GRP's Tiny House - Chapter 1

By Missy Schenck

As a child, fairy gardens and houses occupied hours upon hours of outdoor play for my siblings and me. Extraordinary fairy gardens were built with items from nature. Acorns, leaves, twigs, seashells, rocks, moss…just about anything we collected sparked our creativity and we never tired of making these whimsical fantasy lands. My mother assured us that if we built it, they would come. We never doubted her wisdom. The fireflies confirmed it.

It is no wonder that when I saw my first Tiny House two years ago in Silverton, Colorado I was totally captivated; a fairy house for adults!!! Outdoor Research’s Alex built this incredible Tiny House to travel the U.S. in search of BIG snow and skiing ambassadors for OR. His writer girlfriend Mollie and his filmmaker brother documented it all. Son-in-law, Stephen Mead, was sited by OR as a skiing Ambassador.  (See OR’s site for video footage of Stephen and the Tiny House in Silverton. http://www.neilprovo.com/2012/01/outdoor-research-sidecountry-sessions.html)

The entire OR team ended up spending their Christmas holidays with our family. Their tiny house story was my Christmas present.  I was passionate about wanting to build one; I was not the only person in our family who felt this way.   Daughter Anne and  her husband, Stephen, were hooked, too, and we set our sites on a Tiny House for GRP.

For a little over a year, I’ve followed The Tiny House blog and frequently visited the Tumbleweed Tiny House website and Facebook page. Pinterest was introduced to me and pinning Tiny Houses on our GRP board was a natural.  Anne began researching possible grants for funding it.  Stephen contacted OR to gather building information about Alex’s Tiny House.   The GRP Tiny House journey was underway.  

About 3 months ago, I noticed Tumbleweed was offering a Tiny House workshop at Warren Wilson College in Black Mountain, N.C. in mid March. I gave it to myself for my 60th birthday. It was amazing! There were about 70 people in the class and everyone wanted to build a tiny house. Foundations, roofs, framing, insulation, wiring, plumbing, sheathing, tools highlighted the discussion lists. Environmental sustainability topped the list of priorities for building a Tiny House. Recycling and reusing materials were important to many…twigs and acorns could work!

Most of all I learned there was a community of environmentally conscious folks who wanted to build their dream Tiny House. I feel certain my mother had no idea that fairy garden inspirations would lead to this! Perhaps her father’s architectural drafting table and mechanical pencils did. Yes, I’m sure of it.  My sketch pad is full of designs. Time to talk to a Tumbleweed designer and get on with the GRP Tiny House plan. "Where there is a will…there is a way. " The will is here, now we just need a way to build it.   We can do it… stayed tuned for GRP Tiny House Chapter 2. 

(Missy checking out the Tiny House at the Tiny House Worshop at Warren Wilson College in Black Mountain, N.C. )

Tiny House Workshop Photo