Spotlight on downsizer member sally_in_wales
written by Nell Merionwen
Every month the spotlight will shine upon a different member of downsizer, and show how the site has touched their lives.
1. Name and/or username
The Cynon Valley in South Wales, about 20 miles North of Cardiff.
3. Could you tell us how you make a living?
I'm a bit of a jack of all trades, but I freelance in the heritage industry, making things for museums and re-enactors, and teaching and demonstrating traditional skills and historic crafts. I also dabble in knitting pattern design. I'm meant to be writing too, but keep getting distracted. I also make stinkily strong cat toys and have far too much fun watching cats get tiddly on them.
4. Could you tell us a little something about your home?
It's an 1890s end of terrace with a sloping garden. I most definitely have flat garden envy when other DS members talk about their plots! I aspire to being a wonderful housekeeper but in reality visitors have been known to get lost in the chaos.
5. How did you find downsizer.net?
Martin (bloke off the telly) suggested I had a look as it was full of 'people like me and interesting projects'. He was right.
6. Has downsizer inspired a life change?
A couple of years ago I was decidedly under the weather and struggling with doing all of Q3 whilst also holding down a 'proper' job. DS helped me find the confidence to pack in the day job and go it alone. I don't think I could have made all the necessary decisions without the support of so many people here.
7. What is your main objective to maintain a sustainable life?
To find a balance between earning enough to pay the bills and having enough time to develop skills and interests and friendships.
8. Does downsizer help you achieve this?
Most definitely! You are never alone when at any time of the day or night you can bounce ideas off people on DS or get them to give you a common sense perspective, even when they tell me I'm being daft, its all useful.
9. Which parts of downsizer do you visit most often (not including forum)?
The articles, but not as much as I should
10. Which parts of the forum do you visit most often?
I tend to click 'latest posts' and read most things from there.
11. Do you feel there is room for improvement with you own downsizing, and if so how will you implement this?
I'm far too wasteful and need to get better at making use of the resources I have available before I invest in new supplies
12. Has downsizer led to any new hobbies and/or skills?
I regard the calm, sensible introduction I had to killing a chicken smoothly and humanely as one of the most valuable skills I learnt here, but I'm always amazed at the incredible range of skills that are talked about on the forum, in the articles and at the skillshare sessions.
13. Have you attended any skill shares or gatherings? If so did you learn anything?
I go to as many as I can manage and always come away full of new ideas and inspiration.
14. Have you felt you have shared skills already known to yourself?
I hope so, I try to write articles regularly and to assist if a question comes up that I can answer, but in all truth there are so many people here with amazing skills that usually I'm just echoing what others are suggesting
15. Do you have any anecdotes of stories relating to downsizer you would like to share?
Pour me a glass of something scandalous, and I'll see what I can come up with
16. How do you feel the site is most helpful/inspirational?
By being there for everyone, regardless of whether they are going through a good or a bad patch. Its an overwhelmingly generous place, both with advice, cameraderie and old fashioned assistance regardless of the situation.
17. Have you made any "real life" friends or colleagues via downsizer?
Oh yes, I consider the friendships I've made in real life from amongst the DS 'village' to be some of the most entertaining and useful I've ever known.
Next month's spotlight will be upon downsizer.net member Jamanda.