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.

Note: This post contains an Amazon Associates affiliate link, which helps to support this site at no extra cost to you:

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 💕

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

How to Consume the News Once Per Week

Post, Video, and Photo by Rain San Martin

With rapidly changing headlines, it's easy to convince one-self to check-in with the mainstream global or national news on a daily basis. Yet you may find you can be actively aware of the most key stories while maintaining peace, by limiting your intake to one day per week.

Pick Your Day to Check In

You may like to check the news one day prior errand running to see if any major changes should be expected in regards to COVID-19 lock-downs or civil unrest protests. These are apocalyptic times!  On this day I check online news sites or YouTube channels. Certainly, you can read a single issue of the local news paper, if you prefer the physical publication.

My Other 2 Plugged-in Days (non-news days)

This may include podcasts (I listen to The Minimalists).

A few of my favorite blog sites include:

*The Legacy of the Home (Vintage Homemaking)
*Becoming Minimalist (Simplicity)
*Retro Housewife Goes Green (Vintage Homemaking)
*Spooky Little Halloween (Halloween lifestyle)

In the evening, on plugged-in days I read on my Kindle paper-white, eReader.

*The information below contains Amazon Associate affiliate links, which helps to support this site at no extra to you.

Unplugged Days

I unplug 4 days per week. On these days I read magazines and books. During my morning coffee I relax with a few of my magazine subscriptions. Here are three:

Evenings before bed I unwind with books from the library I have ordered.  A fantastic book I am enjoying now is Grinding it Out, about the founding of McDonald's. The original print it is now worth around $1000! A film was recently created on this subject titled The Founder. This is an excellent biographical portrait portrayed by Michael Keeton, his best work. With a slice of 1950s life.

You will most certainly find you can live just fine without checking the news on a daily basis. Once in a blue moon you may want to override this rule when you feel it is important to do so. Yet maintain the healthy habit of a once per week consuming habit. Make sure you limit your screen time! You may even avoid the mainstream news all-together, creating your own feed.

Best of luck!

Rain 🌻

Monday, June 1, 2020

Advantages of a Neo-Victorian Lifestyle

Post and Video by Rain San Martin, Photo by Sage San Martin

A Neo-Victorian Lifestyle is a combination of Victorian or Edwardian aesthetics, customs, and vintage habits merged with select modern characteristics. The Victorian era was during the time of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Edwardian Era (King Edward) being during (1901-1910). Historians have also extended this era to the start of the first World War (1901-1914). Some of these movements include Victorian Goth, Classic Victorian 1800s (with a few modern adaptations), Steampunk, Old West or Steampunk Goth. 

This "New" Victorian Lifestyle is a modern era niche aesthetic and lifestyle. Customs, fashion, and old world home decor are just a few ways people incorporate the Neo-Victorian Lifestyle.  A love for classic 19th century literature, history, and Gothic Revival or Neo-Classical Architecture is usually present.

It is up to the individual to determine how much or how little modern customs and technology one allows into their everyday life. Freedom is expressed through the artistic lens of the individual. Makeup, dress, and clothing need not be historically accurate. We can incorporate elements of fiction or fantasy. I am traditional in many ways. Yet, I can practically imagine myself living there as an unconventional Bohemian soul. Each era has it eccentrics.

I myself have a flowy Bohemian Vintage Gothic Style for home or running errands. Similar in some ways, to a more relaxed version of Stevie Nicks. Old West Style is also woven in on alternate days.  For dates or more dressy occasions I wear a Neo-Victorian Gothic ensemble.  Find what works for you.

-This post contains Amazon Associate affiliates links. Purchases help to support this blog site at no extra cost to you.

Here are a few items we have in our home that are perfect for the Neo-Victorian Lifestyle:

The book I referred to in the video:  
In the Arts & Crafts Style

Have a fun week!

Rain ⏳

Monday, May 11, 2020

How to Stop Using Your Phone for Notes

Post, Video, and Image by Rain San Martin

The infiltration of technology has been as a run-away train. Instead of selectively using it as a tool for specific tasks on a mobile device or desk top PC, we are losing a bit of our humanity one step at a time. One way we can ground ourselves back into the natural world around us is to discontinue the practice of taking notes on the mobile phone.

*The information below contains affiliate links which helps to support this site at no extra to you.

Keep a Mini-Notebook on your person.

I have a high quality mini-notebook in my purse for note-taking on the go. I use it to capture points during a special event, a lecture, or class. The link above is a nearly identical notebook to the one I use.

Keep high quality pens on hand as well. The PILOT Precise V5 has been my go-to for years. These pens glide easily and are excellent for pen and ink art.

Grocery List

Rather than looking down at your phone while shopping in public there is something refreshing about and old fashioned grocery list!


When filling in special dates, a calendar will be one more way to stay away from your device. Some people enjoy a planner. I myself rely on a daily routine, only writing unusual events onto our family calendar. Here is the calendar I'm using for 2020, as shown in my video: Thomas Kinkade Special Collector's Edition 2020 Deluxe Wall Calendar: New Beginnings.

Address Book

It's time to bring back the address book! I've relied on my computers database for the last 20 years. An old world lifestyle can be innovative, as it unthethers us from the screen.

You can catch my YouTube Video on this topic here.

Enjoy the simple vintage life,


Friday, May 1, 2020

Minimalist Technology-During Lockdown

Post, Video, and Photo by Rain San Martin

As we are organic beings I believe we will maximize our human potential by unplugging as much as  possible. COVID-19 has dramatically lead to an even more plugged-in lifestyle. Zoom meetings, constant news-updates, remote schooling and office work has tethered many to constant connectivity. Limiting computing technology primarily as a tool will maximize it's usefulness. Social media, digital communication and video / audio entertainment should be used with discipline.

People fear of appearing as a Luddite.

You can still adapt to life changes in society yet with mindfulness. Luddites were a group of people who revolted against their jobs being replaced by machinery. They destroyed them. Over time the term has been associated with those who do not accept technological change. However it is important to note, not all technological advances are progress. The smart phone has unfortunately lead the masses to a dystopian trance-like state of mankind. The good news is you can take the reins and utilize the best of today's innovations and merge it with time tested disciplines of yesteryear!

Here are affiliate links to my favorite magazines which I read on unplugged days. Amazon Associate purchases help to support this Blog at no extra cost to you.

Southern Lady

I also enjoy using an hour glass instead of a timer to live a more unplugged lifestyle. Here's one that I have:

15-Minute Hourglass Sand Timer with Cherry Finished Wood Base.  

Have a great week!

Rain 🌻

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Gothic Fabric Bunting Banner-DIY

Post, video, and photo's by Rain San Martin

This classy and festive Gothic banner will be a welcome touch to your mantel or bedroom wall. The technique shown in this super simple DIY is versatile, so you can apply this method to any type of banner you would like to create. 

-This post contains  an Amazon Associate affiliate link. Purchases help to support this blog site at no extra cost to you.


*2 types of fabric. I used black brocade from an unused garment and a gray and black brocade from JOANN Fabrics and Crafts.

*Regular white paper or card stock for making template. Pencil for drawing. Ruler for creating a slanted triangle edge.

*Regular scissors for cutting template.

*Fabric glue. I used Aleene's Fabric Fusion Permanent Fabric Adhesive You may also sew by hand.

*Twine for hanging banner. Black or taupe.

Step 1

Make template. Fold a piece of paper in half. Make half of an elongated triangle. Use the bottom edge of paper as the base. Angle a ruler 2 & 1/2 inches from base toward the folded papers center. Cut template with regular scissors. Unfold.

Step 2 

Create 4 pieces. Hold elongated triangle template over fabric choice 1.  Fold fabric in half. Cut out with fabric scissors. Tip: I tie a piece of fabric through my fabric cutting scissors so that I don't mistakenly use these on paper. Causing the blade to dull.

Step 3. Create 3-4 more pieces with fabric choice #2. Repeat with step 2. You should now have a total of  7-8 elongated triangle fabric pieces.

Step 4. Glue fabric banner edges together over twine. Alternating fabrics.

Step 5 :Hang banner over mantle or behind a bed-frame for festive charm.  

See this video tutorial here.

Happy crafting, 

Rain ✂

Slow Living

Article, YouTube audio podcast , and photo's by Rain San Martin. The Slow Living Movement is a cultural reaction to the hurried, bus...