#50 Window Shop

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#50

Window Shop

This term is probably on the brink of being obsolete as very few of us can identify at all with the notion of walking down a street lined with shops that promote their wares in the big front window. It was that stroll that identified the substance of Christmas lists of yesterday. Today, we ‘window shop’ by browsing through the ads injected throughout our social media accounts.

Inspiration

Window shopping can offer inspiration for a number of different areas of your life. It can inspire design when you see complementary colors positioned together. It can inspire a haircut you saw on a mannequin or it can prompt you to go home and recreate the skirt it was wearing. Window shopping can inspire you to cook more, read more, or exercise more just by glancing at the ‘message’ conveyed via the storefront display.

Motivation

Likewise, it can move beyond inspiration and sincerely motivate action to do any of the above. It can motivate you to clean house, organize, and redecorate. It can motivate you toward a goal after seeing something you would really like to have.

Patience

Window shopping can encourage and teach patience. When we only buy something once we have discerned it is the right time and the right price – we are acting in our best interest. Walking past a display two, three, or four times across a few days, weeks, or months may be just the amount of time we needed to make sure that our purchase wasn’t impulsive. A decision made after waiting and thinking is typically a better decision.

Staying Current

Window shopping is one of the ways that we can stay abreast of current trends and styles. Merchandise design is a specialty in and of itself and consequently, we are often exposed to the newest thing when we walk past a storefront – a cleverly designed space to lure you into the shop where you are welcomed to spend your money.

Reinvent

Since many of us don’t have a ‘main street’ to stroll down, window shopping can take on a whole new meaning. Certainly, we browse through the mall from time to time – that counts. We can also internet browse by scrolling through Pinterest and the sites of our favorite stores. I will sometimes open those ad emails that get stuffed in my inbox and peruse the sale items… just looking to see if there is something that commands my attention.

Yes, there can be a downside to window shopping… if you have no impulse control – don’t do it. If you lean into greediness or jealousy – don’t do it. If you are resentful or bitter about your financial situation – don’t do it. Generally speaking, it’s a pleasant way to spend a little time now and then. If you’re in the market for something, need some inspiration or motivation, or just need to connect with the times, all you have to do is…

Window shop.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#192 Sew Something

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#192

Sew something

Can you sew on a button? Are you a dressmaker? Or perhaps your ability lies with making curtains which mostly requires sewing a straight line. Most of us have been introduced to a sewing machine at some point – at least in our school years depending how old you are. By the 1980’s children in the U.S. were exposed to wood shop and Home economics regardless of gender. Introductions to the tools in both arenas were made. Yet, for many people – that was the first and last time they held a needle and thread.

Basics

A client came in not long ago and asked if I had a stapler… when I offered it to her she bent down and promptly stabled the hem of her skirt back into place and we proceeded to speak about this very topic. She didn’t know who to fix the hem and needed a temporary solution until she could drop her skirt by the tailor shop. Truthfully, a hem stitch, a seam stitch, and a button stitch are all pretty basic and will save both time and money.

Cost Benefit

I’m not sure there’s great value these days in sewing clothing unless you are hard to fit. Fabric is expensive and clothes are cheap (relatively speaking) so it doesn’t make sense to make your own bluejeans. However, if you are tall and it’s difficult to find things long enough – knowing how to put together a skirt or a pair of slacks is really beneficial. Knowing how to hem or take a tuck in a dress is great if your shape isn’t perfectly hourglass.

For the Home

Perhaps the greatest benefit is in knowing how to create products for your home. Curtains are super expensive and crazy simple to sew. Knowing how to run a few straight seams across a length of fabric means you can have almost any kind of curtain you desire. I’ve seen people make valances and drapes from the most unusual fabric source… old bedspreads, flower sacks, and even tee shirts. Pinterest is full of creative ideas and once again, YouTube will have a video showing you how to manifest the notion.

With a few simple swipes of the sewing machine and a couple of hand stitches, you can have new throw pillows on your sofa or bed. Even pajama bottoms are quick and easy… for years everyone in the family had matching ones each Christmas.

Similar to knowing the basics with a hammer and saw… this is a basic skill that comes in handy more than you’ll realize. Dust off your sewing machine or pick up a needle and thread, grab some practice fabric, turn on YouTube and …

Sew something.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#258 Repurpose Something

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#258

Repurpose something

Have you caught on to the repurpose craze? Are you a DIY’er that would rather spend $10 and ten hours of your time to create something new-to-you versus buying something brand new from a store?  Repurposing isn’t a new idea, or even something that was emphasized when HGTV made it mainstream.

Most of our grandmothers were queens at repurposing. I don’t think mine ever threw out a plastic bread bag – those were her baggies. She definitely never trashed a Styrofoam tray once butchers began using them – they were her paint trays. Necessity made repurposing a household habit perhaps as many years ago as there have been people on the planet. And yet, the concept has taken on new life and now, it’s not just practicality that serves the idea of repurposing – it’s imagination and art.

Thousands of blogs share creative ideas and tutorials. Pinterest is overflowing with photos of possibilities. Resale shops like ReStore run contests to promote the sale and rehabilitation of donated items. Goodwill sells dresser donations as quickly as they are donated.

Yard sale buyers aren’t antique and flea market dealers any more. A stroll through craft fairs and art shows demonstrates all kinds of people who have taken repurposing to an entirely new level.

This is one of the great uses of sites like Pinterest; gathering ideas and inspiration for projects that you’d like to entertain. After an hour or so of evoking your creative potential you’ll be ready to hit a yard sale or resale shop to find the pieces you’ll reinvent.  Whether it is a piece of art, a conversation piece, or something more practical like shelving or under-the-bed storage… you’ll for sure, experience tremendous satisfaction once you…

Repurpose something.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#260 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#260

Change your curtains

I’ve talked a lot about little things around the house that create a big impact on our mental health and sense of well-being. When our daily environment is in order, we feel more in control. When our personal space is tidy and tailored to our taste, we experience a deeper sense of comfort and belonging – both important elements of true happiness.

One of the little things that can change the entire feel of a room is to change the curtains. Window dressings can be art, contributing to the overall decor in a majestic way.

They can be simple and elegant.

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They can be creative and a deeply personal expression of you.

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They can be eclectic and colorful.

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Some people invest a lot of money in window treatments and feel compelled to keep them for a long time. The only problem with this concept is that style and interest changes as time goes by. After a few years, that significant investment represents a dated design.

If you’re not feeling particularly creative, use Pinterest to collect images of things you might like, things you may want to consider as you contemplate a change. As you consider modifications, remember to step out of your comfort zone and take a bit of a risk. Without that, nothing can be different. What would your choice be if you were to …

Change your curtains.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#343 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#343

Paint

Paint is relatively cheap – at least to other types of hobbies and/or decorating fixes. I’ll talk about painting in three different arenas:

  • Paint as art – Painting, regardless of your ability level is good for your health and happiness. Just the act of  holding a paintbrush can spur our creative juices, help us enter a state of flow, and promote feelings of happiness. Many of us might agree that the subjective nature of abstract art allows us to be true contenders on the international art scene with the simple act of throwing paint laden brushes of primary colors against a large blank canvas. Whether it is that particular technique or a purchased paint-by-number selection from the local craft supply center – painting an art piece will lend to lower stress levels and enhanced memory.

 

  • Paint furniture – have a piece of furniture that needs updating? If not, score a bargain at a local garage sale or flea market and then go ahead and give it a new coat of paint. You can be creative and paint something ‘artsy’ or go traditional and with the flow of your existing decor. It can be a big piece that you sand down to bare wood so that you have a fresh pallet or something that needs a little scraping, a bit more sanding, and then a fresh coat of a new color. Furniture can be painted to match almost any decor at all. From country chic to glossy sleek – the painting industry has your need covered.

 

  • Paint your house – Maybe not the outside (but hey, if you’re game – got for it), but give your inside a clean fresh look with a gallon or two of new paint. For less than $100, your entire family room can have a clean, crisp feel or your kitchen can be more modern. Painted kitchen cabinets are currently in fashion and while they certainly take patience and technique, the payoff is a whole new look for pennies in comparison to new cabinetry.  Be brave with your paint selection – it’s only color and it can be changed with a little effort if it turns out to be not-your-thing. Creating a space you feel good in can make a big difference in your attitude about being there. If home is where the heart is, then let your heart show there with colors that highlight you.

Don’t be intimidated by paint – regardless of the modality you opt for – as the cost/benefit analysis is almost always positively slanted in its direction. Create a Pinterest board of ideas for inspiration and you’ll be ready when the time comes for you to…

Paint.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo on Foter.com