In the Barnyard: Who are Bohemian Farmgirls?

Bohemian Farmgirl is something that has evolved over years of trying to figure out how to weave all of the meaningful parts of my life together. This is what it means to me, and if it touches part of your soul then my guess is that you are a Bohemian Farmgirl too.

1. Growing a Family--First and foremost, comes family. This may be your biological or chosen family, but whomever your family includes, it's roots dig deep and provide grounding for growth above the surface of the soil.

2. Planting a Farm--Modern homesteading is a way of life for a Bohemian Farmgirl. This may include anything from a windowsill garden to acres of land, buying local and supporting small farms to growing and raising all of your food yourself, and cultivating dreams of homesteading no matter if you live in the city or country.

3. Nurturing a Creative Life--This is the heart of a Bohemian Farmgirl and what brings us all together creating a community of ideas and inspiration. Living a creative life is the wellspring of joy that provides energy to make our dreams reality, no matter what the circumstances. And we all help each other along the way.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Book Review: The Gnome Project
Note: This post contains affiliate links.

"I've always felt that creating art is, in and of itself, transformative, but I have discovered that when you endeavor to make art every day, you add to the power of that transformation.  What this means is that no matter what happened in that day--whether you had a headache or received a bouquet of flowers--you sat down and practiced one thing in the midst of that space in your life.  One thing held true like a golden thread weaving your days together, giving you a bit of predictability through the chaos of the human experience."    Jessica Peill-Meininghaus, from The Gnome Project: One Woman's Wild and Woolly Adventure

 I immediately felt a connection to this woman and her words.  Being a creative arts therapist, I am familiar with the transformative power of art, and I have craved time to be able to sit down in my studio and create.  This little book about Jessica and her gnomes inspired me to make major changes in my daily life, changes that were much needed.  Feeling unfocused and like I was just floating through my days, I would wake up and do as much as I could as fast as I could before going to bed exhausted without really accomplishing anything I had set out to do that day.  I read Jessica's book in one sitting, and then got out some paper and a pen to see how I could arrange my day to be more satisfying and joyful.

My days now begin at dawn, when I can have quiet time to myself before everyone else wakes up.  I have set aside time with my daughter so that I can be present with her instead of obsessing about all the things I need to do (she can sense my distraction).  There is a time for chores, and a time for play, time for being outside, and a time for cooking nourishing meals.  And, most importantly, there is studio time at the end of each day, a time when I can engage in much needed creative art-making.  Inspired by The Gnome Project, I have started The Home Project.  Each day I create a plush little house by hand.  This routine has provided the grounding that I needed to be able to live the life I imagined for so many years.  Maddie even asks for studio time, and we create side by side at the art table.

When I thought about making gnomes every day, I knew that wasn't the project for me.  I'd have to learn a new skill, invest in new supplies, and cope with failure until I could complete a needle felted gnome that actually looked like more than a blob of wool.  So my criteria included making something I knew I could do and would be fun, that would offer enough variety that I would not get bored, something I could do with materials I already have on hand, and a project that would be quick enough to provide daily immediate gratification.  Little felt and fabric houses: perfect.  I have always been attracted to little houses, whether the mushroom villages of The Smurfs from my childhood, or dreaming of buying an old house and turning it into a home.  So far I have stuck with my new schedule for 7 days and I have 7 little homes in my basket.  And most importantly, I have made room in my life for me.

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