So a half a year has passed since I wrote on this blog and yes, there were big changes. Though I believe the changes are still coming.
We bought a van this year for travelling. We are slowly fixing it up to make it into a camping van. We are trying to enjoy this area we are living in as much as possible while we are here. How much longer we are here is anyone's guess. We have made several excursions up into The Vosges and down the wine road, exploring a little farther each time. Last week we bought a mattress for the van and several other things to equip it. Next week we are working on building a platform for the mattress. It will be in two parts so the one side can slide on top of the other side and the mattress can be folded up to make a bench, giving room in the van during the day. Yesterday I dyed the top of the mattress cover. It is still soaking in the tub waiting for it's time to go into the washer, then I will dye the other half. It is really big! I thought it would be much better to dye it than to put a white mattress in the van. I was lucky that it has a removable cover and the cover is mostly cotton.
I also started a small balcony garden. I have been wanting to do this for awhile but was very unsure about my likely success being up so high and only having a western facing balcony with high wind. I finally reached a point where I just didn't care anymore though and decided to just go for it and hope for the best. So far it has done quite well with only a few mishaps. Seeing as the only gardening I have done on my own before is an herb garden I am quite happy.
I have grown increasingly concerned with the quality of the food available on this world. I think way too often we don't even consider what is going into our bodies when we stuff our mouths with this overly processed, chemical laden, nutrient lacking goop we call food. I hate Monsanto, but they are only the tip of the iceberg (although a very large tip at that) By starting my garden I, in my mind, am making a concrete decision to clean up my eating habits. I have resolved to make trips to the market more often, grow what I can and simplify, simplify, simplify!
I have also been researching fermented foods and their health benefits for your body. I had no idea how important your gut bacteria are and just how many different health problems are linked to problems with your flora. I have slowly introduced myself to fermented milk and other dairy products. Today I am going to make fermented pickles and hopefully soon I will be making fermented sauerkraut and kimchi. I bought a great book called 'Fermented Foods for Health' by Deirdre Rawlings and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a deep interest in the reasons behind why you need fermented foods in your life.Almost the entire first half of the book goes into a detailed discussion on the subject and the rest of the book is full of great menu plans and lots of wonderful sounding recipes.
Another thing I have been studying and slowly gathering ingredients for is working towards making the things in my house more natural...such as households cleaning fluids, body cleansers, sunscreen, etc. I am tired of exposing myself to so many chemicals. Every label I look at is full of so many chemicals and additives it's crazy. People didn't use to live like this so I know i don't have to!
Lastly I bought a dehydrator and I am learning how to use it. I would prefer to use good veggies straight from the farms in dried form over anything you buy at the supermarket who's nutrient value is dubious. I have only made a few things so far but it's fun and i can see the benefits of it. I had no idea how many different things you can dry!
So as you can see, I have been quite busy in life and that is besides my art. My art is another story. I still have many thoughts to changes there. I have spent too many years making my dyed items and selling them so cheap that I have come to think of myself as a big joke. I barely make any money from what I do. It's hard work requiring many steps and I sell my items in a currency that is worth less than the one in the country I live in. Frenchie said something the other day that really struck home to me. He said 'It's like I am paying for part of the work you do' And that is so true. I need to start thinking more seriously as an artist...as an artist who makes her living doing this work. If I were alone and doing this there is no way in hell I could afford to charge what I do. I have come to disrespect myself so much that I barely get any joy from what I do. This needs to change. It has deeply affected how I feel about all of my art and I have lost my inspiration. Who wants to create when they feel what they make has no worth?