Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Jason Michael Kotarski on Amazon Handmade

Well the rains have finally arrived which means it's officially the wet season. As we prepare for the Long Dark we will be moving into the shop which means there will be more blog posts and more youtube video posts and more items going into the inventory. I'll be trying to ramp up production and get more items listed for the Amazon Handmade store. We stopped using Etsy awhile back as we couldn't compete with the manufacturers that were taking over. Amazon Handmade has a bit more rigor to ensure that the small production custom craft artists have a chance in today's mass manufacturing world. So take a peek and keep checking back to see what's new. I can always do custom orders as well and if you see something that strikes a chord let me know!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Woodworking- Carving a Bowl from a Root with the Graff Speedcutter - Jas...

Found this piece of root wood and decided to try out the new Speedcutter disc from Graff. Ended up with a little bowl that would be a great presentation piece or centre table piece! I'll put it up on the Amazon Handmade store so someone can have a unique conversation piece for the holiday's!!!

Jason Michael Kotarski on Amazon Handmade

Graff Speedcutter Angle Grinder Blade

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Fall 2017 Running Shoe Review

The Fall season is upon us and for runners this means cool weather, brisk morning and beautiful runs. As we go into the Fall running season, here's my review on the shoes I plan to wear while putting in some mileage! Can't wait!

Let me know what you Fall training plans and gear are in the comments!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

ArbequinaOlive and Camellia Sinensis

Unboxing my order for Arbequina Olive and Camellia Sinesis.

The Arbequina Olive should fair well in our orchard and hopefully provide us with some good nutritious olives. Camellia Sinensis should also fair well on the border of our orchard providing winter and early spring color as well as amazing leaves for all the tea we can imagine.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Landscape Master Plan

Landscape Master Plan
1. To govern the overall maximum benefit to the health of all inhabitants
(Humans, Bear, Deer, Rabbits, Mt. Beaver, Birds, bats, bees, etc…)
2. To protect and enhance the watershed 
3. To act as a potential Wetland Mitigation Plan in anticipation of any
additions, alterations or renovations 
4. To provide food, shelter, harvestable materials and beauty.
5. To follow the basic principles of permaculture with an emphasis on native species where appropriate.
6. To include management of soil erosion caused by storm water runoff and bioremediation through phytoremediation and myco remediation. 
7. To remove and eradicate invasive species including ivy, knotweed, something and something and something else???? 
Plant Purpose Abbreviations 
PNW Native Species
M Medicinal
FB Fruit Bearing
PA Pollinator Attractor
N Nitrogen fixer
EG Evergreen
BA Bioaccumlator
T Edible tube
BR Bioremediation 
Plant List
 Plants on this list are to be introduced in addition to the existing landscape of canopy trees, understory fruit and nut trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs, groundcover, and mushroom patches.
Native Species are labled PNW (Those listed shall be used in any mitigation plans) Code 
Red Flowering Currant   Ribes Sanguineum  FB PNW
SnowBrush  Ceanothus Veluntinus PA PNW N EG
Cascade Pentsemon    Pentsemon Serrulatus PA PNW
Service Berry   Amelanchier Alnifolia FB PNW
Wild Ginger   Asarum caudatum M PNW
Kinnikinick  Arctostaphylos uva ursi  M PNW FB EG
Arrowhead   Sagittaria Latifolia  T PNW BR
Great Camas Camassia Leichtlinii T PNW PA
Yarrow   Achillea Millefolium M PNW BA
Elderberry   Sambucus Caerulea & Nigra M PNW FB
Agricultural Plants
Camellia Sinensis Tea PA EG
Goumi Elangus multiflora FB N
Seaberry  FB N
Comfrey BA
Hibiscus Tea/wine PA
Jujube FB
Olive (Arborquina)  FB
Passion Flower FB PA
Kiwi FB
Moringa tree  Moringa oleifera M
Saffron Crocus    Crocus sativas Spice PA
Pineapple Broom   Cytisus Battendieri   N  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter- Joyeux Paques!!!!!

Ah J'aime les Printemps!!!!! Happy Easter, and for the Poles out there, Happy Dingus Day Eve. I love this time of year as for many almanacs it is officially planting season. For the orchards and perennials we get to see what survived and what was lost. An obvious existential insight into our lives here on this great planet.

For us we managed to not lose any fruit trees to the beaver and the deer have given us some reprieve. I think it is mere luck and little defensive adjustments but really, luck. We sacrificed dozens of Wax Myrtle for the new beaver lodge, wherever that may be, and I've been trying to add similar fast growing un-killable and deer loving plants to keep them off of the stuff I want to eat! While I certainly am not trying to attract them, I would like to distract them while they creep through in the middle of the night or while were away.

I have a good jump on the garden this year, the plastic hoop house worked wonders and we have plenty of salad greens, Our newest raised bed is just about ready for squash and zucchini. I'm also adding a layer of squash, zucchini and pumpkin in the orchard as a ground cover!

Really hope I get to add a swarm of bees this spring, with the orchard in it's third year, and the blueberries laddered in 1,2, and 3 years I really hope to get some fruit. The blue orchard mason bees are coming back and will hopefully stay in their new home. With the hop trellis up and running we should have a good harvest and very enjoyable growing summer.

So far in the Orchard level story we have Plum, Italian Plum, Persimmon, Apricot, Fig, Cherry, Apple and Pear. underneath the we have black currant, red currant, gooseberry, goji berry, evergreen huckleberry and I'll soon be adding seaberry. Surrounding those bushes are herbs and pollinator attractors, almost ALL in a blue or purple, Rosemary (4 varieties) Lavender (3 varieties), and Valerian. On the other side of the terrace from the herbs are all flowers for the bees, Lupine, Foxglove, Delphinium, Columbine, and Hollyhock.

Check back in to the blog and youtube channel! I'll be adding a copy of our Master Plan and some drawings explaining the grid planting I established intermixing nitrogen fixers, fruits, bio-accumulators, pollinator attractors and beneficial plants.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Permaculture Adding a Hop Trellis

Had a chance to put in our hop poles for the trellis. It's been a wet year so far so I didn't want to transplant them and have them rot in the ground. It looks like they are happy and getting ready to take off like a hop rocket!! Check out the video and subscribe for more updates. The permaculture project is coming along. We're entering Year 3 so there should be some harvest of the fruit trees, asparagus and more!!!


Part IV Installing Sapele on the Wood Accent Wall

Well, I'm finally getting some progress on the wood panel accent wall. I'm going to also link some of the tools I used in this project below if you want to check them out. The tools I use are the ones that I have found are the best bang for the buck. Are there better ones, yea for some of them, are there cheaper ones, of course, but I use these daily so I need them to give me the best performance at a reasonable price so that I can get the job done.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Part III Wood Panel Accent Wall

Getting some panels on the wall and decided in order to stretch out the 1 x 10 Sapele boards so I can use the best ones and have left overs for smaller projects. Simple Board and Batten style panel and a handmade piece of trim from the router table. It all sits behind a black entertainment stand and stereo components. It's going to look pretty slick once the beautiful Mahonganhy like Sapele goes on top and the black flat screen is mounted to the wall. I'll come back and install the media boxes from the back side as the closet is the next to be redone! I added a layer of 1/2" sound board over the sheetrock so with 5/8" Gypsum, 1/2" fiber Soundboard, and 3/4" Sapele we should get get reflection from TV's rear speakers back into the viewing space while absorbing sound with the sound board and gypsum. And don't worry, when we redo the closet next we'll add Roxul Safe and Sound in the wall cavity, another layer of soundboard and GWB.

To be slick about it I used leftover 3/4" A/B Sanded cabinet grade plywood with 1/2" bead board. That made the 1/2" soundboard and 3/4 Sapele flush! More contemporary than I typically design but hey, something new!

Check out the 15 Gauge Nailer from Porter Cable

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Social Media and My Generation

I have found that there are two sides to my generation (and other generations as well but I'm not in those generations so I can't speak to that) when it comes to social media, those that can't live without it and those that have to live without it. A classic case of the have's and have not's. well not exactly.

When social media came out I was in college and like most found it a great way to share experiences across the globe as my network grew further and further in terms of distance. I couldn't keep up with it then and I sure as hell can't keep up with it now. When social media started creeping into the lexicon of my work colleagues I was immediately concerned. For the social butterfly this was an eureka moment if there ever was one but for me, I saw the danger in friending my boss for them to see my monster catch out on the water while I had the flu.

As the movement spread, I remember the first time I heard someone say they were the Social Media Director, and a couple of agencies posting adverts for social media coordinators. Sure, there has been some sort of Public Affairs and/or customer relations but this seemed dubious to me. Someone had an office (bigger than mine) that was on Facebook all day? Meh, I had my own projects to work on and they could have their fun.

Turning to today as I struggle to find the centre point in my triangle of entrepreneur, technician and manager, I have realized how freaking time consuming this all is. So much so that I have less to show on my social media because I was busy working on social media. It is the same as working on a portfolio in the old days when you had to physically carry the portfolio around and the construction of the portfolio was as important as the elements of the portfolio. You would spend so much time crafting your portfolio that there wasn't much to put in it!

So, it' 10:20, break time just ended and all I have to show for it is a handful of emails, posts, updates, editing, and general buggery. I wonder how many more platforms will be created this year?

So if you haven't checked out my sites (or ever read this anyway) I'll up date this when I create a copy and paste list of all these sites as links.

Jason Michael
youtube -
twitter @_KOTARSKI_
Facebook SpatialRecognition
twitter @SpatialRecog
Houzz Spatial Recognition
Thumbtack- Spatial Recognition
Porch- Spatial Recognition
Linkedin- JasonMichaelKotarski
Craigslist Jason Michael Kotarski
Craigslist Spatial Recognition

Friday, March 17, 2017

Hugle Lasagne Garten Kultur (Raised Garden Beds)

We finally got around to processing down last years storm debris, landscape compost, bonfire and bbq ashes and charcoal, and our kitchen compost. I added some logs and branches on the bottom to decay and absorb water and nutrients for the summer months. I'm not sure what I want to plant yet but most likely it will be something that loves sun and heat and will provide some shade to the middle beds for those less heat tolerant plants.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Permaculture- Installling my first beehive

I've been planning to so this for over five years. I would go to beekeeping speaking events, check out books from the library, search and research articles and forums on the net but never did it. I have always had animals, dogs, cats, etc.... but never any livestock or an apiary. I finally decided to just go ahead with some leftover pieces of plywood someone had given me. They're  plywood but at least they are 3/4 inch, 7 ply, A/B cabinet grade plywood! It did occur to me as I lay on the couch drifting into sleep that I forgot to add and entrance. OOPS! No worries, I'll get the jigsaw and do a quick little cut, I should have time still before any swarming occurs. It's still hovering around 40 F so I'll get to it.

I learned through my research that black or dark colored clothing was the worst option for beekeepers. Well, the plywood used to be a school theatre set and it was already painted black. Turns out it's not that bad actually for the hive and more than one long time beekeeper noted they do better than their other colored ones. Well, it is what it is and if they can make a hive in a old tire I think they'll be fine. Besides, I think they'll get morning sun to warm up and afternoon shade to stay cool along with a breeze off of the lake. Well, I guess we'll see!!!

Now, remember that blueberry mead I made? Oh yea, it'll bee back soon!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Stone Carving- The Granite Fieldstone Mortar & Pestle

This was my third finished mortar and pestle/ stone bowl. I've come up with a different way to create a "lathe" with the grinder. I am going to put to pipes on bearings mounted on the block of wood you see in the video. The friction from the grinding wheel will spin the piece like a cylinder and leave my hands free from touching the small piece of stone. I pan to do another larger one for the WellHaus pump basin that will also have a drain bored through it out to the greywater system in the future GreenHaus.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Magnetic Sewing Pin Holder

Got a little crafty for Valentines Day, yes I consider it a made up holiday but still, I thought she would appreciate something useful. I usually get potted perennials that we can put outside but as we have flower bulbs still in their package on the porch from September I'll forego the tradition!

Things I would have done differently,

A wider piece of metal. I don't write in cursive except in french and realized quickly that the piece of flat stock was very narrow. Also, I didn't even try to practice first and I haven't busted out the welder in awhile.  Also, I need to put gas on it, the flux core is so spitty. And that role was very old, thank goodness it ran out early, the new roll was far smoother. Check out the video and subscribe, comment, or suggest!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I'm calling Winter Over

I set out this past winter to be more active with writing. Nope, I really don't get that many views so I tried to keep up with making videos of past projects and use the dreary winter weather as an excuse to be inside editing all the video I shot while the weather is good. I figure that's when people will be trying to waste some of the dark days hours anyway.

Well, I'm calling it. I'm going to say that spring has sprung. I'm going to go back and recap on some of the projects I was able to accomplish and see if I can get this blog back on track, views or no views damn it. I don't do much writing these days so I have to keep up my typing skills somehow!

I have a good backlog of photographs to go through and I should put them to use. Since launching Spatial Recognition last year most of my time has been directed to getting that off the ground. We are attempting to focus on Historic, Natural and Cultural Resources in an area that is more about demolition and Mondrianesque painted vertical shipping container looking buildings.

So, sticking with the post and a notion to be succinct I'll turn my attention to the excitement in the landscape. The Ivy War continues and there will be another chapter coming soon but it has led to a more ambitious plan of permaculture. We intend to create a Master Plan (which I will outline later) that provides us and the animals some of our daily requirements. One of these initiatives is what I call indicators, indicators are plants that are typically consistent in their cycle. I plant them, or they plant themselves, in areas where I need certain functions. First, color! I need to see something that is not white, grey, or brown. While the evergreens are helpful I want some pink, red, purple, yellow, you know a bright garden billboard that says IT'S SPRING.

Flowering Quince- The humming birds are already VERY happy to see this starting to bloom. Although this is not the giant sweet quince fruit producing variety, we do get small tart quince that are loaded with pectin that go wonderfully with rhubarb and blackberry the the wife makes in to a jam. Keep these trimmed up and it'll flower almost all summer.

Hyacinth!!! One of my favs. What more is there to say? Both of these are perfect wake up calls to get your beans and greens started. They are also extremely important for the first food source for early bees. This is vital in the event the fruit trees blossom early as you want to keep the bees around. A couple of these planted strategically near the fruits and veggies will boost your yield.