Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Slow Living

Article, YouTube audio podcast, and photo's by Rain San Martin.

The Slow Living Movement is a cultural reaction to the hurried, busy, and distracted way of life commonly know in the 21st century. Single tasking, minimal screen time, intentional living, and old-fashioned homemaking are common characteristics of a Slow Living lifestyle.

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Margin is Key for Slow Living

Rushing from one activity to another may make us feel productive, yet can be a form of hurried busyness. Let's take a look at the definition of Busy Work: “Work that usually appears productive or of intrinsic value but actually only keeps one occupied.” To regain tranquility, reduce stress, and be more efficient in our work, we need ample margin in our time. For example: When going to appointments, aim to arrive early. Drive at a relaxed pace without dangerous texting or smart-phone use. Enjoy the scenery. Roll down your window. Feel the breeze. Notice the ambient sounds of your town or city.

Vintage Lifestyle

Though I didn't realize it at the time, I was initially drawn to the vintage lifestyle because I longed for many benefits shared with those in the Slow Living movement. An unplugged or minimalist-tech way of life, being chief among them. A life free from mobile devices. Allowing ourselves to fully live in the moment, reflect on fond past memories, and make plans for the future.

Working in the Zone

Rather than multitasking, (which is often a rapid switch from one task to another) single tasking is the way to lose oneself in work. Yet it's understood you may have to pause your project at hand for more pressing matters. Listening to music while you work is no longer vital, as you may have thought. Working like a monk in silence allows you to hear the sounds of nature, or even the musical rhythms of city life. Which brings us to another benefit: Deep thinking and contemplative introspection. Removing excess noise and stimuli will allow our brains to "breath". This is where many ideas are born.  We can pray throughout the day. "Be still, and know that I am God." (-Psalm 46:10) Choose the creative process over immediate gratification. Instead of making more purchases, many choose to craft cards, sew a garment, prepare whole foods at home, make a DIY (Do It Yourself) project, or paint their homes interior instead of calling on a hired hand.

Slow Homemaking

There has been a "Slow Homemaking" movement which has emerged in recent times.  The idea is to enjoy the process of making a home. Not to feel hurried and overwhelmed. Work with vigor, yet set your own pace. "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." (Proverbs 31:17) Schedule in your rest breaks.  Perhaps you would like to make your home feel like a Bed and Breakfast? Many people feel they must visit a bed and breakfast to get away from a panicked lifestyle. We can dive into decluttering, deep cleaning, and work towards creating a tranquil atmosphere in our homes. These habits will help to build a peaceful oasis.

In her book, Mrs. Sharon White advocates the Slow Homemaking approach, a decade before it's present day craze. The essay titled, The Simplicity of Old Fashioned Homemaking, which is also a blog post, illustrates how there are two approaches to managing the home full-time. One way involves a substantial amount of time entertaining, running in a hurried manner, with a packed schedule.  The other way has margin to breath, and is focused on making a home retreat.

A Meaningful Life

Often those in the Slow Living Movement reflect on their thoughts. Moments are savored. Time is taken to review ones commitments to see which ones could be culled to make space for the most valued rituals, activities, and pursuits.  This is intentional living!

May you enjoy your daily work, and find inspired replenishment in your rest and recreational adventures.

You can also listen to this blog post on my YouTube channel here.

Rain 🌻

Monday, July 6, 2020

Vintage Birthday Banner - DIY

Post, Photo's and Video by Rain San Martin

This fun and festive paper Vintage Birthday Banner will work for any occasion to celebrate a loved one in your life. As it highlights the persons name, you could use this for many celebratory or congratulatory events.


-2 shades of colored card stock, your choice. I used black for the background color and grey for the foreground.   Here you will see the card stock color Black Cat, which I have used for past projects.

-Pencil for outlining your template.

-Scissors for cutting template.

-Optional decorative edge scissors for cutting out your flags. You may use regular scissors as well. I used Fiskars Paper Edgers with a Colonial edge design. Here you will see a similar pair in the pattern Majestic.

-Hole puncher.


-Glue stick

-Acrylic paint or sharpie for writing the letters on banner. I used Americana paint.

-Twine  (For hanging banner.)

-Optional decorative embellishments. I made DIY bats for my husband's fun Vintage Gothic Birthday theme. Alternatively, you may leave blank just as I did for my children's banners.

Step 1 - Make flag template

Fold a piece of paper in half. Sketch half of a rectangle. Draw a slant with ruler for flag indentation.  Cut out template. This will create a mirror effect once cut.

Step 2 - Cut out background flag

Trace flag template onto background color. Cut out traced line one inch above outline with special edged scissors or regular.

Step 3 - Cut out foreground flag

Repeat step 2.  Cut out inside the traced line. You now have a smaller flag which will create a boarder effect when placed on top of the background piece.

Step 4 - Glue foreground over background flag

Use glue stick on backside of foreground and smooth onto background piece.

Step 5 - Punch holes

Use a hole puncher to create 2 holes on each flag. One on each side near the top.

Repeat steps 2-5 to create all of the letters you need.

Step 6 - Hang flags on twine.  

Thread twine through the back side of flag, then toward the front until all are threaded through.

This is a birthday banner I made for our daughter Winter using pink and black.

For our sons 10th birthday I used green and brown. Here I painted white stock paper brown as I had none on hand.  This I placed over my Gothic Fabric Banner for festive layers.

You may view my tutorial on YouTube.

Have a creative and whimsical week!

Rain 💕

Gothic Spring - Summer Wreath - DIY

Post, Photography, and YouTube video by Rain San Martin  Gothic Wedding Inspired Have you ever wondered how one decorates for a Gothic spr...