Saturday, February 09, 2013

2013 - a new perspective

A new perspective for 2013 (literally, too)

I have to say, 2013 is off to a strange (but good) start. Where do I begin?

First and foremost, being in Nepal - completely separated from home and work and routine - was a bit like pressing one big reset button. It was the first time in 5 years (or more) that I felt like I completely detached myself from my work. Usually a part of me is always conscious of what's going on back in the studio. This time? Nup. It was a strange feeling, and when I got back to Australia I found that I didn't want to put my head right back into work mode again. I wanted to keep myself slightly separate, because I felt like only from that detached vantage point could I look at my life and see it slightly more objectively.

The other big thing that has happened is that I've moved house - again! I know it's pretty customary to live with your partner before getting engaged but due to share-house commitments (and a bit of impatience!) it just didn't work out that way. Within less than a week of me returning to Melbourne, Dave and I had signed the lease on a little place of our own. I LOVE it here. It feels really good to know that every night I'm coming back to the same place, the same face, surrounded by things that inspire me. This has also helped give me the sense of a 'clean slate', and a bit of a clearer head.

Our new home. Love all the natural light and the ivy filled, north facing windows!

So what has this clearer head space and new perspective brought to light? Here's a summary:

It's time for a break from design blogs

Being constantly in touch with everything that's going on in our creative community via the interwebs can sometimes be inspiring, but it can also stifling, draining and subconsciously limiting. This article summarises things quite well. I love this quote:

"Have we turned our time online away from digging, exploring and unearthing secrets, to passively letting ourselves be entertained by thoughts we already agreed to and build on ideas we already had?"

It's for this reason that I've finally decided to unsubscribe from a whole lot of my (much-neglected-anyway) blog feeds. What a weight off my shoulders! The most popular blogs at the moment seem to be more about curating than creating, the byproduct being the constant celebration of mostly just fads and trends. I find those sorts of things distracting and not really in line with my business ethic anyway, so why torture myself by being exposed to them every day?

It's time to dedicate some of my energy to new passions

So what do I actually want to be doing/learning/achieving? I still love textiles & interiors and will continue to put energy into my work, but there are a host of other things that I'd like to explore. For one: I'm stupidly excited to learn a bit more about growing my own food. The courtyard garden here is tiny, but there's a perfect spot for a raised veggie garden. It's a very small start, but a start all the same.

Duck eggs for lunch from one of Dave's colleagues - I can't wait to one day have chooks/ducks of our own

It's time to encourage change

My dislike of trends, my passion for sustainable textiles, my desire to learn more about growing my own food - it all stems from one very obvious place! Living a more ethical and sustainable lifestyle is the only way forward, for all of us. Instead of being creatively stifled by design blogs I'm actually learning a lot about useful things. I'm thinking that this blog could be a great place to share some of those discoveries. Such as:

No basket-case: Tasmania on the bumpy road to economic sustainability - (LOVE this article, really interesting stuff!)

Taranaki Farm (these guys are doing great things. We're booked in to go on a farm tour next month, can't wait!)

Food Inc – why it’s so relevant for Australian audiences (and if you haven't yet watched Food Inc, the movie, you should!)




willywagtail said...

I'm very much with you on the no-design-blogs idea. A little is fine to get the general gist of what is going on but really they stifle creativity. I want to be me. I joined the blog world to learn to make, not to copy and be told. I am the same with Pinterest. I use it as a pinning medium not a search engine. Apparently duck eggs beat up really well and are great for sponge cakes. Cherrie

Jeanette said...

I'm hesitant to leave a comment, but just wanted to say a big yes to limiting time on blogs and pinterest. I love both, and have been inspired, but it can easily get too much and stifle creativity. My time for creativity is seriously short anyway, I don't need anything else draining the limited time I do have.
Your new home looks lovely, great light. Something sadly lacking here in the NW of England right now.

Anna Lloyd said...

Your new place looks lovely, Lara! And I like your thinking on blogs and living sustainably! Totally agree.

Cally said...

Gorgeous new house, Lara! I'm glad your travels were so clarifying for you. It feels good to know I'm not the only one who sometimes finds the design blogs suffocating; mainly, as you say, the curated ones.

Hanna said...

Your new home is beautiful!

Stitchybritt said...

Hi Lara! I'd love to read about your sustainability adventures; I already read a few blogs about simple living and low/zero waste homes (and I read more of these than the designy-curated ones you mention).

A book I'd highly recommend is Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - about her and her family living self-sufficiently for a year. There are loads of books on the topic now, but this was one of the originals and is a great read - combines the informative articles about food production with the funny personal stories.

Good luck!

Simone said...

Congratulations Lara! Nothing like travel to clear the mind. Your new home looks fab and good luck with your new gardening adventures too xx

maree said...

I totally agree with you. It's easy to spend too much time looking at blogs, instead of getting out there and doing things. There is a great book on organic gardening for small spaces called "One Magic Square' by Lolo Houbein which I think you would really like. You will love cooking with food you have grown! And Taranaki farm is a very interesting place - I've taken a tour and it's well worth it. All the best for your adventures in sustainability.

Rabbit and the Duck said...

Hi Lara,
Your new home looks lovely, I'm so happy for you guys x I'm really looking forward to reading about your new projects, I'm keen to get a veggie garden growing as well : ) I recently made my own laundry detergent, it was fun, super easy, eco friendly and cheap. And it works great! I love that there are so many people out in blog land sharing their stories of simple living and sustainable lifestyles, I am finding myself reading these more and more and also turning away from the design blogs, which just make me feel a bit inadequate.
xx Shannon.

Kate said...

Your new house and courtyard look beautiful. I love when you blog about your process and lifestyle is a big part of that. Looking forward to seeing where it all takes you this year.

Annie said...

Loved reading about your changes in direction. "A rolling stone gathers no moss"

Jay said...

I haven't read Food Inc but I have read The Omnivore's Dilemma which covers some similar ground.

It certainly changed the way I sourced produce. I was living in Tassie at the time and it was reasonably straightforward to be confident that food was produced locally and with ethics that matched my own.

Moving to Sydney several years ago was a shock, but I've slowly been finding good farmers markets and suppliers. It definitely required more effort, though but it's worth it.

Renae said...

I enjoyed this post as it feels fresh and brimming with possibility.
"The most popular blogs at the moment seem to be more about curating than creating." Yes! Then you visit pinterest which of course it one giant curation and the links lead back to these curated blogs instead of the person who created it. It drives me nuts.

We have a couple of veggie patches in the front yard which we learn more about each year. I blog sporadically about them. I look forward to reading about your year!

Liz said...

Hi Lara, wow - you just said exactly what I feel. After nearly 10 years being a designer I'm ready for a change and a new direction. Some days I find myself mindlessly scrolling through blogs of beautiful things but yet not absorbing anything useful. My partner and I have just spent the last month in Vietnam and have come back to Melbourne inspired to cook fresh, eat well and enjoy what we have. We also saw Food Inc a few years ago and it totally changed the way we buy food, eat and grow food at home. 'Eating Animals' by Jonathan Safran Foer (the novelist) is also amazing. Good luck with it all - I look forward to your updates! Best, Liz

Kate Moore said...

I know what you mean about reading too many blogs. It can be such a time suck and I have to admit I love having the Google Reader on the phone. I can flip by and bookmark posts I want to come back to, like this one. The rest I am terribly anti-social about, but it's impossible to be everywhere all the time. At least, that's what I tell myself.

Anonymous said...

I get you completely - I find I am only reading two or three blogs these days, and sincerely trying to keep my blog real and not be put off by such 'popular' and trending blogs! xx So lovely to meet you yesterday! xx

Lara said...

You guys are great, thank you so much for the awesome comments, so good to hear people are feeling the same! And I feel pretty excited about the new direction this blog might be taking :)

Thanks also for all the reading tips and ideas. They're great!


lathelize said...

What a beautiful house!
I totally agree with you. I just ask and obtain a part-time in order to enjoy time with my kids, garden and create stuffs by myself. I think pinterest even if Iam fond of it is very restrictive

Isis said...

all similar things that i've been trying to bring into my life over the last 3 years, since moving to Tassie. Food inc is a brilliant film.
I have the same problem with blogs & pinterest, but i can't seem to leave them as your have. i'm sucked in by the images like a drug. the only thing i've managed to do to kurb my addition is to start following different blogs & pinners.
i love readying your blog, it's so honest. i'm lookng forward to hearing about your adventures learning to grow your own food etc

Isis said...

ps I agree, you must read Animal Vegetable Miracle.