Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Minimalism and time



Hei everybody!

I've been posting on minimalism and things related to minimalism for the past few months quite regularly, which was great fun and still is great, because I am still enjoying the minimalism journey. Anyway, I've started a new job , which is really exciting and but also comes with a lot of workload. I was talking about time and time management before and have emphazised, that I want to have more time to relax and more time for my family. 
You might say that that will kind of result in  a bit of a conflict - working more. And you are right in a way. But the result is, that I have to change some of my routines and prioritise more. Which means that possibly the blogpost won't come as regularly as they did. I will be out with my kids and do some gardening with them and in the evening I might not always find the time to write because I am - working... 

It is definitely a good exercise for me to practise efficient time management and to focus on my priorities. In a year from now (latest), I will know how it worked out. 

But if I have to say something about minimalism or consumerism or gardening or sewing - don't worry, I won't hold back - I might just take a little longer. :) 

The joys of Gardening



Spring has hit us with full force and nature seems to be exploding all around us.
I have felt something I've never ever felt in my entire life - a strong desire to do gardening. I am probably getting old and something like that, but I find it incredibly peace full to dig and weed, to assess the growth (or non-growth) of our lawn (which doesn't even deserve the name...), to seed, and water and wait for things to grow.

I am not the only one. I've noticed quite a lot of people interested in miminalism also seem to grow things. Maybe it is the joy of creating somethings and seeing the results quickly, but I find it incredibly satisfying.

So, why not try it out yourself - if you don't have a garden, you can still grow some basil or parsley on the window sill. If you have a balcony, why not try a "wild balcony" -> pile up a few twigs with leaves and maybe even a but of scattered soil alltogether in a corner of the balcony in spring and then do not tidy it up. Just leave it there and watch, what with wind brings. Will something start to grow between the leaves? Will you have little visitors like birds? You can also try to grow some tomatoes or herbs or just a few flowers to brighten up the day. Start growing the seeds in egg cartons on the windowsill and then put them outside in a pot.

Maybe in a few weeks you can eat your own home grown tomatoes with your own basil and a bit of mozzarella and oil. With a fresh loaf of baguette. Yum! 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Sustainability - too good to be true.


Everybody is talking about sustainability. So I am thinking about it, too.
The thing is: We are talking about it as if we had not made an enourmously destructive impact on our planet already. As if it was just a precaution. Or taking care. Let's be honest: We've destroyed so much of our planet that it is a farce to talk about sustainability. We can start talking about that when we've reached a point where the damage is repaired (if that is possible at all) and we are truly protecting nature. 
I've read an article the other day about conscious consumerism and about how it doesn't exist (and I quite agree). 
To tell you the truth, I am quite annoyed with this whole sustainability-talk. We are all pretending how much we are trying to save the planet. We buy organic food, organic clothes, energy saving light bulbs, ... and we buy on and on and on... more than ever.
But there is no sustainability in consume. The only way to preserve or save resources is not to use them. I don't make an impact on companies when I buy organic. I make an impact on companies when I don't buy certain things at all.



Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A Word about "Conscious Consumerism".

found this on the net, don't know where it's from though...


I admit it, it is nearly impossible to stop consuming altogether.
I couldn't just go out and live in a hut in a forest and grow my own salads and nuts, because the land belongs to someone and you can't just go an live there (no, doesn't work, people try it again and again, doesn't lead anywhere here...). Authorities would just have you. And that's that.
So as "back to the roots" isn't quite possible I would argue the best thing to do is to make most out of the existing system. And I don't mean that in a "consume as much as you can" way, but in a "consume as little and consciously and carefully as you can" way. Consider the true cost of items (clothes, food, pots, pans, furniture etc). Buy locally. Not just apples. And only buy what adds lasting value to your life. The big danger is to "lighten" your purse and your conscience by falling into the "conscious consumerism" "LOVAS" or whatever other trap. The main thing is to consume less and to create more.

The idea of conscious consumerism is spread much further in english sources and (although it seems it only really caught on around 2012 or a tad earlier) and I've found this American Homepage which I think has some interesting articles.


https://www.newdream.org/programs/beyond-consumerism/rethinking-stuff/conscious-consumerism

Also an interesting read - to remind you that FIRST you must stop unnecessary consume and THEN think about where the rest you own should come from
https://qz.com/920561/conscious-consumerism-is-a-lie-heres-a-better-way-to-help-save-the-world/?utm_source=atlfb 

In a way conscious consumerism does and does not exist at the same time. :) Depending on the point of view. A bit like Schr√∂dingers cat. Just totally different. :) 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Emotional blackmail




Consumerism as opiate of the masses (Sharon Beder)

Today I would like to talk to you about Emotional Blackmail.
Emotional Blackmail is an extremely interesting topic. What makes it so difficult to describe is the fact that it works on the emotional side of relationships and also sometimes is rather well disguised.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_blackmail


How does this link to consumerism? 

Through advertising.

A lot of ads try to make us buy the product by making us believe, that we will get better, more successful, more beautiful, faster or whatever else by buying their product. Automatically we are told all of the time that the way we are, we are not good enough and that instead of ameliorating our own skills, we are told that buying things will get us where we want to be. Which of course doesn't really work but starts a spiral of buying more and more to feel and be better.
It also numbs us to what is really going on around us, because we are so busy in the whole consumerism circus, that we don't notice other things. No interest in politics. No time for friends. No interest in reading or writing, in paining or dancing. Making shopping our world because we think it will make us better.
Also TV and films show us that way of life - going shopping as a pasttime. Purchasing items as a hobby. Comparing what you own and gaining status by having the newest, lightest, fastest or whatever automatic whatsit.

If people don't see who I am and respect me for the person I am, they won't like me more if I wear a golden rolex.



You can't just buy elegance or taste. You either have it, or you don't. (And IMHO this watch is not elegant. It is a lot of things, but not elegant.)


 

Monday, 27 March 2017

DIY Plans for 2017



Apart from the crocheting I've not done much sewing lately. Mainly that had to do with the fact of moving house and a lot of time was just spent on unpacking things, trying to get order into the place (don't mention the cellar...) and installing lamps and shelves and wardrobes ... it took us 4 months to install the shower curtain rail thingy...

But I've got plans. My Make and Mend challenge of course influences a bit what I am doing.

So, here's a list:

material at hand
-trousers for Little Miss no 1
-dungarees for Little Miss no 1
-comfy pants for Litte Miss no 2
-another Frida or Leia doll
-little curtain for bathroom window
-pillow case for sofa cushion (old cover not nice anymore and inner pillow still superb)



material partly/mainly at hand
-ruffling up the Walpole Francaise (black taffetta silk needed)
-cloche hat (a single hob needed, as the new kitchen has an induction field and the aluminium tea pot won't work on that)


ideas
-tweed sailer trousers light beige
-possibly jeans, if mine don't make it until June 2017
-maybe a 1950s inspired swimsuit
-maybe a 19th century day dress
- t shirt with giant cowl neck, long sleeves, from merino jersey or cotton jersey or so, dyed myself with plant dyes. 




Another Plan:
go through fabric stash and make something from whatever is there. :)

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Finding the balance...



I've just read an article about how human hair is "harvested" in china for extensions (for those interested: here is the link http://www.nzherald.co.nz/indepth/national/black-gold/?#_=_)
and it made me think a lot about Western "civilisation" and our goals and values and of course I felt really bad about all the consumerism around me and the big part I play in it. Because let's be honest, even if you don't have hair extensions, you will be, like myself, a small cog in the big machinery of consumerism. It really tormented me, especially as I am really trying not to be part of it. Which sometimes just doesn't seem to work. And then I stopped and looked around myself (because I happened to be on a walk with my oldest daughter today, too).

Today is a really cold and quiet day. We have about -1°Celsius and it is really foggy. The fog crystallized on leaves, gras, bushes, cobwebs and everything was encrusted in this layer of ice crystals. It looked as if somebody had put a thick layer of castor sugar over everything. It is beautiful and full of magic.

I feel grateful that I was there that moment with my daughter and we enjoyed that magical weather together. Through all the pressure of everyday life and work (and still trying to  move in properly...) I could feel that no matter what is happening around the world, the only real impact on life I can make is right here where I am with my family. Where we live, how we live and how we treat each other. And that's what really counts.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Learning to wait and I am still tidying up...



We've moved into our new home 4 months ago and I am still tidying up. I am fascinated (and also quite shocked) how long it takes to settle into a new home. But I've also noticed, I am approaching things a lot different this time.
While I am still unpacking boxes (most of our possessions went into the cellar upon moving in, only the most necessary items went into the actual room), I am again sorting through. And I get annoyed and grumpy. And I am sometimes surprised about what I find.

The amount of stuff we also had to get rid of after moving in, is shocking. Why did we take it wih us alltogether? Well, the answer is because I am becoming more picky in what we own.

I also noticed I am becoming more patient when it comes to purchasing something - unless it is perfect, I am not buying it. And that's it.

Of course the term "perfect" is meant in a relative way. It is always the balance of what we need (and making the difference between want and need is difficult enough sometimes...), what we like and what we can afford.

Apart from the fact that we need surprisingly little and have surprisingly lot of stuff even AFTER I thought I sorted through the attic thoroughly (you live and learn...), I also noticed that the few things we eventually DO buy, really contribute to our daily life. It's great to see and use the stuff you have daily. Rather than getting a bargain here and there just because it is cheap, I am determining strictly what we actually use (e.g. kitchen utensils) and then get just that in good quality. I actually have the impression that we own less and spend less and what we've got is of far better quality than before. And it is so much easier to live like that.

One sore spot is still the cellar, but I'll go with that now. It's always good to have a project. :)

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Has everything been said?



Now after about 6 months of regular (and sometimes quite long) posts about miminalism, about how I understand it and what it means to me, I find I've come to a point where I've covered the "basics" of what I think it is.

I've changed and am still changing, and every week it is the small things that I notice, not the big fundamental theories behind it.

Sombody saying "I get sick of my pillow covers regularly, then I just go to a shop and get new ones. That's just the way I am."  And somebody else remarking "So you are not shopping anymore for fun? How strange, I really enjoy consuming."

And I wonder. 


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Jeans - Make and Mend

from google picture http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0131/6922/files/patch-camera-web.jpg?307


It is such a sad thing when your favourite pair of jeans has a hole at the knee (or wherever...), isn't it.
I've come across this blogpost and I just love what she's done to the jeans.

http://mymakedoandmendlife.com/2016/05/23/mend-it-may-how-to-sashiko/

You can also search the internet for sashiko and find a lot more inspiration!

Another option would be to cut them apart and take the pattern in order to make your own jeans from them. And use the rest as cleaning cloth...