Windsor Chair Class with Peter Galbert

This gallery contains 27 photos.

Originally posted on She Works Wood:
I had a feeling I was going to have difficulty blogging during class.  Here are a few of the high points from my Windsor Chair Class at Port Townsend School of Woodworking.

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On the Long Road

George Crawford:

One of my favorite old photos. Makes me want to hitch up the vardo and go west.

Originally posted on Paleotool's Weblog:

A great historic image of the long road ahead to start your weekend off right.

RichardsIt’s always a good time to hit the road.

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Mongolian bamboo arows

George Crawford:

More bamboo arrows from the leatherworking reverend.

Originally posted on The Reverend's Musings:

Reproduction 14th C Mongolian Arrows

I’ve been doing a little consulting to my nephew*, who has been making a Mongolian bow for a school history assignment. His theory is that the Mongolian bow gave the advantage to the Mongols during their invasion of China in the 14th century, so he’s making one and testing it out. I disagree in a greater part, but it’s more important that he can research, develop and coherently defend a theory. I offered to make him some contemporary bamboo arrows to go with the bow, partially because I knew he wouldn’t have time, and partially because it was an opportunity for me to learn some new skills working with bamboo. He’s also going to be a little more forgiving than a paying client if I make a couple of mistakes while I’m learning, or take some shortcuts.

Paleotool has an excellent two parter on making bamboo arrows, I…

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In the Spirit of Nomadic Housing

The Gher or Yurt has to be one of the best, nearly timeless designs on earth.  I have been fascinated by them for many years and prior to building my vardo as my traveling home, it was the preferred dwelling dear to my heart.  I still hope to have one someday but it may have to wait until I find a place to put down my roots for the third half of my life.


Kazakhstan gher. Image from “Everything central asia.” Click the image for more great photos.

If you are not familiar with the yurt or gher, below is the basic anatomy of one.  Essentially it is a skeleton of wood, overlain with wool and often covered in canvas or similar material.

Anatomy of a yurt from Shelter Publications.

Anatomy of a yurt from Shelter Publications.

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The Tiny House Movement

George Crawford:

Here’s a redux from a conversation held last year.

Originally posted on Paleotool's Weblog:

Here’s a recent conversation I had, as best I can recall, of creating disappointment and maybe using the wrong words when describing the Vardo.

A woman in a grocery store parking lot jogs up to the vardo while I’m making a sandwich shouting, “Oh my gosh!  That is so cool!  Wow! Is that a Tiny House like on TV? Can I have a look inside?”

“Yes, of course.  You can look inside.”  So far, it’s progressing just like a hundred other conversations I’ve had over the years.

“Is it like the little TV houses? You know, like on that show?”

“I don’t know the show but it’s actually a little camping caravan.”

“It’s not a Tiny House?  Oh, never mind then,” turning on her heel she walked away without a backward glance.  Then to another gentleman walking towards us she shouts, “It’s nothing.  It’s not like the Tiny House Show”…

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English Caravans for Rent


A familiar classic vardo layout.

I’m not sure when the word “glamping” entered out lexicon but it is a craze that enterprising hostlers are hoping on world-wide it seems.  This luxurious little wagon is for rent in Pembrokeshire near Norwich in England.

View from the master bed.

View from the master bed.

I don’t know anything about these other than they look classy and would be a nice place to spend a few days out of the ordinary.  The setup appears to cater to somebody wanting to “rough it” a tiny bit but still have the creature comforts.

An inviting little home to give a first taste of vardo life.

An inviting little home to give a first taste of vardo life.

Have a look at their other “Glamperous” opportunities if you have a pocket full of pound and are looking for an interesting accommodation in England sometime. Of course, I’m mostly into these to explore design options and to seek innovations for my own work and I won’t attempt to replicate their website but here is another option available in the Dorset countryside.

A Beautiful bowtop intereor for rent.

A Beautiful bowtop interior for rent in Dorset.

There is obviously a demand for this sort of thing and I’m happy that there are reasonable alternatives to chain motels for a getaway.

Recycling an old vardo is great idea.

Recycling an old vardo is great idea.


I can’t imaging the furniture stays outside year-round as it is England but it does add something nice to the outfit.


For the pragmatic reader, here’s a quick shot of the facilities nearby; a composting toilet.

I’m not advertising for them but you can see more interesting opportunities on their website by clicking the logo. unearthed-white-coloured

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living for today — and tomorrow

George Crawford:

“Life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans.”

Originally posted on our next life:

early retirement is, by definition, a very future-focused pursuit. most people saving for retirement aren’t saving enough to feel the pain of what they’re not able to spend, and retirement must feel like some far-off, abstract thing. but when you’re on the early retirement path, that means saving an amount that you feel subtracted from your cash flow. it requires a lot of planning, and thinking, and adjusting, and more planning and thinking, more readjusting, and on and on.

it’s natural to be future-focused, when you’re spending a lot of your mental energy planning for something in the future. and we think it’s okay to think a lot about the future.

the only problem: the future is never guaranteed.

we already know that we may not have a whole lot of good years left, at least for one of us, but we hope we still have more than a…

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