Thursday, May 31, 2012


lately this term 'upcycling' has become more and more popular, as artists, designers and consumers alike are recognizing the importance of recycling and reusing, even when it comes to our clothes and jewelry. i have been crafting a lot of earrings, headchains and hair pieces almost entirely from old jewelry pieces. long necklaces make a great base for a head chain, secured using either wrapped wire or jump rings. a few weeks ago i salvaged about 50 raw turquoise beads from a dismembered rosary at Trevor's old house. here's a pic of my recycled beads box:
my trips to the thrift stores have been great for collecting materials to be re-worked, re-designed and upcycled. this is a headchain i made the other day from an old necklace chain and a necklace pendant:
the Etsy marketplace is a great place to find crafted jewelry and art from recycled materials. if you don't know Etsy, i highly recommend you check it out!! for more photos and ideas of recycled material crafts, follow me on Instagram @sakioto.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


ever since i was a kid, my mom has taught me to be on the lookout for bargains. this could mean a number of things but today, it meant a trip to my local thrift store for half-priced day. on the last 2 days of each month the Truckee Hospice thrift store sells EVERYTHING for half-price. i walked out with: 4 necklace chains (for crafting purposes), 1 pair black J.Crew boots ($5), 1 James Perse lightweight cotton cardigan, black denim bustier top (to be altered to fit me properly), and a utility belt for Trevor. this was a pretty resourceful trip for me, and i didn't even drive! the thrift store is a short walk from my house. happy bargain hunting!!

musings on sustainability and self-reliance

this past Memorial Day weekend i spent in southern California with about 15,000 other people for a music, yoga and art festival. the experience was fantastic and a great way to open the summer festival season. every festival requires a certain amount of preparation and self-reliance, and Lightning in a Bottle was no different. in 2008 i attended my first Burning Man, a festival based on two main principles: radical self-expression and radical self-reliance. since that first time i have learned what to bring and how to enjoy my time at the festival without being burdened to worry about anyone else.
here's a photo from Burning Man that shows the harsh desert environment and a little bit of the art that can be seen out there. for more information and thoughts about the Burn and Black Rock City, check out maybe it is a lot for me to expect that everybody be self-sufficient, however i believe that any adult who is willing and able to attend a festival should be able to fend for themselves. this past weekend i learned that this is not the case and there are many festival attendees who cannot function like this. thankfully, i have been able to learn from every festival i go to, both about myself and about what is necessary to have a good experience. having been able to do this, i am able to draw on my own knowledge and resources to have a good time and be fully prepared. i believe in self-sustainability and resourcefulness, in all matters of my life. if someone is unable to do the same for themselves at a festival, i will not be that generous. we all have to learn to take care of ourselves and sometimes we have to learn that the hard way. onward to preparation for the Bounce Festival in less than 3 weeks!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

magical coconut

i've been trying to grow my hair out for a while now and my stylist recently gave me some advice to keep the hairs healthy. refined coconut oil - the kind used for cooking - helps restore and moisturize your hair, keeping it healthy as it grows. a little bit goes a long way; i use it only on the ends (any further towards the scalp/roots your hair will feel really greasy) and i use it the overnight, before i am going to wash my hair the next day. its like magic!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

home spa

tonight I felt super resourceful; enough so to try a home facial recipe from first I set a warm washcloth on my face, eyes closed, for about 10 minutes. next I applied a mixture of equal parts regular, uncooked oatmeal and plain yogurt. then came the egg yolk, olive oil and honey mix (just a bit of each of the latter 2). lastly, a layer of egg white and lemon juice.

the mask will tighten on your skin and when it begins to feel dry you can wash it off with warm water. now my skin feels refreshed and super duper clean!! check it out:

Monday, May 21, 2012

composting is cool!

this right here is our brand spankin new compost bin! Trevor found some shipping pallets in our shed and used them to build a crate for composting. it works perfectly to let air in, though we have yet to find out if any bears will want to get into it (oh the perks of living in the Sierra Nevada). those would be the bears who like coffee grounds, eggshells and vegetable scraps...some weird bears if you ask me.

the importance of sanctuary

this is my summer to enjoy in Tahoe before heading back to grad school in August in Minnesota. that said, i am working as little as possible and doing as many fun and interesting things as i can. besides the cute bedroom i share with Trev, our new house has given me the space for another sanctuary: the Creation Station. a place to take apart things, re-design and re-assemble anything from jewelry to headdresses to tops and belts. here's what i'm talkin about:
not only do i have all my crafting and costume materials in one place (and semi-organized) but i've set up some small speakers for my iPod. this way, i get to hang out away from the world and dive completely into the task at hand and my artistic endeavors. i know how important this is to my sanity while not working, and to the encouragement of my creativity. if you can make a spot for yourself, whether an entire room or a small tabletop, i can pretty much guarantee you will see benefits, both in your creative and emotional selves (which are ultimately related). for more on the importance of creativity, sanctuary and family, check out my sister's website,

birth of a resourceful betty

in only the past few years, since i've lived on my own and away from my dear Midwestern family, i've begun to realize the importance of resourcefulness. as a child i understood the routine of composting, eating leftovers, recycling and thrifting, but i was too young to clue in to the importance of our family's routine. Midwesterners are notorious for their resourcefulness, a skill which today has been thrust into the mainstream (thank the sweet lord). since leaving my dear Minnesota for the west coast, i've been able to see how we Midwesterners carry this skill with us everywhere, and use it in our daily lives (the man in my life is from Michigan - together we make a great team; more on that later). not only do i aim to be resourceful for myself and the bf, but i am constantly encouraging my friends and roommates to do the same. why, just the other day Trevor (my beau) built us a compost bin out of old shipping pallets. we've only lived in our new house a few weeks but already we are committed to leaving as little a carbon footprint as possible. i recycle everything. i buy used clothing. i make meals using leftovers. these are the little things that can make a difference for our collective mother, the Earth. through this blog i hope to shed some light on the topic of resourcefulness and give helpful anecdotes and tips for readers to do the same. thanks, and enjoy!!