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Save Money & Support Local Business: Functional Rustic Approach

Functional Rustic has a promo code now! Use Promo Code: save50 when you check out at Functional Rustic and save 50% on your entire order. And, as always, Functional Rustic offers FAST and FREE delivery right to your door!

Save50 Promo Code
Use Promo Code SAVE50 at www.FunctionalRustic.com to save 50% PLUS FREE SHIPPING on the entire Functional Rustic inventory of handmade rustic dรฉcor. Valid thru 12/31/18.

I’m not ashamed to say that I am struggling to get the word out that Functional Rustic is a place to buy things – beautiful, handmade things at that! Apparently most stores use sales and promotional offers to get customers in the door – so Functional Rustic will too!

Sales and promotions are nice and all – but I am most proud of the new items I’ve created. The consistent piece of feedback that I have received is that Functional Rustic could benefit from a bit more color. It is this advice that inspired the purple, green and blue coat racks. Talk about colorful! Not only do I love the colors, but the round “hooks” are actually repurposed drawer handles. Gives them such a unique look!

The coat racks are fun to create but I promised myself I wouldn’t make any more until I sold what I already have. They are priced to sell so I will get to build more in not time. (If you want a coat rack but in a different color let me know and I will happily repaint it for you! Also, if you can’t make it to Countryside but want items you see from the pictures – let me know and I can arrange to have it delivered FREE.)

As of today, all of the new Functional Rustic items are in store at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall. The plan moving forward is to store all the new products at Countryside and pull them off the shelves as needed for craft shows. Keep an eye out for the monthly storewide sales (on top of already low prices) and receive at least 25% discounts on all Functional Rustic items.

Check out the new items at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall below!

Looking for a way to help a stranger this holiday season?

Small home business like Functional Rustic can’t afford the advertising that big retailers are able to utilize. We rely on individuals like you to help us introduce ourselves to the public. By sharing/liking posts from your friends (or strangers like me) you allow their products and ideas to be seen by hundreds more people.

Unexpected kindness is the most powerful...

Also, we also do happy a dance anytime someone interacts with our content. Seriously.

Each time Linda Schaub and Dutchll like something I published I grin from ear to ear and do a little dance. They are consistently supportive so I am fortunate to do my happy dance every day. It’s hard to say if their specific interactions increase visitors to the website – but the impact their support has on my confidence & motivation is worth more than any number of visitors. Thank you Linda and Dutch!

Some people believe it is only great power....

I also cannot say enough nice things about a woman I recently met named Anna Hitch. I met her and her husband at our last craft show and it was such a treat. Both she and her husband create beautiful handmade crafts. She works with yarn and he with leather. Anna gets a special shout out in the post because she consistently “likes” the Functional Rustic Facebook posts & she left my first review! Anna is my first non-family member to interact with my Functional Rustic Facebook so she is kind of big deal around here. Please help me say thank you to her by following Anna on Facebook and checking out her Etsy store. (Feel free to use the comment section to help me peer pressure her into starting her own website with an online store. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Thank you for reading and checking out my newest creations. I welcome your feedback in the comments below and wish you the happiest of holiday seasons.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Below are a few of the items available in the Functional Rustic Store:

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Red

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00



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Fake It Until You Make It Functional Rustic Approach

I am learning a lot of DIY lessons today – and I’m not thrilled about it. It is a creative day so I am coming up with new project ideas and trouble shooting problems on previous projects. So far, each project I have focused on has gotten worse. Ugh.

It started with pop cans. I have many ideas for crafts I can make out ofย  pop cans but today I was specifically trying to make a pumpkin. I still feel good about the concept however, executing it is proving harder than I’d like.

 

This is a very, very rough draft. The plan is three cans on the bottom, four in the middle and two one top. The idea is that once the cans are properly attached to each other and painted orange it will look like a pumpkin. The tops of the cans will be removed and then the back side becomes 9 little storage areas.

pop can no top.JPG

It keeps falling apart when I try to assemble it though. Gluing it is problematic because the points of contact for the cans is actually quite narrow. It is harder to glue round objects together than I anticipated. Ha. Needless to say, it is not going well and I am growing more and more frustrated – not deterred – just frustrated.

I will not let this hiccup sabotage the whole day. When I am frustrated with a project the most effective solution for me is to take a break. At first the break was just going for a walk and then returning to the project. When I returned though, I was having the same problems. (I can’t imagine why doing the exact thing I did before did not illicit a different result. Ha.)

Obviously taking a break did not fix my problem and I am still having difficulty focusing on the issue at hand. Trying to fix something while I’m already very irritated usually ends up in more things going wrong. So, instead of trying to problem solve when upset – I changed projects.

 

You may recall a recent post where I discussed repurposing a shutter I found. I love this project because it reminds me of all the Pinterest projects I looked at for years and convinced myself I did not have the talent to create.

The pictures do not show it very well, but the edges of the black chalk board and the white border are not straight. Personally I like the rough edges but, my husband pointed out, and I’m inclined to agree, people paying me money for it will expect straight lines.

So, after abandoning the pop can pumpkin project I turned to touching up the shutter chalk board. I used white paint to touch up the framing and put painters tape on the chalkboard part to protect it from drips.

Well….

Paint Peeling

After everything was dry and I removed the painters tape – the paint came off too. Uh Oh. This picture does not show it but, the paint is coming off in sheets. I now need to remove all the paint and start over.

Ugh.

This really is not that big of a problem. It is very fixable. Fixable problems are just new goals. The blow to my ego and motivation is because of the deadline I imposed on myself before I started. The plan was to do touch ups this morning and then head to Countryside Craft & Antique Mall so it can be sold. This is exactly the kind of eye catching item that will draw people in to the store display.

What I am inclined to do is curl up in a ball and throw an elaborate pity party in my mind. Just as I was preparing for my ‘party’ I remembered that I write a blog based on the premise of sharing my bad days and how I get through them in order to achieve my goal. A ‘pity party’ is not a solution.

You are going to want to give up. Don't.
You are going to want to give up. Don’t.

Fortunately for me I collect Quotes so I have a huge resource of positive words I can review to help me refocus my thoughts.

 

I’ve read my quotes and regained my motivation. I am ready to go! Took apart a shipping pallet, cut some boards and sanded them smooth. A true wood working day! Makes me feel very productive.

I enjoy building practical items like coat/towel racks and toilet paper holders. I like things to be functional. (shocking!) Creating something functional and pretty is the dream and provides a huge boost to my self confidence when I achieve it. With this in mind I am working on a coat rack today with the boards I prepped.

 

The boards are securely attached (I’ve had some problems with this recently so I am very pleased that I got it right the first time.). I even found cool items to repurpose as the hooks – wood post insulators for the electric fence. Very rustic. Very functional.

One might think that after reading my quotes and successfully attaching the boards that I would be feeling on top of the world. No. I am overwhelmed with doubt. I’m feeling unlucky today so I fear that when I go to paint this coat rack I will mess that project up too.

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

That bring us to now. I was really hoping that writing this post would give me the boost of motivation I am looking for. It usually does. Normally when I write out my
‘problem’ I end up finding the solution.

.

.

.

.

It’s been about 20 minutes since I wrote what you see above. In that time I wandered around aimlessly and dwelled on how I am allowing fear to dictate my day. Woe is me.

Understand that the universe is giving you challenges to help you to become...
Understand that the universe is giving you challenges to help you to become the greatest version of yourself.ย 

Then I had a realization. “Understand that the universe is giving you challenges to help you to become the greatest version of yourself”. Although my goal for the day was to build something, the universe has a different goal. I am realizing that my purpose today is to share my struggle.

It has been awhile since I wrote about overcoming the emotional/psychological obstacles I encounter as I start my own business. I haven’t been sharing those stories because I have not been thinking about them. It’s not that I was staying positive but rather that I was in denial.

Instead of acknowledging the doubts, fears and failures I was experiencing I pretended I did not have them. I pushed through and just did my job. That approach is effective to a point. It is the ‘fake it til you make it’ approach. However, faking it is not facing it.

And that lesson is what the day is about. The obstacles that came up today are really small issues. These are not things that usually get in my way. To the contrary, I normally become more determined and inspired when things go ‘wrong’ in the creative process. The fact that I am having such a strong reaction to such a small trigger is what needs to be addressed. The universe provided me with situations today that reminded me where my focus needs to be.

You cant change what you refuse to confront
You can’t change what you refuse to confront.

Lesson of the Day: Faking it is not facing it.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

 

Wooden Thank You Card PINK

Measures 3.5 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in. The handmade Wooden Thank You Card by Functional Rustic is the unique thank you gift you didnโ€™t know you were looking for until now. The Functional Rustic Wooden Thank You Card is small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough to take with you wherever you go. PLUS, the Wooden Thank You Card is made from a salvaged wood shipping pallet and then hand painted with oil paints. Every single Wooden Thank You Card is unique making each card a truly one-of-a-kind expression of gratitude.

$10.00

 

 

 

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Troubleshooting the New Display Cart for Functional Rustic

Today is one of those work days that is both fun and frustrating. I am signing up for craft shows and am trying to work out how my new display cart will fit in the various sized booths at the different events.

KIMG2705
Plan to use this bakery cart we got at a garage sale as the center piece for all my items at craft shows.

I just got the wagon and am so excited about it. Picked it up at a garage sale for only $75!! (Everything is better when it’s on sale.) Isn’t it pretty? Doesn’t it look both Functional AND Rustic? It is light weight and rolls very easily. I really could not think of a better craft show display for my items than a functioning bakery cart/wagon.

Adding to the excitement of the cart, I adore the people we bought it from. She is a teacher and he is a social worker. Just like me and Dave (I’m the social worker and my husband is the teacher)! What are the odds of that happening? AND…I recently lost a bunch of weight and needed new clothes on a budget – her clothes fit me perfectly! It is always an added treat when a purchase comes with a memorable story.

The cart barely fits into the bed of the truck but it does fit and it was not hard to get it up into the bed. Ratchet straps worked great to keep it secure and I will find a large tarp to protect it from the Michigan weather during transport. Unloading the cart is simple because of how light it is and the fact that it rolls. Mostly though, it will make transporting my items into the show so much easier. Everything about this cart is amazing.

(The fact that it rolls was very convenient today. Just as I finished taking the video and pictures it started to rain. With only one hand I was able to lift and push it into the garage in seconds and without anything falling off!)

Today was the first day I really took the time to play with the cart. This is the fun part. Most of my inventory is in store at Countryside Craft & Antique Mall but I do have enough currently on hand to see how items will fit on my new cart. Also, when I build my new items for the upcoming shows I can design them with the display cart in mind.

KIMG2792
Front view of the new Functional Rustic display cart with my creations on it.

Setting everything up and admiring my handy work is a fun way to spend my morning. I often feel like I have not built enough or have not come up with a wide enough variety of items for Functional Rustic but, as I try to fit everything on the cart I am provided with tangible evidence of my hard work.

It is a very proud feeling. Most of the creations I built were done so as a way to cope with the stressors of life. These things only exist because I was feeling sad/angry/anxious and needed a way to cope with those feelings. These are the physical manifestations of my coping skills. I am literally displaying my fears and insecurities to the public in the hopes they will give me money so they can take them home with them.

I find it to be an interesting business model.

KIMG2788
Side view of the Functional Rustic cart with my creations and a pallet storage shelf containing chalk boards.
KIMG2791
Functional Rustic cart with my creations and a pallet storage shelf containing chalk boards.
KIMG2790
Back view of theย Functional Rustic cart with my creations and a pallet storage shelf containing chalk boards.

My new cart is 8 feet long and 3 feet wide. I have a craft show I am signing up for and the booth size is 10 feet wide and 7 feet deep. Most craft events I know about have booths of 10×10 so my initial plan for the display was for it be facing forward so all the items are visible and people can walk around the whole cart. Like I said though, 8 foot cart – 7 foot space.

I have been staring at the cart and rearranging items for the better part of an hour trying to come up with the best way to utilize my new cart space and properly display my creations. I am finding myself becoming frustrated and was hoping you could help me troubleshoot my project for the day.

I need to sign up for the show ASAP but have concerns that I may need to purchase two booths to accommodate my new cart. I really want to make the cart fit in one booth so as to keep my buy-in costs lower. The event will provide table and chairs to everyone but I don’t want to look like everyone else. In a show full of tables a cart will stand out and draw people in.

I welcome any feed back and advice you are willing to share. Once I am officially signed up for my events I will share the dates and locations so you can mark you calendars and come out and join me. And, obviously, if you want to buy anything you see in the video/pictures let me know. Everything is for sale and shipping is FREE!

Thank you in advance for taking the time to help me out. I started my own business & have no idea what I’m doing so I appreciate all the guidance I can get.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

โ€œBaby Itโ€™s Hot/Cold Outsideโ€ 2 sided Wooden Ornament

โ€œBaby Itโ€™s Hot/Cold Outsideโ€ 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder โ€“ Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

Mini Chalk Board โ€“ Green by Functional Rustic

The Mini Chalk Board by Functional Rustic is the fun and quirky handmade conversation piece you never knew you needed. The mini chalk board is made form repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint/chalkboard paint. Measurements: 19 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in.

$15.00

 

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Take a Break or the Load You Carry Will Crush You – A Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published March 12, 2018. Updated August 28, 2018.

Taking time to do nothing often brings

As helpful as it is to reflect on situations that cause us distress – it is equally important to pay attention to experiences that bring us peace.

I’m feeling at peace today and it is directly related to taking a break this weekend. Functional Rustic is my business and I do it from home. Because my office is my living room it is difficult at times for me to stop working. I may not be writing a blog or building something – but even on the weekends I find myself doing work.

I enjoy the ‘work’ so it does not feel stressful to do it. However, even if I am completing fun tasks – I’m still thinking about work. I never actually take a break. It’s exhausting.
So, this past weekend I actually didn’t work. I didn’t update the website. I didn’t pin anything. I didn’t take any photos or videos. I didn’t build anything. I didn’t write anything. I didn’t even think about it. Instead, I played PC games (Civilization VI and Banished) for 12+ hours a day.

It. Was. Amazing.

The reason I work every day is I feel like if I don’t put the energy in the business will suffer. If I’m not there to supervise every moment than it will fall apart. However, this morning I am realizing that by taking a break this weekend I am better focused today. Because I am always thinking about Functional Rustic there are no “new ideas”. That is to say, I do not feel inspired. Ideas that come to mind when I’m thinking about the business are just tasks for work. When I am doing a non-work activity and have an idea for the business it feels like an inspiration. Feeling inspired is critical for me as an artist and business owner.

Today my ideas feel fresh. I’m not feeling the level of anxiety I normally do. I still have fears and worries and doubts but, they’re not consuming today. My thoughts are a heavy load to carry – both positive and negative. As with carrying any heavy load – taking a break is necessary or I risk being crushed.

In graduate school I had a professor that shared some advice. She asked the class, “When you have 5 hours of work and only 3 hours to do it – What should you do first?” The class offered responses such as write down what tasks you have, determine the priorities of the tasks, do the hardest ones first etc. The professor smiles and responds, “Those are very predictable responses – that is what you have been taught. But the most effective first step when you have 3 hours to complete 5 hours of work is to take a break.”

She went on to explain how by taking a break you are able to better focus and concentrate. If you’re freaked out about not having enough time – you will rush and you will make mistakes. You feel stressed out the entire time. By taking a 5 minute break at the start, you can approach the situation with fresh eyes and a clear mind.

You already know this concept. When you come home from work you want to sit down and take a breather before cooking or cleaning or completing whatever household tasks require your attention. Utilize that same strategy in other aspects of your life.

Lesson of the Day: Take breaks. The load you are carrying is heavy and if you do not take time to rest it will crush you.

UPDATE: In the months since I first wrote this I am learning that “not working” is not the same as “taking a break”. Specifically, if I am not engaging in enjoyable or relaxing activities outside of my work than I will not feel relaxed.

The summer months at Functional Rustic involve a great deal of tasks – tending to the lawn and gardens, making repairs and generally trying to keep all our ducks in a row. (Haha, that’s funny because it is both literally and figuratively true – we raise Muscovy Ducks and a Bronze Turkey!)

Because of all the tasks that need to be done it is very easy to use my free time doing chores. Though there is nothing wrong with tending house – chores are not enjoyable for me. So, if my time down time – away from work – is spent doing house work then I’m not actually relaxing, recharging or giving myself a break.

2nd Lesson of the Day: Make sure you are actually unburdening yourself of the load you are carrying and not just exchanging it for a different heavy load.

Written by Sarah Palmer, Owner – Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

โ€œMeow Spoken Hereโ€ Wooden Ornament

โ€œMeow Spoken Hereโ€ Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

 

Mini Chalk Board โ€“ Blue by Functional Rustic

The Mini Chalk Board by Functional Rustic is the fun and quirky handmade conversation piece you never knew you needed. The mini chalk board is made form repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint/chalkboard paint. Measurements: 19 in x 3.5 in x 5/8 in.

$15.00

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder โ€“ Orange

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

Posted on 5 Comments

Do Your Research Before Naming Your Business – Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published March 7, 2018. Updated August 15, 2018.

Do your research. This is good advice for anything but especially when you are naming your business/blog.

Success occurs when opportunity meets preperation
Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.

I did not do my research when I started my blog and have spent the day deleting and editing all of my posts. I am paying my penance for not doing my homework.

The Functional Rustic Blog at www.FunctionalRustic.com was called My Repurposed Life – for about a week. Ha. It was a good week though. The blog is about repurposing negative thoughts into strategies for success and talking about projects I make from repurposing pallets. My Repurposed Life was a great name for that concept.

Once I had the name, My Repurposed Life Blog, and concept I started writing every day. I linked the blog across all my social media platforms. I made different pins for each of the blog entries and shared them like crazy. I even completed Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on the new blog. I was very proud of my efforts and what I had accomplished in just a week.

Beautiful girl you were made to do hard things...
Beautiful girl you were made to do hard things so believe in yourself.ย 

Wanting to see if all my efforts to promote it were working – I googled “My Repurposed Life.” Imagine my surprise when www.MyRepurposedLife.com shows up at the top of the search. It even has the little trademark symbol (TM) next to it. Ugh. (Check it out. Great site. Very much like what I want to do.)

My heart sank. Prior to making that search I was feeling so proud, so productive, so capable. I set a lot of goals that week and achieved them. This google search was going to be the icing on the positivity cake. To continue the metaphor, seeing that trademark symbol was like someone throwing the cake on the floor.

Struggles are required in order to...
Struggles are required in order to survive in life, because in order to stand up, you have to know what falling down is like.ย 

I knew immediately I was going to be deleting and editing my content. I felt bad for essentially stealing her name and reached out to inform her of what happened. She was great about it. She simply confirmed it was trademarked and that others couldn’t use the name. I let her know I was editing everything to reflect my new found knowledge and we shared a laugh about how lucky I was to find it so early in my blogging.

I was fortunate that I found my mistake early and that she was as understanding as she was. Imagine if she found my page a year later and had to tell me to cease and desist.

I’ve lost an entire day to fixing this. Some of that time was spent doubting everything I have ever created – but most of it was locating and editing content. If it took me a day to re-do one weeks worth of posts imagine how long it would take to re-do a year’s worth.

Lesson of the Day: Do your research. Even if it is just a Google or Bing search, see if anyone else is using the name.

You cant go back and change the beginning
You cannot go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.

UPDATE: The Functional Rustic blog continues to be a success. However, today I am in a similar position as I was when I had to change the name. I am switching blogging platforms from GoDaddy to WordPress and now need to update all of my links. Once again I am going through every blog, image and video I posted in the past year (over 2000) to update the links in order to reflect the platform change.

All of the links I have to GoDaddy are going to be non-existent in October when my contract with them expires. In preparation of allowing the website hosting to end, I am transferring and linking all of my content to WordPress.

Courage is going from failure to failure
Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.ย 

Fortunately, my experience with the My Repurposed Life/Functional Rustic Blog enables me to know exactly what I need to do now. Considering the amount of work involved in this process, I am grateful that when it came time to do this project I already knew how. Because of my “mistake” before I am not feeling overwhelmed (well, not AS overwhelmed) about the task that lies before me.

UPDATED Lesson of the day: I’ve done this before and I will do it again – better this time.

So far youve survived 100%....
So far, you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. This too shall pass.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder โ€“ Black

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

“Bark Spoken Here” Wooden Ornament

"Bark Spoken Here" Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

Posted on 1 Comment

How Often Should I Post Blogs – Functional Rustic Approach

Originally published March 7, 2018. Updated August 8, 2018.ย 

How Often to Post Blogs .png
Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it! How Often Should I Post Blogs – A Functional Rustic Approach.

Iโ€™ve started my own DIY blog but I donโ€™t know how often I should post my tutorials. Right now I have a lot of time on my hand because its too cold to work in the barn. (Thatโ€™s a lie. I mean, it is 20 degrees….but I could easily bundle up and start breaking down pallets and building things. But it is the excuse Iโ€™m using today) Because Iโ€™m not building all day I have more time to write.

The extra time has enabled me to start the Functional Rustic blog that talks about my day to day obstacles and successes while starting my own DIY business.

(UPDATE: when I first published this piece 5 months ago my blog was called My Repurposed Life. However, someone else already has a trademark on that name. I did not know about her trademark until I had published several blogs under that title. I had to go back and edit every link I had that used her trademarked name. She was really nice about it. I saw the error and informed her of my mistake and my plans to remedy the situation long before she knew I even existed. However, if you ever see something from Functional Rustic that also promotes my original My Repurposed Life blog, please let me know so I can delete the link. But learn from my mistakes when you start your blog and do your research before you publish. She too published tutorials – check ’em out here.)

It is easy to share my thoughts daily – and I don’t need a schedule for that – but I don’t know yet how often to post my tutorials.

I posted a tutorial this morning and plan to write two more today. My impulse is to post it immediately but, I am trying to establish some sort of schedule for myself regarding publishing content. That way my readers can depend on me for quality, timely content.

Ok – so this post was intended to ask you how often I should post. However, in the process of asking for your advice, I think I figured out what I need to do.

Plan: Post DIY tutorials weekly – Friday. That way people can complete that weekโ€™s DIY project over the weekend. I can write tutorials as I think of them and just save them for publication on a weekly schedule.

To think….I have been trying to decide this question for a week or so now – but not until I reached out to get feedback from others did I realize my solution.

Lesson of the day: Put a voice to your questions and they will be answered.

Follow Functional Rustic on Social Media for the latest content.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Posted on 6 Comments

Stop Asking Why – A Functional Rustic Approach

Stop Asking Why.png

Stop asking why. Seriously. Drop the word from your vocabulary entirely. You don’t need it. The world doesn’t need it. Stop asking why.

“Why are you wearing that outfit?”

“Why are you doing it that way?”

“Why do I feel like this?”

Because. That’s the answer to every “why”. It is always the same answer. What is the reason to ask the question if you already know that the answer is “because….(insert justification here)”.

No one likes feeling judged
No one likes feeling judged. Back off and let people live. We’re all on some type of journey, all evolving and growing.

“Why are you wearing that outfit?”

I don’t know about you, but if someoneย  asked me “why are you wearing that outfit?” I am going to feel obligated to justify why my outfit is ok. The person asking the question isn’t stating my outfit is wrong, but their use of the word “why” forces me to use the word “because” and the word “because” is most often followed by some sort of justification.

“…because I wanted to.” “But why?” “…because I like it.” “But why?” “because fuck you and your judgmental questions. That’s why. I do not need to justify my clothing choices to you. Mind your own business!”

Unless your goal is make someone justify their outfit, don’t ask why. But what if you actually want to know the reason they wore that outfit? Ask them.

Everything we judge in others
Everything we judge in others is something within ourselves we don’t want to face.

“What is the reason you wore that outfit?” A “what” question does not imply judgment. “What” questions are answered with neutral, factual responses.

“The reason I wore this outfit is the law says that certain parts of the female body are inherently bad and therefore are a crime to expose in public. I am wearing the outfit because it is a crime for me not to. I am wearing this specific outfit because it was on the top of the pile, clean enough and appropriate for the weather and activities I have planned for the day.” At least that is what I would say if someone asked me that question right now. You now know the criteria I used to decide my outfit. Your “why” questions was answered without me feeling like I had to justify myself – I simply described my actions instead.

“Why are you doing it that way?”

Again, I’m feeling judged when asked that question. I am being asked to justify my actions. Let’s get a little more specific with this example, “why are you blogging on WordPress?” Again, there is nothing inherently wrong or mean or ill intentioned with the question. However, the use of the word “why” forces me to justify my blogging platform.

“What are the reasons you are blogging on WordPress?” Now this is a question I can answer without being forced to question my actions. This “what” question is asking for a list of items. “The reasons I blog on WordPress are 1. it was free to sign up 2. easy to use 3. lots of features 4. I get to meet interesting people.”

You have the answer to your question and I was able to provide that information without having to justify myself or question my actions.

“Why do I feel like this?”

“Why do I feel like this?” Asking ourselves why can be worse than someone else asking us why. Asking myself “why” I feel a certain way forces me to justify my feelings – to me. Feelings do not require justification. Feelings simply exist. They are not good nor bad. Feelings just are.

There are reasons I feel like this. The reasons are neither good or bad – they just are.

“What are the reasons you feel sad today?”

The reasons I feel sad today are that I heard the song Taps in a commercial and was reminded of my brothers suicide; I read a news article about a child being missing; I found out a friend had her heart broken.

When you judge youself for feeling bad
When you judge yourself for feeling bad you miss the opportunity to understand yourself.

Asking “why” I feel sad implies that I should not feel sad. It implies that there is a more appropriate way to feel. It implies that I should feel something different. It implies that my feelings are wrong.

“Why” questions cannot be answered, only justified. “What” questions provide answers that can be the foundation for change.

Identifying that a reason I am feeling sad is that I miss my brother enables me to know that I need to take time today to cry or simply reminisce. If I was focused on judging my sadness I would likely not set aside time to address the trigger.

Identifying that a reason I am feeling sad is that a child is missing reminds me that I have family I care about and do not want to be separated from. My sadness is not due to a deficiency on my part or some faulty way of thinking, but rather because I am filled with love for those I hold dear and don’t want to imagine being apart. Identifying the reason enables me to take the time I need to be grateful for what I have.

Identifying that a reason I feel sad is that my friend had her heartbroken reminds me to appreciate the supportive relationships I have and/or to assess the quality of my own relationships.

Words. So powerful. They can crush a heart
Words. So powerful. They can crush a heart, or heal it. They can shame a soul, or liberate it. They can shatter dreams, or energize them. The can obstruct connection, or invite it. They can create defenses, or melt them. We have to use words wisely.

Lessons

This is not about pretending things don’t hurt or trying to see a positive in every situation. It is about viewing things in a way that leads to progress instead of stagnation. “Why” questions lead to a circle of judgement and justification – stagnation. “What” questions provide concrete foundations on which progress can be built and solutions can be found.

Lesson of the Day: Stop asking why.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder โ€“ Orange

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

โ€œMr & Mr/True Loveโ€ 2 sided Wooden Ornament

โ€œMr & Mr/True Loveโ€ 2 side Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00

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Finding Accountability When I’m the Boss – Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published on February 28, 2018. Updated on August 6, 2018.

I am not a product of my circumstances...
I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions.

I’m a small business owner so no one tells me what to do. Sounds great, but without anyone to tell me what to do I don’t know what to do.

I am finding that the lack of accountability to someone else is one of my greatest obstacles. I set goals for myself and achieve them proudly, but are my goals the “right” goals for growing my business? Without someone else to talk to about this I get lost in my thoughts – my fears.

Having someone tell me what the expectations are for the day or week is very helpful for me. I always had a great deal of independence in my jobs, but there was always a specific goal and an understood means of accomplishing it.

Example: Goal – Help people cope with their mental illness. As a social worker I accomplished this task by working in an out patient mental health clinic as a therapist. I had a detailed job description (even if it did not detail ALL of my responsibilities), empirically tested approaches to treatment, colleagues to conference with and patients right in front of me to provide feedback on successes and failures. On top of that, I had supervisors making sure I am completing necessary paperwork and submitting them on deadlines.

These are things that irritated me when I was an employee. “I know how to do my job, leave me alone!” And I did know how to do my job – but that’s because someone taught me. Most importantly, I had other people to lean on. If I didn’t know how best to document something – I could ask someone. If I was doubting my capabilities – a coworker could set me straight.

Well, I’m the only person here. Also, I work from home so I don’t even have strangers to interact with during the day. It’s incredibly frustrating, and lonely.

I need someone to bounce ideas off of. Or at the very least, someone to blurt out ideas to in the hopes that one of us will remember that super creative idea. It’s not so much that I doubt the quality of my work – but rather that I don’t know if my efforts are getting the results I want. (To provide inspiration and support to others that are building their dreams with what they have in front of them.)

And, as the only person here I have no one to assess what tasks are priorities. Everything I do for Functional Rustic is important. What needs to be done today? What tasks need to be done first and which can be delayed?

Do I create new pieces or build up the inventory I already have? Do I write a blog about my thinking process or a DIY tutorial blog. What pictures will I need for the blog? Do those pics have the website on it yet? What are the proper tags and descriptions to put on each photo so search engines find it? How often should I be updating my Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Am I posting enough content to Facebook, DIY Projects of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Medium and YouTube? Am I linking to all my social media accounts when I write blogs? How much time should I be spending on each activity. Oh, and did I mention that I am learning all of this as I go so each task involves hours of research on how to complete it effectively?

I could go on and on.

The hope is that the Functional Rustic Blog will help me focus my energies. If I tell you, the reader, I am going to accomplish certain tasks – I will. With so many tasks to complete it is easy to not do one thing but still feel productive because I accomplished other objectives. However, that thing I didn’t do – still isn’t done. I work under the assumption that people are reading my content and that if I say I’m going to post something by the end of the week – that reader will expect to see it by the end of the week.

So, I’m putting it out there – putting myself out there. Either no one reads this – and I’m exactly where I was before writing it OR people do read it and either like or don’t like it. But at least I have feedback. AND – I now have someone to be accountable to.

Today’s Lesson: Just because you are the only employee doesn’t mean you can’t have accountability.

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Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

Did you know Functional Rustic provides more than just a blog? Find out what others already know by shopping in the Functional Rustic Store.

Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.

 

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder โ€“ Gold

3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder from Functional Rustic adds a rustic elegance to any space. The 3 Tier Tea Light Candle Holder is made from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted. Free Shipping.

$15.00

 

 

โ€œMr & Mr/True Loveโ€ 2 sided Wooden Ornament

โ€œMr & Mr/True Loveโ€ 2 side Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.

$10.00