Hello, everyone! I've been back from Anthrocon for about a week now, and (mostly) recovered. Thank you SO MUCH for everyone who came by to say Hi! And if you're one of the folks that were like "OMG BPD IS BACK AAHH!!", than welcome to the new site. :) The new comics can be found over on the "comics" tab to the left. (side note: I know brokenplotdevice.com has exploded. The old comic archives will be brought over here soon, and the URL will be updated.)
Now, on to the purpose of the post: along side BPD and other public commissions, I'm trying to allow myself time to work on some "me" projects. It's been YEARS since I've really allowed myself the opportunity to do things that were purely selfish creations. Art I wanted to make for ME, and not simply art I chose to make that would then be resold as prints or whatnot. I've decided I want to let you guys in on those projects, with the idea that in the future I may come to you guys for advice/input, and because I genuinely like sharing what I'm doing with you. :)
The first project is what I'm referring to as The Bohemian Grimoire (though the name may change as time goes on). The idea is that it's inspired by the Wiccan Book of Shadows. If you don't know what a BoS is, it's sort of like a cross between a religious text and a journal, kept by practicing witches & neo-pagans to explore and record their spiritual journey. I am NOT Wiccan/Pagan so that description is likely insufficient (and also why I'm not calling my book a BoS, as I don't feel it appropriate to use that name if I'm not practicing the religion), so I DEFINITELY welcome Wicca/Pagan folks to elaborate in the comments.
The idea I'm going for with the Grimoire is that over time I'll collect interesting stories, quotes, information, recipes (aging paper, making home-made natural dyes and inks, etc), and collect them with illustrations in the book. I'm treating it half as an art project, and half as a visual life journal, with possible dabbling in the spiritual. I don't consider myself a religious person, but I am fascinated with a lot of the old fables and tales of different cultures and I'd like to explore that too. Basically I'm just gonna fill the book with whatever feels right and just sort of let it evolve over time.
I would like to ask, for those of you who ARE Wiccan/Pagan, for any sort of advice/tips you might have, specifically if you currently keep or have kept a Book of Shadows. What types of things do you keep in it? Do you have a particularly favorite page/section you think would be nice to keep? I would love to even see samples or flip-through videos, though I know some see their BoS as very personal so obviously only share if you feel comfortable. My general theme I'm pushing it towards is right now is that "Every Perspective has Value", so I'd love to include bits and pieces from all over inside it. That is entirely up to you of course; but if you would like, I would absolutely love to hear your input and thoughts on this project.
The second project, while being a MUCH bigger project, is the one I'm referring to as the "Tiny" project: And that is, to build myself a Tiny House.
The Tiny House movement is a little too big for me to go into here in one blog post, so instead I will provide you with a few links:
- Tiny House, Giant Journey : Youtube Channel (The Lilipad House, vid titled "Eclectic Eco-Friendly Tiny House with Two Lofts" is my favorite!)
- We the Tiny House People : Documentary, 1h21m (the 11m Trailer is HERE)
- Tiny House Swoon : a blog with lots of pictures of Tiny Houses
- Tumbleweed Tiny Houses : Possibly the most well-known and established Tiny House building company. They also host workshops all over the country! (more on that in a bit)
The big, obvious, McMansion-sized question, obviously, is WHY? Why would I want to build a tiny house? Why am I not happy with a normal house/apartment? A lot of those questions can actually be answered generally in the We The Tiny House People documentary, but for me personally, the reasons why I want to do this are:
- I am an artist on limited income. Tiny Houses can be extremely economical; many people have build their own for less money than it would cost to buy a brand new car, and your annual utility bills are less than the average American pays in 1 month. The cost of construction is the biggest expense, which can also be drastically reduced by being smart & thrifty; for example, CraigsList has piles of like-new construction materials for dirt cheap. Do a search in your area for "windows" alone, and you'll see what I mean.
- I can literally do my work from anywhere as long as I have my art supplies and an internet connection. I also have family and friends scattered all over the US and Canada. A huge benefit to the Tiny House is the ability to pick up and move whenever I wish. My aunt & uncle in Cali need help with their twins for a few months? I'm there. I feel like spending the winter with friends in North Carolina? Find me parking. Do I feel like taking a cross-country year long trip? Just need gas & toll money.
- A tiny house, to me, is security. I plan on building it myself, so I will know how everything works, I will now how to fix something if it breaks, and if god-forbid I loose the entire house to fire, flood, or aliens, I can rebuild it. And because it will not be paid for on a mortgage or by rent, I will own it outright from day one. It will be mine, and no one will be able to take it away from me. This is quite possibly the most important thing to me. I spent nearly 2 years in and out of what was essentially homelessness, living by the generosity of family and friend-of-family, because an ex made a decision that was completely out of my control. The tiny house, no matter what happens, will be mine. Even if some day I do move into a "normal" house, the Tiny House will always be there as a back-up should something happen.
The Tiny House is a project that has been mostly in the conceptial & planning stages for over a year. I've been able to do little more than doodle up floor plans and ideas for how I'd like my house to look (which I've pretty much settled on it looking sort of like This House, called The Lilipad by it's owner.)
Building the actual house will, in all honesty, require outside help. That help is not necessarily just in the form of money (though at some point I'll likely set up a GoFundMe page, in case anyone actually wants to help out that way). I'd also accept barters for construction supplies/home goods (small oven, sinks, windows, hardware, a 250/350 TRUCK to tow the thing in the end, etc etc), construction advice, borrowing of tools and possibly even a location where I can build the thing (and possibly rent a room & stay during construction). If you happen to know someone who has built a tiny house OR if you've built one yourself, get in touch! I would LOVE to hear from you. I've been collecting as much information as possible over the last year as I can, but the more I get the better.
The most immediate assistance - and yes, this is a financial one - is to help me get to a Tiny House construction workshop. Tumbleweed Tiny Houses holds them all over the country, and their Philadelphia one is coming up in late September. They're holding a sale for 30% off tickets that runs out July 31st, and a $70 off until August 31st. So as of this posting, I have 12 days to purchase my ticket at the lowest possible price of $279 (the full price is $399).
I understand everyone is tight these days; I wouldn't be asking this if I weren't as well. The Tiny House is something I've been secretly passionate about for a while, and I feel like this year is The Year I finally want to get it started. If you could help me get it going, I promise I will be writing about and documenting the entire process here so you can see exactly what your contribution is going towards. You can use the black Tip Jar link in the left side bar, or you can contact me directly at LizardbethArt@gmail.com.
Anyway, I know that was all a HUGE wall of text, so if you've gotten this far, THANK YOU!! I am trying my best to get back to being more active in posting online (falling back on my old shy-introverted ways ;^_^). With these two projects gaining momentum now and in the (hopefully) near future, I will have a lot more to share. So thank you for taking the time to read all of this, and as always, if you have any questions or things you'd like to share on either project, don't hesitate to post it in the comments!
It's the little things that keep me going. :)