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Friday Fish Fry

People keep saying "Beautiful day," and I grit my teeth. Yes, the sun is out and sky is blue, but the weather is creepy. C'mon low pressure, move back in and let those storms blow in from the ocean. This photo is the end of a weak front that brought only 1/10th inch of rain…article in NYTimes titled "Older Mind May Just Be a Fuller Mind," saying that the older you are, the bigger a library of memory you have to deal with, the longer it takes to access it. I've been saying to people for years that memory is not infinite and that some stuff has to get pushed out for new stuff to get stored -- how's that for rationalization of all the things I can't remember now?…Also in NYT an article on sloths; they discovered that sloths have moth living aboard (in their fur) that create algae and a large part of sloths' diet consists of eating this algae. Efficient or what?…Right now listening to Bach Sonatas and Partitas by Chris Thiele, mandolinist from The Punch Brothers. There's something about the ringing tones of the mandolin that are perfect here, different from the sound of a violin or piano or harpsichord, and the musicianship is stunning; dazzling runs, lovely interpretation…Come to think of it, the whole point of the Llewyn Davis movie was not the film, but the concert film, "Another Day, Another Time," made in New York in September; way better film…Last night we ran across a documentary on the Smithville Fiddlers' Jamboree and Crafts Festival in Smithville, Tennessee, and was it good! It's hard for us (east or west) coastal people to remember that there's a huge part ofAmerica out there that's not really on our radar. These fiddlers were so good, tons of them, quiet and unassuming and excellent and the clog dancers were a delight; I've got it marked on my calendar (July 4-5, 2014), and I might just go; maybe a road trip across America, maybe about time…Went eeling a few days ago and nada, maybe the big surf of late sent them into hiding…going to take my kayak to Tomales Bay this afternoon in search of horseneck clams and cockles…I'm on a campaign to get more seafood…had pasta with mussels last night…last, and the big news around here, is that we're almost finished with Tiny Homes on the Move and I'm pretty thrilled with it.

Tiny Home in New Zealand a True Mansion

"Her previous construction experience was a bookcase, but that has not stopped Lily Duval from building her own miniature house. The 27-year-old is two months into the build, and is on track to have most of the construction finished in another couple of months. She is building her house directly on a trailer on communal land in central Christchurch. At 5.5 meters long, 2.5m wide and 4.2m high, Duval's house fits under the New Zealand Transport Authority's definition of a light simple trailer..."

Click here.

Restored vintage Comet Camper is a cost-effective, mobile eco-home

"Learning to live sustainably, with less and within a smaller space is an appealing idea to many, but the cost of building a 'conventional' tiny home from scratch may not be affordable to everyone. While there are tiny homes to rent, there are also plenty of vintage trailers out there that can be purchased for cheap and renovated into small, sustainable homes.…"
Click here.

A Map of Hip America (and London, Paris, Hong Kong, etc.)

A survey in which the question was asked: "What is the Williamsburg of your city?"
From BoingBoing.
Click here.

Michael GregoryExhibit of Paintings NYC (Soho) Opens Tomorrow

Northwest Passage:
Exhibit of paintings by Michael Gregory at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, 520 West 27th Street, NYC,
January 30-March 8, 2014

"Michael Gregory was born in Los Angeles, California in 1955. He received a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. He resides in Bolinas, California.
While the barn and other structures such as silos and stucco buildings, took “front and center” in Gregory’s work for the past five years, these structures were always painted in a landscape. In his most recent work, the artist’s decisions are fueled by a desire to create a shift in visual space in the paintings. His newest works are a step back, a new vista onto the landscape near his home in Northern California.

Cape Falcon Kayak

Greetings Lloyd-follow your blog every day.…One of the other sites I follow is Cape Falcon Kayak, a gentleman who runs an off the grid organic farm as well as teaching skin on frame kayak construction.  He just posted a seasaonal update for Winter 2014 that includes 2 videos, one showing the construction of his small japanese style house, the second showing the farm, off the grid construction and how they operate. Worth checking out and sharing on your site.  The foraging sections and photography are also very good if you have the time to peruse. Thanks again for taking the time to run the blog, and looking forward to the new book. -David Stoll
Click here.

California’s drought is staggering when seen from space

Top: California right now.

Bottom: California same time last year.

Click here.

Kayaking in the Dark

Friday night I took my kayak up to Tomales Bay and put in from a beach near Nick's Cove. The purpose: to observe the bioluminescence, which I'd read about. It's a phenomenon in waters hereabouts where luminous plankton glow on dark nights. I'd first seen it several years ago while walking on the beach barefoot on a dark night at low tide. I would kick some water and when it landed, flashing spark's danced around on the water's surface. Holy cow! Then I took my hands and threw water on some rocks, small pinpoints of brilliant light cascaded down the rock—ping, ping, ping.
  I paddled over to Hog Island and hit it lucky, sunset-wise. As the sun started going down, flocks of cormorants sailed overhead, going to roost in the shallows of the island. When it finally got dark, I took my paddle and splashed some water, and there were sparkles. I didn't see a lot of luminescence other than that, maybe because there were a few lights shining on the water from across the bay. Maybe you have to get in a darker part of the bay, like down around Marshall, to see fish swimming in a green glow.
   I loved being out there in the inky blackness of night; no wind, the water glassy. Something about being totally alone in the dark of the moon is exquisite.

Houses of the Hobbit Diaspora

"If you think that Hobbits are fictional, do not be fooled a second longer.  Middle-earth once existed, as did all of its various species. Yet the hobbits found themselves obliged to leave their original home of The Shire. Rescued by the ancestors of a mild-mannered English writer, they have spread across the world. A spell cast by the Gandalf the White means that the sons of men cannot see them but if you look close enough, there is evidence to be found. A hobbit has to live somewhere, after all.  Here are just some of the houses of the Hobbit diaspora.…"
Click here.
From David Shipway

40 Foot Waves At Mavericks Invitational Surfing Event 1-24-2014

Barns of Skagit County, Washington

Unfortunately, most of the photos here (55 barns) are quite small. But it's a great guide for any barn lovers in this neck of the woods.
Click here.
Sent in by Rich.

Help us choose a cover for Tiny Homes on the Move


What do you think? Choose the one you like best, or give us an order of choices. Feedback welcome.

Tiny Homes on the Move News

We are coming to the end of a long haul, a year or more. We've been putting the book together two pages at a time, and a week ago we started printing it out. Boy, is it exciting! To see it in full size color after all this time. Lookin good!
The subtitle is: "Wheels and Water."
Wheels: Vans, pickup trucks with camper shells, house trucks, school buses, trailers, and cycles
Water: Sail boats, houseboats, and tug boats
There are some 90 nomadic homes here; about half of these are lived in full-time, and the other half are used part time or for trips of varying length upon life's highways and waterways.
We've put together five prototypes for a cover, which are in the above post. What do you think?

San Francisco Graffiti

Beach Graffiti

227 Sq. Ft. Tiny House in Vermont by Yestermorrow Design Build School

By Deek Diedrickson
See Yestermorrow here and here.
From Mike W

A Kayak Trip, An Outrigger Canoe Trip to the Farrallon Islands, The Drake's Bay Oyster Company, The Lunny Farm

Friday I took off early with my old kayak (a 12' Scrambler sit-on-top) and drove up to Drake's Bay Oyster Company, where I got ready to launch on a trip out to the mouth of Drake's Estero. A big van pulled up with a couple of kayaks on top, and I started talking to the driver, Seth Harvey. Turns out Seth was taking out a couple of kayakers; he was also the chef of what sounds like a very fine restaurant in Forestville (California) -- Backyard -- that serves strictly local produce and meat…We started talking about paddling and he told me a guy named Chris Starbird has paddled a Huki super lightweight carbon fiber outrigger canoe from San Francisco out to the Farallon Islands and back in something like five hours. That's a 64-mile round trip out in the open ocean!
    I set out in my little kayak heading for the ocean (about 5 miles), and it moved along surprisingly well, not being a super slick expensive ocean kayak. The wind was blowing a little. A beautiful place, this estero with with multiple nooks and crannies and inlets, birds and seals. As I got maybe half way out to the ocean, the wind started to pick up -- it would be blowing against me on the way back -- so for once I did the mature thing and turned back. I'll do it again when the weather is calmer and make it all the way out.

Big wave surfing: 'Massive' Mavericks Invitational expected to get green light for Friday

"The waves breaking at Maverick's on Tuesday were big enough to deliver a beating to some of the best big wave surfers in the world. If forecasters' predictions are correct -- and surfers' prayers are answered -- they'll be even more ferocious Friday, the day organizers are eyeing to hold the 2013-14 Body Glove Mavericks Invitational.
Organizers gave the Mavericks Invitational the yellow light Tuesday and are expected to give the contest the green light early Wednesday. That means the 24 invited surfers and alternates will have about 48 hours to get to Princeton by the Sea in time to compete for the $50,000 prize purse and valuable Big Wave World Tour points Friday morning.
'It's on on Friday,' said three-time Maverick's champion Darryl 'Flea' Virostko of Santa Cruz. 'There were some really heavy waves up there today. Guys got some beatings and some pretty huge waves. The next swell is supposed to be bigger than this. If that's true, Peter Mel told me there's going to be some massive (waves)'…"
Click here.
Photo: Dan Coyro

Shadows on Beach

3rd Eye Vision by Mishka

3rd Eye Vision by Mishka on Grooveshark

Down a Coastal Canyon

Thursday I hiked, hopped, jumped down a steep canyon… The entire west coast has rivers and creeks that run down to the ocean. Anywhere from Washington down to San Diego, it's the same, clear water heading to sea, running perpendicular to the coast. In Baja, it's arroyos…This canyon, with a good water source running even in this drought, isn't much traveled; it's makable, but not easy…so beautiful…at one point I slipped and fell down a slope; luckily hit no rocks…gotta be more careful.

Tiny Houseboat in Oregon

"…a tiny houseboat bobbing in the Willamette River. Studio Hamlet Architects, PLLC designed the 433-square-foot water abode for owners who needed a place to live while their main house was being constructed on the Oregon Yacht Club marina.
   Now the compact structure with a corrugated metal ceiling is a guesthouse, with kitchen, bathroom, dining and living space. In the sleeping loft, there is just enough headroom to crawl into bed.
   Architect Russell Hamlet had to adhere to the marina’s strict rules about the size of a concrete float – 18 feet by 34 feet – and elevation restrictions of 15 1/2 feet. Also eating away at the footprint was an exterior deck and a fire code that requires paths and access on all sides. Still, the tiny house can accommodate five guests when a couch is opened up. …"
Click here.

Tiny House Village to Shelter Homeless in Texas

". . .In Austin, Texas, a project to offer affordable housing to some 200 chronically homeless citizens is on the move.Community First! Village, which has been in the planning stages for nearly 10 years, is set to soon break ground on a 27-acre property sprinkled with tiny houses, mobile homes, teepees, refurbished RVs, a three-acre community garden, a chapel, a medical facility, a workshop, a bed and breakfast. . ."
Click here

Million Dollar Tiny Home in Santa Barbara

"Tucked between Montecitos Upper and Lower Villages, this historic adobe retreat rests on 1.09 acres, privately hidden amongst a forest of mature oaks and the symphony of bird songs. Located on coveted Coyote Road, this home exhibits the perfect balance of privacy and proximity, historic style and natural elements. Never before on the market and only 1 of 3 remaining original Mountain Drive Colony…"
Click here.

Salvaged tiny home studio: tin can siding, paper bag wallpaper

Another great video on tiny homes from Fair Companies:

Brushy One String - Chicken in The Corn (Official Video)

From Gretchen

Valley of the Elves by Ellie Pritts

"In November 2010, my best friend and I found ourselves nearing the end of an impromptu and underfunded trip to Europe. With just 80 Euros to our names in Florence, we relied on a network of friends of acquaintances to secure lodging for a long weekend before we moved on to Athens. We had only a vague understanding of where we were going to spending the next few days. All we really knew was that we were going to be staying in a non-traditional community in the mountains northeast of us. The author J.R.R Tolkien and “elves” were mentioned, but we weren’t sure how much of what was being told to us was simply lost in translation.
   We boarded a train, a bus, a Jeep and finally walked on foot to reach our destination. It was breathtaking. We were greeted by a herd of cattle wandering the valley as we made our way to the dwellings. We learned that the community was nearly entirely self-sufficient; all their food was grown there. There were many cows, goats and chickens being raised as well. We also learned the name of the community, which translates to the Valley of The Elves in English.…"
Click here.

Building With Logs - 1957 USDA Government Pamphlet

Great pamphlet, good drawings and photos, plus some really nice furniture designs. You can scout around on this website for other vintage publications.

One of Our Youngest Fans

Hi Lloyd,
Looks like my granddaughter is still a fan. She's moved up from the tiny book to the full sized version.
Happy New Year,
Michael (McNamara)

She is looking at a copy of Builders of the Pacific Coast. Michael was one of the featured builders in the book.

Encounter With Coyote

Was driving through a nearby valley last night. Dark, moon not yet up. The '50s station on Sirius radio had good stuff playing. Everley Brothers, "Wake Up Little Suzy," and a coyote crossed the road and stood along the side. A few of the local coyotes are a bit scraggly, but this one was healthy, handsome, a fine specimen of Canis species…I stopped, rolled window down. He (looked like a male) just stood there, maybe 20 feet away, looking at me, music playing, he had to be listening:
"Whatta we gonna tell your mama,
Whatta we gonna tell your pa,
Whatta we gonna tell our friends,
when they say “ooh-la-la…”
We looked at each other for maybe 10 seconds, then he loped off…
Later, driving home along the coast: "Fannie Mae" by Buster Brown, "Save the Last Dance For Me" by The Drifters, then "Maybeline" by Chuck Berry, it sounded so exuberant, fine for this moonlit night.

Little Home in San Rafael, Running At Night

Drove over the hill yesterday, listening to Deadbeat Poets' Society, Mott the Hoople (All the Young Dudes), shot pic of this nice little home in San Rafael…Went running alone, night-before-full-moon, no headlight necessary; it's taken me years to cast off the feeling that I have to "train," i.e. push it to stay in shape for races. Now I'm comfortable going at my own pace, pushing it a bit on the uphills to get the cardio system pumping, stopping to catch my breath and enjoy the view…photo of the coast…last photo of horses shot in pretty total dark. One of them came over and let me pat him on the cheek…the wetlands are dry this year; usually the frogs are loud, but nary a frog voice last night.

Traditional Finnish Log House Building Process

From Jon Kalish

Vintage (1934) Lightweight Trailer Being Auctioned in Arizona

"Designed as a “personal size” camping trailer aimed at traveling salesmen, the Bowlus Papoose had the potential to revolutionize the industry, boasting such features as a gas-welded steel frame and a riveted aluminum skin. High production costs for Bowlus travel trailers led to high selling prices, however, and only six Papoose models were believed to have been built before the company folded. This weekend, the prototype Bowlus Papoose travel trailer heads to auction, giving bidders a chance to own a unique piece of American motoring history. …"
Click here.
From Bob Kahn

Wood Stove by Tim Biggins

Thought you might enjoy seeing an example of a hand crafted wood stove - made by Tim Biggins on Hornby Island BC. Several of Tim's stoves were featured in the Builders of the Pacific Coast book. This body is made of three truck rims, the door is made from the round end of a propane tank and the base is a huge block (pulley) from a spar tree. 30 years old and still keeping us warm.
   -Don Peterson

Life boats for sale in Washington

"Life boat, Party Boat, People Hauler, -$800 each or $1,300 for 2, $2,500 for 4 or $4,500 for all 8. We have 8 of these, model BSC40M. ID plates show made in 1991-1994… They have a diesel 3 cyl Dezus engine, Some Hyd steering, manual bilge pump, some have emerg food/water packages, seat cushions, life vests, emerg food...oars, seat belts for 41 people..etc... They are 25'L by 8' wide, approx 9' tall on land. You can stand up in them. Weight is approx 7,400#'s. …"
Click here.
From Joy Godsey

Little Boy Sings Gospel!

From Rick Gordon (just now)

Friday Fish Fry

Dry dry dry. Day after day of no rain. I think the driest in history.

Saw Inside LLewyn Davis last night. Disappointing. I wanted to like it, because the concert put on in NYC in September by the musicians recruited by musical director TBone Burnett was terrific, and I have a lot of respect for the Coen brothers and their witty and fresh approach to film making. But this was just a bore. John Goodman's character was overblown and weird, say like Jack Nicholson in one of his rare misfires as the Joker in the 1st Batman film, or Johnny Depp's characters in the Tim Burton movies—sorry, I'm not buyin it…I don't understand all the adulation for Llewyn. Music not even that good. Very little humor. Best picture of year, puhleeeze.
I cut down a 35-year old Weeping Santa Rosa Plum, the other day, was rotting from the inside. Interesting to see what was a pretty big (and productive) garden presence reduced to a couple of piles of kindling and to-be-split firewood
Yesterday we went to Flora Grubb, a large nursery specializing in palm trees and succulents in San Francisco. Great place, down near the produce market, with a Ritual Coffee stand inside. I shot a lot of pictures, we'll post more when I get time. http://floragrubb.com

All Hail by The Devil Makes Three on Grooveshark

Alek’s Tiny House

"I recently completed my tiny house and wanted to share. I designed every inch of this unique home and did most of the construction myself as well. About a month ago Itowed it from Iowa to its current location in Sebastopol, CA, where these pictures were taken. I live in the house full-time, along with my girlfriend and our small dog.…"
Click here.

West Coast USA Walkabout Inspired by Shelter

Two emails from Bill Cullin:
1. Subject: I never buy books! But I purchased yours and loved it.
   I always use the library and just return them since I get so many, but yours I had to buy.
Best $30 I spent.
   I am about to take a walkabout for about 3 months. I am in Seattle Washington and will head south along the coast till I get warm and then head east probably into Arizona.
   I wanted to write off the trip and save on expenses so I wanted to take my truck. I had purchased your book for another project but got inspired and decided to go in style.
   Two inches of insulation, pine tongue and groove, wood blinds, interior propane heater, alarmed and interior locking. And from the outside day or night you would never guess.…

2. My "Truck Suite" was inspired from your book. I am on my walkabout trip. I am posting videos on YouTube and Facebook. Here is a article being placed in our local newspaper. If this article may be useful for your newsletter you are welcome to use it and the photos. Thanks for the inspiration!
--Bill Cullins

Log Home in Wyoming Inspired by Shelter Books

We just purchased Home Work and Tiny Homes books.  Once again you have inspired us; great images and stories.
   From the Whole Earth Catalog through Shelter we dreamt of building our own home. Coming from suburbia in Kansas it was a fantasy, until we found these books. We pored over them nightly, for years, picking out ideas from the pages and gathering inspiration for the concepts.
   We moved to Wyoming and were able to put a foundation under our dreams. After a weekend workshop on Swedish Cope Log Structures and being inspired by the Russian log churches you wrote about, we started our home. Using a chainsaw, adze and drawknife we put together a  home that has served us well. Now we are reading about other people and their homes we wanted to thank you for all your hard work to help get the information out there.
   Here is a photo of our home, snugged into the side of a hill in Wyoming.
Thanks again,
Gary and Celeste Havener"

Teacher Builds Tiny House in the Forest

"Brian Schulz recently completed his forest house in the Oregon Woods. He built the home himself, and the design and concept of it were inspired by the traditional Japanese Minka homes, which are built using local materials and steeply sloped roofs to create affordable, open structures. For his house, Schulz used salvaged materials, along with those sourced from within 10 miles of his new home.
   The finished tiny house is a 14-by-16-foot home, which coexists perfectly with its woodland surroundings. It cost only $11,000 to build, which was mostly spent on concrete, shakes and insulation. Schulz, who teaches traditional wood kayak building for a living, completed the house in about a year and a half, working in his spare time.…"
Click here.

My Kinda Moon

Housetruck in New Zealand

"…a couple out of New Zealand…built a housetruck on the back of a 1985 Hino truck. They built everything from the frame, to the walls, to electrical system, to insulation by hand (and feet). Their housetruck has a steel frame that was welded by hand. They also built the cabinets, benches and even the shower custom by hand. They sourced wood from local timber mills and picked up other items second hand to build out the interior. One of the impressive aspects of this housetruck is the beautiful custom windows with inlaid designs shown in the photos.…"
Click here.

Modern tiny house rental sits like a U.F.O. in the Austrian Alps

"For those of us who like the idea of tiny homes but would rather rent one than build one, there are plenty of stunning micro-homes available for rent all over the world. This polyhedral-shaped modernist cabin outside of Lienz, Austria offers incredible mountain views and an unforgettable interior design.
Dubbed the Ufogel (a combination of "U.F.O." and the German "vogel" for bird), the structure is raised on stilts, making it resemble an alien craft or bird that has landed, with minimal impact on the ground.…"
From Treehugger (great website) here.

New Hampshire Covered Bridges

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Covered Bridges of New England - Bridgewright Grat...":

"When we lived near Ashland, NH, we went there to watch one of his bridges dragged across the river by oxen.

Creative Carpenters, Tiny House

Sent by Jon Kalish, with note: "...in North Ferrisburgh, Vermont."

Photos From San Francisco

My friend Louie and I spent a few days in the city last week. Went to Fox Hardware on 4th Street, classic old school hardware store, huge inventory, somehow I'd never been there. Went to the Ferry Building foodie complex (too crowded with tourists), wandered around Union Square, Maiden Lane, went to Macy's Men's store, rode escalators up to all 5 floors, saw no clothes of any interest, checked out North Face, went to the Maritime Museum, had 2 Irish coffees at The Buena Vista…

All Saints Co. Tailors had dozens of beautiful old sewing machines as window display.

Above and left: elegant little sailboat built in 1937 at Maritime Museum

Bottom 2 pics: an 8' El Toro