Living off-grid, quietly and creatively in the hills of Idaho, USA.


Jim Croft and Melody Eckroth live and work in the hills around Pokey Creek, three miles north of Santa, Idaho, USA. It's where they grow flax which they beat with their homemade stamping mill. They fell trees for book boards and scavenge the forest for elk and deer bones to make tools and handles for their willow baskets. You would be hard pressed to find a more creative, happy, self-sustaining couple than Jim and Melody.


Melody, who spins yarn, makes clothes and weaves willow to make baskets says, "We've been cultivated to not think about making it. It's easier to go buy it, but it undermines our ability to make things".

Among other skills Jim is a gothic style bookbinder, a beautiful, robust and functional style of binding. Every step of the process is done by hand, making his own paper using the linen from recycled fire hoses and cutting down trees and splitting the wood that will be used for the covers. He shapes brass or bronze clasps by hand, makes his own glue and binds all of his books with hand-spun thread over hand-spun cords. He's been known to get his wood from mill burn piles, his brass and bronze from old bar kick plates and door hinges and leather and bone from hunter's scraps. Jim says, "Everything takes on a special quality if you make it yourself, you understand historic ways and get exactly what you want if you keep trying". Jim runs workshops teaching others how to make beautiful books.