Vermont and Maine Adventure: Small houses, nature, and a degree!

The original DESIGN building at Goddard College in VT. The building that made me decide to finish my degree there!

The original DESIGN building at Goddard College in VT. The building that made me decide to finish my degree there!

Hello there, friend! I'm happy to say Matt and I made it back from our Vermont/Maine trip, where we ate a ton of maple creemees (sometimes 2 in one day) and lots of blueberries.

I graduated from college last Sunday with a degree in Sustainable Design + Build. So now it's "official". A lot of people ask me if I feel relieved or like I can now just relax for a bit but that's not really my style! Mostly I'm just excited that there aren't any more little nagging things left to do admin-wise and that the degree is in my hand. I didn't think it would be an important moment for me, to get that piece of paper, but it was definitely nice to be recognized for all the projects I've been doing!

Dave Sellers, the famous architect/designer and my dear friend, was the commencement speaker at the ceremony. He gave a really great speech that instead of making us graduating students feel like it was time to just relax and take a break, we really need to get to work on our full potential! At least that's how I felt. So the day we got back from the trip I started writing another big thing. I can't wait to share it with you soon.

After spending time with my classmates and advisors in Vermont, Matt and I drove east to see Acadia National Park in Maine. We have the annual NP pass, which we used all the time for our tiny house road trip. Acadia was a beautiful park and we camped on the island which was lovely. Then we slowly made our way back to MA driving down the coast, going to all of the little thrift stores and Habitat for Humanity Re-Store's we passed. When we're at the Re-Store, we just walk around imagining and talking about the small cabin we're going to build someday.

Mostly I just wanted to share all of the photos I took on our little trip up North. I hope you enjoy them!

The PAINTING building at Goddard College, where I graduated from. This is an original design/build building built by the students in the 70's who were in Dave Sellers' class.

The PAINTING building at Goddard College, where I graduated from. This is an original design/build building built by the students in the 70's who were in Dave Sellers' class.

Here's a cool "tiny house" on the Goddard campus with a story behind it. Inside the house, there are these amazing beams with different animal heads carved into them. Those beams are from the original Ipswich courthouse, where in the 1600s a woman named Suzannah was tried and convicted of witchcraft and hung in the Salem Witch Trials. Hundreds of years later in the 1920s, a descendent of Suzannah found out that that courthouse was being demolished. He had someone steal those carved beams for him and built this house "as revenge for what they did to her". Pretty cool, right?

Here's a cool "tiny house" on the Goddard campus with a story behind it. Inside the house, there are these amazing beams with different animal heads carved into them. Those beams are from the original Ipswich courthouse, where in the 1600s a woman named Suzannah was tried and convicted of witchcraft and hung in the Salem Witch Trials. Hundreds of years later in the 1920s, a descendent of Suzannah found out that that courthouse was being demolished. He had someone steal those carved beams for him and built this house "as revenge for what they did to her". Pretty cool, right?

The Tool Barn in Maine. Makes you want to build a house using only hand tools, right?

The Tool Barn in Maine. Makes you want to build a house using only hand tools, right?

This is the floor of The Tool Barn, where it has been patched with copper. It looked so neat the way the copper had molded to the woodgrain over time.

This is the floor of The Tool Barn, where it has been patched with copper. It looked so neat the way the copper had molded to the woodgrain over time.

Just a colorful small house spotted on the side of the road in Maine. Sign above the door reads "RHUBARB".

Just a colorful small house spotted on the side of the road in Maine. Sign above the door reads "RHUBARB".

Succulents and moss.

Succulents and moss.

On Wednesday, we will hop back in the Element and leave for Georgia, where we will be teaching this hands-on tiny house workshop with Dan Louche. I'm so excited for that.

 

TINY HOUSE WORKSHOP IN MASSACHUSETTS THIS FALL:

If you live in MA, there's another tiny house workshop coming up this fall, taught by a friend of mine who lives in a tiny house he built.

It's a 5 day workshop - and they'll be building a tiny house on a trailer. Ian is a really skilled builder and maker - his own tiny house is timber framed (with 6 inch timbers he cut down and milled himself!), has a custom designed/made REMOVABLE roof (which is actually COPPER none the less) and he's generally a wicked smaht DIYer. So if you want to learn the hands on aspect from someone who knows what they are doing check it out.

I'm thinking about writing a blog post about "should you attend a tiny house building workshop?", since I've taught at more than 20 of them in the past 2 years. What are some of the questions you have about tiny house workshops? What are your hesitations? If you haven't been to one, would you like to go?