Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back in the planning days of this project....

Back in the planning days of this project, whenever I would politely ask Jason if there was going to be a coat closet by the door or a place big enough in the laundry room where I could put my sewing machine and ironing board, his response was, "This is going to be a different way of living."

I have pondered that statement several times over the past few months, and I think that would be worthy of an interview in a future blog: A Different Way of Living by theworkshop 308. I'll see what I can do.

Meanwhile, I take those words to mean not only "space is money", but the more stuff you have the more space you need and the more space and stuff you have and need the more you have to take care of it, both mentally and physically.....and that certainly leads to less time and freedom to be happy and at peace with yourself, the people you care about and with the life you will live both in and out of this uniquely designed house. In other words, enough IS enough, and less IS more.

When you flip through the pages of DWELL magazine, you don't see stacks of year-old magazines in rotten baskets, abandoned craft projects, future craft projects, fashion mistakes and ill-fitting clothes hanging in closets, drawers of hotel shampoos and conditioners, old college textbooks and half-filled notebooks, old trophies and plaques, empty plastic ice cream containers, rolls of wrinkled gift wrap, useless and broken tools and gadgets, cracked styrofoam coolers, shells from a 6th grade trip to the beach, 5K T-shirts, feel-good poetry books, old birthday cards, ugly wind chimes, expired coupons, cheap pens, empty film containers and cardboard boxes, wrinkled tin foil loaf pans, off-brand plastic wrap gone astray, tapes and CDs that were never liked, cookbooks never used, jewelry never worn, old keys, TV offers, old dog collars, worn-out gloves, cigarette lighter collections, souvenir ticket stubs, broken suitcases, photos of perfect strangers, wrong-shade lipsticks or metal lawn chairs that need re-webbing. (Or if you do see them, they have been re-worked and re-priced and are now considered "art objects".)

So.....what did those hip (and usually bare-footed), casually chic folks in DWELL do with all of those things of theirs? And, is that why they all look so calm and smart and reasonably happy?

A different way of living. Ahhhhhhhh.

I bet it would take a whole shipping container to hold all of that stuff you never see in DWELL.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sign up NOW for a tour.......

Yessirree! Sign up NOW for a tour of a shipping container house in progress. Touch it! Stand inside! Look out the windows! Jump up and down! Close your eyes and imagine where this vessel has been! (or maybe not) Close your eyes again and imagine that this will be a real house someday soon! Self-guided tours are always welcome....day or night.....or make arrangements for an informative PCO/D (plasma cutter operator/designer) guide to show you around and tell you hair-raising stories of sparks and grass fires and a transient support team nearby. And all of this is just a step away.....downtown....in the Queen City of the Ozarks.....Main Street, U.S.A.

I have taken a few folks through the containers myself lately, and have gotten rave reviews on this entire project of theworkshop 308. And I've been sending word of the blog to the out-of-state supporters and have heard nothing but oooohs and aaaaahs.

A few years ago, before theworkshop 308 existed, and I was in the midst of my search for the perfect plan.......I signed up to go to an Open House for the LV Home that Rocio Romero designed in Perryville, Missouri. It was a very long, but very scenic drive to a place where you would never expect to find a very modern, galvalume and glass pre-fab house in a million years. I passed through the town of Perryville and a few miles out of town turned off on a small, rural road. I saw a nice-sized typical Missouri barn beside the road, drove a bit through a field....and there it sat. There were about eight or nine other people there, milling around and looking at the house, and Rocio Romero and her husband and her sales manager Marshall were answering questions. Rocio, herself, took me through the house, and I absolutely loved it. It was so open, so simple, so efficient. We all then wandered down a dirt road to the banks of a river to where The Fish Camp, another of her designs, was perched. It was an extremely simple shed-like space, up on piers, with a nice big deck.....no plumbing, no partitions, just an open space where you could enjoy the river and then close it up when you were ready to go home. They served some wine and cheese.....had a little small talk.....then got in my truck and drove to Greenville, or thereabouts, ate at a Dairy Swirl, camped out in a State Park and came home.

Plenty of inspiration came with that trip, and I'm sure glad I went........but I'm more glad that I've ended up with shipping containers in the middle of town, almost ready for the trip to the James River......and some very amiable, knowledgeable and hands-on designer/tour-guides. It's not too late to sign up.....BYO wine and cheese.

Monday, December 8, 2008

You gotta love a man in Carhart clothes......

You gotta love a man in Carhart clothes.....they know stuff, they can do stuff, they aren't afraid to get dirty, climb ladders, make sparks, start fires, haul tanks around or squat. Seems like, all of a sudden, there's Carhart everywhere. No white collars or tasseled loafers or @#$#%*#* after shave cologne for miles. I never had it so good.

I got the call about noon on Friday. The plasma cutter was fired up and ready to go. Jason and Michael were in high gear by the time I got there to watch......and by the time I left, I had some windows in my new house. They are fearless. And I always thought designing houses was an inside job.....that didn't require Carhart.

Of course I can't be hanging out in vacant lots in the middle of my day job, but that whole scene is, conveniently, right in the midst of my territory and just cries out for surveillance every time I get close. I've driven by twice today, twice yesterday, brought my sister and brother-in-law on Saturday and re-visited later to take some pictures.......and still find it hard to believe that some day I'll be making fried egg sandwiches in one of those shipping containers....and looking out one of those windows.

And yesterday was a great day to tromp around the house site for a few hours and eat lunch on my future-porch. A lot of dirt....a lot of holes...the remnants of a campfire where we had a post-plasma-cutting session Friday night and one of the best visits with two of the best designers a person could ever have. Overalls by Carhart.

Friday, December 5, 2008

According to "Blogging For Dummies"......

According to "Blogging For Dummies", one needs to be sensitive to the rhythm of the readers. The same person who wrote that (and the book, I presume) says that he (or she) writes in the evening to be considerate of the European readers.

So....let me apologize for my insensitivity in not bllllloging for a few days.....and let those folks in Europe know that if I could stay up past 10:00 I would be more considerate.

I just looked at my last entry, and was delighted and amazed at the pictures that had magically appeared. Sure is nice to have multi-taskers in your circle of friends. So what do you think? Are we rolling now? Can you see dreams realized before your very eyes? It has been one soap-opera, how-to documentary, epic film moment right after another......and the real fun is just beginning.

The holes are in the ground for the piers.....concrete and rebar will be next.....four containers are standing proud and glistening in the sunshine and shadows of the Grant Street Bridge.....plasma cutters are poised for door and window surgical removal.....all staff members are in a focused frenzy....and I will give you an eye-witness report in my next report. (With a slight delay for European readers.)