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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”!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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PERSEVERANCE

PERSEVERANCE

THE ART OF PERSEVERANCE

WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY DEFINITION:  PERSEVERE – TO TRY HARD AND CONTINUOUSLY IN SPITE OF OBSTACLES AND DIFFICULTIES

Many skills are required to be successful in sales. Etsy sellers require creative skills, marketing skills, time management skills, search engine optimization (SEO) skills, sales and customer service skills, and social media and technology skills. And yet all these skills pale in contrast to perseverance, which is the one skill that often, makes up for our deficiencies in other areas.  Having perseverance allows us to be successful no matter what obstacles are placed in front of us.087

It isn’t a cake walk to meet sales and marketing challenges head on while wading through the competition and dealing with customer service issues.  And yet many of us know what we need to do and yet we simply don’t do it.  We sometimes spend our time looking for an easy way out rather than using the path of determination and perseverance and doing what we need to do even when we don’t feel like doing it .  We want to achieve multiple sales, lose weight or get rich instantly! We want immediate gratification and we don’t want to do the painstaking, persistent and thorough work that it takes to achieve these successes. I believe that the ability to persevere is the key to success in all walks of life.

Remember the children’s storybook about “The Little Engine That Could?”

Courtesy of RoadsidePhotos

Courtesy of RoadsidePhotos

Talk about determination and perseverance!  Perhaps the best technique to conquer the skill of perseverance is to just start. Sometimes just beginning a task is often the most difficult.  However once you begin, you pick up the drive that leads to your success and accomplishment.  never ever ever give up!

We must learn to persevere in whatever task we take on. I’ve been married for a large number of years and if anyone were to ask “how have you hung in there so long?”  I would of course first reply that being married to such an easy-going, lovable, man makes it easy; however I sincerely believe that having the ability to persevere is also very critical!

In the best of marriages you have your moments when it just seems like too much work and it would be so easy to say “adios my fine fellow” but by persevering through the hard stuff you reap amazing long-term rewards.

We need to practice being determined and persistent.  Whether it is simply exercising, learning a new skill, staying in a relationship or working diligently on our SEO, we need to resolve that we will persevere until the task is completed or until we are satisfied with our results and ready to move on.

Desire may be the key to motivation, but it’s through determination and perseverance while in pursuit of our goals that enables us to attain the success we seek.  Many of us remember being told when we were young that “a job worth doing was worth doing well” followed up with “do it well or don’t do it at all.” Perseverance, in my humble opinion, is the one skill that guarantees your success!

What do you think?

Which skill do you consider to be of importance in attaining success in life?

 
7 Comments

Posted by on April 4, 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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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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