31 Days · Good to Know

31 Days: The Thrift Project – Day 31: Lessons

First of all, I’d like to thank you for following along with me. If you’ve just shown up today, or if you’ve been here all along, whether you comment or stay silent, it means a lot. Really. Thanks for reading.

It’s been quite a month. Amazing, really. It may seem small or silly, to commit one month to making stuff, finishing projects, and writing about thrifting. But it has been awesome. It has been a discipline that has taught me so much, and not just about sewing (and I’ve learned a lot about sewing). It has pushed me to be more, do more, plan more, think more, remember more, write more, photograph more, even notice more of my everyday life. Today, I want to share some of these big and small lessons with you.

1. It’s okay if you use the seam ripper as much as you use the sewing machine. Taking things apart helps you figure out how to put them back together. And mistakes can be the best teachers. However, sometimes, you should just….

2. Skip the seam ripper. Which just means do what’s easiest. Instead of spending an hour carefully pulling apart a hem, just chop it off and keep going. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

3. Make small goals. There were days when it seemed impossible to complete everything for a post the next day. But when I broke it down into small goals (get all fabric cut out during first nap, get all fabric ironed during second nap), I realized I could do it. I never got overwhelmed – I just keep plugging away, step by step, until I finished. Bird by Bird, as Anne Lamott says.

4. Keep going, even if you don’t know what’s next. There were a few projects where I didn’t really know how it was going to end. I just finished the step I was currently on (cutting off the hem, taking in sleeves). Instead of getting bogged down by what I didn’t know, I kept doing what I did know, and the next step would be clearer when it was time.

5. Music makes every task a little better. Even ironing can feel slightly more glamourous when there is good music. (I heart you, Pandora.)

6. Lots of sewing with a crawler in the house = lots of sweeping. Plan accordingly.

7. Being extra busy highlights the things that are most important to you. I’ve done everything while the kids were asleep, so I’ve not been missing out on family time, my MOST important thing. But I have been missing out on all of my regular “downtime”. I haven’t really missed TV (see below), but I have missed reading. I have a book from the library that’s overdue, but the wait list is really long, and I REALLY want to finish it. (Sorry to my friends that I know are on the wait list behind me – I’m finishing it tonight, I PROMISE!) Last night, I finished up my post a little early and got to read in bed for 30 minutes. HEAVEN!

8. When you’re doing something you LOVE, you don’t miss the things you think you need. I think I’ve watched TV three times this month. Instead, after the kids are in bed, I come downstairs and get to work. Having a deadline I’ve given myself is part of it, but I truly LOVE doing projects, editing photos, and writing posts. I’ve learned that I would rather do these things than crash on the couch and watch TV. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ll be catching up on Modern Family when my daily posting is over, but I don’t feel like I’m missing out when I don’t catch a show.

9. You can do more than you think, if you really want to.

So what’s next?

I’m definitely going to keep blogging. I’ve still got projects to finish, and I think of new ones every week. I’ve got some other things swirling around in my brain, too (what’s that “shop” label at the top of blog for anyway?). So if you want to keep following along, I’ll be here. Probably not every single day, but several times a week, I’ll keep posting projects and telling my stories. (I’m thinking of a new, not-every-day series to start in November. I’ll let you know what I come up with after I take a little break.)

I’m off to finish reading my book – see you in November!

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This post is part of a 31 Day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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18 thoughts on “31 Days: The Thrift Project – Day 31: Lessons

  1. I’ve read all of your posts – every day and I really enjoyed them. It’s amazing how quickly I got used to reading them every day as part of my routine. I liked your personalization on every project and your obvious enthusiasm. Good job and keep it up!! Very fun!

  2. totally enjoyed. good points….i know for me, especially this time of year when it gets dark so early, it is so easy to want to crash on the couch (if I had one…i recently gave mine away) instead of accomplishing things. i am going to take your advice, set some deadlines and get going. :)

    1. Want to help me make a slipcover? :) I’m thinking I’ll tackle that project soon. Should probably take my own advice and set a deadline for that one….

      1. i would love to but i am not sure i will be much help. i am struggling getting the arms to meet up correctly with the back and sides. i have ripped out the seams three times! i know where i went wrong though…i was so worried it would be too small that i have made it too big so it is bunching up. i will fix it and these long dark evenings are perfect for it. :)

  3. Really, really have enjoyed reading your blog each day. It was fun to see you doing these things since I am so far away and don’t get to see you in person! And I loved hearing the stories again, of you and Dad and the things you used to do! You are the best daughter ever!

  4. All I can say is….Applause, applause, bravo bravo, encore! Really enjoyed reading your heartfelt writing, was inspired by your dedication and truly loved seeing your gorgeous photography :) I can’t wait to click on your “shop” button soon (jewelry, anyone?) But I do have one burning question: What book are you reading???

    1. Bringing Up Bebe, by Pamela Druckerman. It’s non-fiction, a book about the difference between parents in America and France. VERY interesting and eye-opening. (And thanks for the sweet words!)

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