Salvage

Making an Intention Flag for 2015

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Breathe, Cultivate Community, Recent Posts, Salvage | 3 comments

Making an Intention Flag for 2015

I love flags, making use of everything, making art out of stuff one step away from trash, letting go of clutter, setting intentions and cultivating community. Making an Intention Flag is a beautiful and simple project that brings all of these loves together. When I don’t know what to do with a stained t-shirt or other worn-out piece of clothing, I usually cut it up for napkins or rags, but sometimes the fabric isn’t absorbent enough, so I stow it in a milk crate for future use. Just before Christmas I deep cleaned the tiny house and found a forgotten basket of fabric scraps in the storage compartment under the couch. Yes, even in a tiny house we accumulate stuff and forget about it. Since I had to make room for the influx of gifts, it was time to use or trash this fabric. Since it is the season of intentions, I decided to make an Intention Flag. Flags dancing in the woods make me happy. I love the idea of the gratitude or intention floating on the wind and permeating the space. The kids and I make Gratitude Flags every year and they turn our woods into a sacred space. Adding not just our intentions but the intentions of our family and friends to the gratitude excited me. I wrote about 10,000 intentions, okay maybe 10, and, man, I still had a ton of fabric left, so I decided to expand the project. I took the basket along with a bag of permanent markers to a few gatherings between Solstice and New Year’s Day. At least forty people added intention to this flag. When my mom was with me for Christmas day, we sewed the scraps of fabric onto strips I tore from an old flat sheet. Hanging the flag in the woods was a beautiful and powerful way to spend Christmas night with Mom. (Read more about our Christmas and other stories in our Winter Newsletter.) My commitment to my friends and family was to create this flag and then to hold the space for their intentions all year. Walking in our woods and seeing the intentions of so many reflect the light in the shadow of my great white oak is pure art. What’s striking about this flag is the similarity of our intentions. We all have similar desires and they’re really very simple. What are your intentions for 2015? Let them fly!   Simply, Hari P.S. Enrollment for the Summer 2015 session of our eCourse, Creating Your Path to Mortgage-freedom is now open. Open enrollment closes on July 15, 2015. Read about the course here! Sign up for our newsletter to be informed of open enrollment for future sessions and receive our seasonal newsletter. Share...

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Barn Wood and Rusted Metal

Posted by on Feb 27, 2014 in Build, Recent Posts, Salvage | 14 comments

Barn Wood and Rusted Metal

There was a barn across the street from our little homestead, a real leaner. We’ve watched it lean a little more each month. The weight of the two feet of snow two weeks ago made it lean to the point that it was unsafe, so the owner pulled it over. Karl was working on the big house when he heard it crash. He ran into the tiny house like a little boy, “The barn! I think someone is taking it down.” He went straight across the street, talked to the man, and came back smiling. “I can take everything I want and leave the rest. He’s just going to use it for firewood.”   Score! This is our second barn. The first one was a prominent barn that stood just off of 221 near the Little River. That barn is already part of our big house.   During Karl’s long work days taking down barns, he gets to know the materials. The dust of the last century blows in his face and he hears the whispers of the wood. Some boards tell him I want to be a sled rail. Others want to be a chicken coop. Others want to be part of the big house.  This new barn will add more rusted corrugated metal and beefy beams to our barn wood stack. A good bit of the wood inside is still solid and in great shape. We are using barn metal as part of the siding for the big house, so the best pieces of metal will end up on the big house. Karl will use rubber-gasket screws through the existing holes on the metal, and then we will seal it.   Salvaging is fun and rewarding and it gives a look and feel we could only achieve through this method. And then there’s the story. This metal was a barn across the street. It lived through 80 winters holding snow and blocking wind, then it caved and curled and leaned and crashed. And some man came running to its rescue to bring it home and give it a new life. This man is my husband. A determined, passionate builder who loves to “make something out of nothing.” The artist wakes up in the builder who uses salvage. He works with the material and the application and comes up with a creative solution to use what he has. The process is exciting and so very rewarding. He builds a house of this place, a house that belongs. Karl is sorting the barn wood across the street and will bring it home and stack it with our first salvaged barn at the bottom of the property. When the time comes, we will choose wood for interior walls, and who knows what else. I know these materials will create the handmade home with history and place that we want.   Some of the wood has amazing character, but is too weathered to be part of the house. I think when we finish building the big house, we’ll have to start building tiny houses for birds–barn wood bird houses with cute little rusty metal roofs. That is something to look forward to. Man, I think you could build a few in an afternoon. What a dreamy pace. I guess this makes us barn collectors. Salvage is one of the ways we reduce the cost of building. We pay with time instead of money. It isn’t necessarily cheaper if we factor in the value of our time, but we are able to spend our time doing something we love, and we gain a pleasing result.  We’ve learned so much on our path to mortgage-freedom, and we’re excited to share it all with you. We are guiding a group of motivated folks down the path to mortgage-freedom right now, and we have a second group starting May 10th. We’d love to have you join us. Read about this opportunity here. Simply, Hari P.S. Enrollment for the Summer 2015 session of our eCourse, Creating Your Path to Mortgage-freedom is now open. Open enrollment closes on July...

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Created From Excess

Posted by on Oct 1, 2011 in Recent Posts, Salvage | 19 comments

Created From Excess

We constructed our home with things people didn’t need. I am grateful to the internet and craigslist for creating a revolutionary way to connect people who need things with people who want to get rid of them. Everything we need is already made and someone wants to get rid of it. Our mission when building the tiny house was to buy as little “virgin materials” as possible. We stayed focused on buying what had already been used once. This commitment has produced a homey home, a place with stories. Rolling into Home Depot to load up on materials is much less charming than meeting a stranger through craigslist and helping to make use of their excess. There is more time commitment, but also more fun. Papa gets up every morning and checks craigslist for about 10 different things. When the opportunity comes to get something on his list, he makes a trip, has an adventure, feels better about what he’s bought and always saves money. He recently took down a retired woman’s shed in trade for the wood. I can image her thinking she got such a deal – this handsome man showed up, made her laugh, took down her shed and raked up behind himself – hauling away the wood. There are many opportunities on craigslist to trade time for materials. Often, just showing up to haul it away is all folks want. After taking the woman’s shed down and helping another retired man dismantle his deck, we have enough wood to build our well house/laundry room/food storage building. From there, we will begin amassing more reclaimed materials to build a garage where we can continue salvaging for our small house. A quick survey of the salvaged/used items in our tiny house: Craigslist finds: Flatbed trailer – It used to have a mobile home on top, but was already stripped down when we bought it. We sanded and painted it and built our tiny home on top. Windows – Someone special ordered them and never paid for them. They were stacked in a man’s garage along with a lot more excess. These are too small for most homes, but just right for ours. Wood floor – I bought 120 sq. ft. from a family who had it stacked up in their basement—leftovers from flooring their log cabin. The mom was home with her twins. We mamas loaded the car and did the deal. She was so happy to get it out of her basement. I paid her $140. It makes a beautiful floor for the tiny house and there is still a bit leftover. Range – an apartment size from the 50s. It came out of an old lady’s estate. It appeared to be the extra one, maybe only used for holidays and canning. Interior oak paneling – a craigslist find. A local family found their home structurally unsound and decided to take it apart piece by piece. Papa salvaged this beautiful wood by trimming the ends and pounding out the nails. I remember Pappy laughing when he visited for Christmas. “You guys are crazy.” It did seem a bit crazy, as I looked at all that wood piled up. Now, it makes our home very cozy and beautiful—even more so because of the extra labor and the knowledge that the wood is local and salvaged. Range hood – oversized for the range, but vents the whole house in minutes. I bought it from a landlord who remodeled and got the wrong color. It was in a garage full of extra stuff. Rigid foam insulation – This came from a warehouse stacked to the ceiling with foam panels. They buy the insulation from old warehouses and large structures as they are demolished. What an adventure that trip was – driving two hours to pick it up and about four to get it home. We had to drive back roads on the way home, because we stacked the insulation about 8 feet high and it wanted to take flight at speeds over 40 mph. We made a pit stop in Micanopy,...

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