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Getting (re)Inspired

8 Sep

Somehow in all my Kickstarter madness I put all my eggs and dendrites into the ‘go project go’ basket that I forgot, if only for a moment, to let myself be inspired. One thing that I so loved about rediscovering tiny houses and falling in love with voluntary simplicity back in February of this year is the wealth of examples of people that have come before, done what I want to do and lived to tell the story: blog about it, take pics, have tiny conversations in abbreviations, acronyms and incomplete sentences via Twitter and Facebook…you know…

I’ve been so consumed with my new 9-5 and getting the exact science of getting a Kickstarter fully funded that I forgot to have fun, take breaks, feed my tiny house obsession daily and occasionally…eat.

I’ve consumed 2 packs of gum in a week leaving the right side of my tongue completely raw. I felt like a chain smoker, getting the other one primed and ready before I was finished with the last. I don’t even like gum! Nerves I guess.

Other than picking a college, going on Semester at Sea or deciding to move to Los Angeles I feel like this is one of those defining moments for me. No huge immediate change, but you’ve made the jump and things will never be the same. I’m excited, nervous, emotional and giddy as all heck.

Anyway, I’m remembering what it feels like to search 20 variations of “tiny house on wheels” on Google instead of “final cut 7 FX render error” or “Kickstarter statistics”.

So what am I inspired by this morning? Let me show you…

Jenine Alexander’s tiny house cost her less than $3,500 to build. I’ve read her story a dozen times but now that I’m on my way to raising the money I’ll be re-examining how she did it and scouring Craig’s List for my own share of free or almost free recycled building materials.

Macy Miller, who’s been out of commission for a bit, is back on her feet and working on her tiny house…and a shopping bag hammock. Very cool. Glad to see you up and on your feet again Macy! and their entry “Learning to Slow Down“. It’s a hard lesson for me and one that most people I’ve lived with, worked with or dated probably don’t even believe I am making headway on but I have. I’ve learned to say NO to a lot of things, be a little more patient and get out a bit more. This blog is a good reminder to do that.

This is the home of blogger, entrepreneur and creator of, Tammy Strobel and her husband

This is one of the first tiny houses I’ve seen that has a front that looks almost identical to my design: the covered porch, using the above area as interior space (I’m surprised how many tiny house designs don’t do this), windows flanking the door and a gabled roof. This is the home of the creators, awesome site.

Small House, Big Adventure is a blog written by a grad student who is building a tiny house as part of her Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management. I love this website because I’m very engineering minded and they really outline and take pictures of everything, all the nooks and crannies and typically “boring stuff” that I totally dig.

Becoming Minimalist – pretty self explanatory but I really appreciate the sincerity and relatability of this blog. Just good, REAL people. Not all blogs are like this so I think if you are new to simplicity/minimalist culture this is a great start.

A friend once told me to spend one hour each day doing something for me. At the time I wasn’t making any disposable income and simply watching tiny house videos online effectively made my day so that’s what I did. For one hour each day I would just ogle and drool on Tiny House Swoon, Tiny Rev, Tumbleweed (even though I’ve probably memorized every single page on that site), browse Alex’s Tiny House Talk archives and surf the tiny house blogosphere.

Somehow in the planning of my dream I forgot to actually dream. Now that I’ve got my groove back I am officially redeclaring myself a tiny house geek. (almost) Everything else is filler.

– Half-Price


Kickstarter, a step in the right direction

25 Jul

I dont know if I have ever been so nervous in my whole life. Possibly because this is the first time in a long time that I feel I am on the road to something good; that simultaneously feeds my soul, helps others and is an outlet for my creativity. I finally took the plunge and started the Kickstarter process (and it IS a serious process, even just to get the project live takes a long time) which has seemed to be the release for a blockage for everything else in my life. I’ve been using work, editing, transcribing, general fidgeting and fiddling, to avoid starting and the second I decided to GO everything else fell in line. Two new clients, got offered unexpected money from someone else…things are just moving right along…

In terms of the house, my design is done although over the last couple months I’ve considered modifying it a bit more. The budget is as accurate as it will be considering I’m using as many recycled and green building materials as possible. I’ve made a few visits to the local Habitat for Humanity Restore. By the way…they have AWESOME stuff. Some of it’s brand new, left over I assume from large orders at nearby building sites. Recessed and track lighting in perfect condition. Doors and windows galore. Sconces in unopened boxes. And I’ve got 3 resources for recycled lumber for interior and exterior siding that I have yet to visit.

This is the camera we used on a project I produced back in ’09. I’m hiding behind the camera (you can see a sliver of my brown skin & blue shirt, lol). For my upcoming doc I’ll probably choose something a bit more manageable 😛

As for the project, it has grown so much bigger than I could have ever imagined and I still have yet to start the fundraising! What started out as me documenting a building project with my filmmaker friends has turned into a full fledged go-green/sustainable living documentary, with a growing list of interviewees, a good friend and AMAZING cinematographer has signed on to shoot it, and I’ll be taking the house on tour to teach sustainable workshops in LA communities and schools starting next year. Things grow fast when you’re on the right path!

So anyway, lots more to do with the Kickstarter prep but I’m a lot less nervous since I had a gift brainstorming session with a friend. So there will be some REALLY awesome stuff in addition to the typical finished DVDs that most film Kickstarter projects offer.

As for interviewees my lips are sealed at the moment for who I’m contacting but if you or anyone you know personally or in the tiny house/sustainable living blogosphere might be interested in sharing their story please do let me know. You can read more about the film specifics here. Check it out and see if your story is a good fit for the film!