Archive for October, 2014

A Whirlwind Week

Phew! This week has felt like a whirlwind of a week.

Last Sunday my parents and I oiled all my floor boards with an all natural tung oil/linseed oil finish called Land Ark:

It was such a pleasure to have them come visit and leave their mark on my tiny house. These floor boards will be the first thing I have done thus far that will be visible in the finished home! This, and a suggestion from my grandma got me thinking that I want a mural that somehow shows all the hands that went into making this tiny house possible. I am thinking a wood burned tree in one of my gable ends with each person who contributed time or money having their name on a leaf…

On Tuesday John and I started nailing the first of these floor boards down!  This was cause for some celebration:

And some careful cutting:

Notice that I chose to lay them on a diagonal. Who says everything has to be square? (There are also some practical reason as to why I chose to do this that I will talk about in my tiny house workshop)

The weather turned a bit temperamental after Tuesday and so we weren’t able to finish laying the floor. But we did figure out a clever way to get a roof over our heads and protect my trailer from the weather while we work:

This afternoon we got my tarp all rigged up over this hoop house structure, just in time for my leaving tomorrow for a week long cabinet making course at Heartwood. I forgot to take a picture of the end result with the tarp, but it is pretty snazzy if you ask me!

As I move ahead with this dream it’s been fun to see many inspirational tiny house projects come out of the woodwork around me. One is a project call Second Wind that is building tiny homes for men, many of whom were homeless or in recovery and trying to get their lives back on track. This guy’s vision has some interesting similarities to the ecovillage I am currently living in: A cluster of these tiny homes with a central larger house that serves as a community center/common house. I have envisioned something very similar but, perhaps fittingly, have thought more about targeting a female population of women from battered homes or who are looking for a way out of prostitution or homelessness. And for me I see much of the healing coming not only from giving these women a home but from also empowering them to take part in the building of their own home and making it a home that reflects their personal identity and style.

Well, that is the update for this week! Stay tuned for more.

And if you haven’t yet checked it out please take a look at my indiegogo campaign page and consider donating and sharing it in your networks:


Hello family, friends, supporters, and followers. I have decided to run an indiegogo campaign for myself to help insure that I can put all the love and energy that I want to into this tiny home project. This is an edge for me. Heck, going for this dream is a huge edge for me! But with the continued encouragement of of all of you I know I can see this project through.

My dear friend Tara sent me this poem yesterday and it feels like a fitting one to share at the point:

knowing your power
is what creates
not knowing your power
is what creates
— ego, nayyirah waheed

I am SO humbled already by this project and all the lessons it is teaching me. As much as this project feels like me stepping into my power, literally and metaphorically building myself a solid foundation, it has also already humbled me time and again, showing me how much I need the support of each and every one of you. Truly, every little word of encouragement and shared enthusiasm helps to keep my own sails full, especially on those cold wet mornings, like yesterday, when I went out to my site to find my tarp had blown off and water had pooled in my now water sealed floor frame!

At my floor flipping party I looked around and was filled with gratitude, seeing how each person there had helped to make this first big moment possible: John, with his constant support, giving me building advice, acting as a sounding board, scooping me up in mornings for work and fun adventures, and allowing me to build on his land; Amy, for being a team mate in this whole project and sharing my commitment to this project and giving me moral support; David for lending me his car and his electric bike countless times and for showing up when I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough people, and for listening to my ideas and problem solving; Kim for his clever problem solving abilities and interest and support; Jim for so generously offering to film this whole journey; and Sarah for coming out and bringing her kids and showing me that I can inspire other’s through my actions!

Now I am asking for some monetary support to insure that I can make this home as beautiful as possible and stick to all my principles of using environmentally friendly materials. This home is just the seed of something much larger: It is part of a larger movement to live more simply and in harmony with the earth. And for me it is integrating all that I have learned and discovering my own artistic style and process as a builder so that I can then offer my skills to others and help them create their dream homes. Will you support me it realizing this dream to it’s fullest potential?

This is my indiegogo video

 And the link to go to the campaign and donate is

Last Thursday, October 2nd, I had my first work party. I called it the Floor Flipping Party because I literally needed a bunch of hands on deck to flip my floor! Why did my floor need to be flipped? Well I had it upside down in order to put put some insulation and flashing on the bottom side to critter proof my floor. And now I needed to turn it right side up again! And then I could bolt it to my trailer, another big moment.

The party was quite a success, complete with local cider from Little Tree Orchards, local apples from Amy’s orchard, and local honey from my friend Michael’s hives, which I helped extract last weekend! Some people said they had never dipped apples in honey before, but for me it was a natural combination given that this is one way the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah is often celebrated, which just passed on sept. 24th, and that Yom kippur, the day of atonement, was October 3rd.


Floor upside, but ready to be flipped. Apples and honey out and ready to be eaten, waiting for the people to arrive!

And people did arrive! Thank you John, Amy, Sarah, Kim, David, and Jim for coming out and making it a party!

And people did arrive! Thank you John, Amy, Sarah, Kim, David, and Jim for coming out and making it a party!

There were a few moments of excitement but overall things went really smoothly.

There were a few moments of excitement but overall things went really smoothly.

And then I gave everyone a bolt and we got it all secured into place!

And then I gave everyone a bolt and we got it all secured into place!

Thank you everyone, especially the kids who came out to take part in this special moment!

Thank you everyone, especially the kids who came out to take part in this special moment!

For me, this was more then just a floor flipping Party. It was the first major opportunity for me to share some of this journey with others and express my gratitude for all the help and enthusiasm I have already received. It is these moments that I know I will look back on with fondness and gratitude. From here on, I will be building up and that is also a big moment to celebrate!

Creative by Nature

Glimpses of a Creative Universe, by Christopher Chase...


Creating "new" from old has been a preoccupation of mine for a long time, but turned into a full-time adventure in building and living in a tiny "reclaimed" house. Beginning in 2012, I will live in this 120 square foot space for the length of my PhD studies in Literature and the Environment, and perhaps beyond. In this way, I hope to live a little smaller, leave a little lighter, and learn in what ways formal study can be acted in the every day.

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