Zero Waste Guilt Trip

I’m great at guilt-tripping myself. If guilt-tripping yourself was a competitive sport I could well be a professional player on national level. Which isn’t a good thing, by the way. It sucks.

Sadly the whole litter problem isn’t an exception to this massively unfortunate talent of mine. I am always not good enough. There is always something where I’m willing to sacrifice an option with less single-use plastic for my own comfort and afterwards I’ll beat myself up for it, first for not choosing the plastic free option, then for allowing myself this luxury, then for being angry at myself for allowing myself this luxury. It actually follows me through the day then because I’m really really bad at letting things go that I’ve done wrong (or think that I have done wrong).

Urbex: Emptied | HedgefairyStrangely in a world of “treat yo’self” and general indulgence it’s surprisingly easy to feel in the wrong for material choices. For some it’s veganism, for other it’s trends, for me it’s sustainability, plastic avoidance and general eco-friendliness that I am trying to achieve but feel like I horribly fail with.

I just can’t keep a capsule wardrobe. I’ve tried but I am too vain to be content with so little choice.

I keep buying my favourite vegetarian jelly dinos even though they are packaged in plastic and are sugary and therefore also unhealthy.

I was too lazy/tired/hurty to go to the supermarket further away and bought plastic-packaged yoghurt out of convenience.

I’m still not as good as [insert sustainability/zero waste blogger here].

I know that most of this is utter bullshit. So what if I can’t keep a capsule wardrobe (more on that soon, the post is already in the making), most of my clothes are thrifted anyway. So I allow myself to slip up for my favourite treat once in a while. That’s okay. So I didn’t go the extra ten minutes to the other supermarket. Who cares.
The thing is, even typing this feels horrible. I have this stupid, unhealthy urge to save the world all by myself, to eradicate single-use plastic (and banality, while we’re at it) as a one-woman superhero team.
The thing is, that’s absolutely unrealistic.

We live in an age where we can’t really go without plastic if we still want to stay connected to the world around us. My phone, my tablet, my laptop, my means of communication are all made of plastic. My rain coat is made of some kind of non-natural fiber. I take a plastic bottle with me to work because glass would be so much heavier, and I also use it when I go swimming because I’m afraid of a glass bottle slipping from my hands, covering the floor in shards (and I’m not even sure if glass bottles are allowed inside our local indoor pool). I can’t get feta cheese without plastic and it’s literally not possible to get non-plastic packaged toilet paper here in Germany (there used to be a brand in the 90s that packaged in paper, I remember that from my childhood). And I kind of refuse to switch to reusable toilet cloths because even my eco-friendliness has its bounds.

Rust | HedgefairyThe thing is that I try. And I have to learn that trying and being happy about my personal progress is better than trying and beating me up about not being perfect.
The thing is that there are so many tiny triumphs to be celebrated that if I actually celebrated them I wouldn’t even have time to beat myself up.
The thing is that I should just do that.

So here are my tiny triumphs from the last few weeks:

Seeing Rusty switch from bottled water to a refillable glass bottle for work.
Learning that yes, I still have single use plastic but it’s mere 150g in one week!
Finding a milk packaging made of 40% chalk which makes for less dead dinosaur-based packaging than your usual milk crate.
Re-using the waxed paper from our farmer’s market cheese.
Getting through my menstrual cycles without any “female hygiene” (just call it menstruation, ffs!) product waste.
Avoiding the offered plastic-and-paper bags at the supermarket’s baked goods isle once more by just stuffing the bread into my normal, washable canvas bag.
Collecting litter in the park during a walk after a grumpy cashier at the supermarket purposely overheard my “I don’t need a bag, thank you” for my one bagel-without-anything-on-it. With said bag.

Sure, nothing among those things count as world-shattering. But they still count, and they still make me happy. I’ll have to concentrate on that instead of making me relive my slip-ups again and again and again. I’m currently at my Mum’s and I’m going to make produce bags for her trips to the supermarket because she doesn’t have the time to but I do. And that’s another triumph.

I’m fed up with beating myself up for not being the perfect zero-waste blogger or a shining example of sustainability. I’m doing my best and that’s a pretty good thing to do. And I hope you don’t feel bad, either.

What tiny triumphs have you had lately, sustainability-wise or other? I want to read about them in the comments!

Let’s count our blessings, not our curses!

Pictures are a teaser from my latest urbexing trip. More to come!

The Mori Guides (and how they re-kindled my love for the style, kind of)

My Mori Journal | HedgefairyIn my latest 10 Things post I listed a post series from tumblr called More Kei Guides (part 1|part 2|part 3). In part one the author, Tumblr user Baaikha, suggests writing a list full of reasons and inspirations for one’s personal foray into the fashion and lifestyle, and of course I obliged (who doesn’t love filling out questionnaires like this?).

My Mori Journal | HedgefairyThis is what my list looked like – the guide specifically asked for pen and paper instead of electronics. And while I read and thought and wrote I noticed how much I had missed Mori Kei in all it’s variations. I missed the tenderness, the inspiration it brought me, the focused life choices. It made me miss all the sources I drew inspiration from, too, for my coordinates and lifestyle ideas – Anne of Green Gables, the mice of Brambly Hedge, Sarah Kay, among many more.

I had never really fallen out of love with Mori Kei. There were just so many other things occupying my mind and the space where what I inaptly call my “mori senses” used to be. A community full of introverts (with me among them) and a retreat from online life for a while didn’t exactly help, either. My once-passionate love had been reduced to glowing embers, not yet gone, but on their way there.

My Mori Journal | HedgefairyThe Mori Guides managed to fan those embers back into flames. Not a big, roaring (forest, haha) fire but a comfy hearth fire, what would be the balefire of a Boggan freehold in my beloved Changeling: The Dreaming.

Speaking of dreaming, I’m back in reveries about picnics and crochet lace again, reenacting scenes from my favourite children’s classics. But at the same time I dream of untamed adventures, rugged edges and wild storms. All those things are part of nature, of my nature, too. I’m thinking about incorporating my love for punk into my longings for ruffles and plant dye. I’m pondering the accessory choices of mermaids that rob drowned sailors’ graves. There is also the thought of tomboy adventures while still wearing dreamy things. I don’t know yet where this picked-up-again journey will lead me, fashion- and lifestyle-wise. What I do know is that I want to be part of this beautiful community of forest – make that general wilderness, another thing that keeps my thoughts on this busy at the moment – dwellers again, be they satyrs, forest trolls or dryads.

Have you ever found yourself falling back in love with a style (or a lifestyle)? It surely happens to me every once in a while…

This Hiatus wasn’t a planned One.

It never is.
Chronicle FlowersLong story short, I had a major depressive phase that lasted longer and was a deeper hole I fell into than I expected in the first place.
sunset to mythodeaI rarely talk about my mental issues here on the blog so if you don’t know me off the web the whole me-and-a-depression thing might be a somewhat new thought for you. Anyway, I managed to keep going these past weeks. I went to work, I finished commissions, I hung out with friends  – well, Scoundrel and Rusty, to whom both I’m really grateful for being there for me during the last month.
GrohmThere was just no energy left for blogging (Or vlogging. Or just keeping up with subscribed channels, reading other blogs or maintaining the Changeling forum…) after I somehow maintained my daily life.
RosemaryI had to turn down an invitation I’d really looked forward to rather last-minute because of all of this, having to cancel my bus tickets the same day they were booked for thanks to the lack of any emotion that felt valid. I felt like something you’d dragged out of the sewer. I didn’t do anything outside my home except for work and to immerse myself in Rusty’s bathtub (because I have fantastic friends who let me borrow their bathtubs) while he was out for the night.
The ExperimenterI neglected all means of communication save for those messages that I had to answer or write, like to my boss or for organisational LARP stuff. Chronicles of Mythodea had me out of my slump for a few days and full of joy and adrenaline but afterwards the black hole and the emotional equivalent of watching white wall paint dry came back with full force.
Evacuation SquirrelEventually one of my favourite YouTubers announced a break from the platform. Finally I realised that I was taking a break myself because I needed it before I could produce content again, and by that I mean content that wouldn’t feel forced of half-hearted.
LichenI’m not sure if I’ve ever been absent for this long from this blog – through all previous troubles I’ve just kept on writing and taking pictures and posting and eventually the depression would fade again, as it always does.

I’ve been described as a ray of sunshine more than once, and that’s what I want to be. Depression dims my shine from time to time and then I’ve got to recharge. And that’s what I did.
Thanks for your patience while the clouds passed by.
I’m a fucking ray of sunshine, and I’m back, stronger and warmer and merrier than before.

It feels good to shine again.

Finished Things Sunday: Menstrual Pads

If you happen to have a problem with the concept, facts and idea of menstruation that’s perfectly okay but this is not the post for you. I bid you a nice day.

If you read on, you’ve been warned. Don’t worry, this post doesn’t contain any depictions of blood and monthly gore, only a bit of talk about a thing that happens monthly to roughly 50% of this planet’s population but is still considered taboo and/or unclean by an absurd amount of people. This is not a feminist rant blog so I won’t go into further details of my opinion about this, except for this:

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Menstruating isn’t something to be ashamed of. Nothing about it is unclean or embarrassing. Don’t hate your body for this. If anything, your moon blood will make you stronger in the end.

My history with menstruation is an entirely positive one. When it first started – I must have been 12 or 13 at the time – I was about to climb over our garden fence to go on adventures in the wild behind the house with my cousin. I noticed that something was feeling kind of unusual, so I told him to wait, went back to the house, pulled down my pants just to see that there was blood, called my Mum at work, had her tell me where her pads were and went back to adventuring. No trauma. Nothing bad. And when my Mum came home she baked me a celebratory cake.

I think this is the probably best way a parent could go about this. Treating it as a fairly normal thing that their (probably XX-chromosomed) child is going through. It might be best to have “the talk” (or, in my case, the “have a book because you like reading better than talking anyway”) before, though. Anyway.

Of course I hurt each month, especially in the beginning. Of course it’s somewhat inconvenient sometimes. But I was never afraid of it nor did I hate it. If anything it made me feel empowered, as in I literally felt more active during these days because the first thing I learned about menstrual pain was that movement is one of the best ways to get rid of it. And if you can’t move, blackberry leaf infusions. Sorry I’m rambly. But ask my close circle of friends, I really talk a lot about the whole “menstruation is EVIL” society issue.

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And part of the issue is the massive amount of waste the “feminine hygiene” industry makes us produce (let alone the fact that it’s not covered by health care in any way and the whole TSS thing, but I promised myself to not make this an angry feminist rant, see above). I already switched to a moon cup (and sponges far earlier, the perks of having somewhat of a hippie Mum) but sometimes that doesn’t cut it (hello there, workout and rather active sleeping habits) or towards the end of the bleeding it’s just a bit of an overkill. And so I made my own reusable menstruation pads.

Wow, this whole wall of text for this one sentence? Eh, whatever. The fabrics are leftovers as almost always – these things are a great scrapbuster -, including purple-dyed brocade* sheets that are what was left after Scoundrel sewed his super-fancy LARP character’s new coat, and the towel that already featured in this FTS here. These are not the first ones I made, but the first try had only one pair of snap fasteners per pad which was not enough to get them decently fixed. So learn from my mistakes and rather put a pair of buttons too many in.

All in all I’m really happy with these. Our foremothers made do with fabric scraps and moss and I feel like I’m just following their way like this.

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Oh, and maintenance is really easy, too. I just rinse them (cold water, or else the blood will coagulate and be harder to wash out), put them somewhere to dry (where not everyone can see them because I know that especially my non-menstruating friends take some issue and I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable) and just throw them in with the wash once laundry day comes around. Perfect. And far more sustainable than the commercial alternative (and prettier, too!).

For those of you who menstruate: Do you use moon cups? Disposables? Self-sewn? Sponges? I still use disposable products when I’m on the road like LARP or at hostels but maybe some of you know how to eliminate this factor, too?

Sorry for the surprisingly long post, I hope you’re having a great weekend!

– – –

*sorry for the mix-up, it’s damask, not brocade. It feel luxourious anyway, though. ^^

2017’s New Year’s Cards

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Picking and reading Tarot cards are a big part of my spiritual practise. I’ll probably have to thank my mother for that as she was the one who inspired me to help find answers to questions and problems by saying something like “how about you draw a card/rune” all through my childhood and teenage years.
I use cards as a form of mirror, reflecting what’s already there, especially on the Wheel of the Year holidays but also now and then when I want a nudge which way to look for my solutions.

I had laid a larger spread on Yule night so for the New Year I was perfectly content with doing what I call “lazy Tarot” which is enough for me most of the time. You simply shuffle the deck and then flip through them until you find the Wheel of Fortune and then take the card before and after and read those. Of course you might vary the center to suit your issue (Lovers for relationship things, Three of Cups for friendship, …) so this time for me it was the Star, 2017 being the Year of the Star in my little corner of the internet (because the Star carries the numeral XVII and because it sounds and feels so magical).

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So, the Star is a symbol of choosing your own path, of aspiration and emitting your own glow from within. It’s also just a part of the milky way, one light in what is probably the most perfect and wonderful and also largest work of art: the night sky. For me the Star is about balance, one foot in sea and one on shore, to say it with Shakespeare, small but powerful on its own, beautiful alone but stunning with others and in the right context. That’s my new year.

The Hermit is a card attributed to Virgo and Mercury. I’m a Virgo (not that I give much thought about that), and Mercury is a communication planet. I usually don’t think much about the planet correspondences but in this care I read them as a message to myself – communication is key. My usual connotation for the Hermit who turns up in about every second spread I do (I just looked it up, he doesn’t, but it sure feels like it) is meditation, a journey inwards to find myself and to find strength in that. On the other hand he doesn’t look too happy there all by himself and he’s holding that lantern like a lighthouse fire, so for me he’s also a reminder to not stay all by myself. Self-reflection comes from within but to grow and to be truly happy I need others, too. This year I want to be a lighthouse, I want to let people know that I’m there and connect with kindred spirits even though I need time for myself.

When you first look at it the Ten of Swords doesn’t look so good. But then again if there’s already ten swords in your back (okay, nine, one is next to the head) how bad can it get from there? Things can only get better! Each time I see this card I think of My Luck Is So Bad by the Real McKenzies (the actual song starts at about 1:11) which is a good summary of what I want from 2017. 2016 was kind of rubbish – stressful projects with a lot of collateral social damage, my Grandfather’s passing, mental and physical health problems and a load of other small and not-so-small calamities in my personal life and worldwide. But this is a new year, it’s a new chance to do what I can to make this a good year.
Another aspect is that of martyrdom and how that’s not always a good idea. Sometimes trying to please everyone will leave you with swords in your back and more wounds and scars than you bargained for. We’ll have less of that this year. This is a year of self-love, of tending to my wounds, of being especially nice to myself. That’s the best and healthiest way to continue spreading glamour and light and magic and dreams, by being good to myself and keeping my soul nourished. Not by taking other’s swords into the back and carrying them around, wondering why it feels so heavy.

This is what I found in my cards for 2017.
Do you do Tarot reading? Runes? Other oracle cards or means of divination? What were your reflections for the new year? I’d love to know!

Have a lovely second half of the week!

 

Happy 2017! + Resolutions

Happy 2017! Happy Year of the Star!

Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.
– L.M. Montgomery

This especially counts when tomorrow is like today the first day of the new year. Happy 2017!

I hope you had the New Year’s Eve you wished for and a good start into this beautiful new-born year.

Happy 2017! Happy Year of the Star!

If you’ve read this blog for a while now you’ll know that I love the feeling of crisp, fresh starts. So of course I made resolutions for the year to come!

  1. Lose weight. That’s a pretty standard one, but I’ve got my reasons (which I explained in this vlog). This goes hand in hand with exercise more (aka. do more yoga) and hydrate better, too, so I’m counting these as one. Get fit(ter), something like that.
  2. Be more sustainable in my everyday choices. I feel like I’ve been a bit lax (or maybe just scatterbrained) with this last year so in 2017 I want to become more mindful again of my choices when it comes to buying and using things.
  3. Paint and draw more again, not just for commissions but especially for myself! Last year started off with a pretty big project and ended with a pretty big project freelancing-wise and in the end I felt like the only drawing I had really done all for myself was Inktober. I’m definitely planning on repeating Inktober, it was so much fun and such a great experience and way to grow. But I just want to draw again, just for myself.
  4. Get another tattoo. Self-explaining, isn’t it.
  5. Finally set up an Etsy shop! This is a big one, not only because of the risk of gallons of self-doubt fuel but also because there’s a whole trail of paperwork and *tremble* self-promotion (one thing I’m really, really bad at, probably worse than maths) included.
  6. Learn more about making and editing videos and recording music. And of course make more music and videos!
  7. Learn to love myself more. I’m not expecting myself to have turned into a self-love expert at the end of the year, it’s a work in progress and I’m willing to take it slow. What ever waits for me at the end of the year, 2017 will be my Year of Self-Love. And self-respect and self-acceptance. I might have to elaborate on this further in another post but the resolutions stands.

Happy 2017! Happy Year of the Star!Of course there’s more (there’s always more): Cook more, do more witchy and spiritual things, go out more, explore Lower Saxony, visit a renaissance fair/ medieval market, dress the way I want to, make friends, declutter, go on more LARPs, really start the Wunderkammer Chronicles, read more, breathe more, have fun, be happy. But I thought seven is a good number (a magical one, no less!) for 2017. 2017 is also the Year of the Star, according to the lovely Méa and the Major Arcana (No. XVII being The Star). I think that’s beautiful. Let’s all adopt that. Year of the Star sounds like something straight out of a fantastic fantasy novel I’d love to read.
Happy 2017! Happy Year of the Star!

Here’s to a wonderful and bright Year of the Star!

To 2017!

Happy 2017! Happy Year of the Star!

What are your resolutions for this beautiful new year?