Relaxshax's Blog

Uses for Broken Glass? Readymade Magazine
May 28, 2010, 10:20 am
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Aside from Dan Akroyds “Bag O’ Glass” skit on Saturday Night Live, and the scene from Jean Claude Van Dammes “Bloodsport” where they dip the fighters’ hands in wax, and then in broken glass (yeowch!)- finding a use for this often discarded stuff is TOUGH!

Hey, if a Five-Year-Old, can do it....(recycled glass hot-plate)

Enter: Readymade Magazine who have been having a competition (a real cool idea), for the BEST uses for broken glass. Check it out their GLASSPHEMY contest, at

Anyway, the hot-plate, pictured above, is something (its dated on the back) that I made when I was five! lol. Its still working, in one piece, and REAL easy to make- especially if you made a mosaic, more-skilled, pattern with an array of more interestingly colored glass.

Its simply glass set into wet plaster of paris, in a used chinese-food tray (as the mold). Uber-inexpensive too!

I’m not going to win, nevermind even coming in 78th place, but figured the idea was neat, and simple enough, to share, as this tiny house blog goes hand in hand with recycling.


Also- this memorial day weekend, I won’t be around as much, so I’ll pick up on the blogging, come tuesday. Have a great weekend!


Snail-art house in Mexico….(ferrocement construction)
May 27, 2010, 2:38 pm
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Mexico's Snail/Nautilus House

(Sorry to bury my youtube video post (NEW episode) so soon! Scroll down to the next most recent entry to check out some kayak-island-hopping in Maine, with some tiny cabins featured)

As for THIS bad-boy…..I’ve recently been pretty fascinated with the free-form building capabilities of ferrocement construction, and came across this little gem online just the other day. I’d have to say, THIS is one of the cooler, if not COOLEST houses I’ve seen. Talk about having a wild sense of imagination! -That, or a sizeable addiction to mind altering sustances…. Long ago, I sketched up a micro-housing plan/kid’s fort drawing for a Snail-looking cabin titled “Slow Livin'” (which’ll be available in my NEXT tiny houses/homes book), but it pales in comparison to this. LOVE IT! To the builder of this one, I salute you Sir/Miss!

The Author's Snail design (to be included in my in-the-works, follow-up book)

Mexico’s also home to the Richie Sowa Bottle Island- another one of the more interesting and/or free-thought construction-ideas out there! I’d gladly drop coin to tour either one of these- in a heartbeat.

Unplanned Flip-Camera “Tiny Yellow House” Episode (well, kinda…)
May 26, 2010, 10:31 am
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NEW EPISODE….with a brand new design/cabin sketch from my forthcoming micro-housing book….

I scouted some land (a lake island) in Maine with my brother (with the intent of building a ultra-tiny 2 person, prefabricated sleep-cube on it), just last weekend. On the ride up, we impulse-bought a Flip Camera, and decided to try it out, chronicling our cabin-land-search. We shot a few lake cabins (one a really cool A-frame) and small house exteriors, AND shot a whole other INTERIOR episode on one of Balch Lake’s cabins (which you will LOVE, once I get it up and running).

All in all, THIS NEW VIDEO is a test-run of a lo-fi version of our show, and being happy, all things considered, with how the camera worked, we might shoot these lower resolution (still in HD, actually), hokier episodes as a tangent show called “The Suburban Redneck”- so as not to completely confuse people between the video-quality of the two shows. Who knows….or maybe we’re cool with confusing people.

Sadly though, although we were the very first offer on the land, and offered full price, the realtor skunked us, delayed putting in our offer, and apparently took the next (later) person in line who wanted to buy the two offered islands together, “sight unseen”. I think it was a case of blowing us off to consolodate paperwork on his endas he wouldn’t have made a massive percent off of such a small sale.

     May this dishonest, inconsiderate, money-grubbing realtor, and the new yuppies buying the land, get severe cases of poison ivy! Although I’m sure the new buyers have no idea any of this happened, so I’ll wish them a more mild case of poison ivy. Lol. Seriously though, I guess it wasn’t meant to be, and man oh man, its tough to find a good, honest, realtor these days. For those up in this region, lets just say that this realtor’s name, first and last, could very well be a McDonald’s breakfast menu item. As for the realty company, it very much so rhymes with “Goat And Cow”…..

Ah, I’ll probably just call the guy and company out soon enough, as they really screwed us and wasted our time.- then gutlessly let us down with an email, as opposed to any kind of phone call at all.

The trip was a blast though, and I’m not the kind to hold any kind of grudge (for much more than a decade or so…). Kidding…


MY “FREE-osk” Kiosk….a mobile sleeping cube/cabin…
May 25, 2010, 2:32 pm
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     What with shooting several “Tiny Yellow House” videos lately (see the previous entry), working on a follow-up to my small homes book, taking care of my kids, and getting geared up to eventually head to my camp in VT (for yet ANOTHER show shoot) and some serious d.i.y. work, I’ve had little time to get the ball rolling on SEVERAL micro-shack projects I have lined up, but here’s one of ’em in its infancy stage (which, you guessed it, will be part of the follow-up book to “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks…”

    It doesn’t look like much now, but believe me, when done, it’ll be hard to miss- and obnoxiously eye-grabbing. The front opening is actually a huge recycled storm window, there will be an entry hatch from behind, several flip out/swing out shelves to display goods-for-sale on the exterior, a washing machine salvaged door/window, and a later-added foot-space extension (either built from wood, or a 55 gallon barrel), so that the rolling shelter (on “curb-culled” bicycle wheels) , can be sleepable, if need be.

Truth be told, the plywood wasn’t free, but all else (esp. the interior frame wood- all forklift pallet and free “junk” wood), was- so this shack’s name is a misnomer of sorts- and will change, once I get a better one. “The Boxy Lady”? Anyone? Anyone? (cricket….cricket…)

PS- those Ryobi batteries keep crapping out and not holding a charge- what the heck? Its my second pair of them too, and they’re not even that old! Grrrrrrr….. I take good care of ’em too- temperature/storage-wise and all.


Jay Shafer Interview Shoot for “Tiny Yellow House” TV (and my Solar Pot Roast)
May 24, 2010, 8:07 pm
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How’s THAT for two completely unrelated things!

Jay Shafer of The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, with Derek Diedricken (author of "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks...", and THIS blog- duh). This was one of the more serious moments of the episode/interview....

Met with Jay Shafer of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company in Boston yesterday, after his seminar on small house building (sold out), and had a blast yackin’ with and yuckin’ it up on camera with the guy for the show (“Tiny Yellow House”- a forthcoming episode on youtube). It was great to find Jay an incredibly friendly person, as well as a real laid back individual who offered up a wealth of tiny house and tiny living knowledge (as you’ll see once we get the segment edited and posted).

We also shot two other episodes of our micro-living show over the weekend. These shows were with myself and my brother, Dustin, hosting, as we explored the islands and cabins of Balch Pond on the Maine and New Hampshire border. What a place! Those episodes will stand as “ghetto-versions” of the show, as we never intended to shoot any material, but after buying a Flip Camera on a whim, hours prior, two really fun, goofy episodes materialized out of the situation. Those Flip Camcorders are GREAT! Especially considering the price- not mega-high-end, mind you, but great for capturing video on the fly. So….don’t expect the work of Felini, but the ideas and lake cabins are all there! Soon….soon….once we get some time to edit.

As for a follow up on my solar cooking expedition with “The Hot Pot” (past blog entry) I ordered from– friggin’ amazing how hot that thing got! The 4 pound pot-roast cooked in about 4-5 hours (more or less the same length it would have taken in a conventional oven), and came out GREAT! Real tender. I’ll be doin’ it again, and messing with other dishes real soon.

Solar-cooked Haggis, anyone?

Jay Shafer of the Tiny Tumbleweed House Company on “Tiny Yellow House” TV
May 23, 2010, 10:21 am
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A Jay Shafer ENESTI Tumbleweed spin-off/alteration home....

So….after getting back from a mere 16 hour excursion in Maine and New Hampshire with my brother Dustin “The Goon” Diedricksen, to shoot TWO spur-of-the-moment “Tiny Yellow House” segments (one on a tiny lakeside cabin YOU’LL LOVE (The West/Bergeron Cabin), the other on micro island-hopping (and cabin peepin’) and checking out a prospective tiny piece of land we might buy to build a micro-cabin on), I’m off in mere hours to shoot an interview with Jay Shafer, as he’s in town (Boston) for his seminar/classroom tour.

     Oh yeah, played a gig with my band Age Against The Machine Fri night too….so, we’ve been through 3-4 states all in 48 hours- with THREE shows shot! Sleep will have to wait. BIG thanks to Mike Amato of Jordom Pictures, who is being hired out for this Shafer shoot, as Regular Steve Sherrick (Obscure Knowledge Productions), is on a film shoot in Philly gettin’ his cheesesteak on!

A fully functional micro kitchen inside the ENESTI

Anyway, looking forward to it (the Shafer Shoot)- and he seems like an incredibly friendly guy, so it should be real fun as well. We’ll hopefully have it up online for you soonish- once I get a few more ultra-tiny-affordable backers for the show, who want exposure to thousands and thousands of people (so that I can pay for the equip. and cameraman, etc)- as always, if interested, Heck, maybe we can work you into all THREE upcoming shows. In some cases/shows its only $75 a spot to get word out to ALOT of people.

My hand’s on fire! Solar Cooking/Heat 101 With My New Rig…
May 20, 2010, 9:59 am
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Hot Pot cooker from here's a case where SOLAR GLARE in a photo is actually a GOOD thing (it means this lil' sucker's working!)

So I recently picked up a solar cooker “The hot pot” (from – which comes with a multi-sided, foldable, aluminum reflecting cradle, in which you sit a double walled (one nested within another) cook pot.  I do have to say, as it sits outside my house right now, doing all the work, I’m VERY impressed with its quality and ease of use. Right out of the box, I was set-up and running in literally, 60 seconds, and for once(!), as opposed to what you see online, the product was actually WAY BETTER built and more durable than what I had expected.

The HOT POT has only been sitting in my front yard for 30-40 minutes now, and when I went outside to check it, and touched it- YEOOWCH! It was hot as all “heck”! So seems like its working REAL well (and presently cooking a 3 pound pot roast for tonights dinner- which other wise would take 3 hours of electicity(!) in the oven).

As I keep messin’ around with solar cooking (and its ties to low-impact (low dough) living, I’ll be harpin’ in to let you know the progress. I’ce additionally completed my own hokey, homemade solar cooker (complete with a $1.00 tag sale mirror), which I’ll post more on, after I toy around with it a little. Ultimately, the homemade cooker will be built into my new micro-shelter creation (on its roof). Here’s one of the stage-shots of the cooker (which’ll yup, probably find its way into my NEXT micro-housing book).

Homemade Solar Cooking Rig (in the works)- made from TRASH/leftovers

This cooker above (now almost complete) was made for under $10.00 (actually, a grand total price of under $6.00!). All the wood is from salavaging/dumpster-diving/curb-culling (Hey, I think I just coined a new term!), and the two glass plates that will cover the cooker were grabbed from the roadside as well (old glass doors for a stereo/soundsystem rack). So far, when testing it, WITHOUT the reflective mirror, and without yet sealing/gasketing the way the glass sits (to prevent heat loss), this oven has reached 225 degrees- so I have some work to do- but am looking forward to the challenge.

And remember, the EASIEST solar heat utilization of all (save electricity and money) is to line dry your clothes! Try it- even just a few times this summer! And spread the word….