Back in My Boots!

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Happy Beltane! It’s midway between spring and summer, and it’s a new month. I’m ready to start fresh!

April Recap:

It was a very busy month with my two jobs, and I turned 20! My aunt, uncle and cousins sent me this card, wishing me happy construction, and I thought it was very fitting. 🙂

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I finished my SketchUp model, which was a big accomplishment for me, and sent it to the engineer. She replied saying I needed collar ties, which I knew about but had forgotten to include. It only took a few minutes to add them and send it off again, so now I’m just waiting on the final reply for that.

I’ve been working on my steps list, which is a detailed PowerPoint I’m writing for anyone who wants the step-by-step info on how to build a tiny house. Maybe no one will use it, but maybe it will be helpful to someone. Plus I’ve done so much research on every little thing I’ve done so far. It would feel like a waste to leave it all to just float around in my brain. 😛 I want to consolidate what I’ve learned into one place to make it easier for anyone following in my footsteps. 🙂 So I’ll soon be posting the next set of steps that I’ve completed in real life and recorded.

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Today I finally had a chance to sand some of my beams. I’ll be getting the house out any day now, so I want to have those done. I finished half of them, and will sand the other half later this week. I forgot how much I enjoy sanding, although I’m very grateful I have power tools!

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My main goal was to get rid of the roughness like this, not to make them perfect. I just didn’t want to have to sand them above my head once they’re in the house.

I find it can be really hard to motivate myself to get started, but once I tied up my boots and went outside in the sunshine, it was lovely! Sanding is so peaceful, almost meditative for me. I love working with wood, seeing all the details and imagining the story behind every piece. I can let my mind wander, and I’m away from technology and not trying to multitask, which is a great change. It’s so good to get outside and to work with my hands too. I’ve had a great day and I’m feeling accomplished!

I also finished sorting through my old bedroom. It’s a relief to get rid of some old clothes and junk that I kept “just in case”. I’m living with my boyfriend now at his parents’ house, and the tiny house will be moved here. I was over here most of the time last year anyway, so this way it’ll be easier to walk across the driveway to work on the house rather than driving back to my parents’ house.

I did miss out on hanging out with some friends today so I could sand instead, and it’s hard. I’m still building my daily life as a young adult, which is often more than enough to deal with, so I must be crazy to be building a HOUSE on top of normal life. I don’t know how other people manage to get big projects done while still balancing their everyday lives. Little by little, I suppose.

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Something else I’m starting this month is a shopping ban, inspired by Cait’s at Blonde on a Budget (and she’s Canadian too 🙂 ). I spent way too much money last month, and even though I’ve made decent progress putting money towards the tiny house, I want to pay it off faster than I have been. So, I might do this for just May, or maybe I’ll do it for 3 months, or six months, or a year! The idea is to only buy the essentials – food, basic toiletries, and gas (plus bills). You can have an “approved buy list” for things you know you’ll need soon, but I haven’t made one yet and I’ve already bought enough recently. I think I have enough stuff at the moment!  You’re also allowed to replace anything that gets worn out or breaks. But really, you get to make your own rules for what works for you.

For my shopping ban, I’m focusing on not buying physical things that I don’t need. Going out to restaurants and treats from the corner store are permitted (within budget), while clothes, crystals, and knick-knacks are not. I will be buying books occasionally, but then taking them into the used book store to swap for different ones or donating them. I want to read more, so that’s why I’m not restricting myself as much for books, but I will also be going to the library more often. And the one extra I will be spending money on is my hair. 😛

I find that every time I got out, I come home with things I never planned on buying, and I want to stop doing that. So I’m going to avoid the malls and even when I do end up there, I’ll know that I’m not allowed to buy anything, rather than thinking, meh, why not buy this? My tiny house is the reason. My future is the reason. Travel, a car, a motorcycle, an education, land, these are all things I want to save for! Since it seems like I can’t differentiate between what I need and what I temporarily want, I’m doing a shopping ban to break the habit of mindlessly buying random stuff! I have no space left to put all the crap I buy! I’m so lucky to have as many clothes and shoes and beautiful things as I do, I should be grateful for what I have, instead of passively browsing for new things.

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Lastly, I’m starting a Facebook page for my little house. 🙂 I’m shy about sharing all the details of my life with the acquaintances I have on Facebook (this blog is for close family and interested strangers 😛 ), so I’ll be using the page to give people a look into what I’m up to without having to get into everything. Plus it will be good for quick updates. I’ll post on here when that’s up and running! Thanks for reading!!

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SketchUp Model!

I have FINALLY finished a 3D model of my tiny house framing. It’s been a long journey.

I have tried using SketchUp multiple times over the past few years. I watched tutorials and attempted to make a 2×4 but I’d get frustrated and give up. Whoever created SketchUp must have a completely different way of thinking than I do, because I found the functions to be so counter-intuitive. I preferred drawing with my own hand (and a ruler) on paper so I could get exactly what I wanted. But the engineer I’ve been working with doesn’t like my amateur drawings, and I refuse to pay someone to do “proper” drawings. So, one of my goals for this winter was to try again with SketchUp and make a model that would be easier for the engineer to officially approve. After a lot of yelling at my screen about the stupid functions, it’s done!

Here are some screen grabs of my progress 🙂

Sketchup March 17

Sketchup March 18

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Sketchup April 8

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Surprisingly, the rafters ended up being the easiest part. Let’s hope that’ll be true in real life too when I start putting them up! I did find two mistakes when I was putting this together. My math was slightly off for the studs above the wheel wells, so they were just a little bit taller than the regular studs. That explains why it was so difficult to get the top plate down in those places! The other is that I’m just missing a stud for a rafter that I can add in.

I don’t know how several tiny housers have done their whole design on this program. This is as much as I plan to do on this model. But it was cool to see it come together and think, “I’ve already built this!” 🙂 I sent the file off to the engineer, and she already reviewed the structure before I built it, so I should just get an official stamp of approval back. It’s a huge relief to have this checked off my to-do list!

Quotes

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult." - Seneca

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris