Part 3: Downsizing my Art

This is Part 3 of The Great Declutter series on how streamlining my backpack survival gear led me to downsizing the rest of my possessions by 2/3.

My hobbies require a lot of stuff: making art, riding a motorcycle, backpacking, reading and gluten-free cooking. As far as art related stuff, I had a lot of extra art supplies, projects in process and finished artworks. What to do with them? I decided it was time to let them out into the world!

TP Tipis


Back in 2009 I sewed toilet paper into little tipis. These Tp Tipis are great for late night pranks! I was saving them for an art show, but after years of not putting together an exhibit I decided it was time to use them. So I invited my mom to help me tp my aunt and uncle’s house while they were on vacation. It was so much spreading joy with my art.

Suicidal Sheep


In art school I made this interactive landscape with magnetic sheep. After making the 50 sheep, I discovered that the ears break off with the lightest of touch. Since then I’ve given away most of the sheep. The ones in the apartment were bothering me, because their ears were broken off and missing (so I couldn’t glue them back on). I want to be surrounded by things that make me happy and seeing the sheep with broken ears and faded bodies made me sad. So I fixed their ears with pipe cleaners!

Tactile Color


In 2008 I upholstered this life sized desk and chair and transformed it into an interactive display. There was a sign next to it that said “Please Touch.” When you opened the drawer a texture legend would be revealed where each texture on the sculpture was paired up with a color. Squished into the colorful clay are perfectly round pearls writing out in Braille the name of the color. By reading the texture legend, one can imagine the color of the desk.

This installation, called “Tactile Color” has been a blessing and curse. I learned a lot when I made it, like how to knit clothes line and how to write in Braille, but then I’ve had to lug it around and store it for many years. I finally crowd sourced my fellow artists on Facebook and asked for their ideas on what to do with it. I’ll look into possibly entering it in a group show or seeing if a local visually impaired school would be interested in it.



A train ride around Oregon and Washington inspired my love for tipis. I stayed in a tipi at a hostel in the Puget Sound. When I got back from my 7 week, solo adventure, I sewed a 9 foot tall tipi cover. It was a fun collaboration with one of my cousins who helped me paint it. The patterns and colors were inspired by a Kandinsky painting, so the tipi is called Kandinstipi. Another friend suggested to paint the poles like giant pencils! There is also jumbo Braille on the poles marking the names of each of the big cities that I visited on my Pacific Northwest road trip.

When I had a house in the San Francisco bay area, the tipi lived in the yard. It made for giving directions to my house a breeze. I’ve taken many naps and several tea parties in this tent. But for years its been unused, just sitting in storage. I posted it on Facebook for free and within five minutes a friend said she was just thinking about how her boys would love to have a tipi. I dropped it off that week. It mades me so happy knowing that the tipi is being used again.

Now that I’ve lighted my load of unused art supplies and finished sculptures, I actually want to create! I normally don’t want to make anything, because then I have to figure out what to do with it. We’ll see what I make next!

And now for Part 4!

Part 1: The Great Declutter

Part 2: Downsize Then Organize

Part 3: Downsizing My Art

Part 4: Discovering Treasures

Part 5: Tying Up Loose Ends