2021 Wind Up

As the house draws closer to completion, and with far less progress to share than there once was, my desire to blog has unfortunately greatly diminished. However, last month I reached a major milestone- moving into the Tiny House! Admittedly, it is still missing a few modern comforts, like running water for one, but with the main house less than 100 steps away, it’s no major inconvenience. (Though if things go to plan, the water situation will be remedied soon enough!)

It’s been quite fun to finally enjoy what I have built, even more so when I was able to decorate it for Christmas! I will continue to tackle the last of the detailing and missing pieces as the new year gets underway, but it is longer the centre of my world. Living in it has proved to be quite a good incentive to smash out some jobs over the break because it’s a lot less easy to ignore the tasks that require aesthetic and practical attention- especially as you begin to have visitors.

If we are fortunate enough to avoid a repeat of the last two years, my focus this year is definitely on pushing myself to become more confident and involved in the ‘real world.’ As a result, this blog, (and my Instagram account too), will likely continue to be quiet for some time, but perhaps, just like in the past, they may evolve into something with a new focus, time will tell.

To those who have continued to cheer me on, my sincere thanks, and my very best wishes to you all for a brighter and fulfilling 2022!

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Two Months Later

I hadn’t realised how neglectful I had been of this blog and an update is more than due! It’s been 2 months, to the day, since I started work at my new job and the weeks have flown by, even so, some progress has been made since my last report. The painting of the walls and ceiling was finished by mid-August but it was only last weekend that Dad and I installed the flooring. A pretty speedy task that made a considerable visual difference!

Admittedly, I am feeling a little tired at the moment so I have pinched some of my recent instagram posts, however I hope that my next update, (which should feature the installation of my kitchen counters), will be ‘original content.’

I think you should be able to see these posts without an instagram account, though let me know if you have any issue!

Endings and Beginings

All’s been quiet on my blog for a while now but I am back to report some big news! Yes! All going well, by the end of this month, it will be time, (once again), to move my Tiny House! However, this time, it is headed to its new home, rather than another work site. There will still be some tasks to complete like painting, laying the flooring, purchasing and installing a stove and countertop, not to mention the finishing of the cabinetry, but all of this will be completed from my new location! (And really, one can ask, is a home ever truly finished?) Most of this progress has been captured on Instagram, but for those who are happier blogging than scrolling, this post is for you!

In terms of getting to this stage, the last couple of months of work on the Tiny House have been, for the most part, enjoyable! The walls are entirely clad and trimmed, the lights are installed, and I have moved in all of the fixtures that I have built along the way, (some which have long been collecting dust). These still need a lick of paint or a wipe of stain, but it’s been brilliant to finally see the space come together. As the interior filled in, I felt the space shrinking, (inevitable when an empty space becomes a bathroom, kitchen, living room and bedroom), but now I am deeply happy with the space, in fact, I love it.

Over the years, I have spent a lot of time cursing the decision to undertake this project, and you can’t help but wonder whether it was money and time sensibly spent, but I’m beginning to feel the reward of perseverance. The house may no longer resemble what I first set out to build, both in terms of appearance and the way of life it represents, but it perfectly suits who I am now, at the age of 27, (almost 28!), and I look forward to seeing it continue its evolution in its new location.

The last few weeks here will see me working on the shelving and drawers for the cabinets and then I shall be packing all my belongings and materials inside the space for the big move! I must say, I will really miss being here on the farm, but it is due time to shake things up and try new things. Equally exciting and daunting!

The Disguise of a Dragon

It’s completely cliché, but books, film and music are my favourite things in the WORLD. (I mean, family and food are great, but that’s somewhat a given). It is this trio that have fed my imagination and creativity for as long as I can remember, not to mention, offering refuge from a world that can be somewhat mediocre at times. Nearly everything I make is influenced, even if imperceptibly, by a favourite book or film, and the building and making are almost always powered by music. Illustration is one of the offshoots from these loves, and it is this that has sparked my most recent project.

I think my sister introduced me to Natalie Andrewson’s work about a year or so ago, and for this I am most appreciative because I just love, love, love so much of her work. Her illustrations remind me of the movies and stories that filled my childhood, (and adulthood), and consequently, I never weary of them. (I suspect we share similar tastes, for Natalie has created illustrations inspired by Harry Potter, has produced as entire graphic novel of The Nutcracker, once commented that she was listening to the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film soundtrack whilst working, and if her Spotify playlist is anything to judge by, enjoys Hayao Miyazaki, The Last Jedi and LOTR. All I can say, A KINDRED SPIRIT!) As I am sure you have guessed by now, the print featured in today’s post is by the great artist herself; bringing us, in a very roundabout way, to the fuse box excitingly installed by my electrician last week! (Bear with me, all will make sense in a moment.)

Yes! I now have a working fuse box (and power in that power point you can see below!), though its placement is rather front and centre, pretty much the first thing you look at when you enter through the front door. This raised the question of how I wanted to conceal this rather ordinary white box? Due to it’s position, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to build around it something of a stop-and-drop space, a little unit with dividers and hooks. A spot where I could place the things I use every day i.e.; phone, drink bottle, wallet etc, with the circuit breakers to be accessed via a small timber door. Yet when it came to the making of the piece, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the idea of building another hinged door. I was in the mood to continue with a little more window work, after the success of my last project. It was then that I had the superior idea of replacing the unexceptional timber door, with a sliding pane of acrylic, a frame for a piece of art! Happily, I had the perfect picture for the job, ‘Summer Dragon’ by Natalie Andrewson. Now it is this beautiful Risograph print that greets you as you enter my wee home.

The build of the little wall unit was pretty breezy. I had some dressed 7mm WRC which I had been saving for something special, and so these lengths I used for the horizontals, and I’ve plenty of offcuts from the windows, making up the verticals. The panes of acrylic for the door and side openings were offcuts from the interior window, installed into small channels, cut using the table saw. As a result, the unit it is exceptionally light weight. (And, if you are wondering, that masking tape works a charm for holding pieces together as you’re waiting for glue to dry.)

As typical it’s not quite complete, but since taking the above photos, I’ve given it a sand and a rub of oil.  I am super pleased with this piece, but honestly, that is 95% thanks to the brilliant Risograph print. 

Let There Be Light

The most recent addition this week was one of those uncommon but brilliant projects that are small in effort but big in reward! The idea was to take advantage of the skylight just outside the entrance by installing an interior window above the door way to allow in a little extra daylight. As I didn’t want to fuss around with cutting glass to this unconventional shape, I bought myself a sheet of acrylic and cut it to size with my jigsaw.  I used some Western Red Cedar for the frame so it matches my exterior windows and installed the pane by channelling a groove along the four edges. Easy peasy! Almost suspiciously so.

A Tiny Taste of Exciting Things to Come

Since the beginning of September, I have been, (slightly impatiently,) awaiting the arrival of an order of 7mm plywood; the cladding for the ceiling and walls of my home. As the hold-up has prevented any substantial progress, I have found myself with no excuse but to commence some of the ‘finishing’ work on the pieces I have built this year.  Sanding, gluing, staining, etc. All my favourite things. -_- However, as I raided my offcuts for suitable pieces for edging/moulding, I discovered half a sheet of 7mm ply in my stock, giving me the idea that I could have a go at cladding the small skylight. Much more exciting. 

Using leftover Foilboard, I insulated the supporting steel boxes, of both skylights, and attached the strips of cladding with tek screws- fun, fun, fun! (Though I suspect the ceiling is going to be anything but).  Despite not having enough plywood to finish even this small task, it did give me a taste of the next step, a glimpse of the transformation the house is soon to face! (Hopefully!!The exercise also decided how I will hide the screw heads and ply sheet joins. Win! 

In the below photos you can see me playing around with some ideas for the moulding, (nothing too fancy as I am limited to the table saw). I’ve narrowed it down to two similar-but-slightly-different designs, but once all has been painted I am hoping either will look pretty neat! Opinions welcome!