Thursday 10 July 2014

Rules for "Furniture Arranging", Decluttering -- Yeah, ME! -- & Some New Copper Chain Components...

I put "furniture arranging" in quotes because people who know me know that I belong to the "it lives where it drops" school of interior design. This applies to the room, the table or shelf of stuff, the clothes, the jewellery, everything in my life: for me, it's all one undifferentiated messpile. Constantly reading decluttering websites 'til the cows come home just doesn't do it for me.

However. Now that I am a one-third proprietor of a booth at the One of a Kind Antique Mall where the goal is to make OUR hundreds of tiny items leap out from the mind-numbing millions of items in the whole 80,000 square foot mall, thereby capturing the eye, mind and heart of their future owners in the three seconds or so allotted to us as they walk by our booth, I'm being forced to learn valuable lessons, if not about interior design or our taste in acquiring gotta-have-this items, then at the very least about how to turn mind-numbing clutter and junk into semi-organised collections -- not chaos -- that will result in constant sales and turnover. (And that is one brain-numbing long sentence. At least, I think it was a sentence. Sorry about that.)

Prior to this, as Lynn and Nancy Mac valiantly attempted to organise thousands of beads, as well as my market table, for me over the past two or three years, I wondered how on earth people did it: make a pile of junky and/or disparate things look clear and ordered. At what point does sick-making clutter of anything veer off the hoarding track onto an "Oh, wow! Look at that!" collection of reeeally cool stuff track?

Here are my short and sweet rules for the store/booth, where the rule is more is way merrier:

1. Gather together like items by picking a theme: colour, era, purpose...
2. Pick the focal piece for that particular vignette
3. Group like vignettes into a larger, overarching theme
4. Can't tell if it's working or not? Photograph your vignette, then step back and photograph the area it occupies: what's not working will leap out at you (this works for anything)

At home, where the rule is less and less is more:
1. Ruthlessly cull or regift (consignment or friends, thrift store, dump) then cull the cull: if you're weak-willed/lazy (I'm both), ask your friends to take everything away immediately for you. Boxes of stuff sitting in a corner are still STUFF IN YOUR HOUSE.
2. Enforce the rule: if something comes in, something goes out (furniture, junque, clothes...)

To the "at home" advice, I finally found out where the recycling depot hides here: I'm talking boxes and boxes of papers to get rid of that would fry any shredder's circuits: outdated and often unread magazines, old computer printouts, university papers that after 20 years I. will. never. look. at. again. Then there are the boxes and boxes of art books hiding out of sight, out of mind under my bed, about 20 of those at last count -- that's boxes, not books.

I think I'm finally starting to get the idea: despite adding a largish side table/magazine table and a box more of stuff to the booth yesterday, after we were finished moving stuff around Nancy Mac said in gobsmacked wonder, "Look at all the room we have!"

June 30

July 6

July 9

It may well be my imagination, but the booth really does feel roomier in the July 9th picture. Even though we've added more items and increased the space the island in the middle occupies, turning the display table 90 degrees really helped with that. The wrought iron screen gives us a see-through wall halfway along the length of that display table and things can pile up and against it on both sides. Overall, there's still plenty of room in behind for people to walk. The new deep green table against the blue seems to calm that whole wall down and rests the eye: there's not that bouncing between the teal blue wall and green as there was with the lighter wooden cart that can be seen in the July 6th picture. The lighter-coloured and lower cart being in the left corner also guides the eye down from the right corner to the left, yet you can still take everything in. 

Yes, there is an estate sale happening this weekend with our name on it!

Meanwhile, after roaming Pinterest and scouring it for ideas, I finally settled down to watch Hannibal on Netflix and bend copper wire. Tonight: hammering. 

These are the tools I use to make these items. I buy all my copper wire by the pound from The Ring Lord. I think this is 16 gauge. I use memory wire cutters on the heavier gauge wire, because it cuts it more easily, and gives a good squared off cut rather than the angled and picky/burred cut that the regular flush cutters give, the ends of which must be filed. For what I'm doing here, a single loop and little to no wrapping, I don't want an angled cut anyway. I want that blunt cut end to butt right into the wire it's looped around to.

I used the barrel of the orange highlighter pen to make the larger loop of the figure-8 pieces at the top (about 15mm diameter), and then the largest part of the round nose to make the smaller loop.

Next step will be a marathon of hammering and then, after a good swish in ketchup to make everything shiny, assembling them into bracelets, earrings and necklaces. One of these days I'll have to play with liver of sulphur to patina my chains, but so far people here seem to prefer the look of shiny copper.

Thanks for looking!


Nelson Beads said...

That middle table just looked in the way in the middle photo. Simply turning it now has created a "path of wonder." LOL. I would walk in there to see what was happening. Good job!

And, yeah, that was one impressive sentence.

Barbara said...

Snicker. I had to read it a few times myself... I'll pass the compliment along to Nancy. Thanks!