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Holy November…

fibershed

Ever wonder what 16 photo shoots in 12 different cities in 22 days looks like…

paigegreenRoseKahn110214-083 November 2nd: (9 am) Oakland with this lovely family.

paigegreenDaVero110414-0155November 2nd: (1 pm) Healdsburg at the DaVero Olive Harvest.

paigegreenEducationOutside110414-0186November 4th: San Francisco with Education Outside.

paigegreenAnna110514-051November 5th: Bodega newborn session.

paigegreenEdwinTammara110714-080November 7th: Petaluma documenting nine months.

paigegreenTauni110814-022November 8th: (10 am) Petaluma with this lovely family.

paigegreenTai110814-123November 8th: (4 pm) Point Richmond with this lovely family.

paigegreenRebekah110914-108November 9th: Berkeley with this lovely family.

aocNovember 13th: San Francisco head shots with AOC.

paigegreenFibershed111514-027November 15th: Point Reyes Station at the Fibershed Wool Symposium.

paigegreenBigFlip-Robyn111614-279November 16th: Seattle with The Big Flip.

emilyNovember 17th: Petaluma with this very special high school senior.

christmastreeNovember 18th: Healdsburg for the upcoming Christmas Tree book.

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November 19th: Portland with The Big Flip.

paigegreenBigFlip-LA112214-0026

November 22nd: LA with The Big Flip.

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November 23rd: LA and our very last photo shoot with The Big Flip.

544A7363And (after all the editing) this is what I hope November 24th-27th looks like, and for that I am very, very thankful. Happy Week of Thanks, everyone!

I found the house that I want to live in…

In this house tea and cookies are presented, when you walk through the door, by Anna’s dear husband with a British accent.

I am a sucker for accents and cookies.

The house also comes with two very delightful kids and a little dog.

Love kids and dogs.

Homemade soda bread is effortlessly thrown together in just a few minutes, and before you know it… you are eating a steaming hot slice with the perfect amount of butter.

Homemade bread + butter = Heaven.

And all this amazing-ness was created by the lovely Anna herself… who makes you forget time with her piercing blue eyes, captivating stories and big heart.

It may be a little premature to say this, but I think I fell in love with this household and everyone in it… But since moving in with them is probably out of the question, I am happy to settle for the few moments that I had to document their lives last Sunday afternoon.

And I am even more excited about the possibility of working with Anna on her documentary project. A few weeks ago, I received an email from Anna that said:

I just got accepted for a proposal I submitted to Kickstarter and would love to have a few great photographs to add to the promotional pieces.

The project I am working on is a photo essay/documentary called International Lunchbox, it is a collection of narratives from people, talking about what they feed their children, the issue, the histories, the stories and recipes.  I am trying to make some contacts to people who may be interested in participating in telling their stories.  It is a photo essay/documentary giving a very personal account from the vantage point of the parent or caregiver.

I told Anna that her project is exactly the kind of work that I would like to be doing more of and to please let me know how I can help.

So we started with tea, cookies, conversation and soda bread… and I can not wait to see what comes next.

The Artist Meets the Farmer…

This is Zara Franks, creator of Venn Apparel, in her impromptu outdoor studio in Berkeley, California.

Zara is one of the talented fiber artists contributing to Rebecca’s fibershed wardrobe.

And these are two pieces Zara created for Rebecca, with wool that Rebecca acquired from Kenny, a farmer in Mill Valley, who raises his sheep just 21.7 miles away from Zara’s home.

Zara was kind enough to meet with us and show us how she creates her magic…

She makes it look easy, but I am not fooled. It takes more than a machine to make the lovely pieces that Zara creates.

After our visit with Zara, we scooped her up and took her to meet Kenny and his sheep at The Woolly Egg Ranch.

Kenny’s family has been farming this property for multiple generations and Kenny is doing his best to keep that tradition going, even though the land around him isn’t so rural anymore.

Kenny raises his sheep for meat, not wool. Meat sheep typically do not have the quality of wool that knitters want to use. So until Kenny met Rebecca, he threw away the wool after the sheep were sheared because he didn’t know what else to do with it.

Rebecca was not scared off by the meat sheep’s wool, so she made a deal with Kenny to pay for the cost of the shearing in exchange for the wool.

Next Rebecca had the wool spun with a softer wool at Jane’s Mill, and she is giving the wool blend to fiber artists, like Zara, to create clothing for her fibershed challenge.

And now Kenny, excited about the new potential market for his sheep, is looking into breeding his meat sheep with wool sheep, so ultimately he will have two products to sell.

The fiber artists, who Rebecca is working with, were very excited to meet the sheep responsible for the wool they are using.

And they were excited to meet Kenny, the biodiesel making, chicken farming, sheep herding, stage building man of many hats.

As an extra bonus to Rebecca’s fibershed challenge, to keep her wardrobe entirely locally grown and produced for one year, Kenny makes his own biodiesel fuel out of leftover grease from a local Chinese restaurant.

So the lifecycle of these these two pieces of clothing goes… from sheep on a biodiesel fueled farm in Mill Valley, to a mill in Yolo County, to Rebecca in Fairfax (where part of the wool is dyed with indigo that was grown in Fairfax), to Zara in Berkeley.

By my googlemap calculations, that equals about 198 miles from start to finish. It is hard to get clothes with a smaller carbon footprint than that.

And it is especially hard to find sustainable clothes that are as stylishly fantastic as these.

For more information on Fibershed hats.. email Zara, at orders@vennapparel.com

Organic Colored Cotton right here in Northern California…

This is the amazing Sally Fox. The woman who will not be stopped on her mission to grow organic colored cotton.

This is Sally Fox’s organic cotton growing in a field that she is letting go fallow in order to let the soil rest.

This is Sally Fox’s adorable daughter, who is the only nine-year-old in the valley.

This is what an organic cotton field sounds like.

This is Rebecca Burgess wearing an outfit that was made solely from Sally Fox’s brown organic cotton.

Rebecca made her shirt and Rebecca’s mom made her pants. This means that Rebecca’s entire outfit was grown, spun, and sewn within 150 miles of her home in Fairfax, California.

And this is what Fibershed means. It means wearing locally grown, spun, designed and produced clothes that look and feel beautiful. It means wearing clothes that reflect the region you live in. And it means wearing clothes that do not harm the environment or the people who make them.

To help support Rebecca’s challenge to only wear clothes grown within her Fibershed for one year, please take a moment to vote for us on the Grant for Change website: http://www.nau.com/collective/grant-for-change/rebecca-burgess-1355.html

The winner gets $10,000! We need funding for this project so we can help pay farmers like Sally Fox and so we can document Rebecca’s journey in sustainable fashion. Thanks for your vote. Any little bit helps.

To learn more please visit the Fibershed website.

Sneak Peek of an Incredibly Photogenic Adventure…

I spent an amazing afternoon exploring Yolo County and Capay Valley with Rebecca Burgess for her Fibershed project.

The clouds, the people, the landscape… they all were absolutely incredible that I couldn’t wait to share tales and photos of our adventures. But the day is long gone, and a new day is rapidly approaching, so just a sneak peek for now. A real post, with more photos, and a better explanation of the journey coming soon.

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