Tag Archives: projects

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. ❤

-Mariah

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Where have I been? What’s going on?

Where have I been?
It’s a good question! I’ve been really busy the past two months, but haven’t made a ton of progress on the COMET. Other vintage camper people out there, have you ever tried polishing the pitted, foggy aluminum back up to a mirror finish? It takes forever! It also requires a large angle grinder, which I’m embarrassed to say I can’t really lift up in the first place (so it becomes Matt’s job). We’ve been working on it little by little, but it takes many hours and is a crappy job. It’s the one thing standing in between me and a beautiful exterior paint job (also Matt’s forte because he used to do fancy pin striping and decals on cars).

SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION ALERT:
www.planetqueenvintage.etsy.com
The reason I have been so busy is because I really need money to complete the COMET and I had to put a lot of time and energy into my Etsy shop, where I sell awesome vintage clothing. My shop is called Planet Queen Vintage (based on the T Rex song but also referencing awesome ladies that do cool stuff to positively impact the planet) and I would be so grateful if you guys took a minute to check out all the new stuff and hard work I’ve been putting into the shop the past few months. I added 100+ new items, took better photographs, and increased the overall awesomeness content. Bet you guys didn’t know I run a business on the side in addition to the COMET?! Vintage fashion is my secret weakness ( and vintage furniture, and sunglasses, and campers). All of the profits from the shop right now go DIRECTLY (like, every penny) into finishing the COMET. If you see something you like and decide to buy it, you will be helping me buy some non-toxic exterior paint, some photovoltaic components, and some other little things needed to complete this project. Take a look even if it’s just to give me a critique on the shop, I’d appreciate that too! If you see stuff you like, you can check back often because I add multiple new items every morning. Thank you nice readers!
www.planetqueenvintage.etsy.com

Over the summer, after the Tiny House Fair, I found myself really struggling to figure out where I fit in (me and the COMET both). What am I doing with this? Am I making a difference? I wasn’t really sure if I fit in with tiny house movement, after getting those discouraging comments (yes, I know the COMET isn’t a cedar sided 6-12 pitch roof home on wheels – who said it had to be? and yes, I know there are not yet solar panels on the top, its’ not finished!). I started getting frustrated and questioning my work and my whole life really (uh oh). Am I just another over privileged college kid doling out sermons about things I can’t possibly be know all the answers to (life lessons, how to be greener, how to be happy)? Do my blog posts and carefully curated photographs add to the fetishization of simple lifestyles that I’m finding make me more and more uncomfortable? Are tiny houses just becoming another commodity for consumers to purchase and own in addition to their “big” homes? It sounds kind of negative, but I just had to reflect on what I was doing and why, and how to be more honest with you guys and myself, and accept the limits to what myself and the COMET can accomplish. We’re not perfect, and that’s a hard thing to admit. I have to tow the camper with a gas guzzling truck, so is that trade off worth it? I want to educate people about sustainability in a fun, hands-on way with the COMET, but at the same time in order to spread the word and talk to all of these wonderful people I have to use a fossil fuel burning machine. There are lots of contradictions, I just have to be able to articulate them and then wait to see if a reconciliation can ever be reached.
On another note, I have been receiving lots of nice notes / messages from all of you, and I want to say that if I haven’t responded yet it is truthfully only because I want to give each and every response the time and energy it deserves. Sometimes that means it takes me a while to get back to your messages and emails, but I honestly appreciate and love each and every time someone takes a moment to email me. Let me know what you’re up to, ask a question, give me some feedback. I will respond, I just want to be able to give my full attention to all of your awesome inquiries. Keep ’em coming! Thank you everyone for reading along with this journey that is WAY longer and WAY more complex than I thought it would be!! You all keep me going with every comment and email message I receive. You remind me why I have to stick out the difficult parts (angle grinding / polishing) so that I can do the awesome parts (meeting you all on the road, talking to you, and sharing camper stories!).

I also watched “Chasing Ice” the other day, and it filled me with urgency and purpose. It’s a very good documentary.

The past few months Matt’s been getting excited about survival techniques and survivalist skills – which is really awesome because we’ve been making lots of fires from scratch and improving our fire cooking cast-iron skillet skills. We’ve been talking a bit about the similarities and differences between “Survivalist” an “Sustainability” movements. I think after living out of the Honda Element car for two months in the spring we both just got into “survivalist” mode, and even though we’re back in the city currently we still like to do all the stuff we do when we’re camping for a long period of time.

I want to share some cool links with you all that I’ve been collecting the last few weeks, check them out if you have a moment:

This first one is a really awesome interview from the Etsy blog from a while ago. The interviewee is Frankie Moore Lappe, author of “Diet for a Small Planet”. She hits the nail on the head in talking about the problem with how we currently frame sustainability with language and diction like “reduce”, “avoid”, “limits”, “minimalize”. I’ll let you guys read the article then maybe I’ll post the essay I wrote two years ago about the problematic language of the sustainability movement so you can see the similarities + differences.

https://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2013/an-interview-with-frances-moore-lappe/#comment-880359

The next link is to a video of a guy’s conversion van (Sprinter) that I think is pretty neat. The one thing I don’t understand is having a toilet. I lived out of a car for months and I never once missed a toilet (THANK YOU P-STYLE FEMININE DIVERTER!) and I think it would make your living space more unpleasant than pleasant. Other than that, it has some neat ideas. Theoretically, I am sort of getting over the “squeeze as much into the tiny mobile thing as you possibly can” idea, but it’s cool nonetheless. I’m really into the mint green paint job.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR0-Y5nHvQ8

Also, the amazing Robin Hayes from Build Tiny (http://build-tiny.com/) is hosting a workshop soon (October 10-13) in VA and you all should check it out. Robin is a really inspiring lady who I have met at multiple workshops all over the place. She is a carpenter, plumber, doer, maker, and all around amazing person to learn from. Everyone loves her and her skill and energy are sure to give you the start you need to get your tiny house or other building project on track. Also, dear friends Dee Williams and Lee Pera (Boneyard Studios) will be there helping out, and you need to meet these incredible, smart, (dare I day gorgeous?!) ladies. You won’t regret it!

http://build-tiny.com/ for more details.

Last thing:
I’m writing a book.
There. I said it out loud. Now I really have to do it.

I seriously wanted to steal this sign from Steve Harrell's house (tiny house listings, tiny house vacations). I'll have to paint one myself!

I seriously wanted to steal this sign from Steve Harrell’s house (tiny house listings, tiny house vacations). I’ll have to paint one myself!

love you all, keep me updated with your cool projects and thank you for reading as always

❤ Mariah

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Tiny House people: The future belongs to us!

Tiny Houses and campers/RVs are great because they can be awesome living situations for young people with a young-person’s budget and mobile lifestyle. Today I learned about a couple of other people my age (college kids and other early-mid twenties crowd) who are building their own tiny houses. This is fantastic! When I was a kid there was no way I thought I could ever afford my own house when I was 20. This really changes the way we think about independence, autonomy, mobility and opportunity. So I wanted to point out a couple of other people who are working on and documenting their own Tiny House adventures.

I would love to create some sort of network for connecting young people that are building their own (first-time) homes on a college-kids’ budget. We can really get creative with our homes.  Salvaged materials, free-cycling, DIY! It’s very exciting to see other people my age caring about the things I care about.

Also, I’d love to connect with other young people looking to live in a camper or RV (or other converted mobile situation) for the first time. I’m sure we could all learn a ton from each other. If you are living in a camper or on the road, or in the process of becoming a full-timer, I want to hear from you! Tell me about it in the comments and leave your website if you have one!

Here’s some other people building and documenting their Tiny House progress:

http://littleyellowdoor.wordpress.com/

http://kiestinyhouse.wordpress.com/

Kie's tiny house

 

AND I’d like to point you in the direction of 16 year old Celina Dill, a young lady beginning to build her own tiny house. Her blog is still just starting up, and I think she’s at the stage of gathering salvaged materials. Definitely one to watch though. She’s a beautiful writer and really inspiring. I wish I had started my tiny house 4 years ago!! Also, she has  salvaged the same 1950’s Dixie stove one of my other camper’s has. Her frugality and re-use is really great. Check her and her little house out at: http://mytinyabode.blogspot.com/

 

Here’s some other sites I stumbled on today! REALLY glad I did!

http://tinyhouseontario.wordpress.com/

http://minimotives.com/

http://www.120squarefeet.blogspot.com/

Let me know in the comments if you’d like to be in my “RESOURCES” list, if you’re building a Tiny House, or if you’re converting an RV or camper into a full-time living machine!

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