plans

the purpose of my blog is to document and share images, questions, ideas, information, discoveries, excitement and events as i journey from dream to reality with my tiny house theater

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Things are really starting to move with my theater!!

i just found out that a big chunk of my funding is coming through next week!— hooray!

i’ve posted the preliminary drawings steve made below, and we are fine-tuning everything with decisions about the doors, windows, roofing, flooring, cabinets, loft, and more

it’s funny how things don’t seem to be moving much, then suddenly they move fast

one of my tasks this week is to look in to my carpet— i’ve decided to go with FLOR carpet tiles, not just because it is a great product, but for the amazing commitment the company has to sustainability— they are actually a carbon neutral manufacturer, and they have a new initiative, climate takeback, to prove that companies can even be carbon negative!

here is a short youtube conversation with the current ceo, jay gould

i am wondering if maybe they would sponsor me??

guess i got a letter to write!

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i really love trees!

the purpose of my blog is to document and share images, questions, ideas, information, discoveries, excitement and events as i journey from dream to reality with my tiny house theater

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they give so generously to the world— and at different points in my life, i felt my only sustaining relationships were with trees

on wednesday, i met with jared roth to talk about a special tree for tiny house theater

jared creates beautiful, found wood art with driftwood and reclaimed wood— i’m imagining one of his amazing pieces in my theater

he had lots of inspiring images to show me, and we spent time envisioning how this special tree would come into form

jared’s art is dimensional and has lots of curves— i can just picture people of all ages running their hands along the contours of my special “spirit” tree, communing with it and bonding with it

i’ve been thinking how to handle logistics come june and i think i’m going to rent a uhaul truck

then i can bring lots of my puppet stuff and the basics for camper life— i can also bring the panels jared will make for my doors and steve can mount them!

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behind the wheel!

i’ve hit some speed bumps in the last month or so— but, i have decided on my truck!

i went back down to salinas mid-december, and kris answered a few follow up questions, then i test drove the ford F550

it was actually very affirming getting to drive that big truck and realize it’s really not all that different from driving my car— i’m just a lot higher above the road, and it’s noisier

and interestingly enough, it looks like i might be getting a 550, instead of a 450— one of my speed bumps has been the timing of my funding and thinking i was going to need to order the truck from the factory— this was really stressing me out, since the lead time for that is 4 months— that meant even if i was able to order it right then, i wouldn’t have my truck till at least april

but steve has found one with everything i need out there in colorado, it’s just a 550 instead of a 450— funny how that is the one i test drove :)

my other big speed bump was that i ended up having to postpone my trip to colorado :(

so, cheryl and i have been talking by phone about the roofline, the type and color of roof, water or no water in the trailer, loft configuration, doors, windows, floors…

and my trailer is ordered and being built right now!— it will be finished in a couple weeks and they will start working on tiny house theater for real!!

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truck talk

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the purpose of my blog is to document and share images, questions, ideas, information, discoveries, excitement and events as i journey from dream to reality with my tiny house theater

a couple weeks ago i finally made it out to salinas to visit the commercial truck dealerships for ford and dodge— it was a great experience!

first i talked to kris at salinas valley truck center and got the dirt on GVWR and CVWR, which are the most important numbers to start with

I got to see the chassis i’ll be getting, and see the 12’ bed where my new home will be built

then i went over to talk to delilah at my dodge, knowing by then, after my conversation with kris, that i was pretty much committed to the 450 ford or 4500 dodge

delilah had a lot of helpful info on towing with my new truck

they say these work trucks are “rough” but they look amazing to me!— some of the folks i’ve talked to in my process were suggesting these work trucks wouldn’t have the level of comfort i would want, but sitting in them, they are awesome!— and you can get so many options

i think the last thing i have to work out is the back window, so i can have a little doggy door going into my camper from the truck

my last action is to go out and test drive both these vehicles, which i’ll do next weekend, then my truck research will be over and decision time will be here, but i’m about 85% already there

just need to confirm by getting behind the wheel :)

ford or dodge???

ford or dodge???

dreaming of ostheimer

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it’s only a couple months till i’m in colorado with steve and cheryl of tiny diamond homes to finalize the plans for my theater design!

i’m already thinking about paint colors, roof color, door color, floor color, truck color— because i love color!

also thinking about the ostheimers i’m going to have in my theater— i spent over an hour today looking at all the figures on their website and trying to decide on the scenes i want all around the walls

ostheimer wooden toys were first made in 1939 in germany, where they are still made today, with a dedication to work as social life, giving children the best, crafting by hand, awareness of real quality, sustainable production and making new things possible

i first saw these figures in the school store at the waldorf school of the peninsula back in 1998 when my daughter started second grade there

the store has since been named “hearts delight,” but back then it was just “the gift shop”— simply walking into that cosy space full of delightful treasures filled up something inside me that yearned for beauty and authenticity

for my birthday that fall, i asked for one of those wooden figures— a bare tree they call the bird tree, and an owl to sit in the tree— that was the start of the collection i have now— when my youngest left waldorf after 8th grade, my collecting pretty much stopped, and most of my figures had been put away since we moved out of our big house when we came to santa cruz

but a couple years ago i got them out and put them up along the top of the desk hutch and the armoire in the family room, and somewhere along the way i decided i wanted them in my theater— they are simple, warm, comforting, and magical— and that is a pretty powerful combination!

i have a lot of basic landscape pieces, and now i get to add more people and animals!— i’m going to have a castle scene, a farm scene, a forest scene, and some fairytale scenes, as well as a few other things

i can’t wait!

my ostheimers

my ostheimers

i got my plane ticket, my airbnb, and my rental car!

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i’m going to colorado right after christmas to meet with cheryl and steve and finalize the designs for my traveling theater and my truck camper

we’ll have two whole days together to dream and sketch and get super excited about this amazing project!

along the way here, i’ve done some sporadic, fitful poking around about the truck i’m going to need to make all this go, literally!

now it’s time for me to buckle down and do the research i need to do to find the right one

i’ve talked to a few folks and gotten a bit of input, but i really need to set aside some time to read through truck stuff on the websites of ford, dodge and chevy

tonight, i’m taking some time to look at their websites

talking to cheryl last week, she gave me the contact info for showroom transport, the company she and steve use to get their tiny house builds where they need to go— cheryl says they are the ones i need to talk to about my truck

i’ll let you know what i learn!

looking at trucks!

looking at trucks!

in the beginning...

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a couple years ago, i posted a blog on my old website about tiny houses

you can see it here :)  http://www.madronedardenne.com/tiny-houses/

when i wrote that blog, it hadn’t been that long since the existence of tiny houses first entered my awareness— i’m not sure how i first heard about them, but i’m pretty sure it was a book i saw in bookshop santa cruz, which some of my classmates coincidentally gave to our dear puppet teacher, suzanne down, at the conclusion of our year-long puppet training in july, 2015

the idea of them put down roots in my imagination

at first it was just a tiny house on wheels, but somewhere along the way, i began to visualize a tiny house traveling puppet theater!

since i posted that blog on march 4th, 2016, i’ve been on a slow but steady march toward tiny house acquisition

in november, 2016, i attended one of tumbleweed’s now extinct weekend workshops and got pretty excited— i was going to have them build my tiny house, since i realized early on that building one myself wasn’t the right choice for me, but that didn’t work out

in october, 2017, i went to the tiny house jamboree in dallas and subsequently discovered zyl vardos— i thought he would be my builder, but that didn’t work out either

then, in december, 2017, i had an epiphany, thanks to a christmas card from my cousin, about separating the living area into a truck camper and having the entire trailer be the theater!

and somewhere around that time, i discovered tiny diamond homes, and steve and cheryl coates

i looked through their website— i read the testimonials— i called and talked to cheryl about design, and i talked to steve about trucks

this past summer, in august, 2018, on the way home from puppet boot camp, i visited cheryl and steve!

things are getting serious between us!— cheryl and sharon, her assistant, are creating a file for me and my dream of a real tiny house theater!

(there is supposed to be a picture here of sharon creating my file— i’ll post it when cheryl sends it to me :))

wildflowers at chautauqua park in boulder, colorado— i got to spend some time exploring the gorgeous trails here when i was in boulder for puppet camp.

wildflowers at chautauqua park in boulder, colorado— i got to spend some time exploring the gorgeous trails here when i was in boulder for puppet camp.

my first tiny house theater blog post!

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the purpose of my blog is to document and share images, questions, ideas, information, discoveries, excitement and events as i journey from dream to reality with my tiny house theater

“Once upon a time, there was a little girl who believed in magic. She colored magical worlds with her crayons. She built houses for the fairies in the sandbox. She went on magical treasure hunts in the forest, and she talked to the animals and the trees.

Many times she was told that magic wasn’t real, and as she got older a strange thing happened: slowly she lost her way to the magic inside her. Then the girl grew sad, and she stopped coloring and talking to the trees.

But the magic was always there inside her, just waiting.

The girl became a woman, and one day something amazing happened. The woman saw a puppet show, and all the magic inside her came alive again!

The woman began to sew colorful quilts, and she planted a garden. She wrote stories and made puppets of her own. She began to share her love of nature, her stories, and the magic inside her through her puppet shows. 

And she had a very magical idea! She wanted to have a tiny house puppet theater that would travel the land, bringing magical stories of nature, wonder and imagination to all.

That girl was me, and that woman is me! Welcome to the magical world of Tiny House Theater. Follow along here as I turn my magical dream into a reality!”

I wrote this at the final, 4-day writing intensive for my year-long “Walkabout Tales” writing course with Suzanne Down and Juniper Tree Puppets. Christine Summerfield came and gave us a day-long presentation on writing a blog and it was just the inspiration i needed to get me going on the blog I have been wanting to start for awhile.

You can meet Suzanne here: https://junipertreepuppets.com

And Christine here: https://www.wiselilystories.com


this beautiful image of the forest of pennsylvania, where i grew up, is from http://www.forestwide.com

this beautiful image of the forest of pennsylvania, where i grew up, is from http://www.forestwide.com