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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16 thoughts on “Tiny House Fair 2013 – Processing the Weekend

  1. mike "piko" mitchell says:

    i enjoy getting your email, reading your blog, and viewing all the photos! it’s exciting to see that there are others that value small spaces, minimizing our impact on the world around us. all this is helpful to me, and reminds me of our place and space we occupy.

    i’m working on a 27′ school bus as my space to retreat to after work, or on a lazy afternoon. i’ll upload photos as i start to make progress beyond painting the metal floor of the bus.

    peace to all,

    mike

  2. Hello,

    I’ve just come across your project/blog from a post at This is the Little Life blog. I read a couple entries and decided to follow, as you are most definitely living in a Tiny Home.
    Your plans for the COMET are interesting and exciting, and I can’t wait to see the PV system you get running. Will it be one of those flexible solar panels? Or something completely different? I need to read further back into your posts to see if I can learn more. 🙂

    I suppose the troll might have gotten a bite to eat from your post, but really, if the person who wrote the note was unwilling to talk to you about their thoughts and questions regarding the ” legitimacy” of the COMET face-to-face, how likely are they to subscribe and read your blog? Regardless, your response brings up an interesting issue: what constitutes a Tiny Home?

    Well, in my mind, a Tiny Home is a complete living unit that is very, very small, with room for what the dweller considers to be the necessities, and little else. A personal space that means “home”, where they can sleep, cook and eat, read, love, and etc. How that space looks will be different for each of us.

    There always seems to be narrow thinking folks who can’t accept, much less embrace different ways of doing things from their own. That is human nature, and it isn’t surprising that it shows up in the community of living small. That this person choose to express their views in an inappropriate place and manner is a bit surprising, but I think not to be dwelt upon. Their view simply doesn’t matter, and their way of dealing with their disapproval of the inclusion of your version of a Tiny Home is somewhat laughable, and childish.

    On another note, your library looks similar to mine, and probably many people looking to this type of living. See how that works? Your home *is* part of the community of tiny homes!

    If I could have retrofitted a camper/RV/trailer to be appropriate to where I will be living, I would have gone that direction as well. My future home is too cold for the minimal insulation space available in them however, so I decided to pull my travel trailer down to the frame and build a home with the emphasis on warmth and a good, solid roof. I’m living in a little camper until my home is complete enough to live in, and so I guess I am already a Tiny Home dweller. 🙂 Mine isn’t nearly as nice as yours, though.

    Best wishes,
    Parker

  3. Ann brown says:

    I love your comet, and hope to find a vintage camper and restore someday!!!

  4. Lauren says:

    it seriously bums me out to hear that someone at the fair was a big enough ass to leave a note! that sad soul clearly missed the point, i thought we were all there for a common good. the comet’s presence, along with the few minutes we got to chat about kate’s lazy meadow before your solar presentation actually solidified my desire to renovate a camper of my own (abandoning tiny house dreams). so, yea, there’s that — you’re an inspiration!

    haters gonna hate,
    LG

    • Lauren! So glad you found me 🙂 THANKS FOR YOUR AWESOME COMMENT and hell yes haters gonna hate. Oh well! Loved talking about the lazy meadow with you and THANK YOU a million times for saying I’m an inspiration. You are awesome, and your camper is going to be awesome. YAY for campers, and abandoning tiny house dreams! Please keep in touch with me about your project? ❤

  5. Jerry says:

    I’m surprised you are not going to something like this , they have over 200 workshops during their 3 days. Over 20,000 come to the yearly fair. Cost is only $35 for all 3 days.

    https://www.midwestrenew.org/energyfair

  6. Just want to say try not to let the negative people get you down… I’m moving into my trailer within the next week, after having first fallen in love with the ‘Tiny House’ cottage look, but realizing the cost and effort involved in making one was out of our reach at the moment, now we’re fixing up and personalizing our own 1973 Avion! 🙂 Trailers and RVs are totally the original tiny houses and they’re just as grand as any sticks ‘n bricks on wheels! It’s all in what you do with what you have… thanks for the post, I enjoy reading your stuff. 🙂

    • Christina, good for you!!! Sounds like a nice trailer, I’m jealous! I love Avions. Thanks for the support and for reading along 🙂 I totally agree – Rvs and trailers rule just as hard as tiny houses!

  7. Susan says:

    I love your COMET Camper project. Great ideas. I am right now putting things in a 23′ 1975 Fleetwood Terry- the house is on the market and we have an offer, so it will soon be my home. You and the whole tiny house movement are an inspiration to me. Thanks.

  8. Vicki says:

    Mariah, Leaders always take the arrows! Duck!!! What an awesome project. I first moved into an RV trailer after Hurricane Katrina and I have fallen in love with the life style. I am currently staying with relatives and searching for a vintage camper to restore. I love the Tiny House Movement but want to roam a little more frequently so that is why I am going the Tiny Trailer Route. You are right about the Tiny Trailers being the precursors to the Tiny House. ps…I love the Pink Flamingos. That’s a great touch.

    Kickin’ It Old School… and still way cool… One Lady… One Tiny Trailer… (soon)….

    • HAHA! Thank You Vicki! YES I am just so antsy and move around so often that I needed something to tow around and move much more frequently than a “tiny house”. I’ve been hearing more and more people going the RV / camper route too – it really makes sense if you are adventurers like us 🙂 I’ve actually been thinking more about the next project (oh god but I already have 2 unfinished campers!) and it being a really tiny RV or Class B. From my experience living in my Honda Element, I like being able to just wake up and drive without the hassle of hooking up, lowering the jacks, and all that. The age old question! RV or Tow-behind!? Thanks – I love the pink flamingos too! I bought like 30 in bulk haha 🙂 Thanks Vicki!

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