Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Binge & Purge

I've been on a bit of a bender. A mini bender that is. Since about June of 2012. That's when I allowed myself back into the world of my beloved miniatures. Prior to that, minis were completely out of the picture for nine years. Once I began indulging again, I fell totally off the wagon!

Mini Projects from 2012 - 2013
There were just so many possibilities. So many things to make for the worlds I could create. I just had to have it ALL! I was compelled to try! There was so much to learn! I am sure a lot of you can relate.

Mini Projects from 2014 - 2015
While all this mini love can give you a full heart, it can also lead to a very full house. When some of my finished structures, out of necessity, started matriculating into my bedroom last year, I knew I was going to have to make some tough decisions. Why keep things that were not going to be enjoyed? So, like any difficult decision, I had to let it marinate. But finally, I came to the realization that in order to continue to fulfill my future dreams (and I have plenty), I had to let some of the finished ones go. And really, I am surprisingly at peace with that.

Mini Projects from 2016
But how do you let things go? eBay? Some of the structures would be too cost prohibitive to ship. Plus, who'd want my vision and design choices for their new mini home? Craigslist? There aren't a whole lot of mini enthusiasts in my area, so finding someone who'd be willing to buy a completed project for a fair price seemed pretty implausible.

Projects from 2017

So finally, an idea hit me. What if I separated the minis and furniture from the structures? I could group like items and have fun with $.99 auctions on eBay for the furniture and accessories, then list the structures as "rehabs" on Craigslist. Sounds reasonable, right? The only way to know is to try...


So, I began last weekend with the Real Good Toys Contemporary Ranch. It was a funny project idea to me at the time, but somehow, a marijuana dispensary wasn't funny to me any longer. I began removing all the little wonders, and boy were there a lot of them, trying to cause as little damage to the wallpaper and flooring. Let's just say I learned a lot through trial and error and each room got progressively better. A heat gun and putty knife are essential tools!







I removed practically everything, including all of the landscaping. You'd never know it was once a place where nefarious happenings went on. The wallpaper will have to be replaced or just removed and walls painted. I damaged some spots on the wood flooring in two rooms, but those can be easily filled in and repaired. I am going to leave that up to the new owner. I am even going to leave the hideous green color scheme in hopes that some kind hearted person will want to enjoy the pleasure of it's obliteration. We'll see if there are any takers.





I was surprised how much I enjoyed deconstructing. Maybe just knowing things I'd loved were going to get new life someplace, and that I'd feel free to begin new projects guilt free has something to do with it. Once I had it gutted and the mini items cleaned and sorted, I started on the Real Good Toys Ruff & Rustic barn.



This was one of the projects that I never really finished. Didn't even shingle the roof. Poor planning on my part resulted in unfulfilled visions, and complete loss of passion for the whole project. I learned so much throughout the process, that I still consider the experience a good one. I am just ready to let it go. I am really enjoying and excited about reacquainting myself with every wonderful mini thing I made or specially purchased for the project! Some things I won't be able to let go in this one.




My work table looks like a mini flea market, and with the whole upstairs left to go, I may have a good number of eBay auctions to put together.




The other project that will get dismantled and sold is the Bigfoot tourist shop. I have three more after this, but those structures are smaller and may be better off sold as dioramas. We'll see. Just making progress in organizing and purging feels good to my soul.

xo xo,
Jodi

42 comments:

  1. It seems painful to me, but all that is important is how you feel about it. And if you are at peace, great! Now there will be room in your house and in your mind for new, exciting projects yeahh! There´s a lot of people who are going to get lucky with your ebay auctions, I hope I live near!!

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    1. It is very painful to think about Alex - until you're really ready. It took me a good long while to get here, but having the photos and knowing that I got to share the process with kindred miniaturists makes it feel like a happy ending. Knowing I can crack open a new kit and have a space to display it is also great motivation!

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  2. Hi Jodi, I know the feeling. And I was lucky to find a buyer (at nominal cost - not even recovering the material) for my first Glenwood dollhouse I built from Greenleaf. I let it go fully furnished and did not blink an eye. Because the buyers were remote relatives of Heidi Ott, they knew about minis and appreciated everything in this house. And they lived 8km from where I live! How easy can this be?? But this only worked because it was a real dollhouse and not a model house (like I am building now..). But with your idea you are most likely on the right way :-) There are buyers out there!

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    1. That is a happy ending, Marion! And those folks got to have an original Marion Russek!
      Minis are certainly not a monetary investment, at least the stuff I can afford. But those of us motivated to create don't look at them that way. I hope my gently loved minis will make someone excited to hope and dream and create something good of their own. That's what this hobby means to me, and I want that for everyone!

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  3. I've stripped a building in the past and reused the contents for a new project, so I sort of know the urge to purge. I think for some, once the vision is produced in miniature and the idea realised, it's easier to let go. I'm sure there are people out there looking for a project and would snap up your buildings. Maybe advertise in Facebook groups geared towards miniatures? I'm sad in a way that you're letting them go, but I'm also happy that new projects will take their place 🙂

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    1. There are definitely things I am going to have to think hard about letting go of, and maybe using them in a future project is a perfect solution. If I can see them every day and not feel overwhelmed by them, then they can stay. Facebook is a great idea. I will have to look into that. The longer I do this, the more smaller projects or vignettes appeal to me. I can display them on my shelves, see and appreciated them all the time.

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  4. For me, the fun in a project is planning, finding all the right stuff to execute it, then figuring out how to put it all together.
    With internet, and the wonderful miniatures community here, there are lots of opportunities to take pictures and share as one goes along.
    By the time I am finished with the project, or start losing interest, I don't need to keep it anymore. I have had hours of fun with it, and I've shared all the pictures and memories with lots of people. Time to move on. I might salvage some pieces that were gifts or have sentimental value.
    I always felt some guilt over the ease with which I let things go. My husband is horrified that I can spend so much money, and so many hours, and then dispose of it again. He hoards everything for 'one day'. I feel what's the difference between miniatures, and building a puzzle, or Lego. It's all meant to be transformed again in the end.
    There is a real freedom in not having things around that you don't need anymore. It literally just becomes baggage.
    I'm proud of you for taking the brave step. I wish you lots of joy with your next project, and the one after that, and after that...

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    1. You two sound just like Russ and I. When I am done, I am done. He is extremely sentimental, and objects to him are how he holds the memories. And he also keeps stuff for "someday", even if he has no use for it now. This would be so much easier to accommodate if we lived on a property with a nice big shop for him, but we live in a subdivision, a gated community where they don't want you having stuff lying around in your yard. It irritates the neighbors! :O)
      I like an organized life, a thing for every place and a place for every thing. It just makes me happy. So having too much stuff feels overwhelming. I am so grateful to have gotten to build my mini dreams, but am truly ready to let some of them go.

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  5. Hello Jodi,
    I imagine it must be a difficult decision to make, but it is a smart and a necessary one. I am confident your miniatures will find some buyers. They are beautiful structures and even in need of a little repair and finishing they will bring much joy to someone. If they do not go quickly online maybe you can try a church bazar or some flee market? Let us know how things go...and don't keep us waiting to long for a new project...pleaaaase';)
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Thanks Giac! I am ready, and really kind of excited to have things go where they will make someone else experience the joy they brought to me! The structures themselves will hopefully find good homes, even if I just give them away. What's important is making space in my life for new dreams and joys! I will definitely keep you posted about what's next in the project queue!

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  6. Ouch! So hard to let go! But I'm glad you're having fun with it.

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    1. Thanks Sheila! It was hard to think about for a long while. Then one day, it was perfectly clear and an easy choice. I am grateful for the grace that allowed me the time to come to terms with the decision, and that it was not something forced upon me.

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  7. It's a rather sad decision to make but what's the use of keeping earlier projects, no matter how wonderful they are, in store, packed away in boxes.
    I can understand and cheer you. Like Giac, I too, am waiting to see your new projects.
    Hugs, Drora

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    1. Thanks Drora! I agree! Let's make it a happy occasion for someone who'll be excited to start something new, and a way for me to bring forth new ideas and challenges! Fingers crossed, spring will be the start of something new and wonderful!

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  8. Arghhhh.... Difficult but necessary... I will have to do this at some point too.. My house just isn't big enough to house all my future projects. I hope you post us a link to your eBay auctions (and that you offer international shipping :) ) I may need to do a little mini shopping :D

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    1. Figuring out what you really want to do with miniatures is truly part of the challenge, isn't it? There are so many cool kits, so many kinds of architectural styles I'd love to have and work on. But the reality is, unless I want things shoved into spare bedrooms rarely to be seen, I need to figure out what I really want and what I really want to keep. I'm still figuring it all out...
      I will definitely post links once I get things ready for auction. And of course I will ship worldwide! Minis are for everyone everywhere!

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  9. Jodi si has toma esa decisión, aunque dolorosa, la experiencia que has ido acumulando en esos trabajos seguro que en los próximos proyectos serán fantástico. Te deseo suerte en encontrar cerca personas amantes de las miniaturas que seguro les harán muy felices.Buen día:-)

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    1. Gracias Carmen! A veces es difícil renunciar a las cosas que amamos. Pero he tenido tanto tiempo para disfrutarlos, sin mencionar el tiempo que tuve trabajando en ellos, estoy en paz con dejarlos ir. ¡Con suerte, a alguien que los disfrute tanto como yo!

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  10. You are perfectly poised for the Portland Miniature Flea Market!
    http://www.portlandminifleamarket.com

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    1. That's funny, Sherrill! I just saw Pat's email last weekend! If I went, I'd end up bringing more with me than I left behind! The Seattle show is next month, too, and I have had to promise myself I'd stay away and not be tempted. Chores first before play and all of that! :O)

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  11. I'm with you, Jodi. The planning, research and making of a thing is where it's at for me. And the re-homing of past projects brings joy to others, and makes room for the new. Not everyones feels this way, of course. Sort of like cilantro :)

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    1. Yes Nancy! The making is the most fulfilling part! And as I get older, less really is more. So smaller projects seem more appealing, and if I just have to do a big one, maybe the thing to do would be to donate or gift them. Sometimes when there are so many rooms and so many things, the wonder gets lost in the volume.

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  12. Hi Jodi! I can relate to the "not enough room in my house part..." but Not the stripping and letting go part! Perhaps it is because I still haven't even "finished" any of mine! LOL! But also because I use them as Theater sets for my Tales... I even started making "temporary" settings in bookshelves.... but have discovered that I can't "strike the set" as long as the tale continues! And then there is the Lovely Old Dollhouse which is my childhood dollhouse and will probably never be "done" and certainly never let go! Like you I only returned to minis about 9 years ago, and had not allowed myself to "play" with them for 35 years before that! I am still bingeing!!! LOL!!! But your ideas of how to re-purpose and move on to more new projects are good ones! I commend your bravery and look forward to seeing many new projects to follow! :):)

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    1. See? I can completely understand why you keep yours. The dreams aren't fully realized, and you use them again and again! They are still loved and have purpose. I felt guilty about these particular three, because they were unseen and unappreciated.
      If I had had a childhood dollhouse, I can guarantee that my mom would have gotten rid of it long ago. We moved a lot, and with each move, things "disappeared". But if I had one, like you, I would never give it up!
      Our daughter asked if she could sell hers just before she left for college. It was hers, and I knew she really needed the money, so I agreed. I wonder if she will ever have regret about that. I hope not.
      I am so happy that we both brought minis back into our lives and that we found so many kindred souls to share our joy with! It makes it so much sweeter!

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    2. Hi Jodi! I wouldn't let my Mom get rid of our dollhouse! When I left home I took it with me....! Have hauled it through plenty of "apartments" into "storage" with relatives who would not move it out! LOL! Mostly, I just kept it with me. I knew that "someday" I would have the time to fix it up!
      But you are right.... I haven't fully realized any of the "Dreams" that the houses embody... and it will take a while at my rate! LOL!

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    3. I am so happy you tenaciously kept it! It is such a wonderful dollhouse! I love how you have brought it back to the light!
      Who cares how long it takes us! It is all about the journey and I hope we never run out of ideas or passion for minis!

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  13. Boy do I wish I could turn in to a mini elf and sneak to your work table and just dive in to look all those little goodies your going to put on for sell.. I know that if I would get anywhere near them I would go totally "bananas" and go around with mad glint in the eyes and I'm sure I would just mumble to almost everything "I'll take this one... and this one.." I know I would totally lose it *grin*

    I guess it's good I don't live in the same country with you - I would probably be knocking behind your door with a broken piggy bank and asking are you really gonna sell (^^)

    I don't think I could ever do anything like that - but then again I'm not (yet) in a situation we I would have so many projects taking space in our house..
    It will be fun to see where you use the goodies you keep :)
    Hugs, Irina

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    1. Irina if you were in the US I'd let you take your pick! If I could afford the shipping to Finland I'd let you pick the structure, too! You do amazing things with the limited resources you have, and I have no doubt that one day, you will be bursting at the seams with minis, too!
      Maybe this spring, after I have all this organizational downsizing finished, I can arrange for a little love gift to be sent your way. I still have the address! :O)

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  14. Good work Jodi! I think ruminating over such decisions is great - no snap decisions you may later regret. And for me at least, half the fun is the planning and making. I have sold off or given away projects I wasn’t so much attached to and I occasionally get wistful, but I don’t regret giving them away. And more mini space is great!

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    1. I sometimes find myself getting wistful about the projects I built in 2002 and 2003. But then I just look at the photos and remember that I have improved my mini skills and could make them even better now if I got a mind to! And more space sounds awesome right about now!

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  15. I am on my fifth project and the other four have gone! Like you space demanded that if I wanted to do another then there was no choice its predesessor had to go. Selling it is less about recouping any money and more about passing it to someone else to hopefully cherish and do something with. There is no way you can achieve anything like the amount you spent on it so focus on its new life somewhere and most of all the next project you are going to work on. Like others here it is the DOING that's important for me not the ownership. I really hardly ever look at it once finished. It has got harder each time because every project gets more skill and more money spent on it but once it has gone there is no looking back. I look at the photos now and then and remember this or that challenge. Sadly I have sold off some lovely contents which I have gone on to regret so be slow about letting any fond pieces go. This is a place where you can keep something 'just in case'. I have decided with my current one that when I move it on I will devise some nice shelf/box display thingy to hang onnthe wall to put the best pieces in for a while rather than just sell them for pennies. Marilyn

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    1. I completely agree Marilyn! If it has to be collect or create, I'd have to pick create!
      There are a very few things I made that I am really proud of, or are now impossible to find that I will keep for future use. I am really liking the idea of small vignettes to display them. They can be accomplished so quickly and then enjoyed on a shelf without taking over a room.
      And the money we put into them will never be recovered, but if that was the goal we'd be stock traders and not miniaturists, right!?! Lol!

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  16. Espero que tengas suerte en este nuevo proyecto devastador y que tus trabajos encuentren miniaturistas que valoren el cariño que pusiste en ellos al llevarlos a cabo.
    Suerte¡¡¡¡
    Un abrazo

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  17. Sometimes you emotionally out-grow old projects and so dismantling them is a whole lot easier than some people think.
    I had a 12 year hiatus from mini and during that time, I gave away an entire furnished house and 2 empty ones. At the time it I didn't miss them and still don't, however I have a Glencroft which I also dismantled as the same time as the others which is still waiting in my garage and which I am hoping to one day rehab.
    My home, like yours can only allow for a few houses.
    They take up Scads of Space and Load of Money, therefore if ever I do another one (after the Glencroft) it will have to be VERY SMALL!
    I like Marilyn's advise regarding keeping the most cherished pieces for yourself because somethings purchased in the early days, you just can't get anymore.
    Meanwhile, I LOVE what you do and how you do it Jodi and now that you are in a Spring Cleaning mode, I can see that you are already gearing up and prepping for those Creative Juices to flow! A cleared workshop, a Cleared mind; You GO Girl! :D

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    1. That's so true Elizabeth! When you're ready, you're ready!
      A Glencorft rehab? That's going to be awesome! I am really liking the vignettes I made this past year. They fit so nicely on my shelf, give me variety, and are finished so much more quickly than a huge project. That might be your perfect solution, too! Plus, with less to spend on the project, one can afford a few more special pieces!
      Me too - though most of what I got or made getting back into things weren't my best work or artisan pieces. I may have to make a small bigfoot display though, cause I still have some fun stuff and the Enoch doll from Jo Medvenics.
      You are one of my mini heroes, Elizabeth. Both in the work you do and the kindness and encouragement you shower upon everyone. To know you love what I do truly means so much to me! I'm all warm and fuzzy! :O)

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  18. It's so interesting reading all the comments here and seeing just how relatable this is. I've only finished one house, but I have some roomboxes and am already grappling with this. I finally understand now why most people don't build huge houses. I think a big part of the interest is in the design and building stage, but eventually you want something new. (That said... I seem to only ever build large spaces! haha). I'm surprised you're selling the miniature items inside the houses though. You don't see yourself re-using these? I know your stash is pretty big ;) so maybe it's really just too much. I do think selling the houses for re-hab is fantastic idea. I hope you find some buyers!

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    1. It is interesting how relatable the space and purging issues are. I guess it shouldn't be surprising tho since we are all cut from the same mini loving cloth!
      The dreaming and planning and problem solving are a huge draw for me. Not so much keeping the projects forever. I think the thought that I should feel guilty about letting things go was a major roadblock. Once I allowed myself to be okay with my feelings on it, the answer was clear.
      It will be hard to let some things go, but if I can't use them in one of the next 5 projects in the queue, or if I want to make something myself, I am good with letting someone else enjoy it. I know I'll never get back what I paid, but depreciation is what it is! :O)
      I do have a nice stash of mostly building and crafting materials, so maybe that is helping in my decision. No need to hoard as much as when I was first getting back into things.

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  19. Hi Jodi! So many great projects in all these years, I can only dream of it - and yeah, they take so much place! I only have a couple of finished projects yet and they took so much place in our tiny Amsterdam apartment that I had to pack and move them to our storage - although I would love to have them around just to have a look at them from now and then! Oh my, I really get attached to them, which is probably not very healthy! I think it is a great idea to separate the items and to sell the empty house for re-styling/renovating, I will definitely follow you on this in case I should decide to make some room. Fingers crossed with the sales and I can't wait to see all the new projects with which you will fill the new space!!!

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    1. Hi Susi! Congratulations on the Writers Retreat! It's an amazing house!
      Being forced into putting things in storage that we loved so much and worked so hard on is such a shame. It took me a long time to finally let some things go, but knowing I can now create more is wonderful motivation. You might just benefit from doing smaller scenes with your limited space, too.
      Thanks for the crossed fingers! It will be fun if people are as excited about the minis as I was when I first discovered them! And who doesn't love a bargain?!?

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  20. You've been busy Jodi! It's amazing to see how many dollhouses you've completed over the years! Thanks for popping by over at my blog...I appreciate your kind words!

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    1. Hi Pei Li! Yes, I think I have had at least one project going continually for nearly six years! Just can't get enough! And, you are most welcome - it is so good to hear that you and mom are hanging tough! Hugs!

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