Friday, January 4, 2019

The Friday 15

A couple years ago I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. If you haven't read it, you should. It'll change your ideas about "stuff". Marie also now has a show on Netflix called "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo". I've been binge-watching the show this week and realized I've been doing a lot of the things she proposes long before she ever wrote about them.

Pile all your clothes on the bed and then decide which ones bring you joy? (Joy = keep.) Yep, I did that back in January 2014.
I can report I got rid of most of that pile. While some of the keepers from back then have now since been replaced with others, the number of items are still low. In fact, if I were to create a new pile of all my clothes today it wouldn't even take up a quarter of the bed.

Go through all your books and only keep those you wish to take with you into the future? Look at what we had in 2012...
Oh, my. We had a lot of books!
Here's all we have left now...
Now when we want to read something new we check out an e-book from our local library.
Clothes and shoes and books and kitchenwares and garden items have been pared down. Christmas decorations are much more manageable and a huge salt and pepper collection has been sent on its way. 

We're getting closer but aren't there yet. While I've been on a minimalism path for several years, hubby's kidney failure in 2012 helped us re-prioritize our lives. Simpler is better. Less is better. With that in mind I keep looking for items that don't bring joy to our lives. 

Here are 15 more this week. More Christmas and clothes. Where does this stuff come from???

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year! and a Pocket Tissue Holder Tutorial

As a former teacher, back to school time was when I made new plans for the year. New schedules, new routines, and new resolutions for change. Now that I'm not on a school schedule I find myself in the group of folks using the New Year to make those plans.

I looked back at my blog post on this day last year. I had titled it Simplicity. Here's a bit from that day:
"Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail." ~ Henry David Thoreau 
Many of Henry David Thoreau's quotes have spoken to me at different points in life. I even felt strongly enough about "suck out all the marrow" to have it tattooed on my arm in 2013. But today is about simplicity, not sucking the marrow. 
My husband and I have been on a journey these last few years. A simplification journey. I'm guessing close to 80% of what we owned five years ago has been donated/sold/recycled/shredded/trashed. We've given up furniture and electronics and clothes. Tools and Christmas decorations and even trash cans have been sent away. Nine trash cans were in our house back then, one for almost each room. Now? Only two cans.

In the spirit of simplification, I'm going back to basics with the blog. A picture a day.
Well, how did I do?  I didn't simplify the blog with a picture a day and I didn't simplify my life. If anything, I made life more complicated by all the traveling we did. While we hope to do some traveling later this year to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary (Greenland, here we come -  I hope!) it won't be spread out over eight months like it was in 2018. Where I DID simplify life was in the number of possessions owned, thanks to the Friday 15. Using many of my Fridays to donate or discard 15 items resulted in 400 fewer items in our house. Here's the wrap up of that downsizing.

So what about 2019?

I would again title it Simplicity. And I've already started.

I've collected 15 things to send off this week. I'll continue each week until I have no more to give. Fewer possessions = a simpler life. And I'm giving the blog a mini working-towards-simplicity makeover. I've removed most of the ads I've had floating around. It made the blog messy and I don't do messy. (Amazon, I'll keep you in one spot. I do love you.) I'll also be cleaning up some of the posts that need more editing. I got sloppy when my internet was limited on the ships - sometimes I caught the mistakes but didn't want to spend more internet minutes to fix them. So I'll work on that.

What else will I focus on? The crafting tutorials. Cutting fabric, a sewing machine humming, and projects seen to completion makes for a good day. I'll also be starting back on sewing projects for charity. Sewing for Good Sundays has a nice ring to it. And the Encouraging Words Project is on the front burner. I've dropped several off in Boise locations just this week. Writing about cruising and travel will still happen, but with most of this upcoming year not being spent living on a cruise ship the travel posts will be less frequent. (At least until a trip comes back up.)

So there you have it. My intentions are released to the Universe to use them as it (she? he?) sees fit.

Now, in the spirit of simplicity, on this month's Tutorial Tuesdays I will be sharing some of my most popular sewing and crafting videos. (Don't worry, I'm still working on filming new ones for later.) Today's tutorial is from August 2011. It was the day after my mother in law's funeral and a day I was questioning whether to continue the tutorials. (Here's the original post from that day where we learned how to sew our own decorative pocket tissue holder, in case you're interested.) It's the most viewed tutorial I've filmed with over a hundred thousand views on YouTube.

For this project you will need:

Click on the step-by-step tutorial to learn how to make your own homemade decorative pocket tissue holder:

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Simple project. Simple life.

Happy New Year!