Woodstock Wonders

i'm beset by daydreaming again...

based on my newest find at the used bookstore where i work,
another one of the rad handmade house books that we all adore.

this one is about the creative houses, huts, hogans of Woodstock New York.
they are so beautiful they make my  heart ache. i want to be surrounded in natural wood, spiral staircases, hammocks and plants and salvaged bits of glass and hardware.
i love how many of these homes are round or have circular elements; it feels so much more cozy and feminine and loving than straight white walls. curvy, inviting, warm, womanly, like a big old goddess hug of a house.

ALL of them harmonize with nature, like this house built around a great Mama Oak.

Bits of artwork and design always add unique flair and energy to theses places.

um, rainbow slide?!  WHOOPEE!

i want to live in a treehouse, walk all day in the woods, stare out my little octagonal window when it rains, wrap up in homemade quilts, gather water from a well, hitch up my skirts to climb trees, gather berries in my apron, make jelly, and raise kittens.

this book got me interested in the wonderful bohemian world that was early Woodstock. you can see in the picture below a portrait on the wall of mister Hervey White. he was an idealist and pioneer in the early 1900s who bought 100 acres and developed a free spirited community called The Maverick that welcomed artists, musicians, thinkers, writers, and dreamers. to support their colony they started a music festival that became a "grand celebration of pageantry and revel." It eventually had to end in the 1930s cause apparently it was getting way too wild, but i think we all know what future massive hippie gathering it inspired later in the century. You can read all about Hervey and the Maverick Festivals here. Hervey White is considered the "father of the hippie movement."

i'm trying to convince darin to be the new Hervey White and these will be our friends, the players in the barnhouse theater:

according to my book, many of the structures that Hervey built to house his friends and neighbors still stand today. i love that about these earthy, sturdy, natural places: they seem strong and secure. 

some are repurposed old barns.

this one has a giant stained glass door recycled from a neighboring church.

wouldn't it be lovely to create and use your own kiln-fired tiles?

darin says this would be the perfect room to write in. i think the cat helps with that tremendously.

i'd move to the teepee all summer, out in a field of wildflowers.

this is the neighborhood church, built by hand by a loving community.

i'll use this toilet anyday. (anyone ever tried a composting toilet? how are they?)

oh coziest of cozies.....

i love that which is crooked, imperfect, rustic, eccentric:
full of the touch of individual hands and therefore whole.
john ruskin wrote about soulfull imperfection: "In all things that live there are certain irregularities and deficiencies which are not only signs of  life, but sources of beauty." hervey white studied ruskin's writings about the deadening effects of the industrial revolution, about a human being's need for arts and crafts, thoughtful labor, creativity and dignity to rise above the dehumanizing effects of the machine age.
these houses show the grace and beauty that comes from our own hands and hearts and hard work, the beauty of making something for yourself rather than careless consumption.

the caption to this one says : "once somehow the sky got into the house."  

i think this is my very favorite room ever.

inspired to create beauty in my life in the most natural ways possible, i go forth into the lovely month of june hoping for sunshine and ready for joy.
how about you? any thoughts on houses, building, art, community? 


oh my what a post~it has re-ignited my constant longing for the different, for the round, for the old (the industrial revolution is a constant source of depressions, but then i am so thankful for the progress that gave us the internet!)
i have always longed to live in a roundhouse the way my celtic ancestors did and even recently tried to talk my OH into selling our camper van to buy a bell tent (photo of the one our friends have just bought over at mine).

we live in a regualr bungalow with straight walls and the upvc of the modern world but we have started to pull out the window sills and replace them with wood, we have even been thinking of lining the walls with wood as well.

your dream of a woodland idyl sounds perfect :)
now i am going to read more about Hervey White
thank you
Cat said…
you got me dreaming now...
you are right about EVERYTHING you say in this post! i simply adore these pictures... i will have to get the book...
i was wwoofing in a farm in romania last november and they had a composting toilet. have a look at this post where i describe how it works and so on. http://wrappedtroubles.blogspot.com/2010/11/joliff-farm-in-cobor.html
Cel said…
My aunt and uncle had a compost toilet in their house when I was a kid. It was okay, in terms of smell and everything, but it kinda grossed me out that you had to sit just a foot above a giant pile of excrement hah. Maybe they just had a horribly designed toilet though, who knows, it's still better than an outhouse any day so far as I'm concerned.

A family friend has a cabin out in the woods a lot like these places. My mother and father built a huge stone chimney and large fireplace when the friend had an addition made. There's just something about a place that was built with loving hands.
Verhext said…
This was my favorite book as a kid (hippie parents) & a huge inspiration for me building my own little cabin!!

The collections grown since this post, but here are some of my faves:

ashley said…
Ah, I love browsing that section n the Bookery! It's so inspiring to Eric and I- we used to sit in the aisle and pic out pieces that we would combine to make our own perfect little home in the woods (with lots of cats, plants and sunshine, of course).

My friend Zach had one of those incinerator toilets rather than a composting in his little adobe abode. Truthfully, I was always nervous to use it! If you didn't follow the steps right, it could mess up the system. Plus there was fire involved and all. Scary! He and his wife just finally upgraded to a modern toilet, and they are feeling like King and Queen on a new fancy throne!

So happy I got to see you the other night- Im probably going to swoop into the Bookery today with Mal and also hope to see you at Brick Oven tonight!

Clare said…
This was such a beautiful post, Heather. I love reading your thoughts. You'd fit in seamlessly into any of the pictures here. Heather tending the fire, Heather going down the rainbow slide, Heather under a handmade quilt looking at the birds out the window.

I'm pulling my house together these days, doing all the little projects that I've been holding off on. I planted all of my flower baskets and am checking out paint colors (finally) for all the rooms in my house. Your pictures will serve as good inspiration.

Composting toilets seem to work well, at least according to friends who have them. I'm not 100% on the science of the resulting compost on food crops since I haven't considered getting on of my own. I'm into the idea of an incinerating toilet, then using the small resulting ashes on rose bushes.

Have you seen the blog "From Moon to Moon?" She's on my sidebar, you would love all of her interior pics.

I hope you're well, you beautiful soul,
Take Care,
Amy Beatty said…
this pains me sooo. I need... I want... We have got too. I will just keeps dreaming for now xo
Andrea said…
Love it! I still have dreams about that Tree House book... I think that you posted about or was it on Thriftcandy's blog? I love the possibilities with these homemade homes.

PS: Thank you again Ms. Heather for all your beautiful and thoughtful words of encouragement about Henry. I truly meant it when I said that your response to my initial post was really touching. Finding a kindred spirit in those dark moments was truly meaningful, it helped me & D. make a much better decision. Thank you :)
anne said…
i love the baby crib in the teepee! i would gladly live in any of these fantastic works of art! so inspiring, great post heather. i'm keeping my eye out for any of these books.
Still Blooming said…
Oh Heather...LOVE LOVE this post. Dream, Ha! Reality it must be, it all was once before and can be again:) We have the land,the lakes, and the trees just need good folks like you all. *Music*Love*Peace*
Hoodoo Voodoo said…
Heather, I was just looking at a book like this in Copperfield's and I was dying! And, looking at this blog, my heart races faster and faster with each picture. Those houses are straight out of my dream. Why can't we just pull them out of our hearts and make them physically in front of us and all around us?! Life is but a dream, sweetheart.
"Georgie" said…
Thank you Heather, I too am lovin your Blog, and as you can see I am your newest follower. Much enjoyment!

Milla said…
Trust you to totally mesmerize sister(-wife;)! This has got to be one of my favorite posts of late! I wish I could literally write an essay on all the thoughts its evoking in me.

These images actually quite remind me of your own lovely home with its cozy nooks and lovely surprises and easy, laid-back vibe. Your home may not look like a handmade hippie home on the outside (and neither does mine ;) but I think what's really important about these kinds of houses is the making do, that their beauty comes from using what you have on hand, your creativity, not from buying some idea of "groovy hippie homedom".

I've never really understood "interior decorating and design"-as an idea, no more than I can relate style to catwalk shows and "fashion" (such dislike for that word) and while these homes are absolutely beautiful and unique and thought out, they are also very organic. I love words on 'creating beauty in the most natural ways' and think that's exactly what these folks had in mind and that it is a concept that spans this whole crazy existence. I'm sure that while these people put their creative ideas to good use they didn't have "a look" in mind that they were going for. These homes to me are places where practicality meets thoughtfulness and visual pleasure.

The Handmade Home books are all very amazing and I'm lucky enough to have one courtesy of Missa and the California trip. I love leafing through its pages for inspiration, for faith in the beauty of small things, not some vain search for "perfection", but joy in all the ways our surroundings can delight us and bring us comfort, the care that goes into creating a home.

To me home is very much wherever the soul feels rested, home is people, family and friends, community. I feel like my house is not the only home I have but rather the concept extends to the whole Island, for it is all a place I'm comfortable in.

Imma gonna cut this short and not go into communal living, but thank you so much for these beautiful thoughts, they'll surely bring lovely dreams.

Night night
oh momma mia. these pictures make me so happy. there are good people out there, there are! so many! let's gather.
Nicky said…
I instantly fell in love with the same room you did, a huge beam across the ceiling, wood floors, white walls, fireplace and yes... the guitar roped me in! These are fantastic places. I love that the first "hippie" lived so far before the 60's and 70's! Fantastic!!!
Sara said…
Ooh, I hope to build my own little dwelling some day and incidentally have a folder on my computer of inspirational photos. Thank you so so so much for this post. I'm dreaming of little wooden houses in forests and meadows with lots of deer and fox and songbirds.

All of those places look like they have stored up some serious good energy, you know what I mean? I used to live in a super old house that had the worst energy and was creepy as sin. But you know that!

I would very much like to live in a teepee or a yurt; the movability appeals to me and I like that the latter shares my name ;) Couldn't you just imagine spending cold winter nights all cozied up in one of those indigenous dwellings, stretching out under wool blankets next to the stove? Maybe a cat or two curled up at your hip? Or, I guess for me it'd be a dog, but hey, daydreams are flexible.

Muchas gracias for a super sweet eye-candy post.

AdieSpringB said…
Yes! I also love what milla wrote! We don't all need to go "fashion" homes like this to feel creative- let's recycle all the empty ugly ones already built! And then put what we already have collected in mind and in reality (our decorations, books, linens, art, crafted works, cats, friends:) )into a great creative burst of goodness that makes our own homes one of these homes! It's true, your house does evoke a vibe like these, and I kind of love when a place that perhaps looks " normal" in the outside has so many secrets and surprises on the inside! Here's to the dream of dream houses and making the ones we are living in right NOW our very dream!
Miss Maya said…
HEEATHER! HI this post is awesome, i love the house boat that is INSANE and amazing!!! thanks for subscribing to my blog, its new and i dont know what its really going to be all about yet, but i am enjoying it so far! i will be reading your posts for suuuree! hope to see you soon! love to you.

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