Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tumbleweed Workshop in Asheville

This weekend was a very different weekend for us. Even though we are so close to finishing the house, we did very little work this weekend.  That is because this weekend was the Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Asheville. Sometime last year we had offered to speak at the workshop and we were thrilled that they invited us to do so.

We went out with some friends in Atlanta on Friday night and normally I wouldn't mention that specifically here on the tiny house blog but we went to see the local play The Wrath of Con.  This is particularly awesome for us as major geeks because it was about the incredible experience that is Dragon*Con which we go to every year. If you're in Atlanta you need to check this out before it is gone.

But because we had gone out on Friday night, we didn't rush to get out of the apartment on Saturday morning. We hit the road about 9am.  The first stop once we were there was to pick up a mini futon that we ordered (in gray). Also, we determined it should be called the FuTeeny (or Futini if you're Italian).  We had researched small seating for the tiny house and we thought this would be a great fit, but as it turned out the futon frame was all wrong for our space.  However, we also realized that we could remove said frame and then we were left with the perfect futon mattress with a built in mechanism that could be bolted to a wooden base of our own design.  So, ultimately it was a win. I didn't get any photos of the new futon since we have some work to do on it, but I think it will be perfect when it is finished. The best part of building a little frame is that we can include storage underneath it.  Score!

After we wrestled with the futon for a while, we got the tiny house cleaned up and went out to Jack of Hearts in Weaverville to meet Pepper Clark and Shelly from the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. They were so awesome.  Shelly impressed me a lot because she is senior in college working for Tumbleweed and traveling all over the country for them.  She is nearly done with school and I can't wait to see the things she can do to contribute to the Tiny House movement.  Pepper was fantastic to talk to and like a lot of situations we find ourselves in with like-minded people I really felt like we had known her for years.  We had a great conversation over dinner.

After dinner, they followed us all the way up to our tiny house.  We warned them that we had built the house half way up our mountain and there was no road to get there, so they followed us up the path to our tiny house.  I'll tell you, we certainly don't do any of this for any sort of compliment or reward, but it is really nice to have people who work for Tumbleweed compliment us on our house. It was also nice to show it off, especially since it is so close to being done.

Today we didn't rush to get up. We were in no real hurry except we had to be at the workshop by about 1:30 or so.  We enjoyed the morning in the tiny house, had some coffee and hot coco and eventually wandered down to the barn to get cleaned up.  We used our shower contraption and it was awesome.  We got ourselves dressed and drove in to Asheville to grab some lunch before making our way to the hotel where the workshop was being held.

About three years ago, we went to a workshop in Asheville that was led by Jay Shafer, the founder of Tumbleweed.  At that time we were two of about twelve people at the workshop.  So when we asked Pepper and Shelly how many people were at their workshop and the answer was "about a hundred," we were a little shocked. I started to feel a little intimidated. I've given presentations before but usually to about 25 people tops at a camping festival.

When we got to the room we set up our little PowerPoint and Pepper introduced us.  Matt did most of the talking, since he also did most of the building.  I really enjoyed it and we got a lot of great questions.  I really want to thank Pepper and Shelly and everyone at the workshop for giving us some time to talk about our project. It is truly our baby and it is neat to be able to share it with people who are also interested in tiny houses and simple living.

About three years ago when we first had the idea to build something on this land that we bought a friend of ours told us about Tumbleweed Tiny House. We were seriously considering it when we learned that the company would be presenting their first workshop east of the Mississippi in Asheville. It seemed like an omen we couldn't ignore. So we went (along with the aforementioned other 10 people).  It was just us and Jay Shafer and we felt really encouraged. It was only about a month after that workshop that we broke ground on our foundation. We think it is great that so many people are in interested in the tiny house movement and we want to encourage everyone who has the dream of living that lifestyle any way we can.

Thanks again to the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company for letting us take some time to talk at the workshop. It was a great experience and such perfect timing as we are so close to finishing our own project.

3 comments:

  1. Having grown up in Tennessee, as I look at the background of this site and the photos of your new home, I am taken back to a time in the past where the serenity of the outdoors, the smells, sounds and the exhilaration I would feel when in an area like this is all but heaven for me. For now, I am in the mostly flat land of northern Texas and people around here, for the most part, don't have a clue of how heavenly a place such as yours in the area your new home is located can be. Enjoy!

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  2. Wow!!!! I'm so glad I found your blog!!! Tiny houses, a heart for orphans, and lover of good beer... you're my type of people :) I would love to send the folks at my blog over to your space since so many of them were interested in the tiny house phenomenon. Let me know if that's okay with you!

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    1. Welcome to 120 Square Feet, Mae! I'm glad you're here. Please feel free to send people here to my blog. They can just look around or I'm always here to answer any questions.

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