An aquarius‘ home

Nest-inhabitant Ally Sands lives in Southern California, close to the mountains, the beach, and the desert. Ally has been fascinated with the desert since she was a child, and is inspired by the nature around her. Currently, she runs two shops under the name Aquarian Soul + Earth Oils. According to the name of her business, she says about herself that she is an aquarian through and through. She makes jewelry with crystals in their raw state, medicine bags, dream catchers, and a variety of sacred herbal bathing products. The sense of being all handmade and completely self-sufficient is reflected in her blog. We are happy that Ally answered a few of our questions about her nest.

Could you tell me a bit about your current living situation?

I am currently living in my childhood home. I moved back in with my mom to finish school and save money to start my business. We are both vegetarian and try to be as self-sustainable as possible. We are surrounded by citrus trees, tropical fruit trees, and the medicinal herb garden I planted to use in the Earth Oils shop. We try and grow as much of our own food as possible, and to use our scraps as compost to nourish the earth that feeds us.

Where does your passion for gems and healing stones come from?

I have been fascinated with crystals for as long as I can remember. It’s not just gemstones but rocks and little bits of nature in general. Since I was a child, I would pick berries and collect rocks and just sit and stare at the details of the rocks for hours. I make it a habit to stop and pick up rocks, sticks, and leaves on road trips. I have bags full of just beautiful rocks I found alongside the river, and they aren’t even gems, just plain old rocks. I really began getting into crystals in my early twenties. I joined the gem and mineral society and started digging for my own crystals. I love the whole process of picking dirt covered rocks out of the ground. It’s hard work! Hours of digging in the hot sun for a small bucket of ugly, dirt encrusted rocks that don’t look like much, but when cleaned, polished, or broken into reveal their true beauty. You really understand and appreciate the magic of crystals as gifts from the earth when you have to get them yourself. I began getting into the healing aspects shortly after. I always had a philosophical mind, and the idea of crystals having their own vibration and energy really just made sense to me. I spent a lot of time reading and studying crystals and getting to know each one by name. I would just go to crystal shops and pick out stones I really liked then would later learn the meanings and how synchronistic it was that the stone had properties that I really needed at that moment. I wanted to make jewelry with these amazing crystals to help people heal and connect with themselves.

How would you describe the style of your nest?

I would say the style of my nest is heavily influenced by 1960s and 1970s style. I hate to use the word bohemian because it seems to be the word of the day but it does have a sort of bohemian flair. I always dreamed of living in a treehouse in the jungle so I try to surround myself by plants as much as possible. I would say it has an aquarius style. There is no box it can fit into. I sort of just go with what I like. Some of it is very hippie, macramé, but it is also somewhat modern. I just want to be completely comfortable in a space where I can be myself. Everything in my nest was either handmade by me, found at a flea market, estate sale, thrift shop, or is a plant, crystal or book. That’s pretty much what is in my room, plants, books and crystals.

What do you like most about your home?

What I like most is that I am surrounded by what I love to do. I have my herbs and flowers outside that I dry and use in my herbal beauty products, I have my crystals, fabric, and leather close at hand, and I get to work from my home. It is truly a blessing to be able to do what you love, and to be able to work from home.

There are so many interesting and extraordinary things in your living space. Could you tell me the story of one of these?

I think honestly some of my favorite things in my nest are probably some of the most boring. I mentioned before that I like to pick up a lot of bits of nature on trips or just day adventures around town. These things tend to be mainly flowers and dried plants. My boyfriend jokes that I like to pick up tumbleweeds. I have this dried desert bush hanging from the wall above my bookshelf. It really does look like a tumbleweed! A lot of people that visit my nest ask me about it. I got it on a trip I took to the nearby desert to go dig for crystals. There was a lot of dried up plants around blowing in the wind, but this was the only one around like it. Much to the confusion of my friends, I put it in the trunk and asked that no one crush it. I found a few smaller ones also that I brought home. It has been up on the wall ever since, and I am always on the hunt for new ‘tumbleweeds’.

Any ideas how a future home will look like?

Where ever my next home is, I want it to be outside of the city. When I was younger I really enjoyed the city life, but I want to have space to grow a garden, grow my herbs, have lots of animals and be surrounded by nature. I have always wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest since I visited Oregon as a young child, so somewhere in that area. I love rain, big trees and lots of green, anywhere that I can be surrounded by forest. The most important thing is that I can feel free. I want to grow all my own food, swim in the river, and feel connected to the earth. Hopefully I will be sharing it with someone I love, and my cat.

What do you need to be comfortable and to feel at home?

It’s hard to describe ever really feeling at home anywhere, but as long as you are surrounded by the people you love you are home. My nest is the place I come to rest and sleep, but home is wherever I feel a connection to mother earth. For me that is usually the desert, the river, or a forest. I consider my nest my sort of man-made home, but my true home is just nature.

What means home to you?

Home is wherever you chose to set down roots. I have a wandering spirit that longs to constantly be either moving or traveling. Over the years I have set down roots here with my family, my friends and boyfriend, but the urge to travel has never left. If I could, I would have little nests all over the world and go from one to the other exploring and adventuring along the way. Home is also a place where I can keep my collections of crystals and other things I have amassed over the years. If I had no possessions to speak of, home would be wherever I was at that moment.

Found some lists with 10 things that make you happy on your blog. What would this list look like at the moment?

10 things that are making me happy right now are : (this is a good list to make on a daily basis! You reminded me how good it is to be grateful for things in your life that make you happy!)

  • Flowers blooming everywhere
  • Plant shopping & gardening
  • Learning to bake bread
  • Starting to use my ceramic wheel
  • Graduating college (finally at 27!)
  • Making terrariums and plant holders
  • Good homemade cold brewed iced coffees in the afternoon
  • Learning to relax!
  • Reading a book in the warm sun
  • Finally having time to create new jewelry!

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