Dems da berries.

October 17, 2009

Last weekend, in an effort to prepare Tiny House for the onset of autumn, Mr. Living Small and I unpacked the hacksaw and set to work pruning the summer growth that was threatening to engulf our mini-manse. Naturally, this effort left us with stacks of stalks and branches, all of which wouldn’t fit in the city-issue yard waste bin. (Not to mention, many of these arms were, in their severance, still lovely to look at.) I sat on our stoop, puzzling over several cut-off canes of heavenly bamboo, fresh with sprays of rust-red berries.

Then, smack!

Rewind seven days. Rewind to my science fair–themed birthday party. Rewind to my friend Sly’s gift, a three-foot, vintage glass beaker. I put 2 and 2 2gether:

Reminds me of spring ’09′s fleur de toilette:

Better than blossoms that’ll pout in three days, better than buying roses flown in from Texas. This foliage grows right outside my front door, and it lasts forever. Righteous, to quote my friend Jill.

What blooms in your ‘hood? What do you cut?

Interiors know-it-alls tell us that an inviting (and functional) entryway is paramount to creating a good space. But what if you live Small? Typically, tiny homes and entryways don’t mix; not enough room, right?

Maybe not. Small Lady wants to hug these teeny entryways. Here’s one:

Puny and pizzazzy. See this beauty and six others — plus the accompanying tips for creating a lively, lovely entryway — at AT.

On the record.

October 12, 2009

Turns out a little online pining for my once-dormant record collection = an awesome birthday gift: a Living Small–sized turntable!

This 12″-square Numark player is computer compatible, too, meaning that my never-before-seen-on iTunes albums, such as Classics in a Dance Tempo (yes, that means Tchaikovsky Fox Trots, friends — party at the Pine Box!) and Kenny Rogers’ disco-country blockbuster The Gambler can now accompany me to work, to the gym, to the grocery store. Possibilities = endless.

Special thanks to Mr. Living Small for making it all possible.

WHO: Tereasa Surratt and David Hernandez

WHERE: Sugar Creek, Wisconsin, by way of Beardstown, Illinois

WHAT: An itty-bitty weekend retreat, rescued from certain destruction

SIZE: 121 square feet

11 x 11: a prime example of petite perfection.

It may not be Tereasa Surratt and David Hernandez’s home base, but this teeny-tiny lakeside retreat smacks of Small living, stem to stern. Once part of a 1920′s-era cabin court adjacent to Surratt’s grandmother’s house in Illinois, this 121-footer had certainly seen better days: the abandoned cabins were a set of sad little structures, completely dilapidated and ready to be razed.

But Surratt and Hernandez saw potential; “History has value,” she tells Chicago Home + Garden‘s Gina Bazer. So, in 2006, the couple plunked down $500 for the tiny place, trucked it to their lakeside Wisconsin property, and set to work restoring the space to its original Roaring ’20′s glory, complete with vintage furnishings and old-school details. See for yourself: Chi H + G‘s got a pair of slideshows, one cabin-focused, the other zeroed in on the Smalls.

Via AT.

Topsy Turvy Tomatoes

July 12, 2009

After all my waxing and whining about growing our own food, the Smallers have taken a size-appropriate step: tomatoes and basil, planted in what’s known to the infomercial world as a Topsy Turvy:

My mother-in-law gifted us with this hanging collapsible planter which snugs in perfectly under our front gable, where the majority of our southerly sun hits.

It’s a Small move, sure. Maybe next year we’ll be prepped to go bigger, perhaps with a P-Patch plot, or, with the help of the new Urban Garden Share program, a neighbor’s undeveloped lawn. Or even some more vertical veggies in — get this! — a store-bought shoe storage rack, like Instructables contributor pippa5.

Until then, though, we’ll be satisfied with little tommies and freshmade pesto.

What’s your small space garden solution?

Special Bloggie Love to the Central District News’ series of urban farming posts. Check them out.

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