Once upon a time, I was super-heavily involved with cross stitch, luckily just as it was on its biggest upswing and all the way through what seems to be its height of popularity. I spent time on several very active bulletin boards (I still float around, but mostly lurk and their activity is much diminished), I had a blogroll of probably hundreds of blogs, I followed trade show news like I was breathing air, and I went to shows, retreats, shops everywhere I could, and had quite an extensive collection. I had tons and tons of charts. Luckily, I was into collecting charts, and not fibres or fabrics, so while I had a sizable craft collection, it wasn't too crazy.
And, once upon a time, I was dating an IT guy. He made me a database (way back in the day - think mid 90s) with Access where I could keep information, including pictures, of all of my patterns. I ended up using excel spreadsheets for a few years after that, but I've always been bad at maintaining them - who wants to have to print out a huge spreadsheet before going to a show or shop?
I move to the Triangle area more than 5 years ago, hauling what possessions I could in a small Uhaul after substantially de-stashing. I then de-stashed a couple of times while living here (selling/giving away everything I was no longer interested in). I even went to a couple of small/personal GTGs where I again brought stash I had identified as expendable and donated everything left over to women's shelters.
Basically - I lost/got rid of a lot of my shit.
I think after going through a major life change and moving a few times, I suddenly realized I didn't need stuff and got rid of a bunch of my "collecting/gathering" instinct.
With a substantial reduction in my charts, there was no way I had any kind of accurate notion of what I still possessed and with the joy clouds, I actually CAN use a spreadsheet, keep it "on hand" at all times (as it were) to prevent duplicate issues (which have now happened 3 times, and prevented more as I realized my wishlist and inventory seemed to have a bit of overlap).
So I made a skeleton of a sheet during lunch or something and hit the stash with my laptop
I was so happy to get a spreadsheet rolling. I re-filed/sorted everything, going from numerous 1" Unikeep binders sorted by Designer/Subject into a whole bunch of unsorted boxes into half of a filing cabinet drawer, with only a few magazines, Mirabilias, and Teresa Wentzler collection books living in magazine holders.
Essentially: Huge destash with only things I think I might actually stitch means I think I'm technically not at SABLE, unless you count the TWs, which I have almost all of, but only because of the collection books. I'm all kinds of excited about that.
Also, thanks to cloud computing and the awesomeness of Drive, I have multi-tabbed spreadsheet listing everything I have, want, am selling, have done (in the last few years), and am working on! Even the stuff in magazines, something I've struggled with inventorying before. If my computer crashes or I get lazy, it's still there and so complete that it should be pretty easy to update at any time. I even have a Pinterest board just with things I'm interested in. AND thanks to the glory of Google Drive, I can upload any e-charts I buy or freebies I download and no longer have to worry about keeping them safe (other than maybe a back up CD). Just. wow. I love the future (for many reasons, but this is definitely a perk).
In the middle of organizing my stash (I posted a previous pictures of what my WiP "slot" looks like in my IKEA Expedit closet set up, the rest of the "slots" are taken up by various crafty stuff), I found my original tracking notebook, which I think I started in '01. I've never been perfect about tracking things, but now I can pinpoint when I finished most things, even stuff I had forgotten that I gave away (seriously, I did a wedding bell-pull for a coworker at my first job and it took me hours to realize whose name that was).
|Look! Fo' realz! Started in 2001! (sure, it's a "dream journal", but it was apparently too pretty to pass up)|
|As close to a diary as I'll ever get.|