CT workshop link

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

FARGO, ND Tiny House Building (Hands-ON) workshop w/The Diedricksen Brothers....

Yes, "Its ON!". May 28th and 29th (Fri-Sat 2015) Derek "Deek" Diedricksen and Dustin (his brother)- aka "Dr. Demo", will be hosting a two-day HANDS-ON Tiny House Building Workshop, INSIDE an art gallery in Fargo, North Dakota, where the class will collectively build a wild, funky, colorful cabin- one that will be used and displayed by the gallery for some time to come. Meals included.

The Diedricksen Brothers have hosted and built/designed for the HGTV and DIY Network series "Tiny House Builders", run the youtube design channel/show "Tiny Yellow House/RelaxshacksDotcom", have built and designed for the History Channel and ABC, and have been featured in the NY Times, Boston Globe, China Times, Seattle Times, ApartmentTherapy.com, Design Sponge, Better Homes and Gardens, and beyond.

And check this!
Austin Hay, will be flying in from California as our guest builder/speaker!

You might know Austin as the kid who built his own tiny house when he was only 15(!), and from the  viral youtube video that was the result of it. It has THREE MILLION VIEWS!

This workshop will be limited to TWELVE people.... we want to keep this intimate, manageable, and want one teacher/builder for every four students. Approximate hours will be 9am to 9pm on Saturday, and 10am to 6/7pm on Sunday.

If you're interested, email newenglandrockpress@gmail.com to sign up/for additional details.

Framing, siding, design know-how, complex cuts, tool usage, problem solving, salvage material building, pallet demos, trailer build info/direction, and you name it- we'll cover it. These workshops are great for beginners, or for those with experience, but looking for new approaches and inspiration.

Here's a video of one of our past workshops.... they're REALLY fun, and we've had some students take them multiple times just for the fun aspect and the networking angle of it.

Cost of the two day class, with meals included, is $265
Email newenglandrockpress@gmail.com if interested.

CANCELLATIONS: Make sure you can attend before you sign-up as this workshop has less lead-time than the others and we can't deal with cancellations, and such- it just gets too time consuming to fill and replace slots. If you do sign up and later have to cancel, we WILL give your a rain check to any other workshop we host- don't worry. But again, MAKE SURE you can make these dates before you pay, as you will get to attend another workshop if you have to cancel, and not a refund.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

HGTV "Tiny House Builders" Host fronts Boston, MA based metalcore-hardcore band.....

Hey, for all your recurrent readers, many of you know that aside from building and designing tiny houses, tree houses, forts, backyard offices, and cabins, I'm really into weird art, beer, comic books, anything nerdy, AND metal and hardcore music. Among my favorite bands (one's I've been inspired by): Madball, Downset, Prong, Iron Maiden, Hatebreed, Rage Against The Machine, Clutch, Coroner, and Pantera. And yes, you'll find hints of all of them in this music video/tune.... or so I feel.

(PS- side announcement- we have a NORTH DAKOTA hands-on Tiny House Building/Art Workshop Coming Up in May!)


(Warning: The video has some covert lyrical social commentary in-it, with a few cliche, cock-of-the-walk, hip-hop, tongue-in-cheek lines.... I wouldn't say its for kids). 

 "Prepare To Scare"- this isn't a normal post for this blog, but we do cover art, music, and books now and again, so I'm tossing it up here.... don't worry, we'll be back to building and tiny houses by the next post! And we'll have more on our Fargo, North Dakota mini, hands-on building workshop!

As for the music video, check it out, and if you'd be so kind, pass it on, as we're 100% independent right now, and worked hard on this self-titled 9 song album. We've been working/writing as "Inverter" since 2012 more or less, but this is our first official release, so give it a whirl. The band really is just a studio project- myself on drums and vocals, and Bill Bracken on guitar and bass, but we're working towards making it a live vehicle and doing some dates down the road. Soon.

Special thanks to Jim Foster of Red 13 Media, who recorded this album at his Framingham Studios, and to Jim (again) and Anthony Lewis, who busted ass with this music video- shot in a mere 4 hours.

If you want to help us out, for a mere $8, you can pick up the album....

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Inverter-Explicit/dp/B00UV1N0KK/ref=sr_1_2?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1426685161&sr=1-2&keywords=Inverter
CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/inverter 

As for the cut-and-paste press release we grabbed offline from a metal/hardcore news site... from an interview I did a few months back.....

"Mark your calendars as March 16th, 2015 signals the release date for the independent offering from the "new" Boston, Massachusetts-based act/project "Inverter". The two member "band", comprised of Derek "Deek" Diedricksen, and Bill Bracken- both longtime musicians, WBCN FM (CBS Radio) alums and members of the New England scene, has been writing and recording under the "Inverter" moniker since 2012, but this self-titled album stands as their first official full release (at Red 13 Media in Framingham, MA with Jim Foster). Why should we care? Well, for the simple sake of "WTF!?" curiousity, and all-out randomness, we recently found out that frontman Diedricksen had been doing some hosting and design work for both the HGTV and DIY Networks this past year for a show called "Tiny House Builders", which debuted this past December. "HGTV meets HARDCORE and METAL"? We NEVER saw that one coming. Furthermore, if Madball, Downset, or Prong, are your thing, these guys might be right in your wheelhouse. 


Anyway, to those who give it a chance, pick up a copy= THANK YOU!

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Saturday, March 14, 2015

DIY Salvage Decor- Deek Interviews Shannon Quimby (HGTV, Better Homes And Gardens)

At the 38th Annual St. Louis Home And Garden Show- 2015

In this short interview, Derek "Deek" Diedricksen (HGTV, DIY Network, Relaxshacks.com) talks to Budget-Design Expert and Magazine Stylist Shannon Quimby, whose expertise deals with taking found items, and junk, and re-making, or re-imagining, them into new decor pieces for homes. Shannon's work is often seen in magazines ranging from Better Homes and Gardens, to Country Living, Vintage Style, Flea Market Style, and beyond. She is also author of the book "Color, Create, Decorate", and has contributed to many others such as "Salvage Secrets: Transforming Reclaimed Materials Into Design Concepts" and "Salvage Secrets: Design And Decor". She has also worked for, and appeared, on HGTV, and The DIY Network. 

(This interview was conducted inside a tiny A-frame cabin/garden shelter (or office) that was a LIVE, behind-the-ropes, build by Derek "Deek" Diedricksen, and his brother Dustin Diedricksen, for the 38th Annual St. Louis Home and Garden show where both brothers, and Shannon, were featured speakers. This A-frame cabin, which was built for under $1000.00, was completed in 3 days. The front of it is clad in clear Tuftex polycarbonate roofing, and its roofed with Ondura roofing (www.Ondura.com). Roy St. Clair, a friend of the brothers, was  the third member to help with this live build.

Also- don't miss Deek and Dustin's LIVE, ACTUAL-BUILD, workshop coming up!!!
 Click on the banner on the top of the blog for more info....


Friday, March 13, 2015


Some fun/whimsical things I've been working on.... Sure, there are 4,500,786 artists that blow me out of the water, but I'm having fun making these little paintings, and I'm reusing old yard sale canvases, and scrap wood blocks (otherwise bound for the dump) when doing so.

 If you're interested in me doing a piece for you- even one of your tiny house- let me know.... kidcedar at gmail.com (all the ones shown have SOLD- sorry)- ALSO, we'll have (and make) some cool tiny hands-on art at our next Tiny House Building Workshop- May 1-3 in CT. We'll build a cabin INSIDE an art gallery, that will be on display (publicly) for two months and then auctioned to help out this non-profit art gallery.

THE NEW STUDIO: Why the heck not? As some of you know, a ways back I began renting out a small studio in an old factory in my town (one of about fifteen artist studios on a 3rd floor) simply so I could have some creative fun and get back to painting, sketching, and graffiti-based work. I've been selling original pieces for some time now simply through my personal Facebook page- "Derek Diedricksen", and while I've sketched hundreds and hundreds of tiny cabin ideas for my blog or my books, I've done very few in color.

Above: My studio- decked out with many free, salvaged, and recycled items....

I figured, why not work on some tiny art pieces, that could be potentially used as decorations in tiny houses, cabins, or tree houses- or for those aspiring for tiny spaces and wanting a little art piece to remind them of their eventual goals?

Above: Sketch I did of Tammy And Logan's Tiny House (one built by Dee Williams). www.RowdyKittens.com

I'm no Rembrandt, but have been having a lot of fun messing around with salvaged materials, recycled and leftover paints, and small yard sale canvases. So here are a few I did recently.

Also, our Hands-On Tiny House Building and Design workshop in CT (May 1-3 2015) is filling up fast, so if interested, click on the banner near the top of this blog, and then scroll down for details. We have a good deal of women as speakers and experts this year too, which is GREAT!

Another one- pen sketch for fun.... (for sale)


-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

TINY HOUSE LIVE BUILD hits CT- HANDS-ON Build and Design Workshop!

Check out this new kick-butt flyer art from Kevin Fitzpatrick of www.KMFIllustration.com- the guy is fantastic! We're REALLY looking forward to this workshop- one to be held INSIDE an art gallery in Putnam, CT ("The Empty Spaces Project"). Gonna be fun, and we'll ALL build a really cool, funky, cabin together, as well as take on some really creative collaborative art and decor projects! We have MANY guest speakers, teachers, and demos as well, and this little CT town is loaded with great restaurants, and a live-music venue right next door to the build!

The first day of the workshop will also coincide with the gallery opening of NYC artist Maltee Sinanan- whose work is REALLY cool/fun! One of her pieces will also end up within the cabin we build- which will later be open to the public to see for a month or so afterwards.

'Hope to see some of your there- this one is filling up fast. If you want more info, or want to sign up, click the banner link on the top of this blog prior to the workshop date (May 1st, 2015).

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Deek's Tiny House/Cabin LIVE BUILD in St. Louis- Photo Journal

THANK YOU St. Louis, and the folks at their 38th annual Home and Garden Show (the THIRD largest in the U.S.!). Dustin "Dr. Demolition" Diedricksen and I had a GREAT time down there, alongside Roy "Two Phones" St. Clair from www.Ondura.com (aka "The Tuftex Tiny House Roofing Guy" as many called him). While down there we built a cool little A-frame cabin LIVE, and behind the ropes, for a demo to those who attended this four day event. It was a ton of fun and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Good people, good food, good times....
(Note: we DO have a 3 day, FULLY HANDS-ON Tiny House Building Course coming up on CT- scroll down below for details!)

Man, I have quick hands!

St. Louis was a lot of fun, despite the weather.

Some highlights....

-Checking out "Aaron Kamm and The One Drops"- randomly. One of THE BEST, and tightest live bands I've seen in a long time (and I'm a jaded gent who used to work in the music industry). These guys were just FANTASTIC!

-Going to the top of the St. Louis Arch- WELL WORTH THE RIDE! Not all that expensive either. $10 for the ticket. The CN Tower was almost $50 when I went! Crazy.... (still worth it though)

-Crawfish Enchiladas at "The Broadway Oyster Bar"- a pretty misnamed joint, as its an ultra-funky cajun restaurant with a great live music room.

-Pulled pork sandwiches from "Vernons" near "The Hill"

Above: The micro backyard cabin/office we built- a simple a-frame plan that can be built for about $800 (less if using salvaged/recycled materials). It stood 11' 6' tall. It was later successfully auctioned off for charity when we finished. The roofing is Ondura, and the front is clear Tuftex brand polycarbonate. Special thanks to Eric Schwartz and crew at Refab.org for the salvaged materials! 

Highlights (Continued).....

-Hanging with (several times) and picking the brain of Shannon Quimby- who has done a ton of work for HGTV, The DIY Network, and many fabulous magazines that I often read, such as Flea Market Style, Vintage Style, Small Space Design, Better Homes and Gardens, Storage Solutions, and so many more. We nabbed a little interview with her that will be up on youtube soon as well. You can check out her work at www.ShannonQuimby.com . A super nice person- funny too!

-Doing SEVERAL radio and TV interviews- one short one at the studios of Fox Channel 2 news in town....

The view near the front of our hotel (the St. Louis Arch- 630 feet tall!) 

I figured that this would make for a less cliche photo by the base of the St. Louis Arch....

And our upcoming workshop.... click to enlarge

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Diedricksen Brothers hit AUSTRALIA (Tiny House Building Workshop)

Boom! Hells yeah!- My brother (Dustin) and I are Australia bound! The Workshop's almost sold out too- only like 6-7 spots left (all before it was really even announced!)... gonna be fun! Again, its HANDS-ON building, and me trying to decipher Australian slang (and them not understanding half of my nonsensical American catch phrases).... I just might have to make a few up just to confuse people. For instance "Can you schlep that noggy boondockle to my krantz briffle (my nizzle)?"- which I'll later explain as meaning "Can you pass my knucklehead brother that 2 by 4?". The later phrase would be quicker, yes, but far less fun to say! 

The people we've been dealing with (who set this up) are GREAT and the build will be in conjunction with this place called "The Bower"- which, more or less, is like a super-cool salvage warehouse/re-store. Commence drooling.... salvage-goods EVERYWHERE!

And MEGA-THANKS to pimp-daddy extraordinaire KEVIN FITZPATRICK from www.KMGIllustration.com- he's done MANY workshop flyers with us- the guy is damn reasonable, prompt, friendly, and sexy as all hell! ;) Check him out if you need any artwork done- he's got a really fun style, and great ideas. I highly recommend him....

And if you don't happen to live down unda'- Dustin and I (with MANY guest speakers, teachers, and more!) have a workshop in Putnam, CT- THREE DAYS long- fully hands on! We'll build and design a tiny art cabin (INSIDE an art gallery downtown), work on a LARGE collaborative art piece or two, and potentially even build a little side project or so.....  so many things to do, see, hear, learn!

Putnam, CT is also home to a converted railroad boxcar which serves as a museum for the author of "The Boxcar Children" book- Gertrude Chandler Warner. We'll probably be touring that too!

The gallery will also be hosting an opening for the awesome artwork of Maltee Sinanan while we're they're as well.... not to mention other cool happenings. We're excited for this event and want to thank  both Paul Toussaint and Ann Monteiro for letting us do this project in their super-cool gallery- "The Empty Spaces Project" (photo of the "build room" below- one of two floors we'll get to use!). Putnam is a GREAT, quaint, little town too! Great food, antique stores, a live music venue next door to our build, and so much beyond that....

If interested in details or signing up, click on the workshop banner on the top of this page before May 1st....

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Porcupines? A threat to Tiny Houses and Cabins?? Yup....

Its not like we have enough things to worry about and maintain as homeowners, weekend cabin builders, and tiny house enthusiasts, but yep.... I've been waging an ongoing battle with porcupines on my land in northern Vermont, and I'm slowly, and barely, treading water in this battle.
In several areas of the country, porcupine are so damaging to cabins, stored materials, sheds, and tools, that you're bound to get a heroes welcome if you bag one. Beyond that (and I talk about this more in my book "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks") in some regions, the porcupine problem has gotten so bad that an introduced species (Fishercats- almost looking like descendants of Wolverines), have been brought in to combat this woodland problem.
They say that if an axe was left unattended in the woods for a long enough time (and not even THAT long, I imagine), that its handle would be eaten clear off by these spiked critters. Porcupines, you see, LOVE salinity, whether it be the oil in your hands that is left on an axe handle, or the salty and aromatic glues used in most plywoods on the market.

The aim of the video above wasn't to illustrate the "Porcupine Threat" point (and yes, I realize that they were there first), but you'll get to see a mere fraction of the damage that one porcupine did to our backwoods tree house sleep shelter in Vermont while we were away. This peek of the damage is shown once this short tour moves to the interior of this little tree house.

Notice the metal collars on the poles of this structure? It helps (a bit) to keep them at bay.... keeping nearby trees at a distance (to keep them from climbing a tree to get onto your structure) is also a very good idea too....
As for other techniques to keep Porcupines at bay- I list a few further below....

And should you happen to catch a porcupine red-handed, here's a recipe I found for Porcupine stew- kidding.... somewhat....  Many people in this region shoot these animals when caught, so if that was to be your choice of action, why let the animal just go to waste? I don't hunt, but I also don't like seeing anything wasted, IF someone was to bag a "quill-dog".


As for my book, where I get more in depth with my dealings with Porcupine, you can check it out here....
They ARE fascinating animals, with an amazing adaptation for survival, but man oh man they're a pain in the butt!

(a short list of what works and what doesn't- (I've tried EACH of these techniques for long durations after they were recommended to me, or researched online).

SPREAD HOT SAUCE ON THE AFFECTED AREAS- DOES NOT WORK (hot sauce is loaded with salt, I could almost hear them laughing at night)

PLACE MOTH BALLS and MOTH FLAKES around the base of your cabin and near the damaged areas... DOES NOT WORK- made no difference...still LOTS of damage....

CLAD THE LOWER AREAS OF YOUR CABIN. They seem to like pressure treated wood and cedar less (they WILL still nibble on it), but metal is a deal-breaker for them, whether it be corrugated panels (our entire outhouse is now clad this way), hardware cloth (screening), or pole sleeves (metal). DOES WORK or at least slows 'em down...


HIGH SPEED METAL COMING FROM A GUN- DOES WORK, but you'll get new visitors in your territory soon enough....

Fox Urine- seriously, they sell it online.... HAVEN'T TESTED, but I hear that they results are mixed, and you need to reapply at the base of your cabin frequently (and it stinks!).

Porcupines are nocturnal too, so they can be hard to nab. They are very slow though, and have no real enemies, aside from the Fishercats, and fox, by occasion.

Also (above)- "MICROSHELTERS" is my NEXT upcoming book- now on pre-order for a September release....

Monday, February 9, 2015

For the cottage-industry/self-employed folks saving for a tiny house.....

     As you might have noticed by now, after 5+ years of rather eclectic posts, Relaxshacks.com is not JUST about tiny houses, shelters, forts, tree houses, cabins, and campers/rvs, but about a money-saving diy, thrift, and craft-based ethic. Its for this reason that I occasionally post on subjects that are decor, homemade-art, craft, or self-employment related- all of which DO fit in with the free-spirited, creative, and resourceful ethos of the tiny house movement. Running a cottage-industry business? Well, this idea might just save you some money, or save you in a pinch, when you're out of packaging, out of time, and just don't want to run to a store to buy factory-made mailers.

So, here's a little money-saver that some of you who sell and ship through Ebay, Etsy, or who self-publish from home, might appreciate. These homemade mailer packages are EASY to make, as you'll see, cost nothing, and are made from recycleable materials you often already have right in your very home.

Enjoy- and if you dig it, pass it on.... it'll keep a few more cereal boxes out of the waste stream, even if just for a bit, and prevent the need for plastic packaging, and the wasting of your hard-earned money....

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Thursday, January 29, 2015


SHARE THIS POST on Facebook and tag "Relaxshacks Tiny House Hub" (and join/"like" us if you haven't), and you're entered to win...... SIMPLE AS THAT!

"Tiny House Builders" is a one hour show by host/designed Derek "Deek" Diedricksen, alongside his brother Dustin, and their backwoods construction crew (Creature, Jim Shippey, Jonny "Milwaukee" Lyman, Phil Laplante, and Melissa Teper). 

FIRST PRIZE- a slot at our 3 day HANDS-ON "Tiny House Building" workshop in Putnam, CT (see the flyer below)... we'll be collectively building and designing a tiny house/cabin INSIDE an art galleries front window in downtown Putnam, CT.

SECOND PRIZE- A copy of the new hardcover book "Wonder Walls"- on small space decor and design with repurposed materials (see below)

THIRD PRIZE- a Micro canvas tiny house art piece (painting) done by Deek....

FOURTH PLACE- a virtual handshake.... no, there is no 4th place....

Winners will be announced Monday, and posted on the "Relaxshacks.com and Tiny House Hub" Facebook page.....

And.... May 1,2,3 in CT- HANDS-ON Tiny House Building Workshop!

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen