Thursday, July 21, 2011

donation doshamshion

I made this here belt for a Western-themed auction to benefit a new hospital here in Humboldt County. I put a vintage buckle on it and carved a little poppy, the state flower of California, into the belt. It has just been reported to me that the new owner wears it all the time!


The classic lettered belts are really simple to make. Most leather shops sell veg-tanned belt blanks, and the lettering stamp kits are pretty inexpensive. Make sure you wet the leather before you pound down on the stamp! 

The letting stamp kit I used...

This little donation will help me with my tax effort this year, to donate, or "redirect," a percentage of my tax dollars to a Federally recognized organization, probably to woman's health and education, rather than to military war funding. Care to join?


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


"There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge."
-Friedrich Nietzsche
from America's Wonderlands, National Geographic Society, 1959
Through love and productivity/work my soul manages to stay afloat on a daily basis.  After a wholesome family trip to beautiful Crater Lake, my soul feels a little bit more cheerful, not so much from work, but from lots of love and some amazing visual stimulation (I think nature art should count...)...and who knew Nietzsche had positive quotes!

Friday, July 15, 2011

trunkity = bedside table

This project was begging to be finished for a long time! We purchased this crumbling trunk in El Paso well over a year ago, and it survived the move without turning into dust. I saved as much original hardware as possible...

 The top of the trunk was the most troublesome problem...I needed a significantly large piece of wood and the means to cut it to the right size. I needed thin wood to replace the rotted wood around the sides. I had collected birch bark in to attempt restoration of the original rounded lid, but when it came to my woodworking skill, these sturdy pieces of redwood were a more practical solution.

Yea, I should have used little square nails instead of screws, and, yea, I should have tried to re-create the original round metal top as seen in the super old before photos below...but if I didn't restore it now, there was a really good chance it would have been a mouse house until it fell apart to be excavated by some archaeologist very confused by the 1690 patent date on the hardware in the context of a mid-20th century shack compound. Besides, it is hard to pile books and ice cream bowls next to my bed on top of rounded lids.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

weekend zen

Lessons from a year in Bali By CHARLOTTE BACON in the NY Times

I love the diagonal bamboo room, almost as much as I love the article. It even has a good moral...especially for me right now.

"The danger in choosing not to make contact with others seems so much larger than the danger in doing so. Making room in our lives for more people is what we are meant to do, even if they eventually leave, or we do. Remaining open to what may come. Enlarging a sense of home, one small risk at a time."

Happy Orick Rodeo weekend!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Two things

Two things I love: recycling and sandals. 
Combining the two = the best. 
The Tarahumara tire sandals have always been particularly inspiring, but cutting tire proved to be too frustrating a task for clumsy me.  This website has great tips on how to make your own tire sandals: Primitive Learning Skills, Sandals
So when I passed through this exhibit at the San Francisco Airport, I had to stop and take some flights are always delayed anyhow.

SFO Airport Exhibit, Second Chances

Thinking more about my obsession with making sandals, I recalled all the work I have done analyzing  archaeological sandals of the Southwest. One of my favorite solution to desert footwear is the use of entire Yucca leaves, braided, and straped to the foot. The example on the right was taken from the Texas History and Beyond website, where a reconstruction project is also posted.

Texas History and Beyond, Sandals

Other interesting objects from the Second Chances exhibit: the old pesticide containers as a lunchbox? Someone needs to do some residue analysis on that!  But I do need a watering soldering skills are rudimentary, at best, but I can learn if it means avoiding buying something new to make out of scrap!