Relaxshax's Blog

The Teranubo tiny house/treehouse/home exhibit photos
November 7, 2010, 8:16 am
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"No linebacker-sleepovers allowed"

My Belgian counterpart Diederik sent me this… (thank you!)

I have a few of these pictures in a book that I own (somewhere- the Ruth Slavid one? Can’t remember), but here are a few new angles of a very unique (yet, unstable looking) treehome/treefort built by the artist Teranubo. I think the treehome is meant to be more art and sculptural than utilitarian, but I could be wrong….

Also- I just finished the (now sadly out of print) book “The Naturalist’s Cabin” by Cathy/Kate Johnson. Its a great book- in the observational style of Henry Beston and H. D. Thoreau, but more modern/less dry (not to insult the clearly-influential work of two icons). Cathy also vividly depicts just how strenuous and grueling (yet hugely rewarding) it can be to built a cabin or homestead far off in the middle of the woods- something I know all too well. Cathy/Kate will also be lending some tiny house advice, alongside many others, in my new edition of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks…” when it ultimately comes out….some photos of her cabins too. You can check out her blog at . We also have many photos of it in past blog entries this past month.

And yes, still could use a few more tiny house/cabin/shanty/shedworking photo submissions if YOU would like to appear in the book as well…

The end, ladder-access area- is a segmented tearoom- also entered through a tiny, tiny door in the second floor...

I have a sketch of something similar to this (possibly for the new book)…. but regardless, I love the organic feel/look of it, whether practical or not

I also was sent the Colin Beaven book and dvd “No Impact Man” and watched the documentary last night- pretty cool/ballsy- and I’ll touch more upon that later- AND review it in another soon-to-be-shot youtube episode of “Man With The Ugly” hat- a goofy attempt at my trying to make book reviews on “film” more energetic and less Steven Wright/Droopy Dog.


My sawdust/bucket toilet for tiny houses, campers, boats n’ cabins
November 6, 2010, 8:42 am
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I saw a post on Kent Griswold’s blog the other day on composting toilets, which lit a fire under my own arse to finish-up and finally post an old mini-video I shot on my own composting/sawdust toilet- a la Joseph Jenkins’ “The Humanure Handbook” (inspirationally). Growing up in the Boy Scouts (I’m an Eagle/Troop 491- CT) we often used the woods, the one-arm treehang method, or occasional “two-holers”- so with that background, this isn’t much of a far cry from those “avenues of disposal”. For others this might understandably come off as gross or bizarre- their loss. Its not. It saves a ton in water, sewer bills, and additionally can be a source of garden compost.

The Author's/Derek Diedricksen's Sawdust/Bucket Toilet

Here’s a still photo for now from my tiny finished basement (the door in the shot and the tiled floor-entry are all recycled throwaways- as are the materials for the toilet (wood, seat, bucket and all!).

We’ve been using this now for a long time and it doesn’t smell, and has been a great alternative for a 2nd toilet in our small home (4 of us, and one HUGE dog- no, he doesn’t use the toilet- I wish!).

So- Video’s coming pretty soon….


Author/Tiny House Fanatic Mimi Zeiger- and her take on “the life”…
November 5, 2010, 6:46 pm
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    I recently talked to/interviewed Mimi Zeiger (author of the VERY cool coffee table book “Tiny Houses“, freelance writer, Dwell Magazine contributor, honcho of, and general workaholic) and she had these tips to offer when it came to getting by in small spaces/tiny homes….

"Tiny Houses" By Mimi Zeiger


Double Duty: Living in my small studio means that some things have to do double duty, like my table. Placed lengthwise in my space, one side serves as the kitchen table, one side is my office. When friends come over, I move my laptop and move the piles of papers.
Library Card: I love reading novels, but I don’t have a lot of space for bookshelves. I take full advantage of the Brooklyn Public Library. I can get almost any book placed on hold for pick up at the Central branch. Can’t wait for Franzen’s Freedom to come in.
Coffee Shops: My biggest vice is coffee, luckily I live in a neighborhood full of cafes. When my apartment feels cramped, I escape to Smooch for cappuccino and wifi.
Go Vintage: A friend once advised me to buy vintage furniture because it retains its resale value. I don’t have any plans to sell my four white Eames shell chairs, since they happen to be be my favorite item in the place. They are a bit unwieldy at times, but they add a lot of mid-century designy character to the place. My 60s credenza (a Craigslist find) has lots and lots of drawers to store hats, scarves, knitting supplies, and dishtowels.

Micro-Green by Mimi Zeiger (out March 22, 2011)

Her latest offering “Micro-Green” is also available for pre-order now on


Cleaning House (well, online)- tiny house photos of interiors/exteriors
November 4, 2010, 6:41 pm
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My computer is getting bogged down from the huge array of inspirational/cool/unique tiny house, shack, fort, shed, and treehouse photos that I’ve saved over the last two or so years….SO, here and there, without real rhyme or reason, I’m going to give some of these the light of day (or the light of day AGAIN) before I delete them, and/or send them off for use in my book…

Here’s a few for starters…

A French Caravan Interior (gorgeous!)- I see Tinyhouseblog also posted on this recently- but I can't help but put it up here anyway.

Treehouse Interior

"Cave" home from the recent cover of "YES! Magazine"

Topaz Lake (CA) cabin. I've always though the chiminea-to-woodstove (interior) conversion would work, but never tried it. Here's someone who has. Looks pretty cool too (and very budget friendly, as long as its secure).

Jon Giswold's Acme all-in-one kitchen unit in his log cabin


Relaxshacks: For tiny houses, shacks, shanties, caravans, vardos, huts, shantyboats, homes, forts, small, micro, dwelling, dwelling portably, rvs, campers, vans, micro-architecture, cabins, treehomes, treeforts, treehouse, clubhouses, playhouses, mini, not-so-big, tiny yellow house tv, retreats, cottages, trailer homes, mobile homes, small apartments- we’re looking for photos of all in those categories….

A new cabin in the schemin’ works- and a treehouse new blog…
November 3, 2010, 9:03 am
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A Bee hotel from Wudwerx on

First, since this blog isn’t always just a tiny house/home/shack site, and we often deviate into sustainability/outdoor living- I figured I’d show you this tiny little “Bee house/hotel” for gardens. More so, its from a maker on, a site showcasing handmade goods (which I’m sure you’ve heard of), and the whole “return to handmade goods” concept is something I really appreciate and stand behind. This particular little house is from a company called “Wudwerx”- based in Scotland(?). I’ve seen many beehouse designs, and even have one sketched myself for a future mini-book, but this is the nicest, and more original one I’ve seen yet. Lotsa drillin’ involved….


SLOWLY, I’m working on another blog “The Toadhill Treehouse” based on an endeavor both my neighbor will hopefully be undertaking come spring (if we don’t kill each other first). My neighbor is Paul LaCivita, who plays “Disgruntled Neighbor” in a few of my “Tiny Yellow House” TV episodes on youtube. Yeah, the guy who gave me a black eye in Episode #1 “The Hickshaw” (which is for sale on by the way).

For starters- we’ve started accumulating and/or taking tabs on what salvaged materials we have….a oak french door, slider set, well over 10 windows, many steel doors, vintage n’ funky furniture, a HUGE pile of 100 year old wainscotting/bead-board, a deck’s worth of 8-year old pressure treated bullnose decking, oiles of dimensional lumber and pallet wood, and much more (ALL of it FOUND for FREE!). The goal will be to see what we can come up with, while using as many salvaged/recycled materials as possible.

Our project will most certainly be filmed for “Tiny Yellow House” as well…


A Swedish half-underwater inn/micro-hotel/house
November 2, 2010, 9:49 pm
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"The Utter Inn"- underwater micro-lodging in Sweden

Saw this on a bizarre-travel site, and also recently on Alex Pino’s tiny house site I KNEW there had to be something like this out there, as I already have a few sketches of likeminded plans that will either be in the re-release of “Humble Homes…” that I’m working on, OR “Humble Homes 2”- or whatever the heck I’ll title it in the year 2019…

Anyhow, its  great little concept- I just hope the floatation/drag math has been accurately worked out, as one dip, or sizeable wave, and you’d think the access tunnel/shed might take on some water. That said, I’d love to see this in person someday, although I’m sure the wait list is growing by the minute. $160 a night doesn’t seem so insane either.

The water seems a lil’ murky in this photo-The reviews do claim that many fish can/will be seen though….and cement shoed Swedish mobsters (did I say that out loud?).


Neil Browne’s Old Colorado Desert Digs (off-grid/earthberm house/home)
November 2, 2010, 7:11 pm
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Neil sent me this photo, alongside some very cool (and talented) sketches of his (which I’ll have to showcase at some point in time)- its (the photo) his old Colorado Desert Home, that he and his family lived in. He no longer resides in this handmade home, but at some point, regardless, I’ll have to get a little more information on his experiences off the grid, as I’m sure we can all learn from them and would be interested to hear his take on things.

LOTS of other cool submission photos have come in too (keep ’em coming! some of which will make the 2011 edition of my book through The Lyons Press- and others, at the least, I’ll try to give a little screen time to. Thanks to all!