To all our followers ~ You may have gotten the feeling that we have had an on-again, off-again thing ~ a love/hate relationship with blogging about Tiny Houses. My feelings were, and I’ll be brutally honest with you, if you want to live Tiny, Just Do It ~(as the Nike tag line says). You don’t need us or anyone else telling you how to do it because it’s an individual journey that’s always different for each of us. What I didn’t realize though – is that it can be really scary to downsize from a full size home to a Tiny. I think we can help take away some of the “scary” part of that.
Remember though, our story was different than most since we upsized to Shiny Tiny. For over 6 years we lived in a 196SF, 50 year old camper with single pain (sic) windows that didn’t seal, 1″ thick uninsulated walls, and our only door would drip moisture in the winter so badly, that it would freeze shut with a 2″ thick Ice dam every night. In the morning, we would need to use the blow dryer to unfreeze it and get out ~ but that’s for another post 😉
Things changed over the last couple weeks as we realized how interested folks are in how they can either make the transition to “Live Small to Have it All” or at least dream about it. Our story was picked up by several large websites, and Shiny Tiny Mansion was shared and liked around the world well over 10,000 times! That gave us the incentive to start taking this really seriously and turn it into a business ~ and therein lies the big news.
On May 29th, Sue will be leaving the library after 14 years to devote herself full time to Shiny Tiny Mansion and her writing. It’s a huge financial risk for us since we will be losing one income, but we strongly feel that with time, it will pay off. She has already started a book that has a working title of “The Smart Person’s Guide to Cooking in a Tiny Kitchen” complete with how to cook in 2SF and recipes from the Pescatarian-Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian diet that we follow. That means we eat fish, cheese, eggs, vegetables but no animals or fowl. I like to call us Hipocritatarians! Hehehehe! She is also working on 2 other young adult novels as well as her art. The idea of “The Smart Person’s Guide Books” comes from believing that how-to books should not talk down to the reader, yet be simple and understandable. Funny, but we find most of “The Dummie’s Guides” confusing and hard to follow! We want to be the antithesis of “The Dummies Guide”.
I will be cutting back on my custom furniture business to devote more time to STM and have already started working on “The Smart Person’s Guide to Building Your Own Tiny House.” I see a real need for a (kinda) serious “How-To” book on this topic. Most of the books out there have a lot of other Tiny’s stories told, but not a real, hands-on How-To. What I realize clearly as I am working on the book ~ building a Tiny home takes all the skills of building a large home, just less materials. Very few would look at a 2500SF home, have no experience in the building trades and say, “I’ll build my own.” But, when we look at a Tiny, it seems more manageable. I know I can’t give you 40 years of experience in one book, and I am no expert builder, but I think I can go over the basics with tools needed and construction techniques. With some practice, some learned skills, reading some of the other books I recommend, and a LOT of time, free beer, and friends, it may just be possible to build your own Tiny.
We will be posting our rough drafts of the books chapter by chapter as we go along. We will ask for real feedback and critiques on each chapter because you are the folks that matter the most to us. We are writing the books that we wish were there for us when we started our journey, so new and wanna-be Tiny’s can learn from our mistakes ~ real life stuff with hard learned lessons. We can only do that with your help, and for that, we will be giving a lot of e-books away for free when we are ready to launch the books. If we succeed, and the books are popular enough, we will go from e-book to real book. Regardless, though, you will be in on the ground floor, and we will always make sure that our followers get some invitation-only extras. Wink~Wink!
Our promise to you is: Starting right now (and going full time in June), we take Shiny Tiny Mansion very seriously and will treat it like a business with a huge heart. We will do our best to provide interesting relevant content through stories, pictures, and straight up How-To posts. We will add direct links to other great books and tools we have read and used. We will do all we can to show how a simpler existence, with less unimportant stuff, is better for our health, mind, and overall quality of life.
Leonardo da Vinci said it best ~ Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
17 thoughts on “Our Big News in a Nutshell ~ If You’re not Allergic to Nuts ~ Which we may be!!!”
Ron, we both wish you and Sue all the best with your ramped-up blog and business plans!
On a personal note, I *just* realized that I’ve been a fan of yours for years without even knowing it because I found a photo of your stairs and saved it for inspiration. I’ve wanted to paint a little inspirational saying on stairs ever since, and I think I’ve finally found the perfect one for our right-turning tiny house stairs from an all-time fave movie of ours, aptly titled “Serenity.”
“If you can’t do something smart, do something right.”
You’ve already inspired me, so I’m certain your new venture will be a smashing success!!
All the best, Meg
Inspiration is a wonderful thing and when it’s emblazoned on your stairs, it’s with you everyday 😉 Thanks to our new Tiny friends, Meg & Brandy & RAD!
You are fantastic and I am an eager follower. (I’m formerly from Millersburg /Fresno/ Farmerstown, Ohio.
Thanks so much for your kind words. When did you leave Holmes County?
Very exciting. I love folks who take risks for the things they are passionate about. I am all for making the deathbed-if-only-I… list as short as possible.
Please let me know if I could offer any help with your project. I’ve been a residential tile setter for close to 15 years and am pretty up on the current prep and install methods.
Even tiny homes need bathrooms and back splashes…
Also, my family and I are in the middle of the messy, chaotic, stressful downsize and prep to sell our home. Our plan is to rent something small and, once the kiddos are all off to college, build something even smaller. With a big shop however 😉
Because of this, I have been enjoying reading about your journey and watching it evolve.
I love your perspective and look forward to more!
Thanks for taking the time to write Matthew! I agree, a craftsman needs a decent shop. Sadly, I did not factor that into the Shiny Tiny plan and now I regret it. May still build one someday but for now, we are so busy that I can barely keep up with just designing furniture. I would love to talk about you doing a guest post on your journey or a chapter on tile setting in the book. For us, the whole point of living smaller is to have killer stuff that is still affordable like an awesome tiled shower 😉 We couldn’t have afforded that if they had 10 more rooms to finish 😉 Also, I did it all and we got all the tile from leftover stock from a commercial tiler that sold for pennies on the dollar.
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk more in depth.
Thanks So much and look forward to hearing from you,
This is so exciting and I can’t what to read the upcoming chapters. And I’m very excited for the two of you.
Thanks so much Patricia! It is kinda scary, but we are ready for the fear and excited about the possibilities. We will work harder than we ever have to supply great content and hope we can help tons of folks live happier with the right tools to get just what they need and a lovely cup of tea, glass of wine, or craft beer 😉
I look forward to more ‘how-to’ type articles, & I hope the book(s) will be available on KOBO, not just Kindle.
We will certainly try to have the books available across as many platforms as possible. Thanks for letting us know that there is more out there than just Kindle 😉
good luck with your plans.. it can be stressful to mull over ideas for change.. and then once the decision is made.. how wonderful to experience the accompanying sense of freedom! jt
Thanks for stopping by and sending the good luck! I checked out your blog. Great stuff!!! I always wanted to at least live by water if not on it 😉 We are flooded right now so we kinda are, LOL! So are you living in Maine full time now?
not yet, Ron, we will head up in mid-may.. my wife will stay there while I head back to finish the school year.. and then Maine till the end of sept. 🙂 after that.. well, not quite sure yet.. but that is part of the excitement! jt
Hi folks, Found a facebook post about your endeavors and enjoyed it. I signed up to follow your blog and posts. I have a house that is 24X27 with a built on 7X12 on the back that was used for a laundry room. Plan on remodeling it. It probably does not qualify for a Tiny Mansion but it is downsizing for us. Both retired (75 & 72). I keep looking for ideas to incorporate into this remodel. I did find an interesting way (from a professional) to insulate. Used styrofoam panels and seal them in place with caulk. This give excellent insulation and seals air leaks at the same time. I will endeavor to find the location of that information and get it to you.
Good luck and I will be looking forward to the results of your ebooks and how things are going for you.
So happy to have you on board!! If you get someone who knows what they are doing, that insulation can be a good method. IT can have NO leaks though or it will cause condensation on the “warm” side of the house. If you live in the South, that’s the exterior wall. In the North, it’s mostly on the interior walls in our heating season. The best insulation I have seen is the expanding foam, blow in kind. There are specialized guy7s that do nothing but that. It’s not cheap, but when they are done, the house is truly sealed. In fact it’s best to have an air exchanger of some kind with that.
I would love to see the layout of the house and glad to help out with any suggestions 😉 You can email me directly at email@example.com
Cheers and thanks for following,
I wish both of you more personal and financial succeess! Good Luck!
Thank you so much Joan!! We are going to share the financial part of our journey as we go 😉