This is such an amazing project... 49 homes for 49 homeless veterans in Kansas City. We are grateful to be able to showcase this side of tiny homes and the incredible benefits they can have for individuals and a community. ⠀ ⠀ Full tour goes live Wednesday.⠀ ⠀ @vcp_hq
There’s new cement on the sidewalk across from where I parked, Its flawless and even. But the ground beneath my feet tells a different story. Marked with fissures and gaps, clefts and crevasses. And yet, I think, How much I love the cracks in this concrete - The bits of green grass and clover growing in between. The broken spaces where new growth shows through. Because, It’s prettier than perfect. It’s also what I like about me. It’s also what I like about you, too. The goodness that’s built from the rubble, The strength that’s formed from the fragments. Did you know, In the Japanese tradition of kintsugi, Fractured edges are filled with gold. Bonding each break in beauty. This method of repair is more than a dazzling disguise, But rather, a display of richness in history, A showcase of restoration and strength. You see – Your shortcomings, your faults, Your sharp edges and busted seams, Deserve to be filled with precious metal gleams. Those details that defy the smooth sameness of perfection, Which trace the journey of time and trials That is what makes you beautiful That is what makes me beautiful, too. Because shattered glass makes the most beautiful mosaics, And darling, You are so much prettier than perfect.
Florida has been treating me right this winter season, with 70-degree days and sand in the toes and plenty of solo camping options. I’m taking these hibernation months to reflect on what’s next, regroup, visioncast my next steps. In my reflection, I find myself sifting through photos from this past year. 2019 has been chock-full of coast-to-coast traveling and adventure, learning and newness and growth. Across the next few weeks, as I’m personally looking forward, camped on the beaches and in the swamps of Florida, I’ll be sharing photos that round up this past year in all its glory, desert romps and art creation and mountain hikes and all. You can look back, even as you step forward. Sometimes you must, because it is in restrospect that learning occurs. I’m coming to terms with this, in my own time: it seems we must study our histories in order to create better, brighter, more beautiful futures.
Years ago, while discussing personality types, my sister predicted mine “You’re the helper,” she said, “I’m sure of it.” Unimpressed by the title, I asked about the other types, And she began to list them: The Achiever, The Reformer, The Challenger… Words that sounded so much like who I wanted to be. Later that day, I took the test, and she was right. I was disappointed with the result, comparing myself to the other types which seemed more powerful, more winsome, more desirable. - I used to run marathons, and I was obsessed with qualifying times. One race, I was running my best splits ever, But as I rounded a corner, I saw another runner, limp twice, then crumble to the ground. I immediately ran over to lift her up off the ground. She heaved deeply while hundreds of tennis shoes rushed by us in a blur. And as I helped her make her way to the sidewalk, my watch beeped - I was a whole mile behind. That day, I crossed the finish line with my worst time yet, But I was proud. I accomplished more than the time I set out to beat - I helped someone. - As I drove home from my sister’s, I thought about The Helper. I remembered how I would come to life when the kids at the shelter banged on my office door with urgency, How accomplished I feel when I’m there for someone whose at the end of their rope. How I am fueled by repairing, bandaging, cleaning and solving problems. One time my boss told me I need to forget about my weaknesses, and lean into my strengths, “It’s not about what you’re not, if that’s your focus – you’re missing the point.” - I love helping. I am good at it. I am at my happiest when tasked with fixing things that are broken and filling in a space of need. And though I won’t win a medal for individual achievements made at any given age. While my name may not be listed at the top of my division, when it comes to rank in power. I will cross the finish line with pride for my place in the race. Because, I am The Helper. -
At this point in the build I was chomping at the bit to put the flooring in because I knew it would really change the feel inside. We were lucky enough to have access to some left over bamboo flooring that was exactly the square footage we needed so that’s what we went with. After the flooring was in, I faced the existing storage bin above the cab with a plunge cut piece of birch plywood. Then it was trim trim trim trim trim and some more trim. Originally I had wanted to use a darker colored hardwood for the trim as a nice accent, but once I realized most of the trim had to bend to match the curvature and different angles of the van, and as many pieces took several tries to get it right, pine became my best friend. Around the same time, I finished the kitchen counter off by facing it with another piece of birch ply complete with a couple plunge cut doors. This piece had some awesome grain that once oiled, really came to life. Also put in a couple usb plugs, a 12v plug and a dimmer switch for the kitchen light just below the counter top. Now there were just a few more finishing touches to go!
Not sure how everyone else measures wealth - But I bet none of the folks on The Forbes 400 list get to park their home in the shadows of El Capitan and eat breakfast in bed while watching the sun rise over Yosemite Valley. Now, I might not have a handful of zeros listed in my net worth, and my most prized possessions might all fit within 90 square feet, but moments like this make me rich.
"Took the last 2 months off to build my dream home. The process of designing, and constructing it felt nearly identical to when I create a photo. Starts with a vision that I can’t get out of my head, then the research, finally commitment to the undertaking, and no stopping till it’s done. I had 60 square feet to work with. And was able to squeeze in a kitchen + dining table, office, bathroom, couch, full bed, heater, ventilation cooling, solar setup w/ battery bank, storage for my gear, oh and there’s an iPad movie theater too. Feels pretty luxurious (for a car)." 📍 Temecula, California 📸 by @everchanginghorizon #vanlifeconversion#projectvanlife#vanlifedistrict#homeiswhereyouparkit#vanlifediaries If you feel affection for nomads, you will have a passion for @indiesolar 💖🌎👷♂️ #diycamper#hippy#wilderness
This year, the second edition of our book @orangeisoptimism came off the press and out into the great big world. The “Rainbow Edition,” as we call is, is practically a brand-new book—updated with tons of never-shared photos, a re-worked cover, and punctuated with extra rainbows splashed throughout. Creating this book was something I’d dreamed about since I was a child, and there was a special sort of kind of joy that arose in manifesting this latent wish—though to be honest, the arrival of this book didn’t come about without a fair share of difficulties. There was no guarantee it would work...or that anyone would want it. Creating a disseminating a piece of art— your very own creation—is tough work, meaningful work, and just like anything worth doing, is scary as hell to take on. Yet, here we are, sitting on a brand-new, updated version that brings tears of joy to my eye. This weekend to kick off the holidays, order a copy of @orangeisoptimism for a loved one (or for yourself!) and receive our five-sticker set as an early holiday gift to you, with lots of love from JR and me. Stickers are hand-drawn and colored by yours truly, and each book is sealed up with love. To get a book for a loved one this holiday season, visit the link in @orangeisoptimism ‘s profile—and enjoy some brightly colored sticker love! Thank you for the support and keep on dreaming, you all, alongside this bright orange bus. #orangeisoptimism
This was just about a month back, just before I said goodbye to JR at the Airport. There, he flew west on a one-way ticket to adventure and has been going ever since. We built this fire to discuss our winter, our futures. Sitting there beside the burning oak, we were able to look into the flames and see. We love so many aspects of this life we’ve constructed—but things desperately needed to change. Both of us acknowledged it. “So what? Everything can’t look the same forever.” It was time to take a leap. So I’ve continued traveling in Sunshine, JR’s been creating new solo stories for himself out in California, and we’re learning more about ourselves with each passing day. Change is necessary, but let’s face it—it’s frightening to have your entire existence shaken up, pieces floating around in an ether with no new place to settle. Life is risky business, and we must break with the past in order to carve new paths into the future. After all, it is only in our self-induced life alterations that growth occurs, and a rule of existence is that in order to go on living—and living well—we must continuously, actively, bravely grow.
Merry X-mas 🖤 I love experimenting with new methods, but I feel like I need to have some practice with pointillism before I am satisfied! I am inspired by all the artists that master this on paper and have the patience to draw each dot. I tried to replicate the style digitally, but of course I cheated and used a brush within procreate, that speeds up the procress and creates multiple dots at once. That’s just the way I roll, van pun Intended 😂 What do you think about pointillism? And would you like to see more in this style?