The Grand Staircase

Of all the strange, backwards, unexpected things that happened last year politically in the U.S., there was one that hit me on a personal level and left me feeling a subtle but deep sort of melancholy that has been hard to shake. That was the seemingly arbitrary act of shrinking one of the last vestiges of the untamed American west by such a dramatic amount. I am referring to the large cuts to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This truly humbling stretch of land is seemingly endless and beautiful, mostly untouched and free to explore in a way unlike many of the other National Parks available out west are.

Growing up I was caught up in the romanticized idea of the grand American west, southern Utah in particular, I was lost in the magic of Desert Solitaire, a book by Edward Abbey about living as a ranger at Arches in the late 1950s, and the impossibly beautiful photography of so many great photographers who’s lives work focused on the region such as Michael Fatali, I have always held this region close to my heart throughout my life through not only the stories and photographs of others, but ones from my own father as well. He would talk about his own trips west before there was as much of an impact from tourism in the region. Back when Moab was a smaller, more local town, Arches was a hard to access hidden beauty, and Mount Zion was more lightly visited. The last vestiges of the untamed west would slowly, but of course not entirely, start to fade as time pressed on.

Even within my lifetime I have seen a lot of change as camping and adventuring has become increasingly trendy which has caused more and more comforting amenities to start popping up to make it easier to access some of the most beautiful spots in this constantly evolving land. Amenities that seem nice on the surface but in some ways detract from the experience as a whole.

Among my favorite things about traveling in the region is the infinite quiet of the vast tracks of land and the ability to find yourself standing in a spot where you very well may be the single only person to occupy that land for dozens of miles. It’s a beautiful, unique feeling and part of the reason that the last few times traveling out there by car I would go in the winter to avoid the crowds of the busier vacation months.

Which brings us back to Escalante. This monument was (and yes, still is) an immense tract of land that is largely unsullied and difficult to access. There are not many truly wild, protected lands in the U.S. left and this area was set up as a protected land for a reason. If I’m remembering correctly, it’s protection was always somewhat controversial for locals in the area and of course it would be, I understand how it must feel to some, but some things are worth protecting for future generations to enjoy some of what previous generations were able to cherish and enjoy are they not?

Shrinking this monument by this mind boggling amount was a political maneuver in an endless series of actions which appear to do little more than arbitrarily tear down prior legacies, but I digress. I am not inherently a political person and have gone most of my life with this side of living it drifting along in the periphery of my mental space but even I can see that things are being shaken for little more reason than to take advantage of the chaos that follows. I look at the direction things are headed and hope we can figure out a way to come back together as a whole. This is much more than simply “us vs. them”, surely we are better than this.

But you know what, thats not why I’m here writing today. I will leave the political side of this for those who know and understand more about the politics of it. I’m here to tell my small perspective on the changes at the Grand Staircase by writing about why it means so much to me personally.

This monument is among my favorite places to visit while traveling west because I am able to feel some of the same excitement as generations past. Exploring a land with such minimal human impact is something to be cherished as it leads us to unexpected places and moments of genuine beauty and awe. The joy of driving what felt like forever down a long dirt road into the middle of scarcely occupied canyons and desert made me feel like the world is infinite. It has always made me feel as though there was still so much to explore and I felt the solitude of that place consume me, humble me, and empower my imagination like few places can.

There was one trip there with my brother that I often remember, I think it was my second time visiting. We had driven into the monument late one night, after driving in from Zion. There is an unmistakable high you get when traveling somewhere mostly unknown and this was no exception. We were following mostly paper maps and vague directions at the time as we found our way down unmarked dirt roads in the dead of night with little more than the beams of our headlights to track down an unmanned camp area where we could stay the night for free. (One of the perks of BLM land and part of the reason I so often sought it out while traveling out there, free places to camp, great for budget trips). We set up the tent in the dark several meters away from a cliff edge and called it a night. While we slept we had an unexpected couple of inches of snow fall on us and we woke to a beautiful sight, a canyon covered in the stillness and quiet of a fresh, white coat of snow coupled with the beauty of a cold orange and blue sunrise. Thinking back I can remember the brisk, thin air of winter in my lungs and the quiet beauty and excitement of that moment. Here are a couple of photos of that morning from whichever iPhone was sold in 2009, well before instagram and the like.

This little campground near the town of Escalante in the Grand Staircase is one I had remembered and visited on my own during a different winter outing which I took to get away from the world I knew and venture out on my first solo trip West. A spot that subtly set in motion a chain of events and world travels that changed my life forever. In fact, it was at this camp spot that I took this photograph:

It is an image YoungDoo and I hold dear because it was the catalyst for our meeting each other on Flickr so many years ago (11 years now!?). A photograph, among others, that caused us to discover each others work as artists and still stands today on Flickr as a sort of digital historical marker in our lives as it was the first interaction we had with each other.

I only just remembered this fact while writing this tonight and it really choked me up when I realized this place was partially responsible for everything I now hold dear to me in my life. An arbitrary fact, sure, but one that helps me respect and understand the value of having places like these to explore and share in our collective lives. The Earth is only so big and it gets smaller each and every day as we continue to grow as a global society so protected spaces like these are immensely important to us now, more than ever. They give me hope that one day my daughter Milla and future generations have spaces to explore as we did during our time here on this planet as well. It all connects.

Now that subtle melancholy I mentioned when I started writing tonight is starting to feel a little more like sadness and, well, I’ll drink to that. Heres to the great unexplored places in our past, present, and future, the ability to explore them, and the hope that we don’t fuck up things too much before future generations have their turn to explore what god has given us to appreciate and care for.

Please don’t read into this post too much, I’m not interested in getting too political here on 50ft. I wrote this to share my perspective and a couple of stories. I have respect for others point of view on the matter as well but this site has always been a place for me to vent and share my experiences with others and thats all this was, one persons point of view among many.

More information on the monument can be found here, and here.

Source: http://ift.tt/kcUgsq

The Grand Staircase

Of all the strange, backwards, unexpected things that happened last year politically in the U.S., there was one that hit me on a personal level and left me feeling a subtle but deep sort of melancholy that has been hard to shake. That was the seemingly arbitrary act of shrinking one of the last vestiges of the untamed American west by such a dramatic amount. I am referring to the large cuts to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This truly humbling stretch of land is seemingly endless and beautiful, mostly untouched and free to explore in a way unlike many of the other National Parks available out west are.

Growing up I was caught up in the romanticized idea of the grand American west, southern Utah in particular, I was lost in the magic of Desert Solitaire, a book by Edward Abbey about living as a ranger at Arches in the late 1950s, and the impossibly beautiful photography of so many great photographers who’s lives work focused on the region such as Michael Fatali, I have always held this region close to my heart throughout my life through not only the stories and photographs of others, but ones from my own father as well. He would talk about his own trips west before there was as much of an impact from tourism in the region. Back when Moab was a smaller, more local town, Arches was a hard to access hidden beauty, and Mount Zion was more lightly visited. The last vestiges of the untamed west would slowly, but of course not entirely, start to fade as time pressed on.

Even within my lifetime I have seen a lot of change as camping and adventuring has become increasingly trendy which has caused more and more comforting amenities to start popping up to make it easier to access some of the most beautiful spots in this constantly evolving land. Amenities that seem nice on the surface but in some ways detract from the experience as a whole.

Among my favorite things about traveling in the region is the infinite quiet of the vast tracks of land and the ability to find yourself standing in a spot where you very well may be the single only person to occupy that land for dozens of miles. It’s a beautiful, unique feeling and part of the reason that the last few times traveling out there by car I would go in the winter to avoid the crowds of the busier vacation months.

Which brings us back to Escalante. This monument was (and yes, still is) an immense tract of land that is largely unsullied and difficult to access. There are not many truly wild, protected lands in the U.S. left and this area was set up as a protected land for a reason. If I’m remembering correctly, it’s protection was always somewhat controversial for locals in the area and of course it would be, I understand how it must feel to some, but some things are worth protecting for future generations to enjoy some of what previous generations were able to cherish and enjoy are they not?

Shrinking this monument by this mind boggling amount was a political maneuver in an endless series of actions which appear to do little more than arbitrarily tear down prior legacies, but I digress. I am not inherently a political person and have gone most of my life with this side of living it drifting along in the periphery of my mental space but even I can see that things are being shaken for little more reason than to take advantage of the chaos that follows. I look at the direction things are headed and hope we can figure out a way to come back together as a whole. This is much more than simply “us vs. them”, surely we are better than this.

But you know what, thats not why I’m here writing today. I will leave the political side of this for those who know and understand more about the politics of it. I’m here to tell my small perspective on the changes at the Grand Staircase by writing about why it means so much to me personally.

This monument is among my favorite places to visit while traveling west because I am able to feel some of the same excitement as generations past. Exploring a land with such minimal human impact is something to be cherished as it leads us to unexpected places and moments of genuine beauty and awe. The joy of driving what felt like forever down a long dirt road into the middle of scarcely occupied canyons and desert made me feel like the world is infinite. It has always made me feel as though there was still so much to explore and I felt the solitude of that place consume me, humble me, and empower my imagination like few places can.

There was one trip there with my brother that I often remember, I think it was my second time visiting. We had driven into the monument late one night, after driving in from Zion. There is an unmistakable high you get when traveling somewhere mostly unknown and this was no exception. We were following mostly paper maps and vague directions at the time as we found our way down unmarked dirt roads in the dead of night with little more than the beams of our headlights to track down an unmanned camp area where we could stay the night for free. (One of the perks of BLM land and part of the reason I so often sought it out while traveling out there, free places to camp, great for budget trips). We set up the tent in the dark several meters away from a cliff edge and called it a night. While we slept we had an unexpected couple of inches of snow fall on us and we woke to a beautiful sight, a canyon covered in the stillness and quiet of a fresh, white coat of snow coupled with the beauty of a cold orange and blue sunrise. Thinking back I can remember the brisk, thin air of winter in my lungs and the quiet beauty and excitement of that moment. Here are a couple of photos of that morning from whichever iPhone was sold in 2009, well before instagram and the like.

This little campground near the town of Escalante in the Grand Staircase is one I had remembered and visited on my own during a different winter outing which I took to get away from the world I knew and venture out on my first solo trip West. A spot that subtly set in motion a chain of events and world travels that changed my life forever. In fact, it was at this camp spot that I took this photograph:

It is an image YoungDoo and I hold dear because it was the catalyst for our meeting each other on Flickr so many years ago (11 years now!?). A photograph, among others, that caused us to discover each others work as artists and still stands today on Flickr as a sort of digital historical marker in our lives as it was the first interaction we had with each other.

I only just remembered this fact while writing this tonight and it really choked me up when I realized this place was partially responsible for everything I now hold dear to me in my life. An arbitrary fact, sure, but one that helps me respect and understand the value of having places like these to explore and share in our collective lives. The Earth is only so big and it gets smaller each and every day as we continue to grow as a global society so protected spaces like these are immensely important to us now, more than ever. They give me hope that one day my daughter Milla and future generations have spaces to explore as we did during our time here on this planet as well. It all connects.

Now that subtle melancholy I mentioned when I started writing tonight is starting to feel a little more like sadness and, well, I’ll drink to that. Heres to the great unexplored places in our past, present, and future, the ability to explore them, and the hope that we don’t fuck up things too much before future generations have their turn to explore what god has given us to appreciate and care for.

Please don’t read into this post too much, I’m not interested in getting too political here on 50ft. I wrote this to share my perspective and a couple of stories. I have respect for others point of view on the matter as well but this site has always been a place for me to vent and share my experiences with others and thats all this was, one persons point of view among many.

More information on the monument can be found here, and here.

Source: http://ift.tt/kcUgsq

The Grand Staircase

Of all the strange, backwards, unexpected things that happened last year politically in the U.S., there was one that hit me on a personal level and left me feeling a subtle but deep sort of melancholy that has been hard to shake. That was the seemingly arbitrary act of shrinking one of the last vestiges of the untamed American west by such a dramatic amount. I am referring to the large cuts to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This truly humbling stretch of land is seemingly endless and beautiful, mostly untouched and free to explore in a way unlike many of the other National Parks available out west are.

Growing up I was caught up in the romanticized idea of the grand American west, southern Utah in particular, I was lost in the magic of Desert Solitaire, a book by Edward Abbey about living as a ranger at Arches in the late 1950s, and the impossibly beautiful photography of so many great photographers who’s lives work focused on the region such as Michael Fatali, I have always held this region close to my heart throughout my life through not only the stories and photographs of others, but ones from my own father as well. He would talk about his own trips west before there was as much of an impact from tourism in the region. Back when Moab was a smaller, more local town, Arches was a hard to access hidden beauty, and Mount Zion was more lightly visited. The last vestiges of the untamed west would slowly, but of course not entirely, start to fade as time pressed on.

Even within my lifetime I have seen a lot of change as camping and adventuring has become increasingly trendy which has caused more and more comforting amenities to start popping up to make it easier to access some of the most beautiful spots in this constantly evolving land. Amenities that seem nice on the surface but in some ways detract from the experience as a whole.

Among my favorite things about traveling in the region is the infinite quiet of the vast tracks of land and the ability to find yourself standing in a spot where you very well may be the single only person to occupy that land for dozens of miles. It’s a beautiful, unique feeling and part of the reason that the last few times traveling out there by car I would go in the winter to avoid the crowds of the busier vacation months.

Which brings us back to Escalante. This monument was (and yes, still is) an immense tract of land that is largely unsullied and difficult to access. There are not many truly wild, protected lands in the U.S. left and this area was set up as a protected land for a reason. If I’m remembering correctly, it’s protection was always somewhat controversial for locals in the area and of course it would be, I understand how it must feel to some, but some things are worth protecting for future generations to enjoy some of what previous generations were able to cherish and enjoy are they not?

Shrinking this monument by this mind boggling amount was a political maneuver in an endless series of actions which appear to do little more than arbitrarily tear down prior legacies, but I digress. I am not inherently a political person and have gone most of my life with this side of living it drifting along in the periphery of my mental space but even I can see that things are being shaken for little more reason than to take advantage of the chaos that follows. I look at the direction things are headed and hope we can figure out a way to come back together as a whole. This is much more than simply “us vs. them”, surely we are better than this.

But you know what, thats not why I’m here writing today. I will leave the political side of this for those who know and understand more about the politics of it. I’m here to tell my small perspective on the changes at the Grand Staircase by writing about why it means so much to me personally.

This monument is among my favorite places to visit while traveling west because I am able to feel some of the same excitement as generations past. Exploring a land with such minimal human impact is something to be cherished as it leads us to unexpected places and moments of genuine beauty and awe. The joy of driving what felt like forever down a long dirt road into the middle of scarcely occupied canyons and desert made me feel like the world is infinite. It has always made me feel as though there was still so much to explore and I felt the solitude of that place consume me, humble me, and empower my imagination like few places can.

There was one trip there with my brother that I often remember, I think it was my second time visiting. We had driven into the monument late one night, after driving in from Zion. There is an unmistakable high you get when traveling somewhere mostly unknown and this was no exception. We were following mostly paper maps and vague directions at the time as we found our way down unmarked dirt roads in the dead of night with little more than the beams of our headlights to track down an unmanned camp area where we could stay the night for free. (One of the perks of BLM land and part of the reason I so often sought it out while traveling out there, free places to camp, great for budget trips). We set up the tent in the dark several meters away from a cliff edge and called it a night. While we slept we had an unexpected couple of inches of snow fall on us and we woke to a beautiful sight, a canyon covered in the stillness and quiet of a fresh, white coat of snow coupled with the beauty of a cold orange and blue sunrise. Thinking back I can remember the brisk, thin air of winter in my lungs and the quiet beauty and excitement of that moment. Here are a couple of photos of that morning from whichever iPhone was sold in 2009, well before instagram and the like.

This little campground near the town of Escalante in the Grand Staircase is one I had remembered and visited on my own during a different winter outing which I took to get away from the world I knew and venture out on my first solo trip West. A spot that subtly set in motion a chain of events and world travels that changed my life forever. In fact, it was at this camp spot that I took this photograph:

It is an image YoungDoo and I hold dear because it was the catalyst for our meeting each other on Flickr so many years ago (11 years now!?). A photograph, among others, that caused us to discover each others work as artists and still stands today on Flickr as a sort of digital historical marker in our lives as it was the first interaction we had with each other.

I only just remembered this fact while writing this tonight and it really choked me up when I realized this place was partially responsible for everything I now hold dear to me in my life. An arbitrary fact, sure, but one that helps me respect and understand the value of having places like these to explore and share in our collective lives. The Earth is only so big and it gets smaller each and every day as we continue to grow as a global society so protected spaces like these are immensely important to us now, more than ever. They give me hope that one day my daughter Milla and future generations have spaces to explore as we did during our time here on this planet as well. It all connects.

Now that subtle melancholy I mentioned when I started writing tonight is starting to feel a little more like sadness and, well, I’ll drink to that. Heres to the great unexplored places in our past, present, and future, the ability to explore them, and the hope that we don’t fuck up things too much before future generations have their turn to explore what god has given us to appreciate and care for.

Please don’t read into this post too much, I’m not interested in getting too political here on 50ft. I wrote this to share my perspective and a couple of stories. I have respect for others point of view on the matter as well but this site has always been a place for me to vent and share my experiences with others and thats all this was, one persons point of view among many.

More information on the monument can be found here, and here.

Source: http://ift.tt/kcUgsq

A Little Something

I always like to give away things this time of year as way of giving back to everyone that has shown their love and support for the site, even if in a small way. I couldn’t quite raise the extra money needed to get what I wanted to have made this year so I decided to pack up three envelopes full of the latest five images included in the 50ft Print Club series and send them off to three of you at random. I figure the fair way to do it is have you leave a little comment below on this post, anything at all, your favorite emoji would work just fine. Then sometime around Christmas day I will pick three randomly and ask for your address to mail them off to you! Simple enough right? Don’t forget to leave your email in the comment field, it’s not listed publicly and of course I never use emails from comments otherwise. Thanks so much, good luck!

Source: http://ift.tt/kcUgsq

While Winter Whispers

One of the reasons I love winter is because it is such a great time for music. The cold, subsequent raise in time spent inside, and shorter days causes music to take on a different feeling altogether. We start to feel more sentimental and introspective in the winters stillness. At least in regions that have a significant winter I guess. Suffice to say, seasons cause us to contemplate life differently whether we realize it or not.

One of the tale tell signs of this time of year being upon us outside of the chill outside, is the emergence of holiday music reigning over the airwaves as if holding us hostage. Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually love all the classics, digging back through lesser known b-sides and unique takes on holiday music is something I always enjoy this time of year but sometimes its nice to break away from the endless rinse and repeat that we hear while out living our lives this time of year and that’s where Lullatone come into play.

Lullatone is a project by Shawn and Yoshimi Seymour who are based in Nagoya, Japan. I have followed along with Lullatones output since waaaaaay back in 2003 or so when I came across their first album on a small indie electronic music label called Audio Dregs while working at a college radio station. Their music defines the word charming by using a minimal approach to production, melody, and scope. It is simple music that always manages to bring me joy when I listen along.

Which brings us back to the winter and more specifically an EP of songs they created during the winter of 2014 called While Winter Whispers. It is part of a series of seasonal releases in which they did their best to capture the essence of the different seasons. The music is sentimental and heartwarming, the perfect companion for cold winter months. I recently rediscovered the EP because YoungDoo started using it as Milla’s sleep time music.

I love the way they describe the music:

“Here are some songs we made for winter. We think they might make a nice soundtrack for:
-watching your breath come out like little clouds
-catching a cold
-revisiting a book you’ve already read (or were supposed to have read at school)
-warming your hands on coffee mugs
-pulling a scarf all the way up to your nose
-soup
-“old people hobbies”
-hibernating”

Easily worth your time to check out this release as well as their entire discography if your into it, the music is available on most streaming services as well as BandCamp. To learn more about them check out their website which details the work they do with music, as well as listen to years of their output. www.lullatone.com

Speaking of which, this year they have been making little “one-minute concerts” that I have thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. The world could surely use more of this kind of subtle joy so I wanted to share a few here in this post as well as an embedded version of a cool music App they made with another artist. (If your reading this in the main timeline, follow the jump below to see them.)

Source: http://ift.tt/kcUgsq

Atlantic November

So, turns out, up here on the northern hemisphere, snow is starting to fall as winter settles quickly into place. About a month ago I found myself working along the chilly coast of South Carolina in the late fall and while I did not have much of any free time to wander and take photos I did take the long path around the hotel grounds as an excuse to snap a photo here and there. I was lucky to find this charming old fence among the dunes to use as a subject and while the beach is not particularly a holiday greeting card kind of December image to share, I thought why not share a little sand with everyone anyway because we all have different versions of what makes this time of year special to us or not so who am I to say all I should be posting this month are photos of Christmas lights and other such paraphernalia.

You can find download links below, if you are on an iPhone X, rumor has it that iPad size wallpapers work wonders on these new devices but I have not had a chance to do any official testing myself I may sneak over to an Apple Store at some point to try some test files out. I’m one of the odd geeks out that chose the iPhone 8 this year rather than the talk of the town face ID phone. At any rate, I will see you again soon, I have some more planned to post this month if all goes well! In the meantime, Enjoy!

Source: http://ift.tt/kcUgsq

Things 2017

It’s that time of year again. To celebrate family, friends, common bonds, and I suppose to many of us, new stuff. It’s my personal belief to look for gifts that could be useful, unique, or at least not set aside and forgotten a month later because in that case, whats the point? I you have to ask someone what they want for Christmas then you’re doing it wrong.

If you have no ideas maybe just give something tasty rather than guess and buy someone a cheap something that won’t matter a week from now. Disappointment this time of year is a selfish feeling, wasted energy and its important to remind each other that the joy of this time of year is not in the biggest box, its in the quiet time we get to have with one another, right? Right.

This won’t be the last time I post this month but let me just say, I hope you all enjoy the season and if your not able to then I hope you find joy in some small way. It’s so important for us all to remember what we have in common rather than how we are different from one another and the holiday season is a great time to exercise that.

At any rate, for several years off and on I have written up a little gift suggestion post. Things I think are unique, fun, or overlooked but to be honest, it’s getting harder to make these lists. I don’t lead the most minimal life out there but I like to find products that will last and add something true to my life, so when I think about gift giving I try to consider things that could be more than fleeting. That said, the list this year isn’t as long, I kept coming up with ideas that I had included in previous years lists already. Maybe worth noting that none of the links below are affiliate links. Well except for the first one 😉

50ft Print Club Print Club Gift Subscription
After discovering a few subscribers to the 50ft Print Club had given the membership as a gift I decided it may be nice to offer up a single year subscription as an option. You can visit the original post on the Print Club for the back story but the basic idea is that each month I pack up a 4×6 print of my choosing, a letter that talks about the print, and often a little hand written note. I put it into an envelope, add a stamp, and send them off to subscribers. It’s a nice little collectable, a surprise piece of snail mail each month, and a great way to support what I do here on the site!

I am nearly to the end of the first year of prints in the series so I will start any purchase of this officially in January but will also send along one for December as well so you have a little something to show for the gift. Because of the one time purchase nature of this the digital bonus stuff from the Standard memberships won’t be included, just the prints. Think of it as a scaled back, simpler version at a discounted rate. Speaking of the rate, this single year cost may or may not see a little rate increase after the holidays, depending on how this goes, it’s a bit of an experiment. Also, please, feel free to spread the word if you know of any 50ft fans out there that may be interested. Thanks so much! Here is a link to the Regular 50ft Print Club/subscriptions as well as the new gift subscription and Tip Jar or directly to the 50ft Print Club Gift Subscription here.

Now, onto the rest.

Nomadic Pencil Cases
I have used a Japanese Nomad Pencil cases for a long while now as a means to keep small things like pens, sharpies, USB Drives, and of course Apple dongles, organized in my bag and recently picked up a second one because I love them so much. They have held up very well from day to day, even with my unusually roughlifestyle. Both are pictured above and you can find them on Jet Pens here or here.

Lihit Lab Smart Fit Shoulder Bag
Another handy Japanese item, this time its a minimal shoulder bag that I have used for a couple of years now and love for days when all I need are the basics. Lately I have used one to carry either my 12” MacBook, my iPad Pro 10.5, or both. It has just enough room for a couple of pens, some buisness Cards, a small notebook and a couple of charging cables. It doubles as a sort of inner sleeve for a larger bag as well which can be handy sometimes. Don’t forget to get a shoulder strap as well though, they are sold separately. I found the bags available on amazon through different sellers depending on the color etc. so pay attention to who you are buying from for timely delivery. There is also a smaller version of the bag out there as well, I think JetPens may sell them.

Scarf Shop Scarves
My friends all know how much I love a good scarf. I always look forward to the colder months when I can start breaking out my favorites again. YoungDoo got me one of these light cotton scarves last year for Christmas and I have loved it ever since. It’s thin weave and extra long length lets me wrap it around my neck a good 3-4 times which I love because it’s so cozy without being suffocating. They also have some great looking wool options as well and different sizes based on what you think someone would like. They are all hand made and kettle dyed in small batches so your looking at well attended to hand craftsmanship. Heres a link to the cotton one on their web shop, you can find their other products there as well.

Haand Short Coffee Mugs
While on a day trip a couple of years back we stopped though a small local diner/restaurant/market place in Saxapahaw, NC and discovered these beautiful mugs which they were using to serve their coffee in. Turns out they were made by a small company in NC that makes a number of other lovely porcelain items as well. They have a slightly off kilter aesthetic if that makes sense, not quite perfectly round or straight yet perfectly balanced and comfortable in the band. Really a lovely, minimal mug. Also be sure to check out their Silver Dollar Bowls! Here is a link to their web shop.

Ceramic Furin Chimes
Speaking of the magic of mind made items, I fell in love with these simple chimes which were also made here in NC. Modeled after Japanese Furin chimes they have a lovely tone to them as they drift in the breeze. Would make a wonderful addition to any porch. Offered in small and medium sizes.

Henchgirl Trade Paperback
While I don’t have as much time to enjoy comics anymore I really loved discovering Henchgirl and following along from issue to issue. I am a sucker for clever indie comics with heart and this series knocks it out of the park. Original, clever, and fun, Henchgirl has just the right mix of silly puns, potentially heartbreaking developments, and a touch of oddball superhero action. I can easily recommend this to anyone into comics.

Muji Neck Cushion
I am a lover of all things Muji and their micro-bead filled neck pillow is no exception. Just the right amount of cozy and soft it is perfect for an afternoon nap. Don’t confuse it with your typical boring airplane pillow, this has its own vibe and adds a touch of cozy class to any nap time.

Polaroid OneStep 2
The Impossible Film Project folded into the Polaroid brand this year and totally shifted their focus to a more broad appeal. In this process they created a cool new version of a classic polaroid camera and while I have not been able to try one myself I have read good things. Be mindful the film is still on the expensive side I think it makes a perfect companion for any iPhone shooter because it gives you a nice helping of analogue magic.

Helinox Swivel Chair
I am two years in, going on three, with this amazing camp chair. It has held up through rough festival seasons and kept on ticking. While it takes a minute to get it all set up its pretty amazing how comfortable these chairs are. I chose the swivel version because it was such a nice touch to be able to fluidly pivot around. Don’t settle for an REI knock off, the Helinox chairs are the best out there. Heres an alternative link to their whole line.

What Good Shall I Do This Day?
Not much to say here, I just love these enamel signs and feel this is a message we could all use as a reminder every day.


Ttable Office Stationery
While notebooks and stationery have become trendy among many in the US, I still visit Korea and see them running laps around some of the stuff I see come out in the US. Soul has a unique ecosystem of accessible manufacturing that gives small designers huge potential to create with a wonderful amount of creativity and class. I just wish more of it was available here stateside. I discovered that one of my favorite Korean stationery brands, Ttable Office is available through a Canadian shop that also sells on amazon in the US and had to share. We have a number of their paper mobiles at home and love them. They also have beautiful cards as well. Anything of theirs would be a charming gift and while they do not carry their whole line there are still a few charming pieces available. Here is a link to their official website.

Foxtail Ball
I don’t know if you have ever seen these before but they sure are a lot of fun. It’s a soft baseball with a tail, you swing it by its tail to launch it into the sky to a friend who then tries to catch it by the tail as close to the ball as possible. You can award different points based on where you catch it or just have fun tossing it around. I was happy to see these sill in production as it is a childhood favorite.

Smiski Figure
I’m not really into the whole mystery toy in a box fad, it has always felt like too much of a gimmick and just a little too much like gambling for my taste, BUT, I came across this series while in Seoul and fell madly in love with these weird little glowing figures. Not super easy to find around in the US but I’m sure you could find them on amazon or around. The official Facebook page for the brand linked to the shop below for US sales.

Buddha Machine 1, 2017 edition
I love my Buddha Machines, I have collected four of them through the years starting with the first edition which is now apparently 12 years old! It remains one of my favorites and was excited to find out that they were making a new batch with the original sounds in them. Older models can be hard to come by now so it’s nice to see them bring them back. If you don’t know what this little box is, it is a looping ambient music box. It contains a number of short looping ambient songs, you turn it on and it loops until you turn it off, the only other options are to change the loop and change the volume. It’s simplicity has turned it into a cult collectable among ambient music fans but it would fit right in to any work space that could use a little zen. (Worth noting Bleep.com ships from the UK but its a solid, quick place to shop, have not found a US distributor with these latest players yet.)

Nintendo Switch with Mario Odyssey.
OK, so with this one I feel like Im cheating a bit but this game brought me so much joy to play through I could not help but take a moment to plug it and recommend it to anyone and everyone that has ever played a video game, or not. The rest of the industry could learn a thing or two from this release.


Thats it! Thats all I’ve got to share this time around, maybe not as much as years prior but maybe there are some ideas here that helped a few of you. If I come across anything else fun or remember something that could fit here I will add it later on. Have fun out there.

Source: http://ift.tt/kcUgsq

Things 2017

It’s that time of year again. To celebrate family, friends, common bonds, and I suppose to many of us, new stuff. It’s my personal belief to look for gifts that could be useful, unique, or at least not set aside and forgotten a month later because in that case, whats the point? I you have to ask someone what they want for Christmas then you’re doing it wrong.

If you have no ideas maybe just give something tasty rather than guess and buy someone a cheap something that won’t matter a week from now. Disappointment this time of year is a selfish feeling, wasted energy and its important to remind each other that the joy of this time of year is not in the biggest box, its in the quiet time we get to have with one another, right? Right.

This won’t be the last time I post this month but let me just say, I hope you all enjoy the season and if your not able to then I hope you find joy in some small way. It’s so important for us all to remember what we have in common rather than how we are different from one another and the holiday season is a great time to exercise that.

At any rate, for several years off and on I have written up a little gift suggestion post. Things I think are unique, fun, or overlooked but to be honest, it’s getting harder to make these lists. I don’t lead the most minimal life out there but I like to find products that will last and add something true to my life, so when I think about gift giving I try to consider things that could be more than fleeting. That said, the list this year isn’t as long, I kept coming up with ideas that I had included in previous years lists already. Maybe worth noting that none of the links below are affiliate links. Well except for the first one 😉

50ft Print Club Print Club Gift Subscription
After discovering a few subscribers to the 50ft Print Club had given the membership as a gift I decided it may be nice to offer up a single year subscription as an option. You can visit the original post on the Print Club for the back story but the basic idea is that each month I pack up a 4×6 print of my choosing, a letter that talks about the print, and often a little hand written note. I put it into an envelope, add a stamp, and send them off to subscribers. It’s a nice little collectable, a surprise piece of snail mail each month, and a great way to support what I do here on the site!

I am nearly to the end of the first year of prints in the series so I will start any purchase of this officially in January but will also send along one for December as well so you have a little something to show for the gift. Because of the one time purchase nature of this the digital bonus stuff from the Standard memberships won’t be included, just the prints. Think of it as a scaled back, simpler version at a discounted rate. Speaking of the rate, this single year cost may or may not see a little rate increase after the holidays, depending on how this goes, it’s a bit of an experiment. Also, please, feel free to spread the word if you know of any 50ft fans out there that may be interested. Thanks so much! Here is a link to the Regular 50ft Print Club/subscriptions as well as the new gift subscription and Tip Jar or directly to the 50ft Print Club Gift Subscription here.

Now, onto the rest.

Nomadic Pencil Cases
I have used a Japanese Nomad Pencil cases for a long while now as a means to keep small things like pens, sharpies, USB Drives, and of course Apple dongles, organized in my bag and recently picked up a second one because I love them so much. They have held up very well from day to day, even with my unusually roughlifestyle. Both are pictured above and you can find them on Jet Pens here or here.

Lihit Lab Smart Fit Shoulder Bag
Another handy Japanese item, this time its a minimal shoulder bag that I have used for a couple of years now and love for days when all I need are the basics. Lately I have used one to carry either my 12” MacBook, my iPad Pro 10.5, or both. It has just enough room for a couple of pens, some buisness Cards, a small notebook and a couple of charging cables. It doubles as a sort of inner sleeve for a larger bag as well which can be handy sometimes. Don’t forget to get a shoulder strap as well though, they are sold separately. I found the bags available on amazon through different sellers depending on the color etc. so pay attention to who you are buying from for timely delivery. There is also a smaller version of the bag out there as well, I think JetPens may sell them.

Scarf Shop Scarves
My friends all know how much I love a good scarf. I always look forward to the colder months when I can start breaking out my favorites again. YoungDoo got me one of these light cotton scarves last year for Christmas and I have loved it ever since. It’s thin weave and extra long length lets me wrap it around my neck a good 3-4 times which I love because it’s so cozy without being suffocating. They also have some great looking wool options as well and different sizes based on what you think someone would like. They are all hand made and kettle dyed in small batches so your looking at well attended to hand craftsmanship. Heres a link to the cotton one on their web shop, you can find their other products there as well.

Haand Short Coffee Mugs
While on a day trip a couple of years back we stopped though a small local diner/restaurant/market place in Saxapahaw, NC and discovered these beautiful mugs which they were using to serve their coffee in. Turns out they were made by a small company in NC that makes a number of other lovely porcelain items as well. They have a slightly off kilter aesthetic if that makes sense, not quite perfectly round or straight yet perfectly balanced and comfortable in the band. Really a lovely, minimal mug. Also be sure to check out their Silver Dollar Bowls! Here is a link to their web shop.

Ceramic Furin Chimes
Speaking of the magic of mind made items, I fell in love with these simple chimes which were also made here in NC. Modeled after Japanese Furin chimes they have a lovely tone to them as they drift in the breeze. Would make a wonderful addition to any porch. Offered in small and medium sizes.

Henchgirl Trade Paperback
While I don’t have as much time to enjoy comics anymore I really loved discovering Henchgirl and following along from issue to issue. I am a sucker for clever indie comics with heart and this series knocks it out of the park. Original, clever, and fun, Henchgirl has just the right mix of silly puns, potentially heartbreaking developments, and a touch of oddball superhero action. I can easily recommend this to anyone into comics.

Muji Neck Cushion
I am a lover of all things Muji and their micro-bead filled neck pillow is no exception. Just the right amount of cozy and soft it is perfect for an afternoon nap. Don’t confuse it with your typical boring airplane pillow, this has its own vibe and adds a touch of cozy class to any nap time.

Polaroid OneStep 2
The Impossible Film Project folded into the Polaroid brand this year and totally shifted their focus to a more broad appeal. In this process they created a cool new version of a classic polaroid camera and while I have not been able to try one myself I have read good things. Be mindful the film is still on the expensive side I think it makes a perfect companion for any iPhone shooter because it gives you a nice helping of analogue magic.

Helinox Swivel Chair
I am two years in, going on three, with this amazing camp chair. It has held up through rough festival seasons and kept on ticking. While it takes a minute to get it all set up its pretty amazing how comfortable these chairs are. I chose the swivel version because it was such a nice touch to be able to fluidly pivot around. Don’t settle for an REI knock off, the Helinox chairs are the best out there. Heres an alternative link to their whole line.

What Good Shall I Do This Day?
Not much to say here, I just love these enamel signs and feel this is a message we could all use as a reminder every day.


Ttable Office Stationery
While notebooks and stationery have become trendy among many in the US, I still visit Korea and see them running laps around some of the stuff I see come out in the US. Soul has a unique ecosystem of accessible manufacturing that gives small designers huge potential to create with a wonderful amount of creativity and class. I just wish more of it was available here stateside. I discovered that one of my favorite Korean stationery brands, Ttable Office is available through a Canadian shop that also sells on amazon in the US and had to share. We have a number of their paper mobiles at home and love them. They also have beautiful cards as well. Anything of theirs would be a charming gift and while they do not carry their whole line there are still a few charming pieces available. Here is a link to their official website.

Foxtail Ball
I don’t know if you have ever seen these before but they sure are a lot of fun. It’s a soft baseball with a tail, you swing it by its tail to launch it into the sky to a friend who then tries to catch it by the tail as close to the ball as possible. You can award different points based on where you catch it or just have fun tossing it around. I was happy to see these sill in production as it is a childhood favorite.

Smiski Figure
I’m not really into the whole mystery toy in a box fad, it has always felt like too much of a gimmick and just a little too much like gambling for my taste, BUT, I came across this series while in Seoul and fell madly in love with these weird little glowing figures. Not super easy to find around in the US but I’m sure you could find them on amazon or around. The official Facebook page for the brand linked to the shop below for US sales.

Buddha Machine 1, 2017 edition
I love my Buddha Machines, I have collected four of them through the years starting with the first edition which is now apparently 12 years old! It remains one of my favorites and was excited to find out that they were making a new batch with the original sounds in them. Older models can be hard to come by now so it’s nice to see them bring them back. If you don’t know what this little box is, it is a looping ambient music box. It contains a number of short looping ambient songs, you turn it on and it loops until you turn it off, the only other options are to change the loop and change the volume. It’s simplicity has turned it into a cult collectable among ambient music fans but it would fit right in to any work space that could use a little zen. (Worth noting Bleep.com ships from the UK but its a solid, quick place to shop, have not found a US distributor with these latest players yet.)

Nintendo Switch with Mario Odyssey.
OK, so with this one I feel like Im cheating a bit but this game brought me so much joy to play through I could not help but take a moment to plug it and recommend it to anyone and everyone that has ever played a video game, or not. The rest of the industry could learn a thing or two from this release.


Thats it! Thats all I’ve got to share this time around, maybe not as much as years prior but maybe there are some ideas here that helped a few of you. If I come across anything else fun or remember something that could fit here I will add it later on. Have fun out there.

Source: http://ift.tt/kcUgsq

Things 2017

It’s that time of year again. To celebrate family, friends, common bonds, and I suppose to many of us, new stuff. It’s my personal belief to look for gifts that could be useful, unique, or at least not set aside and forgotten a month later because in that case, whats the point? I you have to ask someone what they want for Christmas then you’re doing it wrong.

If you have no ideas maybe just give something tasty rather than guess and buy someone a cheap something that won’t matter a week from now. Disappointment this time of year is a selfish feeling, wasted energy and its important to remind each other that the joy of this time of year is not in the biggest box, its in the quiet time we get to have with one another, right? Right.

This won’t be the last time I post this month but let me just say, I hope you all enjoy the season and if your not able to then I hope you find joy in some small way. It’s so important for us all to remember what we have in common rather than how we are different from one another and the holiday season is a great time to exercise that.

At any rate, for several years off and on I have written up a little gift suggestion post. Things I think are unique, fun, or overlooked but to be honest, it’s getting harder to make these lists. I don’t lead the most minimal life out there but I like to find products that will last and add something true to my life, so when I think about gift giving I try to consider things that could be more than fleeting. That said, the list this year isn’t as long, I kept coming up with ideas that I had included in previous years lists already. Maybe worth noting that none of the links below are affiliate links. Well except for the first one 😉

50ft Print Club Print Club Gift Subscription
After discovering a few subscribers to the 50ft Print Club had given the membership as a gift I decided it may be nice to offer up a single year subscription as an option. You can visit the original post on the Print Club for the back story but the basic idea is that each month I pack up a 4×6 print of my choosing, a letter that talks about the print, and often a little hand written note. I put it into an envelope, add a stamp, and send them off to subscribers. It’s a nice little collectable, a surprise piece of snail mail each month, and a great way to support what I do here on the site!

I am nearly to the end of the first year of prints in the series so I will start any purchase of this officially in January but will also send along one for December as well so you have a little something to show for the gift. Because of the one time purchase nature of this the digital bonus stuff from the Standard memberships won’t be included, just the prints. Think of it as a scaled back, simpler version at a discounted rate. Speaking of the rate, this single year cost may or may not see a little rate increase after the holidays, depending on how this goes, it’s a bit of an experiment. Also, please, feel free to spread the word if you know of any 50ft fans out there that may be interested. Thanks so much! Here is a link to the Regular 50ft Print Club/subscriptions as well as the new gift subscription and Tip Jar or directly to the 50ft Print Club Gift Subscription here.

Now, onto the rest.

Nomadic Pencil Cases
I have used a Japanese Nomad Pencil cases for a long while now as a means to keep small things like pens, sharpies, USB Drives, and of course Apple dongles, organized in my bag and recently picked up a second one because I love them so much. They have held up very well from day to day, even with my unusually roughlifestyle. Both are pictured above and you can find them on Jet Pens here or here.

Lihit Lab Smart Fit Shoulder Bag
Another handy Japanese item, this time its a minimal shoulder bag that I have used for a couple of years now and love for days when all I need are the basics. Lately I have used one to carry either my 12” MacBook, my iPad Pro 10.5, or both. It has just enough room for a couple of pens, some buisness Cards, a small notebook and a couple of charging cables. It doubles as a sort of inner sleeve for a larger bag as well which can be handy sometimes. Don’t forget to get a shoulder strap as well though, they are sold separately. I found the bags available on amazon through different sellers depending on the color etc. so pay attention to who you are buying from for timely delivery. There is also a smaller version of the bag out there as well, I think JetPens may sell them.

Scarf Shop Scarves
My friends all know how much I love a good scarf. I always look forward to the colder months when I can start breaking out my favorites again. YoungDoo got me one of these light cotton scarves last year for Christmas and I have loved it ever since. It’s thin weave and extra long length lets me wrap it around my neck a good 3-4 times which I love because it’s so cozy without being suffocating. They also have some great looking wool options as well and different sizes based on what you think someone would like. They are all hand made and kettle dyed in small batches so your looking at well attended to hand craftsmanship. Heres a link to the cotton one on their web shop, you can find their other products there as well.

Haand Short Coffee Mugs
While on a day trip a couple of years back we stopped though a small local diner/restaurant/market place in Saxapahaw, NC and discovered these beautiful mugs which they were using to serve their coffee in. Turns out they were made by a small company in NC that makes a number of other lovely porcelain items as well. They have a slightly off kilter aesthetic if that makes sense, not quite perfectly round or straight yet perfectly balanced and comfortable in the band. Really a lovely, minimal mug. Also be sure to check out their Silver Dollar Bowls! Here is a link to their web shop.

Ceramic Furin Chimes
Speaking of the magic of mind made items, I fell in love with these simple chimes which were also made here in NC. Modeled after Japanese Furin chimes they have a lovely tone to them as they drift in the breeze. Would make a wonderful addition to any porch. Offered in small and medium sizes.

Henchgirl Trade Paperback
While I don’t have as much time to enjoy comics anymore I really loved discovering Henchgirl and following along from issue to issue. I am a sucker for clever indie comics with heart and this series knocks it out of the park. Original, clever, and fun, Henchgirl has just the right mix of silly puns, potentially heartbreaking developments, and a touch of oddball superhero action. I can easily recommend this to anyone into comics.

Muji Neck Cushion
I am a lover of all things Muji and their micro-bead filled neck pillow is no exception. Just the right amount of cozy and soft it is perfect for an afternoon nap. Don’t confuse it with your typical boring airplane pillow, this has its own vibe and adds a touch of cozy class to any nap time.

Polaroid OneStep 2
The Impossible Film Project folded into the Polaroid brand this year and totally shifted their focus to a more broad appeal. In this process they created a cool new version of a classic polaroid camera and while I have not been able to try one myself I have read good things. Be mindful the film is still on the expensive side I think it makes a perfect companion for any iPhone shooter because it gives you a nice helping of analogue magic.

Helinox Swivel Chair
I am two years in, going on three, with this amazing camp chair. It has held up through rough festival seasons and kept on ticking. While it takes a minute to get it all set up its pretty amazing how comfortable these chairs are. I chose the swivel version because it was such a nice touch to be able to fluidly pivot around. Don’t settle for an REI knock off, the Helinox chairs are the best out there. Heres an alternative link to their whole line.

What Good Shall I Do This Day?
Not much to say here, I just love these enamel signs and feel this is a message we could all use as a reminder every day.


Ttable Office Stationery
While notebooks and stationery have become trendy among many in the US, I still visit Korea and see them running laps around some of the stuff I see come out in the US. Soul has a unique ecosystem of accessible manufacturing that gives small designers huge potential to create with a wonderful amount of creativity and class. I just wish more of it was available here stateside. I discovered that one of my favorite Korean stationery brands, Ttable Office is available through a Canadian shop that also sells on amazon in the US and had to share. We have a number of their paper mobiles at home and love them. They also have beautiful cards as well. Anything of theirs would be a charming gift and while they do not carry their whole line there are still a few charming pieces available. Here is a link to their official website.

Foxtail Ball
I don’t know if you have ever seen these before but they sure are a lot of fun. It’s a soft baseball with a tail, you swing it by its tail to launch it into the sky to a friend who then tries to catch it by the tail as close to the ball as possible. You can award different points based on where you catch it or just have fun tossing it around. I was happy to see these sill in production as it is a childhood favorite.

Smiski Figure
I’m not really into the whole mystery toy in a box fad, it has always felt like too much of a gimmick and just a little too much like gambling for my taste, BUT, I came across this series while in Seoul and fell madly in love with these weird little glowing figures. Not super easy to find around in the US but I’m sure you could find them on amazon or around. The official Facebook page for the brand linked to the shop below for US sales.

Buddha Machine 1, 2017 edition
I love my Buddha Machines, I have collected four of them through the years starting with the first edition which is now apparently 12 years old! It remains one of my favorites and was excited to find out that they were making a new batch with the original sounds in them. Older models can be hard to come by now so it’s nice to see them bring them back. If you don’t know what this little box is, it is a looping ambient music box. It contains a number of short looping ambient songs, you turn it on and it loops until you turn it off, the only other options are to change the loop and change the volume. It’s simplicity has turned it into a cult collectable among ambient music fans but it would fit right in to any work space that could use a little zen. (Worth noting Bleep.com ships from the UK but its a solid, quick place to shop, have not found a US distributor with these latest players yet.)

Nintendo Switch with Mario Odyssey.
OK, so with this one I feel like Im cheating a bit but this game brought me so much joy to play through I could not help but take a moment to plug it and recommend it to anyone and everyone that has ever played a video game, or not. The rest of the industry could learn a thing or two from this release.


Thats it! Thats all I’ve got to share this time around, maybe not as much as years prior but maybe there are some ideas here that helped a few of you. If I come across anything else fun or remember something that could fit here I will add it later on. Have fun out there.

Source: http://ift.tt/kcUgsq

Past Is Present

Boards Of Canada was on when I was cropping this image so fans will know how the title drifted into my head today. I remember seeing this mossy fence on the edge of a pathway at a mountainside temple near Kyoto. The air was cool and damp and the temple was quiet after we arrived late in the day as most everyone else was on their way out. Somewhere in the distance a drum was echoing out through the grounds. I remember the small town outside the temple as well and how slow it felt as we waited on a train to arrive. Thinking about it makes the stressful day I am taking a break from by sharing a new photo feel a little more calm. How to hold onto this feeling is the real trick.

This is one of those images that was tricky to crop for a vertical smartphone because there was not quite enough empty space to fit the center column in there but I did my best. The full desktop size is lovely though. Hopefully it will bring you a little peacefulness as well should your day contain more stress than relaxation. Downloads below, enjoy!

Source: http://ift.tt/kcUgsq