See you at the Pot Luck

by Jen Patterson

This spring weather feels so freeing! I want to get out there and DO things in a way I really didn’t in December. To those who love the cold, you have my greatest respect. For the rest, please join us! Let’s share our labors and get started now if we’ve been hanging back.

If you’re new, here’s a great way get started. The AUSTIN TIME EXCHANGE NETWORK POTLUCK GATHERING is coming up: Saturday March 1st from 4 to 7 pm, at Chuck Wimbrow’s place, 2420 Wilson Street, 78704. Chuck will be grilling fajitas. RSVP soon – by February 27 to Chuck at silverbacker(at)netscape(dot)net. Please list a side dish too so Chuck can estimate how many fajitas to purchase. Bring a drink and a chair. And most of all, please come; it should be a great time. We’re more likely to work together if we know one another!

In April, ATEN is merging the Creating Commerce Circle concept with the Austin Sustainable Swap, really a most natural partnership. Every third Saturday from 12-4, folks gather to exchange produce, crafts, skills and services, even excess toys, clothes and supplies. Meet people, share what you do, take free classes, plan projects… It all takes place at Hot Mama’s Café. Learn more at

Outstanding requests show the kinds of interesting things we’re up to — mentoring, gardening, web design, car maintenance, even hosting a concert! Offers for current members include a past-life regression workshop – coming up soon – 2/23/2014 and at-home massage therapy. Those sound too good to pass up!

For new members, don’t forget, there’s an orientation every Sunday (barring holidays) at 2pm at MonkeyWrench Books. Head on over and meet Elton Hammock there. He’ll be happy to show you the ropes!


Where to find ATEN this summer

Second Sundays at Soma Vida are back for July and August!  We meet for new member orientation at 4pm on those two Sundays (7/14 & 8/11), plus work parties will be ongoing from 11am-4pm on those days to freshen up the paint in two of Soma Vida’s rooms.  They are offering Hours to helpers who commit to a 1/2 (2.5 hours) or full (5 hours) shift. (r.s.v.p. to


In August, we will add on a new South Austin venue for monthly orientations, AND a monthly Creating Commerce gathering that will meet at alternating North, Central and South venues.  Creating Commerce circles are fun networking events for new AND current members to get together and share what they do and are passionate about… 5 minutes each around the circle (kind of like Show and Tell, but for grown-ups).  And, get your recipes handy, because August is also time for our Quarterly Potluck.

And here are some picture from our last, the May Musical Potluck:

mmp-1 mmp=2mmp-3Yum.

EXCHANGE FAIR @ Learning Man Coming SOON!

Imagine a day of free workshops, classes and presentations, all contained within one building and offered by fellow Time Exchangers…

Well, we’re going to make it happen on May 4th at Soma Vida!

Soma Vida will host our first ever Learning Man Exchange Fair.
Soma Vida will host our first ever Learning Man Exchange Fair.

With a speed-orientation available at registration and extra computers available, participants will be able to redeem ATEN Hours for tutelage in the subjects of their choice, all taught by “qualified experts” in their fields. (this is subjective, but we think your own opinion of yourself is worth something…)

Some of the subjects already being covered include: Creating a Personal Vision, Being a Change Agent, Understanding your Non-human Companions, Feng Shui, and Spiritual Healing.

What could YOU contribute to our smorgasbord of smarts?

  • Do you know how to make tinctures, ferments, home-made cleaning supplies, or beauty products?
  • Are you a professional with Saturdays off and a passion for sharing your experiences and expertise?
  • Holistic health, yoga, tai chi?
  • Know from experience about starting a co-op, using wordpress for websites, editing photos in Photoshop?
  • Have you traveled afar and brought back unique stories?
  • Know some tips for being a great babysitter?
  • Play an instrument and can show us how, too?

If you have a desire to teach, we want to see you there!  You will get Hours for your presentation + preparation time, plus access to all other class sessions.

Email a proposal for your presentation/workshop/class to by April 14th.  Include a brief description of your presentation and your history with the subject, as well as an amount of time that your presentation will take (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour)

This EXCHANGE FAIR / KNOWLEDGE-SHARE is happening in tandem with Austin’s Learning Man 2013, which will include events on May 3rd and 5th as well.

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If you want to get oriented to ATEN before the event (and earn a one-hour “stimulus” credit), you can come out to the Austin Sustainable Swap on Saturday, April 20th and catch our 1:30pm orientation.

It’s Only a Matter of Time…


  • Tomorrow, Sunday the 13th from 4-5pm. Location: Soma Vida – 1210 Rosewood Ave.  78702
  • Saturday, January 19th from 1:30 to 2ish. Location: Hot Mama’s Cafe – 2401 E. 6th St. #1004  78702.
    This is part of the Austin Sustainable Swap (see below!)
Thanks to Thao Photography for the photos of ATEN’s reps. Cliff and Elton, at the December’s Swap.

Have you heard of the Austin Sustainable Swap?  Going on 3 months now, it has existed on Third Saturdays at Hot Mama’s Cafe and is a great addition to Austin’s alternative-commerce landscape.  From their website, Austin Sustainable Swap is:

  • a meeting space where folks can gather and exchange home-grown produce, home-made crafts, as well as skills and services.
  • an educational space, for individuals or groups to provide free workshops and classes to those interested in learning.
  • a space for raising awareness; for local non-profit organizations to educate us on how they contribute to our local community, and how we may help them to succeed.
  • a place for folk to gather and exchange ideas, plan projects, plant seeds, and gather each other–as resources.  Because when we work together, we can accomplish so much.
  • a place to let go of the tools or objects you no longer need: clothes,shoes,toys,books,excess supplies…and trade them out for ones that are new, to you, and may serve you better, now.
  • a space to play, and dance, and hoop, and spin.

ATEN is grateful to Austin Sustainable Swap for creating this space and the opportunity to reach out to potential new members.  Come participate!

And looking into the Future…

  • Want to get together for a potluck in February?  Okay!  In an effort to be more present in areas of town other than East, we would love to find a place (a home, or other free-to-use space) willing to host that is South or North.  Please get in touch if you want to host or have a suggestion.
  • This year we will be working on a new version of the ATEN web site.  It will also be open source and available for other time banks to implement.  We might have fewer features at the beginning but hope to scale it up over time and continue to add features according to what the ATEN community needs.  More info to come later, so stay tuned!

110315_SDG70868“I really appreciate how versatile ATEN is!  I’ve used it for everything from tutoring to building design and know I will continue to rely on it more for all the interesting things i want to know more about/be able to do, but am just not ready for DIY quite yet.  Thanks for being here!”  –Leta

Do you have a story about what ATEN has done for you? Please share with us at info@

Thanks, everybody

Our anniversary soiree last month was a great time under the trees with music and merriment.  The event brought in lots of donations for ATEN making it our most successful fundraiser to date.  Also, fifty or so new members registered in the network during the publicity for the event.

Thanks to Attic Ted and Lizzi and the Lovers for providing music, Hot Mama’s/Ararat for vending food, ProArts, Texpert Tours and Charlotte Keith Massage for donating raffle items, SomaVida for hosting us, and everyone who came out to attend!

In more recent news, the site host change went through without too many hitches this past week.  Many props to Tom Brown and Rich Vasquez for their work on this change, which enhances the usability of our network in many ways.  Bugs are still being worked out by Tom, so please do write to if something isn’t working right.


The Austin Time Exchange Network (ATEN) is a local program that enables individuals to provide and receive skills and services within a network of people and organizations in Greater Austin. Similar to concepts expressed in bartering and alternative currency systems, this grassroots initiative lets members exchange labor and assistance without using the U.S. Dollar. Launched in April of 2006, ATEN currently has over 300 members and invites new participants to join by attending any of our upcoming introduction meetings.

ATEN values equality and compensates each of its members uniformly for the time and work they provide to others in the network. When an individual completes an hour of service for another member, they earn one Exchange Share, the unit of credit used within the network. All hours of service provided by members of ATEN are considered to be of equal value regardless of the type of skill offered in the exchange. The Exchange Share earned can be spent on receiving an hour of service from any other member of the network.

The Austin Time Exchange serves a significant purpose for Austin on several levels and in many areas of life. It is a common-sense, practical, and useful system that not only theorizes about the way communities should interact, but puts in place the methods and tools to make it happen. It provides an alternative means for its members to meet their everyday needs through promoting a complementary, local economic system. ATEN also creates a web of interaction and support that includes people from different areas and diverse backgrounds in its membership. The Austin Time Exchange has the promise to promote social change and encourage economic self-sufficiency through rebuilding a sense of community and opportunity in Greater Austin.

To learn more or become involved in the Austin Time Exchange, please attend an informational meeting.