workshop

What's Holding You Back From Your Tiny Living Dream?

Right now, my life looks a lot like this:

I travel in the Honda Element for months at a time, taking breaks at rented AirBnBs for a month or two at a time, then hitting the road again for more adventures.

When we’re “home” in our hometown, we stay in the camper for a month or two before heading out on the next trip.

I live mostly out of a backpack and a small duffel bag with my clothes in it. Everything else fits neatly under the platform in the Honda Element we converted into our very own “micro-camper”.

It feels natural now. It feels….easy. It’s just my life.

But Before I made my tiny living dream my real life, I was being HELD BACK by so many unknowns.

So many questions, concerns, and things I had to figure out.

It felt overwhelming to want a mobile, simple life so bad, but really have no clue at all how to actually make that happen.

Like how to bridge that gap between where I was (living in 1500+ square feet of clutter and chaos, stuck in one place, drowning in stuff) and where I wanted to be (free in a camper that felt like I was wearing my own custom-made space suit with everything I needed!).

 

The Problem with Your 5-year Plan

The Fallacy of the 5 Year Plan

As you probably know, I’ve taught at more then 25 tiny house workshops and events over the past 2 years.

My favorite part is talking with everyone at the workshops, hearing their stories, and helping them start their journey.

Every time we teach a workshop, I end up losing my voice answering so many questions! It’s always fun to stay up late with people who share your values.

(PS - I’m hosting the first and only VIRTUAL Tiny House Workshop this weekend! You can register here and join us!)
 

 

One thing I’ve been noticing more and more while teaching and speaking at these workshops, is that people have long timelines for their tiny house journeys.

I definitely think everyone should follow their own path and work within a time frame that suits their unique situation and life story.

DESIGN/BUILD/DOWNSIZE: The ONLY Virtual Tiny House Workshop

A few months ago I mentioned that my good friend and tiny house builder Dan Louche (author of The Tiny House Design and Construction Guide, TinyHomeBuilders.com) and I were working on something really new and exciting behind the scenes.

Well today, our idea from months ago becomes a reality!


Introducing….

Design/Build/Downsize: The Only Virtual Tiny House Workshop!

 

What is it?

Design / Build / Downsize is a two-day virtual tiny house workshop that includes 8 in-depth lessons, live group chat and discussion, and a live Q + A session with Dan Louche and I!

It's two days, with two experts, and a bunch of your new tiny community friends.


What will you learn?

Dan Louche and I have created 8 lessons on everything from choosing a trailer, designing your tiny home, building methods, and downsizing. 

You can read about the entire curriculum and see all the details here >>>

These are the trainings - plus plenty of extras - that we teach at our live, in-person workshops (that normally would cost more than $500 plus airfare + hotel to attend). 



The workshop is the only virtual tiny house workshop - meaning we’re delivering these trainings and lessons live, but you can watch from anywhere in the world :)

Tiny Home Builders Hands-On Tiny House Workshop Recap + Review

Have you ever been to a tiny house live workshop? Are you planning to attend one?

Well today's post will give you some of the details about what those weekend tiny house workshops are like!

Specifically, Matt and I help Dan Louche of Tiny Home Builders teach his hands-on tiny house building workshop in Atlanta, GA. We've taught and spoken at more than 25 tiny house events and workshops all over the country, and we especially LOVE Dan's workshops.

The Tiny Home Builders' workshops are the right combination of hands-on building experience (yes, you get to use all the power tools!) and super educational trainings on everything from electrical, plumbing, how to choose a trailer, and off grid systems and sustainable design (my specialty!). It's part classroom, part workshop, and it's really effective to learn about something in depth via the presentations, then actually go over the the tiny house you're building and try it out yourself. (Plus there's a fully-built tiny house on site).

Some people attend the workshop to learn about the "systems" and more complex elements, others to get the confidence to use power tools (for many people it's their first time using power tools or swinging hammers!), and others come to network and meet like-minded friends.

Tiny Home Builders Hands-On Building Workshop

Tiny Home Builders Hands-On Building Workshop

Have you been to a tiny house workshop?

I've spoken at and taught about 20 in the past 2 years, and they always get me excited all over again. Meeting people who are just beginning their small home journeys, discussing science and nature, and making good friends are my favorite parts!

Last weekend Matt and I helped Dan Louche at his hands-on tiny home building workshop in Atlanta, GA. We were there to primarily talk about sustainable building, off-grid systems, and how and WHY you should downsize your life sooner rather than later. We ended up answering a lot of questions about composting toilets. Everyone is ALWAYS most interested in our bathroom habits, and we've become extremely comfortable speaking candidly about our bodily functions with total strangers.

We had the pleasure of meeting up with some people in real life from the current Tiny Transition + Downsizing class, and it was SO FUN to hang out and get to know each other off-the-Internet. Putting faces to names and meeting people I had been connecting with online for months was really great.

Vermont and Maine Adventure: Small houses and Design/Build Inspiration

Vermont and Maine Adventure: Small houses and Design/Build Inspiration

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.

Graduation, Renovation, and The Next Phase

Graduation, Renovation, and The Next Phase

Hello friends!

This blog post is an update so that you know what Matt and I will be up to this month and next. I just wanted to let you know because we have a very busy 2 months lined up and we're excited to have a few new adventures lined up to share with you.

1. I'm graduating College, and my ceremony is THIS WEEK!

So, I technically finished school and graduated from college in June, but because my college only has "residency" (on campus time) twice a year, my actual ceremony isn't until this weekend. I will be graduating from Goddard College in Vermont on Sunday August 24th. It has been a wild ride. I fucking love Goddard and will miss the freedom, autonomy, faculty and friends I have made there. I never thought I would actually make it through college - I'm fundamentally opposed to the whole system - but Goddard was such a special exception. They helped me see the value of doing it your own way within a support system.

I will graduate with a degree in Sustainability, concentration on Ecological Design and Sustainable Business. And because I've been designing my own curriculum the entire time and have been studying tiny houses for the past 4 years, I believe I'm probably the first person to get a degree in tiny houses :)

Tiny House Fair 2013 in Vermont: Recap and a Rant

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.

Tiny House Road Trip Recap

I'm back! What a wild trip! Just to remind you all, for the past month I was traveling around the US (car-camping in my Element, which worked out great) interviewing Tiny House people and doing tiny house stuff. In the coming months (it takes so long to edit this stuff!) you'll see my interviews with Laura Lavoie of Life In 120 Square Feet, Dan Louche of Tiny Home Builders, Alex Pino of Tiny House Talk, Sicily of Le Petit Maison, Steve Harrell of Tiny House Swoon and Tiny House Listings, Andrew Odom of Tiny (r)Evolution, and Hari and Karl of Tiny House Family. What an awesome community of people we have! Turns out everyone lives in a tiny house for very different, unique reasons, and it was amazing to see so many people who had really found a sense of fulfillment through small living. More on all this later!

Also, Kent Griswold told me that I had a video up on YouTube, maybe some of you have already seen it? I just found out about it while I was away, and I'd love it if you guys checked it out and "liked" it if you feel like it! Here's the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uKCnIBOhpw

Tumbleweed Tiny House Worskhop Re-cap and Progress!

Hello! I've been away from the blog for a few days in favor of getting in some full days of work out in the COMET. I will spare you some of the details (I removed the black water tank. I then had to remove and clean the wood/subfloor that the black water tank sat on. Not pleasant!) so you don't lose your breakfast, but I will say that I found something HILARIOUS hidden in the walls of the camper under the toilet. My COMET definitely has a history! I'll post a picture of it later, because it's too funny (and somewhat lewd) to describe at the moment!

Anyway, what I really want to talk about is the Tumbleweed Tiny House workshop that I spoke at and attended in Boston over the weekend. I was getting over a fever/cold this weekend (I hate summer colds!) but had a GREAT time at the workshop. The main part of the workshop was taught by Derek Diedricksen, tiny house and recycled materials guru. I gave a presentation about how the design and technology of the camper industry can be interpreted into tiny houses, and how you can re-use vintage camper appliances and parts in a tiny house to save money.