If I had a hammer…


I got a terribly exciting surprise today. One of our neighbors became so enthused with the idea of my tiny project that he and his son took it upon themselves to drive down to the local hardware store, purchase a whole slew of useful tools and equipment, and showed up at the house this evening to present me (flabbergasted) with it all.

Through this amazing act of kindness I acquired a pretty kick ass tool belt, hammer, screwdriver, exacto knife, tape measure, folding chair, table, tent shelter for shade and a pair of stupendous American flag suspenders.

I donโ€™t think it was just this entirely unexpected shower of gifts that left me smiling for the rest of the day. It was also the fact that someone who probably should have thought the idea of an inexperienced, 23 year old girl building her own shoebox house on a trailer was a bit odd had total faith in me. Enough faith to go through all the trouble of ensuring I had a good start for my adventure. Sometimes encouragement comes in the form of a wooden hammer and very patriotic suspenders.

Thank you Rion and Anthony, from the bottom of my house ๐Ÿ™‚

ย ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย 

34 responses »

  1. See! “Build it and he will come!!” That is truly incredible, but the fact that you are 23 and a girl and all those other things is why people will flock to help. It’s so cool that you took that kind of initiative and the fact that you bought that trailer and what you went through to get it, shows blind faith on your part, so it all aligns itself and time and time again, you just keep getting these confirmations that you are on the right track!! That is so awesome! Congratulations!!!

  2. I feel as enthusiasic as you! I just found out about the little houses a couple of days ago from my daughter and she found it by accident, but she showed me and I was so excited. Recently I told her that I want to be like a Turtle and carry my house around with me. Your generation has got the right idea and I’m so glad to see it happening and you are in the beginning of a new way of Living “like really living!!” :). All of this, living for a dwelling and it’s belongings just doesn’t seem like living to me. I am a nature person and that’s another reason that it just resonates so loud also. When I told my daughter about your blog and what you are doing, she got excited too and we both want to come up and help with the project.

  3. That is sooo amazing of them!! Hope you’ll let them be the first people you make a cup of tea for in your teeny weeny hoose. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hi Ella,

    I am sitting here with Richard, just home from the farmer’s market and seeing your mum…she hooked me up with your blog…she is very proud…and we are having a great time reading it
    thru! Good for you! This is the way to achieve greatness…jump in with all you have and you will live life with gusto!!! And believe us…this is the ONLY way to live!
    Good luck and we will continue to check in with your blog to see how things are coming!

    Love, Catherine and Richard Henry

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  6. Just found your blog. I love it when women transcend gender boundaries and do things that make them happy. Enjoy the project, and don’t worry about anything. You’re bright enough that you’ll either figure it out, or you’ll find someone who can offer the right kind of advice or expertise.


  7. Hi Ella,
    For a person who does not know about carpenter you sure having looking real good. I am sure the challenge will be in the plumbing and wiring plus the heat source you will need to keep comfortable. What do you plan to do next in the build, and when you get finished with the build?You are very pretty lady and I am sure there has to be a fellow in your life. Build it and they will come… I like that and I like the moxsy you are putting into this build. Keep up the great work and let see the progress to finishing, I like seeing what people have built. I am planning on building one too, soon when it gets a little bit warmer.

  8. Your story, your house, your joy are all very encouraging! I’m 22 living in Santa Barbara trying to start my own building project on a fencel. I am at ground zero with nothing but the plans. I am so encouraged by your boldness. Way to go sister.

    • If you can find someone else to share your excitement (preferably one that has lots of tools if you don’t) then I totally believe it to be possible for anyone with the will. I’m so grateful to have my dad with his knowledge and garage full of wonderously helpful implements of carpentry, and between the two of us it’s really working out quite well. I think the second person is really important, because as much as I love my house and doing things on my own, it is invaluable to have someone else to hash ideas out with. I don’t know how I (personally) could have done it without him. Best of luck with your house! Should you have a question that I would likely know the answer to, let me know ๐Ÿ™‚ You can do it!

  9. Hi Ella,
    I just wanted to say “WAY TO GO!!!” I’m excited for you and your little house. What an adventure.
    To know every detail of your house that you built with love… incredible.
    Best Wishes and Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚ Jeanine

  10. Love to hear about this kind of adventure. Hope to build one on a lot we own in Hawaii.
    Very rural and on the big island where the common folk reside<: This is a concept custom fitted for our time. We, like many salt of the earth Americans, are older, have lost our home and nest egg, and have health issues. Too bad our leaders keep giving tax money away to banks instead of using a portion of it to lend any type of support to this worthy grass roots life choice. Still, it has always been up to individuals to make changes against the flow when necessary. Keep it up!!!

  11. Constance! You are 100% correct. Our taxes are being used to support a dying system of government crime and criminals in Washington. There is a reason DC is the most crime-ridden place in the US. I, too, have lost much of my retirement and want to downsize to a tiny house. We need people just Ella, tens of thousands of them, to do just this: build your own house and own it, do not let it and its contents own you.

    I think we all may be forced into downsizing even more.

    • A little Green Dream: Am interested in learning about safe options. But must be wise, for example one “green” push asks that we replace incandescent lite bulbs with CFL’s. One has to wonder who is tending the store? CFL’s emit toxic mercury gases in small amounts. Breaking one puts you at further risk. And then, we dump discards in land fills and further contaminate our soil and water. But hey, like using the germ killing hand soap, we tend to trust that which is generally accepted. Since I have immune system cancer, though no zealot, I am acutely sensitive to environmental toxins.

      These little homes are not just mortar and wood….this, as you touched on, is a lifestyle shift, and for some of us it is more pressing than ever. I can do little just now but take in information….but this is a serious task too. We hope to build in about 18 months and without work, are finding it impossible to save any money. We are overqualified for most openings in our field and age discrimination is alive and well in the USA.

      The more you own, the more you own owns you.

      constance in Phoenix,

    • MJ, I have chemo-brain, (coined that 10 years back when doc’s said there was no such animal)in addition to ADD and Dyslexia….I did not catch your mistake…..close enough for government work!


  12. Where are you inyour project now? I have a Dream of a Tiny House and I am a Lady who her daddy raised her to be strong. I am planning on attending a seminar and get started!! Only I am 54 not young!! Let me know how it is going!!

  13. This beyond inspires me! I am a 25-year-old outdoors lover and I have recently fallen in love with the tiny house movement and it seems to fit my climbing and skiing lifestyle but I was wondering if I’d have the ability to pull it off – thanks for posting on your experience! I can’t wait to see you move on in your journey as I’ll hopefully have mine on my way in due time!

  14. I am goingto have a tiny house.I don’t know how but it is that which I give my intentions to.I love the tiny houses of Sebastipol(sp?)
    I also get goosebumps when I see an airstream.
    I am so ready to simplify my life.
    I am post crainiotomy for brain cancer and my doctor just said I am cancer free and whatever symptoms are joyous because I have moved out of wait and see to SURVIVORSHIP!!
    mORE ON THAT LATER BUT i LOVE YOUR INTENTION and I will hold it with you

  15. Everyone must have received their copy of Cabin Life this week! My husband and I were just talking about what options we might have when the last of the kids graduates, we sell our current house and move ‘most of our time’ up to the lake place. Don’t want to rent or necessarily own a too big second home, want to travel and have less maintenance….this is the perfect solution! You are an inspiring young woman. Glad to see you have the gusto and determination!

  16. I JUST discovered your blog, Ella, so I’m starting all the way back at the beginning! My husband and I are very interested in the tiny house movement and are considering downsizing once he finishes school. Your blog is just the ticket for inspiration and motivation!! I am so impressed that you had the gumption to do this at such a young age! Kudos! I hope you love living in Little Yellow ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for blogging about it to encourage the rest of us ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Your adventure is truly inspiring!! I am truly wanting to take a similar journey but with more involved. I’m 32, married and a mother of 3 boys that are 17, 13 and 5. But I am determined to not let that keep me from this pull to shed all the weight of clutter etc. I have looked at a lot of floor plans which are more suitable after our 17 yr old heads to college next year. I love everything about the TinyHouses! It makes me feel like I could be a kid again with that awesome playhouse I always wanted. (:

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