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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Clearing out the Cobwebs

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/01/15/clearing-out-the-cobwebs/

The first two weeks of 2017 has flown by. I paced the house during the mini heatwave (I survived), not able to focus my thoughts into words on paper. I spied the costume cupboard doors, groaning under the weight of decades of an ever-growing collection of projects. It was the perfect analogy for my cluttered brain, suffocated by its own clutter, crying out to be free.
And decided it was time...
Time to cull the dreaded costume cupboard.
Once the doors were wrenched open, it was clear how much stuff I've collected over the years. Costumes and historic garb packed so tightly that, even though some hangers had failed, the outfits had not fallen, having been wedged in place for eternity.
Oh dear.
I enlisted the help of my Dearheart (without back and shoulder issues) to help wangle long neglected pieces from their tomb. First the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) garb. There were at least five gowns I hadn't worn for over twenty years (and a couple of sizes ago). They would never fit again. They were the first to go.
A few hours later there was a pile of items - too good to throw out. Just the material and buttons were worth saving. So began the great costume sale of 2017. I posted the items for sale and, to my surprise, most had been spoken for within a few hours.
I've now sold these outfits (I feel like part of me has been ripped away. The process has effected me more than I had predicted; I haven't seen some of these outfits for over a decade - in some cases, almost two - yet there was angst over parting with some of them. The hardest to let go of were outfits I made for our daughter. Each held many memories.
But that's the point in clearing out the cobwebs - out with the old, as they say. I can't enjoy the new memories, if I don't first clear my head and reconcile the past.
     (You can find out more about my costuming at my Florence Files/ Purple Files webpages)
Next we vacuumed and compressed the remaining outfits into storage bags (oh my, they work!) We've now clered over a third of the costume cupboard hanging space and a quarter of the cupboard top storage free (to fill up again, no doubt. Well, steampunk outfits do take up a lot of space). All of the remaining SCA garb now fits in one trunk - the contents of the cupboard and previous inhabitants of said trunk. Woot!
Coats are now organised together in the cupboard. Steampunk outfits nudge each other. Long items at one end. I've folded up the under linens to store together; no more scrummaging around drawers and cupboards and coat bags to find the appropriate petticoat or corset. Six corsets to be exact: four Victorian ones (one under the bust), one 17th century and one 16th century (not counting my Bellatrix leather 'under the bust' corset).
Oh, organised bliss. Oh, what will I do with myself?
And look how many hangers we have left over! It looks like my brain has felt for the past few years.

I really need a cup of tea (and a ton of dark chocolate) after this week. It's been exhausting - both physically and mentally. But it was worth it. All that clutter gone - and not just from the cupboards. It's been cathartic.
And thank you to everyone who purchased my beloved costumes. You've helped me more than you know. I'm off to do some research on the best way to dip my foot into marketing my books and perhaps some giveaways.
Onwards and upwards!
Photos ©2016 Karen J Carlisle/ D. Carlisle
All Rights Reserved.

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