Designing and Building a Tiny House, and Everything In Between. 

Ribbons, Sails 

& Dandelion Fluff

May 2020 –

Building a Shelter

Steel Frames & Cladding

Apr 20 – Jul 19

Doors & Windows

The Beginnings of a ‘Tiny’ Project

Apr 19 – Aug 17

Succulents & Raspberries;

A First Foray into Gardening.

Oct 17 – Apr 15

Sunday 19th July 2020

In my previous post I finished up with an exciting little clue as to what I was building next, yet when I was met with identical confused reactions from 75% of my readers, (Thanks Mum & Baby Potato*), I realised that interest was minimal and thus deemed a more demure reveal would be more appropriate. 

In short, I have spent the last two afternoons building the rough shell of my Tiny Making Station… (yes, I agree, the name need’s some work).  Essentially, it’s a set of drawers on wheels that will function as a home for my tools, colouring pencils & general making supplies, but also will double as a tiny work bench. Tiny, being the key word here, but it certainly will be better than relying purely on my dining table/desk. Although the unit is far from complete, functionally it’s come together better than I anticipated.

* My darling sister

However, the best details are in the upper half of the unit, which is yet to see fruition, so I’ll need some drawings if I am going to do my idea any justice.

In its normal state, the countertop of the drawers will  allow me another work surface; whether that be as a laptop standing desk, a wrapping station, (very niche, but I’m sure we have all experienced the anxiety of wrapping on the carpet of the lounge room floor), or even some more bench space for the occasional over-ambitious kitchen venture. The wheels offer such flexibility, but more importantly, I can roll the unit over to my living area and desk and have easy access to my set of colouring pencils WITHOUT cramping up my desk space!

The second aspect of the top, shown in drawing 3, is that it will be split in two, with the front halve flipping over to reveal a rimmed surface. Why? As I want to line the wall to the left of the drawers with paints, brushes, tape, ribbons etc, and the back wall with smaller hand tools (pin board style), it would be useful to have a form of taking them over to my desk without having to carry armfuls of supplies back and forth. The rimmed edge would allow me to stow these items without the risk of anything rolling off.

The back half will be a bit more complicated, see image 4. The idea is that the lid will open to reveal a small woodworking station, by which I am thinking a vice and some sort of set up for sharpening my tools with my wet stone, (because if it’s already set up, I am far more likely to do it). To access the space, I would just need to wheel out the unit, spin it around and park it facing the other way. I also see potential to slip in a bit more storage behind the drawers.

And finally, if none of that made the slightest sense, here is a rough real life mock up of the wood working station. At least, the idea of what it could be.

Reflection: Saturday 11th July 2020

Without a doubt I should have composed this post on Saturday, or even Sunday, as I basked in the pleasure of complete victory. The triumph of completing my bathroom door. In a single day.

I was proud as punch and happy as Larry, and it would have been a jolly read…. if only I hadn’t been so exhausted from all the success. So, whilst I write this in no seriously lessened spirits, it is with the distance of days, and thus all the bright ideas and realisations of such accomplishment are a vague remembrance. 

Alright, if we are going to be pedantic, I should note, that the door remains in its rough state. Undressed and unpolished, at least until installation is nigh. (I have learnt, thanks to my own carelessness, that pieces will inevitably suffer as they are shuffled about awaiting installation.) Nevertheless, structurally the door is sound, and if I hung it tomorrow it would function as advertised! I far outstripped even my own expectations for I’d been envisioning a week of work ahead. Yet, I underestimated the value of a concentrated effort; thanks to the unexpected surprise of having the entire day to myself, AND, the blessing of experience. It is no longer inconceivable for me to conjure up an idea and just know how to execute it, WITHOUT preliminary research, or trial & error! I am also happy to report that I can more easily recognise where I can take short cuts without detriment to the integrity of a piece- handy when one is feeling less inspired to delve into the time hungry world of fancy joinery. In short, I was quite pleased. 

Oh ho, what do we have here? Unconsidered possibilities.
Now, that, is exciting.

Birthday Treat

Afternoon, Tuesday 8th July 2020

For my birthday, my lovely Mother gifted me a voucher to the local craft supply store remembering that I had been hoping to pick up some small lengths of fabric to play with during my visit home. Delighted, I made a particular visit to town yesterday, hoping to acquire the fabrics that would bring to life my Little Women inspired curtain. This wouldn’t be for a regular window, but rather, the large skylight directly above the living/bedroom area. An addition of comfort and cosiness, more than privacy and shade. (That said, I will likely back the curtain in a thicker material to assist in the latter two requirements.) 

With careful deliberation I made my selection and happily collected together several prints, purchasing a 30cm strip of each. Whether I shall use them all or just a handful, I’m not yet sure, but my thought is to hand-stitch them together into a curtain that I could imagine adorning the windows of the March sisters, the Burrow or Ratty’s riverside home.

The Marches' extreme do-it-yourself approach extended to every facet of their lives, often out of necessity but sometimes out of sheer entrepreneurial spirit.

– Little Women, The Offical Movie Companion.

Evening, Friday 27th May 2020

Detailing the bathroom alcove sides, I really can’t decide if I’m happy with the paint job. Accidentally reminiscent of the transitional menu animation from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice DVD, I am not entirely enchanted with my attempt so far. I’ve been asking myself all afternoon if I should paint over it and start again. 

Considering the idea was to achieve a wallpaper-esque aesthetic, and that wallpaper looks best thanks to its busy repetitive nature, I should undoubtedly power on, remembering that I am only concentrating on one small aspect of a greater piece, (and that most of it will be hidden by bathroom toiletries). That said, it plays on my mind that, ideally, the objects I create could have a life beyond their first home and so maybe I should have forgone the paint altogether, keeping the design refined by using true timber, and a wipe off polish. No one is going to want a clumsily painted shelving unit, for masterpiece it certainly is not.

Conversely, the reason I am enjoying designing and creating for my home is that it enables me to experiment with concepts and techniques that are only now within my capabilities.

So, I am a shoddy painter? Yet it is truth that I can only develop with practice. Do I allow my aspiration to create heirloom-worthy furniture frustrate my chances to improve?

In actual fact, it is severely unbelievable that anyone is going to desire a plywood lined shelving unit in a hundred years, no matter the artistic execution. Frankly, it’s not exactly Antiques Roadshow material.

Considering this thought, I admit I’ve dallied with the idea of starting from scratch… but be assured that I’m sensible that this would be a waste of resources! Even if it is only two small strips of plywood.. (Remember Fiona, Little Women peasant mode.

Hmmm. 

The time dedicated to such aesthetic touches is already substantial, would spending additional time re-working the pattern be worth my while? If not, I could be working on something new much sooner, which is rather tempting…

Alright, so I painted over two of the three panels, best to catch it early than to plough on with the niggle that it could be better, right? I mean, it could be EVEN better, but it will do. Plus I can use the original decoration as the base pattern. Ultimately some experiments work brilliantly, and others less so. Here I shall strive for humble elegance.