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West Coast (Santa Cruz) White Sharks

Synchronicity: Before the last blog, about the shark on the east coast was posted, Ed Forgotson sent this link.
"A great white shark near Santa Cruz swam under a kayak on Tuesday – and the paddler, a marine biologist out to see the sharks, snapped a series of photos unlike anything ever seen on the central coast.
'I was just off the cement ship when this 8-foot great white shark swam right under my kayak,' said Giancarlo Thomae, who works as an interpretive specialist for a whale watching operation.
   The photographs also show great white sharks in the shallows just off Seacliff State Beach in Aptos on Monterey Bay, where campers on the beach watch the shark fins as they pass nearby.
   While paddling his kayak, Thomae sighted and photographed four great white sharks at close range along the shore. He then boarded Specialized Helicopters out of Watsonville for a sky view, where he and the pilot counted 14 great white sharks just offshore the state beach, within a quarter mile of the cement ship. In the photos, the silhouettes of the sharks are clear near the sea surface.…"
Photo: Giancarlo Thomae / KayakWhaleWatching.com
http://blog.sfgate.com/stienstra/2015/07/01/santa-cruz-great-white-swims-under-kayak-paddler-gets-photos-9-pics/#photo-658709

Changes In My Blog

Truth be told, I love doing blog posts. I find so much that's fascinating in my everyday life that I want to tell (and show) others about it. (I have a large backlog of photos and observations that I never get around to posting—hey, how do I get a clone?)

I also enjoy the blog feedback.

Problem is, it takes time, and I need to shift gears now that I've started a new book. Also, I'm probably more useful to more people doing books than doing blog posts. We're getting almost daily feedback on how our books are inspiring people to create their own homes.

I'll try to keep the blog rolling, posting less frequently in the near future.

Also, we're trying to figure out how to get our considerable "content" out via "social media." We're looking for advice on how to coordinate Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and our website (drastically in need of overhaul) and 2 blogs to maximize exposure.

I'm especially interested in reaching millenials because, if you'll excuse the mixed metaphor, they're a whole new ball game. I just love these guys—they're looking at the world through fresh eyes.

I've done layout of 12 pages of Small Homes now and am in full gear with it. Contact us if you know of any practical, aesthetic, inspiring, economical and/or homey homes in the 400-1200 sq. ft. range: smallhomes@shelterpub.com

Seeking Builders of Tiny Homes on the Move

A filmmaker has contacted us about finding someone who is building a tiny home that moves. Vans, house buses, house trucks, trailers, or sailboats or houseboats. Please contact me if you know of anyone in this category: lloyd@shelterpub.com

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.