Balance Sponsors Reclamation Artist and Tiny House Builder, Vera Struck, at Love Yoga Festival

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Australian flower essence water company, Balance, sponsors international artist, Vera Struck, in a challenge to recycle, repurpose and reclaim their water bottles into fashionable wearable art and distinct art objects.

Join her at the Balance booth and watch her make wearable art. Struck’s exquisite art objects will be available for sale at the first Love Yoga weekend festival at Aselton Park, overlooking Lewis Bay in Hyannis. You can also participate in an interactive art sculpture as you enjoy the festival!

For more information and tickets, click here.

Top 5 Sustainable 2014 Summer Sizzles

1. Finishing installation of my tiny house metal roof panels and ridge beam on a hot summer’s afternoon.

2. Roasting fresh organic fingerling eggplants, baby red peppers and green roma tomatoes over Arugula in a solar oven (all from our organic garden) for our tiny house workshop luncheon last weekend.

3. Nurturing and inspiring underprivileged young high school women to make reclamation art and fashion by repurposing discarded trash, and found objects destined for landfills into wearable treasures.

4. Repairing, selling, and gifting all my remaining household goods in preparation for moving into the Silver Bullet tiny house/classroom on wheels.

5. Having our workshop attendees sizzle’s quenched by a tasty sampling challenge between a local winery and a friend’s local brewery. (Riverwalk won!)


**So busy building, teaching, organic gardening, taking videos and pics, I apologize for not posting regularly. As soon as I learn iMovie, I’ll get all 7 postings up; hopefully, before long!

2nd Silver Bullet Tiny House Sustainable Swap Social!

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(Photograph Credit: Cynthia Staats)

Silver Bullet Tiny House Sustainable Swap Social Weekend


July 19 – July 20, Newbury, Ma., Saturday 9AM – Sunday 6PM


You are invited to participate in a tiny house social opportunity with artists, artisans, tiny house enthusiasts and builders, a local organic chef, local organic wines, and 12 other participants.


June 28 Byfield Music and Arts Festival 10AM-9PM

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Want to hear live music from 15 different bands, try the brews, buy art, support sustainability non-profits and have fun on a beautiful summer Saturday?

Come join us tomorrow…at Manter Field 10AM-9PM for the Byfield Music & Arts Festival. Directions, tickets, more information is here.

The Struck women will be there at their Struck Studios art booth!!! Come see us!

All proceeds from our sales of gorgeous reclamation artwork and jewelry go to support the Byfield Arts Center and the Net Zero Silver Bullet Tiny House.

1st Silver Bullet Tiny House Sustainable Swap Social

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(Photo Credits: Cynthia Staats)

Sponsored and underwritten by the sustainability non-profit,, the first Silver Bullet Tiny House Social/Retreat empowered attendees with skills and information about choices required to approach a more sustainable tiny life.

This tiny house social/retreat differs from other workshops by facilitating and nurturing the whole sustainable tiny life, not just the construction build. With hands-on demonstrations of resource repurposing, barter strategies, tiny life transitioning skills, composting, organic local food, attendees experience skills needed  to achieve resiliency in a world being depleted of its resources.

Particpants honed their new construction skills building a simple worktable needed for their future tiny house builds, installing 2nd and 3rd stage projects such as window installation, rain screen application, vented roofing and insulation, and how to turn trash into treasure. Attendees made earrings of recycled plastic in their own custom design. Sunday morning after a leisurely breakfast, folks were guided into yogic meditation by Kelsey Max Klibansky.

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The next weekend retreat, July 19-20, will include sustainable composting, several 2nd-3rd stage tiny house construction projects, with local organic dinners included, fire pit socials, barter skills, trash to treasure projects, speakers, and other chapters on how to apply the sustainable/resiliency filter to your life’s design choices. Learn new skills, socialize, camp out, visit the Pqrker River.

To register for the July 19-20, 2014 Silver Bullet Tiny House Retreat (SOLD OUT)!!

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“Aaahhh, so that’s what a rain screen looks like”.

And as she says that, other participants work overtime with repurposing ideas for the left overs into a slew of creative fashion statements so they don’t end up in a land fill.

Installing a recycled window found by the roadside:


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Artist Turns Trash into Homeless Tiny Houses

Hi everyone! I have been wicked busy building and preparing for the Silver Bullet Social/Demo/Tour Event. There are a few spaces left, so register soon, click here. Will post videos, pics, etc. of my last few weeks of construction after the event!

There are several artists and tiny home enthusiasts helping the homeless by repurposing and recycling trash. For the full article and many more pictures of his creations, please go to the full article at viral

Gregory Kloehn goes dumpster diving, but not for the reason that most people would think. He isn’t homeless. In fact, he is an artist from Oakland that is trying to help the homeless and develop his craft at the same time.

Instead of building sculptures that he would sell to rich people to add to their massive homes, he decided to focus his efforts on helping house the homeless population in California.

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Tiny House Enthusiast Kelsey Max

There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.                                                                                                            Henry David Thoreau

Twenty tired workshop warriors gathered around a roaring campfire sharing stories with their leader, “Deek” Diedricksen of Relaxshacks[1].  We had come to share construction skills, learn all about building tiny houses and meet community members. Sitting down next to me, a tall statuesque blonde, looking like she had stepped out of a 1960’s Amazon movie, offered me a drink from an antique pint bottle. It was a creamy, grainy vodka ginger infusion with a hint of lemon. 

The delicious concoction from this amateur mixologist fueled an evening long discovery of a myriad of similar interests and experiences. We became kindred spirits. We are tiny house enthusiast’s, artist’s, educator’s, fellow journaler’s and as sustainability advocates we strive to build a compassionate zero waste lifestyle every day.

Max and I

Surprisingly we shared an unusual type of event at a similar age, a near death experience. I drowned and was clinically dead for 6 minutes; she survived a horrific auto accident. Her life since this brush with mortality has been what she calls her “gratitude crusade”.

Max postcard

I prefer to describe my friend Max as a radical self-expressionist. Kelsey is an individual who has refused to become a muted voice from her generation, her gender or as a result of her near death experience. Instead, as you will glean from the interview below, she has chosen her own authentic voice.

She has crossed the bridge between self-inquiry to self-acceptance, placing value on herself as opposed to muting her voice to meet the needs of others.

We come from two different generations; I’m a hippie baby boomer and she is a millennial[2]. Is Kelsey Max different than most of her millennial counterparts described as entitled and narcissistic? Absolutely. I find her a refreshing example of radical self-expression (think Burning Woman instead of Burning Man).

Let’s meet this amazing woman, whose intellect, compassion and spirit expresses great wisdom and peace beyond her years. Her name is Kelsey Max.[3] You can find her art, her thoughts, her journals and ideas here.


Here’s the interview we had with Kelsey Max Klibansky:

Q: Describe yourself for our readers:

I am accepting of others and myself. I strive to align my lifestyle with my beliefs and stay reflective so I can create my consciousness as my ultimate work of art!

I call myself a yogic artist because my most consistent creations are journals (better described as multimedia life chronicles) that I compile to enhance my meditative space, better understand myself, and build trust for the way the universe moves. I am currently working on my 37th journal since 2005.

Q: How sustainable is your lifestyle?  

(She laughs.) I can say that I am transitioning into a more sustainable lifestyle as I acknowledge myself as its creator. Most recently, I have travelled to thirteen countries while journaling, observing permaculture practices, living off the grid completing yoga teacher training and an art residency while having ridiculous amounts of fun building timeless connections with so many incredible people! I have been living my Cultural Anthropology degree by truly experiencing life in other cultures. All have contributed to my understanding of humankind in relation to the universe, which is knowledge I hope to incorporate in the near future.

Q: Tell us about how you define the millennial generation[4]?

My generation sees the world broadly and more inclusively. We see connections more readily than previous generations. The veils of illusion were never on us, so we instinctively know life is about love. Our entire political introduction as kids was 9/11, the Iraq War, and the Bush administrations, which were not about love. We’re adults now and the reality created by previous generations is killing itself in front of us – an exciting time! (She laughs.)

Q: Do you think we will reach the Tipping Point towards becoming a sustainable planet in your lifetime?

Yes, definitely! I foresee a big change in human culture toward a model that is synchronized with the Earth and everything it supports including each other.

Q: How will you engage people to help that wave along?

There is a whole aspect of emotional intelligence that has not gotten enough play in mainstream American society but it’s hugely important to our development. Through understanding yourself as an emotional and feeling being, you can actively maximize your happiness and ability to make a positive contribution to your environment. But, of course, the first step is knowledge of the self!

I do not see others as “strangers” or even separate from myself so by protecting my happiness and consciously upping my own vibration, I feel I’m contributing to others’ simultaneously. A good energy contagion, if you will! (She laughs.) Being creative on my own time and being with water makes me happy. Healing, meditating, swimming, dancing, guiding/teaching, yoga, journaling, drawing, painting with my hands, skiing, camping, jewelry making, and righteous words are things I share and aim to share more with my circle.

Q: What is your “lens” on the world?

That it is safe! I think that belief comes from faith but not in the dogmatic sense… faith like faith in everything. I feel an underlying truth that whatever is presenting itself in the now requires my full attention. My world is full of mystery, beauty and magic and I love it. Astrology, dreams, and the tarot are big parts of how I’ve always interpreted my life here.

Q: Do you have suggestions for how to see through your “lens”?

Firstly, observe and pay attention to cycles. For instance, we eat many times a day and that’s a cycle in itself. Say a clementine – observe its beauty and how perfectly it fits in your hand then how the earth supported the tree that nurtured it, the sun energized it and a person picked it. The use of light for growth and how its content is mainly water, much like ourselves, is amazing! Be thankful to the clementine for everything it is and every step of the process to get to you. Rule of thumb: If it goes inside of you, it becomes you! (She laughs.) I laugh but it’s true.

Secondly, notice your breathing and vibration. The space between your inhale or exhale; is it rapid or slow? This rate dictates the frequency of energy we exchange with the space surrounding us. Slower breathing is grounding and warrants a more pleasant response from everything.

The third is to notice the moments when you feel happy. Pay attention to what they are and make your choices accordingly.

Those are good daily tricks!

Q: Tell us where you have been since we met in November of 2012.


Following my feet! After receiving a small settlement after my car accident, i.e. an alley-oop from the universe in an age where paper means something, I mindfully transitioned to a path of self-education immediately after I graduated from University. Personally, that meant I sought global experiences independently without a planned itinerary or any rigidly timed commitments.

Without a “plan,” the universe has gifted me much! I hiked in Iceland with a group of adventurous locals, paid homage to Jim Morrison’s grave after a day in the park with theater students celebrating a spontaneous day off, camped at a wonderful place called Camping Zeeburg in Amsterdam, questioned the meaning of freedom at the Burren College of Art in Ireland, analyzed the roots of the Western world, attended Punta Mona in Costa Rica for yoga teacher training, lived on a beach in Nicaragua surfing and meditating, made art in exchange for yoga/food/stay at Finca de Yoga Mistica in Guatemala amongst a hotbed of ancient Mayan sacred sites, and wrote hundreds of inspired pages. It’s been a good year or so. (She laughs.)

Q: Have your travels in 2013 given you insights into how to design a more sustainable lifestyle?

Yes, absolutely. I learn primarily from life experience and traveling alone was yet another crash course in experience. I spent a lot of time in conversation about the connections between the individual, the community, and society as well as the overarching laws (and motivations behind them) that govern different societies.

I found that healthcare is much better and largely universal including free travel clinics in Europe. Their taxes are more directly related to environmental considerations like bigger cars are taxed higher because they pollute more. University is commonly free, which is in stark contrast to the recent imaginary concept of crippling college debt in the States. I learned that most people say that “Europe is so expensive” in the States and yet, in reality, the cost of what is termed health food (real food) there is shockingly less expensive and far more accessible to everyone in Europe. I lived well in Amsterdam for a night at the cost of 3 organic apples in the States – that’s saying something. Lots of public transportation and hostels too, which were great.

In Central America systems like the police force are less linked to the conversation about social responsibility while engagement with your community and family are more important. Natural remedies, yoga, holistic and raw food choices were mainstream.  When I was in Nicaragua I met several natives that enriched my understanding of what “quality of life” really means as opposed to what the Western world views as valuable. They live a more natural, human paced, and artistically designed zen lifestyle in and around nature unlike our culture that feels so divorced from that.

Q: What is your vision for the coming year?

I’m maintaining my zen in a place that doesn’t feel very zen. (She laughs.) It’s a challenge but people do it every day and that internal strength is inspiring to me.

I am dedicating my energy to building Rebel University, which is an organization balanced on the premise of universal activism and, ultimately, furthering expanded collective consciousness. As a part of my involvement with Rebels, I chase the moving target that is happiness. My heart speaks to me about publishing and guiding. I can see a lot blossoming soon! (She smiles.)

 You can follow Kelsey Max’s adventures through her website


[1] Derek “Deek” Diedricksen is one of the poster boys for the tiny house community. His latest tiny house workshop is coming up in April, check it out here.

[3] Klibansky, Kelsey Max, on a gratitude crusade, her website/blog.

[4] Ibid, 2.

Tiny House Windows and Doors

In December I made a trip up to the Habitat Restore near Portsmouth, NH, and picked up three doors for the tiny house.* Here are two of them. During the coldest and snowiest New England winter in decades (we still have 3 feet of snow in our yard) I was glad I had a few inside projects I could complete!


My door openings, in order to maximize my loft room, were cut down a few inches and thus I was able to use the excess to fill door knob holes, hardware cavities and scars.

Door renno

The non toxic finish I like to use is from EcoPaints; they have a variety of air pure, exterior products, varnishes and stains.

It was a challenge to sand, repair, paint and varnish my doors and windows in the small 3′ x 6′ area in the basement with a floor that floods every time it snow or rains. But I stuck with it. As soon as warmer weather and the melting of 3 feet of snow is upon us, out they go…



*My large bay window found by the roadside broke, so the last large window in the back had to be custom ordered to fit the rough opening all ready in the Silver Bullet. Otherwise, the rest are reclaimed.