Last days of a BFA and Moving off of the Grid

Currently I only have one final left! Yippee! I am starting to think of the summer ahead. Mike and I are moving to a cabin in the woods, off of the grid. Mike owns and operates Sustainable Structures. He is a licensed contractor and is great at what he does! If you live in the area and are in need of general home repairs, or need a home built, you can give him a call at 249-8482 or 361-8482, or shoot him an email at

This moving “off of the grid” is really exciting and will be quite different than the lifestyle we are currently living. I have always felt that living sustainably is one of my main goals in life. I have been making changes throughout the past few years to figure out how to get to a stage where I feel that I am having a harmonious relationship with my environment.

I have also found out that the metal I had been ordering from my supplier is actually been reclaimed from the worlds existing metal supply. So, there is no new metal being mined to make my pieces of jewelry! I have been at a constant struggle with myself worrying about my personal impact on the environment. I imagined that woodworking would be a less destructive art field to be in, and I even took a class. Needless to say, I really did not like woodworking nearly as much as I like working with metal! I am so happy that being ‘green’ has suddenly become popular, so popular that my metal supplier is now advertising that all of their silver materials are made from refining metal that is already in existence, and they have been for 20 years.

I actually was too afraid to ask where the metal was being mined, so I switched to a company that advertised that their metals were not from newly mined materials. I am happy that I can switch back to the first company, and a little upset that I hadn’t asked them about their metal sources sooner…

The cabin is located near the Yellow Dog River and has a great view! The photos were taken a few months ago, so rest assured there is no massive amount of snow on the ground still. I am sure there are a few mound of snow around. There are some ice shoves on Lake Superior that have not entirely melted yet.

Actually, snow is on the forecast today, but I expect it will only be rain. I used to think I would never want to live in a place that was colder and snowier, but the more winters I spend here, the more I am grateful for when spring comes. My excitement for green grass is a little ridiculous, but it is real. I love when the buds form on the trees and soon everything will be so vivid and lush, but today it is overcast and a bit chilly. The entire week was beautiful though and I will remember this time fondly for the rest of my life as I am graduating from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing. I have been in college for 5 years and I am really excited to be done, but I am going to miss it more than anything. Unlike the many college students, I really like school and want to stay longer. I really wish there was a Grad program in the NMU’s School of Art and Design. The studios at NMU are great, there is a vast amount of things that can be made in the art department and all of the equipment is right at your fingertips. Also, the many friends I have made and will miss so much. But, I am also really excited to move to the woods, near some friends who are also very artsy and make their living much like Mike and I do. We will be neighbors with the folks who run Birchleaf Designs, who make ‘whimsical wood and fabric playthings’!

The Senior Exhibition was installed a few weeks ago, you can see images here… and here… of some of the 42 students in the Installing the Senior Exhibition.

You can see images of my work in the senior exhibition here...

There are some really great views from the cabin, here are some images Mike took of the surrounding area!

Here’s Mike walking on the front porch of the cabin.

Here is the view, a five minute walk away.

I am about to finish a book for my last college class and it happens to be one of the most interesting books I have ever read. The title is A Brief History of Everything and it is written by Ken Wilbur. One of the main concepts in the book is that everything exists in three realms, the physical tangible world (stuff), the mental world (concepts), and everything else (spirit, soul, coincidences, intuition, values etc.)

I have decided to place one of my highest values on coincidences. When they happen, and I pay attention to them, they are a very fun and obvious way for me to enjoy life. They have been happening in increasing quantities lately and I am liking it a lot. There is one coincidence that I am experiencing everyday and it usually comes in the form of a thought about someone and then I happen to run into that person later, I have found great pleasure in allowing myself to realize that these things are happening. I don’t claim that it is anything extremely profound, but I find it somewhat fascinating. I cannot manifest the future, but in the future I can realize the past, which will give me a greater the pleasure of now.



Filed under College, My Environment

5 responses to “Last days of a BFA and Moving off of the Grid

  1. Congrats on all your new changes, Beth!

    Your cabin is awesome – lots of scope and inspiration for your creativity there.

    I’m a low-impact person too – and although some folks think I’m a bit odd for my lifestyle choices – a small house, simple life, and lack of things like TV reception – I’m much happier doing what feels right for me than by following the status quo!

    Best wishes to you for the new chapter of your life that’s about to begin.


  2. Thanks Rena, it sounds like we have a lot in common!

  3. Gotta live the dream, Beth! I am jealous in many ways.

    Right now I am dealing with all these negative emotions and not seeing solutions and open doors.

    But I am looking forward to Friday! It will lift my spirits to be around others.

  4. Kim- Well hopefully Friday will spurt some creative happy thoughts! You can come visit and camp by us whenever you want!

  5. Pingback: Starting the Epic Journey! « Jewelry Business Blog

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