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When I find a blog that I like, sometimes I want to just eat its contents, understand the nuts and bolts of it. But with years worth of entries it can be utterly overwhelming and hard to know where to start. So I've put together this page to help you find your way around and dig up things that might be of interest.
First, a bit about me. You can read my profile here. I live in a tiny handbuilt house in the inner-city suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. I built my house when I was 22, and now squeeze in my partner Paula and son Jesse too. Our block is 450 square metres, a pretty standard size for the suburbs, but I've got a fairly big garden since the house is so small. You can read this story in Grass Roots magazine, which gives a nice run-down of how we live. You can see a tour of my garden here. And here's our kitchen, bedroom, outdoor bathroom, solar heater, water tank, composting toilet and campervan. Also you might be interested to read this newspaper article, which sums up what we are about at the moment.
I was a circus performer for many years, but discovered marionettes in Guatemala. Since then I've created The Grimstones, a gothic puppet show. I've been commissioned to write a series of books about the show. The first two books, The Grimstones: Hatched and The Grimstones: Mortimer Revealed are coming out this year. My book The Grimstones: An Artist's Journal, goes into detail about the making of The Grimstones. All the books are available from my shop, and the first two will hit bookstores in February and April 2012 respectively. To read about my journey in discovering marionettes, making my first puppet show The Paint Factory and making The Grimstones, click on the Marionettes category in my sidebar.
When I'm not writing or performing, I am passionate about living sustainably and self-sufficiently on my suburban block in inner city Melbourne. I was not always a die-hard environmentalist. The seriousness of the environmental issues we face have gradually dawned on me, and I've blogged about them here and here.
In working out how to respond to these environmental disasters, I read Sharon Astyk's Depletion and Abundance, and decided to join her project, the Riot for Austerity, where participants aim to reduce their use of resources to 10% of the average. The idea is that if everyone in the developed world uses 10% of what we currently use, then we would leave the world in a better place for our children, avert the worst of climate change, and adapt more easily to peak oil. I started by making a plan for suburban self-sufficiency, and then started tracking my usage. In the process of trying to learn to reduce my footprint, I've ended up doing a lot of making, and embarking on many surprising journeys. You can click on the Riot For Austerity category in my sidebar, to see everything that's happened as a result of joining the riot. Every now and then you'll find an update for how I'm going with my resource footprint in terms of petrol, gas, rubbish, water, food, consumer goods etc.
I now produce 80% of our family's fruit and vegies, mostly by growing from our backyard, but also by scavenging locally. If you'd like to know how to really produce a serious amount of food from your backyard, read my tips on my sidebar. You can also click the garden category in my side bar to find other garden-related posts.
I have a pet angora rabbit, whose fur I spin and knit into garments. You can read about my rabbit journey and see what I've made by clicking on the Angora Rabbit category in my sidebar.
Another recent project has been raising my own batch of broiler chickens for meat. Click on chickens for meat in my side bar to follow my journey.
We also have a top bar hive of bees for honey.
I homeschool my son, Jesse, and every now and then I blog about where we are up to on our journey. You can click the Homeschool category in my sidebar to find out more.
I am very interested in food and nutrition. I researched raw food diets and decided they were not for me. Then I read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and decided to try out traditional foods. I have been blown away by the vast improvements to my health, and how hearty and satisfying my diet is now. You can read about Traditional Foods here. I also made a poster to help summarise how to choose traditional foods, which you can look at and download to print. My partner Paula and I bake almost everything we eat from scratch. This includes making sourdough bread and lots of fermented foods. I also swear by raw garlic as a cure for colds and flu. Read everything food-related by clicking on the Recipes and Food category in my sidebar.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than making things, and whenever I get the chance, I sew, knit, build, craft and upcycle stuff into new stuff. Check out Things I've Made to see what I've been up to. I also like making Art Installations from repurposed materials, and I regularly post pages from my Art Journal.
You can access my blog archives here.