Curling hair with rags

Raggedy hair! I experimented with offcuts of fabric to curl my hair. It worked! I’ll keep this in mind for special occasions but I‘m waaaay too lazy to do this regularly. Ferk dat. The result wasn’t too far from my natural curls, just a little more structured. Kinda reminded me of my NooNoo’s frizzy curly hair in the 1930s.

Rags and fabric scraps have many uses. I have repurposed cotton rags for cleaning, hair curlers, filters and gift wrap. If big enough, I sometime sew a seam to make my own handkerchief. My mum likes to make patchwork quilts and cushions from offcuts of fabric. Got any other uses for fabric scraps? I’d love to hear more.

Zero waste formal wear

Zero waste formal wear! I found this silk dress, silk shirt, suit jacket and suede boots second hand.

Dress codes make me comes to terms with my assigned gender. I dread the thought of having to wear a pretty cocktail dress. I feel pressure to buy a whole new outfit for weddings in the same circle of friends. My anxiety about attire has been so obvious that I’ve been warned to “conform to gender norms” for certain weddings. Ugh. It’s so much easier for cis dudes…

With practice and confidence, I have finally worked out how to dress up and still feel authentic. I love this simple silk dress, but I usually prefer to suit up for weddings. I love a suit because I can change the look by swapping the shirt. I even borrowed my friend’s tie for one occasion.

There’s a practical side to this. Wearing pants allows me to dance even more ridiculously than I already do. And that’s what newly-weds want at their wedding, right? A lively dance floor! I dance in a way that guarantees nobody else will feel like a fool if they let loose.

Not everything pictured here is second hand, ethical or zero waste. In contrast to my second hand silk and ethical bag, I’m wearing a fake leather jacket that is basically the epitome of fast fashion. I bought it on impulse 3 years ago. I rarely wear it. I’m not proud of it but I like it over a dress. I’ll hold onto it until I find someone I can pass it on to.

We don’t have to be perfect. Sometimes the best qualities are the desire for self improvement and the willingness to learn and grow… and of course, killer dance moves. Get those knees and elbows in the air.

How we try to be low impact lovers.

Use protection; Favour plastic-free native flowers sourced from sustainable farms; Teach and learn from each other on how to be better humans; Realise that linen, hemp, bamboo, pure silk and nudity are sexier than any lacy polyester nylon number; Love each other’s natural odour, fur and skin; Favour experiences over physical gifts or keepsakes; Cook together; Explore our homeland together and learn about the local context; Recognise opportunities for personal development; Set goals and support each other to achieve them; Extend compassion beyond our immediate relationships.

Finger print wedding rings by Brent & Jess via @etsy

Did you get plastic for Christmas? I did!

Did you get plastic for Christmas? I did! It’s ok. Some of us are early adopters, others need more time. We’re all in this together.

I now know that I can recycle this type of plastic. I am also super grateful as we will enjoy these yummy spice mixes in our cooking. It’s the thought that counts and this was a very kind gesture from lovely people who don’t know much about us. I particularly like that it’s perishable rather than giving us more ‘stuff’ in our home.

We successfully had two Christmas celebrations with minimal gift giving. One family had secret Santa, the other had gifts for kids only. In the past, we’ve driven home with a car full of stuff we don’t need.

Not this time 🙂 .

Gifts for young feminists.

These items were given to my 6 year old niece, Liberty. Little Libby lost her Toy Story doll, Jessie, so this replacement was a welcome surprise. Libby loves glitter; her favourite colour is rainbow; she loves learning to read; and she runs her own cafe made entirely of wooden & felt ingredients.

Merry Silly Season from Teddy

Merry silly season from Dad’s 65 year old Teddy; a gift that continues to last a lifetime.

Ps. I showed Dad this pic and he said “Awww that’s my best friend! My first love!”

Flowers saved from Melbourne cafes

This wreath was made from flowers that were saved from Melbourne cafes. @anita_freeman has dried and arranged them to create some stunning pieces. She gifted me this wreath in exchange for my feather collection. She’ll be using my feathers to make more gorgeous creations while I get to be all fancy in my new headpiece. Need a flower girl? I need an excuse to wear this always and forever.

Christmas gum nut decorations

I could certainly get used to this whole buy nothing new / plastic-free thing. These are the gum nuts I collected for our thanksgiving table decorations last week. I’m now making little Christmas tree baubles with a lick of white paint that we had lying around. I never used to get into the spirit of Christmas but this is certainly swaying me

Package Free gift for me

Thank you to the @packagefreeshop for reaching out and gifting me these goodies 💚 While second-hand plastic lunchboxes are effective and avoid new production of goods, the advantage of metal containers is that they are durable, low tox and often leak-proof. I love that this makes it possible to travel in all kinds of conditions with them. Stack them up. Use them over and over. Bash them around in your bag. Abuse them. Put absolutely anything in them. They can take it.

Want your own low waste library? Buy, swap, sell! Need another gift idea? Books! 

I grew up in a library. My dad had thousands of books in his study. At the heart, was a set of second-hand lounge chairs, a coffee table and lots of painting supplies. It smelt like old books and tobacco. That’s where we’d spend time together as a family. During philosophical conversations, he would refer to his books just like we google questions today. Sometimes he’d read us a poem or a passage of interest.

Every Sunday, Dad would take me on garage sale adventures to hunt for more books. He would sell, swap or keep them. Every book allowed him to exchange for a better book. About 3000 books passed through his study in this way. I didn’t know it, but I was being trained in the art of book dealing.

I remember yearly trips to ikea to buy more bookshelves. Dad created aisles and nooks so he could fit more in the room.

Later, I worked at a second hand bookshop for a short spell. I understood the value of certain titles so I was able to buy books as well as sell them.

Today, I use this experience to keep a steady flow of books in our home. Like Dad, I want my books to flow in and out. In contrast to Dad, I don’t want to buy more bookshelves 😆 This is my approach: Periodically, I take a pile of titles to @brownandbunting to exchange for more books or cash. They have a good idea of what I like, so they recommend new books for me to read. The ones that I can’t sell are given to the street library at the tram stop. That way, they’ve got the best chance of their pages being turned.

On selling books: Second hand bookshops are competing with @amazon, so they often prefer near new quality (unless it’s a rare first edition). Near new sells better because it’s a socially acceptable gift. You can help preserve the quality of your book by not folding pages, bending the spine, or throwing soft cover books into a handbag with scratchy keys. Love your books and they’ll live forever. There is nothing quite like the amazing smell of a great second hand book