Tag Archives: design

COMETCAMPER.com is Getting a Makeover

Hello readers!!

I’m very excited to announce that this little blog is getting a big makeover!

I’m writing to tell you all a few things about the new website I’ve been working on.

For the past few weeks I have been working very hard on designing and building a new website for COMETCAMPER.com. This new website has many more features, easier navigation, more fun stuff, and is looking pretty darn nice (it’s not done yet, but so far so cute!).

I would be very grateful if you guys, my awesome readers, would join me in the new and improved COMET CAMPER universe once it is all set up. First off, thank you to everyone who subscribes to this blog. You are my motivation and inspiration! For my readers that are subscribed via email, I should be able to just bring you over to the new site no problem (you’ll still get updates about blog posts / etc).

For those of you that are following via WordPress blogs, I would be SO HAPPY if you guys came over to the new site and re-subcribed with an email address, if you still enjoy this blog :) Thank you for helping me with this transition! I’m doing everything I can to make it as smooth as possible. I will update again soon and let you know what is up!

Also, is there anything in particular you guys want to see in the new website? What’s your favorite part of this site, or your least favorite part? I’m going to be posting more regularly (2+ times per week) and will be expanding what the site covers to include more of my interests such as entrepreneurship, travel, camping, and gardening (in addition to the vintage campers, tiny houses, and sustainable design stuff!). Basically, I’m doing a complete overhaul, and getting really excited about being in touch with you all more often than right now. It’ll be the same COMETCAMPER you know and love, but with more posts, more cool stuff to look at, and more awesome. I’ll also be adding more social media as well. I don’t currently do social media (besides this blog), but it’s high time I hang out with you guys in more ways. I’ll let you know how you can find me across the Internet what that’s all set up.

Hopefully there will be very little downtime (if any at all) during this transition.

On a separate note, someone mentioned me on their facebook and brought a lot of new views to my site, if that was you, I want to thank you tons!! WordPress doesn’t show me where the views came from, so I can’t thank that nice person. But if you’re out there I really appreciate it!

Again, thank you all so much for continued interest and support. I’m telling you, this camper renovation is really testing me right now (the GRINDING is NEVER ENDING!) but you make it all worth it. <3

-Mariah

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tiny House in your backyard? Help a friend in need!

Hello again!

It’s evening and I just spent a while going through all of the tiny house blog posts around the internet that I had missed in my tiny hiatus. I think I’m hungry for something new. Something really game changing. Anyone got any links to cool things they’ve seen lately? Be picky, I want to be inspired.

I got my wisdom teeth out last week and holy shit is that an awful experience. I still can’t eat food and my mouth still hurts like a bitch! How long does it take to recover usually? I’m on day 7 and am quite done with all this wisdom teeth nonsense. Now that I’ve had it done I’m pretty sure it’s all a hoax and a scam – your body definitely wants to keep those little guys INSIDE! I haven’t been able to move or read for a week. Ugh. Like I said when I first woke up from anesthesia, “What a bullshit!” (I have this moment – along with many other funny ones from after the procedure – on tape).

Anyway enough about me! I have some important news to share with you all on behalf of my friend Dave.

Dave and I met at Deek’s summer fun time Tiny House Summer Camp 2 years ago. Then he moved to Worcester (where I live) to build his tiny house! Then he stayed. Then he moved out of the city. For the past few months, he’s been living in a little backyard, but it’s time for a big change!

Dave lives in a nice tiny house that he built himself (I’ve seen it, it’s wonderful). He is looking for a new place to live in his tiny house. Are you interested? Would you like a nice person living in a neat little house to live in your backyard or on your land?

I can vouch for Dave being good company and totally not a nuisance. He is ideally looking to park his tiny house in New England somewhere, preferably Massachusetts, but he seems pretty flexible.

Please enjoy the two lovely photos of his house below. If you or someone you know are interested in having a tiny home on your property somehow, please get in touch with him!
You can also contact me and I’ll put you in touch, but probably emailing him is easiest.
Here’s his email address:
dave@st.germa.in

 

Cute porch! Even cuter house!

Cute porch! Even cuter house!

Off grid! Solar panels! "Bling bling".

Off grid! Solar panels! “Bling bling”.

Okay, one last thing. I learned how to set up coupon codes in my store just for you guys :) As I mentioned in my last post, I am raising money to complete the COMET by selling items in my Etsy shop Planet Queen Vintage. Every dollar you spend goes to the COMET, helping me to buy some final things like exterior paint, some photovoltaic components, and a few other things. Of course, you can always donate to the COMET over at the Donate page, but why not get something awesome and vintage in return to remind you of your incredible contribution? So, for you guys my amazing and supportive readers, you all get 15% off any purchase using the coupon code COMETCAMPER at checkout. Go use that coupon code! Do it! Thank you all you are amazing. Don’t forget, it’s COMETCAMPER  at checkout!
So if you find this blog entertaining, useful, helpful, or just kinda weird please consider getting something really cool from www.planetqueenvintage.etsy.com. Thank you! I am sincerely grateful for all of you readers and you all inspire me and make me happy.

Thanks for reading and please get in touch with Dave at dave@st.germa.in if you can help him find a place to live! Thank you!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tiny House Building Workshop: North Carolina Edition

So, as I mentioned in the last post I had to postpone my March tiny house road trip until April. At first I was bummed out, then I realized I would be traveling south at the same time of Deek Diedricksen and Steve Harrell’s Tiny House Workshop in NC, and now I’m so excited because I get to hang out there! Oh, you haven’t heard of this North Carolina workshop? Well, let me tell you, it’s going to be the biggest tiny house meeting of the minds yet, anywhere. The speakers will knock your socks off. And even though I’m not on the poster, I’ll be around too to talk about tiny houses and answer questions about off-grid stuff, design, sustainability, etc.

zee poster tiny house workshop CORRECTED

Here’s what Deek says about it on his website:

North Carolina Relaxshacks.com Workshop Announced! SIGN UP DETAILS…
HANDS-ON Tiny House Building Workshop with DIY Network Host, Author, Designer, Builder, and Blogger Derek “Deek” Diedricksen. We’re talking almost 35-40 hours of contact, building, demos, networking, and MORE! It looks like we’ll ALSO have a tiny house on wheels visiting us, courtesy of  TENNESSEE TINY HOMES! We’re excited to meet builder Joe, and see what he’s done!
Want to learn how to build a tiny house/cabin? Better yet, want to build one??  Here’s your chance, and we’re limiting this workshop to only 25 total, so as to keep it intimate. Sign up details are below….

JUST ANNOUNCED- EACH ATTENDEE WILL RECEIVE THESE DOOR GIFTS!!!!
A $120+ Value!
Plans for The Sonoma Shanty Cabin from Kent Griswold!6 months of Kent’s Tiny House MagazineLloyd Kahn’s AWESOME BOOK “Tiny Homes, Simple Shelter”Tiny House plan sets from COZYHOMEPLANS.comDON VARDO/gypsy wagon plans from Dee Williams and the P.A.D. Crew!Plans for The Darrington Cabin….the one we’ll all be buildingand more……
Its $120+ worth of door gifts for just signing up!
We’ll also be giving away a few copies of my book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” leading up to this event.

 April 26th-28th- Tiny House-Building Workshop #4

I never planned on doing many of these, but the first three I did were so much fun and all of them sold out, so I figured, why not do one somewhere warmer?

So North Carolina it is!
Wilmington, NC, to be precise…

This workshop will be a team up with Steven Harrell of Tinyhouselistings.com and Tinyhouseswoon.com – a THREE DAY, HANDS-ON, WORKSHOP where we’ll collectively build a tiny house! This will be another workshop that will be limited in size, so as to keep it intimate- 25 people or so is the maximum, so if interested, you might not want to wait too long on this. $399 for the three day event. Some food, snacks, coffee, materials, workbooks, and more, are all included.
GUEST SPEAKERS/DEMOS from…  -Kent Griswold of Tinyhouseblog.com (making the trek from CA)-

Alex Pino (FL)- To Discuss Downsizing Techniques (from TinyHouseTalk.com)-

Laura LaVoie- Tiny House Dweller and Builder 120SquareFeet.com-

Steven Harrell- co/hosting, and the man behind Tinyhouseswoon.com and Tinyhouselistings.comand

JUST ADDED…. Dustin Diedricksen- Environmental Engineer, Small House Dweller, Tiny House Builder…..

Andrew Odom- Builder/Dweller/Blogger- TinyRevolution.us

Ryan Mitchell- Builder and Thetinylife.com and we might STILL have more!~

PLUS….
-Campfire discussions at night
-Pizza Party/Cocktail meet n’ greet/networking hang-out
-Salvage Construction Demonstrations
-How to Save THOUSANDS While Building Your Own Tiny House
-What NOT to do when building and designing your own tiny home….
-Tricks Of The Trade and Techniques
-Tool Safety, Selection, and “Old School Tools” (Tools Deek still uses on off grid jobs)
-Designing and tips for space efficiency
-Alternative Building Techniques And Approaches
-Giveaways
These are just some of the things we’ll be covering as we all collectively build and design a tiny house/guest house.”

Obviously, the networking here alone is worth the price of admission. What you learn in between the building is amazing. I have been to all of Deek’s workshops since the beginning, and they are my favorite tiny house workshops! They are super fun, relaxed, informational, and you will make lots of friends. Email Deek (kidcedar@gmail.com) to sign up, and do it quick because it’s almost sold out if not already!

See you in NC!

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

I love my tiny house.

Okay, okay, so I know I’m still trying to catch up the blog with the progress in a chronological and step-by-step fashion – but I can’t help it. I love my little house (even though it’s unfinished) and I want to share what it looks like with you all at this point! So let’s look into the future-present at the most recent photos of the COMET. Give me your feedback in the comments! We’ll get back to the progress updates later – unfortunately this did not all happen overnight :)

DSC_7250

DSC_7252

DSC_7256

DSC_7257

DSC_7261

DSC_7265

I'm in love with this little custom hand-made soap holder that Matt made for my kitchen. It keeps the soap off of the valuable counter space and also covers up some irreparable damage on the original back splash so that I could re-use it!

I’m in love with this little custom hand-made soap holder that Matt made for my kitchen. It keeps the soap off of the valuable counter space and also covers up some irreparable damage on the original back splash so that I could re-use it!

DSC_7266

Step into my office...

Step into my office…

Humanure Deposit Receptacle - With Urine Diverting Action

Humanure Deposit Receptacle – With Urine Diverting Action

My new, very modest, closet.

My new, very modest, closet.

DSC_7283

If my cat were in the camper that's the sunny spot she would be sleeping on!

If my cat were in the camper that’s the sunny spot she would be sleeping on!

The couch in the back is also my bed – it folds down/pulls out to be quite comfortable (awesome fabric from Sew Fine Fabrics on Etsy). You can see the Marmoleum click flooring that I used (courtesy of GreenBuildingSupply.com) and the turquoise Marmoleum sheet good countertops (which everyone mistakes for being original – which means I picked the right color!). At first I thought all the colors were a little much, but I like them now. It fits my style. I’m happy with my little fold-down desk area in the back, made out of salvaged 1950’s cracked ice Formica. We used scrap Marmoleum from the countertops to make the bathroom floor, and some panels of cork flooring from the ReStore for the kick-plates in there. The rounded piece of the counter folds up and down too, which has come in handy!

Oh, and I just updated the PHOTOS page too, with these pictures. I updated a few other pages too – check out the new “SUSTAINABILITY” page under the “ABOUT THE PROJECT” header.

Well, it’s not finished, but it’s quite homey, and I love it. I had to share. Thanks for reading!!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Neon Victorian Tiny House (that’s right, NEON PINK)

Finally! Finally I have found a picture of one of my favorite tiny houses! I have walked by this little gem a hundred times, and I always forget exactly where it was or how to find it as if it was only a dream. But no, it’s real. It’s located in Newport RI (my parents have a trailer in Newport on a beach – the whole trailer thing sort of runs in the family) so I’ve seen it in real life and it always makes me swoon. It’s so detailed – from the colored shingles to the gorgeous bay window out front. Next time I’m in Newport I’ll take some detail photos, but for now feast your eyes and be inspired by this house. More tiny houses should be painted these colors…in my opinion. Death to boring houses!

neon victorian house

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Life is Validated by Tenth-Grade Girls

 

This is probably the coolest thing that has ever happened to me, so bear with me while I explode with excitement and awe.

ventura1
All I ever wanted with this blog and this project was to inspire other people to take their life into their own hands and do something creative with DIY attitude. Well, I never imagined that I would inspire a group of high school girls to undertake such a project, but it’s happening right now!
The girls at the Ann Richards School For Young Women Leaders in Austin TX are not your average tenth-graders. These engineering students focus on project-based learning at their high school. The class’s assignment this year is directly inspired by the COMET, as they turn a 1970’s travel trailer into a solar-powered learning tool. They are incorporating the eco-friendly aspects of the COMET and the small space design techniques of tiny houses into their project. The girls are learning 3D digital modeling, design, green building methods, construction, and more through the hands-on project. Right now, the design groups in the class are coming up with designs, budgets, and plans. The client will choose the winning design, which will be implemented in the trailer this spring.
Needless to say, I was flattered and amazed when their teacher (who is so amazing – I wish I had teachers like this in high school!) emailed me saying that they were undertaking Project Ventura, based on the COMET and my own methods. Now I’m going down to TX this week to teach the class for a week and learn what I can from this group of incredible young women. I can’t wait to see how they’ve improved on my ideas and what they’ve come up with for designs. Matt’s coming as the SketchUp expert, and will be teaching them 3D design using this free program.
I strongly encourage you to check out their blog! It is very detailed and extremely well-written. It will keep you up to date on all of their discoveries and victories. And if you have some money to spare, or think it’s a good cause, consider donating to Project Ventura so that they can begin the building process!
I can’t really describe how happy this class of inspiring young women makes me. I feel like I’ve accomplished a part of what I set out to do with the COMET, and it’s very fulfilling. Of course, I’ll let you all know how the trip goes and I’ll have lots of photos to share. Now go over to http://projectventura.wordpress.com/ and check out these kick-ass ladies!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Do you know about the Yestermorrow Tiny House Fair?

I have an exciting announcement! Although the wheels have been turning on this for a few months now, I want to remind all tiny house and sustainable building/design lovers about the Tiny House Fair that is happening at Yestermorrow School in Waitsfield, Vermont this summer. Here’s the scoop from the Yestermorrow website. And I’ll be there with the COMET, and giving a talk about small-scale solar power for your tiny house.

From the Yestermorrow website:

Yestermorrow is thrilled to host the first ever Tiny House Fair next spring, June 14-16, 2013. Register Now!

Come to the Tiny House Fair to learn about and celebrate tiny houses!  Join leaders of the tiny house movement, including Jay Shafer, founder of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and Derek (Deek) Diedricksen of Relaxshacks.

Whether you’ve just begun to explore tiny houses or already live in one, there are presentations you’ll enjoy:

  • how to design and build a tiny house
  • clever cabinetry and finish carpentry
  • design and construction for specific climates
  • finding and building with recycled materials
  • solar power 
  • composting toilets
  • the tiny house movement
  • creating a community

Cost: $300 General Registration, includes all workshops, presentations, and meals.

Dates: The fair starts Friday evening 6/14/2013 with dinner and a speaker, and ends Sunday afternoon 6/16/2013.

Workshop Schedule: See http://tinyhousecommunity.com/fair.htm for a full schedule of workshops and presenters.

Meals: The registration package includes Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast lunch and dinner, and Sunday breakfast and lunch.  We walk the talk of sustainability by purchasing local, organic, nutritious, and wholesome ingredients. The meal plan includes vegetarian options at every meal.

Register Online or call us at 802-496-5545 to secure your spot at the fair. We are limited to 100 participants.

Definitely check out the schedule of workshops over at Tiny House Community….all of the tiny house greats will be at this event. Jay Schafer, Derek Diedricksen, Alex Pino, and so many more.

Here's a beautiful tiny house built by Yestermorrow students.

Here’s a beautiful tiny house built by Yestermorrow students.

And if you haven’t checked out the Yestermorrow website or their course offerings before, you should! I can’t say enough good things about them. I haven’t been there in a month and I’m really missing it up there in VT! They have a Tiny House design course coming up soon, “Less is More”, which is taught by two wonderful instructors.

Another tiny house built by Yestermorrow students!

Another tiny house built by Yestermorrow students!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Boston, February 9 + 10

It’s that time of year again! The Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop will be happening in Boston in a few short weeks and I’m excited to say that I’ll be guest speaking at this SOLD OUT (!) workshop, talking about my experiences building a Tumbleweed house this fall and sharing my expertise in small-scale (tiny) off-grid systems for your tiny house. The workshop is Feb. 9-10, and you can still put your name on the wait list! Deek Diedricksen is hosting this one, and he’s a wonderful teacher and makes the workshop really fun.

So if you’re already signed up, I’ll see you there! Bring your tiny house questions and get ready to be inspired.

Here's a photo from last year's Tumbleweed workshop, when we visited the first ever built Tumbleweed house that Jay lived in for years.

Here’s a photo from last year’s Tumbleweed workshop, when we visited the first ever built Tumbleweed house that Jay lived in for years.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

A New Year, and a Winter Small Space Experiment

I can’t believe it’s been one year since I first launched cometcamper.wordpress.com, and since the COMET began to come to life after years of imagineering prior. I’m so grateful for all the help I’ve had along the way (yay, sponsors!) and all of the amazing people I have met as a result of the many places the COMET takes me.

Image

Now that it’s January, winter has officially arrived in Massachusetts. There’s a  few feet of snow on the ground, and it’s not going anywhere for a while. Confession time: I really wanted to live in the COMET over the winter this year, but I couldn’t get her weatherproofed in time. The hole in the wall where the fridge will end up going has a large vent, and without the fridge installed it was like sleeping outside! It ended up getting too chilly, and until I seal up the cracks and insulate the vents and install the fridge (and find an acceptable heat source) sadly I will not be sleeping in the COMET this winter. However, I took this opportunity to try on another tiny space living situation for fun and to see what I can learn from it.

While I’m not living in the COMET, I’ll be living in a tiny closet under the stairs in a collective house. The “room” is about the size of a twin bed, but the previous dweller made such good use of the space that it feels cozy, not cramped. There’s a bed on a platform so I can store things underneath. There are two drawers installed directly into the wall as built-ins at the foot of the bed. There is a desk that nests in the wall and unfolds when you need it, and the bed becomes your desk seat. She even installed a nifty bookcase tower. There’s also a tiny window on an exterior wall, so you can see outside and get some fresh air. I will have to post some pictures!

I enjoy living collectively and am looking forward to seeing how effective collective  and shared space can be. When you live in the closet, you spend time in the shared space more than someone in their own larger room. I anticipate making good use of the shared library and other common spaces. I wonder how a collective house of many tiny closet-sized rooms would function, if the collective space was ample? Something to think about! Anyway, it’s interesting to see how multi-functional a single room can be, and how comfortable a closet can be when it’s so efficiently and elegantly designed.

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Found: Tiny Retro Tube House

If I’m going to build a tiny house (which I will as soon as living in a trailer gets too silly and I need to have a shower), it is most definitely going to be something totally weird. Something retro-futuristic, or something space-age, or something unrecognizable as a house. Maybe like a big unicorn that I live in? Who knows. But I love odd, unique houses…that’s where I’m going with this.

I just came across these awesome vintage house/cabin plans on Etsy. It’s like a tiny tube house and I think it has loads of potential. I love it! So here’s our retro tiny house inspiration for the day:

 

 

These plans are available from the Etsy store RetroHut here. Has anyone out there built anything like this? Or this exact cabin? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. And if you have any of your own retro, vintage, or space-age tiny houses you’d like to share, send me an email and I’ll be happy to post ‘em up!

Oh, and happy Turkey day, gobble gobble!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 205 other followers