She has a problem with the beads

What started as a decluttering effort morphed into an even bigger hoarding situation.

What started out as a simple project to use up some jewelry components that were cluttering up a drawer – morphed into THIS!

All the stuff that I was too busy to notice in the Fall was getting on my nerves.

Warehouse with volleyball net
We don’t play volleyball, so the net that was languishing in mother-in-law’s garage is repurposed as a holder for packing peanuts.

Our big warehouse that we’ve lovingly furnished with used grocery store shelves seems to become a repository for oddball items. Samples, returns, slightly damaged items, experimental items, vendor mistakes… they collect here and there until we are nearly out of room (again) Our second purchase of used shelves from Craig’s List enabled us to line one wall and stack stuff, quite literally, to the ceiling.

My ingenious hubby fashioned a storage sling for those huge bags of packing peanuts – out of a volleyball net (how clever was that?) and it’s suspended from the ceiling so they don’t take up any floor space.

But that didn’t solve the problem of the giant hoard of stuff that wasn’t real inventory – no matter how diligent I’ve been, the piles just keep growing. They do NOT bring me joy.

Epona Gemstone Necklace
Celtic Epona Pendant is cast in bronze alloy, the result is a beautiful burnished gold color. It’s strung by hand right here at HoofPrints, using Labradorite and Quartz gemstones, iridescent Swarovski pearls and glass pony beads. 18″ long, pendant is 7/8″ tall.

That’s where the jewelry making saga comes in.

Like almost all HoofPrints’ products, these have a lengthy, convoluted story behind them. I make them myself. Now, I am NOT a jewelry maker by trade, in fact, I am far from it. With no formal training, I had no clue what I was doing when I first started. I LOVE the Sundance catalog jewelry, and found myself perpetually wishing for horsey (and less expensive) versions of their lovely stuff.

The first step down a slippery slope was when I discovered that there are literally millions of choices of beads and pendants and cord and chain available from a myriad of suppliers at very reasonable prices. All one has to do is figure out what looks good together, procure the stuff, and set about assembly. This, however, is much easier said than done. After many unsuccessful attempts to make some pretty jewelry, I was left with an embarrassingly large accumulation of beads and components. Frustrated at my lack of success, I gathered them all up and stuffed them in a drawer, where they were forgotten about for a couple years at least.
Then, in a fit of clutter-clearing frenzy, buoyed by folks buying some other closeout stuff I’d offered, I revisited the bead dilemma. This time, things went a little better and I was able to eke out a series of chunky, pony bead bracelets that was surprisingly well received by my dear enablers (I mean customers)

Pony bead bracelets
These bracelets are hand tied right here in the shop using glass pony beads and brown waxed cotton cord. The copper charm is made in Pennsylvania by a skilled artisan who specializes in equestrian designs. The cord adjusts to fit most wrists (about 7″ to 9.5″) More here

The first set of four Copper HoofPrints Pony Bead Bracelets
was created exclusively to use up the stash of beads
that I found in a drawer; beads that I had originally purchased for another project. The resulting bracelet was really popular and I did, indeed, use up all the beads. Except then I went and bought more beads so I could fill all the orders I got. And then, while I was at it, I bought more colors of beads. I just couldn’t help it. They were so pretty, and they coordinated with the copper charm so beautifully… So I am right back to having a drawer full. I don’t know whether to tell folks to buy them or not. It’ll just cause me to buy more beads and add to the clutter problem I am trying to solve. In fact, I am still carrying on about the clutter problem.

I finally broke down and watched an episode of “Hoarders” the other night. It was morbid, sad, and bizarre, and some of it was just a little to close to reality here in the Keesling house. It prompted the renewed effort to do the cleaning and decluttering effort that you read about above. You can help me out with that by going here and buying stuff – which I trust will then become your cherished possessions, not clutter.

What looks like someone’s messy office is actually a miniature recreation of such. I can’t decide which is more anxiety-provoking – this, or a full size version?

Hoarders was a little too close to giving me bad dreams. I probably won’t watch it ever again. But that didn’t stop me from looking at other people’s clutter online. Check out the picture at left. Looks like someone’s awful messy desk, in a wretchedly cluttered office. It’s from the series of photographs by artist Carrie M. Becker; Barbie Trashes Her Dream House. Yup! They’re miniatures – 1/6 scale cluttered rooms – musing of a post-youthful/skinny Barbie, whose dream life has left her a little flawed and eccentric. There’s a news story about them here, and another you can follow Carrie’s latest creative endeavors here.

Wanna read more?

Our adventures in remodeling are here

For fun on the farm, go here

Is our house haunted? There are some stories about that here

Laughable housekeeping advice is here

Is this all I do? Post pictures and stories? Nope! HoofPrints.com is my “real” job.

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