Swatches of Possibilities

I'm like a magpie with paint chips. I have a stash of them in my craft room. Several, in fact, if you count the chalk paint sample sheet that I cut up into equal size squares.

I spend a fair amount of time in paint stores and home improvement stores for work and I always end up leaving with a few. I never get tired of pulling colors from that giant display. It's almost a compulsion. I am drawn to it. I even do it without a project in mind, though I go through phases where I pick colors all around the same target.

I like the tall skinny ones with multiple tints on it and the fatter rectangles with just one perfect color taking up the whole card. I love the names too. Paint names are fantastic: Cascade Green, Woodlawn Marmalade, Rose Silk, Amethyst Sky. How do you get that job? Though I image coming up with a unique name for every color conceived by Sherwin, Behr and Benjamin would get tedious after a while.

I have quite the collection now, and even as I try to declutter my house and my life, I can't bring myself to throw them out. I know they're worthless. They literally give them away for free. But I just can't.

They are these little swatches of possibilities. Future projects, things waiting to be created. Happy little opportunities for something beautiful and amazing to take shape.

I often lament my lack of time to fulfill all these small promises of crafts to come but sometimes I think the preamble is my favorite stage of creation. The idea, the possibility of what this could be. Sometimes the struggle of actually doing the project sucks a bit of the joy out of the original dream. Don't get me wrong, the accomplishment at the end and the finished product are very good too. And even the struggle to do it has its merit. But as I reflect, that moment, before things get real, is awesome.

What's funny is I realize I do this in other aspects of my life too. I certainly do this with fabric. I often worry when I cut into something from my stash that the project its destined for isn't really good enough for its potential. But I also do this with events and travel. I love the build up to a trip. Planning and finding all the places I want to go and see and do. That's a big part of the fun for me. The anticipation, the potential, the possibilities. What could be.

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