Tag Archives: workshop

Tiny House Fair 2013 – Processing the Weekend

I said to Matt as we were leaving Warren VT after 4 days at the Tiny House Fair at Yestermorrow this past weekend, “I’m going to need some time to process everything!” and it’s been a few days now since we got back. I’m just finally able to write about it! What a crazy, fun, informative, inspiring weekend. I met people I had been admiring for a long time, and it was fun to just hang out and talk about stuff other than tiny houses too. The movers and shakers of this little movement are passionate about the earth, social justice, and community building in all different ways. It was great to be able to hang out with some friends from the trip last month – Alex Pino of Tiny House Talk, and Dan Louche of Tiny Home Builders, and to meet everyone new.

Check out the photos below, the ones that are taken at night are Matt’s photos. Look at the Milky Way! Vermont is beautiful. After the fair was over, Monday morning, I took the remainder of the tiny house presenters (Jay, Lina, Alex, Dan) that were still around on a tour of my favorite design/build buildings in the Waitsfield/Warren area – of which there are quite a few. It really made me appreciate all the amazing things I get to see as part of my every day life. It also made me appreciate what it would be like to have no building codes – pretty fucking awesome in my opinion. Have you ever been to the Prickly Mountain, or seen the Archy Bunker?

Now it’s time for a little rant. I’ll be covering more of the issues that cropped up over the weekend (bigger issues) in the next few days, but for now I just have to express how disappointed I was to receive a nasty note taped to the back of my camper one day when I looked outside during the fair. Someone, obviously with nothing better to do than troll around and try to make people feel bad, wrote a passive aggressive, rude note on my trailer and left it there anonymously. The COMET, as is obvious from the photos, is not complete. It does not have exterior paint, or the PV system installed, or the bumper garden built. But before we left for VT I said, “you know what, people at the fair are going to appreciate it anyway because I know they’re all going to see what my vision is for this thing”. Apparently I was wrong. I was so sad that someone from what I considered to be my own community was so disrespectful. I brought the camper to the Fair so that people would be able to step inside a real, lived-in, functioning tiny house. It was not easy to get it to rural Vermont, and it certainly wasn’t free. This person, who clearly has never done a project themselves, and has no idea what goes into something like this (and probably never will and feels bad about themselves and their life) didn’t consider there was a real person that lives in the COMET. Anyway, I’m done feeding the trolls for today – but I just wanted to say that we all need to support each other as a community in this endeavor. Building a tiny house takes a long time and is not easy at all. I know I don’t really fit in with the “tiny house” aesthetic, and many people bum out on trailers and RVs in their presentations about tiny houses, but I still thought I had my own little place within this movement. I hope so, but we’ll see.

In better news, after the fair was over someone came up to Matt and I and said, “in this whole tiny house world, you are the fly in the ointment.” I loved that. I know we are. Our tiny house looks like trash right now compared to what you think of a tiny house. Some people just aren’t interested in it because it doesn’t look like a little cottage or “house”. But we stand by that the COMET is a real solution to living situations, and we know we like to go against the grain. Thank you kind friend for confirming that we’ll always be misfits no matter where we go :) I’m beginning to realize that I like it that way.

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This was the display we made for the front of the camper to describe the green building materials – what do you think?

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Me with my trusty pink flamingo – the closest I have to a pet haha!

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Left to Right: Abel of Zyl Vardos, Dee Williams of PAD, Lina Minard, Alex Pino of Tiny House Talk, Jay Schafer of Four Lights, Brian Levy of Boneyard Studios, Dan Louche of Tiny Home Builders, Matt and Myself, and tiny house dweller Susan.

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New Video and oh hey I missed you guys!

I’m back!

What a wild trip! Just to remind you all, for the past month I was traveling around the US (car-camping in my Element, which worked out great) interviewing Tiny House people and doing tiny house stuff. In the coming months (it takes so long to edit this stuff!) you’ll see my interviews with Laura Lavoie of Life In 120 Square Feet, Dan Louche of Tiny Home Builders, Alex Pino of Tiny House Talk, Sicily of Le Petit Maison, Steve Harrell of Tiny House Swoon and Tiny House Listings, Andrew Odom of Tiny (r)Evolution, and Hari and Karl of Tiny House Family. What an awesome community of people we have! Turns out everyone lives in a tiny house for very different, unique reasons, and it was amazing to see so many people who had really found a sense of fulfillment through small living. More on all this later!

Also, Kent Griswold told me that I had a video up on YouTube, maybe some of you have already seen it? I just found out about it while I was away, and I’d love it if you guys checked it out and “liked” it if you feel like it! Here’s the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uKCnIBOhpw

I’m getting excited about Tiny House Fair in June. Matt and I have one month to complete the COMET. I anticipate 12 to 16 hour days and lots of exhausted yelling! Haha! If I’m absent for the next few weeks, you’ll know it’s just because I’m working my butt off to get this hunk of vintage metal ready for it’s big debut.

I have an article coming out in a regional magazine called Spirit of Change soon, so I’m looking forward to that.

Here’s some photos from the trip for you to look at:

At the tiny house workshop in Wilmington - Steve Harrell had this awesome sign, I want to make one now too!

At the tiny house workshop in Wilmington – Steve Harrell had this awesome sign, I want to make one now too!

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Thanks for reading! Talk to you all soon!

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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!

 

 

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Tiny House Madness!

I’m in Vermont at Yestermorrow for the next two weeks building a tiny house on a trailer. It is a modified “weebee” house from the Tumbleweed company. We are building it on a custom aluminum trailer, which is new to me (I think most people build tiny houses on steel frame trailers, but I’m excited to see how this turns out. It does pose some new challenges however, and we are experimenting with some metal reactions). I will post lots of pictures :)
Also! Tiny House workshop coming up with Derek Diedricksen in November (2-4) in Boston. I will be bringing the COMET, it will be almost finished! Tons of awesome speakers/guests. Here’s the poster:

 


Can’t wait for that!

I’m really going to do my best in the next two weeks to keep you updated on this tiny house build. It’s a crazy intense workshop – building/construction from 9 am – 5 pm, then class and studio time designing our own tiny houses from 5- whenever you fall asleep at your desk! But I will do my best to update, because it’s an awesome process we’re going through with this tiny house. Working as a group is always an interesting experience!

until then!

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Tumbleweed Tiny House Worskhop Re-cap and Progress!

Hello!

I’ve been away from the blog for a few days in favor of getting in some full days of work out in the COMET. I will spare you some of the details (I removed the black water tank. I then had to remove and clean the wood/subfloor that the black water tank sat on. Not pleasant!) so you don’t lose your breakfast, but I will say that I found something HILARIOUS hidden in the walls of the camper under the toilet. My COMET definitely has a history! I’ll post a picture of it later, because it’s too funny (and somewhat lewd) to describe at the moment!

Anyway, what I really want to talk about is the Tumbleweed Tiny House workshop that I spoke at and attended in Boston over the weekend. I was getting over a fever/cold this weekend (I hate summer colds!) but had a GREAT time at the workshop. The main part of the workshop was taught by Derek Diedricksen, tiny house and recycled materials guru. I gave a presentation about how the design and technology of the camper industry can be interpreted into tiny houses, and how you can re-use vintage camper appliances and parts in a tiny house to save money. Mostly, though, I talked about solar power and how to set up an entirely DC Photovoltaic system, which saves you money and is more efficient. People seemed to really enjoy the presentation, and there were lots of questions. For me, it was like accomplishing a life goal, a personal achievement! I can’t believe that after only a few months of working on The COMET I was already speaking at a tiny house workshop – and a Tumbleweed one none the less! I was psyched!

The original Tumbleweed tiny house – Tumbleweed Epu

The workshop was really great. It’s 2 days and it was largely classroom-based. We talked a lot about trailers and what special construction details need to go into a tiny house that is on wheels and will occasionally be moving. There are a lot more structural considerations. Being a builder, not all of the information was new to me, but I do think it’s a worthwhile workshop for someone wanting to know how the tiny house building works. I did particularly like talking about systems for your tiny house and hearing from a presenter, Doug, who had built a Tumbleweed Fencl out of SIPs (when I build a real tiny house – in the future when I’m a real adult – I’m definitely using SIPs!).

Day 2 we spent the morning seeing more presentations about construction and seeing some examples of what NOT to do. The second half of day 2 was the best part: We went to the other side of the city to see and tour the ORIGINAL Tumbleweed tiny house, and Epu model that Jay built and lived in himself for years. It now rests in a magical garden behind big brick walls in Boston (I’m not kidding – we’re talking ponds full of fish, waterfalls, gardens, chickens, and a tiny house in this little oasis). It was cool to see the original design and how that has changed. The Epu had no bathroom, a tiny kitchen and a coffin-like loft. I like the new designs better :)

At the Epu location we all sat around a gorgeous pond on a stone wall and listened to a few more speakers. Sage Radachowsky, who lives in his home-built gypsy wagon in a backyard in Boston, spoke about his build process and using found materials. He was wonderful to listen to, and has been going beyond the tiny house and keeping a garden, chickens, and bees. Check out the TIny Yellow House video about Sage’s gypsy wagon home here. I have plans to do a video interview with Sage in his home, and talk about why we choose to live tiny and other big “tiny” questions. I have lots to ask him!

Sage Radachowsky talks about his life in a tiny gypsy wagon that he built.

We then heard from John Hanson Mitchell, author of “Living at The End of Time“. He built and lived in a tiny house in the 80’s, and wrote the book about his experience. It was very interesting to hear his story or living in his tiny house without modern amenities, while less than a mile away a giant computer factory was being built.

The best part of these workshops is the mingling and “networking”. “Networking” makes it sound like a business meeting, but I felt like a met a lot of nice people with similar interests that I would like to keep in touch with. I loved hearing about other people’s plans, and it was nice to be able to offer some first-hand advice.

I can’t wait for Tiny House Summer Camp in July (go to relaxshacks.com to find out more and register!). The Tumbleweed workshop was totally life affirming!

Well, it’s back out to the COMET for another day of work. There’s a lot I have to get done before July 6th (Tiny house Summer Camp), and I leave on Sunday to go to Yestermorrow School for 3+ weeks for Core. I’ll check in later!

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Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop is right around the corner!

Hey all!

The highly anticipated Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Boston, MA is coming up this weekend. I’ll be speaking at the workshop and doing a little presentation. I’m honored and very excited! (Personal achievement alert: When I applied for field study at the beginning of this semester, I wrote down all of the workshops that I was hoping to attend as a student. Now I get to tell my advisors that I actually guest spoke at those workshops!). I’m going to be speaking about campers as tiny houses, how to save money in your tiny house, solar powered tiny houses, and some other off-grid and eco-friendly systems. I’m excited about all of the other speakers and our special tour of the very FIRST Tumbleweed tiny house! The workshop is led by Derek Diedricksen of relaxshacks.com. You can go to the Tumbleweed website to sign up for the workshop, if you haven’t already.

 

If you are reading this and are planning on attending the workshop, let me know in the comments!

See you all on Saturday in Boston!

 

Also, if you’re a tiny house nut like me (which you probably are, and if you’re not you will be soon!) sign up for Derek Diedricksen’s TINY HOUSE SUMMER CAMP! Go over to relaxshacks.com to sign up. It’s a 4 days weekend in July of tiny house fun!! I’ll be bringing the COMET to that one, so you can see her in all her mid-construction glory!

 

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Tiny House Summer Camp update + full roster

Hello!

Here’s the official Tiny House Summer Camp flyer and the full roster (as of now). I’ll be there, and you should be there too!

Head over to relaxshacks.com to see more details. Camp takes place July 6-9, Northern Vermont.

I’ve updated the Events + Appearances page accordingly!

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Very Quick COMET update

Hey all!

I spontaneously moved the COMET from her hiding place behind my father’s mill building back to my house/workshop yesterday. The weather had been consistently nice and it’s time to break some ground inside. I towed her myself for the first time and she handled as nicely as I could expect from a trailer that old!

I’ll post pictured of her in her new home later on, but for now I am on my way to a Photovoltiac workshop at Hampshire College, where I am helping to build a “solar wagon” which will hang out near the bus stop and charge cell phones, laptops, ipods, etc. Check out soldesignlab.com to see what I mean.

Oh, and big THANK YOU to Derek Diedricksen over at Relaxshacks.com, who did a blog post about me today. Thanks Deek for helping me get the word out about The COMET project!! And if you haven’t already, go over to relaxshacks.com and sign up for tiny house summer camp, it’s going to be awesome. July 6-9th in Vermont tiny houses galore full roster to be announced today and I’ve heard it’s going to be NUTS!

 

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The COMET and I will be at the Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Boston next Month!

Hey everyone!

I’m very excited to announce that I will be speaking at the Tumbleweed Tiny House Design/Build workshop with Derek “Deek” Diedricksen. The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company’s workshop is in Boston, MA and is 2 days, May 19th and 20th. I will have The COMET with me (someway, somehow, I will be towing – and parking it – around Boston!) and will be talking about the project, vintage campers as Tiny Houses, solar electricity in your tiny house or converted camper, and green + recycled building materials. It’s going to be an awesome weekend. There will be some other guests announced soon as well.

Go to the Tumbleweed Tiny House website, http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/workshops/boston/, and sign up for the weekend workshop soon!

Also, go to relaxshacks.com and sign up for the other workshop that The COMET and I will be at – Tiny House Summer Camp weekend in Vermont, July 6-9.

Can’t wait to show you all The COMET’s progress up close and personal, and meet some of you in person.

If you are planning on attending either of the workshops this summer, let me know in the comments!

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Great used building materials resource: DiggersList

I came across this really great resource for finding used/extra building materials for sale in your area. It’s basically a Craigslist just for home improvement/building materials/appliances, and it’s called DiggersList. Just type in your area/town and DiggersList will find anything for sale/free in a 50 mile radius. I really like the name, because as someone who loves to find used materials in the dumpster or in piles on the road, or even in piles on the internet, I think people like us really are “Diggers!”

If you check out DiggersList and find something great to use in your tiny house, camper conversion, or other project, let me know in the comments!

(And on the flip side of acquiring great used/unused extra building materials for free or cheap, you can also post your own leftover flooring, old fridge, or salvaged lumber on the site so others can take it off your hands!)

A random tiny cabin that I liked: solar powered, and check out the motorcycles (very fuel efficient).

Also, just a quick reminder about the TINY HOUSE SUMMER CAMP workshop weekend that Derek “DEEK” Diedricksen of Relaxshacks.com is hosting: sign up fast because there are VERY limited spaces available. It’s going to be an amazing weekend of tiny house building, designing, idea swapping. and more. I’ll be there, and The COMET will be coming with me to the workshop. I’m going to be showing it off (mid-construction) and bringing along lots of interesting sustainable building materials and other things. I’ll be showing off my free and recycled finds that will be going into The COMET, explaining why vintage campers make great tiny houses,  talking about how to save $$ in your tiny house by having an entirely DC photovoltaic solar electric system like The COMET, and more!

Other speakers at the workshop include WILLIAM ROCKHILL of Bear Creek Carpentry, who builds Tiny Houses for Tumbleweed, TRISTAN & LIBBY and their WHITTLED DOWN CARAVAN (an amazing vardo/caravan they towed from New Mexico to Massachusetts with a little sedan!), Derek’s own HICKSHAW CABIN, and more!

There will be a bunch of tiny dwellings in one space, and it’s sure to be quite an experience!

Right now there is a special early-bird price of $399 for the 3-4 day weekend, which includes some meals and lots of tiny stuff. If you want to register, email Derek at kidcedar at gmail dot com and head over to relaxshacks.com to find out more about the workshop.

See you there!!

 

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