Month: December 2010

Project 333 – Phase 2

I joined Courtney Carver‘s Project 333 back on October 10, 2010 reflecting back on my love affair with fashion, my abuse of conspicuous consumption, my time spent in Paris and photographing multiple runway shows, and my fairly recent decision to minimize my life and its elements. It was a great time of self-realization, self-actualization, and self-discipline. I also met some wonderful friends, began a Flickr group designed to gain inspiration from others, and shared my mini-mission with at least 15 other people (and ultimately recruiting 3 to the project.) So now I am back for phase 2! With a bit of knowledge under my belt, a feeling of fashion freedom, and a comfort with the rules and how to apply them to my personal life and situations, I am prepare to unveil my list! So, without further ado…. Jeans – made the cut (Levis 569) Jeans – made the cut (Levis 569) Grey plainfront khakis – made the cut Khaki plainfront khakis – made the cut Liberty Overalls (old) – made the cut Liberty Overalls (newer) – made the cut Black Short Sleeve tee – made the cut Black Short Sleeve tee – made the cut Red Short Sleeve tee – made the cut “Grow Your Own Food” tee – made the cut Farmall Short Sleeve tee – made the cut Brown Short Sleeve tee Blue Button Up dress...

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5 Steps to Ease the Panic of the New Year

By now there is little doubt that I see a direct parallel with Tiny House living and minimalism. It isn’t that the two are synonymous or even have to be related. But with Crystal and I the progression from one to the other was a given. And it has served us well preparing us physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and geographically for the next step of our life together. Having said that it has been a real challenge to celebrate the holidays with all the fervor and gusto of a traditional, consumer, American family, without sacrificing or negating our ideals. And now as we prepare to “drop the ball,” eat some collard greens, and otherwise bask in the new year’s revalry we are left wondering if we will make it clear to 2011 with our sanity, pocketbooks, and ethics, in tact! Since late November we have celebrated Thanksgiving, 2 birthdays, Hannukah, Christmas, and in just a couple of days, New Years. Just reading a schedule like that makes me understand yet again why so many Americans find themselves in panic mode come mid-December. It can be overwhelming…IF you allow it to. In order to fully appreciate the holidays, be present in the moments they offer, and make emotional memories rather than consumer-debt based ones, we have to understand that preparation is what is called for; NOT panic! So here are...

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How to make a fresh start with a fresh pantry

It’s a little early to be singing ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ It’s too soon for corks a’poppin and balls a’dropping! But is ISN’T too soon to think about getting a fresh start on the new year with a fresh pantry. When I lived in Brooklyn I had such grand delusions of hitting up the local bodega on a daily basis for the freshest produce and meats cut especially to my liking. I think at time I even imagined myself with basket in hand gliding from farmers market to farmers market. The reality though is that few of us outfit our kitchens with such freshness or cook exclusively with fresh-picked produce, recently cut meats, and vine-ripened fruit! And because it is winter it is that much more difficult! Not to mention when life is lived in more rural environments like that of Crystal and I in North Carolina. There simply isn’t the availability of much more than box stores and chain groceries.  So if your personal goal is to cook and cook quickly, get a satisfying and somewhat enjoyable variety of real food on your family table as frequently as possible, a well-stocked and almost exclusively box store stocked pantry and fridge can sustain you. Replenished bi-weekly or so and further augmented with the occasional milk & bread stop, you can easily start this new year with a new epicuriosity. So while...

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How to live in a Tiny House

Living in a house smaller than most of America’s walk-in closets may not be for everyone, but those who are able to do so reap many benefits for themselves and for the world around them. I have tried to come up with some tips and suggestions for choosing the ideal Tiny House and how to go minimal in order to make your *new* tiny life more enjoyable and your space not feel so confining. Do your research! I can’t stress this enough. Living in a Tiny House is certainly not for everyone. Some may find it confining or restricting while others may find it absolutely liberating. Some Tiny Houses are as little as 9 sq. ft. while others (since there is no working definition for this type of construction yet!) may be around 800 sq. ft. Look at all the designs on the ‘net. You may even want to begin with what is considered the first Tiny House to be manufactured and marketed. Some designs are ultra-modern while others resemble a north Georgia mountain retreat. Some even incorporate off-grid designs like solar/wind power, rainwater collection, and composting toilets. Decide what you need/want from your Tiny House. Houses serve one basic purpose. They provide a comfortable, weather-proof, quiet, safe place to sleep. 99% provide a clean place to maintain personal hygiene along with a comfortable place to rest during the...

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Tiny House Update – 12.23.10

There is nothing quite so frustrating as rain. Yes, cold weather is a beast but at least you can freely move about and function out of doors even when it is cold. Rain on the other hand typically debilitates and causes a great migration inside. NOT a good thing when your task du jour is to begin really clearing debris and cutting away underbrush and overgrowth. Last weekend I had it set in my mind that I was going to begin cleaning away and hauling off nearly 30 years worth of residual “junk.” NOTE: For those who are not familiar with southern culture (on the skids, of course), any spare land we have or unused yard will inevitably become a home grown landfill, of sorts. During our time on that land unused car parts, unrecognizable tin signs, old bottles and cans, a few tires, and even parts of a dog pen we intended to convert to a chicken coop, will eventually pile up and be grown over in said landfill. Thus has been the case for the southern most tip of our little acre. Not by anyones design but rather by default. So in order to begin clearing our land and really plotting our homestead we first had to get rid of “the landfill.” So last weekend found me up at nearly 6:30am, coffee in one hand, pick axe...

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