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“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – ~Ayn Rand

This blog has one main purpose that is contingent on two points: I like fancy things (especially all natural, homemade things), and I don’t have any money. Instead of taking the corporate jobs of the hollow men, I chose to follow my dreams and freedom. Needless to say, that means that I have to do a lot of things myself… or I have nothing.

Fortunately, what I have discovered is that getting the things that I want is easy! Generally, all you need are a few ingredients, a book or two and a bit of ingenuity and there are very few things that you can’t DIY.

This blog was born out of that thought. Unable to afford fancy restaurants, all organic specialty foods and daily pastries and such I had no choice but to learn the techniques myself. Nobody is going to stop me from eating like a queen, especially myself.

Now, I feel like there is almost nothing that I can’t tackle! No mountain is too tall!

I thought that Van Gogh’s Fishing Boats on the Beach at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer would look nice in my bathroom so I painted it myself. And while I concede that it is a good ways off from the original, I am going to try again and again and again.

I couldn’t afford organic vegetables but refused to eat grocery store garbage, so I grew my own! It is so much cheaper than paying premiums for organic produce at the market and was really easy to do.

So now, when I want something, I figure out how to make it. There are limits on this of course but for the basics, I see no need in wasting any more money than I already have in the past 25 years. Additionally, my new skills have allowed me to barter. It is anticipated in my new move to Washington that I will actually be performing manual labor (gasp!) on a farm or ranch in exchange for my rent. This way, I get to save money that would be spent on rent as well as improve my skills for labor and manual dexterity.

This is where you come in. I have decided to do a 12 months, 12 new skills life adventure! I have already learnt so much in the past few months though that I am running short of ideas! So far, I have learnt (besides all the cooking) about how to run a farm from the lovely folks at Jenny Jack Sun farm, I have taken classes on making my own garden and growing my own vegetables (the cheapest way to eat!),  I have an entire new jewelry collection thanks to Honestly WTF.  And I have ransacked the public library. Books like “Knots and How to Tie them” and “Basic Ballet: The Steps Defined” litter my bedroom floor surrounded by other pieces of inspiration,

But I need more! So far, I only have two skill goals for the next 12 months. I would like to get ideas from my friends on things that you think would be interesting/useful/complimentary to my desire to have fabulous fancy things without spending money.

These are my constraints:

  • Money
  • Rustic living -I am fairly positive that for the next year I will be living in remote Washington state in a Pacific yurt with an icebox, a stove and a dry sink on a farm or a ranch…
  • Season – I want to do things in concordance with the seasons because this is when materials will be cheapest. For example, I am hording some very exciting tomato based recipes that are waiting until June for when they are in full season.
  • Personality – I don’t want to do anything boring or simple or…un-fancy.
  • Processes – I want suggestions on things that require processes. Please do not send me ideas like “learn French” or “play the piano.” I would like ideas that requires steps, that can be done over a weekend and that will have lifelong benefit of learning.

*Note: I have the following year-long goals, both personal and professional,and it would  be nice if my small skill goals could compliment them

  • Learn to sail
  • Study French
  • Farm
  • Learn basic survival skills / camp alone
  • Learn to fish
  • Basic fiddle

What I have thus far:

  • Perfume making – I want to learn how to make my own perfume, specifically like Jo Malone’s Pomegranite Noir. It is a delectable, sultry blend of night scents but also rather expensive, so until I have the money to afford it, I am trying my hand at making my own blend.
  • Prosciutto – Once I get to Washington and get to know some people, I plan on obscuring a ham leg and curing / salting it myself to make prosciutto. And I don’t want to hear a word of disapproval about this from my Italian friends. I miss it, I can’t afford it, it is as easy as that.
  • ???

Comments, ideas and other encouragement would be greatly welcomed!