When Minimalism and the Simplicity Movement Meet Off Grid Homesteading you have Vitalism.

September 12, 2016 at 7:17 pm (Eating Nature, Freedom, Letting go, Life skills or hacks, organized simplicity, Relationships, simple frugality, Travel, Uncategorized)

Vitalism is the necessary, basic and crucial needs of day to day life.

 

20160217_145306My daughter and I moved from our urban family home in San Diego a year ago. We moved to a very rural part of Colorado. High in the mountains at almost 9000’ elevation in the wooded foothills of the Sangre de Cristo range. Our home is totally off grid as there are no power or water or trash services. We do have county maintained roads…sort of.

We bought a vacation home built in 2009 and finished… well, not quite yet. We have solar and wind for power and propane for our kitchen appliances. Our water was trucked in for the first ten months we were here and put into underground cisterns. We had to have deliveries once a month at a cost of approximately $250.00. In order to conserve water we joined the community center in town about twelve miles away. There we could take hot showers and wash our hair, visit the tiny library with dodgy internet and go for a swim in the Olympic size indoor pool or use the gym and full size basketball court. We have a shower in our bathroom so we can take short showers if needed.

We produce more power than we can store so sometimes we would run out at night when the horse trough heater went on in the winter. We now know to vacuum or use the blender in peak sunshine hours and not at the same time to err on the safe side.

I moved out here with a small sports car and all my sorted, sifted and downscaled belongings. In my second week I was heading to town on a sunny day after the previous night’s rain and got stuck in a deep mud pocket about a mile down the dirt road from home. It was time to trade in the eleven year old sports car for a truck with 4 wheel drive. I have always driven sports cars so this decision was not based on the same criteria as previous vehicles but rather my new found vitalism. This has been a very different driving experience.

In late October while I was on a road trip my daughter called to tell me our county’s finest had just left after she called them out because poachers were hunting on our land…er in our driveway. Yes Elk and Deer and their corresponding predators live in our area. We have “neighbors” here and some are a half mile away others several miles and not all live here year around. Hmmm perhaps a post and 4 strip barbed wired fence is in order or the dental implants I need to have done? Vitalism dictates the fence was the priority. No question.

I will leave you reader with one thought before I end today’s chapter…Why didn’t we move to an area which is on grid or move to a town or city? We wanted to be more responsible for our carbon footprint and not subject to every power price increase, blackout, brownout or other grid failures. We no longer wanted to board our horses and wanted a big garden and woods to call our own. We are conservationists at heart.

 

 

Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

When Investing in You is the Best Use of Your Cash

August 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm (Excellence in Business, Freedom, histoires financières, Letting go, simple frugality) (, , , , , , , , )

When working on a business plan the driving force is often “what will possible investors think?” What if you were the prospective investor? Instead of stashing your cash in a mutual fund, stocks or ETF what if you self financed your burning desire, your dream? I did exactly that. Twice.

download

Now first off you have to know that “early and obvious” is not just a sailing rule it is a rule for investing.

20130702_161325

Make sure you pay yourself first from the get go. Building the habits of saving and investing are only part of your risk reward strategy. Understanding that the only real pay of your paycheck that is yours is the part you keep puts a spin on traditional thinking of more more.  Often we have to be willing to do with less now in order to reap larger rewards in the future. So let’s move ahead a few years and now you have the opportunity to spend some real time in the field of your dreams with mentors who blow your mind. Maybe this is a volunteer position or a meager wage. Maybe it is something so outside your experience and yet you have read numerous books on the subject and it is really the direction you want your life to move in? Now you might decide it is time to cash in the Facebook stock and subsidize yourself while working into your dream. Do it!…or not.

  • Don’t if you have debt. pay it off first.
  • Don’t if you are facing a large planned expense in the next six months.
  • Don’t do it if your spouse isn’t on board and you want to stay married.
  • DO it if you feel a solid excitement and you have your accounts in order.
  • DO it if you have enough to still have a 50% fall back that you won’t need (you may but let’s assume you won’t for now).
  • DO it if it will solidly add to who you are as a person.

When is investing in you your greatest resource? Only you know the answer to this one. For me whenever the expense adds to my skillset, overall depth of knowledge in a meaningful or measurable way and is still somewhat within my dream means. In eras gone by people were part of an apprentice system which ensured that knowledge and skill were imparted in a timely fashion towards being a journeyman and part of a guild. Now we get a formal education and thrust into jobs after maybe a short time as an intern. Working full time makes it difficult to get additional certifications, training and diplomas as well as often shortening the time a person has outside the office to develop themselves as a human being with diverse tastes and skills and wants.

So think about what YOU really want for your full life including how you make yo’ skrill, dolla dolla, cheese or bread.

Maybe it is time to invest in YOU

Permalink Leave a Comment

Reframing Money is the Key to Financial Freedom

August 7, 2013 at 9:43 pm (Freedom, histoires financières, Letting go, simple frugality) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

The idea that money is scarce, hard to come by, collected freely from us by the IRS, and equals many hours of your precious life makes for an awkward relationship with money. Imagine if you were in a human relationship based on fear of loss, scarcity and misunderstanding. That love will quickly become a love/hate relationship which is what so many have with their checkbooks.

download (1)

I came from a family where I didn’t lack and marrying a poor grocer at 17 made for a reality check on aisle five in a hurry.  Because of having my amenities taken from me I had to deal with transportation challenges, insufficient fund charges because we were both spending out of the same sad overburdened checking account as well as not being able to buy the things we thought we needed with cash. Viola! Credit cards. I worked at a record store…yes they had them way back when and I earned almost double the minimum wage and my husband had a union job with only part time hours. It looked like we were pretty well off…we were not as I married into his existing debt. I quickly figured out my Neiman Marcus taste didn’t sync with my K Mart (shudders) budget. It took a few bounced check fees, an angry landlord wanting timely rent to force me to seek a better understanding of money and why I should be actively managing my coin.

My father was zero help because he just criticised every choice and question. I turned to the library, bookstores and trusted family friends to learn how money works and why it should work for me versus the other way around. I read biographies of self made millionaires. Dave Thomas of Wendy’s, Sam Walton of WalMart, Warren Buffet and Cal Worthington as well as Conrad Hilton. Each taught me about using money to build something bigger than myself or a fancy house or car.

Once I became debt free and had savings I needed to learn how to put that money to work. No one ever built a financial legacy leaving their money in the mattress. Lazy oaf get to work!  I work hard for money that layabout needs to work for me now! So taking a cue from America’s original rich uncle I turned to Ben Franklin. There is a reason our first millionaire is on the one hundred dolla dolla bill! George Washington was first in Military leadership and Presidency so it is fitting he is one the one dollar bill. Here is what Ben has to say about money.

Benjamin_Franklin_by_Jean-Baptiste_Greuze

  • In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes. (See uncle Sam has a claim on your cash before it is even made so we need to operate from this truth).
  • Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor. (He is saying if you can find happiness where ever you are in life you won’t have to focus on spending money to be happy).
  • Take time for all thing: Great haste makes great waste. (Researching your insurance costs, mortgage costs, ownership costs of vehicles all help us make savvy solid decisions which will benefit us most in the long run).
  • Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship. (The daily Starbucks, happy hours, Daily paper, lunches out are all groovy in themselves but when they become habits they prove costly over the long run. $10 a day spent during the week equals $2500 a year. That same $2500 invested at a conservative 5% rate of return would be $2500 plus $125 at the end of year one. I can always use an extra $125).
  • Diligence is the mother of good luck. (Sticking with new attitudes about money and new empowering habits take time but are worth the commitment).

…and so I leave you with a new way to think about your money as servant instead of your master. Just the act of being debt free when your credit card charges 9.9 percent makes you richer by 9.9 each year. Set up a cash reserve you call an emergency credit card and treat it as such paying yourself back in a timely fashion and building some cash for investing. My friend and financial mentor Laurie Itkin of http://www.theoptionslady.com showed me TDAmeritrade’s ThinkorSwim application which allows you to use Monopoly money to invest and get comfortable with the stock market before investing your own hard earned cash. It may not turn you into Gordon Gecko but that is A-OK, the world has too many of them already. It may however help you plan for your own future and your heirs all while providing a little extra for now.

So put that little suit and tie on your cash, hand it a briefcase and send it to work. Time to make it rain.

250px-BenFranklinStoreThe Ben Franklin Store’s were Sam Walton’s retail chain before he turned them into the Walmart of today. He took his cue for thrift and wealth from Ben too.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Pomegranate Fever

November 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm (Eating Nature, Freedom, Letting go, LoVe, simple frugality) (, , , , , , , , )

It’s that time of year again and this year is my tree’s 35th year. I planted her accidentally back in November 1978 while eating a pomegranate off a neighbor’s tree. In the spring my dad ask me what the little tree coming up in the bushes was? Huh? Sure enough it was a pomegranate tree. Dad transplanted it to the hillside in our backyard. It is home to many species who share the fruit with me and my human friends.

When they are ripe i find I may gorge on them for days eating little else but pomegranates split wide open and ripe to sweetness. I have even traced poor relationship choices to my pom consumption! They are a natural vaso dilator and loaded with all kinds of health nuturing goodness. I attribute never succumbing to winter ills to my pom intake during the early flu and cold season.

Sorry…I walked away from my post to go in the kitchen and properly seeded the whole thing instead of picking away like hardened corn kernels with delicate flesh. Now I have half a bowl of pure crimson energy, flavor, life giving, pomegranate. Are some of the gals looking at me funny as I quickly work my way through the grapefruit sized pom without so much as a drop of blood red juice lost. I have done this many many times before my friends. I offer my cancer and disease preventors around but mostly people pass on this nectar of the immortals. More for me…

I share my poms freely…there are many other pom eaters like myself who value their mystical healthy properties. Those who know a split wide ripe pomegranate is a blessing and a gift from eternity. She has been featured in a local Home and Garden magazine in the flower of Spring and the full fruit of fall. It has not spoiled her for the attention.  I give thanks for each and every one in each and every harvest. I now have seedling growing from my seeds and a small clone tree of the original. The trees are a responsibility to sow and share as well. ❤

Permalink Leave a Comment

In Other News…Two Cali Women Plan on Winter in India

November 5, 2012 at 9:28 pm (Letting go, Relationships, Sailing, simple frugality, Travel) (, , , , , , , , )

So I am planning a trip to Mumbai this winter in time for Holi day with my friends. This means cutting expenses (I have added two new ones this past month) and paring my belongings further and looking at things with a different yet inexperienced eye. I have a dear friend who lives in Mumbai and we also want to go to Goa to relax on the beaches and do some sailing. My bff is coming along and she is slaving away in her cubicle until then to raise the necessary funds.

 

By slaving away in a cubicle I mean working for peasant wages for the proverbial rich uncle. I am sure he is a lovely man outside the office but inside he is a man bent on success to the point he is blinded by his own folly in chastising employees and family alike. Many divides exist in this Dante’s office scenario. We will release our heroine from her chains and allow her spirit to grow as we travel to India and beyond.

I am my own master, and by that I mean I am indentured to my elderly parents as there life supervisors as it were. Meal planner, cook and asset manager. I still have my own art to create and show as well as easing my young adult son further into manhood and adult life. I will asign various tasks to various talented folks to handle things while I am gone. They will do a fine job without me of that I am sure.

The beautiful thing here is we are both single and not encumbered by that most delicious of dishes, the human male. We are both huge fans of the species but know that often we must trek alone to learn our life lessons. We are along in different age ranges. She is the age of my daughter and yet as my friend (and their’s) does not come with a family history related to mine…sometimes a good thing.

I have a zillion Skymiles and so I will go that route to India and have saved some cash over the summer (when I wasn’t busy spending it) for expenses in India. We both love to sail boats and plan on doing so there as well. We also hope to rent or buy bicycles to ride around the beach towns but will use taxis in Mumbai for safety reasons! This trip is about new perspectives, new weather, new food, new cultures and all the wonder that is foreign travel.

Any random reader stumbling across my cyber-thoughts who has experience in the travels in India would be a welcome response.

 

Permalink Leave a Comment

I too Have a Dream…

July 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm (Art, Letting go, LoVe, Relationships, simple frugality, Travel) (, , , , , , , , , )

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

I have been reading a lot lately and have come to the conclusion finally that I am not alone in my anti-marketing philosophy. I have always believed in meeting people’s needs and not selling them on something whether it is a belief or a product.

We all have too many people trying to separate us from our money, time and resources.

If it is true that when we give advise we are really talking to ourselves in the past then I have a lot to say to a younger me! I will start with STOP spending so much money on crap you don’t need and won’t want soon. I once did a sickening exercise in money blown and how much it really is and it blew my mind. I spent more money on pointless items and eating in restaurants when I was young and struggling to earn than when I was making a very healthy living… I would also say to her dare to take more chances in love and career. I stayed where I didn’t belong too long for reasons I am still not quite able to reconcile. Looking back the chances I have taken and the leaps of faith have paid off. The times I was living in fear and passed on taking those leaps ended up not panning out quite as well. I would have to say living within your means is highly under rated in our culture and yet it is the passport to freedom. Staying in a job because you support the good folks at American Express cuts your options in life. Not owing anyone but the landlord and the gas and light company each month equal more opportunity to change your life as you see fit and act on opportunity as it arrives.

Saving money has many implications. Am I saving money on a purchase or saving because I didn’t make a purchase and put the money aside for bigger dreams? Either way save it, stash it, make it and appreciate what it can do for you. Opportunity cost is that which you missed out on because you couldn’t backpack across India with your friends because you spent all your cash in clubs, restaurants and Nordstrom. You can only spend it once despite what the commercials for credit cards want us to think. I was looking over my last year’s credit card summary (I paid this off last month) and I paid over $1750 in interest alone! That is a roundtrip ticket to anywhere on the planet! Talk about opportunity cost?! I am now saving the amount I used to pay in on my credit card and have set aside a portion of that for international travel. I am now able once again to do little things I put on hold during the payoff period. I have bought a few books and am spending some on sailing lessons a life long dream. I plan on spending some time sailing while traveling so getting my certifications is important to me. I never regret money spent on personal education and training.

Health and the debt illness. I believe the stress from debt is very hard on health. It was for me. I spent too much energy on worrying and coming up with money in tight months to pay them first. I now have a huge weight off my shoulders and it feels great! Now I can buy healthier organic food and again that is an improvement for my health. Not getting sick is a whole lot easier than getting well. Sounds like double talk? No, not really when you stop to think about the cost of stress and cheap food on your health.  Even the cost of the gym membership which financial gurus will try to convince you must be given up is money well spent when used. Exercise has a lot to do with reducing stress and overall health. Something I should mention to my younger self and remind my present self.

Travel is high on my priority list as I did not travel much in early adult life. I made a rather quick decision to move to France in 2007 as part of a study abroad for my business school. I attended a private university in the Calanques outside of Marseille. The natural environment was so stunning I could not gather the words to tell my family back home how incredible it was to go to school and live in a forest on the sea. I spent my weekends in Paris and Nimes and Arles and the surrounding countryside. I spent my week-long breaks in Amsterdam. My boyfriend came to visit for two weeks and stayed two months even traveling to Italy during my mid terms to check out the Angel Academy of art where he hoped to one day study.  None of this would have been possible had I not saved for years and gone without lattes at school (I brought my own tea bags and commuter mug) and planned ahead. I was able to pay cash for my life abroad and incurred no debt. I was free to travel and explore the French countryside as no tourist ever could. My boyfriend and I had discussed traveling to Belgium and Holland in the first year of our relationship and in the second I went to France. Although we are no longer together our shared experiences in Europe are a tie that binds and is full of memories of trials and fun and discovery.

My most recent journey into debt involved helping out a family member which again I have no regrets except that I could have planned and managed it all better on my part. My mother taught me never to loan money you can’t afford to gift so I always see these things as just that. Now that I am debt free for a third time in my life (the last time lasted 13 years) I am older and wiser. Money is just a tool and nothing more so spend it like your time…wisely.

 

Permalink 2 Comments

Too Many of the Wrong Things

July 13, 2012 at 5:55 am (Letting go, simple frugality) (, , , , , , )

It occurs to me as I continue down the path of minimalism that the problem is too many of the wrong things in my life and not enough of the right stuff.

By right stuff I mean bras that fit, tools for the jobs I do and not boxes of tools for jobs I will never tackle myself. Shoes which fit my lifestyle versus my sex-goddess alter ego’s. So I have dropped off a box of purses, designer shoes and belts at the local consignment store. I also dropped a bulging bag and box at the thrift store of short tees, scratchy, un-breathable “travel wear” and more empty picture frames so ugly  wouldn’t even put a picture of someone I don’t care for it them….where did they come from? Mom perhaps?

I already have another pile for the consignment shop of bags and shoes that no longer fit my lifestyle. Someone else will be happy to get them at an affordable price.  I found an online donation place for old phones, cameras etc. where I choose who the donation money from the sale of my electronics goes. I like this idea. I placed an ad on Craigslist for a solid maple bed made in the USA and offered it for a very reasonable price. I have had people email me with ridiculous offers. I will donate the beautiful bed before I give it to someone who fails to see the value when it is already priced at %10 of what I paid.

I also have a little Hitchcock style black maple desk with stenciling also made in the USA I am going to list for sale. I used to use it but now it is too small for my desktop needs so I want to find it a good home.  I used to be so attached to fine furniture and antiques and now it all seems so silly when a dresser is a dresser as long as it does the job and looks reasonable I am happy.  I currently have an empty drawer in my china cabinet…I intend to keep it empty for a while…

Now if I could only get the garage cleaned out completely I would know what I have and don’t have …or need in the piles.

Oddly of all the things I have let go off I still have the gym bag from a favorite boyfriend and a butterfly Zippo he gave me and a dozen other items because he had the gift of giving useful…I really appreciate that trait in him, that and his generosity. So I hope that as others clean out their lives I will have given useful and beautiful items as well and that the owners cherish them…and if not the next lucky owner will.

 

 

Permalink 1 Comment

Really Really Free

June 14, 2012 at 4:45 am (Letting go, simple frugality, Travel) (, , , , , , , , , )

This past Sunday was the Really Really free Market in Normal Heights and grassy classrooms for information on the effects of nuclear fallout ie. Fukoshima as well as the well kept secret TPP trade agreement which would solidify trade between certain Pacific rim countries allowing easier trade and export of jobs and privatization of more common resources.

It was an interesting day to say the least! I rolled up in my little pick up truck brimming with goodies to give away. A walker with basket, a Pack n Play playpen, a wooden toolbox my dad made in the 1960s and enough clothes to open a small boutique! The latter courtesy of a friend who has redone her entire wardrobe in order to feel more in control of her life (more on that later). I had boxes of costume jewelry parts, books, toys, swimsuits and fancy high heels. As fast as I could unload the stuff onto the grass it disappeared. No worries about proper display here as there would be little to display by the time the truck was unloaded.

We packed a picnic with fresh picked fruit, avocado salad, crackers and cheeses which we shared with one of the speakers. I found several books I had been wanting to read again or for friends and baskets for my daughter to use at her organic produce stand in the farmer’s market.ni

The most interesting part of the event was the camaraderie of people sharing. One woman who picked up a lid for a pot gently mentioned to the man who was examining the pot that she really needed the pan and he smiled as he handed it to her. My friend spotted a full set of Velvet Underground CDs, CCR, THE Pixies and even A Lonely Island (DICK in a box song included)  CD. My friend got a cute gypsy skirt complete with mirrors on it in mint condition. She wore it out later that evening to a club and two women stopped her wondering where she bought it. She politely explained at the Really Really FREE market. No money or barter involved. Just free. This boggled their minds but they were eager for more information on such an event!

YOU can start one in your town or city very easily. Select a park and set up a Facebook account for the event and start inviting people to join in. The important thing to remember is that we all have things which we no longer need which could enrich someone else’s life without the need for wage slavery to get it. Would you work 40 plus hours a week at your job if you didn’t need to make ends meet? If you answered yes then bless you you are one of the few who truly loves their work. I love my art and yet I also love to travel, sail, garden and visit friends. These things require a modicum of free time while I am young enough to do them!

I am currently planning an extended trip overseas with a  friend which will require $$$$$ so I’d rather not spend any now if I can get something for free or used. I sold my laptop to my brother for the cost of a super size flash drive for all my files which I can use with my flash drive mini laptop. Lighter and easier to travel with. He is thrilled because he gets a laptop in good condition restored to factory settings for under $100! Win win as I had this laptop for almost five years. It actually came with Napster on the desktop! My new one runs  on Linux so I can use freeware and be out from under the corporate thumbs of both Apple and Microsoft. This all falls under the heading of sustainable resources, because every time we reuse something, pass it on or put it in play again we are preserving the earth’s precious and finite resources.

So here I am again further lightening the load for my journey through life. As I sort even the too many travel bags I see that the one given to me by my ex boyfriend (he got for x number of accident free days on the job) is perfect and the one I bought rarely gets used, and so it heads into the next give away pile. On a side note he gave me many useful things which I use often and they always remind me of him….sneaky devil!

So back to the downsizing and selling and giving away to fund my next adventure. I promise it won’t be boring!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Challenge to buy no clothes or accessories for one year!

June 6, 2012 at 4:56 am (Letting go, simple frugality) (, , , , , , , , , , )

My dear friend has challenged me to a year-long fast from purchasing new or used clothes for one year. I’m agreeing to do it until the end of 2012. She on the other hand will take the 365 challenge.
In my head I’m already worrying about whether things will wear out too soon or if I have enough sweaters for fall. How ridiculous! I have more than enough of everything. I will put more shoes into daily circulation so that my favorites will last longer. I will certainly think longer before I throw things in the toss pile for the remainer of the year and I will free up even more time which previously was spent shopping for the next great running or boating shoe.
I am mentally inventorying my clothes and although I have a near dozen pair of jeans only two pair currently fit and one pair of shorts in three fit. Luckily I have four skirts which fit well and more for a more svelte version of myself waiting in the wings. I can see now that having three sizes of clothes in my closet adds to the clutter and confusion of what to wear each day. After enjoying my daughter’s cooking for a month I have moved up to the top end of my wardrobe size. I am readjusting my eating style and how often now and should be back to my middle ground very shortly as summer always means more swimming and hiking and walking the parks. So in this way I will add to my wardrobe by changing size. One dilemma solved.
I can see here where this may also involve doing more conscious wardrobe rotation as well to maximize the already available choices. Creativity will be put to the test. It is amazing how much time is spent shopping when we all commonly complain we don’t have enough hours in the days to do everything. Cutting out this one thing, depending on how much time one spends shopping now could translate into time for meditation, yoga, a workout at the gym or even more time for a hobby or reading.
It occurs to me that a clothing fast and TV fast could nicely go hand in hand. Cut out the triggers and feel better about yourself just as you are. When Asta suggested this challenge to me I wasn’t sure what it would entail being called a fashion fast…I was imagining wearing things which were from a few seasons ago, contrasting colors and even mixing prints to stay out of the fashion freeway fast lane. Oh wait a minute that’s how I dress now! I wear what I like regardless of what season it is from. We call that style. I never did get a pair of open toed woven fold over ankle boots on a platform heel…oh wait those are so out no one even will admit they were even in! I have classic heels in a few styles from black slingbacks a kitten heel sandal, a stiletto strappy snake skin pair and a pair of platform espadrilles. A flat pair of pointy toe Mary Janes while living in France at a sale and a pair of embroidered black suede Spanish boots. Leather flip flops and a pair of flat white espadrilles as well as my red Sole Rebels and my white leather boat sneakers…gee when you start writing out some of them it sounds like a lot…maybe I already have too many shoes I don’t regularly wear. Maybe it is time to wear everything and cull the herd a bit. I got rid of several pairs last year and the recipients were very happy to get them so it may be time to think about doing it again in time for the Really Really free market. Some of my beautiful heels might result in a sprained ankle if I try to wear them these days while I tote Munchie the 95lb Bulldog around town and try to wear them on a sailboat.

I think this comes down to re-evaluating who I am and my lifestyle rather than thinking of them as memories. This may prove to be an interesting time ahead in this challenge. By getting these items in play I am forced to confront their deeper value in my life. A couple of years ago I got rid of clothes given to me by previous boyfriends as way to free myself of my past and live more in the present. The last tee shirt I gave away a few months ago to a sweet neighbor. It said “Taken” and it seemed like it was time to pass it on and she loves it.  She is a young woman who is single and currently traveling the US with family this summer working state fairs. That shirt just might come in handy…it did for me although I think that with Munchie around I don’t need the shirt to stay single, but look taken. Then we have what I call the trade professional clothes which in my case are for public appearances and special events. These are the silk skirts, fitted and dirndl in fabrics too nice to wear daily. Problem is, my life is more about wiping wet hands on my jeans while stone cutting than circulating at trade shows with buyers in an ankle length washed silk skirt and linen top.  So I can see where an edited usable wardrobe of those finer items needs to be available but maybe in smaller quantities. It had been suggested these could be dating clothes now but, I like adventure dates and often wear just a tee shirt and skirt over my swimsuit in the summer for errands on my way home from the beach.

So it will indeed be an interesting challenge for more reasons than just the obvious….wish me bon chance!

Permalink 3 Comments

Is your Life a Craft Project or a Work of Art?

June 3, 2012 at 2:09 am (Letting go, LoVe, simple frugality) (, , , , , , , )

As I continually clean out my belongings in that never-ending quest for the perfect balance of items needed without excess I came across an art print I bought from a local young artist. He does paintings of robots in various activities. Mine is a car racing robot. I have decided it needs to be framed and hung next to my other art pieces by other artists.

I have had no problem getting rid of depressing er depression glass, and other tchochkes but it seems that as I do the art pieces move further forward and demand to be displayed. I have several drawings by an ex who is so talented I can’t believe I have not framed these earlier. So it seems I will be making a trip to my local art store for frames tomorrow. This is the interesting side effect of downscaling physical clutter, beloved items demand their space and attention from the box where they have been hiding in the back of a closet.

Artist self portrait

This was done shortly before I moved to France. He worked with Bic pens doubled up so as to make a long brush like drawing instrument. An amazing talent to watch the detail he can achieve with a 19 cent ball point pen! This second one is also a self portrait. Taking these out and looking at them reminded me of how extraordinarily talented he is and his art should be exhibited even if only in my bedroom… So I guess this is just another upside of decluttering my life…making room for those things which truly bring me joy each and every day.

I am also going through my many jewelry parts and letting go of those which I know in my heart I will not use and passing them on to another jewelry artist. In this same process I am rediscovering some in progress ear plugs I started in gem materials that I now have another reason to finish. Green and black Jade, Lapis and fire agate. I want to make a pair in Ethiopean chocolate opal. I think the rich deep color waves would make a very unusual plug. I also have some ear spikes I have in preform shape.  Gone are the tops from my college years (I only graduated in 2008) and the books I have read and will not pick up again. Gone are the candle holders from a famous mall retailer of “style” and In their place my collected artworks, tree seed pods which inspire my stone cutting and my lifetime collection of seashells. There is true beauty in my home again and that inspires me to continue on my quest for minimalism and meaning.

Artist self portrait

Taken from a photo of himself taken by me in his cottage.

Permalink 1 Comment

Next page »