“lovely, clever, labor-intensive”

by Erin on June 15, 2009

Pat Premo sundress

"Lovely, clever, labor-intensive" was how Robin described the dress in this eBay auction, and I just love it. I am loving it from afar, though, because it's $160. I don't even think I'm going to attempt this myself, although I'm always tempted to be clever with striped fabric. There's clever, and then there's too clever by half, and every time I veer into "too clever by half," I wind up with something that never gets finished, much less worn.

(I actually just put a lot of "unfinished business" — i.e., projects that I finally accepted that I'm never coming back to — in the box for the Salvation Army today. There are still a few "somedays" left hanging in my sewing room, but they're precious few.)

I'm trying to let go of a lot of "somedays", or "just-in-cases", especially when it comes to books and fabric. If I am not head-over-heels in love with fabric, I think it's going to leave me in search of a more appreciative owner. And if I take a book off a shelf, open it, and don't feel like sitting down to read a few pages, it might wander off, too.

The Internet has obviated the need for hoarding, in my opinion. For instance, years ago I bought a copy of this book. It was a dollar, and it looked interesting, so I bought it, and read it. (I really liked it, although its author has the prejudices of his time and the vocabulary to match.) But now (as that link suggested), it's available online, and I don't have to hold on to my copy for fear that if I let it go, I wouldn't be able to find it again. Google can hold on to it for me — and I can download the PDF (it's well out of copyright) and have it on my hard drive in reserve against any Chicago-meatpacking-magnate's-advice-to-his-son emergencies.

Of course, you can't download fabric and keep it on your hard drive (although I'm sure my long-suffering husband wishes you could!) but I don't feel the need to hold on to "eh" or "just-in-case" fabric when a few clicks will take me to plenty of fabric that makes me say "ah" instead … and when I already have enough "ah" fabric to swathe my entire house, Christo-style, if I felt like it.

(Another thing the Internet is making it easy to let go of is petty resentments. If I want to feel angry and pissed off, there are plenty of places I can go online to read stuff that will make my blood boil. Why carry that around with me in the meantime?)

What is the Internet helping you let go of?

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