Category: Home & Garden

My Next Home…

I am currently living in a trailer by the beach in Southern California to get in some ocean time before ski season starts.

But I’m saving up for my dream home…a shipping container.

I saw a picture of these dwellings made out of shipping containers while I was visiting Patagonia’s offices in Ventura this week.



I’ve certainly lived in smaller spaces before—

like this closet I slept in for a month in Japan while filming with Sweetgrass Productions for their new movie, Signatures, available now on their website at:


and this Thule box.



I’ve been feeling more creative than usual lately.  It all started with a walk into the backyard as the leaves started to fall off the trees and I decided to pick some to dry and frame.  I went inside, pressed all the leaves between pieces of newspaper, then put those inside of big books and let them dry.

Next, I was going for a hike one night and saw a really cool looking stick.  And I got the idea to make necklace and other accessory holding trees out of these sticks.  And here is what they look like now:





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My brother said he can’t wait until skiing starts to I have another hobby that isn’t as messy.  But until skiing starts, it looks like painting trees will be my meditation.

Let me know what you think of my trees, and if you would like one.  I can custom make them to whatever size and color you like, so feel free to contact me if you have any interest or questions.

Thanks…and I’ll be posting some of the dried-leaf projects soon too so check back.

The Clean-Up Generation

A few weeks ago I posted a blog entry offering an alternative perspective on the economic.  Since the “rescue package” or bailout bill has passed, my generation is going to have a lot of debt to pay off.  As my brilliant political science teacher, Tim Chambless, put it (and he says this repeatedly), “Your generation will be the first generation in American history that will have to learn to live with less.”  Not only do we have to deal with the economic nightmare, but we have a major environmental crisis heading our way.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about how we can learn to live with less.  It is hard to think about that in a life of advertising that tells us we want more more more, teaching us lessons like, he who dies with the most toys wins.  But I decided it doesn’t have to be all bad (learning to live with less that is).  Here are some little, creative things we can do:

*Get crafty – instead of buying new clothes, jewelry, home accessories, shoes, etc., shop at a thrift store or cut up old clothes that you don’t like and sew them into something new.  This decreases our carbon footprint by buying local and also is one small thing we can do to protest some of the negative aspects that come with globalization (like working conditions in other countries, outsourced factories, etc.)

*Learn to crochet, start painting, or pick up another creative, new hobby.  Instead of going to the Poster shop to buy a new poster for your house, pick up a paintbrush or marker or crayons and draw something to hang on your wall and then frame it in a cheap thrift store frame.

*Borrow and trade with friends.  This summer, my friend Sue lent me her old bike, which was brand new to me.  Especially in the outdoor industry, trading different types of equipment (like climbing or surfing equipment) for a few weeks can be a great way to try something new without spending a lot of money.

*Donate, sell and lend stuff you aren’t using.  Whenever you go to the thrift store, bring some old stuff with you.  Also, if you have an old pair of skis sitting around, lend them out or give them away.  Someone will be stoked on them.

*Carpool more.  We hear this one all the time.  But it’s way more fun to go up the canyon with someone else in the car.

*Cook and drink at home.  Cooking is fun and easy and if you ever want advice about something to make for dinner that is quick and easy, call me.  Also, cocktails made from home taste great, are fun to make, and cost a fraction of what you’d pay at a lame bar.

*Go to the farmer’s market and buy local whenever possible.  Honestly, how much better does an heirloom tomato from the farmer’s market taste than one that has been genetically modified to include to fish gene to increase its shelf life on the produce shelf of the grocery store?  Also, do we really need to eat blueberries from Central American in the middle of winter?  Freeze some from the summer, and have a tasty smoothie whenever you feel the urge for blueberries.  In many countries, they are growing food for us while they are going hungry.

*Free market capitalism works in part on the simple concept of supply and demand.  If we make conscientious choices as consumers, we can change the system that perpetuates such vast inequalities.

So, after a weekend of seriously contemplating our messed up world, I decided to get out for a hike in lower Little Cottonwood Canyon with photographer Matthew Turley.  Here are some of the images:

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Haha, I love how calm I look, because standing on one foot on top of a big cliff with my eyes closed was actually really scary!  I should put up some of the shots of me almost falling.


Sunday was such a nice day- it was so hot and I had so much fun playing around on the sparkly granite of Little Cottonwood Canyon.  And Matthew is an amazing photographer!  You can check out more of his work at:

A Photo Gallery of Spring Flowers

I’ve been playing around with my camera lately and here are some of my recent pictures: