Decluttering Los Ojos

Recently, the Broken Windows Theory made the rounds on Facebook. The theory claims that, to avoid crime and vandalism, an environment needs to be free of disorder. Not at all a new idea, the theory is based on the fact that a car with broken windows is more likely to be vandalized than a car without broken windows. Just like it’s more likely that someone will litter in an area already full of trash.

Los Ojos studio, Rome

an experiment making flowers from plastic bottles with a plant stand found at the dumpster

Well I don’t have any broken windows at my studio (Los Ojos) but I do have a lot of clutter. Since I work primarily with recycled materials, it’s easy to accumulate thinking: Hey, I can use this to make something! Plus I do much experimenting which means many unfinished projects.

Los Ojos, Rome

the frame from an abandoned chair covered with crocheted plastic

On one of my walk’s to Krios this summer, I decided it was time to reorganize my studio as a form of personal renewal.

There are so many benefits that come from decluttering and reorganizing. For one, it helps you let go of the past so you can focus on the present and make room for the future. Decluttering also gives you more freedom as it’s easier to clean and easier to find things once order is established.

Los Ojos, Rome

many papier mache projects, finished and not

And a decluttered space creates room for energy to flow. Feng shui stresses the importance of providing space for Chi (energy). Because the more things you have, the more obstacles your Chi has to affront.

As an artist working with materials, it will be impossible for me to have a perfect feng shui space. But I can get rid of a bunch of dead weight.  So, after a quick souvenir foto, anything layered with dust now goes to the dumpster. And just after a few day of decluttering, I already feel euphoric.


Los Ojos, Rome

an unfinished Bebina Bunny and many plastic bottle compositions meant to sustain small artworks

Los Ojos, Rome

a broken mirror framed by soda cans

Los Ojos, Rome

jars with flower tops made from plastic bottles and light bulbs

Los Ojos, Rome

a plastic bottle composition

Los Ojos, Rome

painted plastic…a corner in my studio many many years ago….this Zen like look no longer exists.  But it was the beginning of my dedication to recycling and I still had much trash to collect!

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Back in Rome…

We are back in Rome and trying to get adjusted to the change. My main project right now is to reorganize my studio. It will take more time that imagined…visualizing change is easier than actualizing it.  However, I’m happy for the Make Over possibility.

And on the List of Eternal Resolutions:  DON’T ACCUMULATE! It’s like body weight–easy to gain but difficult to lose.

So blogging will be minimal as I will try to focus on priorities.

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Naoussa, Paros

Fotos from Naoussa, a small village in the northeastern part of Paros…

Naoussa, Paros Naoussa, Paros Naoussa, Paros Naoussa, Paros Naoussa, Paros

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Cacti at Farangas, Paros

When Franca was here, we rented a car and took a drive around the island.  Southwest of the island is an area called Farangas with its somewhat sauvage landscape.  There are many villas hidden on the hills but one villa that’s not so hidden  is the House of Kakti. It is quite unique because of its incredible cacti garden.

Farangas, Paros

Farangas, Paros

Farangas, Paros

Farangas, Paros

Farangas, Paros

If you are interested in renting this villa, go HERE.


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Muy Marcottage purses

Every summer while on Paros, I try to make purses using my  household trash.

“Clean Clutch”
clean clutch, muy marcottage


clean clutch, muy marcottage


This is a little clutch made from a transparent detergent bottle. I cut the bottle open then used scrap materials to crochet the missing part. There’s a flap that opens on the front kept in place by velcro.

 “Piselli Purse”

piselli bag, muy marcottage piselli bag, muy marcottage

Another plastic bag purse.  The base is from heavier plastic whereas the “ruffles” are from flimsier bags.   It’s named “Piselli” (peas) because of the pea picture from a frozen food bag appliqued on.


“Chupas Bag”

Chupas purse

On one of my walks to Krios, I found this deflated plastic football and decided to transform it into a purse.

Chupas purse

Not liking the brown, I sewed on strips of plastic from garden dirt bags.  The rest was made from plastic bags.  Maybe when I get back this spring, I will make some additional changes.

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Leaves on our terrace

terrace, Parikiaour terrace as seen from Niki’s Pension

As Ungaretti would say, “here we are like leaves on trees in autumn” (si sta come d’autunno sugli alberi, le foglie). Our terrace, now cluttered by leaves that have fallen, reminds me that change is inevitable. Why is it that this impermanence makes me melancholy?

One of my favorite places in the Whole Wide World is our terrace here on Paros. I like to go there first thing in the morning with my coffee and our cat, Volver. Sometimes I take a book or hand sewing hoping to be productive . But, more often than not, I just sit there and absorb the atmosphere as if my body were a giant sponge soaking in plant vibrations.

Everything that exists vibrates. But not everything vibrates with the same frequency. Some frequencies are good for us, others bad. The vibration of plants is so good for us that it’s often used as a means of healing.

Since prehistoric times, plants have been used to cure people. But plants not only cure the body, they can cure the mind as well.

For example, plant scent has been used for centuries to cure mind and emotion. Ancient Greeks wore rose garlands as a remedy for headaches. And rosemary to strengthen memory.

In 1798, Dr. Benjamin Rush documented how working with plants helps improve the conditions of the mentally ill. He called it horticulture therapy. And today many hospitals and prisons have gardens for the purpose of recuperating what has been lost in terms of both physical and psychological health.

So, even if I sit on my terrace and apparently do nothing, I am practicing eco-therapy, biophilia, and eco-psychology!

No wonder my terrace makes me feel so good!

I’ve already written about our terrace HERE.

Volver on the terrace

Volver on the terrace

Related books I hope to read soon: The Earth Has a Soul: C.G. Jung on Nature, Technology & Modern Life + Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder + The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology + Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World + Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind

Related links: Sheriff donates produce from jail farm + The Garden Project

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my wine box purse

My neighbors and I have a habit of giving our unconsumed food to one another when we leave. This year, when Rita left, she gave me onions and garlic and butter as well as her wine in a box.  After we finished the wine, I decided to use the box for a purse.

First I papier-mached the inside with flyers from the grocery store then covered the outside with fused plastic bags.  Some hand and machine stitching was needed for aesthetics and pragmatics.  The handle is made from crocheted shopping bags.

The name of this purse is Del Cecco as some Del Cecco pasta packaging somehow creeped in.  Thanks to my consumption of wine and pasta, I was able to make this purse!

cynthia korzekwa's wine box purse  cynthia korzekwa's wine box purse cynthia korzekwa's wine box purse cynthia korzekwa's wine box purse cynthia korzekwa's wine box purse

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