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Godfrey Stephens' New 12' Pelican Sailboat

Godfrey sold his 39' junk-rigged steel sailboat and has down-scaled. I stopped by his place in Victoria yesterday on my way north on Vancouver Island and saw the work-in-progress. It's a total delight. Surprisingly spacious inside; he removed the centerboard (it's mounted on the side). He's got a sliding Lexan roof some can stay dry while sailing in the rain. Tiny stainless stove he welded up. All his carpentry is sculptural -- the structural pieces look like bones. More (much more) on Godfrey to follow. http://www.godfreystephens.com

Mud Girls Build Cob Stove Inside Yurt on Denman Island

At the Shanti House B&B on Denman Island: http://www.shantihouse.ca/

Einstein's Ice Cream Store-on-wheels

Old International Carryall

This was alongside a farm in the country this morning. It's kind of a perfect road warrior vehicle: the shape, the spaciousness and wood paneling on the inside. This one was beyond fix-up, but I bet there are some well-preserved specimens of this tuned-in design still floating around here and there. Would be a killer Baja rig.

Best Pie Ever in Victoria This Morning

I took a Beechcraft 1900C prop-driven airplane this morning from Vancouver to Victoria. One sparkling seaside city to another. This is such a wonderland of water up here, it's all breathtaking from the air…
   I have a radio interview in about 45 minutes at CBC Victoria, lucked out to find Bubby Rose's Bakery, and a piece of "Shaker Lemon Pie," I swear the best piece of pie I've ever had. More later…

Slide Show Last Night in Vancouver

The rain didn't hold back the people. Biggest crowd ever. By the time I started, the aisles were full. About 250 people. I signed books for maybe half an hour. These are my brothers and sisters up here. People kept coming up and telling me how they'd built things, inspired by our books. I was given photos of little homes and house trucks, a rare Bob Marley CD, and a little jar of cayenne pepper. Maybe a dozen people told me they were either building something right now, or about to start. I told them it's not that everyone has to live in tiny houses, what's important is going in the direction of smaller. Everyone likes the idea of no mortgage, no exorbitant rents. A definite measure of freedom in these trying times.

In the Land of the War Canoes

"Scenes from the 1914 silent film by Edward Curtis. Also known as 'In the Land of the Head Hunters.'"


Toronto’s Tiniest House

"Built in 1912, 'The Little House' measures 7′ wide and 47′ deep and is Toronto’s smallest home. The builder and well-known contractor Arthur Weeden built the home on what was originally intended to be a laneway to the neighboring house. The laneway was never built so Mr. Weeden built the tiny house and lived in it with his wife for 20+ years with a little garden behind the tiny house where they grew veggies and flowers. The house was almost completely renovated in 2007. What’s great about this home is that is makes use of a space that would have been otherwise wasted.…"

Rodney's Oyster House

Last night I met my friend Michael McNamara (who's in Builders of the Pacific Coast) for dinner at this lively place on Hamilton Street. Good local beers on tap, oyster paradise.

Barista Art on Thursday Morning

At Blenz, Hamilton/Helmcken streets:

Beautiful Boat in Vancouver Harbor

Go to the post page…

"Hi Lloyd & Lew,
On some of my recent wanders I have been finding bush crafter debris shelters within the woodlands. If you have a moment I thought these might give you a smile. It looks like some of the local kids have been building some of them (the one I call the tree hugge r) but the latest batch have been quite
large and well made. Perhaps it is a group of bushcrafters or scouts getting some practice or the kids are getting really good at them. I enjoy the fact that the ancient art of den building is still alive and well, it brings back fond childhood memories for me.…
As always, I am enjoying your blog and the shelter twitter feed. They both make a great bit of escapism in a working day!
Best wishes,

Two Photos in Harbor

Boats in Harbor

Check out orange escape boat on rear of tanker. Vawoom!

Giant tug boat. Cost $15 million each. (There are 4 of them.) For pushing oil tankers into dock:

BC ferry in dry dock:

Out in Harbor On Old Tugboat Today

Through my BC publicity angel Kim Herter, I got a tour (+ lunch) of the harbor in West Vancouver on Drew and Deb McVittie's 60-foot "steel coastal tug" today. Drew bought the tug (built in 1962) in 1997 and has been working on it since. It was an amazing couple of hours: the boat and all the work Drew has done on it, including installing a new engine, and all the activity and boats in the water and at dock. Piles of salt, sulfur, and wood chips; grain and oil tankers; lumber. Tugboats of varying sizes all over.
  They love the boat and it shows. "She's a real sweetheart," says Drew. "She's just so much fun." I'll post a few photos when I get time. Jeez, am I loaded with "content."
  After the boat ride, Kim and I went into downtown Vancouver, where I did a half-hour interview on the tiny homes book with Sheryl Mackay for CBC radio. It will air next weekend on the show North by Northwest..

Ukulele Version Honky Tonk Blues

Rainy Wednesday Morning Vancouver

I'm at Blenz Coffee in Yaletown. It wasn't until I set my latte down that I noticed the barista art. How witty! I went over and gave the barista lady a mini book.
   Last time in Vancouver I stayed at the Best Western Hotel on Drake St. Turned out to be right across street from The Yale Hotel, one of the best blues venues anywhere. New bands every night. A person could -- if person wanted to -- sit through a set, then at intermission retire to room across street, smoke a joint,and watch out window until band members went back in for the next set.
   Again this year I lucked out in getting a room (out of 4 possible street orientations) facing the Yale. But to no avail, boo-hoo, as the Yale is closed for a year of repairs.
   Here are a few photos. Cute little harbor tour boat, looks like the little boat that thought it could.
   In an hour I'm going out with friends on a vintage tugboat for a harbor tour (in the rain).

Natural Building Overview

Tue, 17 Apr 2012
"Hi Lloyd,
I'm sending you my 'labor of love'. My new video, Natural Building Overview, has been posted to YouTube. http://youtu.be/Ixq3cJHOCS8
I hope you enjoy it and will share.
Chris" (Dancey)

Nice House in Vancouver This Morning

From a Coffee Shop in Vancouver

 Here are a few photos from the SFO International Airport this morning. They have fabulous exhibits there.  There were 3 exhibits: Automata: vintage mechanical French puppet-like figures, some of which seemed alive; a stunning exhibit of vintage Italian motorcycles; an exhibit of  old microscopes.

Vancouver is one of my favorite cities, similar in many ways to San Francisco. (I'm in Canada for 12 days to do slideshow/book signings and interviews. Schedule is here.)
  I got into my hotel too early to check in, so I've taken one of their (free) bikes out and am touring around the Granville Market/West 4th St./Kitsilano area, checking out shops, detouring through neighborhoods which are strangely quiet. I like being plopped down in unfamiliar territory where everything is new. Serendipity abounds. Running across the unexpected. Stay tuned; ride shotgun  with me this next week.

Small Cabin, Deep Snow

"Cabin on Crescent Lake, Oregon…Submitted by Jon Lee."

Chickens Just Ordered

Above: five Silver Seabrights and one Golden Seabright bantam hens (pic shot yesterday).
We just ordered about 50 bantam baby chicks from Murray McMurray (10 Auracanas, 30 Golden Seabrights, and a few each of Rhode Island Reds, Partridge Rocks, and Black Tailed White Japanese). Bantams can't be sexed as can regular birds, so you figure half of these will be male, and will become tasty barbecue.
   We've been ordering birds by mail from McMurray for over 30 years. Their breeding seems to be top notch, and service is excellent.You go down to the post office and pick up a box of peeping chicks. It's amazing how it all works.I couldn't conceive of being without chickens these days. We feed them all our food scraps, along with scratch and mash, and they produce these small eggs that taste like nothing you will ever get in a store.
   Here is a chicken starter kit McMurray offers for first-time chicken owners: http://shltr.net/HRyDfg

High Quality Small Homes Delivered on Wheels

"Small House Innovation is a dynamic home run business that takes pride and pleasure in building high quality hand crafted homes and other modest structures in the heart of BC’s West Kootenay’s. Surrounded by choice wood, superb craftspeople of all kinds, and a natural environment that is inspiring and wild, Small House Innovation is a company that has grown out of a way of life, and a belief that indeed small is beautiful.…"

Tiny Home in California Woods

"Hello Lloyd. Thought I'd share my West Marin home of 6 years. 144 square ft."
-Todd Pickering

Secret Treehouse in Whistler, BC, Canada

"Hey Shelter team,
I just found this neat blog and figured it'd be good for a blog post or spot in your next book (even if it's not a boat). He's secretly built a beautiful egg shaped treehouse in the backcountry near Whistler BC, and his story about how he did it is pretty entertaining to boot!
-Glen Jackson"

Marvin Gay - Let's Get It On - Soul Train, 1974

Though the first half of it is talking, and the song is lip synced, his rapport with the girls is wonderful.

Blossoms in Pond Yesterday

Converted School Bus, Home on Wheels - $15000 (Olympia)

"My family and I spent the summer and fall of 2011 converting this Dallas City 72 passenger school bus into a home. We devoted our energy to creating an open, warm, bright, and inspiring space for our family. By building up and customizing the back of the bus, we created a very unique and distinctive living space that eliminates the cold, tubular feel of a school bus.…
Model: 1994 Blue Bird TC2000 72 passenger school bus
We put our hearts and souls into making this bus our home and have loved every minute that we have spent living in it. As sad as it is for us to part with it, selling the bus will fund our move to Alaska and give our young growing family a good start there.
If you are interested in purchasing the bus please send us an email and we can arrange a time to meet. We are currently living 9 miles south of downtown Olympia off I-5.…"
From Adam Reitano

Caine Monroy's Cardboard Arcade

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

"…Caine’s cardboard arcade was discovered by filmmaker Nirvan Mullick when he went into Smart Parts Auto in East L.A. looking for a handle for his ’96 Toyota Corolla. While he was waiting, he saw the amazing series of Midway-style cardboard games and challenges that young Caine had created—each with its own series of prizes tacked on a board. The boy even had a business model built into his imaginary arcade: Visitors could buy either a four-game pass or the 500-game “fun pass” for a slightly higher price.
Sent us by Maeve Burke