Purging… How to be ruthless with yourself and “just do it”!

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I’ve been absent for a couple of months, and for that, I apologize. I’ve joined the ranks of being “employed outside the home” again, and have been working some really crazy hours! So, on that note, I will try to post as often as possible, but working 10 hour days at least 5 days a week is going to take some getting used to, and I will do the best I can…

Since I started working full-time again, I decided it was a good idea to re-vamp my closet and my wardrobe. I have a lot of clothes that I either haven’t worn in a while, have gone out of style, or simply don’t fit anymore. Most of these items are, or were, some of my favorites for a long time, so parting with them was definitely bittersweet! (I’m one of those people who goes for “the comfort zone” in my attire… I would much rather be comfortable than fashionable when I’m at home. But please don’t tell my Aunt Amy, the ultimate fashionista, that! 🙂 )

Purging is one of the hardest things for me to do, quite honestly. I am very likely to tell myself “I’ll wear it again someday”… Knowing full well that I probably won’t wear it again any time soon, and before I know it, another year has come and gone and it’s still hanging in my closet, unworn and unused. So, I told myself that, *THIS TIME*, I was going to get rid of everything that I haven’t worn for at least a year. (And, then of course, I had a very hard time sticking to it and just doing it!)

I started by taking out everything I *knew* I wouldn’t wear again, and let myself *keep* (for the first run-through) those things that I just couldn’t bear to part with right away. I then walked away and worked on another project for a little while before going back to my closet for the second go-around. On the next run-through, I *made myself* get rid of at least 5 things that I haven’t worn that are still in great shape and could be donated to someone who will love them as much as I do. And lastly (is that even a word?), I turned the hangers of everything else I haven’t worn in a year, (but just can’t get let go of yet), backwards on the hanging rod and gave myself a “60 day” reprieve. If I haven’t worn them by the first of July, I will go through them again and make myself get rid of at least half of those that are still facing backwards.

I’m sure this seems ridiculous to some of you, but I come from a family filled with pack-rats, and I am trying my best to break the cycle. (I still have clothes that my Grandmother made for me as a little girl that I will never give away!) I am taking it one step at a time, and *trying* to be ruthless with myself, and telling myself that I need the space more than I need the clothes that are taking up the space! But, when I finished my purge session, I had enough room in my closet to hang a vertical organizer that will hold all of my sweaters and a few favorite purses! I feel pretty darn good about that! 🙂

And, on that note: I recently found a great website that has *loads* of awesome organizing tips, and a list of “10 Questions to Ask Yourself When De-cluttering”… It’s called Life Your Way, and the following list is courtesy of their website… Go check them out! They can be found at http://www.life.yourway.net… Loads of great information, free organizing downloads, and calendars to help you plan the important things that need to get done!

The 10 questions according to their website, are as follows:

1) Is this item something I use regularly?

2) If not, is it something that I love?

3) Am I keeping this out of obligation?

4) Do I think I should love it?

5) Am I saving it just in case?

6) Do I have multiples of the same thing?

7) Could something else I have do the same job?

8) Am I holding on to it to fix one day?

9) Is it worth the time I spend cleaning it?

*10) Could I use the space for something else?*

I took the liberty of putting asterisks around #10, because I personally feel that this is *the* most important question to ask yourself. Let’s be really honest here… if you *aren’t using it*, *haven’t used it*, and *probably won’t use it* any time soon, then it’s just taking up space and needs to be purged. (Unless, of course, the item is like my “Granny-made” clothes (see #2), and you won’t part with them for any reason!)

Now… Go forth, and purge ruthlessly! See how much better you feel when you’re done and have all that extra space!

‘Til next time!

Peace, Love, and Creativity,

~Lisa~

Fresh String Beads on Artfire

***I originally wrote this blog post more than 4 weeks ago, and because of my crazy work schedule, I forgot to post it! Hence, the time lapse…***

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T.G.I.F. (Thank Goodness It’s Finished!)…

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The Trellis Jewelry Display Project

A week or so ago, I posted a couple of pictures of a garden trellis I had just finished putting a base coat of paint on in preparation for my latest “crafty” project.  I have wanted to make myself a jewelry display for quite sometime, and just hadn’t gotten around to it until now… And, indeed, I *finally* finished it!  I am so thrilled with how it turned out, and was certainly glad to replace the old cork bulletin board I have been using for I don’t know how long…

This is what I had hanging on my wall before. A boring, drab, and not-so-pretty corkboard:

The Not-So-Pretty Before Picture

This was the ugliest, and most *un-organized* jewelry board. Granted, it did what it was supposed to do, but it wasn't much to look at, if you ask me... (And, see that baby picture along the top? That is a picture of my Grandma! Wasn't she cute!?)

Last year sometime, on one of my many “thrifting” forays, I found this garden trellis at my local Goodwill and bought it for a mere $4.00! (Quite a steal, I know!) I had envisioned what it would be as soon as I saw it, and it was just a matter of having the time to actually get it done. It only took me a year to get around to it, but this is how it looked after the initial coats of paint:

Trellis Jewelry Display - Before

A good couple of base coats of gloss white acrylic spray paint was just what this baby needed to make it shiny and new... 2 coats later, it gleams!

(As a side note, this 40-foot pine tree came down during our last big storm here a couple of weeks ago, so I took full advantage of the “paint prop” before the guys came by and cut it all up.)

I let the paint dry and cure for a few days before proceeding with the rest of my project. At that point, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted to decorate the top bar, so I got out the paint and my Sharpie markers and jumped right in! Here’s what we had after my decorating spree:

Trellis Display - After Decorating

This is what I ended up with after I took the paint and Sharpie markers to it...

And, a close-up view:

Trellis Display Close Up

A close-up view of my pretty painted flowers and butterflies!

The next step was to add my window screen, courtesy of the staple gun and some much-needed brute strength from Troy… (Without him, this would have taken *forever* for me to do! I bet he must have put at least 100 staples in this baby!)…

We started with the underside of the top bar and laid the window screen flush with the back edge and stapled it all the way across in 1/2″ increments so that it would be good and tight all the way across.

Trellis Display - Adding the Screen

It's a little hard to see the window screen, but my kitty, Whiskers, did a good job of acting as a backdrop so you could make it out better... 🙂

We stretched the screen down and around the bottom edge first, cutting out a small section where the bars come out and down at the base. Then we stretched it to either side and around to the back.  (Like I said, easily 100+ staples by the time we were done!)

The next step was to trim off the extra screen, and then add picture wire along the back edge so that it would hang without drooping down. Troy made the wire go across the back  pretty tightly to achieve the look I wanted.  He used 3 cup hooks screwed in at even intervals, and then took the wire and twisted it back on itself at either side, until it was fairly taut. (I forgot to take a picture of that part, but it pretty much looks like a straight line across the back when done.)

We then added quite a few nails along the bottom edge and down the “legs” of the piece to hang my necklaces and bracelets.

And, voila’! Done! All that remained was to hang it on the wall and put my jewelry on it! Here is the finished project before I hung my jewelry…

Trellis Display - After, but before Jewelry

This is my *new and improved* jewelry display for my personal jewelry! I am so tickled with how it turned out!

And, finally, the “After” shot… This looks *so* much better than the old one!

Trellis Display - After Jewelry

This is the "After" I was looking for, by golly! I did end up having to add some extra pins along the bars to hold my multitude of necklaces and bracelets.

I am so happy with this display!! It looks SO much better than what I had to begin with, and now when I look at my jewelry, I can actually find what I am looking for… I also had a lot of fun making it, and am now going to start work on another one for my office/studio. I just MUST have *somewhere* to hang all those earrings and necklaces I make every day! 😉

Till next time…

Peace, Love, Creativity,

~Lisa~

Don’t forget to stop by Fresh String Beads on ArtFire! I’ve added quite a few new earrings and findings, so please come by and check them out!

Speaking of Pinterest, and Organizing…

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If you’ve been on Pinterest already, you know what an amazing site it is for finding inspiration of any sort! Doesn’t matter what you’re into these days, you’ll find *something* on there that strikes your fancy… I was on just a little while ago, and found all kinds of great organizing ideas, and loads of free “printables” to make storage labels, gift tags, cards, and so much more! I am constantly in awe of the fabulous things I find there! (which, of course, is why it is so darned *addictive*!)…

Anyhoo, if you, like me, are trying to get more organized and want some GREAT ideas on how to store things, how to decide what to purge, keep, donate, etc. then you simply *must* check it out!

I have saved some great ideas myself, and you are welcome to check out my boards and “repin” whatever you like! You can find my boards here: http://pinterest.com/lisag966/… (Click this link to see all of my boards!)

I have a lot of different boards, but the ones you may be most interested in are labeled “Decorating and Organization”, and “Freebies and Printables”. (Click on any of these links to be taken to those boards.) If you need an invitation to join Pinterest, feel free to comment below, or send me a personal e-mail and I’ll be happy to send one along for you!

Happy Organizing!

Peace, Love, Creativity,

~Lisa~

Fresh String Beads on ArtFire

Contact me by Email

Knoxville Fashion Week… I promised you pictures!

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A couple of weeks ago, I promised you some pictures from Knoxville Fashion Week, and here they are! The girls, from Gage Talent, were all beautiful, and did a stunning job of showing off our handmade jewelry. So, without further ado, here are the photos…

Knoxville Fashion Week 2012

Sterling Silver and Swarovski Crystal Earrings and Cherry Jade and Onyx Necklace. Modeled by Kelly Korrod of Gage Talent.

Knoxville Fashion Week 2012 -1
Knoxville Fashion Week 2012 - 2

Sterling Silver and Swarovski Crystal Prom Necklace and Earrings. Modeled by Jody Mills, Gage Talent, Knoxville, TN.

Knoxville Fashion Week 2012 - 3

Super Long Sterling Silver Earrings with Amethyst Clusters, Wire-Wrapped Sterling Victorian Key Pendant, and Single Freshwater Cultured Pearl Necklace on Sterling Chain. Modeled by Alanna Phillips, of Gage Talent, Knoxville, TN.

Knoxville Fashion Week 2012 - 4

Sterling Silver Swirl Earrings with Freshwater Cultured Pearl Drops, Copper Stamped Bracelet, and Copper Swirls Bracelet. Fandangle Necklace by David and Tina Brunetti, of Brunetti Confetti. Modeled by Wendy Adams of Gage Talent, Knoxville, TN.

Knoxville Fashion Week 2012-9

Fandangles Necklace and Earrings by David and Tina Brunetti, of Brunetti Confetti, Knoxville, TN, copyright 2012. Modeled by Silver Martin, of Gage Talent, Knoxville, TN.

Knoxville Fashion Week 2012 - 9

A selection of rings and bracelets, all handmade by Lisa Glenn - Fresh String Beads, copyright 2012. As modeled by the lovely and beautiful young ladies of Gage Talent, Knoxville, TN.

…and one more!

Knoxville Fashion Week 2012 - 7

All the gorgeous young ladies of Gage Talent, Knoxville, TN.

Jewelry shown here is made by me, Lisa Glenn, of Fresh String Beads, Knoxville, Tennessee, copyrighted by Fresh String Beads, 2012; and David and Tina Brunetti, of Brunetti Confetti, Knoxville, TN . Additional thanks go out to Jennifer and Seana, of Ollantay’s Gallery 133, 133 S. Gay St., Knoxville, TN, for use of the gallery space, and the wonderful artists, Dawn Denton Hawkins and Tina Brunetti, whose artwork graces the backgrounds in the photos! We couldn’t have done it without all of you! 🙂

Please stop by Gallery 133 while you are downtown, and check out the spectacular assortment of artwork, photography, and jewelry, by Lisa Glenn, David and Tina Brunetti, Dawn Hawkins, Andrew Tituskin, Angie Ball, Chris Cornett, Rucker Wells, Cinda Costner, and many more! We hope to see you there soon!

Peace, Love, Creativity,

~Lisa~

Fresh String Beads on ArtFire

Just a little on the crafty side…

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This week’s post doesn’t have a lot to do with organizing my space, per se, but I suppose on some level it does count, since I’ll be using this project to organize *my* jewelry. As you would expect, (me being a jewelry artist and all!), I have a small truckload of jewelry of my own that needs a permanent landing zone. So, here is my project for the week…

I am, by nature, a crafty girl. My friends and family will tell you that I am the *Queen of Crafty*! All my life, I have been, in one way or another, creating something, at any given moment… The past week, I’ve been working on at least 3 different projects, or maybe even 4! I am *always* creating new jewelry, and since one of my favorite girlfriends was heading into town for the week from Texas, I was also busy creating a new pair of earrings for her in the midst of everything else I had going on! 🙂 A while back, I made a “shabby-chic” jewelry display/storage for one of my nearest and dearest friends, and I loved it so much that I set out to create one for myself as well. I found a great trellis-type piece recently at my local Goodwill that I have determined is PERFECT for me, since I love nature and flowers so much, (and am so often inspired by God’s lovely gifts to us)… So, the other day when it was so nice outside, I decided to start on it, and get the first steps done. Here is a photo of the piece I made for my best buddy, that is the inspiration for the newest one that I’m working on:

Tina's Birthday Present

This is the piece that I created for my best friend, Tina, for her birthday last year. It is the inspiration for the piece I am in the process of creating now.

And, another shot:

Tina's Birthday Present - Take 2

Another shot of Tina's jewelry display... Strands of hemp for the hanger at the top, and cup hooks along the bottom for holding necklaces and bracelets, etc.

And, here is a picture of the piece I am working on now… It will be very similar to the one above, with a slight variation or two… So far, I have only done the base coat of paint. I plan on adding some painted vines and flowers along the top, and using small nails and cup hooks for hanging my own necklaces, bracelets, and such, along the sides and bottom. I will also add window screen across the front for hanging earrings.

Trellis Jewelry Display - Before

We lost this tree during the storm last week, so I took advantage of the "painting prop" before it got cut up.

I will post the “after” pictures as soon as I am done, so stay tuned for the finished project pics, and the “how-to”!

Peace, Love, and Creativity, as always! 🙂

~Lisa~

Fresh String Beads on ArtFire

Very Pinteresting… and Knoxville’s First Annual Fashion Week!

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My love/hate relationship with Pinterest...

Just a quick note today…

~*~ I’ve worked furiously for the last few weeks to get new jewelry goodies made for Knoxville’s First Annual Fashion Week! Hence, the reason y’all haven’t heard from me in a week or better! I promise I’ll have more time to organize and declutter this next week, as  I’m determined to get the chaos under control! I have been working on it, a little bit each spare moment…

Anyway, I had a wonderful opportunity to take part in K-town’s newest annual fashion event, and got a few pieces modeled by the lovely, young ladies of Gage Talent/Barbizon Modeling. Fashion Week continues through March 3rd, which is when they’ll have their big blowout fashion show… I am honored to have been able to take part in the festivities, and I definitely look forward to next year! (I’ll post my photos from the modeling shoot in the next edition, and I’ll be listing some of those new jewelry creations for sale on the website in the next few days as well.)

~*~ So, who among us has not become *totally* addicted to Pinterest yet?? I swear, I could get lost on that site for DAYS!!! I love looking at all the handmade goodies, fabulous recipes, beautiful homes and dream cottages/cabins… people’s “style” boards, DIY and craft ideas, wedding plan boards, pictures of awesome travel destinations that make you WANT to go there, and so much more… I could go on, and on, and on… but, I’m sure you get the point! It is FAB-U-LOUS!!!

I have found so many great ideas there, (and I’m sure I’ll probably never get to most of them in my lifetime), but hey, a girl can dream… and find *plenty* of inspiration for her next crafty project! You wouldn’t believe the number of great organizing ideas I’ve come across… I’m telling you, it’s flippin’ awesome!

The idea behind Pinterest is that it is a “virtual bulletin board”, where you can “pin” pictures of things you love and websites you want to check out when you have more time. There are *tons* of craft ideas for any number of things you already enjoy doing, I guarantee it! You can make as many boards as you want, name them accordingly, and pin whatever you like (or love!) to them. I have several boards already, and I bet you could guess that at least two of them have to do with decorating and organization ideas… yeah, I’m *that* transparent! I even have one for ideas, and craft and home projects I think my sister would like that I want to share with her.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should. (But, with a warning of impending addiction, mind you). If you need an invite to join, feel free to leave me a comment with your e-mail address and I’ll send you one. (And, I won’t post, or make viewable, any comments that include e-mail addresses. I promise to respect your privacy, and your right to non-junky/spammy e-mail inboxes!)

Drop by and check out my boards. I have no idea how many pins I have about now, but it’s a lot, I assure you. You can find my inspirations at http://pinterest.com/lisag966/. And next time, we can also discuss how you can use Pinterest to build your business.

‘Til next time!

Peace, Love, and Creativity,

~Lisa~

Fresh String Beads on Artfire

Moving things around… Re-organizing my stuff!

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So, you know, last week I was cleaning out the drawers next to my desk, right? And I realized, after the fact, that I had only cleaned out the drawer and put most of the same stuff back into it, rather than use the drawer for my “most-used” items and tools, as I had initially planned… Well, this week, I actually got around to rearranging a few things and better utilizing and organizing those drawers! Here’s where I started, and , where I ended up…

After my initial clean-up, but before the re-claiming:

This had been home to my embossing and pigment powders, glitter, and business cards. I moved these things elsewhere, because I simply had no need to have them "right at hand".

After I re-claimed the drawer:

This drawer now holds all my various types of chain, and loads of extra coils of wire in plastic zip bags. (It still needs a "going-through" to get rid of some things and be better organized!

Doesn’t look too bad, though, huh? Well, like I said… it’s a start!

I also started working on organizing my beads better so that I can find what I want, when I want it. Tall order for me, to say the least! I have, quite literally, *thousands* of beads. So, organizing them is definitely a priority… I pulled a giant, antique printer’s drawer I bought years ago, out from under my bed (where the dust bunnies had made quite a nest!) and started cleaning it out and going through the beads I had accumulated from several years past. I even found a couple of strands of expensive beads that I had completely forgotten about buying! (As I’ve cleaned, I’ve also been planning about 6 projects in my head out of those fabulous re-found beads!!)

I’m not going to post a before picture of the printer’s drawer, just out of sheer embarrassment of the dust that had collected there! But here is what it looks like now, and I plan to add a lot more beads to it over the next week or so as I re-organize my collection… Now, I just gotta figure out where to store this monster that *isn’t* under the bed!! 🙂

Printer's Drawer for Bead Storage

I found this antique printer's drawer at a flea market several years ago. It has been under my bed for ages, and is now going to be home to a multitude of various beads! Minus the dust, of course!

And another, closer, shot:

Printer's Drawer

It still needs some more organizing before I'm finished with it, but it's a good start!

Okay, time to go at it again… ‘Til next time!

Toodles…

~Lisa~