Since I was a little girl, I always wanted my own small doll-sized house in the back yard. As I got older, that desire turned into the dream of having my own small writing studio. Even more recently I’ve realized that the small 1967 trailer my mother bought in the 70s for $1,300 cash was the perfect size for me and I miss it. Enter the Tiny House Culture. Below are chronological entries for my time spent in workshop…

April 11, 2014
Today I went to the first day of a weekend long workshop on building and designing tiny houses. We’re outside of Memphis Tennessee and it is 71 degrees! After too many weeks of – 20 winter in Vermont, I am so glad I decided to take the trip down here. Yes, I could easily have gotten some of the same experiences at a local, Yestermorrow, etc. Workshop. However, the chance to take a road trip, go on my first visit below the Mason-Dixon Line, and meet a BUNCH of other major players in the Tiny House Movement has been the real resource here.

The workshop is being run by Deek Dedrickson of with the support of Joe Everson of Tennessee Tiny Houses, Hummingbird Houses, Deek’s Brother, Dustin, and many other great folks.

We began building a wacky reclaimed window wall for the treehouse being built on Joe’s Property. We framed out the wall in 2x3s, put a rough layout of the windows on the ground, made sure the frame was on a flat surface (e.g. shims underneath) and then folks began from one corner and moved up and over, fitting in windows and supports where needed as they went. I did cut a 2 x 3 and nail it in, but after we had to pull it apart as it was too crooked, I stepped back and began to watch more than do. It was a moment to realize I can’t just give up so quickly. But seriously, folks, it’s been almost 20 years since I wielded a hammer regularly! Tomorrow, I am determined to build a scrap-wood-pallet chair of my own just to give myself the chance to wield a hammer again. Then I’ll have to make myself jump in to another project.

more to come tomorrow! An perhaps some pictures too!

Saturday, April 12th

It was hot down here today! In the high 70s. Phew! but dry air and a cool breeze helped.

I worked on building an Adirondack type chair out of a wooden pallet for a good chunk of the day. Lots of time to practice pulling things apart, pulling out nails, cutting and nailing. Oh yeah, I remember what that is! However, It’s not done so there’s no pic here yet. The crazy wall and the wall of windows went up today on the tree house being built in Joe’s backyard. What a cool/innovative project!

This tiny dog belongs to one of the tiny house owners. He’s small enough to just about fit in one hand, though you can’t tell here.

This is a small studio for a back yard designed by Deek. It’s going to have a nice window on the wall you can see here.

We also got a demonstration on how to cut hand-cut shingles the old fashioned way from F.W. Willis of, who has worked in historic museums and really knows his stuff. Below is a sketch of my notes from his workshop.


Sunday April 13th – Monday April 14th
Well, that’s it folks, the party’s over. Many good projects finished or near completion yesterday. Many good people met and time shared. Phew! I’ve learned a few important things:

1) I’m a power tools kinda gal and I now have a list to make any man drool…

2) The Pythagorus 3,4,5 theory is my friend when squaring a wall or window up.

3) I am allergic to whatever the hell is in the air in Collierville this spring.

4) The small black birds who sit outside my hotel door and warble in several loud and beautiful different calls this time of year are just passing through and apparently way late this year (they usually come through in January!)

5) People are just darned awesome, if you give them a chance to be.

6) You WILL make mistakes, it’s what you do with them that counts, and who you have around you to help problem solve through it.

7) I just might be able to make my next new career as a traveling gypsy with a tiny house kitchen, and shower (with on-demand hot water, of course!)

8) If, as the one non drinker in the group, you offer to drive everyone home from Mulligans on a Sunday night, you might want to check out the vehicle you came in first for the brightness of the lights and the ability of the windshield washers to clear the rain from the window.

9) I’m not the only one going to Graceland today!

10) This dog is just too darned cute for words, and she is a food hound. Feed her and she will come to you.


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