Blog

Stories from a life in progress.

Trading obsessions

So, this business with candles is getting a little out of hand.

Since I've been pondering beeswax candles and looking at pretty beeswax candles online (not really seeking out pretty ones, just, people make pretty candles, you know?  Can I be blamed for looking when they are right there to be seen, I ask you?) I've been eyeing my small collection of candles and pondering the feasibility of making my own -- just to use up the wax from leftover ends, really, I don't want to fuss too much about it.  I don't really need to make candles.

But.  I could make candles?  People do that, and I could too?

Here we go.  This is the part where every other free minute I have is spent pondering candles and wax and wicks, how I might go about finding what I need to melt some wax and pour it into something, looking up information about equipment and melting points and wick management and details large and small about the art of candlemaking.  It seems I've become a little obsessed.

Nothing unusual here.  I'm always obsessed about something or other.  I have a strong imagination and abundant, roving curiosity.  They latch onto things and get all intent and deeply focused and interested.  It's all part of looking for ideas and learning new things.

The obsessiveness needs management, though.  I've given myself an object lesson today, without even trying.  In working out how to fund some candle purchasing, I'm selling away some of my yarn and fiber stash -- leftovers from a previous, powerful obsession.

I like working with yarn and fiber and fabric, I always have and I probably always will.  But there was a period about six years ago when I rediscovered knitting, and shortly afterward learned how to spin fiber into yarn, and dabbled in dyeing and took classes on weaving and dove headfirst into a flurry of purchasing materials and tools and books about yarn and fiber crafts.

I did make some stuff.  But there was a lot more buying going on than making.

I have to watch out for these obsessions, when they start to involve serious investment in tools or materials.  When I collected fiber stuff, I had the money to indulge myself.  Right now I don't.  I still work with yarn and fiber, and I have plenty of materials to work with.  But the majority of what I purchased is gone, sold away.  I don't need three spinning wheels, nor dozens of pounds of unspun wool, nor ceiling-high stacks of bins full of yarn.  Having my own horde of those things didn't really make me happy.

Having the experience of making things is fulfilling.  Trying out something new is awesome.  Filling my life up with the clutter of old obsessions is not so much either of those things.

I don't know if I'm going to try candlemaking yet.  But if I do, I'll ask around to discover if a friend makes candles, or I'll look for very simple equipment, acquired cheaply.  There has to be a way to indulge my obsession for learning something new without wasting money on a whim.  When I want to, I'll find it.