Proper planning

Proper planning

It’s way to late but still: happy new year! I haven’t been writing since new year, so I guess it’s about time.

What’s the status quo at the moment? Well, I’ve been busy trying to find work, busy trying to receive some income from the state, busy being a mailman, busy being active at the Dutch organization for refugees (it’s voluntary), busy visiting friends, busy trying to repair my knee-pains, and busy trying to write a proper plan for the Vardo and the whole organization I want to do around it… It’s these times I realize how short a day actually is, they’re over before I even blinked an eye. Also because at home I occasionally have to make fire, walk the dog, do daily things – they take rather lots of time! So I guess you get the picture: I’ve been busy.

The most important for here: what about the Vardo? Well, the frame is still standing silently at the drive-way under a big sheet of plastic from which I remove the rain/ ice now and then. I wanted to prepare the iron some weeks ago with anti-rust stuff, but then I realized it had to be at least 10 degrees, which isn’t going to be the case for at least one more month. So, now I’m trying to reach an acquaintance who works at a school where youngsters learn for car mechanics, and who offered help: the youngsters have to practice anyway! And I got lots of work to do on the frame before I can start building, so as soon as the temperatures get acceptable to be outside, I’d rather start building, instead of having to deal with the frame-issues first.

In the meantime I’ve been busy writing a proper organizational plan for the Vardo. If I want to really live this dream, I need a proper plan, and to know it will be financially stable. Also, I might want to do some crowthfunding, or ask for sponsoring, which also requires a proper plan. So while writing and while talking with lots of people about all my plans (thanks so much for all the tips and sharing of thoughts!!) I’m expanding all my options at the moment. The basic idea is to create an organization called Eelste.

I know, that’s my name, but who on earth has that name? It will be recognizable everywhere, and in the end, the organization will run on me. So, with that as basis I’ll have several subdivisions: Eelste’s Vardo, Eelste’s Shop, Eelste’s Stories, … and maybe I’ll think of more. Eelste’s Vardo is rather clear, it will be the wagon and its potential to host people. Within this the idea is that people can rent the extra bed with or without ingredients: I’ll cook, but when they bring their own ingredients they get a discount. In that way they’ll be able to eat whatever they want for less money, they still have holiday because they don’t have to cook, and I’ll be able to get a more diverse menu.

Also Eelste’s Shop I’ve already introduced from the beginning on this website: it’s the place where I sell my handmade products and eventually maybe also the workshops I can give. I’ve been asked to give workshops already many times, and probably the first time is coming up shortly, for a friend, so it will be a great opportunity to try out this option. Besides the felting of furrs, I’ve now also started making felted tablet sleeves, pillows, slippers, and more to come. Also, there are now handmade postcards, with an option for both the extra felted products and the cards to be made in commission if you’re searching for something special. But, even in commission, I am an artist and have to have artistic freedom. So you can give wishes, but the final decisions will always be mine, besides the fact that felt and paint always has their own way to turn out.

Eelste’s Stories might be a new thing even for the fanatic readers of this blog. This idea has its origin in the fact that I’d love to tell people’s stories and I’d love to research certain subjects among a super divers group of people: the people I meet along the way. I’d tell these stories anonymously, because I don’t think it’s necessary to tell who somebody is in face and name, and because people can tell their full story in that way, without the limitation of shame or danger. Subjects I find interesting is people’s dreams, the real ones, not the ones imposed on people by society, and people’s experience of safety, in every way possible. Interviewing and asking people for their stories is not a part I’ve started doing yet, because the building and earning money has priority at this moment.

And to connect these subjects with Eelste’s Vardo, making the story ‘Eelste’ a circular story: the Vardo is supposed to be a safe place for all, and a place where people might think about their dreams. I’m also thinking of offering the option to host people while offering them the option of discovering their dreams. Life has shown me that I’m good in guiding people in talking and thinking about their real dreams, the hidden ones, the ones they do not dare to think about for lots of different reasons, although the most often because they think they’re unrealistic. Admitting to once dream doesn’t mean one has to change their whole life, but allowing the dream into your life even in a small way, may bring so much joy and happiness. It’s worth it.

As you can read, I’ve been busy thinking through all options and my strengths and weaknesses, and how to use those in the near future. I still hope to be able to register as official one-man organization some time soon (but because I get ‘bijstand’, government money, right now I have to do a workshop first and then the plans have to get checked), so that I can start earning my own money in an official way and put even more effort in it. Also my hope is still to have the Vardo ready for moving in at the end of the summer, at least as much ready so I can sleep and cook in it, it’s always possible to finish building while living in it. I’d like to work full-time somewhere once moved in, and safe money for horses and having a back-up once I leave for the big travelling part. Before I’d like to get my driving license, since it’s around here way easier to get a job when having a driving license and car (though getting either without a job isn’t really an option). These are my dreams for the near future, and these dreams are the ones who keep me motivated for moving forward, in order to make these dreams come true.


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