Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Marmot coat

marmot coat has lifetime warranty
One of my favorite items that will be leaving with me from this house is my Marmot coat. 
This Marmot coat has a a protective gortex lining and a story that goes along with it . 

With the birth of my first child, my husband bought me a coat that was produced by a company called Marmot. I didn't think much of it other than it was lightweight and our family was about to travel around the world with six bags. My Marmot coat followed me everywhere from the windy Cliffs of Dover, to the sunny plains of Africa, as well as the cold winters of Sweden. 

My Marmot coat had this vast array of pockets. One pocket protected my passport, while others held snacks and money.  It served as my walking organizational system. After six years of constant use, holes had begun to show up on the front pockets. I wrote to Marmot to see if they could replace or repair them.

This is when everyone should know about Marmot.

I did not want to leave that coat, but a new catalog arrived with the instructions to pick ANYTHING out as a replacement at no charge.  The choice was simple. Dear Marmot, send me the most expensive gortex coat in the book.

My new purple Marmot coat arrived just in time for our family trip to Michigan. Tucked in our overhead luggage tube above the van, I pulled it out at a rest stop while it was raining for a test drive. Marmot coats don't leak, they don't sweat, they are like wearing a second skin. I danced around in the rain until it was time to drive to the ferry. What a great coat I thought. 

I love this Marmot coat even more than the first one.

We drove the car onto the ferry boat and the rain had not stopped. I climbed up to the luggage carrier and could not find the coat. Where is my new coat? Somewhere between the rest stop and the ferry, the luggage container had opened and my coat had disappeared.

The nicest coat I had ever owned and worn for five minutes, was gone.

After a few days we arrived back to the ferry dock and I walked up and down the highway with no luck  The good news is that I had written my name inside the coat when I first bought it. A week went by with no news and then a call came in. A maintenance worker who was mowing the highway grass had come across it and we arranged to have him mail it to me. 

My purple Marmot coat arrived in the mail with a few tire track marks, but looked fine...until I tried to zip up the front. 

A semi-truck must've driven over this coat because the teeth were mangled. My purple coat was mailed back to Marmot where they happily replaced the zipper  at no charge. 

Through rain, sleet, snow and semi-trucks, this purple marmot coat is one of my favorite things.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Alchemy Architects "Weehouse"

When I think back to what inspired me on this compulsive un-nesting journey, 
I think of the first time I discovered a "weehouse". 
The name "weeHouse" not only means small, but it is what one calls the pre-fab houses created by the talented architects of the St. Paul, Minnesota based Alchemy Architects.  

This is the first weeHouse I ever saw. 
At around 800 square feet, it has corncrib siding,  
and a crows nest on the roof for star gazing.

red prefab house in Superior Duluth
 Many of the weeHouses are nestled in nature without garages or driveways.
red house under 800 sq ft
Interiors are clean, simple and bright
interior of a wee house
 They are constructed by cranes like large sections of legos 
and are often built from recycled shipping containers.
crane lift section of wee house
Check out the beautiful coloring on the crate siding.
small house in the woods
Materials blend in with nature.
small house in woods in winter
Floor plans highlight the perfect view.
small house near beach
Mix and match textures and a tilt of yellow complete this landscaping business.
Wee house by Alchemy Architects
A splash of a new addition on an older house.
Alchemy Architects
A curved roof mirrors the swooping curves on the deck.
rounded deck on house
What a great place to put a sink to ease the line at the bathroom.
sink in loft by Alchemy Architects
Minimal, nothing more.
Wee house by Alchemy Architects in winter

Alchemy Architiects also design interesting houses in addition to the weeHouses.
They do lots of barns but this one has unique slotted siding.
Here are more photos.
Barn house by Alchemy Architects
 The structure transforms at night to create this masterpiece of light patterns.

Barn house by Alchemy Architects
See more of their work on their gallery page.

Are you a weeHouse believer now?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Last day to mourn my small loss

Today is the last day I mourn the loss of my blog house and tomorrow I start new.

Attic potential

Access to the attic was on the outside of the house. 
access to attic through window
The ceiling may look high, but it was not 7ft for code.
inside of small house attic
My daughter would actually go for something like this:
using attic space for loft bed

Downsides of that small house.

There would be fewer rooms for Dodge to use his surveillance ears
basset hound looking through door
 There were no ground floor windows for Disney to watch squirrels all day.
basset hound looking out door
Yet, even the Basset Hounds have been practicing how to fit in a small space.

My favorite suggestion

 Just start chopping away at our house until it is under 900 square feet.
Pretty close.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Some house that I used to know

This house was even better the second time I saw it.
I am told there is a place and a time for a small house.
It's just not now.

Beware new owner, this house comes with a stalking
I think I will make it my life long mission to know who lives here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Back-up plan is to live in a skyway

Tomorrow we visit "the house". 

Odds are against me. 
The timing is against me. 
One bedroom is against me.
Our material baggage is against me. 
Hoping there is a hidden attic 7ft  high is against me. 

 I came across this article of a skyway that went up for sale.

I think I may wear black.

a skyway being sold for a house.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Small house inspiration

Nice hint of wood.
A flower box in front of the three windows could change with the seasonssmall house

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When you wish upon a house....

small stucco house

See any resemblance to this photo and the house in my blog header? 

Yep, they are the same. is going up for sale.

We still are three people and two large Bassett Hounds and it is still only one bedroom.

It is totally not the right time, yet it may be exactly the right time...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bill Cunningham from the New York Times

Bill CunninghamsPhotographer
I watched a lovely movie on Netflix called "Bill Cunningham in New York". 
Bill has devoted his whole life to photographing fashion for a Sunday column in the 
New York Times called "On the Street". 
 My main fascination with the movie was with where he lived. 
He was one of the few artists to live at Carnegie Hall in a studio apartment. 

 This is his "closet", a few hangers on the file cabinet. 
I remember seeing less than a dozen garments he owned. 
a shot of the photographer Bill Cunningham's apartment full of file cabinets
His bed is nestled inbetween the file cabinets.
In Bill Cunningham's words, "Why the hell would anyone want a kitchen and a bathroom?" 
Here is a trailer for the film
Eventually Bill's apartment is taken over and he is required to relocate. 
After the final credits roll there was this blurb:
a story of how Bill lived after he moved

It was inspiring to see someone with such a passion for what he does overshadow what he has.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Little House on a Small Planet by Shay Solomon

This book reinforces reasons for choosing a small house, including preserving natural resources and living a simple life. Little House on a Small Planet by Shay Solomon asks questions like, "How much space do we need?" and "How much stuff is required to make us happy?".  Over a dozen interviews of people in various small houses fill the book with inspiration.

My most memorable story is about a woman who lived in a 3000 sq foot house and lost all her possessions to a flood. She ended up tossing the traditional lifestyle of a house and living on a sailboat that was only 30 feet long with another person.  The flood forced her to eliminate her possessions quickly. She said "If my stuff isn't making my life better, why do I have it?"  She ended up spending fourteen years on the ocean.
I was intrigued by the design of this bathroom in one of the houses. This design allows multiple uses for one bathroom by just installing doors in between the different utilities.
Another interesting concept was called the Maxwelton Creek Co-housing set -up.  On a 21 acre parcel in Washington state, they built eight houses and one community building. THe zoning established no house bigger than 1500 square feet and they placed a parking lot away from the houses so you had to walk in.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Small YELLOW houses

 Someone thinks that all I post are small yellow houses. 
yellow tiny house
See this green house?
yellow tiny house
 If I was to just collect shots of yellow houses,
it may be because yellow houses represent  the color of sunshine and is associated with joy, happiness, intellect (my husband) and energy (me).
yellow tiny house
Maybe they accidentally saw all these dandelions.

yellow tiny house
 If I did post a picture of a house that was yellow, it would look like it belonged in favorite place in the world.
yellow tiny house
Maybe they thought that many of my shots have picket fences. They do. 
yellow tiny house
There is so much more than just the color of the house to look at, 
like how the rain water collects in this tub.

I look for much more than the color of the house when posting these images.
Don't get me wrong, yellow is a nice color.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

89 square ft home by Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

This is a nice video of Jay Shafer who has pioneered the small house on wheels movement.  Coming from someone who grew up in a house over 4000sq feet, Jay gives a tour of a small home that has everything he needs in only 89 sq feet. Jay admits it took him a few years to weed out "what he really needed" to make the transition. The bathroom is interesting how it serves as both a bathroom and a shower. He gathers water in a jug from the health club to fill the jug for the shower.  My favorite part is when he opens the door to show the refrigerator and there is a bottle of liquor!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tiny homes video by Lloyd Kahn

This looks like a great book! Lloyd Kahn shows his unique process to creating a book by collaging photos by hand and tape instead of a structured template.  All inspirational houses in the book can only be 500 sq ft.