deek deidricksen

Tiny House Fair: Day 2

Dustin and Deek Diedricksen of Relaxshacks kicked off Day 2 of the Tiny House Fair by sharing tips for building creative small shelters with salvaged materials. In addition to laughing hysterically  because these guys are just so darn funny, I found myself marveling at clever ideas (stretch band bookshelves, a salad bowl sink, and windows built from serving trays, entertainment cabinet glass,  and front loading washing machine port holes). I also loved the vocabulary lesson. Deek uses the phrase "space-efficient" just like us Portlanders. But he also uses the following new-to-me terms which I intend to begin using immediately:

  • "the hot dog approach" - using the whole piece of lumber or every part of a found object
  • "ground bound" for wee structures attached to a foundation instead of a trailer, skids, or a tree
  • "free-form building" for tackling a building project with no plans
  • "turnitecture" for transforming furniture

I wasn't surprised that Lloyd Kahn is one of Deek's greatest inspirations. Still, it was nice to have Deek share a reminder that sometimes the design for a structure presents itself when a great found object beckons. My own tiny house design evolved from a window I found one day when I wasn't looking.

Later in the morning Abel Zimmerman presented tips on tool use for finish carpentry. Check out Zyl Vardos to see his beautiful work!

After a phenomenal lunch (did I mention the food here is mindbogglingly good?!) Alex Pino of Tiny House Talk offered practical tips on parting with our stuff. Here is a sampling of Alex's pithy wisdom:

  • "Tiny houses are a way of meeting our basic needs so we can contribute to our world"
  • "If you're trying to get rid of stuff, open a drawer and figure out what to get rid of... or, better yet, decide what to keep"
  • "If it's a valuable item, donate it to museum & give it to the world. They'll take good care of it & you can go visit."
  • "Ask yourself 'why do I have this? do I use it? how can someone else use it?' Then shut up and listen."
  • "What do you really love? A tiny house should help you get what makes you happy."

His talk sparked some good suggestions for downsizing from the audience. Dee chimed in with a reality check: "When we go to bed at night and get up in morning all we really have is our simple beating heart & whoever is leaning into us." True, that.

Later in the afternoon Mariah Coz presented information about the solar system for her Comet Camper. We had a chance to tour her place and a handful of other tiny houses here for the fair.

After a scrumptious supper we had 11 amazing presentations in what we think may have been the first ever Tiny House Pecha Kucha. With only 20 slides each and 20 seconds per slide it was a fast-paced glimpse into topics ranging from chicken coops to structurally insulated panels. Between great photos and renderings, laughter and goosebumps, it was a powerful session and I have a hunch it will be the highlight of the weekend.

Nevertheless, I'm thoroughly looking forward to today! I know there are more good conversations in store for all of us.