Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Big Plan-io!!

I didn’t intent to make my last blog’s, “To be Continued’  last over a week-  Oops! I had it done....Blame it on the wifi!  Okay, soooo, anyways, a refresher: my future plans!!! 

Drum roll......Im going to buy some land, lots of it! Exciting eh? ;) 
Right now I’m thinking Southern Oregon or Northern California. Those are the main competitors just because I’m partial to the West Coast attitude, and it’s farther south from my hometown, so therefore less rain ;).  The location could change though... we’ll see!   The land for sure though, will have tons of trees, rocks, elevation changes! I’d like a river but will settle for a creek!  Waterfalls, ponds, caves could be a bonus!  Once I find this land.... there’s a tooooooonnn to do. I’ll be starting small, building a small little cabin to live in while the rest develops. I see years and years (and a lifetime really) to make it all happen, but the end goal will be what I describe herein, a merging of my lives: my nature loving solo self, my social butterfly side, and my create and inspire side :) 

Land like this would be more than okay :)
Picture this:  You’re driving thru the mountains and come to a gigantic, hand designed & painted sign stating you’ve arrived at “Barefoot Village”, with a catch line of "Peace and happiness welcome. Leave your shoes and ego outside” (or something positive and cutsie like that). You turn in and continue down a shady, sunlight glittered, tree lined drive (Bob Ross type beauty) arriving to the main structure: a woodsy, eco-friendly, natural materials but colorful building: open, airy, comfortable, easy to navigate but clever design.  I’ve a few ideas about what I want it to look like but undoubtedly the ultimate design will be decided by the master plan, existing landscape/orientation, topography, etc.  (Like any good architecture should!) The feelings of the place though are unwavering:   light, welcoming, peaceful, happy (Yes, a building can do that :).   Inside, or of multiple parts, will be the cafe (maybe a restaurant too in time) and the gift shop- art shop- architecture studio in one.  This gift/art/architecture boutique is an ideal merging of my creative side.  It’s full of inspirational gear: books, decor, signs, art, cards, furniture... anything that can bring a smile, light up your life, motivate you.  There are imported items, but also lots of homemade items: by me, my crafty family, or by you(!) or anyone that wants to contribute, possibly those patrons of the property. As part of this gift/art shop, there’s my architecture studio. I’ll get back to that.... 
...first, the cafe!  Again airy, inside/outside, views of (or next to) a water body. It’s healthy, delicious food with a home cookin' kitchen feel. Yummy juices, coffees and teas too. Maybe desserts that I’ll have to be limited to one-a-day of ;). An organic garden to supply fresh eats :). Currently I’m trying to coerce my sister into running/designing this (Don’t you think Jule would be perfect too?!?! Her 5 minutes brainstorm included cut out Lanterns, painted quotes, shaped painted chairs, and leaving your permanent barefootprint somewhere! Yess, namesake!). We've talked about it being an eclectic place, with random chairs and tables, colorful, inspiring decor, the natural trees mixed in, hammocks, blankets available to put wherever if you feel like picnic style. Pillow to kick back with. Books to borrow, games to play, and an air of ‘stay as long as you like’ rather than the typical “eat and get out” high turnover.  Julie says it should be a, "funky cool artsy coffee deli gallery fun chill awesome place." Awww, I want to be there now :)
Tea served in these? Cute AND inspirational! Double bonus :)  
There’s a community building too.  You can do yoga, karate, meditation. You can dance, play texas hold-em, make music, take art lessons, language practices, get a massage, whatever really. You can join or you can teach... it’s an open forum. Some organized, but a lot like a big classified ad, but in 3D :).  I feel like trying tai chi, do it with me! You feel like leading a hike today? Post it up!  A bike ride, a trip to the swimming hole, or make-a-craft day-- participate if you want :) 
There are tree swings, giant hammocks, bird houses, bridges, fire pits, jumbo jenga, volleyball net, hiking trails, bike baths (including colorful, painted bikes with horns and baskets and names like “pinky” and “spunky” meant to be borrowed), and special little moments unknown as of now waiting to be created or discovered.  It'll all be green and friendly to eco, kids, and kid-like adults alike!  Trees want to be climbed, trails want to be made, naps want to be taken, rocks want to be painted, cabins want to be rented, and lounge chairs want to be relocated to your perfect spot for you to sit in and enjoy.
I think this place needs a sweet ride :) 
The main gist of the land being that people can come for the day and enjoy the property, including all the natural parts of the land, as well as the cafe/ gift/ art/ studio parts. Or, you can add to it!!! I plan for there to be a “creation station” of sorts, where you can add art, either for around the property, for the shop, or for yourself.  The whole place will in actuality be an art/ craft shop: Mother Natures and ours combined :).  For instance, an amazing natural viewing spot with a little hand painted sign that says “Be grateful”, and cute little things like that around. We’ll make up street names and trail names and cabin names, and then have fun direction arrows leading you to them. I think I want my “address” to be 223 bliss lane :).  There will be a little area where all the rocks will eventually be painted, all uniquely by visitors, or you can just leave your hand/foot print. If you want to paint a mural, go for it. If you want to machete a new trail, go for it. If you want to name something, invent something, plant a garden, write a story, go for a jog, float down the river, stay in your room and think, make a sign, or write a song (and then sing it to me!), go for it :) 
I foresee paper-rock-scissoring over who gets to mow the lawn ;) 

I suppose you could think of it like a resort... except for nature loving, friendly, non judgmental, open minded, good attitude, artsy types.  It’s for old, young, families, anybody that wants to explore: either the land, themselves, or both!! :) It could be as private or as social as the visitor wanted.  It could be an exploration to find things you like, or a place to concentrate on them if you already know, or just a place to be happy or get happy. It could be a place to learn, love, live, laugh and any other L word that fits this list :)  Let me know if you think of good ones and we can make a giant sign! 
Basically, it’s all the things I love, offered to be shared with others.  It’s not a hotel per se (although i’ll prob have to legalize it that way), if you want to stay and can't pay, you can work. Like some of the places I’ve stayed on my travels, there will be dorm style cabins for the budget conscious, or a tent city if you’re really wanting to be one with nature!! Its not a commune.. you can’t stay forever,  although there will be some permanent residents. Myself (and future family), an amazing chef and cafe manager (and all around inputer/ creative genius Julie Fromm!!). We’ll need a landscape expert/ beautification expert (aka make everything look good and simultaneously everyone feel good (mom!?), a business operations manager (aka efficiency extraordinare, accountant, anything that needs done will be done in 5 minutes expert: my other sister, Sandy?! A family affair?) I’m sure a few others who I either already know or will meet with similar ideals and passions that have wonderful things to offer and gain. Oh, and finally a couple dogs and the pet pig I’ve always wanted ;)

Don't even try to say that's not adorable :) 
Its not a hippy fest (you dont really have to take your shoes off :) or a hostel party or a stoner hangout or a nudist colony (although maybe some days for each!)... I guess it’s a “find yourself vacation” destination.  I see there lost souls and experts alike, professionals and fresh faces, retirees, artists, musicians.. anyone who wants an escape from hustle bustle of city life. Maybe businesses can come as retreats and maybe there are guest speakers and maybe there are weddings and concerts and 1/2 birthday parties (totally worthy of celebration!) and you KNOW there will be costume days ;). The possibilities are as endless as our imaginations!  

Speaking of imaginations...back to my architecture studio!!! It’s a small studio, where I take on projects that inspire me, that I want to take on. Not that I have to take on because I need the commission.  What kind of projects inspire me? ahhh, well let me give you a tour :).  The cabins I’ve mentioned? Over many many years time, I plan to design and build them all :). With input and brainstormings from the core team, there will be little structures all over the place (with privacy each for sure- Im big on that alone time!).  All sorts of different designs: a log cabin, an A-frame, a mud hut, maybe an earthship! Prairie style, ranch style, bahaman style, dutch colonial, a mini swiss chalet... whatever I feel like!  And definitely a tree house (or 2 or 3 or more :).  All will be unique, simple, quaint, eco-friendly.  I have a mass vision for all of this... but thats a whole huge story, so I’ll stick to the overall for now.  As each cabin is finished, it will become available to rent... and there she blows folks-- it’s a lifesize portfolio/advertising/marketing and business in one!!! 

Alright, so this is a huge idea. Who knows, maybe I get a sweet job offer to travel the world, and this all could change. But I’ve been feeling ready to grow some roots.  This ideas has been stewing since early January (and especially with this blog!) and has only been getting stronger each day, more clear visions of it’s aesthetic and atmosphere all the time. Maybe it happens but its totally different. Certainly the other people that get involved with have lots of say. I’m open to change and ideas and advice and options. In the end it’s an idea that is pretty much a perfect combination of everything I love:  Nature/ craft/ people/ art/ inspiration/ freedom/ love/ happiness.  And bonus... since all of you lovely friends of mine are far away, you can come stay there and combine your vacation with visiting me :) yay! 

Being blissfully out in nature at Gangotri, I had a thought that it’s funny I don’t appreciate being in the cities more, ‘being an architect and all’. For a second I wondered if I had been untrue to myself all these years, choosing the education/professional path when I am so very much more in love with the natural than the man made. Especially that I was so restless the last few years. But that was a silly, fleeting thought. I’ve always had a little guilt in the back of my head for not being a ‘proper architect’. Not knowing the ‘stats’ of all the great designers, or following architectural news, or knowing more terminology, or talking architect hoity-toity. Lets face it, I’m vocabularily challenged (funny since I love to talk and write) and I sound like a 6 year old most of the time. Here’s my realization though:  No title can be defined exactly, or should it be. Adapting what you do to the best you can do it is the great thing of life. Im never going to be an architectural historian, I can't recognize Le Corbusier from Gehry (ok, these 2 I can, but you get the point ;), and to be honest I think Gaudi’s stuff is pretty weird!  But, I am functional as hell, I can logic a floor plan out as fast and happily as I can a suduko puzzle. I see balance, can visualize and portray any idea, and am painstakingly attentive to detail. I’m efficient, full of ideas, clever, passionately enthusiastic, but willing to accept and adapt if something needs to evolve still.  I may not ever be listed for any memorable noteworthy public buildings (although I am technically published in this book!), but surely the people who stay in the cabins and come to this ‘Barefoot Village’ will feel the warmth and coziness of the spaces created! Good feeling and memories are what I’m after :)  Being an architect may insinuate some things, but for me being an architect is a fantastic way to combine that exact love of the natural I have with my ridiculously logical, statistical, analytical, and forward planning self.  It has all been part of this fabulous evolving journey called my life! I’ve not been fake happy, I've been very happy, and it’s all been perfectly planned for  the natural flow to this next stage.  I had to grow up in WA to know I love nature. I had to live and move all over as a kid, being dad's little handyman sidekick and with mom’s ideas and floor plans books all over the house to know I wanted to be an architect. I had to study and live in Miami to know how much I don’t care about material things, but the ones you’ve got should mean something. I had to work w/ the truly fabulous and talented Mr. Tom Weber to grow and learn and enjoy architecture, and now have some resources to evolve it in my own way! I had to have true love and then true heartache to know you can (and should) give love and happiness to yourself and not wait for someone else to provide it for you.  I had to be traveling now, seeing the world, to realize happiness, sharing, giving, loving and people are the most important things ever.  I'm stoked that I'm an architect, having the education, experience, and license to get to design what I want and like, and then use that as not only a form of income, but so that people that also see it and like it may hire me to do something similar for them!!!! 

 I’ve always been a ‘projects girl’, either having or creating things I have to do.  My mom is too, and since we’re “twins” I know it’s not going to stop:)  Thus, having such an establishment will create an endless to-do list!!!  The opportunities for creativity abound here, and there’s nothing as rewarding as sharing your talents and joy with others. It’s all been set before me..  this fantastic path of my life!!! Come and walk with me on it....taking reservations for 2014 :) 


  1. I'M IN!!! : )
    Love Mom with a heart

  2. A couple of my favorites lines in here aside from the entire post wink wink:

    "I'd like a river but will settle for a creek." LOL

    "and you KNOW there will be costume days." LOL

    Love you Becky!! I am so happy you have your plan-io. So exciting and perfectly you. I like that you are open to the idea of it not necessarily being exactly what you are thinking now. That's life right? But whatever it will be- it will be amazing! I think it is genuis- use your talents and education in doing something you love and that will inspire others. I support you 100% and can't wait to visit and maybe even get a little dirty helping you build it ;) xo Kim

  3. If that bike-mower is what you'll use to cut the grass, I'll do it every weekend :) We'd love to vacay at Barefoot Village. My vote is for CA!
    ~Erin R.

  4. Becky, all this sounds wild/crazy/fun/insane...but more than anything, do-able! Of all the people I know, you are certainly one of the most capable of creating your own "Empire of Peace." Your natural attraction will certainly bring prosperity, creativity, and diversity to Barefoot Village. Can't wait to start building!

  5. Where do I sign up? What do I have to do to become a permanent resident???

    Ahhhhhh!!!! Soooooooo happy right now!! Your blog makes me smile and quite often cry because it makes me so so happy!! Is that normal? I hope not... I would hate to be normal... :P

    Edith :)