frugal artist

This one is for Ellen. Okay its a little gross maybe, but I've been meaning to take a picture of my soap for the last few months. I think it was last fall I wrote a post about being minimal in my life and how I've used the same bar of soap for almost a year. (which by now is over a year) Gross? I don't think so. How do you make a bar of soap last that long if you bathe every day? duh, you don't put the soap in the water. You pick it up and dip it or your hands and keep it from dissolving by keeping it mostly dry. We use well water here, water is in abundance, I take a bath nearly every night and that bar of soap gets used. For what its worth, it takes me about a year to use a large bottle of shampoo and I wash my (long) hair every 4 days. A little dab will do ya just fine.

I think of how long I've managed to keep a bar of soap every time I look at it. I feel good about it. And there is a feeling of this is how I like living, how I like using things up and not wasting things. It's probably why I make the kind of art I do too. I use up everything. All my food leftovers get made into a quiche or soup or something strange. All the little scrip scraps I find on the road as I walk or drive, get picked up and used in art. It keeps me alive and creative trying to implement discarded things, saving things and using them up to the last drop. There is a fine line between doing that and becoming some out of control hoarder. More and more I want my environment to have art in it and only the basics. Me and Tod have this fantasy that one day we can have an open house of sorts and every once in awhile just sell everything (furniture I've made, art) in our 'home' and then I can start all over again making things. That's the plan. Get it while you can.


Margaret Ryall said...

Great post to make everyone think about how they are living in the world. Over the last ten years this has become important in my life and I've made many changes about how I consume or don't consume. I have a long way to go to live up to your simplicity, but I know I'm much improved. My latest find is a moisturizer, sunscreen and a hint of foundation in one bottle. Mind you I don't doll up with foundation every day but having one in three, now I do. I now have one bottle rather than three in my cupboard. I've decreased cleaning products by half and if I can't find at least three uses for something I don't own it. Does anyone else have any good product saving tips?

Ellen said...

Hey Paula, good for you! And where my head has been at lately, (which is why I haven't been in the virtual world much- email on the way)
It's amazing how when you start trying to reuse and simplify, how much more you value the material things you have. Hoarding is based on fear of not having enough, whereas simplicity and making good use of what you have is letting go of all that fear. It's incredibly liberating, although near impossible to convince my preteen that 'stuff' isn't sooooo important :(.

self taught artist said...

love hearing it margaret!
i thought you would like it ellen, ever since i posted that post and you said you wanted to see the soap i know think of you when i see my soap..which hopefully will stop now that i've posted this :)
i sympathize with you on the preteen...i really do, but if anyone can figure it out YOU can you brainiac!

Angela Recada said...

This post made me smile. While soap doesn't last long here (with two teenagers) I do stretch our food budget like you do. Nothing goes to waste, because I make soup out of anything and everything. Some weeks we seem to eat nothing but leftovers in disguise. I enjoy the challenge of being frugal, and wish we lived somewhere where my kids weren't exposed to the materialistic consumerism so rampant in the suburbs.

deb said...

Glenn and I dream of leaving town once our kids are grown, he restores old cars so we want a big studio on one side, a big garage on the other and a small studio flat in the middle, off the grid power, a big garden... we have started looking for land, we will probably build it ourselves. I keep thinking too that I'd like to make a second studio as a retreat so all my new art friends could come and visit and have a place to work!