Monday, July 17, 2017

I'm Selling Nearly All My Stuff! And it's Bringing Back my Creativity and Main Missions

This year it's been challenging to stay creative outside of my store and product line. Every ounce of my energy went into infrastructure work; accounting, inventory, employee training, etc. This is ON TOP of formulating and bottling our product, graphic design, web work, labeling, marketing and merchandising.

This exhausted me creatively. Blog posts slowed. I went from taking daily photos to hiding my DSLR for months. Before my new business took off I was setting up professional online shops for others. I LOVE crafting beautiful shops for creatives, but it wasn't until later that I realized this meant my well of creativity was bone dry before I even opened my shop.

Nearly everything I own outside of clothing and work stuff is stored in this credenza, which will also be sold!

We're getting more caught-up, thankfully! Yet when I decided to move production back to my apartment I was forced the face the truth, while juggling business tasks I'd let my supplies get horribly cluttered.  I gave myself some time on July fourth to put my business supplies away KonMari method style. I did a swift KonMari method run of the whole house taking the longest time on my work stuff, putting hundreds of bottles and labels away neatly and accessibly.

Getting organized the KonMari way felt so amazing, as it always does, that I started devouring more media on minimalism. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism named after the book of the same name was so compelling I went out (using money I earned recently selling a table I'd sold, haha) to buy the book immediately! I consider it the spiritual successor to Marie Kondo's famous books on the KonMari method. It's for those who want to take minimalism to another level, to challenge themselves mentally and spiritually to live a life without extra Stuff.

In the upper left of the photo above is a pile of stuff I'm going to sell. I'm finally ready to sell a lot of paintings and extra bits I've been hanging on to. It feels so light and amazing to be taking another step toward being the type of minimalist I've wanted to be since my office job days, when my apartment was FULL of collections and that extreme-minimalist life felt like an impossible pipe dream.

Just a few things I took out of the apartment today. Some store stuff, some donations.

A couple of the lines in the book that really stood out to be was about how much stimuli was have to process since ancient times. Our brains are bombarded with more data in ONE DAY than people in the 1600s would process in a YEAR. Furthermore, our brain's "hardware" is 50,000 years old. It hasn't updated in the slightest to deal with modern society which bombards us with ads and information at every turn.

I identify, and most artists who look up the stats would too, as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). It means I'm very easily overstimulated. For example, if I'm excited about something that will happen the next day I won't sleep no matter how many tinctures herbs, and melatonin pills I take; damn my nerves! Having as little stimuli in my apartment (and it's related maintenance) as possible is healing to my easily-stimulated body.

The reduction of that clutter has been WONDERFUL for clearing that extra data (every object is a thing to deal with eventually) and getting my overdrawn creativity back.

Colorful Photos of my previous apartment 2010-2012ish

I used to use my things as a sense of comfort and identity. Things like my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster above, from my Italian childhood, bought a lot of happiness not just to me but visitors.

In fact my artsy-reseller's pad full of cool-stuff was kind of infamous, here it is above being used for a photoshoot at the request of a local rapper. It felt good to make visitors, locals, and thousands of readers around the world happy with my colorful home! Of course, it inspired me, too.

Photo from me packing to move to my current apartment.

But this all came at the high price of LIVING among it. Always trying to find the best means of storage. Spoiler: I never did find a good means of storage.

When it came to moving time! Holy hell I had a LOT OF STUFF in both merchandise and personal possessions to drag to a new apartment. That was hell. Boxes and moving stuff from place to place would be part of my life for the next few years.

Years of selling off merchandise and then my personal possessions later, this little pile at my apartment represents the LAST time I have to have a mass sale/exodus of Stuff. I'm looking forward to this new era of minimal living with less stress! So if there's something you've had your eye on in my apartment (I've gotten e-mails over the years trying to buy stuff from my photos) drop me a line, it's probably available. Why yes, so is that cuttlefish anatomy poster, and other childhood treasures I'm finally ready to release.

I have many posts to come with details on this new adventure. The weight being lifted is transcendent.

Then when it's all gone I'm looking forward to working, creating and living simply knowing that releasing the past has ALWAYS, almost mystically, bought me even better shining new opportunities.
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

MODify: Should I "Destroy" This Vintage Pendant Lamp? What Do You Think? Halp!

Have you ever found something 2nd hand that you want to destroy, yet feel guilty about it? I'm at that cross road with this lovely vintage pendant lamp I found at the thrift store. Remove the orange and purple beads and you have exactly what I was looking for!

I was driving home fully intending to immediately get to work destroying it but then it hit me, this was clearly made for a little girl's room in the 70s and in a particular space it would look REALLY good just like it is.

It also already had a black light in it which looks really good with the orange and purple!

What do you think? Should I transform it into the lamp I need or sell it to someone who wants to preserve its beauty as-is?

Update: I was kindly informed via Facebook that this is a lawnware light meant for outdoors/RV use. You can see it on the bottom of this listing but mine has holes on the bottom that cut off the name. That would explain why it's plastic! You can see different unique patterns on these when you look them up online.
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Friday, June 23, 2017

Our Tour of Cassadaga, Florida: The Peaceful Spiritualist Camp of the South


Cassadaga Florida is a 122 community of spiritualists and spiritual-minded people. The town is full of mediums, tarot readers, mediums-in-training, and other reiki and esoteric healing practitioners. We finally made it down a couple of weeks ago and it didn't disappoint!

On this visit we went down for the city tour and learned some history and insider information on the tiny city/community (it contains only 55 residences!) Their main book and gift store was beautiful and filled with too many healing decks, gemstones, and herbal goods I'd like to try.

Of course there were many areas for meditation and relaxation. All with retro 60s-70s hand painted signs, I loved those!

I just knew the city would have good vibrations, but wow, I wasn't expecting the peace and quiet of this place. Because of its age it was like going back in time to an old Florida city. Just look at this silent uncluttered street! My shop and apartment are in busy, loud areas so I appreciated that calm and silence.

I liked how this old house had curtains and big gold buddha statue.

And this gorgeous memorial.

Another memorial from a story of a girl who said she was visited by spirits. This was carved with a chainsaw by a talented resident.

And I had to throw in this old unoccupied house...with asbestos siding! Aaah!

The mediums and healers had their own unique signs. There are also TONS of classes and activities going on all the time! There's something practically every day.

The sign by their large park, lake, and relaxing gazebo. Lots of peaceful places to sit here. I wish I could have a week to chill under those trees to chill, read, and write in my notebook.

This is their spiritualist temple where they host a mass of sorts and do prayers and healing.

It's rather conventional inside with historical items behind class for visitors and framed pictures of famous people in the movement. There's a lot of famous spiritualists, who knew? Cassadaga is also where I learned the my lifetime favorite flower, the sunflower, is the universal symbol for spiritualists and spiritualism. It's used liberally throughout Cassadaga.

Curious and curiouser, let's see how deep this rabbit hole goes! We were taken to a tiny room on the right side of the church.

Open a door in the little room and that's where seances are performed! I'll skip that one, thank you, I didn't even walk inside. Even if it was allowed, there's some risks I won't take for now. No bad luck spirits following me around please, life is hard enough as it is! >:D

There are a couple more little physic shops, the nice ladies at this one invited my business back to sell natural goodies at their Fairy Faire!

When we do go back for it we'll stay at the "haunted" Cassadaga Hotel and do some other activities.

I'll take some classes and enjoy some peace while there, too!

My mom got a tarot reading at this spot and was very impressed with the reader's use of a plain deck of cards, which was the way her mom used to do tarot readings. She felt like it was very accurate. He even said something about my business looking up for August which according to our data reflects reality. Whether coincidence or not, these are always fun novelties. :)

You gotta love the street names! I'm actually taking my neice and mom back tonight for their butterfly release after I finish some work at the store. If you're ever in Florida and love new age healing, spiritualism, peaceful history or just novelty and kitsch definitely check out Cassadaga! 
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