Ok, long overdue life update: we’ve moved. Moved as in moved location and moved as in out of my beloved Little Yellow. It feels as odd to write down as it does to live it, but it’s in the very best of circumstances, so read on.
Shortly after our 5 year tiny-versary in October, we found ourselves with the sudden and unexpected opportunity to move to the most darling house, firmly attached to the ground a few miles down the road. Suddenly and unexpectedly again, everything continued to work out in just such a way that move, we did, and have been settling in beautifully these last 6 months.
I’d never been all that bothered about houses, but this particular one was vibrantly different from the stuffy, cookie-cutter boxes of my distasteful recollection. It is a slightly wonky, 118 year old, wood shingled house of funk with an actual tower. A tower. Like in fairytales. (I am contemplating growing my hair long enough to be Rapunzel already).
Little Yellow served us so well these years, but I admit I am guiltily enjoying having working space (and space between things in general). It feels bizarrely luxurious to have things like ovens and indoor refrigerators and flushing toilets and internet….and not having to cut fabric on my car. And the incalculable sigh of relief that comes with living somewhere legally.
My view on the matter is that I built my tiny house to make my life easier, and for many years she did exactly that. At some point when I quit my ‘day job’ and my home also became my workspace and my workspace suddenly involved a bunch more harps and a sewing machine and hundreds of yards of fabric and the need for office space and reliable internet, this gradually became less and less the case.
Yellow herself is parked beside the new house and we will be renting her out with part of the downstairs work space soon so we can afford this madness, and she will again make my life easier. But I do miss my loft. I often cry when I go inside now. Bittersweet, as they say.
You change as you grow, of course, and my wee, humble house adapted to so much of my growth. I never intended to live there with someone else (did so for over 5 years), never intended to have a dog (we had 2 for a while there) never expected that sewing clothes for other people would be something I’d do (in moved the sewing machine and the cabinet and the fabric) and definitely never expected to start making harps (we do that now. They hung somewhat precariously from the ceiling). She really was the Mary Poppins carpet bag of living spaces.
More so than anything else, my own life goals were what outgrew the tiny house. When I began this journey, I figured I would set her down somewhere beautiful, live a small and simple life and that would be it. And it was for many years, til the creeping drive to pursue music and various other dreams (on a much larger scale than I originally planned) began to grow so rapidly that the intensity was almost alarming.
Despite all efforts to convince myself otherwise, ‘I’m happy doing local gigs here and there’ unavoidably became ‘I would like to pursue this to the point of becoming someone people would recognize, and if I don’t, I want to have tried’.
So, I’m trying.
Creativity wise, my growth has exploded in the new space. I released my first album in Feb and have secured and played over 20 gigs since then. I have written 6 new songs, been sewing and growing lettuce and hosting big brunches and finding a new version of myself that I’m liking quite a bit. Slow, sleepy days have become fast paced ‘you’ve got shit to do’ days now, and the change of pace is strangely relieving. Watching one’s own personal change is an odd thing…
Now that I have a harp that can travel with me, I’ve been booking little mini tours around visiting people or places I want to go. I went to Hawaii for 2 weeks in March and played a few gigs out there, and am headed for Kansas City, Missouri next week to do the same. My sister recently moved there from California last year (on purpose. Still trying to figure that out) so I’m off to visit for a few days and open for Irish singer/songwriter Keith Harkin at a joint called Knuckheads Saloon next Saturday, May 26.
Do any of you live in or near Kansas City? Would love to see you if you could make it, you can find tickets here or at the door. Also trying to fill the Thursday and Friday beforehand (May 24 and 25), if anyone has ideas or wants to host a house concert either of those days let me know…
Should you like to check out my music, the album is on itunes, spotify, google play etc, and physically here. I also put up a new music video last week which I’ve included below. You can join my mailing list via a pop up on my music website (ellaharp.com), or can follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (disclaimer, I hate twitter) for updates and such.
In tiny house related new, I was recently on Ethan Waldman’s new podcast if you’d like to hear me blather for a while and talk more about my adventures in tiny houses and where I am now.
This post feels oddly final, I don’t know if I’m allowed to continue writing on a tiny house blog about what I now call The Tiny Mansion. Will people throw proverbial tomatoes at their computer screens? How many of you have pitchforks? Do they still make pitchforks? Do people still react to things they find unpleasant with vegetable throwing and picthforks? Mostly I would so hate to have this post serve as cause for the often heard proclamation of ‘obviously tiny houses never work out’, but I will risk it.
My tiny house has anything but failed me. She provided exactly what I needed and continues to facilitate my forward movement, and that is such a beautiful thing. I would never be able to live my life and pursue the ever moving target of happiness as I have without her.
If it doesn’t seem to bother anyone too much, I may continue to share parts of my life, as this blog has meant so much to me over the past almost 7 years. If it does bother you, I just googled it and you can still buy pitchforks. Though I recommend searching for ‘pitchfork tool’ or all that comes up is music websites and horror movies.
Thank you all so much for reading my rambles, and your many words of encouragement over the years ❤
And that is the news for now. You can find me spinning around in circles and not knocking anything over.
I really felt like a hoarder trying to pack everything up out of the tiny house but it all fit in the back of the truck and in my car’s cab, so I can’t be that bad
Sewing and music room ❤
One of the last projects at Little Yellow in her old spot, stay tuned. Photo by Cass Cleave
My love, and our dog and harp baby. Photo by Cass Cleave
The beautiful beach I can bike to
She’s on the move
I was in the SF chronicle leading up to my album launch. It was super exciting
KC here I come! Photo by Cass Cleave
Plane coming in over the harbor
A SoFar sounds gig last month in SF. Photo by Andrew Robles
Album cover, photo by Cass Cleave
My wee window office