At the three day build that followed the first Four Light Tiny House Company workshop in February 2013, the day that we raised the roof Jay Shafer came out of his house carrying a shoebox. He said that Dee Williams had passed out these "items" at a workshop, and that they are becoming sort of a tiny house building tradition. The story Jay gave was that if you are getting weary, or didn't get enough sleep, or you need more coffee - you can put on this AMISH BEARD and it will give you the "ooomph" you are lacking to get the job done. They were a narrow piece of "fur" with rubber bands to hook over your ears.
Now, before anyone calls this politically incorrect, let me clarify that the beards are intended as a compliment to the Amish and their barn raising days. It takes a village. Everyone shows up, brings food, socializes, and works. At the end of the day? Everyone is happy and a barn has been raised. Or so I've heard.
Nina and I texted the week before we met in Camarillo: "We must bring our beards!" "OH yes! We must!"
I found mine in my tool belt from the Four Lights build. Nina said hers has been on top of her TV for months. She said maybe that's why she doesn't have a lot of company - it looks sort of creepy laying there.
Tuesday evening we went to the build site - Daniel, Nina, and me. Daniel had some things to do without other distractions, I wanted to draw the Seed of Life on the trailer floor, and Nina - she thought she was going to supervise, but she ended up making the Amish beards - cutting fabric into strips.
The beards we got were sewn into tubes. There was no time for that. I thought well, we can just have a strip of fabic, and they will just cup around our chins. Reluctant beard maker that she was, Nina was committed to the project now. "I have some glue in my tool bag." Oh she had glue - it was E6000, the glue that glues ANYTHING. Industrial beards they would be.
On the way home that evening we stopped at Staples so that I could get rubber bands for ends. Nina stayed in the car, and I ran in. When I came out, she had the back hatch of the car open and she was standing outside the car. ?? "What are you doing?" "The glue on the beards really stinks. I thought I was going to pass out." The beards were off-gassing. HILARIOUS.
We went home to Laurie's, unloaded the car, unloaded the lunch cooler, changed clothes and I was ready to attach the rubber bands. I couldn't find the beards anywhere. "Where are the beards?" "Outside, they really stink!" LOL Uh-oh. So I sat on the back patio, armed with a razor knife (beards, razors, you see what I did there? arr arr) and a huge bag of rubber bands. And hour or two later the patio table was furry. I left them outside over night to... freshen up.
The next morning - Wednesday - the walls were going up, and the girls needed beards! I told the story, we passed them out to everyone and off we went. The rest of the week, beards showed up everywhere:
And then sometimes you just needed them nearby:
A few people asked me for more than one -- their toddler really loved it. Their dog was intrigued... their sister wanted one... Pay attention, you may see one in a nearby car at a red light!