Upcoming Day of Making: Art and Cooking

Hey, locals — we’re gearing up for another Maram Day of Making on Sunday, May 5 — this time with some cool cooking workshops (for example, grad student Ajapa Sharma‘s going to offer a Nepali cooking class before she heads home to Nepal for the summer!) and fascinating art. Take a look! (Please share and forward!)

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Sourdough Bread Workshop with Eulàlia Puig and Petia Kostadinova

Learn how to make sourdough bread two different ways. Participants will learn how to maintain a starter at home, and how to use it for breads, ranging from simple to more sophisticated, as well as other baked goods. We will demonstrate some of the steps and partake in kneading and shaping dough. Participants will receive active sourdough starter to make their own bread, dough to cook a small loaf of bread at home, and recipes recommended by the instructors.

Participants will sample bread made by the instructors. No previous experience required.

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Nepali Cooking Class with Ajapa Sharma

Learn to make scrumptious momos (South Asian dumplings) with a tangy tomato dip! Drawing on the long connections with Tibetans, Newari merchants of the Kathmandu valley in Nepal improvised to make their own distinctly spiced meat filled dumplings called momo. Momo is now a traditional delicacy in Nepal, served with a sauce (achaar) made with tomato.

Participants will learn to make the chicken-based filling for the momo. They will also learn to fill and fold readymade wonton wrappers into boat shaped dumplings. Participants will learn to make the accompanying sauce (achaar) for the momo. Materials will be provided. At the end of the workshop participants will have taste their own handmade momos. They will take home recipes to make momos for friends and family.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Orizomegami (paper folding and dying) with Pamela Martinez

Absorbent paper is folded and then dyed to produce interesting geometric patterns when the paper is unfolded, as practiced in Japan and around the world for centuries. Zen-like in its folding, the ancient technique reminds us to be present in the moment.

This exciting 1.5 hour workshop will introduce 4 basic paper folds. We will then experiment with nontoxic dye solutions resulting in beautiful papers that can be used for future art projects, gift wrapping, card making, envelope lining, or book binding. All supplies included.

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Jewelry – Prismacolor on Metal with Alix Mikesell

Make your own colorful unique jewelry! Colored pencils are an easy way to add color to metal. In this workshop, you will learn how to color on copper using Prismacolor pencils, how to blend, how to protect your creations for lasting use, and how to turn your small artworks into earrings or pendants.

Materials are provided. Each participant will create at least one piece of jewelry. This class will offer 4 free seats as a donation from the instructor in support of Maram. Please feel free to contact us at admin@marammakerspace.com for free access to this class.


Fifty percent of each ticket fee goes towards building a new community arts organization – Maram Makerspace.

Our short-term goal, securing a permanent accessible physical space, will move us closer to offering more partnerships with existing artisans and more workshops and classes for the general public. Donations are also gratefully accepted; Maram Makerspace is sponsored by the Speculative Literature Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Please visit http://marammakerspace.com/ for more information about us.

Tickets here: https://www.eventcombo.com/e/day-of-cooking-and-art-34627…

Creativity/productivity retreat today

Another creativity / productivity retreat here today. I’m planning to mostly work on the cookbook (which means I’ll be cooking some Sri Lankan food this morning to photograph and will serve it at lunch), possibly interspersed with a little gardening (getting in the dahlias and such in the backyard). I promised the layout person the book today, come hell or high water — I need to finish the photos, add a colophon page, and then I think we’re good to go? Eep.

I know Janea is coming by around 10; not sure if anyone else is, because given this weekend’s events, advertising this kind of fell off my radar, but that’s okay. The nice thing about hosting these is that it helps keep me focused on my own work, whether or not anyone else shows up.

I do have to note, though, that we are inexplicably out of coffee, which is unacceptable; I may need to run out and pick some up. So if you arrive and I’m not here, just let yourself in — I’ll be back in 20!

Planning meeting with Amanda and Meghan

Had good Maram meeting today, got things done, yay, thanks, Amanda and Meghan. Amanda’s moving along nicely on the website, and should have something solid in place by next week to show you all. For programming, we’re committing to creativity / productivity retreats every Tuesday 8-4, from tomorrow to the end of April. We’ll have ticketing up for those soon, starting with next week’s. (Tomorrow’s, you can just come.) $5 to cover snacks, coffee, tea. Meghan’s going to start scheduling some info sessions at the library, and also get all our volunteers set up on Discord and Trello, so make communications easier.

We are planning to try a Discord work session @ 1 on Wednesday, see how that works for us; I’m finding those really helpful for the Sigiriya working groups.

Amanda has kindly taken on the treasurer position for now, though long-term, we’d like more of an actual finance / budget person in that role. But immediate needs at the moment!

We’ve realized that we could really use a secretary for Maram, because none of us are good about taking minutes during meetings and we should start doing that. If you’d like to do that, let me know? (These are all volunteer positions for now, and probably for a long time to come!)

It’d be a very low-stress position, but would be ideal for someone who has a flexible schedule, and can easily duck out during the weekday / weekend / evenings for meetings, or at least meet with us on Zoom / Discord if they can’t easily leave the house. Maybe 1-4 hrs / week? If you can take good notes, you are the person for this!

If you can help us out as a secretary for a few months, let me know!


Creativity/Productivity Retreat

We’ll be hosting an informal creativity and productivity retreat again tomorrow! Come bring your laptops, notebooks, paints, anything quiet – headphones recommended.

There are four open work spaces on the first floor — two large tables, multiple couches and comfy chairs. There’s a writing shed in the backyard that you’re welcome to use (with a small heater), and a second floor library and home office (with a door that closes). Continental breakfast, tea and coffee, and snacks provided. Brown bag lunch if desired, though we’ll definitely have bread, peanut butter, and fruit on hand, along with various other bites. You don’t need to be there before 8:30, but please enter quietly if arriving later.

Concept: the tiniest of summer camps

Okay, here’s a research question for you all. Let’s say Anand really wants to basically hang out in the woods and maybe make art this summer. Let’s say I’m good with helping him do that for a week or two. Let’s say I’d be fine with having some other kids around for it, and he’d undoubtedly have more fun that way. Let’s say Maram could be the organizer for it, and hey, now we have the tiniest of summer camps.

(Let us say we have vague thoughts of doing the same with board games, and with creative writing, and with SCA foam sword-fighting.)

What do I need to know about supervising and being in charge of other peoples’ children for say 3 hours / day, possibly in the woods, for a week? Legally, health-wise, etc. Is there a guide somewhere to this kind of thing?

I assume there’s some point when casual stuff translates into more formal regulated things, and I’d like to know more about where that line is, so I can do it right. (Like, does ADA apply for this? I don’t know what’d be involved with managing a kid using a wheelchair in the woods, for example.)

Maram will have insurance when we’re in an actual space, which might be within a month or two, but I don’t know how that applies to off-site activities. We haven’t worried about it for writing classes in my house, but we know that’s a piece of the budget moving forward, and esp. if kids are involved…?

Plant ID meetup?

Plant ID session? So, I’ve been doing creativity / productivity retreats at my house on Tuesdays this month, as part of the Maram Makerspace events. $10 sliding scale, which covers snacks / coffee / tea for the day. Link in comments. But here’s the relevant bit…

…we’ve hit the point of the year where newer gardeners are wanting to identify what’s coming up. Since my house is semi-open that day anyway, I’d be happy to do something next Tuesday where I walked around my yard for an hour and told people what things were. I don’t know everything, but after 10 years here, I know a fair bit. The back yard is still sort of messy, but the front is mostly in good shape at this point. 🙂

Would people be interested? This would be free, just a meet-up, not officially part of the retreat thing.

If so, I’m thinking Tuesday 4/16, maybe 1-2, and then could do again in the evening, 6-7, for people who have day jobs? If you’d come, note below, and note which time? I live near the Y, the blue and purple Victorian.

Concept: Photo permission nametags

Photo permission note from a conversation this morning: A conference I was told about gave people the option of red lanyards, which signified that they didn’t want their photos publicized if they were in group shots.

We’re thinking of doing something similar for our local Maram and SLF events where we have paper name tags — green dots for ok-to-photograph, red dots for not-ok. May be useful as a concept going forward?

[EDITING TO NOTE because many people have mentioned it in comments: red-green is an issue for color-blindness, but red-teal is fine, and there are colorblind-safe color guides online, so if you’re doing this, use that. You can also reinforce with using two different shapes, like star and circle.]

I’d like to see these standardized for SF conventions.

(Note: the lanyards are preferable for visibility, but for smaller, more casual events where we don’t have budget for lanyards, the dots are at least something. A lot of the Maram events are 5-15 people, for example, such as a cooking workshop, so we’re just using the peel-and-stick name tags.)

Productivity retreat tomorrow

Almost forgot to post about this — looking forward to a quiet day of productivity tomorrow, mostly answering gazillion e-mails. Probably won’t make it to writing, aside from maybe a little mini food essay or two, but that’s fine. If you’re in town and want to work, come by — just RSVP, please, either here or by buying a ticket (to cover snacks and coffee/tea). Though it’s sliding scale, so if the cost is an issue at all, you can just come. I just like to have a sense of who’s arriving when!

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