Author Archives: Laura

About Laura

Laura is best described as a creative, engaged citizen and has come to the point in her life where she has earned the opportunity to do at least some of what she wishes. Currently, she lives in her remote, off grid, tiny house on an Eastern Ontario Escarpment. In the winter, she lives in Hamilton Ontario. Laura is a working writer who is progressing on the first, and second, of what she hopes will be many novels. She is also a painter who concentrates mostly on Kingston Area as her canvas. She is interested in societal equality, architecture, philosophy, feminism, people watching, dogs, animal rescue, ecology, as well as the generational ties between people. Laura has always been interested in peace and is a vegan, motorcycle driver with some daredevil tendencies. www.tinyhouseontario.com

The Cloth Porch Revamp

The cloth porch was looking really super rough!  The cheap fabric that I put on there a few years ago speed installed without any thought of how it would look because we thought it would only last a year and that it would just be a job we had to do over and over again.  BUT… it lasted seven years!

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The one wall that was not torn was seriously stained and grotty looking… and lets be frank here… because it was not ever installed right it simply looked like crap.

IMG_2730The other problem was that I had my 3 x great grandparents MASSIVE 12 person oak table in the porch so it was tough to move around.  Thankfully my cousin Albert took it and will refinish it, so I was able to free up some space in there!

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So H and I started building panels and stretching outdoor fabric on them, in much the same way that I stretch canvases for painting on.  Build a square and start, stretching and stapling.  All the old fabric had to be removed and many staples had to be pulled out.  Then, one after another up each of these stretched sections went in.  I went with a mix of plain and floral fabric because I used remnants that were on half price (of course) and I thought it would look interesting to have it divided anyway.

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So from the outside you can see through it a little bit more but it also looks nicer and matches THO better, I think.

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From the front, you can hardly see the porch now because it really blends into the background.

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The new tiny table that I bought for $40 in a second hand store is certainly more size appropriate!  The bench we build last year and the tiny chairs I took out of the dumpster.    Anyway, it feels so much nicer in the porch for sure!  The project has not yet been finished.   When it is done I will post more about it, including the cost of the project.

What is not done yet:

The back wall.  This will be done in the same fashion but have opaque fabric (because this side faces the out-house).

The roof. This leaks (not surprising since it is made of fabric and a tarp).  I hope to finally cover it.

The cushions.  For the corner bench.  I hope to get these sewn up this week.

The door.  The one I have has finished its life cycle and I have found all of the wooden doors are equally crappy in construction.   I am wondering if anyone has one of the composite doors?  I am thinking of replacing mine with one of these… but if I am going to use that much plastic stuff I want it to last.  Looking for opinions here.

 

 

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Rain on Snow

I have been at THO pretty much constantly for the last few months because I am working here in Kingston right now.  It has been interesting in a good way because I had only stayed there rarely in the winter before and so I got to experience the place in a different way.

A couple of mornings ago I woke up to rain falling on the snow.  There were big slow drops which on closer investigation were actually snow melt coming down and making holes in the small layer of snow that had fallen during the night.  The effect on the snow was really beautiful.  This photo won’t do it justice since it was just dawn on a dark day but I knew I would not get a photo if I waited for more light.  So here it is.

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I think this was not just beautiful, but it signalled the change in season. It is likely the last snow that will fall this season… or at least if we do get a little more… it will be short lived like this speckled batch.

It was a grey and wet day but I took a couple of photos before morning coffee and heading to town to teach.  It is so pretty and peaceful here and I like it very much here in the winter now too, thanks to the new stove.

The pileated woodpecker still does not show himself to me… he teases me by hammering just close enough for me to hear him but never in full view.  Still hoping!

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Tiny house, big woods

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Dickinson

I was surprised when my new Dickinson stove arrived.  I am not sure why, but I simply did not have a handle on what size they are.

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I chose the smaller of the two but I think I should have chosen the larger one… the stone work that I have on my house is not exactly easy to heat…

Still, if the temperature is not below minus ten it works well.  For colder weather I need more blankets or to vacate to a warmer home.  But it is nice to have heat that feels safe and comfortable.

I decided to put in an additional CO2 and smoke detector when I put this in.  Just to have back up.  It is a nice cheap safety step which I think one might as well do… just incase of battery failure.  So far, either of them have made even the slightest peep.

The heat itself is super comfortable.  Which surprised me.  There is no dampness and the fan keeps the air moving enough that the temperature in the house is consistent up and downstairs.

I feel like this was money well spent.

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Here it is before hookup.

See the water jugs near to the heater… They are about a foot and a half away since the stonework is deep.  This is handy to keep the water a little warm so that one does not have to use so much fuel to make tea or coffee.

 

I wish I would have gone with one of these first time!  Somehow the propane scared me… but I could have saved a lot of money and avoided the whole stone addition if I would just have followed what most do.  Oh well… life is filled with regrets and at least this is now right.

 

 

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Artist Drying Rack for Paintings

Have you ever priced one of these things???  UGH!  If you ever thought about buying a rack for this purpose, you will know they cost between $250 and $700 largely variable for size and quality.  On a scale of 1-10 on how hard this was to make, this one is a ONE.  All you need is a saw (or someone to cut four 6 inch long pieces), and a drill.

This drying rack has 8 three foot long bars so I can dry anywhere between 8 and 24 paintings at a time, depending on the size of them.  Cost for this was $0 and the time it took me to make it was 20 minutes.

I got the side rails for the crib from someone who turned the rest of theirs into a bed when their child outgrew the crib.  One man’s garbage is this girl’s happiness!  These two sides, and the  four pieces of 2×2 cut to SIX inches in length were all it took.  I drilled holes through the sides into the 2×2 (to keep the 2×2 from splitting, screwed them together, and that was it.

The only drawback to my free one is that it can’t be folded up and tucked away… but you could hang a blanket on it and leave it in your bedroom or use it for a magazine rack.  it is only 7 inches wide so, it does not take a lot of space and so it could even go in the hallway.

Mine will always be in use!  I am glad to have one and happier still because it was FREE!

FREE, FREE, FREE, FREE, FREE!

Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 6 Comments

Safe House!

Tiny House Ontario is made up of one tiny house, one blogger and a Facebook page which now has two admins.  Me and Lulu.

The plan here is not to make money (We don’t) but to promote tiny living as a viable option for Ontarian’s.

When I first started blogging it was just about my house, but as more of you started reading and asking questions I started talking more about movement itself and of course the following grew when I expanded my horizons.  I am just about to hit 600K who have put their eyes on my blog, which feels big.  It would be nice to have a dime for every one though, right?  HA!

Tiny House Ontario’s Facebook page has about 6000 followers now but Lulu and I have about 8000 people who we reach a week, so you are a pretty loyal following!   Thank you – it is numbers like this that make me think that we are doing something right here.

But going back a bit… as more eyes started looking at what I was writing about, I decided that I would not advertise and I would try to have all those fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants wannabes at bay.  This was largely to do with three very negative experiences in the very early days.  One from a guy who can only be described as a stalker that went on to ask a lot of people for personal information to build a community, another from a “business” that was threatening me because I would not promote after I had some bad feedback and another from a known accused pedophile (who got off on a technicality because his trial was not expedient enough) that wanted to start a tiny house community… Clearly, with these three cases, I believe that I would not be acting in good faith if I were promoting them, I stood firm and shut them down.   Though one of them is still out there exploiting the hopes of tiny house wannabes by pretending to be a viable option for those who wish to live tiny in Ontario… and the complaints about him are still coming in to me.

So, what do I do with negative comments about these folks?

When I get negative feedback from any sources about anyone who has involved themselves with the tiny house community in any way, shape or form then I am not going to share or promote them.  I also delete comments about them from our Facebook page.  This is not just because I think it is unethical to promote those who I understand to be maleficent.  Frankly this is a new movement – we don’t even have the ability to live in most municipalities yet, but there are a lot of people who think that they can grow cash quick by building and selling houses or by starting a community.  We owe it to ourselves and the community to make this way of life as safe as possible, do we not?  We owe it to those who come after us, to keep this community credible.

Am I right?

I hope so!  I would like to think that this vetting makes the sources that I give as being trustworthy.  I guess, what I see my role as, is that of a dispensary of the people’s information, and because I can only depend on the sources that give me information, I might not always get this right.  But rest assured, that at the very least I try!

Why am I sharing this information now?

Recently the audience here has grown and new people may not have read previous comments and posts where I give warnings.

I am just reminding you all not to spend your money or give out your information to anyone who claims to be a tiny house builder, community or voice of the community before you have fully researched what and who they are!  I was reminded just today that not all tiny house sites take their roll as a mentor as seriously as I do, so use your heads and do your research please!

Stay safe! ❤ L

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