Tiny Tea Party 2016
I've always been inspired by my friend Brittany's party that she hosted at the completion of her tiny house. She called it a "Teeny Martini Party" and it was to celebrate being done with the house and everyone who helped her along the way. Brittany, unlike your slacker author, built her house in 5 months and in one location. Our build spans years (just over three years if you start from the day we got the trailer...) and two states and four build sites and one storage location. Many of my friends who helped at various stages of the build live far away from Utah. I was determined to have a party, though. And I wanted a record of the house as it looked close to move in/completion to share with friends and family who have helped or cheered us on during the build.
We moved in around September 15, 2016. I was surprised how long it took me to feel like I was ready to host a party at the house. First there were adventures in getting water to the house (a long story for another day), then there were trials with getting hot water. Then we had a leak in the plumbing and issues with our radiant floor shorting out because of it. It's been... interesting getting the house up and running fully. Having done renovations before I was sure that a new build wouldn't be as challenging. Everything should just work correctly the first time, right? Right?!
But when the first snow of the year hit, rather late in mid November, I panicked. If I didn't plan this party SOON it wasn't going to happen until spring. Because, you know, the house is rather small (tiny, you might even call it) and I knew an open house would necessitate some amount of standing around outside. So I gave up on everything being perfect and just decided to schedule it, and whatever last stuff I could get done beforehand would have to suffice. Since we are going to California to visit my aunt's family and my grandma for Thanksgiving, the only real option for an open house/party was yesterday, Sunday November 20.
I also needed someone with a real camera and not just an iPhone to take pictures of the house. Since I was cleaning and tidying anyway for my party, I called up Becky to see if she was up for doing some architectural photography. She's an excellent people-photographer and I was hoping she'd be up for a new challenge. Which is an understatement because unlike commercial architectural photography, tiny houses pose some special difficulties when it comes to photographing the space. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find a good photo of a tiny house bathroom? Yeah. That's because it's nearly impossible. Luckily Becky was game for the challenge. We also asked in this session that she include some pictures of us and our dogs in the space (hint hint if you're on our holiday card list you might get one!)
Becky is so wonderful that she didn't even think twice when I asked if our session could be at 9am on a Sunday. My rationale was that 9am is when the light is really nice in the house. The tiny house faces north, and it's parked under a giant willow tree to the west. So the only time of the day when we get nice light streaming in the windows is in the morning after the sun rises over the Wasatch front. She agreed and was over bright and early yesterday for pictures. We spent maybe two hours hanging out with her while she took pictures of the house, of us, of us in the house, and attempted to get a couple pictures of us with both the dogs. I'm not sure the last item was achieved because Tesla is a monster 6-year-old lab mix puppy who can't behave. Squirrel, on the other hand, is a perfect gentleman who loves the camera and basically poses himself.
After our photo shoot we caught up with Becky in a non-professional capacity aka being friends. We went to brunch at the always excellent Bohemian Brewery. Since she had now given us the entirety of her Sunday morning, we said our goodbyes and went back to the tiny house for round two: the Tiny Tea Party!
I went a little crazy inviting people to the Tiny Tea Party on Facebook. It turns out that Facebook limits your event invites to 500, which for me is just shy of the first half of the alphabet in my friends list. And many of the people I invited were from outside of Utah so they couldn't come anyway, but I wanted everyone to know that I wished they could be there!
We had a great turnout, about 25 people as best Dan and I can remember. Our wonderful hosts brought over several friends and neighbors who were curious about the tiny house. We also got to meet Kasie Hall, another tiny houser in Salt Lake City! She and her wife live in a twenty footer as well, near Sugarhouse neighborhood. She's on Instagram as little20project if you want to check out her place. Other special guests included our build site hosts and friends, Jeremy and Clarissa, who brought Crystal and CJ with them! This is big because CJ and Crystal live in the Southeast, and just happened to have a five hour layover in SLC on their way home from Alaska, where they were celebrating their anniversary. Thanks for coming, guys!
The Tiny Tea Party was super fun, and we got to show off our house a little bit. I'll be sharing lots of pictures from Becky's shoot once she gets them processed and back to me. I'm dying to see the house through her eyes, because she had not seen the house since it was under construction. And it made my heart happy every time she noticed another detail of the house. Shortly, I hope, I can share an online "Open House" with you via Becky's pictures! I'll leave you with one she took of Dan and I last winter, just so you can see how amazing her work is: