Sunday, November 28, 2010

Living Local Economies and Communities

Local Living Economies – Sustainable Communities

This isn’t a new concept but it is something that all of us should pay attention to, especially now.

People are fed up. Fed up with the Government. Fed up with Corporations. Fed up with Banks. Fed up with the economy. We are just FED UP!! So what are some communities and small businesses doing about it? They are promoting a Local Living Economy – a Sustainable Community.

Way back when, communities worked together, they supported each other and built their lives and their businesses around their community. Their economy was local, they traded local, they lived local and they sustained local. It was a true – Relationship Economy.

Then the grocery store chains, the malls and the large ‘box’ stores came in and spending shifted to a more global economy. Our community dollars (and jobs) went somewhere else, causing some small (and larger) businesses and communities to struggle, or worse collapse.

There are some communities (towns) that are trying to shift back to the Local Economy. Those that are good at it are surviving and even thriving during these down economic times. One such community is Bellingham, WA. Through Sustainable Connections – a local non-profit – they have boosted Bellingham’s economy and small businesses are thriving. The local businesses are supporting each other and most importantly supporting their community. They are providing jobs, supporting their community and they are supporting their environment.

Everyone benefits from this movement, including the community.

We should all pay attention to this movement. Most importantly we should be supporting it and starting to do it in our own communities.

To learn more about Sustainable Connections visit their website at or visit - a national organization on Local Living Economies.

Watch this well-done video on YouTube about Sustainable Connections.

You can also watch a PBS special about this subject – to watch it visit this website

From Sustainable Connections Website:

What We Do, Values & History


We envision a thriving, collaborative community in which local businesses are prosperous and contribute to a healthy environment and the well-being of all citizens.

To be the local forum where businesses come together to transform and model an economy built on sustainable practices.

We work with local, independently owned businesses that have the autonomy to make any transformational change in their business that they can imagine… reexamining where we buy goods and services, how we consume energy, grow and distribute our food, build homes, and even, how we define success in business. Sustainable Connections is supporting a community of innovators in green building, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, supporting independent businesses in town centers, and mentoring a new breed of entrepreneurs that have designed their business with a sustainable vision.

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Book by Tiny Hands Art

In the summer we did a workshop on creating your own Photo book. We had an enthusiastic crowd of people who wanted to learn since that time there have been a few books published (one will be a feature story soon). For now though I am sharing my most recent book. I took the art produced by my niece and nephew during their Kindergarten through Third Grade period, and I made a book out it. It was a lot of fun being creative around their work.

This book is also a showcase of some upcoming services we will be providing through our new business "design MADNESS". We will be offering design services, such as children books created by their Tiny Hands.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Someone who has taken some of our workshop

This local person kept visiting our store during Art Walk. He loved photography and was just getting back into it. His hobby became a passion, and like so many passionate about their art he wanted to learn more and grow. He started taking a lot of our workshops, wanting to expand his knowledge and to learn more about photography. It was amazing to watch his growth. His photography with each workshop blossomed and grew. So too, did his style, his creative eye! It was after our 'Creative Macro' class with Charles Needle, that Per really blossomed. His photography took on a whole new look, he found his creative self.

One of the many things I love about producing these workshops - is watching students, like Per, grow. To see how their photography goes from just taking a photograph, to becoming art.

Follow Per Lea's blog and watch his photography soar to new heights. I know that you will enjoy it as much as I do.