Monday, November 25, 2013

Vardo Sighting

I caught a glimpse of this sweet little vardo when traveling to visit friends at the Louisiana Renaissance Faire. I love the painted details!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Which Car Should Pull My Tiny House?

Photo from tinyhouselover

Since my van died a couple months ago, I am in the predicament of having to choose what my next car should be. Should I go for a short term plan, of getting a tiny gas efficient sedan to save on fuel costs? Or do I want to establish a more long term plan of getting something a little bit more powerful for when I have to haul my studio/house/workspace on wheels?

Though I have a class B commercial driver's license,  I still have only a cave-man's knowledge of cars and their individual capabilities. I am by no means a mechanic, and therefore the most advanced knowledge I have concerning this subject matter is that a Jetta most likely not the best choice to haul a 30 foot flatbed with a house built on it.

Since I am an artist, and wish to travel with my studio/shopfront on a fairly regular basis, I feel I need to do more research than those that only haul trailers once a year for vacation, or as a one time house-moving-excursion.

So, dear readers, I would like to introduce you to TOWCAR.INFO. This site is extremely helpful, and allows one to type in all the specs of both their car, and any recent trailer that is on the market, and get an educated overview about the safety, speeds, and feasibility of taking it on the open road. This is really going to help me research and figure out which car to get for my tinyhouse pulling endeavors.

Now, my tiny house is going to be a home built one that I build on a flatbed trailer, (probably around 12-16 feet) but I can always find a caravan that has a similar size and shape, and use that to compare different car models.

To finish this post out, if anyone has any advice for me or other house-hauling newbies, feel free to write it in the comments below!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Traveling Sushi Bar

My fiancé is a permanent traveler: he works all over the country at renaissance fairs. Most fairs last roughly 2 months, so every 2 months he has to pack all his belongings, his tent, and all the equipment he works with, and move to the next job.

The people who work these fairs all year round, moving from show to show call themselves "road rennies" and have a great sense of camaraderie, and a love for the freedom this lifestyle allows.

As I become more immersed in this lifestyle, and observe more fairs from an insider's viewpoint, I get to take part in some of the things that go on in the campgrounds that are reserved for the workers.

Renaissance fairs take place on weekends, and Monday is the equivalent of a Saturday morning to those with weekday jobs. Each Monday, or "Unday", everyone gets together for the Bizarre Bazaar: a flea market reserved only for the people living on the grounds (or in my case, their loved ones). There is always one group of people who sells breakfast and coffee, and lots of people selling things to each other, whether they are handmade items such as jewelry or clothing, or things they are getting rid of, like any other flea market. It is a great occasion for people to relax, and have a good time hanging out with each other.

I have been to many of these bazaars and breakfast/brunch has always been the main event. This time, however, I was happily surprised that the people cooking announced that they would start taking sushi orders, just before noon.

I love Sushi, and I think it was amazing that even in a campsite surrounded by woods in rural Ohio, I could have amazing food made by really cool people. The pictures below show our friends Molly and Shannon at the sushi bar, and some of the delicious things they offered.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Its just sitting there... Perfect... For sale... But I didn't even ask how much it is being sold for because I guess I need a car first.. But I should ask anyway...

Oh the internal battles of the tiny mobile home obsessed!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wanderlust Vintage and Handmade

Keeping with the mobile shopfront theme, I wanted to talk about Wanderlust Vintage and Handmade.  They did a great interview talking about how starting with a mobile shop allowed them to take their time building their business. You can read the interview on DIY Business Association's site.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mobile Shopfronts

I am one of those creative types who has so many ideas it seems difficult to decide on only one to execute. When not obsessing over tiny houses and mobile structures I'm focusing on my fashion business, that I have been bootstrapping into action since 2009. (More on that on my business's blog) 

Recently, in my attempt to re-evaluate my sense of workspace, I have thought about opening a shop. I've been vending out of tents at festivals for years, but a shop I wouldn't have to set up and break down  every weekend? That seems like heaven! and I can make money while simultaneously using the space as a studio.

So I feel as though I'm getting closer to what I eventually need as a business, but there are still so many options! And deciding which one is the least financially tiring is sometimes the key to resourcefulness  in my idea manufacturing plant. Brick and mortar shop? Rents can be really high, and I know I'd get stir crazy being in one spot. Renaissance faire vending? Less set up and tear down, since they usually run for 2 months at a clip, but theme restrictions and the niche audience can be stifling to a brand to do all year round. Mobile vending out of a trailer? ...... Now that might make my synapses fire a with a little something extra.

The startup costs would be lower than a brick and mortar, and rather than rent, I'd just have to worry about weekend vendor fees... Indoor events would still be a beast unto themselves, but a trailer studio-shop would give me an easy way to transport my products to different venues, if nothing else...

Here are some amazing examples of other people living the mobile business dream, and looking good doing it!

Vintage Bliss's vending setup

And the next few photos are from Glorious Gladys, who I'm ever grateful for posting so many photos of the interior of her mobile shop!

And if anyone knows the source of the Candy Camper, the first shot in this post, let me know!

Monday, September 16, 2013

House Truck by Michael Ostaski

Here is a video that I feel is a really good example of what my blog is about. Artist Michael Ostaski built an amazing home on wheels for himself, and used it while traveling and making art. Being at home while always moving is a challenge, and he certainly rose to the occasion.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bike recycling!

Had to share this wonderfully quaint re-use of old bicycles I came across in my travels!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Seen While Traveling

One of the reasons I love a traveling lifestyle is that I happen upon wonderful moments like this. Maybe Brian Froud and Andy Goldsworthy had a baby and made this magical artist.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tiny Traveling Houses in Nature

I thought I'd take a minute to show you guys this little guy taking a break from his travels in the Delaware River.

Everyone needs a cute little turtle on a humdrum Wednesday, right?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Keeping Warm

Having lived in many tiny dwellings in which electric heaters just don't cut the mustard, I thought that I'd bring up some methods of keeping warm while sleeping.

As someone who can sleep through hurricanes, but not when it is cold, my personal magic words are: FEETY PAJAMAS!!!! I have a pair with the face of the Grinch on the toes.. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Funding Life On The Road.

While looking up how much I could make if I sold on of my kidneys, I came across this article about how to pay one's bills while taking to the open road. It is about a girl named Jami Krause who bicycles around the country with her balloon sculpture business, called Balloon Biker.

Having gone to a very expensive college, I am constantly stressed about having enough to get by whilst having adventures, and starting my small business. There are times when it becomes limiting, especially to a fight or flight type person like me, who's biggest personal priority is having the freedom to go where I please. It is difficult to find an occupation in which I can travel, as well as make enough money to pay all of my exorbitant school loans and insurance bills.

I'm constantly searching for success stories about people who can function while traveling the country, especially people who are able to do it with a job that isn't predominantly online. Jami's story is particularly inspiring, because it is creative, and I can apply it to my own starving artist experience.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Let's talk about Vardos

As a traveling tiny  house enthusiast who also tends towards the eccentric side of life, it is no surprise that Vardos are my favorite classic structure. Haven't heard the word "vardo" before? Neither had I until I looked up "gypsy wagons", "gypsy caravans".  And then I was hooked. 

Vardo is the Romani word for "wooden cart" more specifically referring to those used on the British Isles. They were most popular in the late 1800's. Though many were seen before then, it was more common for tilted carts and tents to be used while traveling. Many vardos are still held onto and restored today, and sadly for me, a locationally challenged lady who would love to go see one up close, almost all of them are in Europe. 

Though with the rise of tiny house popularity, these lovely wagons are starting to be used all over the world again. People are building new versions, putting ornamentation that is more personal than traditional on them, and making incredible little homes that double as art pieces.

There are many different types of traditional vardos, dealing with architectural shapes, and wheel placement, and roof types, etc. but I'll save that for another post! 

Below are some of my favorite images I've found of wagons, traditional and untraditional. When possible, I'll credit the builders or owners, though some of these photos have been so tossed around tumblr and pinterest that no one can be quite sure anymore. If you are reading this, and know any info about these photos, let me know, and I'll write it in!

This photo really exhibits how much work went into the detail of such a structure.

This is one of my very favorite photos. I imagine a bustling street, with merchants and sales men, talking crowds into buying mystical objects and potions. 

I often vend and camp at festivals, and have saved this photo because it is a perfect example of how to combine vending space and living space. Awnings are wonderful! And it allows a vendor to sleep and spend off time near their shops, just in case one is vending in a new or more untrustworthy area.

Love the included porch!

Love the paintjob these two did on their lovely house

I like the clever use of trims on this one. Its a great alternative for those who don't like to do intricate painting work, but still want a decorative element.

Anyway, I have TONS more photos on this and other little house subject matter, so rather than post them all in one go, I'll save some for later!