Sunday, April 28, 2013


I had a really amazing experience yesterday - check out this baby Eurasian Eagle Owl!!

Look at those huge eyes!!


An adult - he was massive!

Exterior Trim and Roof Colors

With the decision of window layout behind me, my focus now turns to exterior trim color, and it's partner, roof color.

Here are the exterior trim colors offered by Marvin windows - and I think they are extensive -- AND, they do custom colors.  I don't know how spendy those are though...

I think I have my roof colors narrowed down to the red that Jay used on his Gifford:

I'm also contemplating a steel roof that is clad in copper.  I'm still researching that - and I really need to make researching a priority this week - but the idea is that steel clad in copper is less expensive and more durable than straight copper.  And it would still patina naturally. 

Add in that David wants to do stained glass porch lights in copper fixtures, and ... mmmm quite the draw.

I found this chart of the colors that copper turns over time as it patinas:

I'm totally in love with all of those... but, man, what color do I do the window trim, then?  Maybe just the same as the house color?

The bluish/purple roof on this Gifford is very pretty with the water as a back drop, but I worry that blue would wear on me over time.  I think I'd get tired of it - and on windows -- !  It would be too much for me. 

So... my plan is to look into the cost of copper clad standing seam steel roofing material.

Window Design and...

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting very often lately.  I've felt sort of ... immobilized.  Lots of things are happening but they aren't 100% cemented, and so I'm reluctant to write about them.  If you've been reading me for a while (as in, back to My 1929 Tudor) you know that I don't like to post about a project or an idea before it's completed.  It's sort of personal motivation rule...

But, to every rule there are here is the first of my two announcements... although, lol now the windows seem anti-climactic - I'm not sure I should categorize them as an "announcement" -- but whatever... here we go.

Many of you helped me with my window design dilemma - thank you for your time and thoughts!  Pending final word on house stability, my plan is to do 3 long windows on the bathroom side (so the bath window will also be long) and two long and short on the kitchen side - the kitchen window will remain as originally designed.  And then on the outside of the house, below the kitchen window, I'll do some type of art piece to trick the eye into thinking that window is as long as the others.

Here's a crude depiction using scissors and Scotch tape... 

(This is the bathroom side.)

I'm fairly certain that I am going to order my windows from Marvin, which is what the plans call for, and is also where Jay got his windows for his Gifford.

The side windows will be casement - they will hinge on one side and crank out, and they will be 3 over 1 (panes/grille.)  The loft window and the "picture window" will be awning windows that hinge at the top.  The picture window will be 5 over 1 as shown.  The loft window will be stained glass.

So what's next there?  Exterior window trim color.  Which ties to roof color... which... well, that's another post.  But I need to decide pretty darn soon because I feel like it's time to order windows.  And I know it's time to get the window frame to David for his stained glass work.

Because exterior window trim color and the roof are tied together (in my little mind) I'll lay those out in a separate post.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Zoning for Tiny

Check out this article about zoning for tiny living in New York...  I heard this discussed on NPR this week.

Making Room

Friday, April 19, 2013

Two Upcoming Posts

I have two announcements coming soon -- one is my final window size, type, and placement - which has been a more agonizing decision than it probably needed to be.  And the second one is an exciting development about my build!  I'll get those up as soon as I can.

In completely unrelated news, I literally had to open the calculator app on my phone this morning to figure out how old I am.  I remember once, growing up, when I witnessed my mother unable to recall her age (and she was a whole lot older then than I am now when she couldn't remember...)  I thought it was completely insane - who can't remember how old they are?  Well.  I guess now I know two people...  Sigh.  And yeah, I know now you are wondering, so I'll save you the math:  I'll be 47 this summer.  The good news is, I still feel like I am about 32 or 33.  But still... 47?!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Loft Window

Saturday I took a chance and sent an email to David Kittrell my friend and stained glass expert at Kittrell Riffkind Art Glass Studio to see if he was available on short notice to meet with me about my loft window.  Much to my glee, he had a bit of time for me.  Up the tollway I zipped...

Their lobby gallery is amazing... I always walk through it, just amazed at people's talent.

After I had availed myself of all of the eye candy around the gallery, I wandered back to the studio:

David was teaching a class - I think it was glass beads...

Imagination is your only limit - it's dreamy.  Two years ago I had plans to take classes here - I had my dad's stained glass instruction books and a few of his tools, and I wanted to learn how to do it.  I never quite got around to it - I had one lesson from a friend in his basement - and then life changed and I sold my house... and now I don't have a work space to do it in.  But maybe someday.  I find it fascinating.

David finished up his class and found me walking down the glass aisle, taking in all of the options.  As a lay person, all the choices make my eyes cross.  And they are all so beautiful.  I showed him my construction plans, and the window dimensions, and a few stained glass "likes" and "dislikes" from my loft window Pinterest page.  

After some discussion, he penned this initial sketch:

David has such phenomenal, original ideas for things -- so many that they are practically falling out of his pockets when we walks - and he throws them out seemingly effortlessly.  I follow him around, writing them down.  This sketch also anticipates stained glass front porch lights, and possibly a small stained glass speakeasy in the front door.  He wants to carry a similar design through all three applications.

We had quite an animated conversation about the loft window, beginning with size.  I explained that I would like to be able to count the loft window as an emergency (fire) egress window.  David smirked and said he had an image of two construction guys, each with a framing square, holding them up around my hips.  I laughed and said that the window will double as a weight control measure  - my life may depend on maintaining my current size or smaller...

Then there was discussion about how the window would open - awning style hinged at the top and it swings out from the bottom?  Or hinged at the bottom and the top drops down and away from the house.  David said if I have it fold down, then I'd have a little table outside my window for a candle. (Who thinks of things like that??)  I said if it flipped up I could peer down at the walk going up to my front door...  Anyway, the entire conversation was pretty hilarious - his staff was watching and listening - and jumping in themselves - with mock horror.  Ohhhhhhh, it was fun.

For colors, I showed him photos of the stained glass pieces I already own, and then a picture I found of one that I really love, that incorporates all of the colors in one place. 

Here are the same colors combined again in a much different style:

So moving ahead, my assignments are:

1)  Get myself measured to determine window size (not really looking forward to that for obvious reasons.)  In lieu of two framing squares, I envision finding small openings to try to crawl through, and then measuring them.  Must I go to Chuck E Cheese's or a McDonald's playground?  Perhaps a canine agility course??)

2)  Order an awning style window and get it to David;

3)  Think more definitively about colors; what possessions do I have in colors I love?  I reminded him that I have sold most of my possessions, but said that my current toothbrush is orange...)

4)  Think of a design piece, or a symbol to work the design around.  (I told him this window IS the design piece...)

5) Start thinking about porch lights...

By the time I left, I was positively beaming.  It's so exciting to be planning the details that reflect personality.  I hugged David when I left, thanking him, and telling him how excited I am  He said he was excited too -- or couldn't I tell??  He says this is his pet tiny house project.  Love.

David Kittrell
You can read my first post about David here.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Window Dilemma - A Step Further

I got tons of thoughtful replies from friends and family, an architect, and even from a friend of a friend (whom I believe is also an architect.)  WOW!  

General themes that arose?  
 Leaving the kitchen window short, and doing something artsy on the exterior of the house, below the window, to "trick" the eye. (My second favorite idea.)

Having just one long window, and two short instead of the reverse. (My original idea... )

Turning the kitchen window horizontally. (My favorite.)

 One industrious person even sent me three new sketch ups!  Here is my favorite:

And so, I will speak with Daniel today and pitch my top two ideas to him.  And, I'll see if he has learned anything yet by having calculations made regarding that much window space and stability/racking.  And then - a decision will be made!
And for enjoyment, here is a gathering of all (I think I got them all!) of the responses:

What if the windows were to gradually move up a few inches: lowest for dog view, 2nd one raised a few inches, then the 3rd one a few more inches.  It would be a "design".
* * * * * * *
Ok, I see what you mean - aesthetically that odd window doesn't look quite right from the outside. I don't know about making the 3rd one the same size though.. or if it was the same size, just flipping it horizontally. OR halving it and then doubling it to make 4 small windows..... or 2 wide windows.... but like you said, the bottom portion wouldn't really be a window. Stained glass, or a funky chalkboard or folk art or anything might work... or not. :) I kept thinking about some of Any Warhol's prints, where it the same pic but in different colours.
* * * * * * *
 I'll look and contemplate, but what about a window seat and ramp for Greta?  Then you wouldn't have to worry...?
* * * * * * *
Short story - I don't think they have to be the same size as long as the proportions are right. And a funky 'faux' window would be right up my alley. I suspect that my house might end up looking like a jumble of driftwood when I get around to it! Any-hoo, I think your window dilemma is a great opportunity to add some art and personal touches to your super duper house.
* * * * * * *
After looking at the drawings I think you could put a marvelous painted panel to match the window size. So, the kitchen window would be short as you have it, then under that to the size of the other window you would have a painted panel. Like a Scandinavian barn or house would have, or a Hex symbol like the Dutch have, or a dove or something painted on the side. It would make it look unique and like you actually planned to have that there.
* * * * * * *
I thought in the middle of the night that you could put a window box below that window, too, instead of a panel.
 * * * * * * * 
I think elongating all of the windows could cause (a) loss of wall space (chair backs, etc... would not be under the window sills but potentially touching glass) and/or (b) loss of privacy/security (much easier to see inside as well as outside).
Symmetry is important but if you had to have a set of windows (one on each side) for the dog I can't say that rises to the level of wonky.
 * * * * * * *
I'm certain someone has already brought this up but maybe a peep window in the front door would be sufficient.
 * * * * * * *
I can't really visualize all of that.  I do firmly believe that form should follow function; that is, your need for a bigger window is priority over aesthetics.  I think that problem could be conquered with trim or something, something.....Go with your gut!
* * * * * * *
 I think you do something that would trompe l'oiel.  Do what you want/need to do, and then we can figure out some sort of art work, painting, etc. to make it appear to be similar, but it isn't.  I've seen sides of buildings that are fantastic - and they are paintings.  Who knows - maybe you could change that part of it seasonally or something?  So go for it, let Fido have the lower windows everywhere it's possible, and we'll figure out the matching part at decorating time.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Parking Site Offered

A friend has told me I can park my tiny house here...  isn't it beautiful?

There's a garden hose available, and electric... and a clothes line!  Happy.

Window Dilemma


Please put your creative thinking caps on...  I need to think outside the box for a window issue for my little house.

The construction plans call for 3 small windows on each side.  
I wanted to elongate one window on each long side of the house down to a height that a dog can see out of.
Several great minds told me that all the windows should match so that it doesn't look wonky from the outside
 When you walk into the house, the bathroom is on the right and the kitchen is on the left.

So two living room windows (well 4, two on each side) are no problem.  The bathroom window is no problem.  But the kitchen window - a long one will run into my kitchen counter.

The goal is to have all six windows the same, and have the tops of them at the same height, for aesthetics.
So I need to think outside the box - what can I do differently to that window to make it look okay from the outside?
Daniel suggested moving the kitchen to the back wall where the desk is, but I don't think I like that; I'd either be cooking in my living room space, or my living room space gets pushed more to the front of the house and I'll be sitting and looking at the bathroom.  Plus I lose that "great room" feel that you get when you walk down the hallway and the back of the house opens up.
I suggested doing the full length window in the kitchen even if part of the window is blocked by the counter - but Daniel says then the counter doesn't have anything to attach to.

Could I put something below that window on the exterior to fool the eye?  Could I make that window all stained glass?  (But then it probably wouldn't open, which is critical for a kitchen.)  Or, do I really need all three windows on that side to match?  I acknowledge that would be the best, but -- if I can't do it -- how bad is it?
I need to decide Saturday or Sunday of this weekend...  no pressure, folks!  LOL  Thanks.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I think I'm going to get to have more than one big window per side!  Super excited.  Details as they develop.

High on my priority list house-wise has been to figure out my windows.  Number of windows, size, and placement.  My trailer is being fabricated, and when that is done, framing is going to begin.  Key to framing is planning for windows.

I have a few window considerations:

1)  I have a dog, and I'll probably always have a dog, and I want said dog to be able to see out of 1-2 windows without climbing up on furniture;

2)  I have a pair of rectangular stained glass pieces from my (traditional) house that I'd like to be able to hang in windows; and

Not the best photo...
3)  I have a stained glass round, and I'd like a window to accommodate that.

The "stock" design of windows in the Gifford calls for 3 matching windows per (long) side, one "picture" window opposite the front door, and 1-2 windows up in the gable/loft.  (And sky lights, but I haven't chosen those yet - I just know that I want it/them.)

For the window that I call the picture window, which is on the short wall opposite the front door, Jay has allowed for roughly a 49" x 32" window.  He calls for a 5 pane over one large pane, but my sketch doesn't show that detail - (a pretty detail that I will likely employ.)

Because of the generous size of that window, I will be able to hang my stained glass pieces vertically side-by-side in that window if I choose, depending on privacy needs and scenery.  (They will not be permanently affixed - they will have loops to hang.)

The kitchen window - it probably has a bit more flexibility with size and placement, but not a ton.  The plans call for roughly a 20" x 30" windows and that seems reasonable.  Either the kitchen or the bath will accommodate my stained glass round, which is 18" in diameter.  This sketch shows the stained glass round hanging in the kitchen window:

The bathroom window is fairly inflexible on placement, unless I want a window looking in on my toilet or into my shower.... I guess I probably have a wee (arr arr) bit of flexibility with size, but horizontally it pretty much has a set place that it needs to be installed. 

As you can see in the two sketches above, I think I am going to add a large, vertical window pane in the center of the room, one on each side of the house.  I will stagger them, so that you cannot see straight through the house, and I think the staggering will also help with the interior layout of furniture, etc.  I do not have the exact dimension of that window yet.  Nor do I know yet if it will open or not.  And the final consideration is racking.  I need to ask someone who knows more than me whether or not my walls can accept a window of that size and placement.

And then the third window, which in these two sketches is shown horizontal with the stained glass piece.  I've had varied responses from friends as to turning that window horizonally versus having it match the bathroom window.  I can't decide which I like better.  What do you think?  If you have an opinion, I'd really like to hear it.  Does it look too choppy?

 So now the work that remains here is to figure out the actual windows to order, and which windows will be operable, and then of the operable ones, which will have screens.  I love fresh air, but I'm not so excited about bugs joining me indoors.

And quite honestly, I really think one of these would be hilarious --

 but I can't figure out where it would go.  In the front door??  It just makes me laugh.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Friday afternoon I printed a few great recipes, went to the grocery store, took my dog to the dog park, and when I got home settled in for a quiet night at home.  I donned sweat pants, and started cooking... knee deep in two recipes and I felt a splash of water on my cheek.  I was at the sink - I thought, "Oh, weird - hmm I guess that splashed up."  Then facing the stove I got another splash on my forehead.  A big drop of water.  Perplexed I looked around... and looked up... my fire sprinkler was dripping rapidly.  ??

I looked in the living room, and there was dripping over my desk (okay, it's a card table..) where my laptop, my external drive, my modem, my super duper diamond cut shredder, and where anything else of value that I owned resided.  I swept the decks of the card table - eyed the sprinkler over my big TV (dry) and thought, "Is the building on fire?" and dashed across the hall to a neighbor.  "Um, hey, I live across the hall, are your fire sprinklers dripping??"  No. 

The neighbor came with me to my place - now water was literally pouring out of a can light in my livingroom -- and I grabbed my bedside rug (super thick cotton) and my bathroom trash can.  She offered to go upstairs and see if they had installed a pool that was leaking.  I called emergency maintenance - explained what was happening.  In a painfully slow manner she detailed my information and followed that up with , "So is this an emergency?"  ??  Seriously?  It's RAINING IN MY LIVINGROOM.  Check the box for "emergency" and let's move along.

Short story, after multiple visits from Jorge, the on call maintenance man -- I learned that the dishwasher in the apartment above me didn't do what it was supposed to.  Well, it did part of what it was supposed to, and then it drained into my livingroom.  I am now am hosting this

lovely piece of equipment in my home until Monday.  It's loud.  And it's a terrible conversationalist.  Let's hope it does the job and that I don't have to deal with ceiling sheet rock repair, and that no weird smells develop.

But the reason I'm sharing this story with you?  I was texting with my sister Mona in San Diego, and when she read what was happening the first thing she texted was, "THAT would never happen in a tiny house!"  And there you have it.

In unrelated news, my friend Amy had ducked into my place this evening - and as she was ducking out she announced with a gleam in her eye, "I ordered something for you, and it came today!"  She had caught me off guard and I think I sort of just stared at her - and then she presented me with these:

They are Wonder Woman socks.  Complete with capes.  She said, "I saw these, and I thought, 'I know a Wonder Woman!' "  Made my whole night.  She bought a pair for herself, too, so if you are in old East Dallas, be sure and watch for us -- because you KNOW we will wear them.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Some Major Fun

Sometimes when you roll over in the middle of the night and are wide awake, and you grab your phone to see if anything is happening in the world, you find something fun in your InBox.   In the wee hours this morning, I found received this entertaining/incriminating/soul nourishing bit of footage from Jay Shafer: You Should Have Been There

I want a do over.  That was the.  best.  week.

Maybe we should crash the L.A. workshop this weekend.  Bwaaa ha ha ha ha

You can't see her behind the camera, but let's give a big round of applause and thanks to Gabriela Sosa - she followed us around for 5 days - and we were not a camera savvy group!  Our heads got in the way, we talked over each other, we said all the things that made us look really smart when we were outside mic distance... I'm sure filming us was like herding cats.  Plus it was cold.  And she looked like a suicide bomber with the equipment and battery packs strapped to her.  We told her to be sure to steer clear of airports....

She did, however, get the spend the night in here every night:

Packed and ready to go home.
We were all insanely jealous.

 And, this post wouldn't be complete without a shout out to Nina & Judy:

(And we know our gang sign...)

More workshop opportunities:  Four Lights Workshops

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Trailer Color

I am choosing light gray for my trailer color.  SNORE.  I flirted with being nutty and getting Victory Red, but I never really was very serious about it - fun to talk about though.  

Black was immediately out - so harsh.  So.... regular.

Forest Green was tempting (and my Mini is British Racing Green - awesome if I were going to pull my house with my Mini...) but ultimately it didn't feel right long term.  So, light gray.  (You can see what my choices were here.)

I am turning that detail in to the trailer place this morning.  And when I call, I am also going to speak with them about hooks for tie downs.  I had planned on those when James was fabricating for me, but then I forgot about them.  I talked with mom last night, and she asked what I'll do in a storm if it gets really windy - and that reminded me.  I love that she and dad are sitting around trouble shooting on my behalf! 

Estimated time frame for completed trailer fabrication?  April 22-26th.

This has nothing to do with my post - but it makes me laugh.  This is a resourceful dog!

Monday, April 1, 2013

And, thank you.

This little glass trinket arrived in the mail today from a dear friend.  It's a reminder of my most recent girls' weekend in Minneapolis ( -- the best weekends ever!)  It also serves as a reminder of one of my lessons this year which is to accept help when it's offered, and to simply say "thank you."

For those of you who know me, you know that I readily ask for help when I need it.  I have no problem with that whatsoever.  In return, however, I do try to be mindful of offering help freely and being generous with my time and talents when I see that someone needs it.  

But I do struggle when I feel people go above and beyond to help me - or when they help me out of their own volition - when I haven't asked for help.  I often somehow momentarily doubt that I deserve their kindness.

And so, thank you, Shannon, for the reminder.

April 1, 2013

My blog hits surpassed 5,000 overnight last night!  Thanks for reading, everyone!