I left for Brazil just as everything started happening on the lot. I promised I wouldn’t disappear for a month but try and stay engaged in the project while here. Thus, I write this from a hammock in rural Northeast Brazil where we’re staying with an amazing community leader and learning about the Xukuru’s fight to regain their territory here in Brazil. While feeling grateful for the opportunity to be here, I’m also sad that I’m missing out on all the work that is being done on the lot. Fortunately, Tony and Brian have been keeping me updated via photos, email and Skype.
Here’s a recent update I received from Tony about the past week:
What a week! We took delivery of the shipping container on Monday, we’ve set most of the fence posts and Brian and Jay picked up their trailers on Friday. We should have the fencing up by the end of next week and, hopefully, we’ll have your house on the lot in about a week. You’re not gonna recognize the place when you get back!
It took some doing to get the trailers on the lot, but everything went well and we learned a lot about the logistics of moving and siting them. Once they are built up, it’s going to be even trickier to move them around. There’s not enough room in the alley to back them all the way into place with a truck. We ended up situating them by hand. We’re going to look into getting some type of hand dolly for future use. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up renting a small tractor to move them on and off the lot. One nice thing about the lot is that the yard slopes down perfectly to meet the back of the trailer. You’ll probably be able to step out of your back door directly onto the grass without stairs.
Brian and I have spoken to a lot of people passing through the alley and the feedback we’re getting is very positive. People are excited about the garden beds and curious about tiny houses. I know you feel like you’re missing out, but a lot of what we’ve been doing is dirty, sweaty grunt work. The good news is that we should be ready for the fun part of designing and building out the interior of yours when you get back.
Check out the photos below – they’ve really made progress, and I’m excited to get back and start working on this project again!
The lineup at the Portland Tumbleweed Workshop June 14-15 is going to be amazing! Portland is big on community spirit and we will bring it to this workshop with a panel of guest speakers, a tiny house tour and an after-hours round-table discussion of tiny house life. Dee Williams, our first Tumbleweed client and workshop host extraordinaire will lead the workshop. Check out her TEDx talk about her life in a tiny house then read on to learn more about our speakers:
Joan Grimm has designed and delivered local and international environmental education and sustainability programs for both public and private entities including Oregon Departmental of Environmental Quality, OMSI, and Association of Oregon Recyclers. Over the past 25 years she has educated thousands of people about simple and smart ways to lighten their impact on the planet. She is the founding board chair of SCRAP (the School and Community Reuse Action Project) and the Oregon Green Schools Association. She and her partner have a little house in their backyard.
Brittany Yunker: Brittany works for the WA State Legislature as a staff to the Senate committees. Brittany built a Fencl in 2009 with the help of a few friends (including Dee!). She taught herself carpentry from library books, YouTube videos and chatting with Dee and another friend with building experience. She lived in her tiny house for 2 years before meeting her current partner and deciding to up-size slightly to a small, 2 bedroom bungalow. Brittany is currently in the process of obtaining a business license to open her house up for daily rental to people interested in seeing if a tiny house could work for them.
Lina Menard: Graduate Student in Urban Planning, Little House
Enthusiast, New Carpenter, and recently helped her friend build a new
tiny house and has plans to build her own tiny house. She's
written a blog about her project at This Is The Little Life.
Michelle Jones: Professor at Concordia University, Portland; teaching
organizational management, ethical leadership, and other courses. For
the last two years, she's worked with students and the community to
host a TEDx event in Portland. She's lived in her tiny house with cat, dog
and boyfriend for about year and a half.
Tammy and Logan: Tammy blogs at RowdyKittens.com as a simple living
advocate. Her story has been chronicled in the New York Times, USA
Today (as part of a cover story), Yahoo, MSN News, United Daily News
(one of the top three newspapers in Taiwan), and The China Times, as
well as a few Hong Kong newspapers. She and her husband have also
appeared on The Today Show, MSNBC, CNN, and dozens of local television
programs and NPR affiliates. Tammy is currently launching a book, “You
Can Buy Happiness (And its Cheap)”.
The Portland workshop takes place June 14-15 and we expect this one to sell out. If you haven't purchased your tickets yet, you can still enjoy the 40% early bird discount until May 31st. Click here.
Another Tumbleweed rises! Our friend and fan Ella just landed a sweet spot in the latest issue of Yes! Magazine. Ella's Fencl tiny house is coming along nicely and it's good to see her getting some press. You can read all about her build on her blog. One of my favorite details about Ella is that she has never built a thing before and it was attending one of our workshops that gave her the impetus to make the leap. Now look at her Fencl and tell me the workshops don't work. Sign up now to attend one in your area. Go Ella!
The first Tumbleweed Tiny House is on the market and you're invited to join the current owners and Derek "Deek" Diedricksen at an open house! Tour the first Tumbleweed Tiny House on Saturday, May 12, 2012 and if you're interested, take it home with you! Deek will also have some Boston Workshop tickets available too! RSPV for the event and get location details on our Facebook event page.
A couple of students at Emerson College shot this video tour of the Epu with Deek to give you a glimpse inside this little Epu model. Check it out!
Our friends Evan & Gabby shared with us this excellent video. If you've always wanted to see the process of building a Tumbleweed tiny house from start to finish, this is the video for you. Thanks guys!