How To

You know what I hate? Stuff.

I like individual things, but stuff piles up and threatens to overwhelm my best attempts at managing the already limited space available in my typically small San Francisco room. I realize this is a problem for many fen but I’ve always prided myself at not being a collector, I don’t buy action figures, statues, plush animals or pretty much any of the toy group of temptations. I lust after them but I don’t bring them home.

As with most of fandom books are my worst problem. I decided a few years ago that I love them too much to keep them mouldering in boxes while waiting to someday have the grand library of my dreams, so I resolved to return all but the most beloved, frequently used and irreplaceable ones to the wild. And I pared down my library to two shelves. Well, three shelves including the art books. No wait, I lied… to three shelves and a pile by the bed, and the comics which surely don’t count, right?

But no sooner were the books reduced than I expanded out the art supplies. I separated the computer desk from the drafting table, finally-and then I got a great deal on mats so there’s a shelf of those, plus the paper and drawing books and plastic sleeves, and all the flat things that can pile up nicely until there’s an earthquake and that’s the end of Rico. And of course the actual paints and pencils which doesn’t sound like much but once you separate oils, arylics, watercolors and so on into their own section well there’s another two shelves, nevermind the brushes which, I shit-you-not, are currently nailed to my wall. Every individual piece of this ever increasing collection I researched and coveted before purchasing, then cradled home from the store and love to use, but man I loathe it’s actual mass cluttering up my life.

So I started costuming and that was okay because I wasn’t a ‘real’ costumer and therefore I really just meant funny clothes. Most of which I keep separate from my regular clothes for simplicity, so there’s what amounts to a parallel wardrobe of clothes and shoes that I can’t even wear on a regular basis. And the accessories (which really are what make the outfit) and now I have two boxes of belts, a drawer of feathers, a hatbox full of gloves and a suitcase full of rayguns… and mind you those are just the extra everyday rayguns, the good ones are on display.

So then I took up beading, and the damned bead supplies needed their own shelf. And you wouldn’t think beads take up much space, but they do. Also; have you ever spilled 300 seed beads onto a carpeted floor? So there’s that too, and all the finicky little things taking up individual little cases, drawers and boxes that go with them; string, ribbons, pliers, buttons, findings. String ‘em all up, slip up, watch them cascade off the drafting table while the cats rejoice at the new trick you’ve learned and
the upstairs roommate applaud the ingenuity of your vituperations.

So… now I have a sewing
machine.

~España Sheriff

Yipe! Volume 2, Issue 2, Feburary 2010