Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 19-


Today was a second go round for thinning out books during my 27 day challenge.  When my first "27 fling boogie" of reading material proved to be surprisingly painless, I decided to "dig deeper" to see if I could let go of even more books.  This turned out to be a successful venture. 

Just like day 11, I discovered books that I had acquired, but had never read.  I sat down on a little bench in my reading room and read the first page of several of these books.  If they sounded like something I would like to read, I put them back on the shelf, if not, they were added to my give away pile.  

I also decided to pass along some of my "favorites" that I had been holding on to.  I am not one to reread books so there was really no point in keeping them.

 *I keep a log of the books that I have read so that I don't make the mistake of re-buying them.  

My bookshelf looks so much better now.  In the future, I am going to think twice before bringing in new reading material.  I have so many books that I have not read, that I will be busy for some time!

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 18-

A customer of mine asked me the other day if I was seeing a change in how my house looked now that I had been at my challenge for over two weeks.  

I think she was shocked when I told her , "No". When I walk through my house, things really do not look any different. I had been so optimistic about my efforts until she asked me this question. 

 To date I have gotten rid of 166 lbs. of stuff, so a change is being made somewhere. But where?

Most of my work has been in drawers and closets, but even in those areas, I don't see a significant improvement.  I am not a hoarder (not by my standards at least), but I am beginning to get a true grasp of the meaning of excess.  I have already done a "27 fling boogie" in my studio, but I was back in there again today in effort to further reduce my "over-stock" of art supplies and such.

I truly think that having so many materials to work with has been stunting my creativity.  I am finding that letting go of some of my rubber stamps, fabric and craft supplies is very liberating!  I will probably need to revisit this room again in the next few days.  Until then I press on...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 17-

After having such a hard time in the garage yesterday, I decided for today's "27 fling boogie" that I would not concentrate just on any one area in particular.  

I basically walked through the house and grabbed things. The majority of my items were from a shelf in my "studio" that houses books that I have set aside for using in my altered art projects. These are books, magazines and other publications that I either bought at yard sales, thrift stores or got out of the free bins at McKay's, my favorite used bookstore.  

There is a McKay's in Nashville and Knoxville.  If you are ever in either one of these cities, you MUST go there.  They have excellent prices on their used books and music, but one of the coolest things is that they have great big bins in front of their stores full of FREE books.  I always leave with an arm load full. 
The store in Knoxville is my personal favorite

So back to the altered art.  Besides sewing for the Baptist Hospital, this is what I enjoy working on. Under My Blog List I have listed several of the sites and blogs that I visit for inspiration.  If just the term "altered art" is foreign to you or you don't feel that you have a crafty bone in your body, just take a minute to peak at a site your two.  Who knows, you might get sucked in just as I did close to a decade ago.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 16-

It's amazing to me that the areas that need decluttering the most are the places in which I am having the hardest time with.  It's very frustrating because I really want to be able to "see" a difference in the appearance of my home when I am finished with my 27 day challenge.

The garage is a perfect example. Both of our cars fit in there (which for some folks, would be an accomplishment), but there is no space to spare.  Our daughter who just graduated from college is storing some of her things there, but that only accounts for a segment of one wall.  We have a few bikes and your basic lawn care items and tools.  So I asked myself, "What is all this other stuff and do I really "need" it?  Would I miss it?"

I've always admired the folks who have pristine garages.  You know what I mean.  They literally have nothing in their garage besides their cars and maybe a recycling bin.  There is not even a lawn mower present.

I've come to a conclusion.  They must be unhealthy boring people.  They have a lawn care service who cuts their grass and they don't own a bike, so they don't get much exercise.   Also indicating that they clearly are not physically active: there are no golf clubs, tennis racquets, baseball bats, soccer balls, volley balls or lacrosse sticks. They don't have any hobbies because their garages are void of half empty paint pans, odd pieces of lumber, saws, drills, spray paint, salvaged shutters, unfinished refinishing projects...

Okay, so I just figured out how we have what we have, but I feel better about myself knowing that we get a little exercise here and there and that we are not boring people.  That gives me some sense of comfort.

I did somehow manage to find 27 things to "fling, but I will say today was my hardest day yet.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 15-

Don't let the colorful and organized display of craft supplies fool you.  My "studio" is far from being in the order that I desire.   

Although I have two large work surfaces in my room,  the actual size of my work area gets smaller by the day.  I'll work on a project, leave my materials sitting out, start a new project, leave those items out and the vicious cycle starts.  Every once in a while, I'll go up there and spend a few hours getting things back into place, but purging things doesn't really happen.

 I have art supplies that I have purchased and never used. I have items that my generous art buddies have given me over the years.  I even have somethings that I used to use with my children when they were little (they are now 23 and 24 years old).

Today I just worked on cleaning out a few drawers.  I discovered that I had 13 shaped scissors.  No wonder my top drawer would not open!  I had several knitting needles of various sizes.  Since I only know how to make scarves, I decided that I could stand to get rid of a few.  I had a crochet hook and I don't even know how to crochet.  I lost count of the punches that I had, but I know that I have not used these smaller ones in years.  I will never miss this bright assortment of materials.  

Maybe they will bring a little joy to someone who is just building their art supply.

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Personal Challenge

Day 14-

There are certain things that seem to multiply at my house.  Bows, bags and gift tags-where do they all come from? 

 We have been in our home for 20 years now and I guess with 20 birthdays, 20 Christmases, 20 anniversaries, 20 Valentine's Days and 20 Easters, it's no wonder I have such a collection.  Today's "27  fling boogie" barely made a dent in my supply.  Hallmark has nothing on me!

Plastic bins are great for storing seasonal items and such, but I am learning that when they are "out of sight" they truly are "out of mind".  At our next celebration, I think I'll let someone else take home the bright colorful packagings.  Well, if there is a bag that is exceptionally cute, I may have take it home with me.  But for now, I can say that there are 27 less party products over here.

Today I hit the two week mark of My Personal Challenge, and although some days are more challenging than others, I  am still just as encouraged as I was the first day of this journey.  

Tomorow is another day for "flinging"away...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 13-


This colorful assortment of random trinkets is what I came up with today for my "27 fling boogie".

 I started out in my gift closet and found a few, what I call, "dregs" (little items that were intended to be tucked into gift baskets). 

 I also discovered that I had a few little toys that were left over from Operation Christmas Child 2011.  Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham, started OCC, which is a ministry that anyone can get involved in, for either a one time donation, or a yearly project. Participants fill a shoebox with little gifts of toys and personal care items.  They are sent around the world to children who might not otherwise get anything for Christmas.  It's amazing how many goodies you can pack into a small shoebox!

 For further information, check out their website : ( 

The balance of my "27FB" came from my endless craft stash.  I feel certain that more of these items will be "flung" in the next several days.  Having an over abundance of "raw materials" to work with has proven to be overwhelming and has actually stifled my creativity.  I believe that paring down the number of things that I have to work with will actually encourage me to work on some projects that I  have neglected lately.

This challenge has proven to be a blessing.  It is definitely "better to give, than to receive"!