Peter and Donna Thomas have been making fine press and artist's books for over 40 years. When they started, as craftspeople at Renaissance Faires, they fell in love with the graceful beauty of "gypsy wagon" caravans that other vendors had made to sleep in or use as booths for selling their wares. In 2009 Peter and Donna built their own tiny home on wheels, designed after a typical late 19th century Redding Wagon. This blog documents their trips around the country, taken to sell their artists' books, teach book arts workshops, and talk about making books as art; as well as to seek out and experience the beauty of the many different landscapes found across the USA.

Peter and Donna started their business in 1977 and made their first book in 1978, so from 2017-18 are traveling to celebrate 40 years of making books with shows in a dozen libraries across the country. See the schedule on the side bar to find if they are coming to a town near you....

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Join the Ukulele & Book Arts Tiny Home Bandwagon

The first leg of our 2017-8 trip, celebrating 40 years of making books, is now behind us - and we are home binding up more books! So what else does a wandering book artist do when they are not wandering? You know, when we made our first "Wandering Book Artists" trip in 2010, most people who saw our wagon asked, "What is this?" But on our last trip it seemed like everyone was saying, "That's a tiny home, right? I'm getting ready to build one myself!" We seemed to be at the start of the current tiny home craze. Another trend we were at the forefront of is the current ukulele fad. We were co-founders of the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz in 2000. Watch out, as unintentional pioneers of movements, what's going to be next? Well maybe we will take up making tiny home ukulele book arts music videos!

Two Tiny Home/Ukulele Music Videos

You may have already seen the music video that our cohort in ukulele crime, Dave Peters, helped make while we were teaching at the John C. Campbell Folk School in September, 2017: Sleepwalking in a Tiny Home. If not, here is a link:

The Next Tiny Home Music Video

When we were in Rhode Island, staying with Dave and Sue Wasser, founders of the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum, we showed them the Sleepwalking video. Sitting at the dinner table, and joking around, Dave and Sue suggested they would like to enter into a little friendly competition with the "other Dave" and that we should make our own video - also based on the tiny home and ukulele theme - that would get even more hits.

Since we were leaving the next day we had to get right to work, so right then and there, at the dinner table, we wrote and recorded the song on my iPhone, and then filmed it the next day. The weekend over, Dave's work got in the way, and editing wasn't completed December 31, 2017, so it is hot off the press, or what ever they say in the film industry. Here is a link: It is called, "Xs and Os in a Tiny Home" - based on Ex's and Oh's by Elle King. (But be forewarned you will have to watch a commercial before you can see Elle's version. But if you watch you will find it also features a tiny home on wheels...a vintage house trailer.

Some YouTube Trivia

1. For a view to count you must watch at least 30 seconds
2. Only the first 100 views from any one computer count.
3. Make your vote by watching twice.....or 100 times..... and give a THUMBS UP to the one you like the most. No one uses those thumbs on our videos, so we will know they are your votes.
4. Here is the base line: at the time we filmed "Xs and Os" the "Sleepwalking" video had about 600 views.

Pictures of our Tiny Home on Wheels

Then to a related subject: we were looking back thru our files from the trip and found a collection of photos of our wagon taken by students in a photography class at the John C. Campbell Folk School. They gave us copies to share with our readers and so here they are:

We will be back at the Folk School in May, teaching Beginning Ukulele, plus a Jug Band Class! Will you sign up and come have fun with us? There are lots of amazing classes at the Folk School and you will not regret making the trek to North Carolina.

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