Tag Archives: charity

The decluttering of a lifetime.

I’ve not been in the studio much this week.

Instead, I have touched everything in my bathroom and closet.

It was long overdue

If you remember I went to the assisted ministries to offer to volunteer – which led to a little melt down on my part.

Well after a couple of nights of lost of sleep, and an hour and half of therapy, you’ll be pleased to hear that I’m over it now.


I went on their tour and was really quite impressed with what they have to offer.

First up is the food bank, then the donation area and the resale shop. After that is the counseling room where people are assessed for the help they need and given vouchers for the food bank and the resale shop. Next is the job center, and finally the place where people can go to get help with taking their G.E.D., and help with their english.

The first stop on the tour was the donation area, and I have to say that I was immediately put off. Like, eww, put off. Enough to say that I almost had another melt down but thankfully managed to put it on hold while we continued on the tour.

The resale shop really surprised me however.

Everything was clean, and orderly, and very, very inexpensive, and what I liked most was that the clients that were issued with the vouchers, got the things that they needed free of charge. I always wondered about that at places like Goodwill, etc..

I’d already seen the area where the clients went for help when I accidentally went through the wrong door to sign up to volunteer, but I was surprised to find a job center in the next room. I asked about their success rate and was told that every person that went through their system ended up with a job. Maybe they would have said that anyway, but …

Anyway, I was quite impressed with how they were helping a person get on their feet in all aspects of their life, not just by giving out food etc, and you’ll be relieved to know that the potential melt down was almost gone by the time I got home, and instead I was galvanized into taking action.

Decluttering action.

I prefer to refer to myself as a collector of things rather than a hoarder, but whichever way you look at it I’ve always found the prospect of sorting out all of my stuff quite overwhelming.

But now, my new mission is to touch everything I own.


So I started with my closet and the bathroom.

I threw away anything with a hole or a stain (however small) because I decided if I wouldn’t wear it myself why should I expect others to wear it. I was pretty ruthless about keeping only those things that I knew I would wear, and I washed and folded all the other items and took them to the ministry.

After seeing the junk in the donating room I promised myself that I wouldn’t use the ministry, or Goodwill, ever again as a dump for anything I didn’t want. It had to be a good, solid item. The people in the ministry go through everything they get. They throw away every item that is not suitable and this is all picked up by a recycling unit which pays them for it. Probably not much, but hey.

They count every jigsaw piece, make sure all the toys are clean, and games complete. Check out that every electronic item works, every piece of furniture is clean, and everything else goes to recycling. So I wasn’t going to burden them with having to work that hard on my donations.

And it feels good.

My closet has never looked so organized and free of stuff that I know I’ll never use, even if it did still have the tag on it. Every toiletry item that I haven’t used, and won’t use, has now gone to a better place.

And man, it only took 3 bags of good clothing, 1 bag of shoes, 1/2 bag of handbags. 1 box of toiletries, 1 box of lightly used gift bags and wrapping paper, 3 suitcases we can’t use now because they’re not T.S.A. approved anymore, and 2 boxes of books which have been stored in my closet for over a year now because I didn’t know what to do with them.

Yes, we have a huge closet.

(I’m not going to tell you about the three bags of trash that also went out of the door as that would be a bit embarrassing.)

Now, I’m onto the bedroom and 4 boxes of books have already gone out the back door.

Now, although I prefer the assisted ministries shop I did have to give Goodwill two of the boxes as I didn’t think the ministry would want all of my, does god really exist, and psych books.

Better safe than sorry.

Wouldn’t want them to think I was one of those nasty atheist now would we ;)

Sometimes things come at the perfect time.

Update on ‘the funk’.

It’s gone.


Now we can return to our normal programme.


What’s to be done about it?

My latest dive into the funk left me wondering what’s it all about. I began to wonder if I should just give it all up. After all, I don’t make that much of an effort to sell my stuff, so does it really matter to me?

Does the money do any good anyway, or are we all just blowing into the wind.

Let me tell you, the funk has a lot to answer for.

I think I will always have my doubts about where the money goes, and if it does any good, and if we will ever see a world without poverty and anguish, but I do not doubt that my life is worth more when I live generously and with conscience.

Today I saw this.

And it gave me new hope.

I learned that am not here to change the world, just to help a little bit.

Bit of a relief really.

(There goes my nobel peace prize, dammit!)


So, today’s agenda … $1000 of jewelry sales money to Heifer International, because P says he likes them most, and a little something for the Cambodia lady, because she gives me hope.

P.S. I tried looking at her bags today on their website, but keep getting redirected from their product link. I’ve e-mailed them to let them know, (yes, I know, crazy interfering Englishwoman), so hopefully we can get to see them soon.

See here – Bloom Bags – but don’t forget to check back to see if they’ve fixed the problem.

Go on.

You know you want one of their bags :)

Happy Monday.

The art festival on Saturday was a little slower than usual, but it was a really nice day. A little too windy for the paintings I took which kept falling off the panels I’d set up, and so eventually I took them down.


I did sell one of them.

A first!

And it was the freaky one!


This lady also bought one of my favourite necklaces.


So thank you to her :)

All told I made just shy of $900 which is a little lower than usual but still nothing to sneeze at.

The day before I sold another $100, so I have a thousand to send off this week.

If anyone reading this came to Market Street in The Woodlands on Saturday.

Thank you!

I have to mention that we met many nice people including one lady who had bought from me on Etsy which I thought was really neat.

And finally.

To any of you who might have been worrying about my painting phobia.

I actually finished one without fretting!



So today I’m going out there to start another :)

Happy Monday!

I’ve been painting

Or rather, oil pastel-ing.







I think this is my favourite medium. The colours are so rich and meaty.

I find it hard to get back into jewelry after an art show. It’s like I’m all jeweled out.

I did fairly well at the festival. I made a thousand dollars, which, with what I already have, brings me to fifteen hundred.

I think this time the money is going to the Water for India thing, and Syria again.

Although I’m going to check out the Indian charity a little more first. I don’t usually give to the smaller charities as they aren’t so well known.

I don’t know, sometimes I get disheartened. It all seems so little for so much, but I can’t worry about it too much otherwise my brain will explode.

And that might hurt a bit.

So, I will leave you with a picture of my son in his halloween costume.


If you see him, please take him directly to the nearest psych ward.

He needs all the help he can get.


I’ve made

A banner. And it’s really big and in your face and a bit scary.

4′ x 2.5′ scary to be exact.


It’s for my booth at the art festival.

It going to scream, lookee, here I am, and then I’m going to have to talk to people and try to sell my jewelry to them, and that’s why it’s going to be scary.

I’m not good at that bit.

But, as I grow up, and, as in prezbillyjeff’s words to Stephen Colbert, I’d be a slug not to, I am determined to realize goal #2 in my effort to make another $10,000 for charity. So it has to be done people. The fear stops here (maybe).

It’s not going to be an easy feat considering I am the original super-chicken.

Yes, you might well have been wondering why I named my studio Cold Feet. It’s just a more tasteful way of saying chicken sh#t.

Actually it’s served me well. People remember my name, and, if you’re not super-chicken, that’s a good thing, right?

Next up I think I will make me a super-chicken t-shirt. Then I’ll be the whole package.

I’ll get back to you on that one.


Wouldn’t you know there’s already a super-chicken.

Only I think he has the wrong idea about the whole being a chicken thing.

Oh well. Back to the drawing board.

Get your own banner – here, you know you want one. And it’s only $20. How’s that for making an art festival possibly the most uncomfortable attention seeking experience you’ll ever have.

My stomach’s hurting already.


This morning I made my $10,000 goal.

Thank you to everyone that bought jewelry from Cold Feet Studio.

I really appreciate it.


Click photo to go to Save the Children.


“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill.


Was the art fair.

The weather was perfect.

Which is unusual to say the least. It’s usually hot as hell, even though it’s near the end of October.

Here is my booth.

Every year, well twice a year really, after I pack up from doing this fair I swear I’m going to re vamp my booth for the next time.

Make it look more professional.

Something that looks like I know what I’m doing.

And looks as though I’m serious about doing it.

I did do something different with the earrings but the rest will just have to wait for next time now.

I’m not holding my breath.

Here’s my friend Nicki’s booth. She’s an old pottery friend of mine and it was the first time since we’ve both been doing this show that we were placed next to one another.

Of course, I had to buy some of her bowls …


All said and done I made $1,000 for charity even though it was really, really slow in the morning and I thought I’d never get beyond selling two pairs of earrings.

So, thank you everyone that came out to see me yesterday. And, thank you everyone who bought from me off etsy recently.

Getting rid of my stuff means I can make more :)

Happy times.

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