Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I took a simple living pledge! Join me!

Dear readers, while I am still recovering from a monster flu, there is one really positive outcome of these weeks. I started to really appreciate simple living. Life is especially busy, fast and stressful here in New York, and the environment - stores, media, displays - is only increasing the stress. During these last weeks, I occasionally watched TV, which is airing mostly mental clutter and adding to the pressure of Christmas consumerism.

So, what we did is got rid of cable, Netflix subscription and right after that we banned our TV-set... Wait, I can still watch some good movies on my Mac, but now we won't just automatically reach for a remote to fill the silence. On the contrary, we enjoy the silence. I spent quite some time going through books in my library and realized how much I missed them, because for the last year I have been mostly reading on my iPhone Kindle app or reader.

I also signed up for a new wardrobe challenge (more about it later) and realized I can sew all eleven items for this challenge with my stash fabrics. I am actually happy I do not have to go to the Garment District to buy more and more... I need to quit fabric buying just for the sake of it.

Of course, couture sewing is not synonymous with simple living, but I can find ways for it to make sense.  I won't be sewing lots of garments this year - only what I really need for my lifestyle! And I will focus on quality rather than quantity. I will also limit shopping for garments to a very minimum, buying only what I cannot make myself.

By the way, I got another box full of vintage patterns, which I am going to give away during PatternReview Weekend in New York this May.

I did more... but I won't spend more time describing everything I did because someone is waiting for me to play backgammon with our beautiful Moroccan backgammon set, which we haven't touched for ages.

To say it in one line:

I took a simple living pledge

I pledge to live a simple life through:
  • decluttering;
  • using less; 
  • learning to be sustainable in all aspects of life; 
  • slowing down and finding joy in little things; 
  • reconnecting with my inner self; 
  • spending more time with my loved ones; 
  • elevating experiences above possessions. 
Readers, do you think this is extreme? Or do you share the feeling? If you do, go to Kanelstrand blog to learn more about the challenge and maybe to take the pledge as well.


  1. I don't think that's extreme at all. I was just musing today that simple living is so much more satisfying. I eat simple (fresh & healthy with minimum prep), travel simple (bicycle or bus), haven't bought any RTW since I decided to make all my own clothes several months ago, and although I could probably stand to declutter a little, I'm not stressed out by my stuff. My resolution this year is to care even less than I already do what other people think and to do more of what pleases me (mainly chilling by myself with either at my piano or in my sewing area).

    Silence rocks. I actually didn't spend NYE at a party the other night - home doing what I wanted to do: sewing. And I was happy as a pig in mud.

    Please make sure you give a big heads up on the pattern giveaway - I don't want to miss that - I have a few to give away myself!
    xox RenaissanceBombshell

  2. My husband and I don't own a TV. I don't miss it at all, and I can't imagine how we'd find the time to watch shows anyway. As for your new wardrobe challenge, I hope you're doing the 2012 SWAP. I am also participating, but I'm not as chatty on the boards as I'd like to be. Again, no time! It'll be fun to sew along!

  3. We do not have broadcast television but we DO have netflix and every gaming console out there and computers. BUT I work in telecommunications and so does my husband, its hard for us to get away from tech.

    Having discovered last year my daughter has dyslexia (mild) I've decided we'd spend more time together and I would read to her all the young adult books I've been putting on the side. And we'll play more of the 30 odd board and card games.

    Losing Mom made me really feel the need to spend more time on family. I hope you feel much better soon!

  4. Marina, thank you for your support. Taking small steps towards freeing ourselves from the burden of complexity is so much easier when we are together and share our experiences!

    You are all welcome to join us not just in taking the pledge but also in the Simple Living challenge that is going to start in February.

  5. I think I could live without tv, but my other half would not put up with it. At least he's the one paying the cable bill not me. Good luck!

  6. I am up for this challenge...I too will be trying to sew as much of my wardrobe as possible, and using up my stash fabric as much as possible. Cleaning out and donating is on my decluttering list. I am also going to try to stretch my food budget with creative cooking with my left overs and adding on to my vegee garden this summer. Tall order but if I do half its a start to a simipler lifestyle.

  7. I agree wholeheartedly with your commitment, and echo your sentiments :) As much as possible, I make as many things as I can myself: my own bread, sauces, and foods, clothing and household items... my partner says I can make anything LOL. I believe in the notion that making things with your own hands is the best way, because you can control the quality, purity, and love that goes into them :)

    Balance in life is key, as with anything - I don't believe owning a TV or using it for entertainment is a bad thing, in moderation; as long as it's tempered with many other things - productive, creative, physical and healthy - to make sure the brain and body don't become complacent :)

    Looking forward to seeing the treasures your box of vintage patterns contains.... and maybe vying for my chance at one :) Cheers, and Happy 2012 to you :)

  8. I will check out that blog Marina.
    Any of my kids families have given up their T V's and they don't miss it.

  9. This is fabulous!!! I also wanted to answer your question about the rounded corners' pictures...and tell you that I do it all in picnik (http://www.picnik.com/app#/edit/frames) . it's a free programme (though I pay for the extra features) and you can upload your pictures and edit them (including size) but one of the great features is the rounded corners (it's under 'frames'...be sure to click the box for transparent corners...) Hope that helps!! xoxoxoxo

  10. You know, I'm going to keep my old machine and worn out Doris, not buy new ones. Part of sewing I believe is simple living; using patterns over and over, buying fabric that's on sale and generally making what we need. However it is easy to be selfish and put sewing first rather than family.

    I like TV, mostly movies and we only have one in the house but I make a rule not to watch before 9 in the evening.

    I hope you continue to sew your remarkable garments and keep us all up to date on your progress.

  11. Marina, you may be unaware of this post of mine: http://blog.kanelstrand.com/2012/01/kanelstrands-top-10-referrers-for-2011.html

    Once again: Thank you!

  12. Wow! I admire you for your commitment, that's a good base ... I've had hectic Christmas and I am really in need of inner silence, too. I'll keep an eye on your progress in this new commitment.

  13. Love this pledge! I have already done this with the foods I eat (i.e. whole foods, unprocessed, no additives or preservatives, minimal sugar or red meat). That was hard but not as bad as I thought it would be- I actually eat well and tastier food. This would be a natural extension into the other parts of my life!

  14. Fantastic pledge! I have similar goals, and though joining the Sew Weekly seems detrimental to focused sewing, I like that I can opt out at will.

    Just read this article today... enjoy :)



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