I mean now!

After waking up oh so early this morning and staying up for 3 hours, I crept back into bed with the man and the cat, thinking that he would wake up soon and make us both a cup of tea and we would get on with the sensible, grounding back into real life, day we had planned. Instead, we slept and read and drank tea and slept most of the day away. Another way of phasing ourselves back into real life, beating lonesomeness and celebrating us. I felt guilty, but the practical and wise one said that this was the perfect day to set the stage for 2008 - this year we will be making a sacred space on Sundays, and changing the shape of our week, redistributing housework so that it isn't the focus of the day, and keeping work issues out of our personal space. Reframed like that, who could argue?

Now we are relaxed and happy, we've set up our work week, and are just pottering around home. Having got rid of my first 10-things this morning, I am feeling more relaxed about 'catching up' - a) I don't need to and b) I can do it in stages. I quite like the idea of finding sets of 10 like things, so I will find extra sets here and there. I do want to do more today, so I think I will have a blitz on my artroom before making dinner. The title of this post comes from me feeling procrastination setting back in.

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