February 29, 2012

12 Skills in 12 Months: February Round-Up

For February, my focus was organizing. Multiple bags of clothes, shoes, jewelry and even some craft supplies were given away.  The bathroom, jewelry box, closet, studio and part of the kitchen are all more orderly. I didn't get many before shots because I kept starting projects at night without good lighting. But here are a few places that were transformed.

Now I feel ready for Spring!

Next up, the skill for March is drawing. I'm looking forward to this!
Related Posts: January's Round-Up

February 28, 2012

Little Red Dress: Days 1-7

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
If you'd like to know why I'm wearing the same dress everyday, see this post.

This has been a good first week. I was all pumped at first and feeling invigorated, but by the weekend, it waned a bit. I felt self-conscious at my son's basketball game wondering if people were noticing my repetitive wardrobe. Started avoiding people to keep from being asked questions and when I caught anyone looking at me unawares, I assumed it was my dress. It was at the end of these unrealistic thoughts that I realized I was TOTALLY SELF-ABSORBED.

Lesson one: It's not all about you.

To add emphasis to that point, when we were driving home I mentioned something about my experiment. Puzzled, my son said I hadn't told him what it was, so I filled him in. He looked surprised and said, "You've been wearing that since Wednesday?"

So much for people noticing...

Check out days 8-14 here.

February 27, 2012

Much Love Monday: Date Dice DIY

What I'm loving today?  Date Dice. (It could also be Girl's Night or Family Night Dice) It's the perfect solution to the what-do-you-want-to-do-tonight question.

1. Lay out six post-it notes or other any small square memo notes in the layout above; four across and three down. 2. Tape them together. 3. Fold up and secure with adhesive as you go. 4. Write your ideas on other notes and attach to the Dice. You can change out notes when seasons change or you're tired of doing a certain thing. I made two, one for places to go and one for places to eat. We don't always eat out but I want to have the option of choosing something if we do.

Dice #1 Where to Go:                    Dice #2 What to Eat:
Park                                               Italian
Skating Rink                                 Chinese
Hiking Trail                                  Coffee Shop
Zoo                                                Fifties Cafe
Movie Theater                             Jamaican                      
Sporting Event                             Mexican

**You could put specific names of  places or restaurants to narrow the decisions even more; my husband and I have multiple favorites in most of these categories, so I kept it general.

You're all set! Next time a free night comes around, roll the dice to find out what you're doing.

February 25, 2012

Little Red Dress Experiment

Little Red Dress, Day 1

I'll be wearing this Little Red Dress for forty-five days.

I want to connect in a small way with impoverished people around the world. There are women who only own one or two outfits; who wash them at night and wear them over and over. I want to see what that's like: feel the frustration of wearing something stained; of having to replace buttons; or knowing others will see me, yet again, in the same thing. I want to find out more is not more. I want to set aside this time to limit myself and go without. And even though it's only a taste of what some go through, my hope is that it will make me more compassionate, more grateful and more willing to let go of my consumerist mindset.

When will you wash the dress?
I'll wear pajamas at night so I can wash my dress and there is a small vacation time that I may take a few other dresses with me to alternate since I may not have a washing machine. Otherwise, I'll be sporting the Little Red Dress. I am allowing myself accessories and other articles of clothing to add to it for warmth and experimentation to discover that one article of clothing can stretch a long way.

How come you decided to do this now?
I timed it in connection with Lent which began on February 22 (2012). I'm not Catholic, but I like the concept of spiritual disciplines and thought it was a good time to join friends of mine (who are giving up things of their own) to journey together.

Where did you get this idea?
I'm not the first to do a project like this. Some have done it with a little black dress and one with a little brown dress for 365 days. I'm starting out small, well, big to me; but small in the scheme of a year. We'll see where it takes me.

What made you choose a red dress?
Honestly, it was one I already owned and the only button-down dress I had. I thought a button-down would add more versatility to my outfits and I like the classic look. Plus, I love color and thought it would help me persevere if my dress was bright and cheery. Red makes me smile and oddly enough, I have many complementary-colored things in my closet to go with it.

Is this a fashion blog?
No!! *laughs* I don't know much about what's in. I just play around with my wardrobe, so some things I wear may be heinous to you. I simply enjoy experimenting and this is a fun experiment in limiting my wardrobe.

Will you still be doing your Beyond Sweatshirt series?
For forty-five days, this will be my Beyond Sweatshirt feature since I'll be dressing up and technically out of sweatshirts. I'm looking forward to seeing how many different ways I can wear the Little Red Dress and will share my journey each week along with pictures.

Can we join you?
Of course! I'd love to have you join me. No red dress required, pick whatever you want to wear.

Click here to see days 1-7

February 24, 2012

In the Picture: February Edition

Self-Portrait #5
Self-Portrait #6
Self-Portrait #7
Self-Portrait #8
This month's theme for In The Picture was words. Words!!! *latches on* Something I'm familiar with! At the first of the month I thought I'd incorporate long passages somewhere in my pictures, but in the end, I kept words to a minimum.

My parents surprised me with a tripod they were getting rid of. I think I actually squealed. It's been such a nice added dimension. I'm not gifted with the hold-the-camera-at-arms-length ability. I am trying though. I realize I can't take all my self-portraits with the tripod, so I'm trying to learn how to do the arms-length thing.

For those of you who've done this for awhile: how do you manage getting a good shot holding the camera-at-arms-length? And how do you overcome feeling conspicuous taking photos of yourself in public?  I've found wonderful places I wanted to use in my photos, but just couldn't bring myself to run out there and take the shot. Maybe this is a growth thing, but I feel so...so...self-absorbed doing it. I know, I know, why should I care, right? *sigh* Any tips would be appreciated!

And for those of you NOT doing this, have you ever taken a picture of yourself? Did you feel conspicuous?

I'm just a newbie but if you'd like to see some really creative photos, head over to Urban Muser!

February 23, 2012

Look What the Postman Brought

I got two packages in one day!
  • One was a print I'd been longing for from Cori Dantini. I LOOOVE her work. It's whimsical, dreamy and unique. I love how she packaged the print with goodies. I want to do more of that in my own shop.
  • The second one was a hacky-sack from Amy Sonnichsen. She and Janet Sumner Johnson decided to connect bloggers by starting a Hacky-Sack Club. Everyone gets a hacky sack free for joining. We each make a video of our hacky-sack skills and post it on our blog. I have yet to make mine but I'm contemplating adding a hula-hoop somehow; and being that I have NO hacky-sack skills this will be...erm, interesting.  
HACKY-SACK vs. HULA HOOP Coming soon to computers near you!

February 22, 2012

Two Ways to Wear a Brooch

1. As a bracelet
Tie the center of a ribbon onto the pin.
Then fasten the ribbon around your wrist.

2. As a hair adornment
Pin the brooch around a headband or on a scarf.

February 21, 2012

Memaw's Best Bits

She smiles as I bring her water.  "You okay, Memaw?"

Her answer's always sweet-tempered and the same, "I'm fine."

She doesn't speak much anymore, dementia has taken her thoughts. Seeing her reading takes me back to a small stash of newspapers by the rocking chair in her old house. She'd lick her fingers and thumb through them savoring each word and offering up the best bits for our enjoyment.

Now she wipes her eye and I notice the withered softness of her hands. She used to cook for me with those hands: sourdough bread alongside vegetables from Papaw's garden; molasses cookies sent to my college dorm just when we were running out; white glistening coconut cake presented at Christmas.  But now her hands are hard-pressed to do anything on their own.

At times I've wondered why we have to lose our memory as we age or why our bodies stop working as they once did.

This week Memaw's visiting us to give Mom and Dad a breather. Now I'm the one cooking after her; telling her small stories from the news and giving her vegetables from someone else's garden. I bring her cookies and show her my paintings. I dress her and fix her hair. I pat her hands in comfort the way she used to do with mine.

Maybe the love poured into us as children grows so that one day we're free to give it back.

February 20, 2012

Much Love Monday: Polka Dots and Ruffles

Sweater and shirt: Thrift
Earrings: Gift 
Belt: Plato's Closet
Hairclips: Dollar Jewelry Store
Painting: Mine (print available here)
What I'm loving today:
  • Ruffles on this green sweater and polka-dot blouse.
  • A quick up-do when I'm running late.
  • Decorative clips--my new favorite accessory.
  • Hearing my grandma's voice as she reads. She's staying with us for a few days to give my parents a little break. She doesn't talk much anymore so hearing her read-aloud is extra special and heartwarming.
  • That my daughter attempted sewing while I was out. Now I know my suspicions were right, she does want to learn to sew!
  • I've been able to organize my way through three more drawers and a box.
  • That today is the beginning of a new week.
What are you loving today?


February 17, 2012

Her True Colors

This is my work in progress. The background I painted awhile ago and finally saw what I wanted to do with it. I imagined it with lots more items around her, but now I'm not sure I want to add too much. I like her simple. Especially with all that's going on in the background. I'll try to finish her up and show you a better picture by next week (the colors don't show up as bright as they truly are).

Have a wonderful weekend!

February 16, 2012

Truthful Thursdays: Walking with Hannah

It's time to share some truths again, so here goes:
  1. I listened to Hannah Montana while walking on the treadmill today. Embarrassing, but true.
  2. People think I have gray Toms...they're white. I think it's time to paint them.
  3. Our snowfall was measly but I played like it was massive storm and stayed home the entire day. (I wasn't the only one, schools were dismissed. Yeah, we're hurting for a school day over here)
  4. Our house is down to one toilet paper roll and no laundry detergent. Somehow I missed putting those on my list when I went to the store. Grrr.
  5. I've slowly been interacting more on Twitter. What are your tips for the twitterverse?

February 15, 2012

So . . . Organizing?

For my 12 for 12 challenge, this month's skill is organization.

Ehew boy.

I've said before (approximately 232,365 times), I'm not organized.  At least not in a normal way. Sure my sock drawer is color-coded, but that's a tiny manageable place. The big important places, as in places people actually see, nada, no organization there. Piles of art stuff all over my art table and desk. My family may not know there's a top to the table or that there even IS a desk.
On to February--my focus is organization and I came prepared. I've got all kinds of organization books. I collect, just don't commit. I've been browsing them and getting my mind ready for what my hands need to do. One of my first books is Flylady's Sink Reflections. She says you can't organize clutter you must get rid of it. So my first order of business is getting rid of stuff. How many art supplies should one keep on hand? Nevermind, don't answer that. Maybe I'll start in the kitchen.

I'm also pouring over Confessions of an Organized Homemaker and Use What You Have Decorating to inspire me to see what things could be (as well as Pinterest, but getting online is dangerous). I'll admit, even though I don't like to organize, I like when things are organized. My heart leaps at the thought of knowing where everything is and everything having a place.

Please pass on tips if you're the organized brand. I have a feeling that "pick-up-as-you-go" and "never-handle-a-piece-of-paper-twice" will be among them. Mom has been telling me those two since childhood. For the record, she's very organized. *wishful sigh*

I'll be posting updates soon. Hopefully some fun Before and After pics! *bites nails* This could be revealing.

February 14, 2012

DIY Heart Necklace

1. Cut small felt hearts. 2. Snip a slit in each end of the hearts. 3. Feed the chenille stick/pipecleaner through the hearts. 4. Fold down the tips of the chenille stick and twist to secure. 5. Thread knotted ribbon through the ends and tie together around your neck. This could also be worn as a headband or across the forehead.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Just want to say how much I appreciate all of you.
Have a wonderful day, do something fun for yourself.