Hello Tiny House Enthusiast!

Hello everyone!  Welcome to my tiny house website.  I have documented my earliest musings and obsessive cogitations on all things tiny for anyone interested.  This is an experiment to see if the working class can afford to live sustainably and green and to see if home owning can be done without involving the odious institution of banking.  I’ve included my mistakes, hysteria and nervous breakdowns so you can learn from and avoid doing those things your self.  Unless of course you just wanna.  Blog posts showing the evolution of the build are listed most recent first and go back to the very beginning with close ups of important details for those of you needing visuals to figure out how to do your own home. You can find them on the page called: A House is Born.

Why a tiny house and not a trailer?  My tiny house is stuffed with sheep wool and seriously insulated.  It feels and behaves just like a ‘real’ house but can roll so those of us who can not afford land can be mobile.  When I need to move I can take the house with me.  It is not as mobile as a trailer but I have not built my house for camping or snowbirding, or roadtrips.  It is my home.

If I owned land I would have built a cob house.  But alas, a wooden house on wheels is an awesome consolation prize since I have always wanted a gypsy wagon anyways.  I did not buy a house plan from anyone, which means my house is tailor made to my needs.  I spent three years saving, to get this project started, and studying to try to figure out how to build a house.  Youtube saved my hiney more than once and I picked the brains of at least a couple dozen people who gave me good advice, inspiration and encouragement.  Help also came int he form of  the well meaning, and sometimes helpful fellows from about 6 different hardware and lumber stores. Some of them were very helpful when I was trying to retrofit something to make it work as something completely different.  Some of them were even sympathetic as I stood and cried in the hardware aisle, after a long hard day of grueling labor, without a clue as to the name or location of the doodad I needed for the thing-a-ma-jig to hold the two whatsits together.  Ah, the good ol days which are now gratefully behind me!!!!  Hallelujah

I have included posts about organic gardening, fermenting, compost toilets etc because tiny house living isn’t just about the house.  It is a lifestyle choice.  A way of life.  A personal philosophy that encompasses my ecological and spiritual beliefs, my artistic and aesthetic sensibilities, my world view and dietary choices.  

I guess I took old Bucky literally and built me a new model.  No more crappy, over priced, moldy, noisy, substandard, apartments, ever again!

Recently I have been writing for The Tiny House Blog which is Kent Griswold’s amazingly inspiring site.  His blog is what inspired me to get this project going.  Check out my article: http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house/tiny-civilized-life/   

My friend Paul suggested a hilariously different title for my article on tiny house indoor plumbing and the pursuit of a civilized life:  “The continuing saga of fecal redistribution in compact living modalities”.  His title is way better and I have writers envy now.

Then there is the article about the nightmare of a million little orange tiles and the finishing of an indoor shower: http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house/just-can-build-house/  which only took 26 months:  

The Napa Film festival on November 15th, 2013 was a hoot!   Got to answer questions to about a hundred people after the film Tiny (which I am in for a tiny minute but more importantly my house is in!) with Kent Griswold (my hero!)  Will post the video of the question and answer period soon. I also asked questions of the audience and one was – how many people want to have their own tiny house.  A vast majority raised their hands.  Long live the tiny house movement!

This is me on the “red carpet” which was in actuality a very trashed “green room” of the 3rd ever Napa film fest.  Ms. Zola is seen wearing a tux provided by her aesthetics engineer and fashionista Jonell (who is now off traveling through India but has purchased a tiny house to live in upon her return.)

Catarina Tiny Movie Nov 15th 2013

Reportedly the film, or excerpts,  aired on Al-Jazeera and some other channel.  What?!

And if that isn’t enough for you I’m in this little documentary on the BBC:


You can see some early pictures of the interior being built while trying to live in it simultaneously: http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house/just-can-build-house/

And I’ve been invited to be on a tiny house building panel by Sunset Magazine at their yearly festival in Menlo park.  I will be there both days, Saturday and Sunday.  Hope to see you all there!

I’m impressed with how organized they are.  Apparently I’m a VIP now.  A Tiny VIP.


“Small rooms and dwellings set the mind on the right path, large ones cause it to go astray.”  Leonardo Da Vinci


And now a word or two about Gratitude: 

I want to thank all of you for your love and moral and technical support, patience and inspiration:

Pacifico’s brother Zadig for letting us stay with him and use the warehouse.

My brother and sister in law for helping me win the hardwood floor at the craps table in Vegas.

All my alternative minded friends who encouraged me, believed in me (even when I doubted myself), and gave me great ideas.

Richard and his dad via phone who installed the indoor plumbing (the first two times) and the beginning of the electrical.  A true friend indeed!

Perry and Richard both for getting the deck project going when I was so outta energy I coulda cried.  And did.

My friend who now uses my name in an affirmation when she is doing something difficult (so cute) because she has seen me do this crazy house building thing and thinks my manifesting (and carpentry) skills rock.  (Don’t tell her how many tears it cost me, I might fall off the pedestal!)

All the lovely folks in Napa who helped us through the rough wheel episode including the folks at the campground we never got to camp at.

The re-stores and craigslist for supplying stuff for such awesome prices. Even though I had to stop shopping at the one in Santa Rosa because they started selling their broken old crap for chic boutique prices when they got all stuck up and stuff.

The wonderful folks who responded to our ads online.

Our new landlord for providing Bucolic bliss for a decent price (cute cuddly Lama watch dog included)

All the amazing pioneers in the vanguard of the Tiny house movement who made me believe I could do this- Matt in Portland, Dee and Abe in Washington, Tiny house blog etc etc etc (go to the inspiration page  to see what REAL carpentry skills look like).

Guides and creative forces for keeping me sane and showing me how to do things I had no idea how to do including my relatives and friends who shared their building skills with me from the other side.  Yup I hear dead carpenters.  Weird!

I am grateful for you all!

And the crazy thing- it turned out just like the plans!!!   

I guess that’s the whole idea but still…..

(see Humble Beginning Page for more on that)