Relaxshax's Blog

Video- Use a 2-liter soda bottle as a 50 watt incandescent lightbulb hack
September 30, 2010, 12:27 pm
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“Use a 2-liter soda bottle as a 50 watt incandescent lightbulb/light hack” -For low-budget, and salvage construction of tiny homes, mortgage-free housing….

This idea’s been around for sometime- but this video (even while subtitled) is pretty decent. Thanks to Bryce for sending it!

My concerns….in freeze/thaw climates you’re pretty much screwed, and once the roofing-seal gives, its leak-city! Additionally, I’d think the sun would deteriorate the plastic after awhile. I’ve messed with this idea a little in the past, but as WALL lights, which sat under a protective (from rain) overhang- they worked pretty well- I’d rather use the same idea with WINE bottle though- the glass will hold up much longer- and retain/prevent heat loss a little better.


THE CLARK JUNGLE HAMMOCK at Make Magazine Maker Faire 2010- NYC
September 29, 2010, 9:38 am
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We shot loads of little flipcam videos at the NY Maker’s Faire 2010, where we displayed our portable, recycled-materials, cabin “The Boxy Lady” (which won a “Best in Show/Editor’s Choice Award“). This particular little clip is a showcase for a Clark Jungle Hammock that we brought to try out. It was a huge hit and hundreds had the chance to climb into it. The model is the NX-250- which you can check out (alongside many more models- including a TWO person hammock tent!) at

(PS- since a few asked- “The Boxy Lady” like all my little cabins on the “Tiny Yellow House” youtube show, IS for sale– its one of the few ways (aside from small advertisers) that I can afford to keep out REAL budget episodes running.

NEW issue of ReadyMade Magazine features my Book- and other tiny housing solutions…
September 28, 2010, 8:32 am
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GREAT issue- all on small space living ideas….

Als0 thanks to the McBrooklyn Blog – who featured my “Boxy Lady Cabin” display that I had at last weekend’s Make Magazine Maker Faire 2010. The Cabin took home a “Best In Show/Editor’s Choice Award” too- which didn’t suck.

Photo from the Readymade Magazine feature on my book "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks..."

The online version of the article also has a “Diedricksen Tips For Self Publishing” article as well….and interview I did with Alexa Fornoff

Derek Diedricksen’s Guide to Self-Publishing

“Self-publishing’s liberating beauty is that you can do as you dang well please and write what you choose, but consequently sell about 13 cumulative books (most likely to close family only) and celebrate with a feast of Ramen Noodles from the residuals and royalties.”

1. Set a deadline and just say no to the eggnog.
“My deadline for completion of the book ultimately became New Year’s Eve 2009. I initially tried to get the book completed before Christmas to surprise some like-minded relatives with it as a gift, but overindulgence on seasonal eggnog and Grandma’s egg white cookies slowed me down.”

2. Lose the distractions so you can get to brainstorming.
“It’s a combination of coffee, a love of reading, a mountain of already-brainstormed sticky notes (my office looks like a paper-laden crime scene of things I’d like to get to in my third lifetime), and hands-on building experience. It’s real tough to come up with 100 percent original ideas and approaches, but most of my best ideas come to me in the shower, while driving (when you have lots of time to think), and when hiking, alone, in the woods. The key is few distractions. For example, front row at a mullet-infested monster truck rally is probably not a hot spot for the ‘it’ idea.”

3. Know where (and how) to spend your bookbinding dollars.
“Each and every book is assembled on a tag sale comb binder that I found for $10, and I use a mom and pop printing company in my town. Even though I actually pay more by keeping the printing local, I feel like it’s worth it to help my ailing town as opposed to using overseas sweatshop-like labor to print books.”

4. Enlist an assembly team in which everyone has a job.
“When the book orders get frequent, we have a book assembly party. Even my three-year-old son is in charge of pulling on the lever of the hole puncher—just to get him involved—and he wouldn’t have it any other way.”

5. Shamelessly self promote and remember those who have helped you along the way.
“If you pitch through email, it’s easier for people to blow you off (unless you have a good header like ‘New book from Brad Pitt’s better-looking brother’). Try to hit up bookstores in person because it’s tougher for them to ignore you and it’s a chance to talk up your book to a captive audience. Don’t be cheap with ‘em, either (bloggers/magazines (with promo copies)). You’ll have to send out a ton of books if you want to get reviews and publicity. It’s painful at first, but every once in a while you’ll land a review or interview that’ll sell you a pile of books, which makes it all worth it. And always be nice to people—don’t forget your friends and thank those that support you in any way possible.”

For even more, check out “Tiny Yellow House,” Diedricksen’s multimedia foray into the documentation of pint-sized properties.



BACK from the INCREDIBLE Make Magazine Make Faire 2010- and feelin’ like a Zombie!
September 27, 2010, 4:55 pm
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Hard at Work, or Hardly Working? (At the Maker Faire 2010 in NYC- ATTEMPTING to catch up on sleep (which was difficult/humurous when people kept photographing us).

Thanks for your patience in the absence of posts these last three days, as I’ve been in NYC/Queens at the Maker Faire 2010 with my brother Dustin “Lurch” Diedricksen- havin’ a ball.

We have MANY videos of the event on the way, met some incredibly cool and talented people, received some amazing hospitality courtesy of Jon and Pam Kalish (Jon’s a NPR Radio host- with an ultra-cool, creative and funky Manhattan loft), consumed the largest bagels I’ve ever seen, AND won a “Best In Show/Editor’s Choice Award” from Make Magazine’s judges for our Tiny Housing Display (“The Boxy Lady”- a mobile kiosk and/or transforming cabin), which a few HUNDRED people had the chance to sit in and climb through. The above hammock, is a Jungle Hammock (Made in the USA), which we towed along- and became an added attraction, which another few hundred people climbed into.

Thanks to and for helping to spread the word on this event… We handed out some flyers plugging them, and others, in thanks for their continuous help with what we do. Please check them out!

And until tomorrow’s post (possibly some new video)- I’ll be doin’ some MORE nappin’. I’m a puffy-eyed, pale faced, mess right now.


New Tiny House/Homes/Cabins Book Review Episode on Youtube
September 22, 2010, 8:16 pm
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Just a lil’ caffeinated sumthin’ I posted on youtube the other day, so as to thank, and give back, to those authors out there who sent me their books for review. Any other bloggers out there, if you’d be kind enough to spread the word on this, repost, or whatever, it’d help out several very good people/authors- all of which could use your help I’m sure.

We WILL be shooting more review-episodes down the road, so if you have anything in the tiny housing, sustainability, shedworking, and/or light living realm, in terms of books, send away (well, email me first- Oh yeah- movies and videos too….we have a few I’ll review soon enough…

Some GREAT books this time around….THANKS TO ALL!

Lloyd Kahn- new video/interview of his homestead
September 21, 2010, 8:10 am
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Before Jay Shafer (Tiny Tumbleweed House Company), and before Michael Janzen, Kent Griswold, Gregory Johnson, Alex Pino, Myself, and many others were blogging, living, writing, and spreading the word on tiny living and small houses- there was Lloyd Kahn.

Here’s a great new video from this west coast originator…who, as stated before, alongside David and Jeanie Stiles, and Lester Walker- was one of the main inspirations behind my own book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts (And Whatever The Heck Else We Could Squeeze In Here)”….available through this site (for a limited time only now- I’ll explain later).

Back on track, this is A VERY WELL done video, I might ad…

480 square foot tokyo cabin! AND getting ready for our tiny-house NYC trek…
September 20, 2010, 8:34 am
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NYC trek-roadtrip with my tiny cabin (we need YOUR help- while we help YOU)- see the previous post….THIS weekend, we’ll be in Queens, NY for 3 days!

As for a cool shot/design, in the meantime….Here’s a modern Tokyo design I actually like alot. I find a good many of the ultra-modern Tokyo mini-houses to be devoid of charm and coziness (and anything to sit in/on), but this one has some simple lines to it, making it easy on the eyes.

The Mineral House In Tokyo- 480 square feet