Overcoming Perfection


The need to be ‘perfect’.

What the heck drives that anyways?

Comparison?  So you can do _______ as good as ______ can?

Ego?  So you can ‘be the best’?

Competition?  So that dad/mom/teacher will ‘like’ you more?

Self-Worth?  If I can’t _________ then I must not be ____________.

Are there things in your life you are waiting to do because you can’t do them ‘perfectly’?  Are you holding back on passions stirring within you because you think your current efforts won’t propel you to the top?

There is no doubt that we squash our own talents and God-given abilities for many reasons, but our fear of not being good enough probably ranks pretty highly up there….why put out any effort if it doesn’t have an appreciable reward, right?



As I sit in my studio, cutting without a plan; creating without a clear vision, I spend a whole-lotta-time critiquing my own work….is this even good enough to show anyone? 

What actual use will this _________ have anyways? 

 Who would want to use it / display it?

I’ve been pondering lately how this is a metaphor for so many things in our life. 

To how many things do we say :

“I’m not going to _______________ until I _______________.”

“I can’t ____________ because I don’t __________________.”

“There’s no point in me ___________________ because ______________is better at it anyways”

See yourself in any of those statements?….

If you do, here’s a new truth to say to yourself in it’s place.

“I’m going to start by ____________________.  Today is only one small part in where this journey will lead.  I don’t know what the end of this road looks like, but I have today.  I have the creativity to dream, I have the heart to love, I have the hands to create, and the body to move, TODAY.”

Comment anonymously if you’d like but I’d love to hear what things you have been holding back on doing…..

…cooking?…painting?…singing? …. dancing?  …getting your driver’s license?

…teaching your kids to ______________?….exercising?…..writing?

….starting a business? …..writing a book?  …..just getting out of bed today?

I’d love to encourage you if you see any of yourself in this post.  Let’s move along this trail together…let’s bust down some fake fences that we’ve called PERFECTION and move forward!


Trust me, if I was ruled by perfection, I'd never create anything!

Trust me, if I was ruled by perfection, I'd never create anything!

Join me: I’m

REPURPOSED on Facebook



…not alot of words, just photos of recent work!

I cut up an old leather jacket that didn’t sell on etsy, and got lots of great leather pieces….this was just something quick:  THE CUFF:

(I had to try out my two snap putter-onner-tool-thingys that I got at a garage sale for FREE.  yup, FREE  along with a couple of quilting square / triangle measurey things, and elastic and binding and I figure it was about a $70 haul FO FREE…!!!)



 HBI has been spending time in the studio with me….using the sewing machine, making what he plans to be ‘flags’.  The top one has already been modified and is hanging on the studio wall with a chain attached to it.  “Mom, I like it MUCH better with the chain.”   I’ll have to get a picture of it….




I’m encouraging him to look at texture and patterns and find interesting combinations.

This next one is a little stroller quilt I made for my friend Kahla.  It is made out of men’s dress shirts for her new little baby boy!  I left one shirt pocket on so there is a place to put his pacifier…!


oh man…I have like 4 other things on the go out there…just haven’t photographed them….I’m sticking mostly with fabric it seems, but this little project only took a few minutes…:

Remember way back last year I started to get a love on for those covered cheese trays?  Well I did find one this year for the love-of-a-quarter ( didn’t even bargain!)


…started up with a bit o black paint I had kicking around:


and ended up here:


Perfect for my artistic philosophy:

Projects should #1) take less than an hour, #2) take no appreciable skill to complete  #3) that I don’t have to measure or follow a pattern to do, and #4) that I don’t have to spend any $$ on….

Here’s just a sneak peek at something currently on my table:


Upcycled Travel Bag

I’d been seeing these things around the blogosphere, so I thought I had to try my hand at modifying an old travel bag.

This one was an off white color, made by Samsonite, and in quite good condition.

A few strokes of my Sharpie, and I think I might travel in style the next time I board a plane!




I didn’t take any before photos, but basically I added the free-hand tree drawing plus the black stripe.

Have some fun looking at some other possibilities here!  Look through their whole shop – it’s pretty fun!



Do I have to sew to REPURPOSE something?

With two immediate family members getting married in the next two weeks, I may be a little scarce around here so I thought I’d pass along some blog-love and show you some ideas that don’t include fabric.

I’ve mostly been into fabric lately, but that doesn’t mean my mind isn’t constantly working on ideas for other things lying around too!

A recent commenter, recently took this:



and created this:


Or how about REPURPOSING all those old CD cases lying around?


“From the book Photocraft: Cool Things to Do with the Pictures You Love: Scan or crop your images to the size of a CD case (5 3/8 in. wide by 4 5/8 in. high) then print on good photopaper and trim. We recommend using standard (not slim) cases. Discard plastic inserts. 

Back each photo with cardboard or foam board and snap the cases shut. Attach them to the wall with 3-inch strips of sticky-back hood-and-loop fasteners (such as Velcro). “

Those of you who speak French, might be inspired by this site:


Anything lying around your house that you could look at differently?


August Challenge

so I put a challenge out there for you Facebookers to repurpose just one thing this week – did anyone catch the bug?

I sat down in my studio, determined to ‘create’ something and looked at all the scrappy bits of fabric I have lying around.  I started fiddling, and faddling, and piecing, and something started to emerge….

Who knew that QUILTING would have been one of the original uses for scrappy bits?  I never thought it would be something I could get into because of the time involved, but quite honestly because you can piece them square by square, it might just be something I could get in to! 

It totally fits my philosophy of:

1) taking less than an hour, #2) taking no appreciable skill to complete #3) be easy enough that I don’t have to measure or follow a pattern to do it, and #4) that I don’t have to spend any $$ on….

Here’s what came out:


and then this one….


and then I remembered something I had made last year:


and then I started looking at quilting PATTERNS….my oh my, you could go for years and never make the same square twice.   Anyhew…apparently the center of this is called a modified nine-patch….I just kept adding on….oh, and don’t look too carefully at my seams…by now you know how I roll….


Then I was out at the mall yesterday and I saw the cutest top with ribbon roses on it, and I thought hey!  I could do that…so I didn’t change the thread on my machine and started sewing in circles…..when I do it again, I’ll change the thread and start from the middle….I think it has the potential to be really cute….!  Anyhew…once the flower was done I needed something to put it on, so I whipped up this:


I used creative license in borrowing the phrase from Matt….I hope he doesn’t mind!

So I don’t know if anyone else was playing along, but I sure had fun this week and discovered a whole new genre to play with!

Spoon Love….


So I bought a new dress for my sister’s wedding and now of course, I need jewelery to go with it.  But…that means buying more at retail and you know how that makes my skin crawl….so…I headed to the studio to start ‘creating’.

I ended up with this piece that I love, but it’s not quite right for the wedding, so I will have to keep at that…who knows what else I will come up with!



It is really shiny so it was hard to photograph, but it basically is a flattened silver spoon ( not stainless steel…) a vintage rhinestone necklace clasp and an old skeleton key.

Right now the key is on there with a key ring ( how predictable, I know..!) and I do want to replace that with something more delicate but I will have to scrounge around to find something else first…oh sure, I could just go to Michael’s Crafts but that would be RETAIL people….not my bag!

Oh and yes…that is GREEN wire.  I couldn’t find any silver wire, so I just used the green wire we had for my sister’s wedding dress flowers….quirky, but perfect…!

REPURPOSED on Facebook


Repurposing Trends

…There are alot of places to find inspiration for repurposing old items. Google is my best friend these days when I find myself with something to repurpose….

Take for instance – ZIPPERS.

Wouldya ever have thought about this?????



Brooches and the like from ZIPPERS…..see more here


REPURPOSED on Facebook


Repurposing Inspiration from other Artists

…I’ve go two weddings in our immediate family in the next month, so I’ve been busy, busy, busy….there will be a few projects to share, but just not yet so I don’t spoil any surprises!

In the meantime, here are two websites to look at for repurposing inspiration!


This ARTIST uses old glassware to create chandeliers!


ooooh the possibilities!

And something a little more local….my good friend Kim has recently made some purses out of old BOOKS! 

You can give her a shout out right here and I’ll make sure she reads it!


Inspiring for sure!  She is also a very talented photographer and artist in many other forms as well…..help me encourage her to showcase her work on the world wide web!


Repurposing a sweatshirt with a broken zipper….

One downfall, I suppose, of volunteering a day a week in a thrift store is all the the treasure I come in contact with that really needs saving.  I see it all….all the wastage and excess that most of us have come to live with as normal. 

There are so many possibilties for items people have discarded as trash…

For instance…today I happened upon this Quiksilver sweatshirt that had a broken zipper.  

sweatshirt1Now, it would not have been that complicated to replace the zipper….a little time consuming and about 8 bucks.  No doubt the person donating this item didn’t have the time to try and figure it out in order to avoid having to go out and buy another sweatshirt.

So….I begged to take it home and repurpose it.

…..for those of you new to my blog, you need to know I have a propensity for projects that #1) take less than an hour, #2) take no appreciable skill to complete  #3) that I don’t have to measure or follow a pattern to do, and #4) that I don’t have to spend any $$ on….

First I sewed the zipper together by hand….just used brown thread and a needle and sewed that sucker shut.



Then I eyeballed and  I simply cut out what I thought looked rectangular.


Then I looked over the rest of it and decided on interesting pieces for the back….I also cut out one of the pockets and sewed it onto what would be the back panel…


Now, I’m not into changing my machine thread just because ( it takes time, and cuts into my hour), so I thought the current color I had on there…an orangy yellow, would make a nice contrast and I just used that to stitch on the pocket.


I don’t know much about adjusting the tension, so on most of my projects, the stitching comes out a little wonky, but that to me, just goes to show that it doesn’t have to be perfect…it just has to work.

After that I took out my handy dandy rotary cutter…( oh, now don’t you go thinking that I went out and spent $$ on this…oh no…I put it on my Christmas list last year and hubby’s equally crafty aunt, saw the value in purchasing it for me…I love her I tell you..!)  …anways, I took out my rotary cutter and matched up the back and front and somewhat tried to even out the edges ( right sides facing together…)


Then, I started stitching the back and front panel together.  Also note the wonky stitching here.  I’m not one to go out a rip it out when that happens…I just go back and sew over it again.  After all, this IS going to be on the inside….if it were on the outside, I probably would reconsider, but maybe not…:)


Ok, we are almost there now…by now, you may have figured out what we are making, but maybe not, so I’ll break the suspense for you…we’re making a shoe bag, or a little carry satchel ( which my 9yo has already claimed as his gym bag for next year…)

So, once you’ve stitched twice with right sides together, you turn it right side out and turn over the edges about an inch, and then slice into it twice so that the string will have somewhere to go.


At this point, I did use pins to pin down the channel all the way around….and I (gasp now..) changed the thread color since I kind of wanted it to disappear on the outside of the bag….

finishing9and the measurement thing on your feed plate does come in handy for this job….helps you keep the channel size somewhat consistent as you go…

Next, you feed through your string… ( and make a mental note to change out your badly chipped nailpolish!)


et voila….front and back!



Now, my next dilemma…I’m pretty much left with scraps except for the arms….what can I do with them…?????  ideas????


Repurposing while on Vaca….

..who knows how many crafty little things I will come up with while on vaca….idle hands ‘n’ all….I think I’m just making up for the past few months of nothingness.

Here is another installment of a little girl’s dress made from a  vintage sheet….such a sweet pattern!


Then I had some time on my hands and had seen examples of these floating around the blogosphere….so I thought I had to try my hand at it.  I used a very thick marker, so next time, and there will be a next time…(!), I will use a much thinner marker tip….maybe I’ll include a tutorial too!



I played with it in Photoshop and like this one nearly as much!


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