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Thread: Getting crafty

  1. #21
    Member walker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boofy View Post
    I was talking to a woman at a fair the other day who makes 32,000 a year and employs her mother full time! I couldn't believe it ^^; They do 12 fairs a year and sell online and do commissions and parties etc too. It's amazing what you can do if you have just an ounce of creativity. Writing is very much the same, you're right. I'd love to be independent. Not just financially, either. Having an eco home is an indulgent dream of mine ^^;
    An eco home doesn't have to be expensive. I lived at 9,000 feet once in the Colorado Rockies, or something like that, in a house that this guy had built to live in, but which he couldn't get a water easement for. Bottom line is that there was no running water, which we worked around in various ways. The house had plumbing, but the owner's neighbor wouldn't let the pipes cross her property. One of those feud type of things. Anyway, he had built it with a south-facing exposure and lots of windows, and air-tight. I mean, it was so air-tight that we had to open doors sometimes to breath. Incredibly well-insulated. And even though it got very cold in winter, a single woodstove, with very little wood, heated both bedrooms, kitchen, living room, etc. He didn't spend much to build that house either. He just did it right.

    I also helped a man build a log cabin years ago. It was entirely his project. I was just labor for a few days. But he did much the same thing, built a very solid, well-insulated structure, that had minimal impact on the environment.

    Here in Arizona, which was made for solar energy if any place ever was, you see garden-variety folks who are not particularly environmentally conscious with solar panels all over their house. Currently it makes financial sense to do so, but the utilities are doing everything they can to make solar energy economically unviable through lobbying state government.
    ...taking a trip, not taking a trip...

  2. #22
    That sounds like an amazing experience, Walker! What I wouldn't give to get out there and do it. Once my degree is finished with, I'm going to try my hand at teaching in Japan for a while I think. In my second year I'll get to trial it for 1-6 months so I can see whether it suits me. I'm quite fed up with the UK now. We muddle along under grey skies, queuing for things and complaining about the price of petrol ;3

    I've been watching a series recently about families who go off grid and live in all sorts of harsh or barren environments. The one thing they all have in common is a sort of overwhelming happiness with their lot in life. They don't need TV, don't care about traffic, bills... anything. It seems like an incredibly freeing way of life. One day, damn it!

    As for solar energy, don't get me started! Rrrr... heh
    Remember kids: Drink vodka, play Dotka!


  3. #23
    Member walker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boofy View Post
    I've been watching a series recently about families who go off grid and live in all sorts of harsh or barren environments. The one thing they all have in common is a sort of overwhelming happiness with their lot in life. They don't need TV, don't care about traffic, bills... anything. It seems like an incredibly freeing way of life. One day, damn it!
    I've never been to the UK, or anywhere in Europe. I've only been to South America outside of the states. I have been pretty deep in the rainforest, that kind of thing, on a few occasions.

    One thing we have in the western US in particular is a lot of room. Phoenix is a city of 6 million people, but an hour or two outside of Phoenix there are hundreds of square miles of desert and mountains, where there are few people or no people at all. I didn't seek out that kind of an experience in particular, it just happened. There are towns in these western states which, while they aren't ghost towns, may have properties that are semi-abandoned, or pretty far off the grid, etc., so if you were the kind of person who might, say, squat an apartment in the UK, or rent a dilapidated property to renovate, you could end up in a pretty isolated property here. You don't have to necessarily be an environmentalist to do it.

    About an hour and a half north of Phoenix there is a creek that we swim along, and while it is well known, and draws maybe 50 cars on a good weekend, is miles and miles long, and it is quite easy to find a large pool and have it to yourself, not even hear anybody else, and have large extensions of rock to lay in the sun, or have a picnic, etc. It is one of three similar creeks in the same valley. The water is cold and clear. There are shade trees everywhere. It really is astonishing when you think about it. If they transplanted some of the stuff that we have here in Arizona even to the eastern U.S., say, New York, it would immediately be declared a national park and treasure, overrun with thousands of people, and ruined. But here, we just have it. So, people live here for that reason.

    Google "wet beaver creek" to see pictures.
    Last edited by walker; July 3rd, 2015 at 08:03 PM. Reason: quoted wrong thing
    ...taking a trip, not taking a trip...

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Boofy View Post
    I always used to squash my pennies in those machines you could find at museums as a kid. Come to think of it, I haven't seen any of them around for a while... is that why?
    The state park Sudan Mine, in Minnesota has one, so I don't think it is a problem.

  5. #25
    I would love to live semi-off-grid (I'm a sewer and running water kind of gal). I also want to build my own house. I want an attached greenhouse where I can grow food most of the year.

    I also make jewelry and I'm more interested in learning how to use metal clay. 3D printing is undeniably cool but there's something about metal that attracts me.

  6. #26
    Member walker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amsawtell View Post
    I would love to live semi-off-grid (I'm a sewer and running water kind of gal). I also want to build my own house. I want an attached greenhouse where I can grow food most of the year.

    I also make jewelry and I'm more interested in learning how to use metal clay. 3D printing is undeniably cool but there's something about metal that attracts me.
    You can have running water and a septic system off the grid. In the house I lived in, which I rented, the only reason there was no water was the supply needed to come from a neighbor's well, and she had some sort of issue with the guy that i was renting from. In fact, the only reason the owner moved out of his house was that he had teenage daughters, who didn't mind roughing it when they were little girls, but wanted running water as adolescents. That house did have a spring about a quarter mile away, with excellent water which people drove miles to fill up jugs with. So, we had a large collection of 5 gallon jugs, filled them up every couple of days, and did have water, even though it didn't come out of the tap.

    I wouldn't live without running water now, probably. If there were a creek and spring nearby, then maybe. But 99%, probably not. But a lot of inconveniences like that are not inconveniences, if you're used to them, and depending on where you live, and what the expectations are of people around you. I lived in another place without electricity, and we used coleman lanterns for light, battery powered radios, etc. This was before PCs. Anyway, I realized that there is absolutely no difference at all between throwing a light switch and lighting a coleman lantern. None. It is such a trivial change in lifestyle, that it's not even worth mentioning. You don't spend any time worrying about it, or feeling inconvenienced, nothing. You just light the coleman lantern instead of throwing the light switch, and then read, or play monopoly, or whatever. Beforehand, it may look like a huge deal.
    ...taking a trip, not taking a trip...

  7. #27
    Semi off grid sounds like a good balance. All the comforts of home, without the bustle and stress of every day life ^^

    I resent that you know how to sew! Hehe, I would love to learn, though I imagine the process would be painstaking and I wouldn't know the first thing about picking it up. Clay is just so easy to mould and play around with! I like self adhesive fabrics... I sometimes use those for fabric notebooks and little jewellery projects. I really would like to make purses and things though.

    You like the shiny things then? I am somewhat of a magpie myself :3 Metal clay is also something I'm looking at using in the future! Being able to 3D print sounds too good right now, I mean... you can 3D print PORCELAIN of all things ^^;
    Remember kids: Drink vodka, play Dotka!


  8. #28
    I'm only at a very basic level for sewing but have excellent resources for learning more.

    As for not having running water--I was more or less homeless as a teenager and my parents and I lived in a very dilapidated house that had no running water. Washing consisted of a rag and water being dumped on your head. Brushing your teeth included a cup. I hated every moment of it and I will not live without running water. I'll go without electricity if I have a way to heat the house in the winter but I will not live without running water.

  9. #29
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    I'm making lacelets now! ^^

    Also Amsawtell, I'm really sorry to hear that. I can't begin to imagine what that must have been like. I spend a lot of time gloomily reflecting on my life at home but reading that made me appreciate just how good I had it, at least so far as necessities go anyway. I do hope you're doing well now ^^
    Remember kids: Drink vodka, play Dotka!


  10. #30
    I cannot find those end clamps anywhere.

    My situation has much improved. As an adult I have been fairly careful with my money and I'm lucky enough to own my house debt free.

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