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Side Projects

While I’m doing administrative stuff (poorly) for the build, I am also working on a side project or two in the meantime to begin my hands on time with some tools and learn a whole bunch of stuff.  I say poorly because my mental state has been a bit scattered after our loss in December, and I’ve just been doing a shit job of pulling myself back together enough to really focus on the crap that I NEED to do and just do it. Instead, anxiety and sadness are whittling away at the fucks I had to give. So, perhaps a little TMI for this audience, but I’m feeling guilty that we’re kind of stalled out at the moment, and this process has been emotional in its own right without the added heaviness that comes with dealing with the losses that we have over the past few years, and I’m in this place where I am just sharing my feelings in an effort to just move past them and keep moving in a forward direction. So anyhoo, that’s not why I was here to post. I was here to post about the teepee side project and the upcoming compost bin side project.  In my previous post, I had linked to a video from a day that I had been working on skinning logs. I’m still doing this.

Actually, over the weekend it turned into assessing the entire project again.  Basically, this has just been my project. I got a wild hair and decided that I need outdoor sleeping accommodations, and instead of being normal and just putting up a tent, I’ve gone mental and decided I need to build a larger structure. Why? Glamping? I joke and say glamping, but the reality is that I’m a very large woman with some annoying health stuff that makes regular old camping just not possible. If I get down on the ground there’s always a chance that I’m not getting back up off of the ground without assistance. So I wanted something that I could put what initially was planned as a cot into and maybe a little side table and a little camp chair to sit in… I really could just make a large medieval style pavilion such as a friend of mine had discussed with me during this process, but I really do want to just DO something. So it became a tipi and a rope bed and maybe some camp furniture. I’m going to go back and forth between teepee and tipi until I figure out which one is actually appropriate to what the hell I’m doing, because I don’t actually know yet.

So, I started out here. Mother Earth News Plains Tipi plans, and also WikiHow for plans. My initial research was ridiculously light before I went full tilt. A novice mistake, for I am eager. After a couple days of wrecking myself a bit, and a week and a half of migraine as a result, I have made the wise decision to take a breath, and dig into this a little more.  Also in my initial search, I found this company, who had a fantastic video to get me all fired up for this, and also made me wonder whether I should save up the money and purchase the tipi cover, or if I want to learn to sew and do the entire thing myself. I don’t know how to sew, so I think that just about everything that I’m doing on this project is brand new to me.

So that’s where I was. Now let’s go to where I’m at in the process now. Over the weekend, I went to do some work on the poles, and to pick the brain of my dear partner, whom I lovingly call “MikeGyver”, about my setup. The jaw horse that I’m using is too heavy and I get a headache when I have to unload/load into the vehicle. So we’re discussing a few options including just dragging it to a location where we can just leave it set up so I don’t have to worry about loading and unloading it, using saw horses, and creating some other sort of semi-permanent setup for me to process stuff. I am also clumsy, so the kinds of things that we have to think about when setting up something is how to make it “Ali-resistant” and also “Ali-Safe”.

This means basically that I am a human wrecking ball, and I also fall down a lot. So we consider those things along with whether or not it can be set up in a way that I am able to do it, or if we have to consider this a task that is simply not sensible for me to wreck myself doing. I’m all about self empowerment and setting out to prove to yourself that you CAN accomplish this monumental task, but I’m at a point in my life where just because I can push myself well past my comfort zone doesn’t really mean I should. I have to be smart. I don’t want to seriously injure myself because I was too stubborn to just ask for help, and also it’s OKAY to ask for help. Just because I want to do this entire thing all by myself doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen that way, and why should it?

Yet none of that is really any of your concern, but I figure since this is a new blog perhaps a little background info so you can get to know us a bit and kind of see why we may do some of the things that we do. In the process of helping me, he lopped off the really rough ends of logs and some were a bit too soft for what we needed so we cut some down a bit, and somewhere in this process I realized that I’m not sure how long or how thick any of this is supposed to be, so I ran back to the house and internet to look at the various plans and look at the tipi website that I was pondering ordering from and I realized that first and foremost I needed to settle on a size because all of these things were different sizes. The mother earth plans are for an 18 1/2 foot tipi, and the ones we were looking at to purchase were 14 feet. We settled on 14 feet. I looked up the size of the poles from the website where you can purchase the tipi because you do have the option of doing your own poles, and then I went back to measure my poles and a couple are short by a foot or just dead on so there’s no room to do any shaving and stuff. I’m also realizing I’ll need to mark the poles and some will need to be trimmed down a bit, plus I need to get more. I’m worried about using standing dead and fallen because it looks like green wood may be better in this application. So I’m back online and researching now. I started out by being a complete moron and googling tipi plans for 14 foot tipis, and realized that the plan is basically the same freaking plan, it’s just doing some math to change the dimensions. At this point, I’m on this website doing some research and a little more careful planning. I found yet another tool I’m going to be purchasing soon for my personal tool box. This will be a nice, long tape measure. My current one is 16 feet. My poles are supposed to be about 20 feet. I’m not saving tons of time by having a longer tape measure, but it’s going to keep me more sane. I’m still debating whether or not to learn to sew and sew my own or purchase one of those ridiculously gorgeous tipis that they have for sale and just doing the poles. I haven’t had a single person who thinks I should sew it myself, which in a way makes me want to do it myself even more, but I also want to sleep in it this year.

So that’s where I’m at. Doing some more research, gathering more logs, skinning the ones that will definitely work, and going over my options for the tipi project. I think we’re just going to stick with the tipi spelling, it feels right.

As far as camp furniture goes, I’ve been looking at some rope bed stuff here, and some general information on furnishing a period encampment. Obviously it’s not the same period and I’m doing a bit of a mash up, but I am not going full SCA on anything. I want a functional space, an opportunity to try a handful of new things, and an end result that is going to work for what we need.

Thanks for reading!

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