5 Lessons Learned as a DIYer

Happy Monday! Hurricane Irene made quite a presence for the East Coast over the weekend!  In the ADKs, we had alot of intense rain and wind, but overall we are VERY thankful to be safe.  For those who endured damage to their homes and towns, my thoughts are with you as you deal with the aftermath.

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I’ve always had the drive to make-things-over, but in the past year, I have become a DIY nut.  As I’m approaching my one year mark of blogging, I have learned SO MUCH about do-it-yourself projects and blogging.   And even though I am far from being a master DIYer and blogger, I have learned a few lessons along the way that I thought I’d share.

1. Why buy when you can DIY?

This just about sums up the entire mission of my business and blog!  In the past year, I’ve learned that the more I DIY, the more creative I’ve become.  I’d rather avoid buying pricey items and instead challenge myself to think outside the box and create it on my own.  The fear of “messing up” is still there, but I’ve come to the realization that I won’t learn anything without trying.   The result is not always what I envisioned or equivalent to the high-price tag item, but at least I feel like I gave it my all and saved a few bucks along the way.

That leads me to my 2nd lesson learned as a DIYer…

 

2. Accept Imperfections

Not everything I make comes out perfect… actually many of the things I take on DON’T come out the right way, but I am accepting of my efforts and proud of my accomplishments!   Expecting too much of yourself, will only result in failure.  Not failure in the project, but failure in yourself, and that’s not a way to live.  Everyday you live, you should try to challenge yourself ~ it keeps you young and your mind fresh.

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Accepting imperfection leads me to my 3rd lesson…

 

3. Patience

Most DIY projects that I take on, are firsts for me.  Again, I enjoy a challenge, but often take short cuts (out of laziness and a desire for instant gratification) – so not good!  I definitely have learned my lessons with that – like when I didn’t use primer before painting or when I tried to cover up a hole with wallpaper.  Every experience – good or bad – is a lesson learned.  The next time, you have that much more knowledge under-your-belt to work with.  Recently I completely changed the guts of a light fixture (tutorial to come soon).  I had NO IDEA what I was doing (and getting a bit impatient because it was taking longer than 5 minutes).  My husband is the electrical go-to person in our house, but I was determined to do this without him. It took some time to learn, but in the end I got it, and I was quite impressed with myself.  A little patience goes a long way!

 

4. Think outside the box, yet don’t reinvent the wheel

Browsing the blogosphere can be inspirational, yet at the same time, completely overwhelming.  I visit ALOT of blogs and am often found with my jaw wide open in disbelief about how creative others are.   It blows my mind that people can come up with these great projects – and then sometimes I feel like, why can’t I?  After my 5-minute-pitty-party, I try to pick myself up and say, I have something unique to bring to the table too.  When I receive comments like –  “You are so inspiring”, “I love all the information I find on your site”, and a simple, “Thank You” – it all makes it worthwhile.  When I see what others are doing, I try to take inspiration from it and then use it to create my own “version”.  I’ve learned to let my mind wander, so I can look at something different than it’s actual purpose.  Searching sites like Pinterest or DecorPad is a great way to find amazing inspiration, but then changing the style to fit your life, is the way to make something new and unique.

5. Don’t bite off more than you can chew – take it one step at a time

For me, this lesson applies to many parts of my life, not just DIY projects.  It’s a lesson that I have not quite mastered. but continually strive for.  As a Designer and Blogger, I feel like I have to be ahead of the curve.  I have to share ideas and inspiration before the next person.  Why?  Because it’s the competitive nature of the design and blogging world. If I have old news, no one is going to visit my site or want to hire me as a Designer.  That being said, I have not quite mastered the art of a balanced life.  I always seem to take on more than I can chew, resulting in a burn out (which happens way too often).  I do what I do because I really enjoy it, but I do have to learn to take it one step at a time.

This statement, of course, also applies to any project.  Take each step slowly, so it’s done right the first time.  It is classic for me to paint something and then put on the 2nd coat only 10 minutes later – NOT good!  Again, patience is key to success.  I’m often the type to have multiple projects going on at one time – also not so good sometimes.  I can be in the midst of 3 projects and all of a sudden it’s 4:30 and I have to get ready for dinner.  Result?  A big rush to finish. Lesson?  Prioritize your time and take it step by step.

I love the power of a quote and here are three of my favorites that have made a huge impact on my life.   Check out more of my favorite quotes {here}

In the past year, I have learned so much about blogging, design, and most importantly, myself.  The 5 points above are lessons that I’ve learned, but still haven’t mastered……yet.  And maybe I never will, but at least I keep them in the back of my head when I’m having a rough day.

When putting together this post, so many thoughts were coming to my head about what I’ve learned as a Designer and DIYer.  It was difficult to narrow it down to 5 lessons, so I’ve got some more for you tomorrow.

To Be Continued…


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