From Where I Sit – Start Practicing Now

One of the good (but unintended) results of tackling an extensive reno is the forced re-examination of all one’s things. For months now I’ve been donating extraneous stuff, throwing out what’s past its prime, and packing and storing what I want to keep.

One easy-to-do activity has been flipping through the magazines that come into the house. The goal is to rip out what I want and recycle the rest (though so far the three home decor magazines I get are off limits). Sometimes the general lifestyle magazines become mere carcasses; other times, I find there isn’t one worthwhile image or article to keep.

I’m saving illustrated fitness routines, because any day now I’m starting an exercise regime. For my new vision board I’m collecting images of travel, lifestyle, and objects I want to attract into my life. Photos that speak to me are helping identify my fashion style, now that over 50 pounds are gone. Still others are resources for the art class I’ll teach.

During this purge I saw an image of a complicated-looking scarf tie and the invitation to watch a video on the Good Housekeeping website.

Goodness! First, when did putting a commercial in (without a ?Skip Ad? button) before the video become so common? Second, am I dyslexic or what? Trying to follow along or, worse yet, doing it in front of a mirror, nearly drove me batty. Now that I’ve mastered some techniques I just leave them tied and ready to slip over my head.

There are oodles of tying techniques out there. Stores like Nordstrom and magazines like Chatelaine, Glamour, and Canadian Living all offer advice, but only Canadian Living gives the basics about scarf shape and fabric weight. The quality of the videos, print directions, and presence of verbal instructions are all over the map. had still photos and video and print instructions for over 50 styles: something for all levels of learners. All of the styles have cute little names like the French Twist or Forget-Me-Knot. Some models are stick-thin with swan-like necks, while others seem more real. Depending on your size and shape, there are instructions for creating halter-top cover-ups and pareos. Most of us will stick to the usual neck scarves, but someone undergoing chemo might appreciate the head scarf ideas.

I’m no mathematician, so don’t ask me how many style permutations exist. Consider the number, shape, colour, fabric content, and weight of the scarves in your closet. Do you reach for the solid coloured silk oblong or the printed square Hermes or the cheap and cheerful woven cotton one from Ardènes or the infinity one from Palm Springs? It’s time to start practicing right now, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.

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