Mystery of the Gypsy Vardo Solved

Lloyd posted this post a little over a year ago; we just received a letter from the builder, Cennydd Rees, with a little info about his build:

Hi Lloyd,

Just to solve the lovely little mystery on your blog, ’tis I, Cennydd Rees. It’s my little bowtop hybrid or camping karutsa. I live with my Bulgarian girlfriend and two children in an equally tiny house in northwest Bulgaria. I am a designer/builder and am now making a much tighter version of the karutsa in your blog.

Just had two families staying here. One a surfer/designer friend doing a Euro tour with his family in his converted van. The karutsa is a subtle twist on the standard gypsy-style wagons, and I am hoping to make a small living with the now mk3 version. Just enough.
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Tastefully Built Shipping Container Home

…The shipping container, which was on the property when Troy Walker bought it, provides the solid anchor for the house but is in fact less than half the floor area. Troy is a boilermaker by trade so he knows how to work with steel, cut out the side of the shipping container to open it up, and used the pieces to build the bathroom. The rest is welded up from steel to fit around the windows. Everything is found and recycled…

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Island Soul

I don’t see any boards, but these guys gotta be surfers. Somewhere in Kapa‘a, Kauai. Authentic, yeah?

What I like here (aside from the soulfulness):

  • Hip roof, corrugated steel sheets
  • Porch area by subtraction. Think of it as the overall simple roof shape; then by moving walls inside, you get porch.
  • Up off ground on simplest of foundations.
  • Colors: red/green. I love the brick red color, especially window trim on Pacific west coast.

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Learn to Timber Frame Book Review

Will Beemer of The Heartwood School for the Homebuilding Crafts was kind enough to send us this amazing book on learning to build using the timber framing technique. I have always been amazed by this particular process of framing, watched a ton of YouTube videos on builds using this technique, but never really understood the process fully.

I now know about wood selection, the tools needed, layout and cutting, framing, sills, joists, braces, etc. This book gave me a great starting point for using timber frame building techniques. Thank you so much Will! Can’t wait to start a project!

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Nomadic Tiny Bookshop on Wheels Wandering Through France

Electronic books have captured a big part of the market in recent years. Yet, despite the popularity of e-books and e-readers, people still love their real-paper books.

Combining both the love of books and the charm of tiny houses is this hand-built tiny library on wheels in France. Called la librairie itinérante (“the travelling bookstore”), it’s been constructed by Romain Saunier and Pauline Fagué of La Maison Qui Chemine, a young couple who wanted to meld their skills in carpentry and interior design to create functional yet beautiful tiny homes. Their latest realization for a bookseller named Jean-Jacques is a mobile place that brings books to villages that are too small to have their own libraries or bookshops…

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California Today: A Housing Fix That’s Close to Home

264-square-foot accessory dwelling unit in Livermore that was designed by Avava Systems, a Bay Area startup. Sasha Moravec

In The New York Times,
article by Mike McPhaite

In case you can’t access the entire article, here it is. This is important! Can it be that officials are doing something relevant for affordable housing? Small Homes!

One fix to California’s housing crisis could be in our own backyards.

A growing movement of urban planners is pushing policies that would spur homeowners in hot housing markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles to create “granny flats” on their properties.

Known officially as accessory dwelling units, they typically take the form of garage studios or backyard cottages that can be used by an elderly relative or a college-age renter.

Until now, California cities have not taken to the units with the same gusto as other places on the West Coast such as Portland and Seattle. That’s in large part because the cost and red tape involved in building them has been prohibitive for many homeowners.

But in January, legislation went into effect that was intended to change that, by eliminating certain utility connection fees and removing a requirement to add off-street parking for each new unit.

The idea was simple: Make it easier to build the units, then watch the housing stock soar and the rents fall.
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Exquisitely Handcrafted Eco Tiny Home on Wheels



When you first walk into this home, it’s hard not to be taken aback by its striking beauty. It’s not often you come across a tiny house, or indeed any house for that matter, that has been finished to such an incredibly high standard. Perhaps even rivaling the home’s build execution, is its design with every inch being cleverly and effectively utilized.

It’s hard not to notice the impressive use of timber in this tiny house. The vast majority of this home has been crafted from timbers that have been reclaimed, wonderfully reconditioned, and then given brand new life in this build. By no means is this home a throw-together though. All of the fittings, joinery, and components have been sourced from sustainable, artisan, and local sources. The quality of this home is impossible to ignore…

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Beautifully Converted Bus



From modern live-work spaces to family-oriented dwellings, we’re seeing a number of beautifully renovated interiors inside buses that have been converted into tiny homes. But what’s great too is that each vehicle has its own fascinating story behind it. Take Denver, Colorado’s Charles Kern of Art Builders Guild, a professional bus homebuilder who first built his own home on wheels a few years ago, using a bus that has quite a history.

Charles tells us that he converted a bus for a simple reason: he needed a place to live as a cash-strapped 20-year-old philosophy student, and as someone who was knowledgeable about buses for over a decade, it seemed like the best solution. Charles relates the story behind the bus that he calls The Queen — a 1982 Bluebird Bus on an International Harvester chassis…

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Life Aboard an Epic Sailboat in Japan



People don’t often associate Japan with life on a sailboat, but the country is rich with incredible places to explore via the great ocean. Daniel Springett and his family of 5 (plus a dog) have been traveling the world on their stunning 55 ft. James Warram–designed catamaran, but for the last couple of years have called the Inland Sea of Japan home.

This stunning vessel is named Tiare, the Polynesian word for flower, and has been home to the Springett family for the past 6 years. The boat was purchased in Thailand and for 5 years the family sailed the world before settling for a time in Yuge Island on the Inland Sea of Japan…

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