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!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Computers vs. Phones

So I am one of those people who loves tiny, sustainable living. I'm as low maintenance as a person can get, without forsaking certain needs. This can open a discussion about which needs are most important to hang onto when shifting into a lifestyle of having less.

For instance, For the past two weeks I was without my laptop computer. Though I have a smartphone, and one would think I'd be able to keep up with everything I normally do, I just didn't.

There are a few reasons for this.
1. All my photos and references are on my computer, and I still haven't synched my phone up to it. I didn't want to write blog posts or emails without being able to include everything.

2. Things tend to load a lot slower on my phone. I'm impatient, and only use my phone to look things up in desperate cases, and nothing really seemed desperate enough to merit me keeping up with it.

3. I'll be honest, I hate reading off of the damned tiny screen. (I will be doing many posts in the future about my immense love for books, and how it proposes a problem for a tiny house enthusiast. Especially when my perfect book storage scenario is equivalent to the scene in Disney's Beauty and the Beast when he gives her his ginormous library as a present. With ladders. So many books, that ladders are necessary... sigh...) So switching even to a Kindle or Nook is out of the question.

4. Many times, the mobile version of sites I usually frequent are still buggy. The Tumblr app won't even work on my phone. And I just don't have the energy to try out Pinterest, especially when it is a site geared towards visual stimulus. Instagram takes forever, and I refuse to get into Vine, because I already get annoyed when gifs on Tumblr slow everything down.

5. The biggest problem about not having my computer is that the cell signal and internet in my house is awful. To explain how inconvenient it is, I will include an aptly drawn diagram below. I also often travel to places that don't have internet, and when they do, everyone within a mile radius is busy illegally downloading every season of Mash or the Simpsons, or whatever. Which again, makes it very slow to load anything. At least when I have my computer, I can write everything out, gather all of my other media to be emailed or blogged, and even if the internet speed is slow, it is already saved on my computer.
My cell service is confined to my driveway, and my across-the-street neighbor's yard.

In the last few weeks my phone has lost vendor applications, blog posts, and email drafts as if it was its job. Even though there are ways to counteract all these gripes, I find that I just don't care enough about using my tiny phone as a computer to make the effort. I have a good friend who hasn't owned a computer since she got her iphone, and is completely happy with it. But personally, I'd rather just wait for my laptop to be returned.

So what do you think? I'd love to have a discussion on people's thoughts about comfort levels of different media tools, like tablets, smartphones, and computers.

While you think about that, I'll be in my neighbor's yard, saving this blog post as a draft 4 times.