A little while ago a photojournalist from the Western Producer came out to my farm to interview me about New Leaf and take some photos of me working (article pending...). Although I (along with Cecelia) started this business and have been working on it for the past year, the questions made me feel as if I was taking an exam for which I was totally unprepared. Thinking on the spot and trying to transfer those thoughts into words can be a real challenge for me and if the reporter gets anything meaningful out of what I said, then wow! I'll be surprised. And impressed.
Now writing on the other hand, I can deal with SO much better. So I thought I'd say here what I failed to express the other day. The guy asked me how New Leaf connects to my life on the farm and while yes, as I said, nature does inspire me (cheesy and overused? sigh...), there is a deeper connection. I grew up in the city, so living out in the remote hills is a new thing for me. Living close to the land, I see cycles. Our water comes from a well dug specifically for us, it flows through pipes I saw laid in the dirt, into our house and back out through pipes to a lagoon that was dug as I watched. Since a garbage truck doesn't come to pick up our trash, we need to burn our waste. Whatever we bring in to this place and use up needs to go somewhere, so the less we need to burn the better. Some goes in the compost pile, lots is sorted into bins to be recycled, and other things are re-used. I love the idea of re-using. I feel connected to my own history when I cut an envelope or a flyer I got in the mail to fit into a notebook for New Leaf. My grandma grew up during the 1930s; paper was scarce and precious and every scrap was saved and used. I imagine I am doing the same thing, collecting seemingly useless pieces of paper, cutting and binding them together and creating something beautiful in the process. Instead of burning these bits, I give them a new life -a notebook that will be cherished by a writer or artist or dreamer. I'm a part of a cycle of reducing the amount of crap that is forgotten in a pile or burned as waste. I have a hand in preserving the history of something tangible.
I live in a space of wild and magnificent prairie and I want to protect that beauty. I passionately want to avoid using up resources like my own wild space by reusing rather than buying new, and instead of adding to immense piles of junk.
That's what I would have liked to articulate, had my brains and mouth been a bit more cooperative...
You know how it's hard to work when everything is a mess? Well, you should have seen my work space. Actually, on second thought, you should NOT have seen it...and I'm glad there aren't any pictures. However, it will be hard for you to appreciate how great it looks and feels to me now without comparing the before. Let me just say this, picture piles of fabric and stuff...EVERYwhere! Looking at it now, I am almost satisfied. Of course, the idea of a permanent office is what I look forward to, but this, THIS new 'organized', albeit in a dishevelled way, workspace is simply GLORIOUS!!
You'll notice I DID give you a picture of my old sewing box...I hated it. But, what could I do? I was opposed to going out and buying a new one at WalMart and none of the second hand stores had one. However, total treat, this afternoon I transferred all my sewing stuff into my new second hand sewing box, as well as all the thread I bought a few months ago at Salvation Army from a bag to my old box.
Maria brought me a second hand treat yesterday (along with a London Fog) and totally made my day. (After which I made my day by facebooking her a message - "thanks a latte". Haha. I crack myself up:). Thank you Salvation Army and Maria!
I don't know what it is about other people's stuff, but I am VERY interested in it. It's wierd, because my sister is totally grossed out at the thought of having something that someone else once used, someone SHE DOESN'T KNOW. And my husband hates going to thrift stores with me, claiming the smell alone turns him off. But for me, it is an addiction, a pasttime, a PASSION. Garage sailing, thrift shops, auctions: they are glorious and exciting treasure hunts for me. I don't know WHY the used appeals to me so much, maybe it's my love of a good bargain, or the thought that something amazing is waiting for me. To understand my interest in all things used, perhaps it helps to say that I am jealous of Ottawa's garbage collection service. Apparently real people still pick up the city's trash, instead of machines, which allows it's citizens to leave ANYTHING outside to be picked up and taken away to the dump. My heart turns with sadness at the thought of the junky furniture and other bits being hauled away, when I could so easily rescue those strays and restore them to greatness, if only I lived a little bit closer... I got to garage-sailing for an hour this past Friday. It's always such a triumph to find one or two little things that catch my eye. I got a blue glass bowl ($1.00), muffin tins (50 cents!!), and a couple boxes of old envelopes and cards. Every now and then my Grandpa (maybe it's genetics -he is a total garage sale enthusiast. the man can BARGAIN) finds me some awesome vintage cards, and the ones I got on Friday are very similar. I love the frilly edges, the old-fashioned illustrations, and the font of the writing. I wish they had dates on them, but all they say on the back is "Lithod in Canada." Don't suppose anyone has a clue about dating old cards??
Only 4 more days and I get to go sailing again....
Maria & Cecelia
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