our movement

beginning again

After a very peaceful and somewhat Make Do & Mend the Earth Christmas (full of shopping locally and earth-consciously…not so much handmade, after all) I’ve been spending quiet moments in January finding a way forward here. My passion and belief in the worthiness of this movement hasn’t waned, but understanding the realities of my time and energies has waxed. So I’d like to begin again with the sharing of the clarity that has come to me, and we can go on from there…

~After attempting the film club last year, I can see that more than anything else this site needs to be a storehouse, a resource to turn to-whether you are new to making do or just need some support and inspiration. My other earth-thoughtful website needs much of my attention and energies and is where we read books and watch things and do projects together and it was too much of a strain to me to try to do that here, as well. So in the weeks to come I will do some rearranging here and create pages with books and films and other helpful things that you may use in your own time and at your own pace.

~Beyond the usual resources like books and films and websites, I will be creating printable resources (eye-catching cards to share with shops, friends and others) and shareable ones (graphics for Instagram and blogs, etc.) with messages to spread the word and make more visible what we are doing in our home fronts. For instance, I get so frustrated that printed receipts are still ubiquitous! Such a toxic and wasteful practice when there are other options now. I’m picturing a letter-size printable of six to eight cards to cut out with a request to change this system along with a few whys. Brief and heartfelt. Something we can carry in our wallets and hand out when we are in the checkout being handed yet another length of tree-killing paper that most likely goes straight into the recycling bin (to be recycled or not.) And likewise, a graphic housed here that you can drag off and use where you want to, say, proclaim that you have given up amazon.com. An ever-growing collection.

~Which leads me to another strand in the going-forward. I would so like not to be tending and creating all of this myself…both because it’s lonely and because we can do more together. If you feel deeply about this movement, too, and would like to offer your artistic abilities with designing resources or just chat about possibilities and ideas via email (or snail mail or chat or phone or…) please be in touch.

~And the last bit of clarity for today is that beyond the home front/making do during the world wars that is so much our light to follow, I’d like Craftivism to become another light. I received Sarah Corbett’s book two Christmases ago, but it’s taken time for the approach to sink in. Now, I am thoroughly behind it, yet still figuring out my path with it. I do know that the next post here will focus on a small project we can do together, for a first step. So please stay tuned.

I look forward to conversation here and will be taking up posting at our Instagram again, too. Pleased to see our hashtag being used here and there (#makedoandmendtheearth) which you can see, too, if you follow the hashtag itself, just as you can follow profiles. I’ve been pulling up my bootstraps (second-hand, of course : ) recently, being gifted a second-hand iPhone to more easily take and post good photos, making lists of helpful hashtags and visiting kindred folk, generally simplifying and planning for less distracting online sharing and am feeling more hopeful about it all flowing and making more of a difference. Refining. Not in the least giving up.

I’ll leave you with a quote I came across recently that might clear away the sometime fog and indecision of how to Make Do & Mend the Earth, from Sir David Attenborough…

“You can do more and more and more the longer you live, but the best motto to think about is not waste things,” Attenborough replied. “Don’t waste electricity, don’t waste paper, don’t waste food. Live the way you want to live but just don’t waste. Look after the natural world, and the animals in it, and the plants in it too. This is their planet as well as ours. Don’t waste them.”

P.S. The photos are of the berries and ivy and the crown I made of them for a blessingway ceremonial I was privileged to attend last Sunday. When I was asked to make the crown, I visited some blessingway links and saw the super-flowery crowns shown in most all of the photos. I knew the crown I made wouldn’t be flowery as it is winter and I don’t buy flowers from shops and I did wonder what mine would look like. As is so often is the way with making do, I found just enough beauty amongst our tangled wintery woods to make a lovely and simple crown for the lovely mother-to-be.



A Make Do & Mend the Earth Christmas

I’ve been having a bit of a think about our movement the last few days…as it gets quieter and quieter here…as I continue to find it difficult to post here as well as at Wisteria & Sunshine, Instagram and make and fill orders for my shop…not to mention trying to live a making-do sort of life…and I’ve decided to take a pause with our film festival and my commitment to posting here weekly. For now. As the year reaches its crowning, it is a full time for many of us.

In addition to all of that, I need some space and time to really put my finger on how we can best send down some roots and then grow. What will our branches be? And the little leaves, the myriad details involved? Will others want to get more involved and help me with the tending? It feels comforting to me that World War Zero, which launched around the same time as Make Do & Mend the Earth, doesn’t seem to have progressed much with a team and John Kerry at the helm, tho’ I dearly hope much is going on behind the scenes.

So this seems a good time to turn to the watching of Wartime Farm Christmas, a bonus episode of one of our series. And I may also make the time to watch a three part Victorian Farm Christmas series I noticed at youtube, as well. The holidays, especially, benefit from new eyes to the see the possibilities, which these shows can give us.

We are having a discussion about “gentle gifting” as I called it, at Wisteria & Sunshine, and I’ve realized that there are many approaches to making do and/or mending the earth, in regards to the holidays. A Making Do Christmas might look very different from a handmade or local one or zero waste one or… The first would mean almost no shopping at all. The second, more of what I have in mind, is much more gentle upon the earth than a mainstream sort…but doesn’t mean I don’t buy thoughtful things crafted by others, as well as creating some gifts from what I already have. Or so I’ve been thinking about it. It will be welcome to learn more about it what a Making Do Christmas was like during the war when we watch.

And, of course, it’s not all about gifts, is it? I have been picturing the finding of a little, wild tree on our land (which we do every year) for our Christmas tree…but can’t imagine cutting it down this year. Something has shifted in me. Yet the idea of not having a tree wasn’t met with joy, or having a Christmas branch as a friend does, or a very small, dug up and replanted tree, so I am opening up to other possibilities. And I trust that they will come. I am also going to gather some scrub pinecones (my favorite!) and plant them in pots and see if I can grow us some future Christmas trees.

I will be back here in the nearish future to share some of my own Making Do ways with decorations and gifting and more and to share my thoughts about the Christmas videos. And I will be spending the rest of November clarifying how the idea of “making do” will weave in with all of the other ways I’ve found over the years to make the holidays more peaceful and natural. Do share your own thoughts below if you feel moved to, and our Make Do & Mend the Earth Christmas may begin…