Limits

When I tell people I have a lot of hobbies they mostly ask what they are and leave it at that.  The more adventurous ones might wonder how I can afford it.  Funny though, no one wonders where I keep it all.

I have written a couple of blogs about storage, but that’s common to all hobbyists.  We’ve all got tools and supplies and various other equipment.  It takes up space, but most of that is “out of the way” or stuffed into a closet.  There is always room for that stuff.  What nobody really stops to consider is what do you do with the finished products.

If you have a hobby that results in some finished product, you might want to display it.  In some cases you’ve got to display it.  Sure, you can give some of it away–some people do crafts that turn into Christmas presents.  But, how many times do your family and friends want that stuff?  If it is a quilt, you probably don’t mind having six or seven of them, but how many wool sweaters do you want?  How many hooked rugs do you need?  How many paint by numbers can adorn your walls?

Okay, some of these crafts are beautiful.  Hence the reason I wrote that you’ve got to display them.  Sometimes these crafts are so integral to your life that everyone expects to see them on display at your house.  No problem there.

I, Jack of all hobbies, however, have so many hobbies, and do not often produce things of display quality.  What do I do then?

Limits.  I have limits.  There are only so many of one thing that I can have before it needs to get pared down.  If I make a good car model, it usually displaces a model I am less happy with (though some parts end up in the parts box for that diorama I am going to do someday).  I’ve only go so much shelf space, and the better models make the bad ones look rather poor.

New magazines displace old ones–or more likely, deluxe editions of books put out by these magazine publishers displace the magazines.  Realizing that they had me paying twice, I read the magazines at the library and only buy the books….but this is a topic for another day.

Train stuff….well, I can always make more room for train stuff.  I am into N scale, and that doesn’t really take up  a lot of room…..besides, you’ve got to have priorities, and you’ve got to rationalize.

Take my latest puzzle.  I did it because I liked trains.  I thought about putting it up over in the room where there will be a train…but then I realized that wall space was at a premium, and I had already done a couple of other train puzzles that I thought were better than this one.  So what could I do?  Despite my pack rat nature, I am going to pass this puzzle off to someone else who will have to figure out what to do with it once they are done.

The Inadvertent Collection: Part 3

 

There has been quite a lot of positive response to some of my previous posts entitled, The Inadvertent Collection.  I think its popularity resides in the fact that a lot of us have these collections, whether we know it or not.  Since I wrote that initial post, I have found many of these collections in my house.  The post has definitely changed the way I look at my stuff.

 

elegant
Today’s inadvertently collected object is the coffee mug.  My cupboards seem to be bursting with coffee mugs.  Where did the all come from?  Some were bought to drink out of.  Some came in sets of dishes, and due to their small size, or less than desirable design, were consigned to the back of the cupboard, or to the cupboard above the refrigerator.
promotional

 

More than a few are souvenirs from trips I or family and friends took.  It seems that whenever people go away they think the perfect gift is a mug.  It’s easy to see why they got that impression.  The whole tourism industry tells them this when they enter a gift shop.

 

classic throwback design
Of course, I need some to honour my favourite hockey team.  Sports devotion and coffee go hand in hand.  On those warm summer mornings I have to be reminded that my team will take the ice in a few short months. (The irony that this year, these things did not happen is complimented nicely by the bitter taste of the coffee.)

 

Sports and other
My sister doesn’t share the same fate as me.  She has few coffee mugs, despite having the same channels of acquisition that I do.  The truth is, she gets as many cups as I do, but is able to keep her supply limited by breaking them frequently.  I guess it is a fair solution to the problem.

 

 

Decals…..My Nemesis

I am not going to boast about my modeling skills–mostly because I can’t.  I am stuck in the intermediate phase and seemed destined to stay there forever.  On one of my current projects–Jacques Villeneuve’s Formula One car I had been making good progress until I met my nemesis.
My nemesis at car modeling that is…. my sink nemesis is this guy named Martin, and my bus seat nemesis doesn’t have a name, but he has sharp elbows that seem to stick me whenever he is texting someone…. whish is ALL THE TIME!  I seem to be digressing.
My nemesis in car modeling must be decals.  I have lots of good equipment. I have a good set of knives.  I have a steel ruler.  I have a really cool self healing cutting mat (not entirely sure what that is, but it sounds cool).  I’ve even got a full range of tweezers and some setting solution for the decals.  What I don’t have is patience for getting them on strait, judgement to know when to remove them from the water, and delicate fingers to stop them from ripping, folding or disintegrating.
I have, in the past, managed to get the decals on license plates, dashboards, air cleaner covers and manifolds.  As for this car, I have ruined a few, and now feel dejected.  I am not sure I want to finish this model, even though it started out with such good progress.
I wish I could blame the decals.  They seem very thin and fragile.  Maybe they are defective.  If I could comfort myself with that lie, I could probably tell myself the dozens of others that politicians and pseudo academics try to foist on me on a weekly basis.  Sadly, I cannot do that.  It is probably less about principles than practical honesty.
I had such high hopes for this car, but sadly, it may go back in the box to rest for a while.  A long while, if I can’t shake this funk and feeling of frustration.
I used to hate painting car bodies, but the airbrush has made that somewhat easier.  Of course, choosing the right colours and thinning the paint appropriately has also helped that, but I would rather thank the airbrush.  It is just simpler that way.
I used to hate taping walls and baseboards for painting, but the new tape (frog tape I think it is called–they must be competing with duct/duck tape.) has made that easier.
wiring up train tracks and lights used to be a pain, but that has been solved.
So basically, why can’t they make better decals for car models.
 
On a side note, as an ESL teacher, I am amused by the word decal.  Do you pronounce it /dee-kal/ or /deckle/ ?
these turned out relatively good

Dusting Incidents

As a modeller, car collector, stuff collector, train collector, and general hobbyist, I struggle with a way to display my stuff.  Sometimes it is because I have too much stuff to display.  Sometimes it because I can’t find the best way to showcase what I have.  Of course, sometimes it is because, besides myself, nobody really wants to see my stuff.
You might wonder why I need a display case anyway.  You have to realize that the biggest enemy of the hobbyist is dust.  Actually dust is the second biggest enemy.  In reality the biggest is the person doing the dusting.  Thousands of models, toys and collectibles are damaged and destroyed each year in dusting related incidents.  The only way to avoid it is to keep the stuff away from the dusting brush.  The best way to do that is to safely encase it is some display container. 

the dream
Certainly I would love a beautiful, French provincial oak display case that was more furniture than anything.  Sadly, the financial requirements for that go way beyond what I can afford.  Second best would probably be something from IKEA.  Though not as financially draining, it does require using an hex key.  Usually, I have to settle for something plastic.  It is functional, but classy it is not.

the reality
There are quite a few things I would like to put in display cases.  I would love to display my trains.  When I am not using them, it would be fantastic to put the in a nicely made display case on the wall.  Even when I wasn’t running them, I could admire them.



I certainly would love to display my car and military models.  At present I have them in plastic display cases that are stored up high in the hobby room.  They really can’t be seen, they are just kept from getting dusty.  Of course, I am not sure any of them are really worth displaying.  However, someday, I will build some that will be good enough to show people.
a cool idea



 would make me cry during lockou
I would love to put my Toronto Maple Leaf stuff in display cases.  I’ve got cards, jerseys (yes, that is plural), pucks. coffee mugs, glasses, bobble heads, key chains, and coasters.  Of course, if there is no hockey this year, such a display my bring me to tears.

I am pretty sure that my Japanese mini car collection would look good displayed.  It would look better if I could work in some of the boxes too.  I will have to research that one a bit more.

I am sure all of you out there are facing the same dilemma.  All I can say is good luck, and hope you can protect your stuff from the reckless dusting brush.