(This SBQ took a LOT of thought! But the questions are great -- and I highly recommend you read the story behind these questions over at Renee's blog.)
What would your stash tell others about you?
Hmmm. I think others would be able to tell that I love elaborate fantasy designs, but also that I don't limit myself to specific genre or designer. You'd find everything from gigantic Theresa Wentzler patterns to quick and cute ones by Lizzie*Kate in my stash. I'm a sucker for a sale, and a lot of my patterns, flosses and embellishments reflect that...
Most of us stitchers joke about having reached SABLE (stash acquired beyond life expectancy), but have you thought about what you'd like done with your stash after your death? Do you want it to reach other stitchers who will love it, too? Would your family know what to do with it or recognize its value?
I've often joked with DH that he could make a mint listing a lot of my stuff on eBay -- out-of-print & highly-sought-after patterns, hand-dyed fabrics and flosses, all kinds of scissors and other doo-dads. I'd love for my stash to "live on," as it were. I've also made a point of showing DH this blog and the blogs of others -- so he might have an idea of where to start should he need help in figuring out just what all that stuff IS.
How well organized is your stash –would someone be able to come in and put together a sale easily, or would it require lots of organizing work ahead of time? What would you like to see done with the funds collected from such a sale, i.e., should funds go to your family, to a charity or charities of your choice, to a charity or charities of your family's choice, etc.?
My patterns are pretty well organized - they are stored in a file cabinet, alphabetically by designer. Also, I created a basic database to make it easier to find patterns by subject, name, or designer. I have a similar database for (most of) my hand-dyed flosses. The fabrics, however, are pretty much just tossed in a drawer, and sorting through them might take a bit of work! As for the proceeds....the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is near and dear to my heart. However, if I had children, and if a really significant amount was raised, it might be nice to invest it wisely for them.
Are there certain items in your stash which are rare and highly desired by stitchers that might make a much larger amount of money if sold on eBay? Have you done anything to designate which items these more valuable ones are to guide your family in how to handle them? Who would you tell your family should handle such a sale so that they don't have to do it themselves? Have you done anything to make these thoughts known to others, either through discussions or through a codicil to your will?
I really don't think I have anything that is (currently) that rare - perhaps some of my TW magazine designs? I've not marked anything as "rare" or "valuable" ...in fact, I think I'd rather some other stitcher make a happy find! I know that some of my favorite patterns are *not* necessarily rare ones, but finding them cheaply on eBay or elsewhere really made my day. I've never bothered to designate a auction house or other service, and there certainly is no mention of stash in my will (I don't even HAVE a will yet...).
Have you ever attended a similar sale of a passed stitcher's stash? How did it make you feel? Did it encourage you to make any changes in your stitching lifestyle?
I've never been to a sale that was exclusively stash, but I have seen bits of needlework and patterns at estate sales and thrift shops. Seeing finished pieces sold dirt-cheap in places like this makes me rather sad. I sometimes wonder about the patterns I've purchased at the thrift shop -- did it belong to a stitcher who has passed? Or was it just a cast-off, something another stitcher couldn't unload anywhere else? If anything, seeing stitching items - both patterns and finished pieces - sold like that makes me appreciate the time I spend stitching all the more. I treasure my pretties, and I try to share them with others who feel the same. That's the best I can hope for... After all, once I am gone I'll have no control over what happens to my bits and baubles, and as much fun as it is to joke about, I doubt I'll be haunting the stash box! LOL
CURRENTLY STITCHING: For some reason, I was struck by the urge to bring out my "Mermaids of the Deep Blue" this week....I should have an updated picture sometime this weekend!