What would your stash tell others about you?
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?
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.?
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?
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 was delighted with the question, as it was ironic that for at least the last week, I've been doing just what part of the discussion covers---the organization of my stash, in the event of my death or debilitating illness, in a way that would lend itself well to a special sale which would not only be profitable, but would not be a huge undertaking for a non-stitcher to come in with ease and confidence of one who is not savvy of the contents' value.
This has helped me immensely in preparing more as I go in doing things differently than I have been undertaking thus far. I now have plans to attach information to the stash that would bring more cash, in that its value is more because of the element of retirement in some cases, such as Prairie Schooler patterns that fetch a pretty penny on eBay, and in various cases of kitting of fibers, fabrics, and expensive embellishments in some designs, all tucked away in their own bags, none of which may, or may not be, valuable designer patterns, but the sheer expense put together in one container would make their value considerable. Online mysteries that will not be reprinted should also be taken into special consideration for more value and marked as such. Chatelaine mysteries purchased as kits would be of considerable value because of expensive components' however, her designs are reprinted when the online mystery ends. In another example, although Pamela Kellogg is not as revered as a designer as Chatelaine, but I own all her online mysteries, and they will never be reprinted, as far as I know, so that should be taken into consideration as well. Many don't know she designed those, as she has never had the attention in the stitching world as Chatelaine for her mysteries. Pam's were not marketed through Yahoo Groups as have been the Chatelaines, but went though her bulletin board at one time. I don't think they were as profitable as she had hoped, so it ended in about a year, but I own her lovely designs, one of which is a framed pride and joy for me. She's really quite a talent.
I've never had the pleasure of going to such a sale, though I have been to auction sales of women who were needleworkers of other needlearts, and I was fortunate to acquire some of their antique fibers, gadgets, buttons, scissors, and such, including those of one of my grandmothers. Holding and looking at these items is a feeling of reverance as you wonder what garment of piece of home decor was made with this or that; how old she was; if it was appreciated; if she enjoyed making it, etc.
I would want my own daughter and her daughter and/or sons to handle the sale of mine, for I know my two girls would smile as they went through my things and read my notes, and would think of me with love as they spoke of me to those who came to the sale and told them of the things they loved so much that I made for them that they yet hang onto for a link to our past, and the love with which it was made for them by me. And I would want my grandchildren to profit from the proceeds for education for themselves or their children, and I would want pictures to be taken of the sale. I would want my offspring to know of the sale and how the woman of their past was still full of love for them, reaching from the past to spread her love of pretty things was helping them to reach the goals of their lives with whatever she was able, or not able, to finish. Whichever, her supplies, gone unfinished, were readily able to fetch enough money to help them fulfill dreams, if in only a small way.
Yes, from looking at the fine things I've purchased through the years, those who see and handle my things are going to get a feel for the type of person I've been---simple, fun, loving, and all with a laugh and a touch of class. My daughter already knows that she is to have control over selling my beloved bear collection, Madame Alexander dolls, dolls from my childhood, Longaberger baskets, and my stash. I've told her how to go about getting an idea of how to educate herself on just how to get a start determining the value of each collection. I have books on many of my things, which, though wouldn't be updated, would give her a start on how to get updates. Slhe knows it's going to be a big job, but she is as loyal a daughter as I could be blessed with, and she'll cry as she goes through it all. It will be her last labor of love for me, and I will be smiling and kissing away her tears.