Tiny House Part 23: Headboard Wall

I’ve held off showing you my “bedroom” for a couple of reasons, the biggest being that I’ve not been able to get the bedding I want and I’ve decided I need a new nightstand. At this point the bedding is still just whatever I already had tossed onto the bed, and it doesn’t look great. However, now that I have all my art, and since I gave you a peek at it two weeks ago anyway, I do want to show off the headboard wall.

A couple weeks back, I shared about my mini Monet switch plate cover and how excited I was that it fit in with the art print I already had. If you missed that post, including the creator’s discount offer, you might want to back up to Tiny House Part 21.

This week I have a picture that includes the addition that completes my wall. Check it out!

Please forgive the reflections in the glass!

I was at a women’s conference recently and there was a terrific artist there. As I wandered her booth, drooling, I was sharing with a friend how disappointed I was that I had literally no space at all for any of her art. And then I saw The Lion!: The title is “None Should Perish.” It’s the lion of the tribe of Judah, of course, and it’s not only beautiful, but at first glance the colors looked perfect. Fortunately, this well-prepared aphant (Yeah, not always so well-prepared) had a photo in her phone showing the other two pieces, and I could tell right away that I was right!

It was officially mine!

There were several great vendors at this conference, but this is literally the only thing I purchased. It is from Journey Canvas Company and they’re well worth checking out. Not only do they carry art in a variety of formats, but they also offer books, gifts of all kinds, clothing… a lot. Too, if you’re local, you can check out their gift shop, coffee shop, and bakery in person. Right now, I’m wishing Webb City, MO weren’t so far away.

So, taking a step back, here’s the “headboard wall.”

That large blue piece was a gift from the same friend who helped me decorate. She bought a plushy blanket, cut it up, and covered a canvas with it. (AND gave me the leftovers in case I want to do a complimentary project!) The various shades of blue you see are from me running my hands over it. Like those sequined pillows the kids love, it changes color when you brush it in different directions. It’s very tactile and soothing.

And that’s it for now. It’s not the end of the tour, but I won’t be able to pick it back up until I can either go shopping again or make drastic changes in other areas. And yes, I’m still absolutely loving tiny house living!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Tiny House Part 21: My Mini Monet

They were thoughtful enough to place my light switches so that I could turn lights on and off from bed as well as when walking in the door. I’ve always appreciated this, but eventually got tired of turning the lights on in the “dark” and having to fumble around for the switches. See, between the window and my microwave, which has a clock on it, I have a surprising bit of light in the room, but that didn’t help much with a white plate on a white wall. I needed more contrast.

So to Etsy I did go! I knew I wanted something that would work with the art print I already had hanging over my nightstand, so I looked through hundreds of options and pared it down to half a dozen. In my usual, let’s-overthink-this manner, I printed out screen captures of my favorites and took turns taping them over the switches to get the effect.

Honestly, I knew which one I would choose pretty early, but having gone to the effort I made myself follow through on the plan. I knew from reading the details and reviews that this metal cover would be excellent quality and that it was American made, so once my mind was made up I moved. And I give you, my mini Monet!

Is it not perfect?!

Monet is my favorite artist and his water lilies paintings are almost definitely my favorite of all his works. One of my happy times was when I went with a friend to an Impressionists exhibit and got to stand right in front of one of those paintings. I don’t know how long I stood there, but it was long enough for her to take this picture. And why am I holding my bag behind my back in this photo, you ask? Because, my friends, I was terribly tempted to touch it. I mean, Monet had touched it and I wanted to too!

So, back to Etsy. Pretty much every switch plate cover I liked was from LunaGalleryDesigns. The selection in this shop is amazing and they offer far more than the bajillion switch plate covers I had to choose from! They also have ceramic wall tiles, mosaic wall tiles, and some absolutely beautiful ceramic tile murals. If by chance you wanted this Monet Water Lillies cover specifically, here’s your link! (Nope, I don’t earn anything off this one!)

And here’s a surprise! I let Luna Gallery know about this post and they offered you, for a limited time, an additional 10% off any purchase. Just use code: LIMITEDTIME.

You may be wondering about the art print as well. It was a gift, so all I can tell you is that it’s Jacob’s Ladder and I was told it was by an Israeli artist, though that may or may not be the case. It’s several years old, so I’ve no idea if it would even be available anymore.

And there you have it! I added a perfect tiny piece of art to my perfect tiny house!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Tiny House Part 18: My Window

I have one window in my apartment, which isn’t all that surprising given its size. It lets a good bit of natural light into my kitchen area, and is truly a blessing. Due to the construction of the building, the sill is quite deep. That makes it even better!

Obviously, the window is home to my little air conditioner, which though small proved quite sufficient this past summer. The way they built up around the unit not only sealed it in well but provides me so much privacy that I have no need at all for curtains or shades. (I’m pretty high up off the ground at this point.) 

That privacy meant I could do whatever I wanted with the window, so I pulled out a stained glass piece that had been in storage. Yes, the colors are more muted than most of the apartment, but not only is it a salute to my love of reading, it is also a gift from two very special people, one of whom has gone on home to Heaven. One thing I learned a long time ago is that surrounding yourself with things that have meaning can trump other rules.

Another thing that has meaning is the hummingbird that hangs to the right of the stained glass. This is my salute to both my mother and grandmother, who shared a love for the little flyers. The crystal that hangs to the left in the window was purchased to balance the bird. It’s very pretty and I’m glad I chose the right thing. It’s the 120mm Crystal Prism Suncatcher and it sells for $10; I paid more for the hummingbird at a craft show years ago!

My decorator friend installed the wooden shelf for me specifically for these two pots of hens and chicks, which originated with my grandmother. If you read Sometimes You Just Need a Do Over you have seen the long planter. These little guys aren’t flourishing greatly, like I wish they were, but they are still alive and I’m taking that as a win. 

Both of these planters came from Amazon. The long one is the Kipokalor 11.1×2.36×1.77inch Long Rectangular Modern Minimalist White Ceramic Succulent Planter Pot with Saucer. It’s minimalist, high quality, and exactly what I was looking for.

The small planter is actually from a set I bought in February to give as gifts.

These are a set of 12 Pcs White Bible Verse Succulent Pots with Drainage 3.15 Inch Mini Ceramic Flower Planter Pot with Bamboo Tray. I planted succulents in them and gave them to my ministry team as Valentine’s gifts. They were a huge hit!

The bottom shelf was decorated by my talented friend, who also made the little potted cactus for me. Everything else already belonged to me; she just knew how to put them all together. the stack of books includes some antiques from what was once an impressive collection. The glass paperweight was my mother’s and I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it. What I really wish you could see better is the peacock stone that sits between the books and plant. It’s bornite and it’s beautiful. Here’s an example I found online.

And that’s the window. We’re almost finished with the Kitchen tour. Thanks for coming along!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

To Not Try is to Fail

No, it’s not art. It’s self-care.

I had a follow-up with my primary care this week and was reminded about what he told me several months back: “It’s time to do something just for Tammy.” My mental health was his concern for so many years that, while he loves the changes he sees, he wants me to make a point to keep moving forward.

I’ve been wanting to learn watercolor for a while, so I decided to have that be the Tammy thing; I even bought supplies before Christmas. I’ve mentioned my plan before. I think I’ve also shared that I have an issue; I tend to not try things because I expect myself to do everything right the first time even though I know I won’t.

Yes, that’s ridiculous. I’m being transparent here. Okay? I do understand the saying, “Nothing ventured nothing gained,” and I’m officially working on it this time.

So… today I pulled out the paints and other supplies and decided to just play. What you see above is actually my second play sheet. Here, you can see the first.

Today was all about learning how everything worked – the paper, the brushes, the watercolors, and even the water itself. I gave myself permission to do the ridiculous, to create ugly, to fail. In doing so, I learned a lot, and have a solid plan for the next time I pull out my supplies. knowing what I learned today, next time will be better.

We live in a world that demands the appearance of perfection. Your TikTok must be just right for people to hit the follow button and the algorithm to make you visible. Your Instagram posts show only the best side of life. Your Facebook feed is filled with what appears to be perfect families.

And we know perfect families don’t really exist!

So I’m here to challenge you to rebel. Try something new, and give yourself permission to fail. Not fail permanently of course; that’s no fun. Just allow yourself time to learn without giving in to frustration at your own lack of experience. Don’t stop at the first hurdle; keep running the race.

It can be very relaxing, freeing even, to just sit there, mutter, “What if…?” and then try. It might fascinate you to find out.

If you’ve read about my tiny house life, no. None of this will be going into the frames on my kitchen wall. But some day I’ll share a post with those frames filled. After all, I’ve taken the first step in that direction.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

Tiny House Part 15: More Shelving

In retrospect, I could probably have put this information in my last post, but we’ll see. Here’s the other end of the top shelf I showed you last week.

On the far right, you can see the left side of the Monet piece. I’ve mentioned it before, but it and the framed art you can see clearly in this picture are in inexpensive acrylic box frames from Hobby Lobby. They’re lightweight enough that I hang them with pushpins. The art print on the left is just something I cut out of a calendar. Calendars are great resources for art!

You can also, on the right, see part of my blue wire snack basket. This is where I toss candies, toaster pastries, popcorn packets, and other such things. Sometimes it’s mostly empty, and at other times it’s packed, like on Christmas day after I’d opened all of my gifts.

The next thing you see is the green vinyl basket that matches the two in my bathroom. This jewel hides all sorts of things that I don’t use often, including my knives, measuring spoons, plates…and I’m not entirely sure what else is in there. It’s wonderful, though, for keeping things out of reach that I wouldn’t want a child getting their hands on, and I do occasionally have children in the house.

The tin next to the basket is both decorative and practical. I bought it years ago, full of tea bags, and keep my tea in it still. Yes, I enjoy hot tea. I like cold sweet tea too, but don’t do that much at home. Give me a cup of hot tea with honey and sugar and I’m happy. I use both loose leaf and bagged teas. I’ve purchased from several companies, but if you enjoy a cup too, I particularly suggest you check out Adagio Teas. They have some amazing blends!

The cup sitting on top of the tin is the one I use most. It is from Amazon and, like so many of the things I’ve purchased, comes in an array of colors. It’s the Yundu 12 OZ Matte Blue Porcelain Teacup with Infuser and Lid, Mug with Lid for Steeping. It sells for around $12 and has been my favorite for a couple of years.

And then we come to one of my favorite purchases ever! Truly, TikTok made me buy it, and I have never experienced one moment of buyer’s remorse. In following several Europeans on TikTok, I began to see just why they were all about their electric kettles. This one is lightweight, easily pulled down for use and put back up for storage. It heats up super-fast, and sometimes I keep it on the counter for days simply because I use it so much – and it’s pretty. It boils water for my tea, of course, but also for my Solle CinnaMâte, which I like to drink hot, (Check out Tired of Exhaustion? for more info on that), hot cocoa, and such things as ramen noodles, which I enjoy on occasion even though I do know they’re not good for you.

Mine is fuchsia pink, of course, but the Ovente Portable Electric Glass Kettle 1.5 Liter with Blue LED Light and Stainless Steel Base, Fast Heating Countertop Tea Maker Hot Water Boiler with Auto Shut-Off & Boil Dry Protection (Yes, I sometimes share these long descriptions in part because they make me laugh.), as you can see, is available in a variety of decorate-your-home colors.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Understanding Your Aphant

Please, if someone you care about sent you this link, especially if they’ve recently discovered they have aphantasia, take the time to read the post. They’re really hoping to help you understand things about them that don’t seem to make sense.

First, if what they’re telling you about having no visual imagination or memories sounds absurd, I assure you it’s not. Only a year or so back, I discovered that most of you are speaking literally when you say, “Ok, close your eyes and imagine.” My mind was blown!

There is actually a scale that ranges from hyperphantasia, which includes those of you who can not only see visual images in your minds but have the equivalent of HD TV in there, through total aphantasia, which is where I land; I close my eyes and I see black. Literally “nothing to see here.” That scale covers a wide range of diversity with each of us often having slightly different characteristics from the next person.

Second, if your friend, loved one, or employee has only recently discovered they have aphantasia, be aware that there is a good chance they are going through very real grief. I’m an active member of Aphantasia Support Group on Facebook and we seem to gain new members every day who have only just discovered what they see as a formerly unknown disability, and they’re devastated. I can’t even offer you an example of something equivalent to help you comprehend, but it can be world-rocking to realize you lack something that almost every other person you know has had all their lives, and it’s even harder to deal with the “loss” when those people can’t even imagine your reality.

So, aphantasia. I, as an example, have absolutely no visual memory or imagination. This is not a case of failing to train my imagination (Yes, I’ve been accused of that). In fact, I have an almost hyperactive imagination, which means those who know me best are aware that there are certain things they can’t share with me. It’s just that I have no visuals to accompany the concepts.

And that’s the difference between you and me. You visualize and I conceptualize. I’ve explained that it’s like my brain is a computer and if I want the data to be available to me later I have to actively input the information and remember to hit save. But that’s all it is – information. For instance, people.

I see my sister and recognize her instantly because I’ve known her forever. Ask me to describe her, though, and… Well, she’s probably about 5′ 6″ maybe 5′ 7″? She has long, dark brown hair. Huh. I literally can’t even tell you what color her eyes are. The concept of her appearance that is in my head has no real visual cues to help me out. This has led me to hurt friends’ feelings on occasion; if you change your hair color, I will likely never even realize it. I have learned to compensate to an extent by paying attention to what others say to you. Compensating is something aphants are good at.

Learning about my aphantasia made me feel worlds better about an incident that happened about 18 years ago. Two co-coworkers were taking photos of a baby, and I asked whose baby it was. They stared at me in shock, and one said, “He’s your grandson!” I was crushed that I’d failed to recognize my own grandson, but in truth most babies look alike to me until I’ve spent a whole lot of time with them. They grow so fast that, without a working visual record, the data in my brain can’t anticipate those changes to enable recognition.

So, if you get frustrated with your aphant because they can literally spend ten minutes talking to someone only to walk away and then be unable to point the person out to you, this is why. It’s not that we’re unobservant by nature; it’s that we have to be consciously observant and try really hard to remember to add the data into our memory banks: yellow jacket; short blond hair, etc. Personally, I work so hard on the conversations that the visual notes don’t always stick.

The same principle holds true for when we’ve been places with you. Unless the place makes a real impact, those of us on my end of the spectrum may have a hard time recognizing it at first when we go back. If you say, “Meet me at the blue sign,” for instance, I’ll probably ask, “Where’s the blue sign, exactly?”

There are so many areas in which we differ from you that this could go on forever. The idea is just to help you understand that there is a difference so you can be watching for it. In truth, learning about aphantasia made me feel better about many things, like not recognizing my own grandson. Like art and design!

In the past, because I could draw, I was called an artist. I’m not and never have been, and have explained many times that no, I’m a copyist – or I was at one time. I could take a photo, put it by my drawing board, and move my gaze back and forth between the two until I’d copied the picture and ended up with something like this.

I could not compose. I could not work from memory. I could not change anything (which resulted in one drawing that I hope never again sees the light of day), because I could not envision what I wanted to create. If I didn’t see it, it couldn’t exist.

This ended up being a trigger for serious self-doubt and pain at work. I was given a task that included designing artwork on a regular basis. I did it, but every piece took me forever because I just have to guess and play with things until I stumble across something that works. I do still design some pieces, out of necessity, but it takes me much longer than it would anyone else. Could I learn design? Probably, but it would require going to a professional for training, and adapting what they teach to work with my non-visual imagination.

So, if you’re an employer with an aphant, bear in mind that, if they don’t have the training they need to do the job without visualization, you may be asking for more than they can deliver.

I’ve made it sound like aphantasia really is a disability, and to be honest some aphants definitely feel that it is. I honestly don’t see it that way, but only as a difference. I have enough going on in my head with my constant monologue; I can’t imagine also having to deal with pictures that won’t go away. I still love to read, even without being able to see the movie so many have told me they enjoy. (Truly, that is incomprehensible to me.) I don’t watch movies much, even of books I’ve read, but I’m thinking aphantasia helps me with that too because I have no preconceived ideas of what characters will look like. As it is, I skim over most descriptions in books because visual cues are meaningless to me anyway.

I am genuinely happy that I lack many of the visual memories I can’t imagine living with. Watching my stepfather drown? Conceptually and emotionally, I remember it; I am VERY glad there are no visuals to accompany those concepts. I have a feeling that may also be part of why I never suffered from PTSD as a result of that accident.

Do I have any regrets now that I know what I’m missing? Honestly, I can only think of one. I wish I could remember my loved ones’ faces. I’ve always kept photos around because that is all I have to help me remember. Knowing the rest of you have those visual memories available all the time? Yeah, that one hurts. So, side note, probably one of the best gifts you could give your aphant friend or loved one is a digital picture frame loaded with photos of those they care about.

Overall, though, I find the tradeoffs fair now that I understand why I am the way I am. God made me this way and I am happy with me. Hopefully your aphant will reach the point where they are happy with themselves too.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

For more information on aphantasia…
Aphantasia Network
Aphantasia Newbie Guide

Tiny House Part 14: Open Shelving

I said last week that I was determined to have open shelving. My dream was actually floating shelves, so I was beyond delighted when I realized that’s what was being built for me. They were also able to take advantage of the framing to give me two built-ins that you’ll see later.

These floating, open shelves are above my washing machine and the top shelf runs all the way to the far wall. I love how my decorator friend put my art on the wall behind my dishes. I am not at all gifted in this area and would never have gotten that far out of my box! This print in particular adds just the right touch behind my clear and white bowls. For the curious, it’s Claude Monet’s Sunset in Venice.

I found this print of Sunset in Venice on Amazon. It is slightly larger than mine at 16×11.

And for the record, one of my glass bowls sacrificed itself when I decided I needed to confirm the name of the painting. I now only have one clear glass bowl sitting up there. I am sad. (Not really, just disappointed in myself for dropping my phone on the stack of bowls while trying to take a picture of the small print instead of just pulling the frame off the shelf.)

My friend also created the floral piece on the bottom shelf, not only to add color but to help tie in the gold of the upper shelf’s baskets. When I was searching for those three baskets, I was hoping for yellow to match the stripe in the multi-colored basket, but true yellow is hard to find. After I’d dubiously decked out the top shelf and sent her the photo, she set about creating some gold accents that would pull the color further into the room. You’ve already seen one of them if you read the library post. She actually painted a medical dictionary (An intentional salute to my love of words) gold and laid it on the shelf as an accent piece.

All four baskets are of woven rope. The three oval baskets on top came as a set. The rectangle basket on bottom came in a set of three as well; you’ll see the other two later. All the baskets arrived squished flat. This is why some are more consistently formed than others; I only devoted so much effort to getting them properly shaped. Both styles are available in a wide range of color options!

The top three baskets contain, from left to right, cereal (Yes, I like cold cereal – dry, because I don’t like milk), whatever I need the second basket to hold at the moment, and my hair stuff (dryer, flat iron, straightening brush, combs and brushes…) You can see that, at roughly 13 by 8 by 8 they hold a lot. So does the basket on bottom, which is 15 by 10 by 10. It handles the bulk of my cleaning supplies, which you can see peeking out a little bit.

So, basket links…

CubesLand Yellow Baskets for Shelves Storage/Organizing,Cube Shelf Closet Storage Baskets Bins Set 3,Long-lasting &Skin-friendly Toy Storage Basket Bin,Stylish Room Decor Basket,Cotton Rope Basket

MINTWOOD Design 3-Pack Storage Baskets for Shelves, Playroom and Classroom Storage Basket, Book Basket, Decorative Storage Cube Bins, Woven Closet Organizers, Nursery Baskets, Rainbow

To the left of the rainbow basket is my glass jar filled with Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean. I do have the same laundry detergent as a liquid in the rainbow basket, but these pods are my go-to. It’s my favorite detergent, and the colors are perfect for my house.

Finally, you have my paper towel holder and, hiding behind that, a small crock with my toothbrush and toothpaste.

And this has gotten long, so we’ll handle the other end of the top shelf next week.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Tiny House Part 10: The Bathroom Tour

I’ll say up front that this will come to you in more than one post. As small as my bath is, this room is a vitally important part of any successful tiny home, so there are several details I’ll go into.

Oddly enough, I feel the bathroom gives the most complete picture of me and my aesthetic. Eclectic is the word for my “style,” and my color palette is all about summer in the Caribbean. I fell in love with the vibrant, alive colors while cruising and visiting various ports with my sister, and the bath very much represents those cruises.

So, let’s enter. Moving forward, we sweep aside the curtain that we’ll pretend I keep shut. (Nope. I only shut that curtain when I actually need privacy, which is almost never) The first thing that catches our attention is a mirror mounted on the wall. I don’t have a picture of it; just trust me that it’s there. We placed that mirror carefully so I could step back and see myself from across the kitchen. This is also my makeup mirror, though I’ve recently begun to wonder if I want to move my makeup activities elsewhere. More on that later.

To the left of that mirror, over the toilet, is a set of three photos. All three were taken on the cruise that made me fall in love with that part of the world. The top is a beautiful butterfly we saw in Puerto Rico. That visit to the butterfly habitat was one of our favorite excursions, especially when one butterfly mistook my sister’s tattoo for a real flower and not only landed on her arm but stayed there long enough for several people to take photos. There are probably pictures of her wrist stored digitally all over the world – just not here since she was the photographer and couldn’t capture it herself.

The second picture is one of bliss. We were virtually alone on that beach, with our ship in the distance and the sound of the waves. Unlike what you experience here in my neck of the woods (Galveston is not one of my preferred destinations), those beaches are magnificent. And yeah, that’s me. 

And last, but far from least, sunsets on the ocean… Let me tell you, if you’ve never been on a cruise, you should seriously consider it. From discovering the reality of the color ultramarine blue to seeing flying fish to watching dolphins, to simply enjoying private time on a ship’s balcony… And that’s only touching parts of it. Life on board can be so enjoyable that I’ve at times considered not even going out on excursions when we made port.

But I do! Go on excursions, I mean. One of my favorite stops… Ok, one of many… was on an island owned by the cruise company. We began by wandering around, seeing a variety of fascinating and beautiful things, including a lovely little chapel and one of my personal favorites – peacocks! (They are represented in my bathroom too.) The best, though, was something my sister absolutely insisted on, and I’m so glad she did!

We started out on a traditional trail ride; yes, horses. I’m sure most trail rides are similar in one thing. There are a few people like my sister who actually know how to ride, and then there are others ranging in skill all the way to those like me who have been on a horse but really don’t know what we’re doing. The trail ride was ok. Even when a horse two riders up got antsy, my horse kept plodding along as calmly as you please. I knew he was the one really in control, but it was ok.

But then we were sent to change into our swimsuits while they swapped saddles. The water saddles were, as best as I recall, like a waterproof blanket, so you had no trouble staying mounted and the horse was protected. Once back on the horses, we headed into the water. Just getting into the water on a horse was great, but once we hit the deeper water things went way beyond “great.” I can honestly say I’ve only had one other vacation experience that was as exhilarating. That moment when I felt the horse’s hooves leave the seabed, when we started swimming, was gold! The rest of the ride was an absolute blast, and the experience is definitely something I’d like to repeat. I have aphantasia, so I don’t have any visual memories to refer to, but just typing about it right now triggered a shadow of those amazing feelings. 15 out of 10, I highly recommend!

Well, this took a sideways jaunt. I’m glad I warned you ahead of time that there would be multiple posts. See you next week!

Here’s your link to the curtain I use as a door. I only use one panel, but it comes in a set of two.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Tiny House Part 8: The Library +

The “+” comes before the library.
It seemed to be a good time to give an
overall look at the main room, so here goes.

In this photo you can clearly see the stained concrete I like so much. To me, it looks like well-worn leather. It’s a breeze to keep clean, which is especially good since I have access to a pool; coming in wet is not a problem. Another thing this photo reveals is the curtains I’m using instead of doors on both the closet and bath. The closet curtains don’t reach all the way to the floor since I ordered them long before I knew what my actual measurements would be. Eventually I’ll order a longer set or add something at the bottom, but for now they’re fine. The bathroom curtain is also short, but that was intentional as I wanted to leave a large space at the top of the doorway for airflow on those rare occasions when I have the curtains closed.

One last bit of randomness about the “kitchen.” Those white boxes you see beside the mirror are the same box frames I use elsewhere. The friend who spent several hours not only redecorating my tiny home but also making things (like the lamp and book easel on my desk) to use as accents in it, hung those there and gave me orders to fill them with art I liked. They mark a goal. My primary care recently told me, “It’s time to do something just for Tammy.” I took his advice to heart and, since I’ve been wanting to learn watercolor, I ordered some supplies. I am determined to not only learn, but to create pieces I feel comfortable putting in those frames.

Now the Library and, yes, I use the word loosely. You get two photos because I thought it would give a better idea of how everything fits together. Bonus peek at the bath included free of charge.

The first thing you likely noticed about my library is the small number of books. I wasn’t kidding when I said I did a hardcore purge in all areas. These physical books that remain are my essentials. The bulk of them being Bibles should not surprise anyone given my book Experiencing the Bible (shameless plug). The others I refuse to get rid of for one reason and another.

I shared previously that I’m an aphant (one who has aphantasia); people as high on the scale as I am can remember what people and places look like to a certain extent, but that knowledge is conceptual, not visual. Consequently, I need photos and that’s why pictures of my kids and grandkids take the primary position in these shelves. Even the parrots on the wall were photographed by my sister on my surprise cruise getaway. (No kidding. She literally scheduled with my boss and booked a cruise for my birthday. She’s the best!) They serve both as art and vacation reminder.

The blue basket on top is convenient for extra storage; right this minute it just holds my lighters and matches; it’s nice knowing I have storage waiting for me to use it! The flowers and the gold-painted dictionary were gifts from my decorator friend. She knows my love of words, so the dictionary is not just an accent piece but a nod to my passion.

If you’re wondering about the framed quote on the top shelf, it’s from Mark Twain. It says, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

Now, the reason I’m able to have so few physical books…

Bonus: You now know about one of my favorite authors.

I’ve lost pretty much everything twice in my life. The first time taught me a hard lesson and led to my getting my very first kindle as a gift from a friend who had upgraded. Honestly, I wasn’t sure about reading ebooks in the beginning, but learned quickly that I liked it. By the time that Kindle had died, I was carrying an iphone and started using the Kindle app. That was hard on my eyes, though, creating strain I didn’t need. (I tended to read for literal hours at a time. I still can.) So, after much research, I bought a Kindle Paperwhite that, a couple of years ago, I replaced with this Kindle Oasis.

I love this thing! You can tell by the wear on the cover that I use it a lot. As they say, it’s not the age; it’s the mileage. The Kindle Paperwhite (and Paperwhite Oasis) uses an e-ink that is very easy on the eyes. This Oasis also has adjustable lighting as well as the up/down buttons you see on the side. The regular Kindle Paperwhite did not have these buttons, and I would probably not want to go back to doing without them. And this e-reader is waterproof! So yes, reading in the tub is just fine.

So, to get back to my original point. I pretty much stick to paper books for non-fiction, which is what you mostly see on my shelves, because I mark those books up. I want to be able to come back and find things of note and relocate where I’ve recorded my thoughts on a topic. On the other hand, except for a few random non-fiction books, my Kindle is filled with fiction across a variety of genres. I don’t even know how many books I have on this thing and it’s nowhere near full. My TBR (To Be Read) list is massive, which would not be possible if I were limited to what I could fit in this room.

Since I’m on the topic of ebooks, here are some hints for those concerned about ebook prices. First, subscribe to BookBub. You’ll get alerts every day of books in your preferred genres that are on sale or free. A large number of my ebooks were picked up this way. Another thing I do is keep an ebook wishlist on Amazon. I update it any time I find a book I want to buy eventually, and every couple of days I’ll log onto Amazon and check out that list. If any have gone free or been marked down dramatically, I’ll hit the Buy Now button. So loading your kindle doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You only need to pay full price when you want to read it today.

And that’s it for this week. Like last week, I’ve chosen to put all of the product links here, at the end of the post.

SMILE Weaver Peacock Blue Curtains (closet)

Deconovo Turquoise Curtains (bath)

Experiencing the Bible

Kindle Oasis

Huasiru Case for Kindle Oasis

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

Tiny House Part 6: The Office

It’s probably no surprise, given I’m a writer, that the office area is the heart of my tiny home. There is so much to discuss, so many details of storage and use, that it will get more than one post.

Your first question is probably going to be about the desk. It’s not new; my son gave it to me after he inherited it from someone else. It is my absolute favorite of all the desks I’ve had through the years, and as you can assume from the fact that I’m the third owner, it’s well built. I like not having drawers beside me the way you do in traditional desks; I like to move around too much. With this layout, I don’t need them. I have plenty of storage up high and a great set of shelves that you’ll see later. When I started writing this post I thought I would be apologizing for not being able to help you find one, but I just tracked it down on Amazon! Well, I can’t guarantee it’s exactly the same desk, but it’s super close.

Made by Sauder, this L-shaped desk from the Manhattan Gate Collection is officially 58.74″D x 55.47″W x 42.52″H. Yes, I can confirm that, at nearly 60″x60″ it’s pretty big. In fact, more than one person tried to talk me into selling it and using a smaller desk instead.

I stood strong, however, especially since I not only love its functionality but absolutely adore the color (mystic oak, to be specific) and wanted it in my home. My decision has proven to be a wise one. This desk allows for a lot of storage, which we will get to, gives me room to spread out when I’m working with an assortment of references and resources, and it serves as my dinner table. I love it!

In the “office” photo, you can barely see my bed in the lower right corner. I said in a previous post that we measured everything down to the inch, and you can tell here that I wasn’t kidding. In my plan I had allowed what I figured was 1″ of wiggle room, and what I ended up with is exactly 1 1/2″ of space between my bed and desk. The desk sits a little off the wall to allow for electrical cords to drop down behind it.

I should explain the outlets. As you can see, the desk has an upper shelf. Given the probability of needing to use part of the under-desk area for storage, we decided to set the two outlets higher than usual so they would land in the gap between desk and shelf. If you’re able to enlarge the photo, you’ll see we were a little off on the left outlet. Fortunately, it’s permanently occupied by two cords and nothing is glaringly visible anyway. The other is my active outlet where I plug and unplug as needed.

The photos you see lined up on the desk ledge beside my active outlet are 5×7 prints from a cruise my sister and I took years ago. The frames are simple plastic box frames that I picked up at Hobby Lobby for next to nothing. I use the same frames, in various sizes, elsewhere in the room and you can catch a glimpse of two more in the office photo. They’re around the corner from the black and white art that hangs over my desk. One huge advantage to these frames is their weight. They all hang on pushpins.

Having aphantasia, with no visual memory of people and places, photos are important to me. I eventually want to get a digital photo frame that my kids can fill with pictures remotely. In the meantime, you’ll see several more photos as we tour my apartment. With only a couple of exceptions, I’ve been able to fill the place with personal artwork, pieces created by myself, my friends, and my family.

The black and white pictures that conveniently cover the shower access panel are two of those. That friend, Anna Davidson, is a wonderful artist who started out as an AOL online acquaintance and became much more. These are actually photocopies of old pieces of hers, but they’ve traveled with me from home to home for decades. They always make me smile as they bring back awesome memories of years spent talking, visiting each other, and writing interactive fan fiction with other close friends who lived around the country. She doesn’t have a website anymore, sadly, or I would lead you to some of her newer work.

And….this one is already getting long, so that’s it for this week. Meet me here in seven days and we’ll cover some more office ground.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C