Thursday, March 21, 2013

What are you making?

My YEGhead: planting seeds & watching them grow. Metaphorically.
Via Make Something Edmonton on Facebook.
Tonight is the launch party for the amazing Make Something Edmonton project, and I was lucky enough to grab a ticket before it sold out. Hopefully today's snowstorm won't prevent me from going!

In the spirit of the event, I thought I'd make a little list of what I'm making:

1. The Local Good. I've been on the volunteer board of directors of this amazing grassroots organization for several years now, and I am extremely proud of the work we are doing to make it easy to find the amazing local projects, businesses, and events in Edmonton. In our early years, we noticed that we'd met lots of people doing similar projects with common goals who were not aware of each other's work, and we felt that the best way we could make change was to bring them together so they can exchange ideas, create collaborations, and make amazing things happen. All our projects, from our events listing and blog, to themed Green Drinks networking events, to the Good Hundred Party and educational panel discussions, are based around the simple idea of fostering community by making it easy for people with common values and interests to find each other.

2. My bicycle blog, Loop-Frame Love, which I co-write with a rotating cast of collaborators. There has been a lot of heated rhetoric around bike lanes in our city lately; this project makes a small difference by showing that cycling in this city (and my co-bloggers') is not just for hipster messenger dudes on fixies, weekend warriors on mountain bike trails or training in pelotons, and wierdo commuters on hybrids wearing safety orange. There's a wonderful community of year-round bike-culture bloggers in Edmonton, and we hope that ours adds to the diversity and approachability of cycling voices in the city. So far our biggest contribution has been the Critical Lass rides we organize for female cyclists in street clothes, on a route suitable for novice riders, to promote cycling as an approachable, fun, everyday activity. Although there are other social rides sans politics and testosterone in other cities, we were the first in the world to take the tongue-in-cheek name "Critical Lass" for ours, and that name is now also being used in bike-culture model cities like Chicago and Seattle. LFL has outgrown our Blogspot space, so this spring we are relaunching as, and we've just recruited fabulous new co-blogger Emma; we're also planning monthly Critical Lass rides and our first-ever Kidical Mass (for families).

3. This blog! If you're visiting from my twitter feed, this is where I explore the slow movement and all its facets, and gradually figure out shape my encore career will take. I know it involves slow design and slow craft, so it will be all about Making Something Edmonton - but I'm still finding my voice. Another ongoing topic of this blog is using my standard suburban move-up home as a slow home renovation case study, and an upcoming post will talk about creating an annual block party with my neighbors to build community in my neighborhood (where most residents have moved in in the last two years). I will also be planning a slow movement themed unconference as a collaboration between this blog and The Local Good this autumn, so stay tuned for details on that!