This calls for a Dixie!!

Happy Valentine’s day or as I read earlier this morning on TBD – Generosity Day!! I had already planned to give the donation today from the first flock of birds to Gulf Restoration Network & IBRRC in the spirit of loving appreciation and then the post by TBD sweetened it!

Just made a donation of $1600 on behalf of BirdProject to GRN & IBRRC – thank you and many kisses to you BirdProject backers and supporters!!

Aaaaaand, while I was making the donation to IBRRC -‘bird is the word‘ came on the radio, a colinkadink or what?!!  How exciting and now, really for that Dixie!! Cheers and thank you : ]

Happy New Year!

I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday!  This post will need to play some catch up!  December, Looking back at 2010, and Year Ahead –

December:

What a whirlwind!  As the pieces came together it was a wonderful exercise of organizing the parts to become a whole ready to fly out into the world.  Looking back on it, it’s quite amazing that they came together right before the holidays!  Coordinating ceramics [creating ceramic birds, firing, glazing, firing] transporting to emily for soap-making, packaging [did a packaging beak and tip of tail padding test on my birdie, wrapped a couple of times was ok], shipping [wow! a whole job in itself – i was a box scavenger, they were like gold, got them from whole foods, walgreens, neighbors, office depot, ha – developed eye scanners for small cardboard boxes], project blog posting took a backseat for a bit as I am a one woman show at this point..thus the lapse in posts.  The ceramics proved to be the most time consuming part of the puzzle, the press molds work wonderfully but simply take time and moving into larger scale will need to switch to slipcasting molds pronto!  Before the holidays, I shipped birdies and bags and washcloths and haiku postcards to more than half of the kickstarter backers [thank you amazing backers!!], a firm in Seoul, South Korea ordered some as gifts to their clients for New Year’s, Reserve-A-Bird giftcards, and I brought a few to the eco design shop Spruce – I brought them 10 and they sold seven in the first evening, wow!  Spruce also sold Reserve-A-Bird giftcards and started a waiting list as well!  I hope this wonderful response to BirdProject continues, thank you all for supporting the project and for helping to raise awareness about the BP oil spill disaster.

Looking back at 2010:

Who knew? : ]  As I quickly packed my bags to head to mom’s for the holidays, having taken my last beetle full of packages, stuffed in like clowns in the old vw ads, to send off into the world from the post office, oh how I wish I could send them piggyback via carrier pigeon!.. I sat slightly hallucinating, ha! from being a birdbot for weeks and weeks, lack of rest and odd, quickly prepared meals – all gratifyingly so, not whining a bit, i loved this entire process – so I sat my beloved worktable [portable sawhorses & a piece of plywood, yes!] surrounded by BirdProject goods and in my new home of three months and thought… holy shit a lot has happened, it’s like years packed into less than a half of a year, it has been so dense.

Looking back at the path behind me, and at the past few months – it’s amazing what can happen when you have the time and energy to put behind something.  I think I’d been looking for this Something for a while, I had grown disinterested in making things for the sole sake of making them, I thought too much about them sitting in the landfill afterwards.  I was looking for something that was worthy of development, something that.. well, mattered, sorry for the company pun.  When working on something no matter [really, again? : ] what it is, you pour your heart and soul and time into it and I wanted that Something to be something that I really cared about spending that precious time on and heartfelt energy into.  When this idea came, I knew it was IT and it had to happen fast because of the urgency of the oil spill.

Looking back I can see the bits and parts of my life that have given me the experience to work on this project and that is a very tranquil moment to sit with.  I have done a lot of different things and sometimes at the time they could have seemed random [not that there is anything wrong with that, i like it – at moments though you think to yourself, why am i doing this?].  I enjoyed being able to see in hindsight the different points in time, and experiences/skills gained that connected to form these birds and this project, in sending them back into the world, almost as a little stippling.  To learn from the past to bring forward with you – I think the key is, follow your heart and your instinct and try!  Also, I think, don’t rush, take your time and find your speed to find it in the way most meaningful to you.  Everyone has different speeds – listen to yours whether fast or slow and find your process or the thing that makes you go.  And if you don’t succeed right away, try again and don’t try to be perfect – that is inhuman, besides the learning and the interest is really in the trying and the finding.

Year Ahead:

Wow, so now there’s a whole calendar year ahead minus just a few days so far!  I have a few lists of things to catch up on, things to occur in the near and far timelines, and new/current ideas to pursue & develop.  I am really appreciative of all that has happened in the past few months and would like to thank everyone who has helped in this, I could not have done it without you, and I am so very grateful for your help and your collaboration!  I am excited to continue and develop current collaborations and see where the birdies will fly!  I am also excited to meet new people and ideas, find dreams to open up and form new relationships with wonderful people to make things happen.  Wow, at the end of last year, someone introduced me as “This is Tippy, she makes things happen” I’d really like to live up to that statement, I greatly appreciated it and was thrilled to be introduced as such.  So here we are, to a Happy twentyeleven, am looking forward to great things happening, and I am also really looking forward to making contributions to IBRRC and Gulf Restoration Network via your support of BirdProject, that will be the best!!

More coming soon!

Steps onward..

So very much has happened since I’ve been here in New Orleans!  I have found an amazing local soapmaker and a fantastic biodiesel manufacturer!

Soapmaker: Emily of Sweet Olive Soaps, a third generation soapmaker of NOLA and member of the local craft mafia, she is an expert in soapmaking techniques and also capable of small and large scale production.  I love her handmade approach, beautiful products, and database-like knowledge of natural ingredients.  She also has a lovely garden & chickens behind her studio!

Biodiesel Manufacturer: Operation Reach, a community based non-profit focused on providing learning opportunities which is manufacturing biodiesel of fryer oil from local NOLA restaurants.  When I found Operation Reach on Pepsi Refresh [grant to fund teaching teenagers green energy manufacturing] I thought that they would be a wonderful fit for their focus on community building and am so glad to be involved with such a great organization.

I am thrilled that both parties are interested in BirdProject and so excited about working with them!  Photo below is from a tour of Operation Reach’s biodiesel production facilities by the über informative Daniel!

Additional exciting developments: helping to plan Tulane’s TEDxTu happening in November, Kickstarter approved my project submittal, and having spotted & submitted to Michael Karnjanaprakorn’s post of an offer to give back, he has offered his time and expertise at the end of September to help BirdProject/NOLASOAP!  New Orleans is unceasingly amazing me, thank you for finding value in this idea!

Glycerin offer..

I heard from an old friend from Kohler and my favorite engineer, Mr. M, that he is now working for a company which owns a biodiesel company and is now a biodiesel maistro.  What wonderful news!!  more to come on this..