Scale Down: Rediscovering Minimalism

Cling


I love the things I have. We all do, admittedly. I moved around a lot when I was younger, and had a lot of people come and go in my life, so I really never clung  to people or houses. I clung to my things. My beautiful crystals, my pretty vintage finds, records, decor, hand-me- downs, and all my books. Plus a ton of other crap I’ve collected (hoarded) over my 23 years.

We just bought a van, so how am I going to fit all these things I love in this van?

I’M NOT

It’s just physically not going to be in the cards (or in the van). Hayden (my love) has very few things which is awesome because then hopefully I will take a bit of extra storage that he won’t use 😉 However! I will be very strategic on limiting myself to the amount of things I’ll store at my mothers house and bring on our ameri-van journey.

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I’m going to go through everything I own, see what holds value, and it if doesn’t it’ll be put into a category. This includes EVERYTHING I own. Its mostly clothes and art supplies that I need to scale down on. It also includes decor, books, Dvds, furniture, and everything in between.

HERES THE SYSTEM:

  • SELL– Depop, etsy, poshmark, let go, offer up, shit even Facebook is a good platform for selling unwanted items of all kinds. Things that are worth something to you and possibly could finance other parts of your life. People like to support you when you put yourself out there, in my case, it’ll help build the interior for our Dr. Vanagonzo.
  • KEEP– Only the necessities (project 333 was very inspiring) and items that TRULY bring value to your life. Key points- Does it make you want to cry having to give it up? Do you really need it or is it just a pretty desire? Can you do more than one thing with it? Can you just take a pic of it and feel satisfied preserving the memory? Consider the season as well!
  • DONATE– many people will benefit from you getting rid of the 40 pairs of shoes you own. Re-gifting is also another amazing way to get rid of things, while still loving it, now it can go to a different home leaving you with more space. I donate to a local orphanage since my clothes are still considered ‘youthful’ and also the a local homeless shelter. You can do the same, or donate to a different place/thrift store and get a tax receipt, which is always nice.

*Another optional pile you can have is the STORAGE category. This could be appliances, winter/summer clothes (whatever season it may be) and other practical things that you’ll need/want to use some day, but isn’t necessary on a day to day basis* (for us its appliances, summer clothes, gardening stuff, and other furniture that we’d like to put in out tiny home (or dome)  one day when we have land as well.


I’ve started the process already, and my car is just about out of space because its filled ONLY with things I can donate. I’m still sifting through the sell, keep, store categories.

I may cling to a lot of things, as we all do, but I can just as easily detach from it. Not to be a cynic, but none of it really matters in the end.

Its just stuff.

I’d rather have love and space.

If your trying to scale down and minimize as well

Here are some awesome links that inspired and helped me.

http://www.trashisfortossers.com

http://bemorewithless.com

https://minimalismfilm.com (which was first a book)

http://frugaling.org

Theres plenty others if you just google anything with the word ‘minimalism’ in it, these are just some of my favorite.

Also, I was just simply inspired by my claustrophobia and love for open air. Having too many things around me, suffocating me, made me CRAZY, as if I’m not crazy enough. I needed space to think and be still without constantly cleaning and reorganizing to maximize space I didn’t have.


These are my platforms of choice for selling, you should check em out! I hand make upcycled art and sell unique vintage pieces! There will be more to come!

MY ETSY STORE

MY DEPOP SHOP

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Tips From an Average Environmentalist

I have migrated once more but this time I’m locked in via lease. It’s a lovely studio in Richmond, with a lovely man whom I plan to marry. What I hope to accomplish by settling down for the time is finally getting down to the bear necessities. While at my grandmothers, I had been beginning the quest to zero waste.I began with the reduction of waste and trash, and that’s has been very successful. I’ve found alternatives for just about everything that is not good for my health and mental being. Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Dr. Bronners soap have been three main ingredients to this delicious experience.

So a few motto’s I live by when it comes to hygiene/personal care goods is “if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your body”. Your skin is the largest organ, and takes in anything it is exposed to, so instead of having negative reactions and putting more mystery goop on it, let it heal itself and stop getting in the way. Then as for household goods, “clean should not smell as strong as it does”.  If you’re getting headaches and having to leave the room, just because it was “cleaned”. That makes no sense, you should be able to stay in the room that has been cleaned of toxins and germs, but…oh…wait..we have to leave the “clean”. We might as well spray pesticides on ourselves like we did in the 50’s .


  

Once the transition was made from no more bleach or Lysol, and just down right
carcinogenic products that gave me headaches and made me crave caffeine for some reason,  it was time to reduce the amount of things in my possession. Too much stuff makes me crazy and want to burn it all, or something drastic like that…

FIVE THINGS THAT HELPED ME MINIMALIZE STUFF:    

  1. If you don’t use it, LOSE IT! Now we all know there are far too many things in our house that serve no purpose whatsoever. There’s a great quote by “””” And sometimes we get overwhelmed with the beauty of it all that we just want as much as we can get, then it turns into a possessive competition where we think someone else has prettier whatever and that compels to either buy impulsively or slash our self esteem. If it serves no true purpose and is just collections dust, give it away. You just don’t use it, no need to take up the space.
  2. If you really can’t let it go due to those attached sentiments; take a picture, it’ll last longer  – it’s hard to let go of our pasts. And it even harder to let go of certain items we have invested a lot of time and energy into, and I know a boy gave you that shirt a decade ago, but you don’t even look at it any more, let it go, like Frozen. It’s only procrastinating you to move from moving forward
  3. Does it serve more than one purpose or function? Make it work!– Find things that mimic a Swiss army knife, they can do 10 things in one object. If it has more then one use, than  take advantage of the opportunity to rid yourself of having too many of the same thing. Find multiple uses for some of the things you have to help filter through the things that
  4. DITCH THE DISPOSABLE, RELY ON REUSABLE  – Come on, that is just wasteful, most of our trash is plastic crap anyway that will never break down and continue to pollute our planet. So by not throwing away every single ziploc bag or plastic grocery bag, find another purpose like in tip four. Most grocers now have a place where you can actually bring all those plastic bags and they will recycle them back into themselves and make more bags…but without the coast of the materials since we are giving back.
  5. Buying secondhand is GRAND!!!!! I try to only buy used anything, from clothes and shoes to books, music or kitchenware. Almost everything you need has already been made you just have to go look for it.


This are simply to help reduce your material items and no longer collect them. When it comes to reducing your footprint, it does take a lot of time and managing your priorities as efficiently as possible. Other simple tips such as buying in bulk, buying items without packaging or has recyclable packaging,  investing in reusable coffee  cups/sleeve and grocery bags, recycling, eco friendly light bulbs, unplugging as many appliances and plugs as possible. Keeping common sense about conserving is your best friend through this process.

NPO helping African women create jobs while being renewable

Now I know I’m not nearly as close as I’d like to be to reducing my carbon footprint, but like I said it’s a process, a fun and challenging one at that. So here’s a parting challenge for anyone who reads this…carry around a bag with you for one day, and put all of your trash in it, and see how much you really produce in one day! 🙂 Good Luck!




SUPER AWESOME RESOURCES FOR ANYONE REDUCING WASTE

http://www.trashisfortossers.com

http://www.zerowastehome.com

http://myzerowaste.com

Lets revert this toxic waste land into a Zero Waste Land!!!

 ~ JAI ~

What is the Big Dream?

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake”

-HDT



I began a small business making recycled dreamcatchers and jewelry with my sister about two years ago. It hasn’t made much money because I was hoping for it to be a non profit collective, it had a rocky start and thus I’m relaunching the entire collective. We all have to start somewhere, and for me its in a tiny studio, on the floor, over the internet.

After a lot of thought and brainstorming, we came up with the name Sisters of the Big Dream. Now what is that? The Big Dream?  For me, it means the dream that we strive to achieve. The dream we want to become our reality. In a way its a new age version of anyones American Dream. Mine just so happens to be slightly stereotypical, struggling artist style. The Big Dream is something that we all have within us, that we are a part of. In a sense its life at its simplest. We are living in one big dream, an illusionary shadow world.

Being a sister or a brother of the Big Dream entails awareness of the reality that you create, not being afraid to try and fail to live what your passionate for and expressing it however you choose. For example, my sisterhood is built around healing our Mother Earth. Therefore everything that I make is mostly post-consumer (i.e. secondhand jewelry & scrap fabrics, litter/recyclable materials etc) and eco friendly. I also try my best to practice any form of conservation in every aspect of my life. Also, in time I hope to donate proceeds to an environmental organization.

 

Now where did my sister and I come up with Sisters of the Big Dream? Well when we were younger we were shown a song by Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe (of YES) called Brother of Mine. It is a spectacle of nature and human, and how we are one in the same. Seeing this at age 8 was like seeing a theatre show. It really hit home for us and was so fitting for our cause and creation. Thus SISTERS OF THE BIG DREAM was born.

This was the only video I could find of the actual music video. I wish it was the whole thing though!



“We are heroes; we  are dreamers of the big dream”



This is an example of just one of my many style dreamcatchers I make. This was a Solstice gift to my mother. The materials I made it with are recycled tubing, t shirts, scrap fabrics I’ve had, reused string, old glass beads, vintage buttons, and some feathers. Simple as that.

Drift wood, beach glass, and shells from Florida, t shirt fabric, string, and a recycled glowstick.

A recycled glowstick, string, and t shirt fabric.

I live my art, I live my dream, and my dreams are BIG

Blessings

Traditional Dream Catchers for the New Age Gypsy

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An old key chain and random beads from a bracelet, a micro catcher for the simple minimalist

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A piece of quartz crystal I acquired a long time ago, it wants a new home. Feathers and fabric from an old unfinished art project, and a glowstick missing the connector

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Blue Dream for the forever dreamer, another quartz crystal in need of a new home with old fabric from a dress, inherited string and a satin scarf as the filter

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A personal piece for my car. Tigers eye center that was gifted to me, recycled hemp rope, and some crochet string that was given to me. It shall be filtered by three mini origami cranes to promote my travels with well being, luck and prosperity 🙂

Crystal Jewelry 

   
Double pointed Quartz surrounded by lavender, clarity and love locket ✨

 
And a stunning Quartz point with an array of images inside 🌙 wrapped in some orange faux suade 🙏 wellness and clarity unifying my mind and heart