Shofuso House in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia

The Shofuso House in Fairmount Park, Philly, PA

I may never get to Japan, though I’ve dreamed about it on and off for many years now. I was, however, pleasantly surprised to find that there’s a little slice of Japan here in the states, right inside Philadelphia in Fairmount Park. The Shofuso house and gardens are an impressive little site, representative of 17th century Japanese architecture. The home is complete with authentic traditional carpentry and building techniques, and the garden features native Japanese plants. And it’s beautiful.

I thought about asking if they wouldn’t mind me shacking up there for a bit to be able to experience the house a bit more fully…  Here are some photos of the house and garden.

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Cutting a Mortise at Timber Frame Workshop

April works on some of the last remaining joints before the timber frame assembly

I think I’ve realized that the excitement of timber framing can be represented by a curve. If the x axis on a bar graph represents time, and the y excitement, the line climbs and rises from left to right. The entire process is gradually more invigorating and interesting as you proceed on a project.

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Visit Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

Experience sustainable living at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage this year

Well, that came up fast. It’s April 1 tomorrow, and that signals a special time of year. In a couple of weeks, the visitor season at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is about to begin. If you’ve been curious what life is like in an ecovillage or intentional community, now is the time to sign up and plan your trip for this summer.

There are a number of ways to visit Dancing Rabbit, but if you think you might be interested in living there one day, the visitor program is your best bet. Here’s how to go about setting that up.

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16" Makita Circular Saw in Action

Jacob tests out the 16″ Makita circular saw on an end cut

Things are progressing smoothly for us here in Nacogdoches. We have fairly quickly moved on from layout to cutting the joinery for the Lake Naconiche timber frame pavilion. I personally haven’t spent much time around the more specialized timber framing power tools, and it’s been a sight to see…. and an experience to use them, too.

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Timber Framers Guild Lake Naconiche Workshop

April gets her set of timber frame plans ready to go

We’ve made it to Texas. Shockingly big, sprawling, and stunningly green Texas. Yesterday, the Timber Framers Guild Lake Naconiche Workshop officially began, and we starting chipping away at the layout work for the 32×48 timber frame pavilion. It’s hard to believe in a little over a week, the building we’re looking at on paper should be up in the air. The magic of timber framing has just begun…

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