Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 26-

Looks like a pile of junk, right?  Especially when I tell you that the books that you see have lots of pages torn out of them.  "Why?", you ask.   I few posts back, as well as yesterday, I referenced "altered art".  These are some of the items that might have gotten used in one of my altered pieces, my altered books in particular. My son has said to me before, "So, you just throw a bunch of junk together and call it art." Basically yes, but there is a little skill involved which includes a balance of colors and textures.

Since joining up with 3 different art groups a couple of years ago, I have amassed quite a stash of, what I call "raw materials".   I mentioned in one of my closet posts that I think I might do better with less to choose from.   I believe that the same thought holds true for my art undertakings.  I tend to get  an  "artist block" if I stand in front of too much stuff.  I think thinning out my collection will help stir my creativity.

My husband and I love to take cruises and ever since our first cruise 15 years ago, I have committed myself to journal our experiences. Until about four years ago, these journals were in the form of traditional written documentation.  About 4 years ago I decided to try my hand at making a "travel art journal".  I have been hooked on this way of journaling.  The written account, for the most part, has gone by the way side.  I take a little travel kit of glue sticks, embellishments, a couple of mini ink pads and some scissors.  I try to rely as much as I can on brochures, maps and various other paraphernalia gathered in my trip.  I work on it everyday while I'm away while the info is fresh in my mind.  These art journals are fun to share with friends.  A written journal would bore anyone to death.  I even have a few friends who have started documenting their travels this way as well.

The Repeat Boutique will not want these odds and ends, but I can assure you my "art buddies" will.  Altered Book Coalition ladies, these goodies are coming your way on Tuesday night.  I have other black wooden letters that I will bring as well.

For the curious at heart, I have included some pics from a travel journal that I did a few years ago.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 25-

I call todays gathering of 27 items, "my summer fling thing".  It started with letting go of two beach towels that my daughter basically said "had to go".  I think more than an aversion to them, was the fact that we have had them for some time.  She thinks I need to break-out and buy some new ones.  I told her that my birthday is on Monday and that sounded like a great gift for her to give me.  I don't think she went for that. 

 I then proceeded to look for items that were warm weather related or were at least in the same color scheme.  Each day is interesting for me because I never know what I am going to be getting rid of.  Sometimes it just starts with finding an item or two and the rest falls into place.  Then other days I really struggle to meet my quota.

There are only 3 days left in my challenge and I feel that it is necessary to get back up in my studio and weed out some art items. I have already gone through my art supplies, which I may do again before it's all over, but it's my stash of altered art bits and pieces that really need some purging.  Maybe tomorrow.  

288.4 lbs. lost so far during my challenge.  I wonder if I will hit 300 lbs.  We shall see...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 24-

My DH walks into the kitchen with an arm load of clothes.  When I asked him what he was doing, he said that he might not have 27 items.  I asked him (with a grin on my face), "Are you doing the "27 fling boogie" with me?  He proudly counted his items that he had gathered to donate.  He had in his stack 6 pairs of shorts, 22 t-shirts, and 13 short sleeve shirts.  For his first attempt during my 27 day challenge, he comes up with a whopping 41 items.  Way to go! I told him how thrilled I was and just how excited they will be at The Junior League Repeat Boutique to receive his clothes. When a man is that willing to go overboard, overages are okay.

I told him that I love to buy clothes for him, but occasionally he needs to pull from his wardrobe and pass some things along.  It got to where I could not fit all his t-shirts and shorts in the drawer. But he had to be the one to thin things out, not me.  I wouldn't want him trying to decide what to keep and what to get rid of in my closet and drawers.

With just 4 days left of my "fling thing", I need to be selective as what areas of my home in which to glean from.  I truly want to "see" a difference.  I feel a difference for sure!

If getting rid of 729 things seemed too daunting, join us for these last few days.  Everyone has a 100 or so items that they can let go.

Giving feels so good!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 23-

The 27 items that I gathered to get rid of today were from my ridiculously large collection of shoes and accessories.  I'm sure that there are people who have a lot more than I do and I am not going to judge them on that, but for me, it is a bit suffocating. I think that my daily wardrobe selection would be a lot easier if I had less to choose from.

How did I accumulate over a dozen pairs of boots and a half dozen strands of pearls?  These aren't even things that I wear everyday.  It seems like such a waste.   It only makes sense to pass some of this stuff along to someone else.  Scarves are a whole other story.  I love them, I buy them, but I hardly ever wear them.  That's how I used to be with hats.  I had a nice collection of pretty hats, but I finally came to the realization that I am not a hat person.  I got rid of all of them.  All except my baseball caps. I just discovered a few years ago on a cruise that they can actually be a helpful accessory item.  Caps can keep your hair from going crazy in high winds and they are perfect for "bad hair" days.  As my personality goes, I now have a stash of close to a dozen of theses babies.  After all,  you have to have different colors to match different outfits.

I went through my jewelry today as well and managed to come up with a "baker's dozen" between my necklaces and earrings.  I have a bunch of pretty necklaces, but often find myself not wearing a necklace at all.  I couldn't purge as many as I probably should have because I had that strong feeling of "I might wear it" come over me.  For now though, I am still making my quota of getting rid of 27 items a day.  I  have committed to get rid of 27 each day for a total of 27 days.  Yes, that is 729 items and  I am still holding my own!

My house is feeling so much lighter with a total weight loss so far of 253.4 lbs.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 22-

Today I collected a bit of bric-a-brac.  I don't really have a lot of "extras" in this department as I "pared down" quite a bit when we had the living room painted a few months ago.  But, all of us have something that we can give away. I did manage to, once again, find my quota of 27 items.

 I mentioned it earlier, but for those of you who are joining us a little late, all of the items that I gather from My Personal Challenge, are being donated to the Junior League of Memphis Repeat Boutique Thrift Store (3586 Summer Avenue).   Every dollar that they take in at the store, goes directly back into the community.  It truly is a "win-win" situation;  I thin out my home and I support the people of my community at the same time.

To see some of the projects that The Junior League of Memphis supports, visit:

With just 6 days to go in my challenge, I am still going strong.

I wonder what I will find tomorrow....

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 21-

I will admit it; I enjoy yard art.  Although personally, with the exception of a classic item or two in the front yard (a pretty pot or iron piece), I prefer for my lawn accents to be in the backyard.  I think a lot of little knick-knacks in the front yard can look junky, taking away from the curb appeal of a home.

With that said, I have collected a number of things to tuck into my backyard flower beds since we moved into our home 20 years ago.  But with constant exposure to the elements, even the nicest garden treasures can begin to look rough after a period of time.  Occasionally I will go through and get rid of items that have become broken or faded and replace them with newer fresher "finds".  I say finds because most of my lawn accents were purchased at yard sales or rummage sales.  It's hard to appreciate pretty "new" accents when there is a bunch of broken stuff hanging around. 

My Daughter mentioned recently that she felt I had just a little too much stuff in the yard.  My purging efforts were obviously overdue.  I figured my 27 day challenge was a perfect opportunity to attend to this task.  I will say, the removal of a couple dozen garden goodies has given my yard a fresher feel.

Is it time for you to clear your yard of some unsightly statues, broken pots or tangled wind-chimes? 

Weight loss to date-226.4 lbs.   Loosing weight never felt so good!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Personal Challenge
Day 20-

This journey that I have been on for the past 20 days is showing me a lot about myself and my areas of weakness and compulsion.  Today's "27 FB" was a prime example.

 I saw these cute little pins in a local fabric store a few years ago.  They were made out of coordinating fabrics that came from a fabric sample book and were embellished with various buttons and fibers.  One of the ladies working at the shop was making them and had them for sale. 

 I knew that I could make one if I could just find a pattern.  With just a little help from my friend, Google,  I found simple directions on the internet. I knew in order for them to turn out the way I wanted, I needed to get my hands on some designer fabric sample books.  My husband's office was located next to the store where I discovered the pins, so I decided to ask a lady who worked there if she would mind saving some sample books for me and that I would come get them.  She said that she would be happy to.  A week or so later she walked over to my husband's office with twenty or so sample books.  The fabrics were beautiful.  I could not wait to make my first pin.  I made several and showed other people how to make them.  I gave them sample books so that they would have their own "stash" with which to work.

After I got over the "newness" of this project, the remaining sample books sat idle in my studio along with lots and lots of other materials that I have gathered for other "great" projects.

I seem to have a pattern going where I will get excited about  a new project, track down all the needed materials and then jump full steam into making whatever it is.  The excitement then soon wanes.  A "new" idea will come along and the cycle repeats itself.  

Luckily I am a very thrifty person and am able to find lots of what I need at yard sales and thrift stores, so I don't have a huge financial investment in most of my art supplies. I also have lots of art friends that I trade with.  My frustration comes from me hesitating to get rid of things, especially in my studio.  My theory is that I might need it for a future project. Today I "flung" 24 fabric sample books.  I kept a few just incase I decide to make more flowers.  

If these flowers sound like something you might like to try, visit this site: