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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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Two By Two

Two By Two

bright cut out animals
Have you ever wondered how Folk Art is created?

One of the Folk Art items I enjoy creating is Noah’s Ark. I create the Ark from reclaimed wood that I salvage from demolition sites or old homes. Along with the ark I include a number of small wooden animals.

Following is my step by step method of creating wood animals from reclaimed wood:

1. The first step is to design the animal on paper and then carefully cut it out and laminate the design for a tracer that you can utilize over again for future animals. That would be a practical thing to do.
Or you can do as I do and draw the animal directly on a piece of suitable wood, which is my quick and easy no nonsense preference. Each animal becomes a ‘one of a kind’ with its own irreplaceable character.

2. When the outline of the animal is drawn onto the wood it is essential to cut it out. I use a scroll saw; I love this little saw and have used it for many years.
It was a present from my supportive husband who recognized early on in our life together that I was not the kind of woman who cared highly for roses or bling, but one who would appreciate the value of a sharp saw or belt sander. I have cut through many a board with this little saw, broken many a blade and stained wood with my blood.

3. Once one of Noah’s animals emerges from the piece of reclaimed wood the next step is to sand the rough edges. You can use a medium weight sand paper and do this by hand.
I utilize a belt sander, another gift that thrilled me more than a mix master would have. Many a knuckle has been sanded and skin lost, during this procedure!

4. As soon as the animal feels smooth all over the fun of painting begins. I use old house paint.
This is an efficient and practical way to recycle products that could end up in the landfill. Fortunately I find painting the house, inside and out, a pleasant and meditative pastime, so I am never short of dribs and drabs of paint.

5. After a base coat I apply the appropriate color and once it dries I apply a second coat. A bit more sanding, then an application of varnish or stain or wood wax depending on the amount of distressing I might do.
Additional details such as some hemp rope for the tail and mane on the horse are added.

The finishing touch on all the animals is to add the eyes. This last step ensures that the animals come ‘alive’!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Tutorials

 

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