I don't know why this is revelatory, but there you are. I think it is just brought home to me this week, as I am more capable of standing up and moving around, and not yet able to return to regular life.
Buying stuff, shopping for stuff to make things out of, feels creative, and is not. Making stuff is creative. Buying stuff is a displacement activity I indulge in when I can't make stuff. Sometimes, if I am disciplined, I have a list and I know exactly what I want, and I go and get the last roll of thread and come home and finish something.
Much more usual; I am thinking vaguely about a bunch of stuff, and the buffet of raw materials and tools produces a cascade of fantasy. You know the fantasy, I'm sure. Sets of colors in fabric, certain textures rubbing against others, a particular twinkle of thread in the decorative threads department, and I start thinking about potential projects, and the next thing I know I am hip deep in bags full of new material in my workroom, and it is piled over the two or three unfinished projects I was actually working on, and everything comes to a halt until I get the new stuff filed (making it automatically old stuff) and get the projects fished out and dusted off and eventually concluded. While the new stuff marinates in the old stuff, and gets slowly forgotten.
I really don't need any more materials. If I made big things weekly and little things daily for a decade, I might need thread and fusible and heavy interfacing, but I would not need to buy fabric. Or doodads. Or yarn. Or beads. Or sequins. Or buttons.
I really DO need to make things. When I don't, I get grumpy and itchy and thrash around and am a menace. When I do, I am calmer, and more centered. Kind of like exercising, only less sweaty.
My only real question now is whether this realization will help me refrain from acquisition.