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Shopping My Closet

001  Shopping My Closet!

  I received a compliment from a friend the other day on the outfit I was wearing.

  When she asked where I got it I replied “I shopped my closet”.

  My friend asked where this shop was located and I repeated to her that what I was wearing came from my closet and that I had just “shopped my own closet”!

I explained further that I was not working much these days, basically just delivering some part time Training.  I was transitioning into retirement mode and trying to cut back on spending and part of my restraint program involved a personal challenge to stop buying unnecessary clothing.

I have always loved fashion and take great pleasure in shopping for clothes. The result was a closet bulging with so many items I had a tough time finding ‘anything to wear’!

New items would be purchased and added to the already overflowing closet and although I did on rare occasions clear out that which I didn’t fit or wear much I knew that I had more than enough to wear without buying more.

Shopping, although fun and therapeutic at times, had become a costly habit for me!

014My closet is not large and yet it isn’t too small either and I knew it wasn’t more space I needed.
I needed to organize the space I already had.

Organizing my closet space would aid my motivation to ‘shop my closet’ instead of a store.

I devised a plan to clean out my closet and organize it in a way that I could clearly see and find outfits that I actually wore.

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In the past I had thought about removing seasonal clothes however it seemed like too much work at the time. In spite of this I started with the removal process and I eventually removed EVERYTHING with the intention of only putting back what I actually wore regularly!

 Having freed up some space allowed me to spread out my outfits and be able to clearly see what I had available to wear. I tried on everything and if the buttons were bulging or the waistline too tight they were sent off to the Thrift Shop.  Interestingly, I did not come across any items that were too loose, just too tight!
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I found things that I had forgotten I had. I discovered ‘shamefully’, outfits I had never worn.

I had more than enough to wear and the best things were jammed in where I couldn’t even see them!

 So now that I have completed this mountainous task I can ‘shop my closet’ and revisit items that are like new.

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So take a peek in my closet and think of me the next time you say

“I have nothing to wear” and consider “shopping YOUR closet”!

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6 Comments

Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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FOLK ART

FOLK ART

FOLK ART

Traditionally Folk Art is the work of untrained craftsmen.  There is a strong functional and practical element to Folk Art.  Utilizing the long winter hours, farmers would build new tools and whirligigs for the farm while the women would gather together and create quilts. 

Folk Art reminds us that art has a place in the simplest of homes. Combining a love of color and an inventive spirit with a creative flair, Folk Artists are perhaps untrained and yet demonstrate imaginative, artistic talent.  066

Primitively crafted and often roughly painted, Folk Art offers a bit of charm and whimsy but is meant to be practical and utilitarian and for me using reclaimed wood for Folk Art satisfies my need to be creative.  I enjoy taking a cast off piece of wood, cutting, painting and repurposing it as something whimsical, fun and playful.  Folk Art pieces are fun to create, and of course it’s very gratifying if others enjoy them as well!

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The simplest and most common example of Folk Art is the wind-driven whirligig.  The word whirligig is derived from two Old English words whirlen (to whirl) and gigg (top) meaning to literally ‘whirl a top’.

The American version of the wind driven whirligig probably originated with the immigrant population of the United Kingdom as whirligigs are mentioned in early American colonial times. ???????????????????????????????

By the latter half of the 19th century constructing wind driven whirligigs had become a pastime and art form.  Craftsman from the southern Appalachians continued to produce whirligigs into the 20th century. During the great depression there was resurgence of whirligigs by craftsman and amateurs which was attributed to the need for ready cash.

A wind-driven whirligig transfers the energy of the wind into either a simple release of kinetic energy through rotation or a more complicated transfer of rotational energy.  The whirligig can be either a simple or a more complicated mechanism that produces repetitive motions and/or creates sounds. The wind simply pushes on the whirligig turning one part of it and setting it into motion by using inertia.

An example of a simple whirligig is the button whirligig, (also called button spinners).  Button whirligigs are simple spinning toys made with a button and a string or thread.  They work by looping the ends of the thread and twisting and pulling with both arms, causing the button to spin. They were simple toys.  In America, they were popular during pioneering days and during the Depression Era because they were inexpensive to make, yet very entertaining. Children of the great depression from the southern Appalachians and Ozarks remember a button and a string as the primary spinning toy of their youth.

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Create a button spinner yourself by following these simple directions:

 YOU WILL NEED:

Button

Thread or string

Scissors

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INSTRUCTIONS:

 1.   Cut a 24-inch length of thread or string.

2.   Thread the string through the holes in the button.

3.   Tie the ends of the string together.

4.   Insert the middle finger of each hand into the loop at each end with the button in the middle.

5.   Spin the button to twist the strings and continue twisting the string until it becomes wrapped around itself all the way to your fingers.

6.   Pull the strings taut to let them begin to untwist. Release the pressure and then pull the string taut again to keep the whirligig spinning. Apply gentle tension to the string by pulling your hands apart. The button will begin to spin.

NOTE:  Pulling and releasing the string tension keeps the button spinning. Speeding up the action causes the button to make a whirring sound.

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Enjoy some simple fun!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Tutorials

 

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Take a Hike!

Take a Hike!

“You cannot travel the path until you become the path itself”
Ancient Buddhist saying

What’s the best way to enjoy a day outdoors?

HIKING, of course!

Mt. Tzhouhalem

Cairns on Mt. Tzhouhalem

Samsun Narrows Bluff Hike

Samsun Narrows Bluff Hike

Besides being healthy and invigorating for me it’s always been a pleasurable way to spend time outside. Hiking provides a physical challenge as well as a break from today’s hectic living and offers the tranquility of the forest as well as the thrill of connecting with nature.
Vancouver Island is rich with hiking trails and a moderate climate, allowing for year round opportunities of hiking where we can observe unique ecosystems and an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers. The pleasures promised by a hike on one of the many trails never fail to tempt me to strap on a pack and lace up my hiking boots. The scenery at the top of a mountain is without a doubt well worth the effort it sometimes takes to climb there. Rock outcroppings offer rest spots with breathtaking vistas, eagles soar overhead and birdsong fills the clear, brisk air. The rewards are immeasurable.

There are no guarantees that the wilderness you’re hiking today will still be there tomorrow, therefore when it comes to sharing and enjoying nature a little consideration is crucial. More people are finding pleasure in the outdoors and the evidence of public recreation and the effect on the environment is becoming increasingly apparent. Even one hiker can have an impact on the fragile wilderness and hopefully we can retain the essence of the outdoors by using good ethics and practicing ‘no-trace hiking’. Carrying out everything we bring into the forest, treating the forest and the trails with respect and leaving “only our footprints behind”.

Genoa Bay HikeCairns on Mt TzhouhalemMaple Mountain View of Maple Bay

So strap on a packsack, lace up your boots and hit the trails.

But before you head out here are a few significant points to keep in mind.
• Insure that you are physically prepared
Carry a fully stocked backpack
• Break in your boots before the hike
• Wear wicking socks
• Research your hike and be familiar with the area
• Leave a detailed note as to where you are hiking and when you are expecting to return
• Carry the ten basic essentials

TEN BASIC ESSENTIALS

1. Water and plenty of it
2. Food including high energy snacks
3. Rain gear and change of socks
4. Hat and sun block
5. First aid kit
6. Waterproof matches or lighter
7. An extra layer of clothes
8. Whistle
9. Pocket knife
10. Compass and map of area

Once you are on the trail you will experience the inspirational rewards of embracing the wilderness, just watch your footing, respect the environment and enjoy the moment.

Happy Hiking!

When did you last go on a Hike?

What are your thoughts on development versus green spaces?

Interested in more hiking tips?

Click on this link to review a hiking book called:  Hiking With Marianne

Hiking Book Hiking with Marianne

Hiking Book
Hiking with Marianne

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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Random Acts of Kindness

Random Act of KindnessGarden Fairy or Random Act of Kindness?

We enjoyed an amusing surprise this morning after spotting an intruder positioned in our rock garden.  Standing tall stood an iron lily that had not been present the previous day.  After accusing each other of planting this arrangement of non perishable flowers in our garden, and each in turn adamantly denying the act, we came to the consensus that a benevolent and fun loving garden fairy must have stopped by in the night.   The lily adds interest and color to a drab garden and also added some curiosity and color to what could have been a drab morning!

What acts of kindness or generosity have you committed or been accused of lately?

 
9 Comments

Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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NO BULLY ZONE

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This wood sign was inspired by Maila Moon

Two years ago, for a period of approximately 6months, my granddaughter a happy, loving, kind hearted grade two student was bullied by a classmate.  She was subjected to a number of significant and violent incidents and the bullying was finally resolved by the removal of the bully from her classroom.   But not before she was emotionally and physically scarred by the bully.

Bullies are cowards and they get their power from hurting others.

In my granddaughter’s words “It doesn’t feel good to be bullied.” With the support and encouragement of her parents she used her experience to gain additional strength, determination and empowerment. She began attending a Ju Jitsu class to work on her physical prowess and she also created a bullying video which allowed for emotional strengthening as well.

Maila Moon’s video which she created two years ago was chosen for an award and is attached below. Creating the video and receiving support from all those who love and care for her has helped Maila Moon to recover from this bullying experience and aid in healing her emotional wounds. She has experienced firsthand the harm that comes from being bullied and does not want anyone else to suffer as she did.  At the end of her video Maila Moon asks “When Will Bullying Stop?

Do your part and intervene, don’t be a passive bystander.

Together let’s stop supporting bullying behavior!

Link for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5xIbKWlYvU&feature=related

Note:  According to a study by the University of British Columbia, based on 490 students (half female, half male) Canadian Bullying Statistics show that 64 percent of kids have been bullied at school and 12 percent are bullied regularly (once or more a week).

Pushing, shoving, punching, teasing, excluding people from a group, or encouraging others to “gang-up” on selected persons, are all forms of bullying.   In the majority of cases, bullying stops within 10 seconds when peers intervene, or do not support the bullying behavior. So herein lays the solution. We must identify bullying behavior, empower our children with anti bullying techniques and encourage adults to intervene and not be passive bystanders.

We must work together to stop supporting bullying behavior!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!

DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!
An Example of one of the Carved Lintels

An Example of one of the Carved Lintels

DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!

Some years ago, following my urge to cut, carve and gouge, I became one of a group of apprentices participating in a Community Center Carving Project. The group project was led by George Norris, a celebrated artist, sculptor and wood carver. I longed to learn carving from a master and our task was to carve intricate details in broad wooden lintels that would be placed throughout the Community Center. George shared many insights, from his rich career of carving with the group, among which was an important lesson: Don’t bleed on the wood as it penetrates the grain and unfortunately there is only one way to remove blood stains from wood and that is by removing the blood stained area, hence the wood itself.

Carvings on Yellow Cedar Posts

Carvings on Yellow Cedar Posts

I learned this important lesson by experience while blood spurted wildly from a hand wound, caused by my ineptness with a lethal weapon aka the number seven carving tool. I mention that it was a number seven so that anyone who is aware of carving tools can appreciate how hazardous this tool can be in the hands of a beginner. Anyone who can’t imagine the damage that it can cause may want to check out my scar, a rather large one, to validate this.

Carving Exercise Block

As you might imagine I yelped a little when I stabbed my own hand, drawing the attention of the master carver who quickly came to my side to observe, not my wound, but the lintel where I had unknowingly leaked some blood. While I stanched the flow of blood as best I could, George quickly drew up a plan to remove the bloodied wood and in haste created an altered carving design to accommodate the removal of the bloodstain. There was no denying that my bloody wound came second to the importance of the lintel being carved.

Artists and artisans often recall with fondness the words of wisdom from a mentor and for me the words I remember most fondly as my first words of professional advice were

DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!

What words of wisdom do you recall from a mentor?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Bits & Bites

 

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