Thursday, January 31, 2013

120 Ideas for Tiny Living...done?

I have a profound sense of relief today. The manuscript for 120 Ideas for Tiny Living has been sent to my best friend and beta reader to get her opinion on it.

I am still on track to have the book available by the end of March. My birthday is March 29th so it will be a great birthday present to me if it is out by then.

As far as I know now it will be available as an eBook for sure. I am thinking about having a paperback option as well for those folks who would rather feel the pages between their fingers. We have some other ideas for the book promotion, so keep watching this space for more announcements.

I plan to have it available in time to bring to the North Carolina Tiny House Workshop hosted by Deek and Steven in Wilmington, NC.

Speaking of - if you find yourself in North Carolina in April, definitely think about checking us out. It should be a lot of fun.

I still have a fair number of photos I need to stage for the book too. I have most of them but there are about 30 or so (out of 120) that I need to get. So, I'll be doing that over the next few weeks.

And on the topics of photos I am thinking about what to use for the cover of the book. Here are some options Let me know what you like best or if you think it should be something else all together.

1. Sepia Tiny House in Woods

2. Color Tiny House in Woods
3. Black and White Tiny House in Woods
4. Black and White Tiny House Different View

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Take the Tiny Life Survey

Our friends over at The Tiny Life are conducting a survey to find out more about the average tiny house dweller. In fact, if he gets enough response he may create a fancy infographic to share on his blog.

When you have a moment, please answer the questions. Now, I'm off to take it myself...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tiny House Table Brought to you by Ikea

First, I admit to being currently a little obsessed with the music of Jonathan Coulton. Including this gem:

So that got me thinking about Ikea when it comes to tiny house furnishing. Everything is very small and reasonably priced. Consider it when you're buying accessories for your small space.

Then I thought about the Norbo. This is the wall mounted folding table that we have in our tiny house.
Look at how well it keeps that beer from crashing to the ground!

Well, apparently owning a Norbo is sort of required for tiny house owners. Don't believe me? Just ask Tammy and Logan about their Norbo. They gleefully stole the idea from Chris and Malissa. And I am pretty sure that Andrew and Crystal have one, though I don't know if they still use it. By my count that is 4 tiny house couples who own this stylish Swedish table. I think is some kind Norse tiny house initiation rite.

Won't you join us? Consider your Norbo today! 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Product at the 120 Square Feet Store

Recently I included a photo I took of our tiny house on a post over at Tiny House Talk. I was complimented on it and one person asked if they could print it out and hang it up.

So I thought maybe I should offer a print at our store. So, if you're looking for some black and white tiny house art you can find it there.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Tiny Kitchen

The other day I had a little Tiny House writer's block and I put the question out to my Facebook page. I wanted to know what you, my readers, wanted to hear about. I got a lot of great questions, some of which are pretty complex and may require some further research. But I thought I would talk about one question here today.

What is your kitchen like?

Everything that we use in our kitchen is portable or temporary. For example; we didn't build in a stove or oven unit. We use portable butane burners. We have two but unless we are making something that requires two burners, we typically only have one out on the counter at  a time. We have the L shaped counter and cabinets beneath. Under the smaller cabinets we store all of our utensils. Under one half of the larger cabinet we store our food. The other half holds a cooler so we can keep some foods cool, but we rarely ever used it. The plates and glasses are stored on the shelves above the counter. 

Also in our kitchen is the Berkey water filter. This is a gravity fed filtration system that we put our spring water into to make sure it is as clean as possible. We don't drink it, but we could. We use this primarily for washing dishes and ourselves. 

Our pots and pans are stored under the sofa, but since the sofa is reaching distance from the kitchen it isn't a problem to have them there. 

We have also built an outdoor kitchen where we cooked most of the summer. Outside we have a Camp Chef Camp Oven, which is a sweet propane oven. Anything you can cook in an conventional oven can be cooked in there. We would also take our butane burners out there to cook. 

Most of our food came from the local farmer's market. We would buy fresh food weekly and eat it within the week so we rarely needed refrigeration. We do have a Stirling Engine Cooler which is hooked up under the house to our battery system. We turned it on when we needed it and used it primarily to chill our beer. Unfortunately, Coleman no longer makes these.

You'll be able to read a little more about our kitchen in my book, 120 Ideas for Tiny Living, which I expect to have out by the end of March.
If you have any more questions about the way we live in our tiny house, please feel free to ask.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Tiny Table: Turkey Stuff

It has been a while since I've shared a tiny table recipe with y'all. Matt and I like to cook and there are times that we bust out all the pots and pans and old family recipes and the kitchen looks like a tornado tore through it. However, after moving into the tiny house our kitchen mantra became "simple and easy to prepare."

So, I present to you a recipe we like to call "Turkey Stuff."

Yes, that is a TARDIS salt shaker, thanks for asking.
You will need:
1 pound ground turkey
Egg noodles (We use the "Dumpling" size)
Soy Sauce
Parmesan Cheese
Additional seasoning as desired

Season your turkey as you like it. Sometimes we use garlic powder and other times we just use salt and pepper. Add soy sauce to the turkey and cook it in a skillet until it is cooked through.

In the meantime, boil water and cook the egg noodles according to package directions.

Once the noodles are done, drain them and return to the pot. Add the cooked turkey. Add about a half cup of Parmesan cheese. At this point we either stir it together or put the lid on the pot and shake it vigorously. That depends on our mood.

I know it kind of looks bland, but it is surprisingly tasty and one of my favorite easy meals to make.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Requests for Tours

Photo by J. Andrew Flenniken
Since I have been blogging about our tiny house adventures for three years now I am frequently asked if we allow people to come see our tiny house.

While I would love to be in a position to answer this question with a Yes, there are circumstances which require me to refuse most requests.

Our tiny house is off the beaten path in a rural area of Western North Carolina. We have a few neighbors who moved to this area to be away from the constant stimulation of the city. Ultimately the reason we chose to build our house where we did was to have our own privacy as well. We like that the tiny house is tucked away in the woods away from major traffic. In fact, it is tucked so far in the woods there isn't even a road to get to it. We don't publicize the exact location of the tiny house because we want to keep our privacy and we respect the privacy of our neighbors.

Instead, I blog about our life and our projects. I don't mind being public, I just would prefer that my house itself stay private.

That being said, while we aren't generally willing to allow tours of our tiny house we are available for conversations. If anyone finds themselves in the Asheville area and would like to talk with us about our tiny house we would be open to setting up a meeting.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A productive start to the new year

A friend recently posted on her Facebook page that whatever you do on New Year's Day will set the tone for the rest of the year. I spend time writing and then went to the bar with another Tiny House Blogger. If this is true, then my 2013 is going to absolutely rock.

Speaking of writing, I am making some good progress on my book. I am a visual person, so I wrote down each of the 120 ideas on note cards and spread them out on the floor so I could see the order I wanted them to be. This was a great practical exercise and I think I've made some good choices.

Once I had the cards in the order I liked, I gathered them all up and use the cards to go through my thousands of photos. I wrote down the file location of each picture on the card so I know where to go in my computer when I am formatting the book. Probably the long way around, but it is working for me pretty well.

Next up, creating a master file and editing the hell out of everything. Fun! 

We had a great time in Michigan for the holidays, but I am really glad we're back in Asheville. A little later today we're going to walk downtown from our winter house to check out the latest addition to the Asheville Brewery scene, Wicked Weed. Word on the street is that it is one of the best. I think I'm going to love staying in this house for the winter.

Because we have a hard time sitting still, Matt and I are spending some of the winter fixing up some things in this house. We get to paint it!  Matt is prepping one of the rooms as I type this. This will be the cutest 700 square foot 40s bungalow in all of Asheville once we're done with it! 

Some projects will be starting up at the tiny house soon, too. Warm winter days are a good time to do some outdoor clean up. I can't wait to get back up to the tiny house, too.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tiny Bloggers Unite...over Pizza

Ryan Mitchell and Laura LaVoie on Wall Street, Asheville NC

The other day I got an email from Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life. He was going to be visiting Asheville and wanted to know if we would like to meet up for a drink in the afternoon on New Year's Day.

Of course we would!  

So, about 3pm on January 1, 2013 we met up at Jack of Wood in downtown Asheville for a lot of tiny talk.  We talked about his tiny house progress. We talked about the funny things that happened to Matt and I as we started to build. Next thing you know, it was dinner time so we wandered over to Asheville Pizza and Brewing to get some pizza.

I suppose you can say that Ryan and I have known each other for about three years. In March of 2010, Ryan posted about our tiny house on his blog. I hadn't even begun this blog yet. In fact, it was because of Ryan's blog post that I moved our story from LiveJournal to a brand new blog page. Before that, I didn't think anyone cared about our little house in the mountains.  In hind sight, and 1168-and-counting Facebook fans later, I was wrong. I don't know that any of us in the tiny house community three years ago thought the movement would be where it is today.

It is always great to meet people you've known online for a long time. I'm glad our scattered community can connect through social media but it never replaces face to face meetings. Meeting Ryan was great fun and us North Carolina Tiny House builders need to stick together!  Who knows, there may be some interesting collaborations in the future!