journal / The Edit

Chopping Wood, Adventures with Little Ones, and Hand-carved Spoons

The Edit is our regular mail out of inspiration. This edition of The Edit has been curated and written by our good friends Andrew and Emma Groves, the talented folk behind Miscellaneous Adventures. They are wonderful people who inspire us with their book suggestions and life hacks. So we thought, why not ask them to share some with you too. Over to them!

Emma Andrew

Hello! We are Andrew and Emma Groves of Miscellaneous Adventures. We’ve been married for 7 years, together for 16, and in 2016 we welcomed our son, Benji, into the world. In our time together, travel and adventure have always been important to us, immersing ourselves in other cultures and environments, serving as a way for us to feel inspired, enlightened and creative. In 2010, when looking for somewhere to live after returning to the UK, we stumbled across a woodland barn to rent in the Sussex countryside, and we’ve been here ever since. It was here, in 2013, that Andrew created Miscellaneous Adventures, initially as a "side project" to his illustration career, allowing him to move away from the computer screen and into the outdoors. Through Miscellaneous Adventures, we began learning new outdoors skills, more about nature, the environment and our place within it, and with that, the side project began to grow. We now teach a range of outdoor workshops, run a fully fledged creative studio, and make and design products for our online store, all from our little barn in the woods.

Here we’d like to share with you a few of the things that help enhance our daily lives and the work we do.

Nature Books

On the Bookshelf

One of the unexpected results of starting Miscellaneous Adventures was learning so much more about nature, the environment, our landscape and conservation. There are five books that really changed the way we look at the world around us. In each of them, we read something that chimed with our own experiences and discoveries about nature and society. These books helped us form the basis of our own approach to how we work and live, and inspired us to develop a set of guiding principles that we apply to all aspects of our lives, from making products and managing the land we look after, to choosing what products we buy and use. We’d definitely recommend reading them all, and see where they might lead you.

A Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold

Silent Spring - Rachel Carson

Feral - George Monbiot

Our Place - Mark Cocker

Walden - Henry David Thoreau

Small Forest Axe

Gränsfors Bruk Small Forest Axe

It’s probably safe to say that there’s not a day that goes by that we don’t use an axe. Be it firewood prep for our indoor stove in winter or outdoor stove in summer, for use around the woodland doing various forestry jobs, or for carving our wooden goods – we simply couldn’t be without one. After learning how to use one properly (which we recommend everyone does before buying an axe) we have slowly built up a collection made by legendary Swedish axe makers, Gränsfors Bruk. Each axe has its own specific use, such as felling, carving or wood splitting, but if we had to choose only one, it would be the Small Forest Axe. Capable enough to fell a tree, yet small and light enough for carving – it’s a perfect all rounder. It also fits discreetly in a rucksack and accompanies us on all of our outdoor adventures.

Vicki1

Vicki Turner at Open Surf, Cornwall.

We’ve long been big fans of the work of Vicki Turner, an artist and illustrator whose work is heavily influenced by her love of the ocean and, in her own words, her "passion and curiosity for the natural world". She has a unique, delicate style, combining shapes and colour effortlessly to create beautiful imagery for a range of commercial clients alongside personal projects and creative collaborations. She is currently exhibiting a series of paintings at Open:Surf in St Agnes, Cornwall. The exhibition, Hold me Closer, TIny Roller is showing until the end of September, and if you miss it, she has produced a limited edition screenprint featuring all the paintings from the show which can be bought via her store here.

Osprey Poco AG

Osprey Poco Ag Plus

After having our son Benji back in 2016, we wanted him join in with everything we do in hopes that this would instil in him a love for the outdoors and a sense of adventure. With this in mind, before he was even born and after much online research, we decided to invest in an Osprey Poco AG child carrier. As soon as Benji was able to sit up (at 5 months old – he was keen!), we began to take him everywhere with us in this carrier. From the Lake District, to the wild Western Fjords of Norway and most recently, the High Coast of Sweden on a multi-day hike. It has also been great for wandering the South Downs closer to home, and even around the local shops. Benji loves it, and we are so grateful for the freedom it has given us to keep doing the things we love and share them with him.

Adventure Spoon1

Miscellaneous Adventures Adventure Spoon

We design and make all our products in the hope that they will become cherished, treasured items; adventure companions that gather stories from travel and use. We think that caring for and having an attachment to the things we buy is an important step away from our throwaway consumer culture, perhaps the biggest challenge the planet currently faces. When buying new things, especially outdoor gear, we look for items that are made with care and designed to last. We apply the same rules when making our own products, which we use ourselves (our wooden Polaris cups have travelled far and wide with us and are now imbued with memories of many adventures). We’d like to recommend our wooden Adventure Spoons as our all round favourite product; they great for cooking, eating, stirring and scraping, and if looked after, will last many, many years to come.

Thanks again to Andrew and Emma for taking the time to share with us their edition of The Edit.

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