Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Where: Kerhonkson, NY
When: November 14, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Where: Hudson River Park - two iphone photos stitched together
When: November 22, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tiny House Workshop

Back in October, some friends and I decided to head up to Vermont to participate in a Tiny House Workshop, run by Peter King (check out the website - and look for upcoming workshops - here).

I wrote an earlier, much shorter post on this right after the event, but I'm hoping to be able to give a more thorough report in this one. While this may not end up containing more information, memory being the finite thing that it is, it will definitely contain more pictures!

This is Peter King, giving us an intro talk about why he does these workshops. Peter feels strongly that building a place to live is not rocket science. Housing gets expensive and complicated when we decide we "need" extravagant amounts of space, and complicated structural and decorative details. But if we are willing to redefine that need, and pare it down a bit, than being intimately involved in building the most important structure in our lives is well within reach.

Peter claims - and I believe this, after the weekend - that anyone can learn how to build a simple structure. All it involves is basic math, and basic tools, and a few easily learned rules.

The second aspect of his involvement in these workshops is that he feels strongly that housing is just too darn expensive - we should be able to own the house and the land we live on, and not have to loan it from a big corporation.

After this discussion, and after getting a quick summary from each of us - eight participants, including the owner - on why we were there, we got to work.

The first task was framing out one of the walls. The building was 12 by 20, and the two long walls had to go up first. Khumpani (the owner, who is an herbalist who is currently living in an even smaller tiny house on the land) and Peter had finished the foundation earlier in the week, in spite of the miserably cold and persistent rain, so that we could get as much of the main structure done over the weekend.

This photo is just prior to getting the wall up - this is the most complicated tool used that day, and only Peter was allowed to use it:

And Peter in action:

And the first wall, going up!

Getting it level:

Then the rest went together relatively quickly. Unfortunately, the nail gun was not in use, as apparently these contraptions are picky about the types of nails that go into them, and we had the wrong kind. So instead we got to do lots of hitting of things! Which was fun, but much slower. When someone like Peter is sinking a nail, it takes him three hits. When rookies are sinking nails, it takes us anywhere from 8-20.

Also, we were learning about king, queen, and jack studs, as well as what cripples were and where they were supposed to go, so there was a lot of "Peter? Do we hit this one in here?" followed by pauses for measurements, re-measurements, and explanations.

Our progress near the end of the first day:

Cutting out windows:

One of the tools we were allowed to use, a speed square:

The other tools we could use included hammers, and measuring tapes. And chisels. All simple hand tools, which did the majority of the work.

By the middle of the second day, the roof was going up:

Some inside shots - this is from the entrance door, looking to the south. Khumpani planned for passive solar gain, which is why all the windows are on this side, and why they are enormous.

From the door, looking north - the kitchen will be going against the back wall, under the windows. The door that is framed out will eventually open to a deck.

From the kitchen windows (and the future deck) there's a lovely view of the meadow where Khumpani is currently living, and the mountains beyond. See:

And one more inside shot, from the kitchen looking back:

The ladder over on the right goes up to the loft. He had planned for a dormer, to have another window and some headroom up there. I don't know what it looks like inside at this point.

Here is what it looked like at the end of the second day - you can see the gap on the left where the dormer will be:

Peter's ability to manage the project was remarkable. He was constantly juggling the roles of teaching and project management, and I thought he did a tremendous job. He somehow managed to keep track of all the little jobs that had to get done, kept everyone moving, paused to answer questions, and got a team of total novices to frame a house in two days. It was also fun to chat with him at meal times about his views on housing and lifestyle - he had really helpful things to say about finding land, books to read, and skills to acquire.

Overall, it was a fantastic way to spend a weekend, and we lucked out with a crew of lovely, thoughtful, interesting, fun and hard working people. It was also really great to meet and work with Khumpani, who is living his life with an inspiring level of dedication to his ideals and to the earth.

After we left, Khumpani continued to work on it on his own, with a little bit of help from friends and family, and I believe that Peter also returned to help him finish up the plywood sheeting, etc. Khumpani recently sent the participants an email with photos of the current progress - this is from the middle of November:
20101114-More Tiny House Pics 012

The inside is sheetrocked, and it's almost ready to be moved into! I'm hoping to get updates as the inside gets finished. I think it will be a lovely space to live in.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Where: Kerhonkson, NY
When: October 30, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Where: Lake Awosting, Minnewaska State Park
When: October 30, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In a Polaroid mood again

Where: From the car somewhere on the Upper West Side
When: November 14, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Where: Home
When: Sometime last week

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another of the bridge

Where: GWB from the car, with the iPhone
When: November 14, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

On the road again

Where: Somewhere between NYC and Kerhonkson.
When: November 14, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A few more hike photos

Where: High Peterskill Trail, Mohonk Preserve
When: November 14, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Where: George Washington Bridge from the car, NYC
When: November 14, 2010

I got nothing for titles today. But in non-photo-related news, I actually COOKED my breakfast today! This is A Big Deal. I don't generally heat things unless it's in the microwave, but today I sautéed mushrooms, and then made scrambled eggs, and topped it with avocado, all before 7:15. I'm very proud of myself. Also, it was delicious.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I flew all the way home

Where: George Washington Bridge from the car, NYC
When: November 14, 2010

Title from A Fine Frenzy's song, Bird of the Summer, off of the album Bomb in a Birdcage, which is LOVELY. Go buy it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some polaroid fun

There will be many, many of these - I'm finding them a little bit addicting.

This is one of Dave from a couple of weekends ago:

Dave and the dog from this weekend:

And heading back into the city over the GWB:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm back! And went hiking this weekend!

Ok, daily posts should now resume - I have completed the toughest part of the semester at school, and am back to having some breathing room and free time! To celebrate, Dave and I took the dog upstate:

Aw. They're so cute.

It was a glorious weekend, particularly for mid-November. Still had a little bit of color, and it got up to around 60, with a light breeze, so it was just perfect for hiking.

I decided to leave the camera in the car and experiment with the camera in my new phone, which may become my point-and-shoot-backup-because-I-don't-want-to-haul-the-big-camera camera. I think it did a pretty good job - here's a panoramic photo, blending two photos together:

Here's Piper risking life and limb:

And a shot from the car of the GWB on the way home. It was really fun to come back to the city on such a lovely day, after having had the weekend to recharge and sleep 14 hours a night. It felt so exciting, and reminded me that the city is a fun place to live too.

The other fun thing about the iPhone is that there are fun applications that allow you to do a polaroid treatment on the photos that you take. I'll post those later in the week.


About Me

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New York City, United States

About This Blog

This is my first blog attempt. It hasn't been kept up over the last year, for some reason being pregnant really ate into my creativity, and I picked up the camera very rarely. I am thinking about starting it up again, but am not sure what direction to take it in.

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