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Taka's Treehouse By Surfer Rob Machado

"Iconic surfer, Rob Machado, has travelled the world for more than half his life. During that time, he’s crossed paths with countless individuals who share a love for surfing and a passion for the arts. In his new series called Through The Lens, we meet these individuals and follow Rob as he re-connects with the people who've inspired him along the way.\

In this episode, Rob has the unique opportunity to spend a week working along side legendary tree house builder, Takashi Kobayashi, during the final stages of what Takashi describes as “his most important tree house” to date. By working along side Takashi, Rob begins to understand the power this beautiful, symbolic tree house can bring to the Tsunami stricken Sendai region of Japan. This great gift Takashi is offering to the surviving children of this region is one small step in bringing some joy, happiness, and light to a part of Japan heavily impacted by the Tsunami disaster."



Sent us by Ojocion Ingram

Bobby’s Mobile Art Cart

"Bobby Heffelfinger created this rolling art studio in West Marin county, California, on a 2013 Ford F-350 truck with mostly recycled materials (left over from various building projects). He started with the truck chassis and built a flatbed with 2 × 2 steel square stock.…"
http://www.theshelterblog.com/bobbys-mobile-art-cart/

A Bit of What's Going on Here in the 1st Week of 2015

Blogs I'm putting most of my posts on building on TheShelterBlog now. I'm starting to link to those from this blog. TheShelterBlog focusses on building, homesteading, gardening, and the home arts, whereas this blog tracks my eclectic path through life. Note: if you go to the "Categories" button on the right and select a subject, like, say, "Natural Materials," you'll get all the posts on that subject. The info available this way is growing each day. This is getting to be a body of work.

Dwell Magazine I can't help myself from continuing to knock this soulless, sterile publication. Who are the people that live this way? Certainly different from our tribe.

Stretching—The Pocketbook Edition Rick Gordon is about halfway through building a 5" x 8" pocketbook edition of our best-selling book (3-1/2 million copies, 23 languages). Pocketbook editions of Stretching have been very popular in Spain and Germany and we feel it's time to introduce it in English. Out in 2015.

Small Homes Our next building book is under way. Contributors are beginning to send us photos, descriptions. Note: Contact us if you know of (or have built) an imaginative, artistic, practical, and/or economical home in the 400-1200 sq. ft. range: lew@shelterpub.com

Mini-Skeleton I was looking through Cool Tools for Christmas present ideas and one of the items led me to this unique little (9" high) skeleton, available from Amazon. One of the comments from a nursing student said that both the leg bones (tibia and fibula) were switched; same with the arm bones (radius and ulna) This is true, but I was able to switch all 4 of them into the right positions. This is a fine little skeleton, ingeniously produced, for a very low price. BTW, there is a great children's book on anatomy that's selling on Amazon or $.01 these days: The Human Body by Ruth Dowling Brunn and Bertel Braun.


My Life Since I quit competitive running, I've been taking long walks in the woods, looking for mushrooms, wild foods such such as yerba buena tea, cattail pollen, watercress, miners lettuce, etc. Been getting clams, fishing for eels. Picking up oak trees knocked down by storms on the roads for firewood. Skateboarding when I can.
-Yoga started again after a year's absence, it's so good for stiff, banged-up bodies like mine.
-Kauai Going there the last 2 weeks of January, to get in the warm water, do some hiking, shoot photos of small homes.

Comedian David Dean on the radio last week:
“Honk if you love Jesus.
Text and drive if you want to meet him."

My First Building Project

In 1961, a surfing friend, John Stonum, was studying to be an architect at UC Berkeley, and designed this small building for me to build in Mill Valley, California. I wanted to build a sod roof (now called “living roof”), and we had journeyed up to the Heritage House on the Mendocino Coast to see their two sod-roofed cabins.

This was a post-and-beam structure, with posts 6 feet on centers, and oversized precast concrete piers for the foundation. A lumberyard in nearby Olema, California was going out of business and I bought a truckload of “merch” grade rough redwood two-by-fours for $35 a 1000. Not $350, but $35.

As you can see, there were two 2 × 10 Douglas fir rafters bolted to each post (which had notches). The roof decking consisted of the two by fours on edge, nailed together. I knew very little about building, but with this building started out a process that I follow to this day: when you don’t know how to start, simply begin. As you go along, you’ll figure things out.…
Continued at http://www.theshelterblog.com/first-building-project/