I’ve finally cleared the desk in order to start working on Cathe’s book. The subject is “Collections” and I certainly have quite a few. Last week was spent sorting and tossing (donating) some of those collections in an attempt to clear out the garage. In the animal world, there is a rodent called a Wood Rat (aka Pack Rat). It loves collecting shiny things, things that are different, eye catching bits and bobs. They take these special items and stash them in their ever growing home. Yes, they do add on to their home to accommodate more stuff. They’re the mini-hoarders of the animal world! Sometimes I feel our home is a pack rat’s nest. I have loads of my old things, art in storage, plants, animals, magazines, papers and so much more. It’s been 20 years since we moved into this home and we’ve not had a good clean-out in all that time. The studio could also use a good cleansing, but sometimes it’s hard to part with materials. “Oh, I’ll need that for project X, when I get around to it!” Way too easy to put things in bins and stack them on another shelf. Clearing out my parents home after their death made me realize how much we hold on to. Yes, some of the items did come to my home, but a huge amount went to different charities. Now, I’ve been making a concerted effort to clear out our own items (or part with more of theirs) as I work through everything. I think it is slowly paying off with actually regaining workspace in the garage!

As I work through the garage, I’ve encountered boxes of my old ceramics and other art projects. I should probably have an art give-away party for my friends and let them enjoy the ceramics! Maybe for Dave’s birthday in late May…. Hopefully the Camas background will be leaving the space as well, thanks to another friend who wants to turn them into a room divider.

My desk is finally clear, but the cat has taken over my chair. Hmmm….. he’s part of the animal collection…. maybe he’s fair game to draw too!

sleeping nigel


I should also mention that we currently have a pack rat visiting our home nightly. Fortunately, it’s outdoors and only collecting seed spilled by the wild birds. I’m waiting to see if it eventually makes its way inside (in a dead state) by Nigel or Moby’s swift paw/jaws. Hopefully not. If alive, it will feel like it’s in heaven with all the goodies to choose from!

Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

9 thoughts on “Collecting

  1. Ah, a wood rat…that seems to be close to my behavior too. I agree, it’s hard to part with things, not all things but the sentimental unique things that make you who you are. And for cleaning…that can come later.

    I’ve been pushing and pulling ideas around my head for your book and even tested out a couple of ideas but I think finally I have something (in my head) that makes sense to me and hopefully aligns to you! Pen to paper…very soon!

    1. The fun little bits are finally making an appearance on the page today. I pulled out a glass jar of goodies and I’m enjoying playing with their shapes in pencil. The finishing touches will be in watercolor or colored pencil.
      I certainly won’t be parting with all my belongings, just those that I’ve realized are not as connected. It’s taken time to realize this, but that’s ok. 🙂

  2. Oh I did not realise Pack rats really exist and they like bright shiny things, how fabulous. I can certainly relate, but unfortunately I have moved to many times for my collections to last long. What you have on your desk looks interesting, am eager to see what your collection is. Karen

    1. I could probably send you a few to get you back into the collecting mood! Or an opossum…. the dog tried to kill one last week… Urgh! Maybe one of these days I’ll write about it. The story was rather humerus when removed from the subject. 🙂

      1. Don’t need the Opossum as I have a whole herd of possums living in the trees beside my house and they just love to thunder over the roof and dive bomb the verandas, just as I am about to drop off to sleep. This of course sets the dogs off because it is sure to be an invasion which needs considerable barking to ward off. The joys of a simple life. X

  3. I have way too many collections, but would find it hard to part with them … one day I will draw them all! But I do need to get rid of unnecessary paper, then I will have room for the important things. Thinking about what’s connected is a good way of looking at it. (I like the fact that Nigel looks green, an unusual cat!)

    1. Unnecessary paper? Is there such a thing??? I’m glad you’re back home safe and sound. Please make sure to take time for yourself. I’ve been thinking of you. 🙂

      1. Aah – its not drawing paper, just old work letters and a mass of padded envelopes, kept just in case. No, I couldn’t bear getting rid of good paper (I have too much of that too!) Thanks Gale for your thoughts, much appreciated.

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