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Woodworkers Attention: J. B. Blunk's Handcrafted Wooden Home in the Northern California Woods

I visited J.B. in the early ’60s, when I was just starting to build. I was inspired. It was (is) a magic house. Everyone who steps inside feels it.

Here’s a great article and photos in yesterday’s New York Times Style Magazine by Amanda Fortini, with photos by Lisa Eisner:

https://shltr.net/2fyLfRi

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Check Out Our Photos Now on Tumblr

Above: Caleb and Louise’s hand-built home near West Cornwall, Connecticut, in the early ’70s

Sean Hellfritsch gave us the idea of using Tumblr for good quality photos; he started it and now Brittany Cole Bush is continuing to put up photos, some old, some recent.

Click here: https://shelterpub.tumblr.com/

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Which Cover Do You Like Best?

Rick and I are in the final stages of preparing Small Homes for the printers. We changed the cover from an earlier version, which showed a small turn-of-the-century home in Santa Cruz (in this revised cover, it’s the middle image in the left hand column), because a single image didn’t seem to represent the diversity of images (120 or so small homes) in the book. Hence the collage.

Below are two alternatives, the same except for the background color. In the one with the red, it’s similar-looking to Home Work, Builders of the Pacific Coast, and Tiny Homes on the Move. Some of our savvy book friends think it’s too similar, and that another color would distinguish it from the other books. Hence the other with the dark green background.

Comments, please. Which do you like? Do you see any problem in this cover being similar to our other books?

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O ye'll take the high road, and I'll take the low road…

Yesterday on our way south to Glasgow we (unexpectedly) found ourselves driving along the west side of Loch Lomond and I can understand why it’s so well known. A pristine body of water, with trees all around it, some kinda magic going on fer shure. We stopped at a lochside hotel and had one of the best renditions of fish and chips ever plus a bottle of Loch Lomond Silkie Stout. Fortified by the stout, I jumped in the water — about 8 strokes and out. Cold! maybe 48 degrees F. But I follow an MO of getting immersed in its waters wherever I am to connect with the land. It always works! Then on into Glasgow, following the Garmin GPR to a Travelodge hotel in Glasgow central.

Last night we had a fabulous Italian dinner with Lesley’s cousin and husband at Fratelli Sarti on Bath Street, preceded by a couple of shots of Laphroid single malt whisky (Colin and me, that is) at the Butterfly and Pig bar, fine establishment.

I started out with leftside driving pretty shakily, it took several days for my brain to make the switch. And the roundabouts! Jesus, stress-city. Finally, I’m getting into it. Give way to cars on the right. My navigator informs me that leftside driving originated with duels on horseback, where lances were held with the right hand.

I don’t know how I missed Scotland over all these years of European exploration (starting with a 3-month Lambretta motorscooter/youth hostel trip in 1957-58). I’m overwhelmed by both the beauty of this land and the good-naturedness of the Scots. I think it’s possible that people who live in beautiful surroundings are happy and friendly. Hundreds of encounters, totally good vibes. If people see you looking around in the cities, they ask if they can help. And I’m gonna miss the brogue a wee bit when I get home.

Animal shelter and pen in recreated 1700s township at the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, Scotland

Building at Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, Scotland
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Interior of Recreated Barn at Building Museum

This is one of the buildings in a recreated 1700s township at the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, Scotland. It started to rain just as we got there, but then the rain stopped. We spent about 2 hours there; I shot a LOT of photos.

The wattle walls facilitated drying of barley and oats. Opposing barn doors took advantage of cross drafts to winnow (separate chaff from) grain.

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