An Interview with the “Thrift Diva”

January 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Press Room

 

What inspired you to write your book?

The idea behind my book, Tossed & Found, came as direct result of a sliding economy and corporate cut backs.  After managing a sales team in the Midwest and Western United States for years, my team and I suddenly found ourselves … jobless.  With few options available in an market spiraling out of control, I knew I had to reinvent myself – again.  The inspiration for writing a thrift memoire came during my regrouping stage.  I visualized a book that not only talked about my tumultuous life, but also showcased the shift to thrift that was occurring across our nation.

What was the hardest part about completing your book?  

Two thing actually; learning all the parts to the entire process; from writing the book to getting it published.  And, and the edits … the seemingly endless edits.  

Well, there’s actually a third item I had difficulty with … letting go!  After countless edits, I learned that my book would never be perfect; there would always be mistakes or a better way of saying something … a sentence or paragraph that could be written differently.  And, there would continue to be a lurking temptation to do another rewrite – or two.  At some point an author needs to let it go – give birth – push it out into the world.  

Did you learn any lessons in the book creation process, if so what where they?

 Having been a first-time author, I learned many, many lessons, the most important of which … staying on task, committing to writing every day, surrounding oneself with mentors, becoming a storyteller, and showing the reader versus telling the reader. 

Did you enlist support in getting your book done?

Yes I did.  Right out of the shoot I hired a coach. Although he was supportive and directive with my goals I quickly realized I needed to enlist the help of coaches that lived and breathed writing and publishing.  I regrouped and hired a book coaching team the literally took my book from limp to alive!   

What tips or advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Authorship is a lonely and complex process.  However, a fledgling author does not have to attempt the process alone.  There is an abundance of writers groups and a wealth of seminars and publishing gurus that can help writers sift through the glut of information and options. 

If you self-published, what made you self-publish?

Launching my speaking career determined that I self-published. My book was my calling-card, so to speak.  After dipping my toes into the publishing arena, I realized that traditional publishing would take me many more months to get my book out than I was willing to sacrifice.    Additionally, I felt that it was judicious to retain all the rights to my creation. 

If you had to do your book all over again, would you?

 Writing Tossed & Found was a wondrous adventure; it was cathartic, revitalizing, wearisome, creative, exasperating, nerve-wracking, euphoric, tedious, liberating, frustrating and inspiring. And yes, I would so do it again … to feel the euphoria of holding my creation in my hand for the first time, the delight in doing a reading to that first audience, and the appreciation expressed by those inspired to reinvent their lives or lifestyles.

Are you writing or planning to write an additional book(s)?

Yes, I have a Diva sequel planned; Decorating like a Diva … On the Cheap. 

But, there is another book begging to be published.  I was a dog trainer for 20 years.  I envision a book of dog stories; true-life adventures of the many dogs and situations I’ve stumbled upon during my tenure with dogs … from antics on fashion runways to heroic deeds of brave dogs and their owners. 

What else would you like to share about you or your book?

The title Tossed & Found is really a double entandre.   My book chronicles the journey of trash to treasure, contrasting those that toss things out versus those that find unloved items and turn them into beautiful furnishings or fabulous wardrobes.

And, it is also about my life … my journey.  I believe my path parallels the journey of many people that find themselves tossed out of relationships, jobs or life.  I also suppose that life throws us curve balls to teach us great lessons.  So, it’s not whether we get tossed around, living a meaningful life is about what we do when it happens … whether we find ourselves again. 

How can people find out more about your book?

Tossed & Found is available at local bookstores, on Amazon or by visiting www.ThriftTalkDiva.com.

 

 

Barb Tobias, America’s “Thrift Talk” Diva, is an author, speaker, coach and the entertaining mistress of thrift. This radio and TV personality renovates lives, homes and wardrobes by sticking her curious little nose into other people’s “thrifty business.” After a lifetime of turning trash into treasure, Barb shares her secrets for finding deals, repurposing before tossing and reconstructing the tattered in her new release, Tossed & Found.  Her “tell all” book is not only a journey of personal transformation, but teaches a newly frugal nation how to purchase, purge and profit from thrift.

Rid Your House of those Pesky Clutter Magnets … in Time for the Holidays!

November 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Decorating, Recycling

With the holidays fast approaching unexpected drop-ins are sure to catch you unawares if your home isn’t tidy and presentable.  Certain areas of our homes just seem to attract clutter. In order to keep from being overwhelmed by these overflow areas, follow these tips to keep target areas tidy … and your sanity intact!   

Entries

When we arrive home we tend to drop our parcels and head for the bedroom to change into something comfy, or to the refrigerator to grab a snack.  Taking a few minutes to stow brief cases, purses, mail and wallets in attractive storage units, strategically placed at both the front and rear entries, will keep these areas “visitor’ ready.   

Closets

Piles of clothes

Yikes!  Some closets are dangerous due to the dreaded “clothes avalanche.” Consider rebuilding the closet interiors with the many organizers found at home remodeling centers.  Layered hanging areas and shelving help to minimize the need to shove clothing items into poorly designed spaces.

Nightstands

Select nightstands that have one to three drawers to conceal items that will certainly detract from your bedroom décor. Store prescriptions, remote controls, flashlights, books, eyeglasses and candles within nightstands rather than on top or on the floor.  The tops should be decorated with attractive lights, alarm clocks and the occasional vase with flowers.

Bedroom chairs or chaises

These wonderful reading centers are also convenient repositories for all those hastily tossed clothes.  Refrain from the urge to toss clothes simply for convenience sake.  You will be surprised how quickly a mount aim of clothes can accumulate. 

Drawers

Drawers are typically hidden disaster centers.  The old adage out of sight, out of mind aptly applies to these concealed caverns. There are a myriad of drawer organizers and dividers that help to keep socks and underwear organized.  To stay ahead of the game, divide drawers into categories; sweaters, sweats, under garments, pajamas, and scarves.    

Store unsightly items in an attractive storage unit

Organize all the areas of your office so that your work environment is pleasant and you can be creative and productive. Categorize the office by:  

  • Phone Station
  • Cords
  • Desk
  • Drawers
  • Storage stations

 

Kitchen

The kitchen is where the family gathers.  It is also a dumping spot for homework, art projects, backpacks, purses, shoes, toys and games.  Designate areas where the family must place their belongings like a bedroom, craft room or den.  Keep the kitchen for cooking and enjoying family meal time.   In addition organize the kitchen into these areas:

  • Refrigerator
  • Pantry
    • Stair-step stackers
    • Rotating rounds
    • Hooks
    • Shelving
    • Laundry center
    • Dishes
    • Pots and Pans

Bathroom

This area will store a myriad of family items.  Buy or build storage units that will effectively store linens, cosmetics, soaps, bath toys and medicines.

The Laundry center should be arranged so as to have room for detergents,  supplies, a folding area, hanging and storing area, ironing board and the laundry tub.

Recycle Center

We that recycle need to be commended on their part in helping to keep our planet environmentally clean.  However, erecting a storage center that separates bottles, cans, plastic and paper is a necessary step in keeping this strategic area organized.  In addition, when trash day comes, it takes no time at all to place the sorted items in their proper containers.  

When there is not room for the car ...

The garage, basements and attics are probably the biggest clutter magnets.  Each area should be organized according to tools, mementos, gardening equipment, and car care.

Decorating Faux Pas That Zap Our Energy

January 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs, Decorating

Beware of energy zappers that suck the life out of your rooms . . . and lives.   Commit to addressing those pesky problem areas that cause undue stress and fatigue.  

  • Clutter and disorganization heighten anxiety.  
    • Although our reactions to the chaos that surrounds us are often internalized and go unnoticed, the long term effects, anxiety and stress, are very real.  All of our senses react negatively to presence of clutter. Understand that there is order in the universe. Why not bring it into your home?
  • Oversized furniture or too much furniture that is haphazardly shoved into small places infringe on your personal space.
    • We often ‘make do’ with pieces of furniture that we don’t like, don’t fit or no longer resonate with our creative senses. Get rid of it.  Sell unloved items at your next garage sale, on Craigslist or give them away to charity.  Bring items that you love into your space and make sure they fit the size of your room. (Check out your local Thrift Stores and Consignment Shops for great buys.)
  • Poor furniture placement is as unsightly as it is annoying.
    • Too many people live around their furnishings rather than with them.  Furniture placement should be pleasing to the eye and offer uncomplicated traffic patterns. For example, people shouldn’t have to walk around a couch to get to a door wall or move the bar stools to access the kitchen.
  • Too little room between furnishings or accessories assaults our visual senses and reduces our feeling of space.  
    • The energizing power of Chi, or life-force, needs the opportunity to flow in and around objects. 
  • Fake plants are, well . . . fake.
    • Bring energy, harmony and soothing life forces back into your rooms with vibrant, healthy plants.
  • Damaged furniture is a real downer.
    • Battered, scarred or worn and torn furnishings are bothersome reminders that we need to repair, refinish or restore those ancient relics.   Commit to your renovation projects or . . . you got it . . . get rid of them. 
  • Hard or sharp furnishings can be cold and unforgiving.
    • Soften harsh lines or hard surfaces with comforting fabrics and rounded objects or edges.

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