June 28, 2013

2 excuses covered

Not everything we clutter will fall under all the excuses, and we probably have some of our own as well which weren't listed. The last two excuses in the book are not ones which haunt me, but I wanted to quickly mention them, simply for sharing what is in the book.

"I can't pass up a sale! Look at all the money I'm saving."

While this is not a huge issue for me I do have to be careful. If I get something at a discounted price it THRILLS me. I'm talking I literally giggle and have been known to clap and do a little dance at the check out. But I'm pretty good about only buying what I need. I guess I learned this lesson from coupons. I could get a good deal from coupons but I would end up spending more and buying things I did not need. So, I stopped couponing. I do have to be careful though, because I could see how this excuse could be easily justified.

"This isn't clutter, it's a collection."

I probably came close to this excuse with my books. I mean, who can blame you for buying a good book? And when I went to Half Price, well, that was just better. (Almost the two excuses in one!) I had books everywhere before we moved, and as I have shared here before, I got rid of a lot of books after we moved here. I can honestly say there are times I still WANT to buy a book, but don't simply because I know it's not what I really need at that moment.

The authors go into these two excuses in much more detail than I have here, obviously, but I thought I would leave it for them to tell you. And, if you find you have your own unique excuse for holding onto different items in your house, their six step process will help you deal with those things as well.

June 27, 2013

"I've had this since I was a child."

top of my side of the closet

If you didn't notice, I used this picture just the other day to talk about stuff I had from my children's childhood. Today I'm using it to talk about stuff from my own childhood. To be honest, I don't have a lot of clutter from when I was younger. Maybe moving every 2-3 years helped decrease the amount, or maybe it was because I went on a decluttering rampage one year in my past and tossed stuff out left and right. One thing I do still have are all of my year books. You can see the stack on the right side of the picture.

I have yearbooks from at least third grade, if not kindergarten, on to a year or two of college. I saved them, maybe, because I didn't have any contact with any of the people I went to school with. I wished I had been a better letter writer, and I had big dreams of staying in touch with friends, but it never happened. The ironic part is I have never gone to a reunion, and I probably wont. I have a tendency to fall right back into the high school thought process when I even think about being at a reunion, and I worry about not fitting in, not being popular, and no one really remembering me.

Having those books up in my closet allows me to trace my childhood in a tangible way. I can see the pictures of people I once knew, even if I don't know them anymore. When I look at the books it's usually just a glance to the top shelf, for I rarely bring them down and go through them. I simply can't imagine not having them, or even how to get rid of them. I get overwhelmed and let the stack stand right where it is.

These books, however, do not do anything to help me move into the future I want. They simply tie me to the past I had, or wish I had. They give me a false sense of connection to the people I once knew. If I want to really know those people facebook gives me the opportunity to do so at this time and there have been a few people I have reconnected with through that tool.

Maybe it's time to let the books go. After a quick online search I realized I could put the books in a recycle bin, so now I know what to do with them.

June 26, 2013

"That was given to me. I'd feel guilty if I got rid of it."

When I first read this excuse I didn't think I had anything that fell into it, so I dropped the first sentence and kept the second. You see there are certainly things in my house I would feel guilty if I got rid of.
top of my side of the closet the storage chest in my room top of utility closet What you see as soon as you walk in the house from the garage

The first and second picture, though you can't see them well, have items from when my boys were babies. Blankets I made, or a few items I saved in a box. The third picture is of board games we own which I feel guilty we didn't play enough of so I feel guilty giving any of them away. And the fourth picture has old school work in it, and more is in the attic. Almost 12 years worth are in the attic. I have guilt when I consider letting that go for a few reasons.

But the more I thought about what I have stuck in corners which never sees the light of day my mind wandered to other parts of the house as well and I realized I do have items which were given to me which I would feel guilty to give away. A blanket made by an aunt, one I made for a grandmother which was returned at her death, items purchased to help make a house more presentable for sell, quilts made by a grandmother, and a few other items found here and there. But not all of these items are clutter, nor do all of them need to be given away.

The thing is, I shouldn't keep anything out of a false sense of guilt. The authors do an excellent job at describing what real guilt is verses this false guilt we place on ourselves, or which others place on us at times as well. But the truth of the matter is our relationships with people should not center on a gift they gave us which we no longer use. Our relationships with others should be about the two people, not anything else. Sometimes it doesn't work that way, whether our own fault or the fault of others. Or maybe both.

There is a quote, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful," William Morris. I thought I had been doing that, but when I stop to consider I realize there are still items I keep because I don't want the person who gave it to me to know I gave it away. I am not keeping my house only full of items which I love, but also that which guilts me, and those who gave me the gift would never want that. While I do not want to get rid of everything others have given me, I don't want to keep items out of guilt, nor do I want to pass items on in that fashion either.

I guess I didn't share one story here about an item that would fall under the excuse, but honestly I don't think I could. I would be too worried about hurting or offending someone I love. I guess that goes along with why I have kept such items to begin with.

As far as the pictures above, I realized as I was thinking about them how I could keep that which really needed to be kept, and give away that which didn't serve a purpose anymore. It will be difficult, but I think I can do it and clear up a little more space when the time comes.

June 25, 2013

"I might need it someday."

{Chapter 7 began the venture into sorting our stories rather than our stuff. The authors said the stuff would naturally get taken care of as we decided whether our stories needed to be put into one of four categories: retain, release, repurpose, and reserve. Chapters 13-16 deal with dealing with the clutter, but chapters 8-12 deal with excuses that hold us back when dealing with our stuff. I decided to share a story that falls under each chapter's excuse as I work through my stuff deciding what needs to go.}

my table Under and next to my table art bookshelf and corner under the printer

I don't even know when I began collecting art supplies. I have yarn, scrapbooking paper, books, paints, material, batting, beads, and glues. I have more than that, but I'm not sure of all I have. I love trying new things and thinking of myself as a "creative."

I know the bulk of what is in storage in this area came to be when I took an online class and went through a crafty period. I loved the class and it was really helpful, but I wanted to continue on with what I had learned and done. I also wanted to give things to other people, whether it was birthday gifts or just because gifts, so I saved whatever I used, if there was anything left over, because I might just need to use it again. But now, a couple of years out of taking the class, and over a few months of giving items away, I have to admit I get overwhelmed when I think of what is or isn't in this area.

I feel as if I have let myself, my husband, my family, friends and strangers down. Really, we can cross off strangers because they don't matter, and my loved ones (I KNOW) will support me and want the best for me. But when I don't follow through, or when I fail or don't complete a goal, I feel as if I have failed THEM and their ideas for me. I have also failed myself, because all of the learning I did and then came to a stand still just "knowing" it wouldn't work anyway. But I didn't want to give anything up, because I might change my mind. I might need it. I didn't want to give it all up and admit the failure I felt to be.

The clutter in here keeps me from having to really focus on any one goal, or any project. If I have a bazillion things going on, or the possibility of it going on, then everyone understands when nothing gets completed. But I'm tired of not completing, and not doing things. I'm tired of ignoring the mess, and the possibilities. If I'm going to give up on a goal, then I want to fully give it up. But if I'm going to work at it, then it's time to try.

I already narrowed my goals down for myself, even the creative part of myself. Now I need to make choices which help me along with those goals. We had grand ideas for this room, and I had grand plans for myself as well. But now the lovely space has turned into a storage area, and my plans seem to have disappeared. Something must be done about the clutter in this area because it's time to move forward again.

June 24, 2013

Dreams, Goals, and Clutter

I was glad to have the weekend to consider this chapter. It spoke about dreams and goals and things which hold you back. So many times the stuff we hold onto holds us back from moving forward into the life we imagine and envision for a multitude of reasons. Whether it's because we have a house full of clutter so we can't invite the neighbors over, or whether we simply need to release something in our heart before we can fully move forward, only we know what is holding us back, and only we know what it is holding us back from.

I have talked a bit about goals and dreams here. Often I get tripped up in where I should be, or what I ought to do. I've spoken about how sometimes I take the dreams of others as my own, and how that can never really work out. I have given up on ideas thinking they are impossible or too much for me. And sometimes I get lost in the small things forgetting what I had set out to do originally.

In answering the questions in the back of the chapter and really considering what I want for my goals and dreams and what is holding me back I was a bit surprised. You see, I want to write, but think I will never sell a book so why try? I want to crochet, but will never sell a thing so why pick up the yarn? I want to cook, but will never be a chef so why bother? And I would love to teach self-defense, but have you seen me in front of a crowd?

But then something struck me. I do write, but I put so much pressure on myself about having to have the perfect book idea that I never start. Why can't I write short stories, or vignettes, just because I like to write? And I love to crochet, and while I can't afford to do the Truth Wraps right now, there are things I can make anyway. And maybe if I make some small items I can do something with them. I never knew I would give away the Truth Wraps until I had them to give. And the cooking and self-defense? Well, that goes along with the crochet in a way. I like to do things for people, help people, and sometimes I have big grand ideas, when what I need to do is get a little smaller and simply work within my circle. The grand idea freezes me, and then I don't do anything.

So, I had to really sit and look at my goals, and then take a deeper look at my goals, and really consider what it is I really do want when you get to the core of things. What would I work towards, and not freeze me up? And I realized it wasn't selling a book, or forming a business, or opening a restaurant, or becoming a speaker but it is touching people's hearts and making a difference for someone. And it was the realization that the ones I want to make sure I help the most are those in my inner circle, and then I can move out from there if the opportunity arises.

Some of the clutter that kept me from moving forward is literal "in the house" clutter. Some of it is figurative "in my heart" clutter. Either way, I'm glad to know the direction I want to move now, fully and completely. The clutter will be taken care of, and it's who I am and who I love that matters the most.

June 22, 2013

To Infinity And Beyond!!!

For the past week and a half I have had the privilege of having a full house. Youngest is still here for another year, but oldest was in town, which meant his fiance was here too. They all went in and out, did their thing, ran their errands, ate dinner with us, and had a good time. I enjoyed the time immensely and got completely spoiled by the opening and closing of the door.

They all belong here and when they are here things seem more right. But they also belong to their own lives and I wouldn't take that away from them for the world. Now he is on the next leg of this grand adventure. I am excited for him, and thrilled at the opportunities he will face.

airport

I'm a mommy. I will miss that boy. I will miss hugging him and seeing him in person. I am grateful to have amazing friends who remind me my feelings are okay, and normal. I'm grateful for friends who remind me God has a path laid out for all of us. And I have experienced old school deploy/stationing so I am grateful for the tweets, the texts, the facebook, and the skype which will make the communication nearly continuous.

In the next few days he will see a place he has never seen except in pictures. He will meet new people and see old friends. He will get situated and settled and we will get to hear all about it. And I can't wait. And if I get to feeling a little sad, or homesick for the old days, I will relax into God, lean into the feelings, and know that this is where he is supposed to be, and where I am supposed to be as well.

He's on to his next adventure, and we are cheering him on all the way!

June 21, 2013

And then come the stories.

The book started addressing stories in the latest chapter, but so much so that I had to read the next chapter as well because it made me feel as if this entire process was impossible. For a moment I felt as if I had denied all the stories of items I had decluttered before this point, and I felt mired to the stories I told myself from my current clutter.

If you have seen the pictures I'm sure you are wondering what stories could actually be there for me to get mired to, but my heart felt them. My head began to tell them. They had us write a story about the chair we were sitting in. Stop for a moment and think about what you are sitting on right now. Think about where you got it, what it means to you, and realize there is a story there. For me it was the couch in the living room, for heaven's sake, but before I finished my story I was in tears. And then I started thinking about all the corners of clutter and I realized I had stories there as well.

I know I have a tendency to be more emotional than the next fella, but, friends, I was shocked at how I suddenly realized my attachment to these corners. And I realized there were even more corners I had not taken pictures of where my heart was pulled as well. And to a degree, that is exactly how it should be within your home.

memories and stories
 
But then I started thinking about the criticism and judging I have been doing, and I realized that so often we give our own stories too much power, and the stories of others not enough. After all, if we understand someone, and know their story, we are less likely to judge someone. But as the past few posts show you, I have not been realizing the power of your stories. Now, if something has ever felt hypocritical this surely does.

We live our lives based on the stories we know, the stories we have grown up telling ourselves, the stories others have told us about ourselves. This is how we come to label ourselves and others, to be quite honest. Sometimes those stories are straight out lies, and sometimes those stories simply need to be redressed. Oh, don't get me wrong, there are a multitude of stories which are just as they should be and should only be cherished.

What I thought was brilliant in the book was the acknowledgement that some stories should not be tackled on our own. They had a scale and specifically said that if a story fell in a certain area that you should have a friend or professional help you deal with that story, no matter what the story is connected to.

I cannot live your stories, and you cannot live mine. This is why our own stories are so important. But they are our stories, our stories are not us. And in the next few chapters the authors promise to start addressing how we can begin to readdress the stories that need to be readdressed, and separate our stuff from the stories which mean so much. And maybe through this process I will also learn how to appreciate another person's story rather than judging it.

June 20, 2013

How much are we worth?

I'm pretty sure this topic has been covered ad nauseum on the blog-o-sphere. I'm betting you could find a thousand posts within a months time trying to get people to know their worth. Every month. And yet we still struggle, and we still contemplate, and we still equate wrongly.

worth and value

Why is it we do this?

Ah, to have the answer to THAT question might allow the last post on this topic to be written. I'm not that smart though, and so I'm looking at worth, and value, and us, and pondering how do I get us to define ourselves correctly?

But then what is the correct definition of how much we are worth?

Maybe that's also the issue? Because it seems we need SOMEONE to say it for us. We need SOMEONE to say we are worth all the stars in the sky. We need SOMEONE to say nothing could be more valuable than we are. We need SOMEONE to say it doesn't matter what we do or do not do. Because too often value, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

But what do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see your job, your relationships, your clothing, your home, your clutter, your victories, your mistakes? How do YOU define YOU?

Me? I don't so much define myself with the items I own, as much as I define myself by the way I can improve. You do see what I did there, yes? That means I define myself by my failures. I lost THIS relationship, so what can I do to improve my other relationships? I never started THAT business idea, so what can I do to make money? I quit THIS path, so what path should I try next? I stopped making THESE items, so what should I make now? And what am I left with? Waiting to see where I will fail next to find out where I should improve.

But here's a little secret, which is really hard to accept sometimes, but true none-the-less: our value is not found in our actions, our abilities, or our property. It is not found in our mistakes or our victories. Our value comes from the fact that we breath, and we live, and we have opened up our eyes one more day on this earth as it circles around the sun one more time.

And if you need SOMEONE to tell you how important you are, then know this:



June 19, 2013

The critic's voice.

The second chapter in the book was all about our own expertise. The authors wanted to stress to us that without our 100% involvement in the decluttering and organizing it wont happen. They are riding shotgun and we are doing the driving. Then they asked us to write a list of 10 things we are good at, regardless of what it was or what it had to do with.

decision making skills

*screech* The critic stepped in.

In the book they said:
"Notice that when you focus on the things you do well, you gain energy and optimism. The calming endorphins begin to flow."
I thought, "Are they crazy?" I will admit, when I do something, when I have the moment, when I get something right I feel up, giggly, and endorphins are flying. But coming up with my list did NOT do this. You see, what happened instead was fear. I worried I wouldn't be able to come up with 10 things. (I did.) I worried that they weren't good enough. I worried others would laugh at what I wrote down. I was fearful my list was inadequate. In my head I heard people laughing, giggling, negating, and belittling my list. I heard people say, "You don't do that as well as you think," and "Do you really think that matters?"

Why do I do this to myself. I don't honestly know. I can't blame anyone who has ever been negative to me, nor can I blame people who thought less of me. While I know they are out there, I can't really recall any words they have said. I know within my head that their thoughts are theirs and should not weigh anything. I'm not even sure they do weigh anything anymore because, you see, I have taken over where they left off.

I have become my biggest critic. What I do is not good enough, or doesn't matter enough, or doesn't make a big enough difference. My list was measly, and sad, and really those adjectives were being a little prideful, weren't they?

But the truth sat in my heart too. "Enough" is comparative and undefinable. Yes, there will always be someone who does more, reaches more, touches more, and helps more than I do. Yes, there will always be someone who is better, more creative, and has more finesse than I do. BUT that should not negate my efforts, my trials, my attempts, or anything I do.

Because what if the widow thought her 2 mites wouldn't make a difference and hadn't given it? What if the young boy thought his fish and loaves weren't enough so he quietly slipped away? What if the woman who poured the oil thought it wouldn't really matter and turned at the door instead of entered in? Then stories would not have been told, miracles would not have happened, and examples wouldn't have been seen.

I am the critic's voice. I criticize myself until there is nothing left than pulp. Until anything I would like to do becomes so impossible that I don't even try. And in order to make myself feel better I criticize others. And all of this must stop. It simply. must. I know the truth, but I have to take hold of it and live it. Because while I continue to be my biggest critic I will also always be yours. And that I hate more than I can say.

Two articles I crossed paths with yesterday and today regarding criticism: Oswald reminds us why we aren't superior, and Mary shares how Satan uses critical people and what to do with it.

June 18, 2013

I'm challenging myself!

Yesterday I went to the library. I picked up three boy movies, without them there to influence me. I think their voices were simply in my head saying "yes" or "no" to the options. I also picked up three books on decluttering, and threatened my closets on facebook. It was just a giggle but when my friend responded with, "The closets will wait to shudder in terror until you have finished the books. Reading about decluttering is sometimes not the same as actually decluttering. lol" I laughed even harder. She was so right. Reading about it and doing it are TWO different things and so often I am just a reader. But not this time.

Of the three books I picked up, one I am not needing anymore, another I haven't yet picked up, but the third I have already read the first chapter and am working on the first assignment. Assignment? Yep. See, this book is a little different than most I pick up on the subject. What really drew me in was this on the back.

  Take the U out of Clutter

"This may not be the first book you've read about clutter, but it will be your last. Other 'organizting systems' fail because they focus on the clutter -- but clutter itself is not the culprit. We have trouble getting rid of clutter, not because we are overly attached to our belongings, but because we are attached to the stories we tell about our possessions. Do these sound familiar?
'I might need this someday.'
'I've had this since I was a child.'
'That was given to me. I'd feel guilty if I got rid of it.'
'This isn't clutter; it's a collection.'

Some might see these as excuses, but they are actually unfinished stories that deserve to be told. Once your stories are recounted and resolved, it's easy to clear away unwanted clutter."
It had me at "stories." 

So, the first assignment was to take pictures of your clutter and define what clutter is to you. It's funny because I took pictures of everything in my house on May 20th just in case I needed it for insurance reasons. Taking this set of pictures was different, but I knew EXACTLY where to go for each shot. Now, I'm not saying this is better or worse than anyone else. What I am saying is these pictures are pictures of clutter in my house. And what is clutter to me?

CLUTTER: where things take over a space and you avoid it rather than face the things

I will be honest, I am excited about this book and these assignments, and where I will be at the end of the 255 pages. I don't know how often it will pop up in the blog, but I thought keeping it here rather than a journal would be fun. Crazy? Whichever, I'm not supposed to stress about the clutter spots right now. You see, I COULD go in and fix these areas, but I'm sure they would end back the same because these are my weak spots. No amount of organizing, cleaning, straightening, planning, or boxing seem to help me for a long time. I keep coming back to an area where the things have taken over, and I turn around and face the other way instead.

So, closets... I may just be reading right now, but I'm thinking you do have reason to shudder in terror. Or maybe you can't wait to breathe in relief.  

June 14, 2013

If this were your last day on earth...

See, the title of this post? That saying is frustrating me. You see, when people say that they want you to be brave, be kind, be strong, be bold, but the truth is if it WERE my last day on earth and everyone knew it the rules would be different.

I could say, "You are missing out. Please stop and pay attention to what you are doing," and people would hear because those with numbered last breaths seem wiser.

I could forgive completely and totally and bring boundaries down because I know no one has anymore time to hurt me. And with it being my last day they would be kinder.

I could do all sorts of fun and crazy things letting responsibilities go, because in all reality the responsibilities stopped when I found out it was my last day.

I could warn people of the dangers of their actions, of what they are losing, and what others "think" about them and not worry about their response or anger. It would be the truth, but I would not be around to help them walk through it, so I could just spew it out there and walk away. "In love", of course.

But this is not my last day on earth (that I know of, God willing). This is a regular day where I am surrounded by people making mistakes (including me), responsibilities which need to be fulfilled, gifts which need to be purchased, and people who I am in relationship with. This is a regular day where I am simply trying to support, encourage, and love those I can, and pray for those I am no longer connected with. This is a regular day where assumptions will be made, confusion will occur, and messy life will happen.

This is a regular day, not my last day on earth, and so I live as truly as I can knowing it could be my last day. And there is a difference.

June 11, 2013

My stupid thoughtlessness, but I'm learning.

We all sat around with the pile of presents in the middle. When you have a small group playing "secret santa" it might be a good idea to wrap everything in the same paper, so you don't know which gifts you brought, but there we were anyway. I believe it was the first year our family tried to play it on Christmas Eve, to add a little fun. The rules were specific, but no one followed them.

My oldest had picked a frame I THINK I brought to the game. I remember thinking I want to bring something I would like, never having been one for the funny gifts. Oldest liked the funny gifts, but they weren't quite as welcome as we believed they would be. I should have been paying attention to how he was feeling, and took myself out of the scenario, but when it came to my turn I was playing the game. I was trying to have fun. And I wanted the frame he had picked up plus something else. Here's where the stupid selfish part came in: I knew he would bring it home. So instead of taking it from him, and letting him draw from the pile again, I just let him hold on to the too grown up not for kids frame which I wanted on my wall, and I returned to the pile to unwrap another gift. The ironic part, here is what the frame said:

20130610_103135
Yes, it was crazy. I was crazy. I was selfish. I didn't think about how he was feeling. I was a little bit stupid. The thing is, I didn't realize it at the time. I really didn't. This part brings me shame.

But I have decided I can't continue to live there. It's not healthy for me, nor is it helpful. When we make a mistake we can either learn from it, or relive it. I don't want to relive it anymore, so I'm learning from it and trying to actually live out what the frame said. It's not always easy, I still mess up, but I'm trying. And what more can we say than that?

June 10, 2013

Summer Strawberry Surprise Cake

As I was perusing Pinterest a week ago I crossed paths with Bird's Strawberry Cake With Lemon Filling. It looked really yummy and I knew I simply had to try it out. I had the opportune time when making dinner for some friends.

I ended up following the recipe they share here fairly closely, but instead of one and a third cup of water I used milk, I added some blueberries (literally dropped in to the batter in the cake pan) and I used canned lemon pie filling rather than their homemade version, though the reviews for that simply rave about how good it is. The cup cakes blueberries sunk to the bottom, but the cakes stayed at the top. I am sure there is some scientific explanation for this occurrence, but either way they tasted good.

20130607_193240

Let me say, the final product was delicious! I would put a little thicker layer of lemon filling if/when I make it again, and I will only use cool whip as the top layer. (I tried the spray whipped topping and it simply gets icky when it sits for too long. Don't make that mistake.) Everyone who tried it really loved it, and my hubby said it tasted store bought.

I couldn't be happier!

June 7, 2013

10 years ago this Sunday.

My oldest boy was 9 years old, and my youngest was 6.
We had lived in Texas for two years.
We had been out of the military for two years.
I had websites at geocities and crosswinds.
I was introduced to blogging through Xanga.
An adventure began.

I look around and see a different landscape online than I once did. There are no more guestbooks as we had on our websites, nor are there WebRings. Xanga was lovely for allowing you to have conversations through the comment sections, but friends thought it would be better if we moved out and had more freedom. Bulletin Boards, like Online Moms, aren't the place to be anymore, and blogs are so much easier than learning html, or now css.

I see different things here as well. One child moved on, and another wrapping up his time here. We have been in Oklahoma for two years. We have faced hardships and heartbreak. We have built and tore down. We have survived and barely missed needing to survive. We have loved and fought. We have broken ties and built new ones.

If there is one thing we can count on, it's change. That's what they always say. But the constants are a deep part of our lives as well. I will always have a family who loves and supports me. I will always love and support them as well. I will always take a bit of time to get used to new normals. I will always be a little shy. I will always enjoy creating and giving and doing for others. I will always worry I have done the wrong thing. I will always enjoy those around me. I will always write.

I have blogged nearly consistently for 10 years.
I have deleted more posts than remain.
I have written in numerous notebooks and journals along the way.

Thank you for being here with me. Whether it was in the beginning, or now (which is not the end), I appreciate your support, your thoughts, your comments, and your love. I appreciate you allowing me to change to be a better me, and helping me find the constants which are so important. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me through the hard dark times when you have, and for helping me celebrate big when it was time to do that.

For ten years I have typed words. Thank you for receiving them. Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for allowing our paths to cross in this big unending virtual universe of the internet.

June 4, 2013

I made a few...

Maybe it was the lack of doing anything for such a long period of time. Maybe it is the adorable purse my future dil carries with her. It was probably a combination of both, but I simply had to make purses, and I had to make them now. The problem was I could not purchase anything to make them, but could only use what I had on hand. That meant I couldn't make one like my dil has, nor could I make an adorable one I found on Pinterest. But soon I will. It was all good though because I found others I could make, and pulled out my machine and started making.

To have an excuse, because sometimes I feel the need to explain why I have a desire to be crafty, I told myself I needed a small bag to keep my stuff in when I go to taekwondo. Usually I simply sit it on the bench with my shoes, so a small bag for wallet, keys, and purse would be ideal. Using some slacks which no longer fit me, and some material from another project I made a while ago, I began following this pattern for a bag made from a square. It only took two 18"x18" squares, and I could come up with that easily. The pattern was easy to follow, though I didn't make the bottom flat. I really loved the way it turned out.

1

My problem was it was too "nice." I loved it so much, it became something I would wear on a regular day, not something I would take to a sporty event. Of course, that simply meant I had to make another one. So, I chose up some left over t-shirt material, ironed backing onto the orange for a little structure, and made another one. Wala! Still so cute, but more sporty as I was wanting.

2

I want you to know both of these purses took maybe an hour to make. So, you realize what that means, right? I had more time to try something else as well. I don't have a pattern to share for this one, but it was sort of along the lines of this other purse I made a year or so ago. I needed (yes, needed) a smaller brown bag, and I wanted some red in it too. The material was scavenged from my piles, and this was the final outcome of that expedition.

3

It's cute, small, and will work wonderfully. I have to say I'm not in love with any of them as much as I love the first black and green bag. I don't know, but there's simply something about that bag I adore. I'm just glad I took the time to be creative, and next time maybe I wont need an excuse. After all there are a couple of other really cute bags I pinned which I haven't even attempted yet.
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