Archive for the ‘Create’ Category

Rabbitstick

October 13, 2013

When I was looking into taking time off from work and figuring out my path it was important to me to have at least one thing to look forward to each month, be it a farm to visit, a camping trip, a trip out of the country, or a chance for learning.  During the time I was planning everything out I came across a notebook where I had written ideas for things to do in the future.  In that book was written ‘Rabbitstick’.

Living in a place where the importance of DIY, sustainability, survival, and knowledge play out in conversation daily, I knew Rabbitstick, a primitive learning gathering in Idaho would be a good option to pursue.

I left for Rabbitstick in September with all my camping gear, sunscreen, and an eagerness to do it all.  A week of learning and community, and me an open book.

I arrived on a Friday with the actual even beginning Monday after every one else (for the most part) arrives on Sunday.  I set up camp near the shadow of trees alongside a huge open meadow, next to the snake river, which would be my bath for the next 9 days.

The path to the meadow.

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When Sunday arrived and the place filled with over 300 more people, the teachers and schedules came out, allowing me to ponder over and sign up for classes.  Knowing that I didn’t want to spend my whole time on one thing, like 3+ days of braintanning, I signed up for smaller time contraining classes, like knife making, duck processing, duck scalping, and fire making.

I spend the next week being immersed in a very kind open community, much like the cycling one I am lucky enough to have in the Bay Area.  For these people at Rabbitstick, THIS was their community. And I was happy to see that it did exist outside of the one I know and love at home.

My favorite part aside from meeting such wonderful people all of which are so eager to share their knowledge was duck processing.  Taught by Tom, who every year holds a huge lunch feast for all of camp, I learned how to take a duck (already dead this time), and make it into a meal.

In process while plucking feathers.

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The finished meal, alongside the damascus steel and horn knife I assembled.

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Another class Tom taught was scalping the duck, which enabled you to use the feathery scalp of the duck to decorate- I chose my knife sheath.

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Rabbitstick is an event that taught me a lot, opened up new ideas for me to pursue (hunting, fishing), gave me a chance to camp for days on end, meet incredibly kind people doing cool things with their lives, and will be a yearly opportunity that I take advantage of to reconnect with myself and others.

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Then and now

July 26, 2013

I have been spending the month of July in the Bay Area enjoying the warm weather, bike rides and bike events, friends, and re-visiting One Acre Farm.

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I revisiting One Acre Farm to thresh the wheat I helped harvest and enjoy a potluck.  I was amazed with how much everything has grown- especially the sunflowers which were small stalks when I left.  There were two other WWOOFers there, including one who was visiting specifically for the threshing.

To make a yummy meal boil the wheat berries, 3:1 ratio of waters to berries; add honey and banana.  Oh my!! Cereals have nothing on this breakfast treat.

This month also meant bikey event, including the 3rd year for Pedalfest at Jack London Square.  It was great to have a chance to hang with dozens in my bike community, and pose for ridiculous photos.

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Next month I will venture into Oregon.  I will be camping at Crater Lake with a visit to Wizard Island, visiting friends in Eugene, and then making my way to a farm just outside of Portland to learn about sustainable agriculture, and ancestral and homestead skills.

Infinity scarf

July 14, 2013

I found a very simple sewing project for making fun colorful infinity scarfs while exploring pinterest.  Since then I have made three for bday gifts, and of course one for myself.

The how to can be seen here:

http://www.sewhomegrown.com/2013/01/diythe-fat-quarter-infinity-scarf.html

My process:

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The trouble with Portland

June 11, 2013

My first time in Portland Oregon was 2007 during my crosscountry roadtrip. It was spring, the weather was perfect, and I had a gracious host who showed me around the city and gave me an experience where for the following 6 years I spoke of my utopia, Portland.

It took me 6 years to make it back. Pedalpalooza, three weeks of themed bike rides including the famed naked bike ride, goes through the month of June. I came up with my cycling group to see first hand how Portland does it. Being part of a very bike oriented subculture, we  were excited to see it all.

I additionally came to Portland because I am in such a transitional state, I viewed this trip as that extra push towards Portland, my utopia, and making a life here.

My first group ride in Portland was a Farm to Farm ride, which took us to urban farms through the city, all with different layouts and stories with how they came into fruition. The turn out was inspiring, people of all different ages, who like me loved bikes and farms and were looking for their own way to put it all together. It was a great crowd of people to be surrounded by.

I am camping in a backyard of a beautiful home, next to some chickens, along a busy bike boulevard. The traffic of bikes far exceeds that of cars. It is beautiful.

There are local artists everywhere, and I have already been invited back with a place to stay and the urging to come sale my jewelry at their last Thursdays on Alberta, where I won’t need a permit or to worry about tax!

The road infrastructure seems to be the representation of complete streets- set up to account for pedestrians, cyclists, and cars. And the awareness of all three by each group creates a carefree trip around the city.

But, I don’t want to move to Portland.

Although in Portland I feels safe, I can easily find farms to volunteer at, I could sell my art, I could meet thousands of people with similar interests, and everything cool thing I could think of (bicycle repair + bar, urban farm + dinner club, delicious themes doughnuts, to name a few) have already been done, time and time again, it is lacking a few important things.

Growing up in the Bay Area I am not accustom to such a lack of ethnic and cultural diversity, and being surrounded by a variety of different ways of thinking. I don’t crave being different, but I do crave being opened and challenge by the people around me.  I don’t know if I would get that from Portland.

I want to live in a place where much of the good ideas already in place in Portland could be beneficial and flourish. I don’t want to compete with a large number of businesses with the same mission or idea. I believe I would feel more fulfilled bringing these things to a community that doesn’t already have it.

Of course I’d be a fool to stay away for another 6 years. Portland really is a mini utopia, and has a lot to offer in terms of ideas and inspiration.  But for now, the search for the right place for me continues.

Farm re-wind

June 5, 2013

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I couldn’t have asked for a better experience with One Acre Farm in Morgan Hill.  Above are my hosts, Michelle (left) and Gal (right).

Now that I am back home, I am eager to find more opportunities to visit and work on farms, and eventually find its place within my own home.  I am looking into internship opportunities to help build on the skills I have learned so far.

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Wheat, really? Yea, wheat!

June 1, 2013

When I came to the farm 2 weeks ago I was eager and excited to learn, as I came in with no background but tons of inspiration around me. Here was this amazing opportunity that would allow me to learn skills on a small (<1 acre) but abundant farm, with the trade of my labor for a place in my hosts home and wonderful fresh meals. What a deal!

On my first day I noticed a triple row of high growing wheat. My host Michelle showed me how to remove the tops, roll it in my hand, and drop the seeds from hand to hand before eating it (threshing). It was chewy due to the fact it was still not ready, but it tasted great and I enjoyed that tenderness of the texture.

I really hoped to harvest it while on the farm, and was thrilled when yesterday, my last day working the farm, Michelle said we could harvest.

The wheat have turned a rich golden brown and become a firm texture. As we harvested we made small groupings, and then put the groupings together in a teepee shape to dry.   I was clearly proud!

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For tea

May 29, 2013

Today I harvested chamomile.

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Leather tooling class

October 8, 2012

I took a leather tooling class at Paco Collars-in Berkeley- http://pacocollars.com/

I made a flower patch, that I added to my bicycle club jacket.

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I am currently working on a bracelet with a tooled acorn and leaf design, and just finished making a necklace from a small leaf design.

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Hiatus

August 30, 2012

I haven’t purposely been avoiding my computer, but I have found summer a time to spend the majority of my time outside.  For the most part it has been a pretty mild summer, and I am happy to say I have spent quite a bit of it having adventures.

Also, I have begun making jewelry inspired by the things around me, especially biking.

I am creating a blog focusing on those creations- artichokegarden.wordpress.com and an etsy- http://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtichokeGarden

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I will continue (or start again) to use this blog to plot my daily adventures.

Most recently, a 30 + turnout for the silly movie Premium Rush with my bike crew.

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I don’t want summer to end…

Tattoos & meanings

April 21, 2011

Not every tattoo needs a meaning.

I find it obnoxious that people find such necessity in associating a tattoo with an experience, or something of deep meaning.  Sometimes there isn’t one.  Aesthetics is just as valid a reason as any other.  Shit, a laugh is as good as any.

I came across this online and it made me really happy.  I am sure the owner of this looks as it and smiles daily.  Good for them.