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master steward
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wheaton labs is a bustling community - especially during the building/growing season time of year.

Here at base camp, the lower five acres of the property contains the Fisher Price House, the library/garage, the shop/auditorium/classroom, the red cabin and our parking lots (see a crappy map here). This lower area was largely cleared of trees and brush (though not completely) before Paul purchased it. While we have added in the hugelkultur berms, and are planting as much as we can, we are still building soil, building other structures, and, in the mean time, facilitating a LOT of learning and visitors in addition to residents or community members.

Which is to say that we know base camp is lacking some lovely spaces for people to be, and it's on our list to remedy this as resources allow.

We have a phrase "we want LESS and MORE."

With community, or at a workshop, some times folks wants MORE places to sit, MORE places to gather as a group, MORE housing and bunks. MORE shade, MORE food. MORE MORE MORE.

And with community, or at a workshop, some times folks want LESS people around for a bit, LESS visibility when peeing outdoors, LESS exposure for a private conversation, LESS exposure to the elements. LESS LESS LESS.

How do we get these kinds of spaces with few resources?

Here's one super simple idea, and I'd love this thread filled up with loads more on how to have LESS and MORE.



So sweet! If we could do this somewhere near the auditorium or such, we could use a bunch of the pillows that were donated. Plus a dry box of some kind to store them right there at this space, would be cool, too. I can dream (and plan and scheme!) can't I?

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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To highlight a few more things that we DO have, (in addition to all the links in the OP), we have some sweet little spots

at the caldera of the hollowed out volcano with good submarine access


(Though this swing took a beating in storms last fall and is now in need of some repairs.)

and our tent pads are fairly nice



What are some more ideas for "LESS and MORE?"
 
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That tree tepee is cute!

Here are some ideas:


Something like this draped with sheets could be set up during events to add a privacy peeing space or even as shown a shower:







Something like these might work to create more sleeping space during events:








Or more sleeping ideas:







 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Anne, what a treasure trove ideas!! Apples for you!

This one:

Anne Miller wrote:That tree tepee is cute!

Or more sleeping ideas:





reminds me of something a visitor from Denmark showed me. Though the one he built was not peaked like this, just had a flat roof, sloped down toward the back of the structure, if I recall correctly. He was very fond of camping out, and having a shelter like this for his sleeping bag (he didn't use a tent) was his favorite.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Anne Miller wrote:





IMHO, a big part of why this one looks more like glamping is because of the rugs, which *are* lovely! Gorgeous textiles are some of the MORE that we'd love to have. I've been trying to find more rugs for the Fisher Price House, our cabins, the tipi - even the library and auditorium could use rugs at times.

And what I've found is that the inexpensive rugs are made out of polyester or plastic or whatever toxic stuff. Some of the newer affordable rugs are made out of recycled plastic, which is cool in a way, though I worry about the micro-plastics that are now SO prevalent in our ecosystems. Would they shed micro-plastics? I kind of think they would, like so much of our (fake) fleece clothing does. Which makes me *not* want to purchase a recycled plastics rug. Unless I hear differently somehow.

So that means looking at natural fiber rugs. The lovely wool ones (similar to ones in this picture) often start at $200 for one very small one. The more affordable natural fiber rugs are made out of coir or grass and are not quite as comfortable or cozy and might not last as long...I'm not sure. I haven't seen natural fiber rugs at thrift stores though I do look occasionally.


 
Anne Miller
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Fifteen years ago I bought some cheap rugs at the dollar store, they have held up well.  These are small and used as door mats or by the kitchen sink, they look like persian rugs.  The dollar store doesn't have them any more.

These I have had on my wish list for a while since we have concere floors:



Achim Capri 3 Piece Rug Set - Rose Garden XX40/372-G Rug NEW  $52.82

100-percent polyolefin yarn
rug: 5' x 7', runner: 22" x 59", mat: 22" x 31".

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Achim-Capri-3-Piece-Rug-Set-Rose-Garden-XX40-372-G-Rug-NEW/381407462520?
 
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Plastic fiber rugs/mats do break down with use and the weather and shed tiny bits.  When worn out become trash that can't be composted.

Coir rugs with a top surface added of thrifted wool sweaters might serve as a sitting rug.  I will put this on my list of craft projects to try and if I make one, send it to you.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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While that is an amazingly affordable price for a set of rugs, Anne; I think I'd still like to avoid the polyolefin. A quick Google search (including this and this) makes me think that while some polyolefins might be more stable than other plastics, it's still plastic, and could still shed, and as Tyler astutely pointed out, would not be compostable at the end of its usable life.

Tyler, the thrift store wool sweaters on top of coir rugs is a very creative idea!! I think there must be others like myself looking for affordable, natural fiber solutions like this, so I imagine there would be a market for it. I would love to see what it might look like.


 
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You can use really low quality fleece to felt into big sheets for floor coverings that are fully compostable.
You can even use them as sheet mulch if they get too quorn out as floor covers
 
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What about  a rag rug from old cotton shirts/pants? Judith made an awesom tutorial here https://permies.com/t/40025/ungarbage/twined-rag-rug

What if you set up a loom and sliced up the fabric and people could work on it when ever they want? It would double as an activity (a feature/ "more") plus a way to get more rugs....



 
Jocelyn Campbell
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natasha todd wrote:You can use really low quality fleece to felt into big sheets for floor coverings that are fully compostable.
You can even use them as sheet mulch if they get too quorn out as floor covers



Oh, that's a cool idea, too! The natural sheep colors could be lovely, too.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Nicole Alderman wrote:What about  a rag rug from old cotton shirts/pants? Judith made an awesom tutorial here https://permies.com/t/40025/ungarbage/twined-rag-rug

What if you set up a loom and sliced up the fabric and people could work on it when ever they want? It would double as an activity (a feature/ "more") plus a way to get more rugs....





Oh, RIGHT! This could be very cool! Unfortunately, I don't see myself carving out the time to set this up right now...but maybe the right person here might like to...or maybe some day I would make the time to start it. We do have a box full of denim from Paul's old overalls and other fabrics.


 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Here's a cool thing! Besides being short on bunks, and private spaces, we are short on tables and desks, too! If a table could be multi-functional like this one, that would go a long ways toward folks being able to have another activity available to them!



(Puzzle table source and plans here.)
 
natasha todd
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we had  table that has a fire pit built in the middle for cooking on....a great multi functional item.
if you are into multi purpose stuff you may want to look at my micro living pintrest, I have a little caravan and have been living in a horse box so I am always collecting multi use ideas...
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/tashamidgley/micro-living/

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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natasha todd wrote:we had  table that has a fire pit built in the middle for cooking on....a great multi functional item.
if you are into multi purpose stuff you may want to look at my micro living pintrest, I have a little caravan and have been living in a horse box so I am always collecting multi use ideas...
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/tashamidgley/micro-living/


Oh, of course - a fire pit table! Thanks for that. I remember this one fondly (at an Airbnb cabin we stayed at in Monroe, WA):



And you do have an amazing collection of ideas at your Pinterest board. Somehow, I never caught on to Pinterest, so haven't used it much.

Since a couple of our cabins, and the tipi, (and the FPH bunk bedroom, I suppose) could be considered micro living; and our community spaces like the FPH living room or the library are not exactly expansive, I suppose we are looking for cleverness and multi-function as much as we can. So things that take *less* space but serve *more* functions is truly a fit for this thread and our brain storming.

 
Anne Miller
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Nicole Alderman wrote:What about  a rag rug from old cotton shirts/pants?  ...
What if you set up a loom and sliced up the fabric and people could work on it when ever they want? It would double as an activity (a feature/ "more") plus a way to get more rugs....



We do have a box full of denim from Paul's old overalls and other fabrics.




I really like the idea of using old jeans.   The rugs could be quilts, woven, braided or even crocheted.

Maybe this could even be an idea for a class.








These stacked tables and chairs might be something useful:







 
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At the end of a lot of events, I ask the students to name one thing they liked and one thing that could use improvement.   A couple of years ago a PDC student said he was exhausted, there was just too much stuff and the schedule was packed all day, every day.  At the same time, he wanted more. 

I then provided this idea:   what if we created more places where people could relax.   Some place dry where people could gather to either have a bit of quiet time or to visit with a few other people.  Maybe there could be 8 to 12 places like this.  Dry and comfortable chairs.  He said that this might work.

At each event since, we have tried to add more and more spaces like this.   We got a few canopies with lawn chairs and set those up in a few places.  One cell in the berm shed now has "the bun warmer" where people can sit in a circle.   There is now the couch balcony.  

People were naturally gathering in front of the red cabin - we added the season extender with a seat facing the steps where people would sit. 

I hope that each year we can add one more thing. 

I think the next thing to add is "the hammock hut".   A skiddable structure with "floaty chairs" and hammocks.



 
natasha todd
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Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes to natural gathering point  places for dry rest out of the wind!!!
 
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Have you seen the T structures at city repair in PDX? They are portable, sometimes small, sometimes big. http://www.cityrepair.org/thorse-mobile/


Unfortunately lots of (mostly synthetic) carpet is tossed. You could find some in Missoula.

The Perfect Rug has some reasonable prices on wool rugs and they make them any size you want. We had some made for our tiny liveaboard boat.
 
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Here's a cheap and easy one: a big sign that says "introvert room".  Put it somewhere.  Wherever that is is the introverts' room.  It doesn't even have to have walls, but ideally it would.

Extroverts are allowed in, but must respect the quiet there.

We've had them for parties, and some introverts have used them (myself included) when peopled-out.

This way you don't have to build multiple tree tipis, but just having one that's clearly intended to be for quiet recharging makes a big difference.  (Of course, having a few tipis would still be great, but if it's not easy to then the introvert recharge station is a good temporary measure.)

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Jerry McIntire wrote:Have you seen the T structures at City Repair in PDX? They are portable, sometimes small, sometimes big. http://www.cityrepair.org/thorse-mobile/


Unfortunately lots of (mostly synthetic) carpet is tossed. You could find some in Missoula.

The Perfect Rug has some reasonable prices on wool rugs and they make them any size you want. We had some made for our tiny liveaboard boat.


Ohhh, shiny ideas!! I had not seen these before. They remind me a bit of the Sky Lodge at the Bulloch's that Paul has wanted to emulate here. What fun designs, thank you!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Here's a cheap and easy one: a big sign that says "introvert room".  Put it somewhere.  Wherever that is is the introverts' room.  It doesn't even have to have walls, but ideally it would.

Extroverts are allowed in, but must respect the quiet there.

We've had them for parties, and some introverts have used them (myself included) when peopled-out.

This way you don't have to build multiple tree tipis, but just having one that's clearly intended to be for quiet recharging makes a big difference.  (Of course, having a few tipis would still be great, but if it's not easy to then the introvert recharge station is a good temporary measure.)


Nice idea! We've envisioned creating bamboo screens or the like to create more private spaces for peeing outdoors (where we don't have shrubs, trees or hugels as a natural screen), and it would be lovely to have some kind of screened or otherwise defined outdoor "rooms" for introverts, too.

Do most folks know an "introvert room" means a quiet space? Am I horribly cynical to think that some might not get that's what it means?
 
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What if the sign said INTROVERT ROOM, and then right under it "a place for NOT talking"

That might get the point across?
 
Nicole Alderman
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I like Julia's idea for a subtitle for the Introvert room. I think it might also be nice to have the introvert room have some curtained off "cubicals." When I was in college, as well as when I was a teacher, I always sought out places where I could be ALONE and not be seen. I'd find the random abandoned room, or the area on the third floor of the library that few people went, and hide out there. Just being seen, sometimes, was a big stain on my mind. If people could see me, then I was always thinking about what other people might be thinking of me, and that was really socially tiring, especially when I'm retreating away so I don't have to socialize. Just having a few curtained off areas might be nice. They wouldn't probably have to be big, just big enough for a chair or something comfortable to sit on.
 
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Here's a cool thing! Besides being short on bunks, and private spaces, we are short on tables and desks, too! If a table could be multi-functional like this one, that would go a long ways toward folks being able to have another activity available to them!



Plus jigsaws are the best therapy going :D
 
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Love them
 
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I can't say that I would immediately grasp the idea of what an introvert room would mean.  Having an area titled "Quiet Place" would click instantly, and it would make sense to younguns also.  I do like the idea of being able to go to a place where one wouldn't be bothered with conversation.  For many, that's a big necessity. 

As for chairs, I would suggest that you look for designs that allow multiple uses.  If it's a flat ottoman like chair, then a few of them can be put together to form a table for workshops if needed. 

When I think of relaxing, I think of a bushcraft chair.  These can be made pretty cheaply, as it is mainly a piece of fabric with a sleeve for a stick sewn in the bottom of it. The tripod of the bushcraft chair can be used for many things.  You can string a rope between two of them, allowing one to drape a tarp for easy sun or rain shade. 



I would suggest structures that can be easily moved and repositioned.  Out of all of my time spent in the Boy Scouts (I made it all the way to Eagle Scout), my favorite tent was the Baker tent.  It was simple, and I was able to ride out monsoon weatherstorms in it.  For your use, you wouldn't need to have the side panels.  This would make it much simpler to make, and would allow more cross ventilation to fight the heat.  This tent design is able to be accomplished with a single tarp and a few poles.  If your tarp is long enough, you can have it folded under for a ground cloth.  This would make a great place for some pillows for a seating area, but it also doubles as a structure that can be "closeish" to a fire for winter heat. 


My next suggestion is a bit unorthodox, but it would be quite simple since you have people around to help. I suggest that you look into hexayurts.  These are made cheaply out of foam insulation board, and a specific kind of tape.  You'd be able to put them up and take them down as you desired, and you can find many different styles to suit your need.  I feel that hexayurts are one of the best building projects for people, for several reasons.  They are portable and able to be scaled up or down.  This means that you can test to see if your idea will work on a super small version of it before you make the big one.  The handheld yurts would be a great project for a workshop, as they take little time to complete.  It's the hands on building of the scale models that help people understand how easy of an idea these are.  The full sized ones are portable, meaning that they are one of the best bug out shelters to know how to make for when SHTF.  You don't know what one day will be like from the other, so being able to fold up your house and move is invaluable. 


I would also suggest looking at transforming bench picnic tables.  I'm not a woodworker by any stretch of a means, so I am not sure that I would be able to make one ..... but it would be a fun project to attempt.  In one form of it's transformation, it's a bench that could seat a few people.  Zip Zap, and Voila, it becomes a picnic table where many people can sit around it. 
 
 
Nicole Alderman
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William Wallace wrote:

When I think of relaxing, I think of a bushcraft chair.  These can be made pretty cheaply, as it is mainly a piece of fabric with a sleeve for a stick sewn in the bottom of it. The tripod of the bushcraft chair can be used for many things.  You can string a rope between two of them, allowing one to drape a tarp for easy sun or rain shade. 



OOoooh! I want to try making one of those!
 
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Crocheted with yarn rag rugs tend to wear the yarn and that will be the fail point. My mother made tons of rag rugs from 1.5" strips sewn together to make a huge ball... then had a crochet hook dad whittled out from a piece of wooden mop handle. (Q plus sized crochet hook). Just keep working and you have a choice of round or oval (start the curl immediately, or do a straight strip then start going around and around). Used up tons of otherwise worn out or stained useless clothing and could always be added to to make it bigger.
RagRug.png
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Made of old sheets
 
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For some of these introvert spaces, or some random tree out of line of sight, but within shouting distance, some hammocks, rope beds, or chaise lounges would be a life-saver for some people.

Sometimes a hard morning's work means an after lunch Siesta for 20-30min (at least during the summer when it's warm enough).
 
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