Tiny House Tuesday // Finding Ideas in a Magazine + Starbucks Giveaway

Tiny House Tuesday

With the interior work just around the tiny bend, my abstract ideas need to harden like concrete.

For instance, there will be the eight-foot-long desk but we’ve not yet decided on the materials. There will be walls, but will they be planked or smooth? And the floors, will they be wood of a lighter or darker tone? These are just a few of the questions tapping on my brain when I’m all tapped out.

Pinterest is usually my go-to when searching for new ideas. But last week, while facing a stash of multi-layered eye candy otherwise known as magazines, I spotted two letters⏤Ti⏤peeking out from the left side of a Dwell Magazine. Could it be? Why yes, yes it could:

I rescued the latest issue of Tiny Homes magazine and later turned the pages one by one, hoping to gather ideas into my concrete bucket. Some corners received the coveted fold-over while others were pleasantly ignored.

Here are some of my favorite fold-overs for various reasons:

 

Tiny House Desk

Any time I spot a tiny desk in front of a window, I take note. It seems like many are bar height, maybe because it doubles as a table for those who live in their tiny abode.

 

Tiny House Charleston

These window boxes make the colorful Rainbow Row-inspired siding pop. Let’s just say there may be a patch of pink flowers peering in my windows down the road.

 

Tiny House Community in Greenville SC

I learned there’s a tiny house community only minutes from my house (now I know of two!) Yeah, that Greenville.

 

Tiny Gardens

A garden, be it veggies or flowers, doesn’t require a lot of space to be productive. One day, Lord willing, there will be a garden filled with hollyhocks, foxgloves, and other vintage flowers framing the tiny house. But first, a long strand of free weekends await, something we’ve not enjoyed for over a year. (For more tiny garden ideas, visit my Pinterest boards!)

 

And finally, sometimes it’s not so much about finding what you want to put in your space, but what you don’t want…like, say, these antler rails. Make it stop.

 

When the interior work begins, watch for specific questions on Instagram. I look forward to your feedback!

 

But for now, just for fun…what’s your favorite magazine? Do tell!

{Leave a comment to have your name included in a Starbucks giveaway. Enjoy a cup of coffee while dog-earing your own pages!}

Thank you for spending time at the Tiny House on the Hill today.

 

 

How God Answered My Prayers Through a Man Named Finis

He wasn’t where he was supposed to be on the first night of the conference.

Someone noticed an older man walking in a room that was off limits until it was officially opened by faculty. A few people rescued him with the same fervor one might have when rescuing sailors at sea. Writer’s conferences take sign-ups seriously, after all. *wink*

The man shuffled out of the room and stood nearby like a schooled student. His gray hair and age-worn hands stood out among the rest. I wondered about his story and the spunk required to hone his writing skills at that age. But the first thing I noticed about this man was the black eye that cushioned his glasses.

The following morning, I made my way to the cafeteria for breakfast.

 

I’d barely added grits to my butter when I spotted the black-eyed man sitting alone at a distant table.

 

I walked over, leaned down, and asked if he’d rather wait on someone or come over and sit with us. He quickly responded, “I’d much rather come sit with you.”

He met Dee Dee, along with several other friendly faces around the table for eight and introduced himself as Finis (pronounced fine-us). He drove from Texas despite a recent fall that left him with a black eye and a bum knee. We talked about the places he and his wife have lived over the years, one being my favorite tiny town, Saluda NC.

Over the next few days, I saw him in passing and during the large gatherings. He may have regretted sitting behind me, Dee Dee, and Carlton. But if he did, you would’ve never known it.

One night, we saw him at the Nibble Nook. (For those who watched our Two Peas video a couple of years ago in front of the Nibble Nook, I can attest to the fact that there is now nibbling going on in the nook.) But this time, Finis wasn’t alone. Two older volunteers from Ridgecrest walked through the doors behind him. As it turned out, he and one of the volunteers graduated high school together. It did my heart good to hear laughter coming from their corner.

On the final day of our conference, Finis and I found ourselves in a workshop together. By mid-afternoon, I noticed him packing up his laptop so I assumed he needed to get on the road headed back to Texas. As he walked up the aisle, he took a sharp right and came to tell me goodbye.

 

As we hugged, Finis whispered, “Thank you.”

My eyes felt more like puddles.

 

Meeting Finis was the highlight of my conference and a direct answer to my prayer before I left for the conference. So what did I pray? It went a little something like this:

Father, help me to be sensitive to other’s needs more than my own.

This may sound like a sweet prayer but rest assured, it was birthed from a place of conviction. You see, it’s very easy to get caught up in yourself⏤your appointments, your introductions to the “right” people, and promoting yourself and your books⏤at a writers conference.

I’m not suggesting those things are wrong when done with the right motivation, but I’ve returned from the conference more than once over the last eight years feeling like I missed something, or more importantly, someone.

I wish I could say I lived out the prayer 24/7 while at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. There were still missed opportunities and downright selfish moments, but I hope and pray I’ll become even more aware of those around me in the coming years, Lord willing.

 

Finis may have thanked me but I’m the one who should thank him.

 

He taught me:

  • We’re never too old to start something new or hone our current skills.
  • We never retire from our calling.
  • His willingness to drive hundreds of miles to accomplish this shows me that even as I age, I need to be willing to step out of my comfort zone.
  • And despite his fall (and the black eye badge of honor to prove it), he didn’t let what others might think discourage him from following through.

I hope my path crosses with Finis again before they cross in heaven.

But until then, thank you Finis.

 

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While away at the conference, “Songs of Hope: 31 Days in the Psalms” released! This book includes thirty-one devotionals with reflection questions and short prayers. Twenty-five women, from all walks of life, share their stories of joy and heartache with an underlying thread of God’s hope. BONUS: Receive a FREE journal to go along with your study ordered by June 10th.

I’m both humbled and delighted to be one of those twenty-five women.

If you’d like to find out more information or order, click here! (This is an affiliate link, which means when you order through this link, I will receive the equivalent of a cup of coffee, at no extra charge to you.)

Thank you for stopping by the Tiny House on the Hill today!

 

 

 

Tiny House Tuesday // A Red Door No More

Tiny House Tuesday

Sometimes things don’t turn out as expected.

One morning on the way to our now second home, Lowes, I asked, “Can we brainstorm some ideas for a tiny house name?” (Here in the South we name everything—RVs, cars, property, and tiny houses. It gives us the opportunity to feel all warm and fuzzy about things that are anything but.) It didn’t take long for Brian to blurt out “Lil’ Red Writing House.” Immediately, I began scanning the Internet to see if the name was available. I wanted to claim it as my own because that’s what only children do. It’s our love language.

The Lil’ Red Writing House was perfect, except for the fact my tiny house would not be red, or even close. I had envisioned a white Folk Victorian with all the fancy trimmings, reminiscent of my great-grandmother’s home. Hers sat on the corner of a Mayberry look-alike street with the town’s country store next door, which worked to my advantage on Thanksgiving afternoons when my cousin and I traded coins for candy.

The name Lil’ Red Writing House could work if I incorporated a red item—sometimes obvious, sometimes not—in every Instagram post. Red plastic tape outlined the dimensions of the house, a red clipboard clamped down design drawings, and a red arrow pointed to the mantle stored in our barn.

In addition to the red snippets of color in the tiny house images, I considered painting the front door red. Surely that would nip the my-tiny-house-will-never-be-red issue in the bud.

 

But there’s something about a front door. It’s the first thing the eye is drawn to when looking at a house, especially a tiny one.

 

And this front door wasn’t just any door. For the sake of energy efficiency, it was one of only three vintage exterior pieces that Brian agreed to install.

Vintage doors sell locally, but during a prior visit to my favorite salvage store in Brevard, NC, we discovered a covered outdoors section full of old doors and windows. We took note of our find. A few months later, we returned to select and fetch our door.

Along one long wall, doors lined up stiff and straight like soldiers. I knew what I wanted in a door, and Brian knew what we needed. Glass and character topped my list. Door width and price topped his. Details, details. Because the space along the front of the tiny house is tight, the chosen door needed to play nice with its only neighbor, a black-paned antique window. From the window’s size, unique design, and well-worn texture, it was obvious that she was accustomed to attention, leaving little room for the practicality of a common door.

The wall offered up a nice assortment—ornate doors, ordinary doors, and even 1960’s doors with the three tiny rectangular peek-out windows arranged like stairsteps. After flipping through dozens of common-colored doors, a barn-red “soldier” stood to attention. Her size was spot-on, the price was better than expected, and the top-half, divided into four glass panes, paid homage to the past.

We loaded our find in the van and headed home down the windy mountain roads. Oblivious of the amount of time it takes to build a tiny house, I assumed the door might spend a month or two in the barn—not the time required to bring life into the world.

In the weeks that followed our trip to Brevard, one truth became apparent. The door felt like home, but the color choice felt forced. Though a catchy name, Lil’ Red Writing House never captured my heart. It’s not that I have anything against the color red. I love the color red in ripe cherries, rubies, and red velvet cake, but not so much on the vintage door I planned to enter every morning.

 

When I walk up the hill, unlatch the iron gate, and step onto the front porch, I want to see a color that not only catches my heart but also makes it downright giddy.

 

From past experience, I knew this color to be chartreuse. I’d chosen it for the back door of our former century-old home. Without fail, this whimsical color made me smile, even on the grayest of days. If I still wore my mood ring from the 70s, it would morph into pink at the sight.

Months after our trip to Brevard, the day finally came to rescue the red-door-no-more from the barn. A forecast predicting several inches of snow encouraged us to build the frame indoors. New doors come with their own frame, but the oldies don’t. In this moment, Brian second-guessed our decision to go vintage.

A kit from our local building supply store helped, but like most vintage finds, the door was quirky. Both the locking mechanism and hinges were topsy-turvy. Brian removed and adjusted the hardware so the door would swing inward from the left, opening up to the main space of the tiny house.

The following weekend, we took the red-door-no-more off the hinges and hauled her down the hill. She had an appointment with Sherwin William’s Frolic SW 6703. With one dip, the paintbrush took on the appearance of a lemon-lime Popsicle. Slow and steady, every crack and crevice filled until she became what she was meant to be—a vintage-chartreuse-half-glass-chock-full-of-character front door for the Tiny House on the Hill.

Giddy up!

 

Tiny House Door Color

Alas, she only wears one coat of paint, but soon there will be two.

 

Have I told you lately how much I love having you along on this journey?

 

 

Why I Created The Tiny Prayer Garden E-Book

Garden Bench

Dirt beneath the nails is a badge of honor in my family.

Back in the ’40s, my great-grandmother, Fannie Reece, was known for her dinner plate-sized dahlias. She lived in a mill town where houses circled the block. Behind the houses was a field where her flowers grew. From Grandmother Reece’s back stoop, the top of the field was quite steep, accessible only by large field stones carved into the landscape.

I remember climbing those stones as a young girl. Dahlias and chrysanthemums of all colors and sizes spread across the land like a brightly-colored quilt.

Grandmother Reece must’ve handed down her green thumb to my grandmother, Elsie Knighton. On the window sills of her back porch, plants lined up with torn pieces of tin-foil cupping the bottoms to prevent spillage onto the corn-colored linoleum floors.

And my other grandmother, Alberta Scott, was a charter member of her local Garden Club. Large southern Gardenia shrubs lined one side of her home. Their perfumed petals welcomed guests long before MaMa had time to greet them at the door with a smile and a full-on hug.

MaMa (Alberta Scott, on far left) with two of her best friends and fellow Garden Club Members, Reba Crow and Catherine Edwards, (whom I was named after!)

 

But there’s more to gardening than the size of a flower or the perfume it carries.

 

God could’ve chosen to place man anywhere and He chose a garden.

 

When I catch a whiff of fragrant shrubs or touch the red clay of the Carolinas, I feel an undeniable tug toward heaven, and it’s for this reason I wrote A Tiny Prayer Garden for new subscribers. Creating a prayer garden doesn’t have to be fancy, cost a lot of money, or sap our last ounce of energy. It’s simply an intentional place to meet with God among His glory-filled creation.

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Tiny Prayer Garden

The introduction to A Tiny Prayer Garden:

 

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. Genesis 2:8 NIV

“It’s no coincidence that life began in a garden. 
Trees invite us to find respite beneath their branches, the scent of flowers lingers mid-air, and the choruses of birds praise their Maker. If you feel at home in a garden, it’s not surprising, because, in a way, you are.

My grandmother was a charter member of her local Garden Club. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in her enamel-clad kitchen. A journal decorated in flowers sat on her smooth speckled kitchen counter by the stove. On the cover was written: 

“One is nearer to God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.” – Dorothy Frances Gurney

To create a prayer garden is to set apart a quiet place for you to meet with God. The moment you step outside, your senses engage, inviting you to enter a quiet, thoughtful place. God meets with you in the garden, or anywhere else. He is only a breath away. 

But there is something to be said for creating a place to talk with, and listen to, God.

So, why a tiny prayer garden? 

Because many today are choosing to live on a smaller scale whether through downsizing, minimizing, or simplifying. Regardless of where we live, most of us long for a small, private, and dare I say, manageable, place to step away from the hectic culture in order to embrace the quiet. 
And in doing so, we’re in good company.

After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. Matthew 14:23


When a prayer garden is kept tiny, it simplifies everything— the design, required tools, time and energy. It’s possible to create a meaningful place for soul refreshment without depleting your resources. 
Prayer gardens can be simple, elaborate, or anything in between. There’s no right or wrong. They can also vary in size because the word tiny is subjective.

It’s not about a space in the yard, but rather, a place in the heart that brings the prayer garden to life. 
And finally, you’ll find sensory tips at the bottom of each section. Planning with your senses in mind adds a layer of thoughtfulness that you’re sure to appreciate for years to come.”

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In addition to A Tiny Prayer Garden, you’ll also find a bundle of six popular downloads under the NEW Freebies Tab that’s available to new members of the *tiny* community.

Freebie Bundle for Subscribers

But if you’re not ready to join us, that’s okay. There’s still something for you on the Freebies page. 🙂

So what does it mean to become a part of our community? It simply means that you support the ministry of the work that’s shared here @ the Tiny House on the Hill. Not financially, but through prayer, engagement on the blog, and an excitement to share the posts with others in hopes of offering them hope and encouragement.

Members of the THOTH community receive 2-3 blog posts in their inbox each month and a Monthly Letter that includes:

  • Behind-the-scenes pictures/videos of our progress on the tiny house.
  • First-to-know updates on my books and other happenings at the house.
  • First notifications and glimpses of new releases, like A Tiny Prayer Garden.
  • Helpful downloads and links created exclusively for subscribers
  • And a fun monthly giveaway.

What’s not to love? *smile*

Do you have a garden, or plan to have one in the future? Or do you remember a garden from your past? I’d love to hear about it!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by for a visit at the Tiny House on the Hill.

 

Tiny House Tuesday // Goodbye Exterior, Hello Interior!

He tried to warn me.

Over a year ago, while stringing stakes and leveling blocks, Brian dropped this little love bomb:

You won’t believe how many things we’ll need to do before this tiny house is finished. It’s going to be a long process, possibly a year.

Bless his heart, he didn’t know how quickly southern girls could make things happen when they put their mind to it. Turns out, however, it wasn’t his heart in need of blessing.

The term “weekend warriors” should’ve given me a hint as to what the future held. Who knew it was code for slow and steady, with emphasis on slow? Apparently, Brian did. We entered the “over one-year” threshold in March.

After we finish up the exterior in April, we finally move indoors, where weather won’t determine our progress⏤but I’m not asking for Brian’s opinion. This heart can only take so many blessings.

 

Tiny siding

 

After debating the choice of siding for several weeks, Brian landed on Hardi Board. We considered less expensive options, but we kept hearing great things about the product. It stands up well against bugs (a biggie for me – have you seen country creepers?), mildew (eww), and wind, which is a frequent visitor up here.

The gold-ish color above is the plank treatment, but after a few buckets of paint, she’ll be bright as snow, like the front porch below.

Soon, I’ll gussy up the front door with slaps of chartreuse, a color that’s sure to pop. And lastly, the porch will welcome a vintage metal chair in the same color, so as not to be out-popped.

{Subscribers! You’ll be the first to see the gussied up door in May’s Monthly Letter.}

 

Tiny Porch

 

Goodbye

foundation, siding, and roof. You taught us lessons we won’t soon forget. Few were fun, but they were necessary.

 

Hello

shiplap, vintage mantle, eight-foot-wide views, and cozy reading nook. I’ve patiently waited two winters, two springs, and one summer to spend time with you. I have a feeling we’ll become fast friends. Hint, hint.

 

Our Heavenly Father has provided many delightful inns for us along our journey, but he takes great care to see that we do not mistake any of them for home. C.S. Lewis

 

So, what color would you choose to paint the front door of this *tiny* delightful inn? 

 

As always, thank you for joining the journey!

 

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