• Subscribe to
    Lloyd’s Blog via RSS.
Instagram
  • Check out TheShelterBlog.com
  • Tools for the
    Half-Acre Homestead
 

French Carpenter Seeking Work In California/Oregon/Washington This Summer

Yogan is an accomplished timber framer (and treehouse builder) from France. His work has appeared in our last two books. He will be traveling along the west coast this summer and wants to hook up with builders, home owners, homesteaders, and/or people of like interests. He's open to any kind of arrangement, including working for room and/or board.

You can check out his work here: yogan.over-blog.com

From Yogan:

Hi friend builders, carpenters, inventors...
   I'm Yogan, a carpenter of south west france,
   I'm coming in August, September and October to walk on the west coast, from California to Seattle. My goal is to meet, visit, help, places and peoples where there are amazing shelters, cabins—in the woods if possible.
   If I could find a community of carpenters living in cabins in the forest,  it would be perfect!
   I'd also like to go to any carpenter or timber framers' meetings.
   I will be hitchhiking frequently with my backpack and accordion! You can email me at: Yogan Carpenter <yogancarpenter@gmail.com>


Reconditioned McCormick Farmall Cub Tractor

These tractors were made, basically unchanged in design, from 1947-1964. They pulled 12' bottom plows. They were versatile and used on smaller-scale farms.

In Pt. Reyes Station

Doug Macleod — "Chill on Cold" (Blues)

Our Next Book - SMALL HOMES - Now In Production

I started 3 days ago. My M.O. is to open the file drawer and start picking out folders (there are 50-60 now) to work on.

I pick them out randomly and start doing layout— with scissors and removable scotch tape. No stinkin computers at this stage.

I print out the text in 3 & 4 columns, adjust photos to desired size on copy machine, and do rough layouts.

This is turning out to be really fun. We've accumulated material for maybe a year and now, the book is starting to assemble itself, in random manner. Organizing will come later.

Note: contact us if you know of small homes (400-1200 sq. ft.) that would work in this book:
smallhomes@shelterpub.com

We are especially interested in any kind of homes in cities and towns.


The man who grows fields full of tables and chairs

"At first glance it is a typical countryside scene. Deep in the Derbyshire Dales, young willow trees stretch upwards towards the late spring sun. Birds, bees and the odd wasp provide a gentle soundtrack to the bucolic harmony.
But laid out in neat rows in the middle of a field are what appears to be a rather peculiar crop.
On closer inspection these are actually upside-down chairs, fully rooted in the sandy soil.
Slender willows sprout out of the ground then after a few inches the trunk becomes the back of a chair, the seat follows and finally the legs. The structure is tied to a blue frame and the entire form is clothed in leaves.…"
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32977012
Sent by Jonathan Greene

Building a Primitive Wattle and Daub Hut From Scratch


"I built this hut in the bush using naturally occurring materials and primitive tools. The hut is 2m wide and 2m long, the side walls are 1m high and the ridge line (highest point) is 2m high giving a roof angle of 45 degrees. A bed was built inside and it takes up a little less than half the hut. The tools used were a stone hand axe to chop wood, fire sticks to make fire, a digging stick for digging and clay pots to carry water. The materials used in the hut were wood for the frame, vine and lawyer cane for lashings and mud for daubing. Broad leaves were initially used as thatch which worked well for about four months before starting to rot. The roof was then covered with sheets of paper bark which proved to be a better roofing material. An external fireplace and chimney were also built to reduce smoke inside. The hut is a small yet comfortable shelter and provides room to store tools and materials out of the weather.…"
Sent by Jon Kalish

Four-Year Old Readers of Our Books

 It's surprising how many little kids love our mini books. This is Oliver. He and his family came to my book signing at the Mother Earth News Fair in Oregon last week. He went through it page by page.

Small Home, Small Town, Oregon

Simple roof shape, easy-to-build dormer for light in 2nd story, shady porch…

101 Alpacas on Oregon Farm

Actually, it's more like 120 alpacas here. I ran across this wonderful operation last week in the Willamette Valley south of Portland. For one thing, they grow barley sprouts to feed the animals—25 tons a year—something they tell me is being done on large scale by some dairies, especially in Europe. It's not all the food for the animals (they also graze), but a significant amount—high in protein, produced on site, a win-winner. No fossil fuels used.

They were shearing the alpacas and I shot photos.
Wings and A Prayer, 18100 S. Hwy. 99W, Amity, OR 97101
http://www.wingsandaprayeralpacas.com/index.html


Foster's Treehouse (#5)

You get to the first treehouse (where Foster lives) up a steep ladder, then from here, up a glue-lam-beam curved staircase to a middle hexagonal platform (where in the photo of Foster, we were sitting and watching the sun set over the tree tops). From there it's a bouncy (scary) cable walkway to the upper hexagonal treehouse (2nd photo), where I slept in the loft. Carpentry everywhere is meticulous—tight joints. even of compound miters. This ain't scruffy hippy carpentry.

Foster Huntington's Treehouse (#4)

I'm just starting to work my next book, Small Homes, and still swamped catching up with all the notes I made to my recent trips to NYC and Oregon. My problem right now is too much “content.”

An example is Foster Huntington's quite incredible compound built on a knoll in the Columbia River Gorge, about 45 minutes northeast of Portland. I wish I had time to do a feature article on this treehouse/skate park/hot tub complex that has a 360° view, which includes the (white) tip of Mount Hood and the Multnomah Falls (500+ feet tall)—I'll get around to it eventually.

In coming days I'll put up photos from my visit with Foster. If you're interested, here are a couple of links to Foster's latest projects, a film on Vimeo chronicling the months of treehouse construction, as well as his KickStarter campaign for a book on the same subject, which has already generated (ulp!) $58,000 (his goal was $30,0000).

https://vimeo.com/129335481

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fosterhuntington/the-cinder-cone-build-book


Selling the City Condo And Now Living On A 42' Salmon Trawler in British Columbia

Hi Lloyd,

Julie May is a 42' salmon trawler built in 1968, at Port Alberni Engineering on Vancouver Island. The boat was commissioned by Peter Mayede, a Ucluelet BC fisherman, who fished the boat off the west and north coast of Vancouver Island for the next 30 years.
Julie May was then sold to Lyle McMurdo, a retired logging company engineer, who spent the next eight years converting it to a live aboard yacht. Lyle was meticulous and exacting and did a wonderful job of following the original lines of the boat and converting her to pleasure boat use.

Jude Brooks and I bought Julie May about eight years ago, having finally decided to give in to a life long ambition to live full time on the water. We had previously built and lived in an 800 sq ft float house but, had moved to the city and really did try to join the rest of our generation, buying a condo and working full time. That lasted about a year, but the real estate market in Victoria BC was booming right along at that time, and the sale of the condo financed the purchase of Julie May.
More photos and text:

My Bedroom in the Trees Last Night

More to follow on Foster Huntington's unique tree houses. It was in the high 80's yesterday and Foster and I went swimming first in a swimming hole in the Washougal River, then in the mighty Columbia.

Old Train Station in McMinnville, Oregon


Small Town (Oregon) Small Home Symmetry

Bilateral symmetry includes the landscaping. I would bet that the owner of this house is very orderly.

Tonight in A Treehouse

Foster Huntington and his 4X4 Toyota camper truck were featured in Tiny Homes on the Move. Turns out that:
1. Foster's treehouse is pretty close to Portland so I'm on my way there now to hang out and spend the night before flying home tomorrow.
2. Serendipitously, this article on him appeared in yesterdays NY Times (with great photos by Kyle Johnson):
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/style/escape-to-bro-topia.html?hpw&rref=fashion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

Weather has been really hot. I've been swimming in the Willamette River every day. It turns out to be a pretty clean river, cool (maybe 65 degrees) in 85 degree air temp.

Abandoned Home Near Independence, Oregon

Nicely designed old home. Note the way the plane of the roof extends to form the porch roof. A stairway led to two upstairs bedrooms. There was a brick fireplace.

When I go inside places like this, I can feel the lives that were lived within.

Old homes designed like this show the cluelessness of almost all homes designed these days by architects.

Tale of Two Cities

As much as I love NYC and New Yorkers and the ultimate big-city stimulation and delight and inspiration, I get an almost punch in the stomach when I come over the mountain and see the Pacific Ocean. Home! I just barely got back into California mode when I took off for Oregon. Coming down yesterday, everything looked so green, especially compared to parched California.

Portland is as sweet as ever. It's so mellow for a city. In fact, Oregon and Oregonians are mellow. The Feng Shui of the whole state is right. (When I first came here in the late '60s a long-haired guy came up to me when I was getting gas and handed me a freshly-rolled joint.) After coffee at Stumptown Roastery yesterday, I headed out to the coast, where it was windy and wild. Miles of sandy beaches, off-shore rocks, and a medium-sized swell.

I decided to head back to McMinnville, followed a curvy rural road west, checked into McMenamin's Oregon Hotel, a venerable 4-story brick structure built in 1905, then headed out to the Golden Valley Brewery, where they make all 10 or so types of tap beer they serve. The bar (shown here) was salvaged from a hotel that burned down in Portland. The owner, Peter Kircher, has a nearby ranch where he raises vegetables and beef for the brewery; they feed spent barley from brewing to the cattle—nice cycle.


Notes From Trip Last Week To NYC

(While waiting at the SF airport for a flight to Oregon.)
3 really good places to eat:
-Cookshop, 156 10th Ave (at 26th St.)
-Rosie's (Mexican), 29 E. 2nd
-Saigon Shack, 114 Macdougal
Great brewpub: Cooper's 8th Ave. between 18th and 19th
On Monday night I was at W. 4th and W. 11th and it was surprisingly quiet.
"Cheers" in Irish is ""Slainte," pronounced "schlancha."
China had a huge presence at Book Expo America. Over 500 people, and their extensive stand seemed to take up 20% of all the space in the hall. They had ongoing, well-attended author appearances.
Good, inexpensive classical Chinese massage, China Tai Ji, 57 W. 8th St, betw. 5th & 6th Aves. Great way to loosen up after a flight.
Citymapper is a free phone app for NYC (and other select cities). You punch in where you want to go, and it gives you directions for walking or public transport, as well as Uber rates. For subways, iTrans NYC is good and costs a few dollars.
Eric Leemon, a TV producer living in the West Village says that NewYorkers are friendly and I agree. Spaces in restaurants and bars are so tight that you sit very close to others and it's easy to get into conversations. Everyone is helpful if you need directions. Good vibes my whole week there.

The East River Ferry is a great way to get to Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Terminal at East 34th Street on the river. Sure beats the subway on a hot day.

One bartender to another at Cookshop: "I mean, he was off. I don't know what he was on to be so off."

When I get to Portland, first stop will be Stumptown Roastery, then Mt. Tabor to skate. Then I'll head out to the coast.

Back From NYC, Off to Oregon Tomorrow

What a jet setter! Home 2 days and then on an airplane again. To the Mother Earth News Fair in Albany, Oregon (about an hour south of Portland). On Saturday, June 6, at 11:30 AM, I'm doing a presentation on Tiny Homes on the Move; and on Sunday, June 7, at 10:AM, "50 Years of Natural Building." Both at the Renewable Energy Stage.

These Mother Earth News Fairs are great events. Good vibes. Lots of things I'm interested in. Chickens, sheep, gardening, farming, building, homesteading, cooking, renewable energy, to mention a few. They're like super-size county fairs.

Info: http://www.motherearthnews.com/fair/oregon.aspx

I'm getting in 2 days early, and taking my skateboard. Renting a car and probably heading out to the coast and driving south. I'll be looking for hills to skate and hunting for barns to photograph. Quite a different kind of trip than NYC.

As usual I have a ton of photos and notes from my NYC trip and will try to get some of it out before too long.

I have a big note next to my keyboard, "No appearances rest of 2015." I'm going to take a break from publicity/marketing when I get back and get a bunch of things done at home, including homestead chores, crafts projects, more fishing—and getting going on layout of Small Homes, our next book.

Music del día: Phil Spector, 1961-1966. What a genius! (at that time of his life). Da Doo Ron Ron, Be My Baby, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah…

Cathedral of St. John the Divine—Ugh!


I went there on a hot afternoon to get tickets to a free concert that night and wandered around in the cathedral. I don't like it. It's just big, is all. Huge, tall, imposing. It doesn't have the grace of say, the Wells Cathedral, or the King's College chapel at Cambridge. It's one of those Chistian monuments meant to impress its parishioners by sheer size. Worship us you dumb shits, for we are indeed mighty—and give us your money. (There are certainly other aspects to this mighty edifice, such as its tapestry collection, bronze doors, organ, concerts, and certainly its present day stone masons that seem commendable, but this is just my untutored human reaction to the feeling I get standing in the main vault.)

The high stained glass windows are really too high to see, and I much prefer geometric shapes (like these) to biblical scenes in stained glass.

Brick Buildings in Greenpoint Neighborhood of Brooklyn



 I took the subway out to Greenpoint yesterday. I was a hot, muggy day, so I didn't cover a lot of territory, but it looked like there was a lot of fine architecture and building in the neighborhood. It's the northernmost part ofBrooklyn. I got back on a ferry -- cool on the water.