on the Root Simple podcast

Kelly and Erik have been a source of inspiration to me for years. Their blog, RootSimple.com, and their books have enriched my life and given me ideas for lots of experimentation. Beekeeping, fermentation, baking, gardening, organizing, and even cleaning. At some point, they’ve helped me directly or I’ve reached for their solutions (we use their “almost universal cleaning spray” daily around the household, a blend of 50/50 vinegar and water). That’s why I was so excited to be on their podcast.

We had a wonderful conversation that spanned many topics. Erik was very encouraging and he almost made me forget there was a microphone in front of me. You should head over to their website to listen and check out the show notes. Although if you are in a hurry you can just hit play right here:

Listen to “108 Artist/Maker Federico Tobon” on Spreaker.

Here are some bonus pictures and notes:

I found the actual comment about the Michel Pollan inspired rules for social media. I wrote: “Post positive things. Mostly yours. Not too much.” It’s not a very strict rule, and I would probably reevaluate it if I had different goals for my social media presence, but I mostly abide by it.

My CNC router is specifically a ShapeOko 2 with a few modifications. It lives in the utility room of my apartment it perhaps it occupies more space than it deserves.

Here is some information for the CNC aficionados: That red box houses the electronics (power supply, Arduino, GRBL shield and motor controller) and I added some buttons and switches to the top for easy access. Other mods are the LED strip on the Y rails and the HDPE waste board. It’s humble by today’s standards but I do enjoy the little beast. Behind the red box, there is a raspberry pi that helps me control it via WIFI using the wonderful chilipeppr grbl workspace.

My ShapeOko 2

This video shows the ShapeOko 2 in action making some pockets for the color pencil inlays:

The 3D printer turned laser engraver we mentioned is a circa 2012 Solidoodle 2. The company has gone extinct but some things stay alive beyond their creator’s intentions. I followed the directions on this instructable almost to the letter to turn it into a laser engraver. It’s not pretty but it does some jobs.

My Solidoodle 2 3D printer with a laser head

In action while working on the Opposable Thumbs Challenge:

We were talking about cat training on the podcast so here is a video of our cat Kuro jumping between two tables and doing a high five:


Erik mentioned some of my sewing projects. Some time ago I designed and made a lot of messenger bags. My messenger bag pattern was based on the golden ratio, more of an intellectual exercise than an actual belief in its powers to make things better, but it was fun:

golden ratio messenger bag
messenger bag pattern
The messenger bag pattern


And finally, this is a picture of the beehive we moved to the roof with Erik’s help, I wrote a short blog post when we did it with some more details and a couple of videos.

Our beehive back in 2010

Head over to Root Simple for the rest of the show notes.