packrat payoff

if you are a packrat - you have an inexplicable and innate proclivity for paper. all things paper - scraps and posters, tickets and post its - and most likely envelopes. a label from a sardine can, a museum ticket from mexico, a flyer from a telephone pole, a postcard from grandma. journals, files, and cut strips for potential projects. oh wait, did I say paper, i meant glass containers, cigar boxes, buttons and vintage suitcases. 

the real bushy tailed rodent may prefer shiny objects, but I know a packrat who has a fondness for scraps of fabric: cotton, wool and polyester. is there a payoff to keeping these odds and ends? my research was not conclusive. until...

shiny objects in a jar

shiny objects in a jar

today. a treasured scrap from a three-tone plum merino sweater that i accidentally shrunk more than a decade ago, reemerged. maybe reincarnation takes a while. twelve years, to be exact, for the arm of a shrunken sweater to become its next incarnation. the sleeve in question was saved after i originally cut it off and opened up the neckline to made a shirt from the sweater. it was out of the question to throw these spare sleeves away, so the logical thing to do was wear them as leg warmers for a while.  

all the waiting, all the potential, all the keeping it from being discarded somehow amplified the state of this left-over apparel part in the scrap bin. it could have been buried under 2,000 pounds of garbage by now, but instead it has value. am i taking this too far?

repurposed shrunken sweater that provided the sleeves for a sun visor

repurposed shrunken sweater that provided the sleeves for a sun visor

i mean, it's just a scrap. yes, a scrap that has been packed-up and moved to at least six different houses and apartments along with all her scrappy friends. i knew it had potential, but just when its new beautiful state would be revealed was unknown. so it's with added joy that i helped it, or it helped me create a its new purpose. one sleeve was enough fabric to make a brim for a sun visor. okay, i admit i saved the even smaller scraps for later.

shrunken sweater sun visor

shrunken sweater sun visor

shrunken sweater sun visor

shrunken sweater sun visor

more packrat behavior will be explored and revealed in future posts. do you have a story of keeping something that you helped to reincarnate itself? how do you know when it's time to let go? does saving things feel joyful or like keeping burdensome clutter? i'd love to hear about your experience.