Monday, September 27, 2010

Hoard, Sort, Play, Create, Repeat - Step One: Hoarding

My creative process can be summed up in these 5 words.
It all begins with hoarding.

This weekend I was doing what I typically do on sunny Saturdays and Sundays: tag saling. I get up early, look at listings online, map out the best route, throw some bags in the car, set up the GPS, and go. Sidekicks often include a record-loving husband or fellow junk-loving friends.

If I’m not doing this, chances are, I’m going to a flea market, thrift store, consignment shop, or daydreaming about doing one of the above. I don’t know if it’s the thrill of the hunt, the love of junk, the passion for reusing, the wacky conversations with all sorts of people, or a slight touch of “Grey Gardens”, but I cannot passively lie in bed on the weekends knowing there is stuff out there waiting to be discovered!

This is where the seeds of ideas come from:
A pop of color on a plastic thimble.
A rusty drawer pull with filigree detail.
A deck of vintage playing cards with parading animals.

These items beckon to me from the insides of filthy shoes boxes and inspire me to create. They capture my curiosity, and compel me to buy. This isn’t difficult to do when the grand total for a heap of junk comes to $3.

I know there is a fine line between collecting and hoarding. I justify my hunting and gathering by turning the old into new. The thimble and drawer pulls are necklaces-to-be. With a few alterations, playing cards become my business cards. And sometimes one can find two totally unrelated things that will magically blend together creating a match made in heaven. My favorite example:

Murky chicken snow globe + creepy doll head with no skullcap = just plain wow.

Although I’m just a few stacks of newspapers short from being on Hoarders, I am attempting to provide a second life for things no longer used. Simultaneously, I am keeping A & E producers and folks in hazmat suits from knocking at my door. 

At the rate in which I’m gathering, I know it’s improbable that all my stuff will be reused but this doesn’t stop me from being a weekend wares warrior.  I find comfort in knowing that someday when I’m gone, there will be one hell of an estate sale:

ESTATE SALE– Over 50 years of accumulation. House filled to the brim. Costume jewelry, vintage clothing, buttons, keys, thimbles, stamps, playing cards, games, school supplies, ephemera, dentistry collectibles, kitschy art, Pyrex bowls, doll components, records, toys, planters, Halloween collection, boxes of craft supplies, old electronics. Too much to list! Fill a bag for $10. Early birds will be tarred and feathered.

Okay, fess up. What do you hoard?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Welcome to Twitch and Whiskers!

Hello! My name is Mei-Ling and I love to create:
things out of things
stuff out of stuff
and junk out of junk.

I'm an upcycler, reuser, repurposer, reassembler, and jewelry maker. I like to dabble with unusual items that many toss out, overlook, or ignore. Color and humor inspire me most.
I have always been considered a creative person, but was a bit timid about putting my wares out there for folks to see.  About a year ago, after mentoring from a friend and encouragement from everyone, I took the leap and here I am! I gathered up all my hoarded materials, broke out the drill n' pliers, and got to work.
I named this blog after my Etsy shop: Twitch and Whiskers. Why the name? Find a cat. Put the cat in front of a window where there's a bird and watch instincts take over.

That's exactly how I feel when I find an object that speaks to me (plus I think it's pretty darn funny).

This past year has been a real learning experience for me and the biggest lesson I've learned is:

The world is a much happier place when people combine their  
That's why I started this blog. In my "dream blog world," I would love this to be a place to share ideas, collaborate, and get/give inspiration. I will share with you my goods, creative process, and many inspirations and hope to hear about yours. I feel like I've just gotten started with my creative journey. I have lots to learn and share and am glad you came along for the ride!