1st Silver Bullet Tiny House Sustainable Swap Social

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(Photo Credits: Cynthia Staats)

Sponsored and underwritten by the sustainability non-profit, terrabluteams.org, 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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The 2nd Workshop with Deek

Just one year ago I attended Deek’s relax shacks tiny structure workshop; more here. This last weekend I had the opportunity to speak at and attend his new format workshop. It was well organized. Two structures bases’ were already completed and thus the group was able to be more involved in learning building skills and realizing the completion of a project.

After all, you really cannot effectively have more than 4 people in, around and about a tiny structure and work productively.

There were more materials, more construction “stations”, a greater camping area, etc. I only wish I could have been there longer to enjoy all the interesting participants. Please do NOT hesitate to sign up for his next one!


One of Deek’s shacks I toured in his yard.


Drew, one of my fellow tiny house enthusiast’s from last year’s workshop is standing inside our project from the workshop.

Deek.2.5A second structure that I understand will have a tufted transparent roof.



The Tiny House Workshop


I signed up for a 3 day workshop as soon as Deek Diedricksen put it up on the web, RelaxShacks.com. Waiting 3 months felt like forever!

I was so obsessed with the tiny house movement that I forgot that Deek’s offer to sleep out in the “Gypsy Junker”, meant without heat. In November.

Friday afternoon we all met and started the sub-flooring on Deek’s tiny one axle trailer. I learned all about vapor barriers, “great stuff”, foam and other insulations, bolting, bracing and closing the floor of a tiny house.

We framed the walls, made openings for windows did some sheathing with some recycled building products, windows from the side of the road and siding.


Me and my new TH friend, Max, in front of the Gypsy Junker; below, Mr. Steven Harrell of Tiny House Swoon


Building a tiny home on two axles is an item on my bucket list. Now I know how to construct it and make it a carbon neutral environment. I’ll let you know when it’s done!

Now if I could just find a Honda Element “gas to cooking oil” conversion workshop I could attend, I would have a net-zero tiny house hauler! Tell me if you know of one! (As I posted this I learned my Honda can only haul 1500, so anyone have a used Ford 250 Diesel I can convert?)

I’ve renovated my mountain homes, made them energy efficient; built out my commercial studios in mill buildings and yet, I’ve never had as much fun as I did with these creative “off the grid”, eco-warriors. We all came from different backgrounds, different states, and levels of experience, ages and cultures. Tiny house advocates and the subculture that surrounds them make some pretty interesting campfire workshop parties! Our second evening campfire we were serenaded by banjoes, bongos, guitars, and the voices of passionate, driven, creative, artistic tiny house builders! And a visiting tiny house bicyclist came by with a 350.org poster as his roof treatment!


One of Deek’s early “Relaxshacks” called the Gypsy Junker (7 minute Youtube video), is all of 24 square feet! I slept in it for 2 nights, without using the heater, just to see if I could do it. Outside, 32°F, inside, 40°F. Glad I brought my Mummy Sleeping Bag and my crystal heat packs!


Thanks, Deek, for a great workshop and the opportunity to find a new group of sustainable friends! Thanks to Dustin, Steven, the Comet and Caravan builders!

After Sandy ravaged our shores this week, I was once again reminded of how powerful nature is, how vulnerable we are and humanity’s denial of our impact on climate change and environmental resources.


I’m in the red down jacket standing next to Deek. Steven Harrell from tinyhouselistings.com is standing behind me.

Links you may want to explore:

http://www.thane.com/default/red-fusiontm-heat-wrap-basic.html The reusable Nikken Crystal Heat sodium acetate 6”x8” packs that kept me warm in the Gypsy Junker were 14 years old. They do not sell them anymore. However, these look great, I just ordered some.

Tiny House Workshop of Deek’s that I took this weekend in Stoughton, Ma.

The New York Times article about Deek

http://tinyhouselistings.com Steven’s other website

Max’s artistic website here.