Today’s episode is with fan favorite Derek “Deek” Diedricksen. Deek has been on the show several times, but I invited him back because it is the 10th anniversary of his super fun and unique signature tiny house building workshop, called Tiny House Summer Camp. In this interview, we'll talk about Deek’s hands on approach to workshops and how he structures these events so you can get your hands on power tools and build, to really get a sense of what it's like to build a small home. It wouldn't be an interview with Deek without lots of fun stories. We talk about how he has built small homes on public land that are completely hidden from view, how to start small, and other workshops and writing projects he has on his plate. Deek is always cooking up lots of interesting things, tune into this really fun conversation.

In This Episode:

  • Workshop Reflections: Celebrating 10 years 🎉 Deek reflects on the success and growth of the Tiny House Summer Camp workshop, which has been running for a decade.
  • Woodworking Tips: Start small, gain experience 🪚 Aspiring woodworkers should start with small projects and gain experience and confidence before tackling larger ones.
  • Importance of Patience in Woodworking ⌛️ Deek emphasizes the importance of patience, taking time, and selecting the right tools in achieving success in woodworking.
  • Tiny House Summer Camp Workshop by Deek Diedricksen 🏡 Insight into the hands-on workshop. Participants get to experience building a small home and learn from Deek’s expertise.
  • Building Outside the Box: Unique Creations 🏗️ The focus on making building and construction projects stand out from others in the field. How unique touches and experiences differentiate their work.
  • Hands-On Learning vs. Traditional Presentations 👐 Comparison of the effectiveness of hands-on learning versus traditional talk-based PowerPoint presentations.
  • Eclectic Band and New Album 🎶 Deek discusses the band, their upcoming album, the eclectic nature of their music, and the influences that shape their sound.
  • Workshops and Events: Vermont and California 🌲 Join the workshops in Vermont and California, learn details about upcoming events, including dates, locations, and guest participants.

Links and Resources:

Guest Bio:


Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Derek “Deek” Diedricksen is a self-proclaimed lover of all things tiny home. The Massachusetts-based builder is the author of numerous tiny home books; an organizer of tiny home building and design workshops around the country; and has been featured on more than one HGTV series and the DIY Network. His latest book, Microshelters, features 59 of the country’s most creative small structures—cabins, treehouses, stilted shelters, backyard huts, and tiny homes on wheels. Deek’s band, Inverter, just signed a record deal, and their forthcoming album will be released in September!


YouTube: RelaxShacksDOTCom

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More Photos:

Workshop build

Robot Treehouse

From one of Deek's workshops

Workshop in Joshua Tree


Derek Diedricksen 0:00

I pitched that to my publisher because years back they actually said no to doing a treehouse book. And I was gonna go elsewhere was offered a contract with a different publishing house. And I didn't like them ultimately. So I said no and repitched it to my publisher. And I said, Listen, have you ever met anyone that when you bring up tree houses, they said, bah humbug. I hate tree houses. No. tree houses are like the candy of the sky.

Ethan Waldman 0:24

Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, the show where you learn how to plan, build and live the tiny lifestyles. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and this is episode 272. With fan favorite Derek "Deek" Diedricksen Deek has been on the show several times. But I asked him back on because it is the 10th anniversary of his signature and super fun and unique, tiny house building workshop, which is called Tiny House summer camp. In this interview, we'll talk about Deeks hands on approach to workshops, and how he structures these events so that you can get your hands on power tools and build and really get a sense of what it's like to build a small home. It wouldn't be an interview with Deek without lots of fun stories. We talk about how he has built to stealth, small homes on public land that are completely hidden from view, how to start small and what other workshops and writing projects he has on his plate. Deek is always cooking up lots of interesting things. So it's a really fun conversation and I hope you stick around. I love to cook in my tiny house kitchen, but I don't always love to clean up. And one of my big concerns with going tiny was losing the convenience of a dishwasher. That's why I'm so excited to share today's sponsor with you. The FOTILE two in one in sink dishwasher. It's a dishwasher built into a sink, and it's perfect for tiny house living. This innovative appliance is perfect for modern living and compact spaces. With its efficient design. It saves lower cabinet space and fits perfectly into a standard 36 inch cabinet bass, making it ideal for tiny homes. But it's not just about saving space. It's about saving time and water to the FOTILE two in one in sink dishwasher offers a quick wash cycle of just 20 minutes, getting your dishes clean in no time. 45 minutes standard and 80 minute intensive washers are also available. Plus it saves nearly 50% of the water a regular dishwasher would consume. With its ergonomic top loading design. You don't need to bend over like you would with a traditional dishwasher, making it perfect for small kitchens. When it comes to cleanliness. The FOTILE two in one instant dishwasher doesn't disappoint. With five standard washing and rinsing cycles and a 360 degree cleaning system. It eliminates 99.99% of E coli and other common bacteria from your dishes promoting a healthy kitchen environment. Are you worried about installation? Don't be FOTILE provides a comprehensive DIY installation tutorial online. And they're offering Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast listeners a special extended five year limited warranty. There are over 30 million families around the world enjoying FOTILES full range of cooktops, ovens, range hoods and in sink dishwashers, they've channeled 20 years of experience and expertise into these innovative compact dishwashers. This amazing dishwasher has a rating of 4.7 out of five on Lowes website. Visit to learn more and purchase your FOTILE two in one in sink dishwasher today. That's That link will be in the show notes to upgrade your tiny home kitchen with FOTILE and experience the convenience of modern living in a compact space

All right, I am here with Derek "Deek" Diedricksen, Deek is a self proclaimed lover of all things tiny home the Massachusetts based builder is the author of numerous tiny home books and organizer of tiny home building and design workshops around the country and has been featured on more than one HGTV series and the DIY Network. His latest book micro shelters features 59 of the country's most creative small structures, cabins tree houses, stilted shelters, backyard huts and tiny homes on wheels. Deek's band Inverter just signed a record deal and their forthcoming album will be released in September. Deek Welcome back to the show.

Derek Diedricksen 4:40

Hey, what's up? Glad to be here. Glad to hear from you as well. Thank you.

Ethan Waldman 4:44

You might be now tied with Macy Miller for guest appearances on the show.

Derek Diedricksen 4:48

Oh yeah, I got a crush her and I'm just kidding. She's awesome. I still talk to her quite a bit. She's also involved in things. By the way. I have another book out since then micro living

Ethan Waldman 4:57

micro That's right. As I read that I was like I'm pretty sure there's another one.

Derek Diedricksen 5:01

Miko shelters is the one that just like sold crazy amounts of copies and like, even made Michelle Obama's summer reading list years back, which I was like, Oh, my God. Yeah. But micro livings the newer one,

Ethan Waldman 5:13

did you get to meet? Michelle?

Derek Diedricksen 5:16

no, I didn't. My dogs growling at somebody out there. So someone's about to approach the house. No, I wish that would have been cool. Yeah, that would have been cool to meet anyone of that stature, regardless of where you stand politically. I mean, come on. That would have been something else. Yeah,

Ethan Waldman 5:32

Totally. Well, it's great to have you back. I mean, I feel like the very first time we talked, we were talking about the U haul conversion that you did, then I think you were back. And we talked a lot about like tree houses and like scrap building. Yeah. And I just saw recently that you've got your 10 year or your 10th run of tiny house summer camp coming up. And I thought, you know, we could get you on the show and just talk about, about workshops and like, kind of the magic that happens there. And like what what your philosophy on that is?

Derek Diedricksen 6:03

All right, I appreciate that. Yeah, it's year number 10. The 10th one we've had, it's technically year number 12. Because long story long, you know me then, when we first started one of these, we just we decided to do when my brother convinced me let's do a workshop up in Vermont, and this 10 acres off grid I own. And it was awesome. I thought nobody would sign up. I just started doing YouTube, my blog, all that and it was sold out. Yeah. And I figured it was a one off. So we skipped a year. And then, you know, a year after that my brother's like why don't we keep doing a few there might really I never thought of that. COVID one of the years at COVID. We had to postpone to people just didn't want to travel couldn't travel. So that was another year we missed but we got back on track after that. So been crazy. People from all over the globe, like literally have flown from Peru, the UK, Uganda. I forget where else. Ecuador just to come hang out and build with us in the deep, Vermont.

Ethan Waldman 7:01

Well, yeah. Why don't you take what is tiny house summer camp? Let's start there. ,

Derek Diedricksen 7:06

Well, I taught workshops. I actually started doing these before, I freelance and taught workshops for another large, tiny house building company and I was fine working with them. But their workshops were all talk based PowerPoint slide presentations in hotel ballrooms, and that wasn't my thing. Because yeah, me being we talked off camera, very ADHD, like I was always like one of those people was into doing it instead of hearing about it. Yeah, I am a firm believer that you can learn more thoroughly, quickly. By using your hands and actually doing it instead of watching someone do it or hear about it, or you know, watch a YouTube video. So that's really important. That's key. So that's really the fundamental building blocks or element of these workshops. You're out there. You're building alongside us with us. You're literally building, you'll leave with some calluses on your hands, you'll be dirty. We're hoping you have some fun. Some people still just like to sit back and watch and people learn differently. But I just didn't want and I got the same feedback. People sitting in a hotel ballroom watching a slide presentation. It took me back to like the, you know, days in high school when they wheeled out the overhead projector dating myself. Yeah, yeah. Or you brought out like a movie to watch. Yeah, it works for some, but it's a it's a waste of time. In some cases, I'll come out right and say it sometimes Yeah, the waste of time.

Ethan Waldman 8:22

I mean, you can certainly learn a lot in a in a ballroom workshop, you know about the building science and about the order of how things go. But like, you're not going to learn how to, you know, lay out a wall or to use a screw gun or circular saw in ballroom, you got to you got to put your hands on it

Derek Diedricksen 8:43

actually retract a little bit, you can learn plenty. No, because I taught a bunch of them too. And I wouldn't have if I didn't dig them enough. And yeah, sure, they paid me. But I traveled around the US doing them, but you can learn some stuff from them. And it's in a nice controlled AC environment and all that. So that is for some people and not for others. Yeah,

Ethan Waldman 9:03

don't I mean, don't be knocking my trade because I don't teach workshops I teach. Yeah, no,

Derek Diedricksen 9:07

no, I'm not saying that. But I really this is my standards I've learned by doing Yes, you know, I grew up in a very hands on family, and learned a lot of stuff just by jumping in the deep end. And a lot of people they're very fearful of like trying something for the first time, usually in the case of power tools and building and once they once they actually do it instead of hearing about it on a slide presentation that really is like Oh, this isn't as complex as I thought and abilities that it builds courage and you know, just confidence and that's why I think there's that advantage with the hands on nice so

Ethan Waldman 9:43

do you have kind of some building projects sketched out for for summer camp this year?

Derek Diedricksen 9:48

Yeah, we start well, we always have a couple that like, intentionally like we don't finish we have so many groups at once you're building multiple things that we've packed away yet. Yeah, we have a another project I think probably since I don't Know what we have since you've been there there's a couple of things hidden out in the woods. We have 11 cabins now, some of which are tree houses. You know, there's the giant robot one you saw that yeah, you've

Ethan Waldman 10:07

seen nice, nice yeah, but

Derek Diedricksen 10:09

we started building another robot creature that was more along the lines of, you know, Planet of the Apes or the Statue of Liberty is like stuck in the sand kind of thing. Yeah, ever saw that? Totally. It's a robot head and shoulders that might become a future hipcamp rental. Nice, but it actually has these giant hands coming out of the earth too, that are made out of wood. So it looks as if like some Easter Island Giant was buried in the woods in the hillside. Vermont. So and with you know, using found repurpose materials where possible. As always, we might build another mini a frame to because everybody seems to be into, you know, vernacular simplicity, the design of a frames. Yep.

Ethan Waldman 10:50

And I mean, there's just like, so dead simple to build that it's probably nice to

Derek Diedricksen 10:54

just exactly and I try to build things people can finish in a weekend. So we're not going to build a full out tiny house because that takes like 1000 Plus labor hours never gonna happen. So I try to have some microcosm projects that will give people a chance to experience like, here's the technique you would use on a larger scale to build a tiny house. Here's how you frame the wall. Here's how you do roofing. By the end of the weekend, hopefully they have a picture of them in front of something they built soup to nuts start to finish. That's the idea. You know, you didn't sit at home, watching reruns of whatever you know. Airwolf, there's another dated show you probably don't even know about that when

Ethan Waldman 11:27

you I don't know Airwolf, I got your other efforts is

Derek Diedricksen 11:30

yea h, I literally tried to think of something really deep and old. I don't know why someone listening will be like Arrow, Jen, Miko, Vince and you'd now you got to look it up either you gotta watch terrible if it was a hot show back in the day, back when we'd ride our ordinary bikes or a penny farthings down to the picture house and watch Airwolf. Excellent, yeah. Our jewels are in hot air balloons. We take them downtown. All right, backcountry, yeah.

Ethan Waldman 12:02

So like, we're chatting, it's July, this will be out soon. So you know, people listen to this in a reasonable amount of time, there's a chance that they can actually attend the 2023 year summer camp. What are the dates? What are the registration details?

Derek Diedricksen 12:15

Okay, so it's September, it's actually a week earlier than it usually is. September 15. To the 17th. Okay, it's still technically the summer we pick those dates because it's just not buggy or as buggy in Vermont. And we used to do August and it's just hot and buggy. It's off grid. It's outdoors on 10 acres. We have a lot going on September 15 to the 17th to sign up. multiple hosts follow Coleman's coming back to do a surety bond fire demos and building my brother, my brother Dustin, who was basically a co host on the HG TV stuff with me in the DIY Network. Alex eaves bringing up his tiny house that's in the movie, a box truck film documentary, we created better film festivals. Who else Marty superluminous, a Connecticut architect used to be there to incite demos, there's a lot going on, and we're building on top of all that. So we have that. But we also just announced in November on We're doing one out in California and Yucca Valley at this awesome, We I've stayed there twice with my brother when we've done workshops elsewhere. It's just glamping tent resort place called Heavenly Cielito, which I don't know if it means like little ceiling, little sky? I don't know. Heavenly Cielito. That's gonna be November hands on workshop. Right near Joshua Tree. It's down next to Joshua Tree. I'm in love with that area. So anytime we can find an excuse to teach a workshop out there just so I can be out. There we go. Nice. And we're building a cool desert, like tiny house structure there.

Ethan Waldman 13:47

sweet. And that's for like a client. Or if there's someone...

Derek Diedricksen 13:50

it's not I'm not getting paid to do it. It's just they wanted something built and in exchange for being able to use their site. It's it's case by case basis. Yeah, yeah, we get to stay in one of the tent things. So you know, I don't have to pay for lodging kind of thing. That place is awesome. We're building designing this for them. We already met with them in Joshua Tree last year to plan it. And people can rent their tents and stay there. And basically in exchange, it's a sight, albeit a very unique and cool one where we can build as opposed to my land, which is like this Mad Max. So you've been there, right? Yeah. Oh, yeah. It looks like a nuke went off. But

Ethan Waldman 14:30

A nuke went off and just scattered all kinds of crap everywhere.

Derek Diedricksen 14:34

We've cleaned it up so much since you've been there. You'd be surprised. And we have a couple of things we built but anyways, this place is gorgeous. And I'm looking forward to that.

Ethan Waldman 14:44

So you're, you're leaning in heavy to the workshops.

Derek Diedricksen 14:47

I love it. No, not really. No, you know what, like, I'm so busy with other stuff. I just signed a new contract for a book for my publisher that I did micro shelters and micro living with is a treehouse book. Not a tiny house book. It's micro shelters in the sky. Maybe that will be the title. I don't know. Yeah, yeah. The powers that be sometimes get to decide over me. But I'm working on that right now. And I guess if you don't mind me saying if there's anyone out there that wants to contact me that has a cool Treehouse that they want featured. Yeah, I'm looking and I'm trying to focus on tree houses that are affordable, have creative character infused in them, not the Pete Nelson and I love his stuff, but not the McMansion tree house as well have some of those words. Yeah, so I'm looking for him. It's tougher than I thought it would be to find. Creative, affordable, simple ones. Hmm.

Ethan Waldman 15:39

I think there's one in like Waitsfield Warren area of Vermont. That's like I think it's one of the most popular Airbnb has ever it's a tree. It's a really cool tree house.

Derek Diedricksen 15:50

I just went out to one called the Stone City tree house in Hardwick and I love Hardwick, Vermont. Yeah, it's, it's hugely popular, gorgeous, and the plot of land. It's armed with a creek going right by the treehouse. It's like, heavenly. Yeah, I rarely use that word. It's freakin heavenly. And that's when I fell on that. I just put a YouTube video out for that as well. Sweet.

Ethan Waldman 16:10

Sweet. Yeah, treehouses. There's there's just something about them, especially ones that like, are more than just like a tree fort where like, you're like, Oh, yes, I can sleep in this thing. I can like live here for a couple of days.

Derek Diedricksen 16:25

No doubt. They make big money. If you build them to rent. It's crazy. Like people spend hundreds of dollars a night for the unique experience of staying in a tree house, I'm sure. And I pitched that to my publisher. Because years back, they actually said no to doing a treehouse book. And I was gonna go elsewhere, was offered a contract with a different publishing house. And I didn't like them ultimately. So I said no and repitched it to my publisher. And I said, Listen, have you ever met anyone that when you bring up treehouses, they said, bah humbug. I hate treehouses. No. It's like, Have you ever met anyone that doesn't like candy? Right? tree houses are like the candy of the sky. I don't know their candy. And it's like, yeah, everyone seems to dig them to something fun. There's that whole scaling back your childhood aspect of them. So? So they finally said, Yes, I convinced them.

Ethan Waldman 17:12

Sweet. Well, I'm sure it'll be great. I love your books. Thank you. And um, yeah, but great. Image forward, but with also a lot of practical information. I love that you include usually plans in the books. Yeah, could you know you could start a build off of and it's always fun.

Derek Diedricksen 17:30

This one will be interesting, because I'm going out somewhere in New York. I don't remember where to build a tree house. That every step of it. It's going to be kind of strange and intrusive. I'll admit, a photographer is gonna be there the whole time. So in the book, you're gonna have step by step, photographic, like a journey of how the treehouse was built sweet. Start to finish. Sweet. Maybe in lieu of plans. We're deciding. But it'll be fun, but a little bit of a pain in the tokus.

Ethan Waldman 17:55

Yeah, it'll slow things down for sure.

Derek Diedricksen 17:58

No, yeah.

Ethan Waldman 18:00

Well, you're always you're always building something I've learned. So I want to ask like, what, what are you building right now? What are you working on?

Derek Diedricksen 18:07

Oh, geez. A couple of things a ways back. I don't know, when we last talk. I illegally built a tree house on state land in a swamp in the woods. Oh, to see if I could get away with it. Yeah. And I might at some point, I started writing like it as a journal style book, and filmed it as like a Lo Fi documentary. You know, I used to do this when I was a kid we build on land where we weren't allowed to be without permission. But um, I just turned 46 I'm not a kid anymore. You don't get a slap on the wrist. You get the cops showing up. You get arrested if you do this kind of stuff. Which made me want to do it even more. Yeah, I wanted to see if I could get away with it. And there was a lot by way of planning like it a prefab the pieces. How do you get them into the woods without being noticed? There were some hiking trails nearby, like, you know, and a couple times I stumbled into hikers where as I heard them coming in, I'd have to throw stuff deep in the woods, so they wouldn't see me and wonder what I was doing.

Ethan Waldman 18:57

Oh, now. Wow.

Derek Diedricksen 18:58

So and then, you know, you you can throw people off by we're at one you know, at one point. Instead of taking trails, I literally would walk streams and garbage sneakers deep into the woods, so no one can follow me. Yeah, so way in the woods, there's this cool Treehouse that transforms that nobody knows of at least as far as I know, tracks. It's been there three years now.

Ethan Waldman 19:19

You really get arrested or do they just like say like, yeah,

Derek Diedricksen 19:23

yeah, it depends who was reporting me. You know, I don't even know if it was I don't it's it's kind of semi protected wetlands. So maybe I certainly would get in some form of trouble. Okay. Okay. I haven't been back to the trails Recently I visited visited a little ways back and everything was still in great shape. And there was no evidence anyone having found it, it's, it's hidden.

Ethan Waldman 19:48

I mean, I'm sure you can't reveal too much about it. Can I ask what state it's in?

Derek Diedricksen 19:53

Oh, it's in Massachusetts, ahead of the close enough. It's not my town. It's a little ways away. It's in a fascinating area where I I don't know, I'm just a fan of it started by my daughter and I it was like hot a couple summers ago. And during COVID all the beaches were like congested and like I kind of not ready to go and sit two inches away from people. So we kind of using satellites and maps and like let's find our own private swimming hole that only we know about. And I discovered this almost like magical woodland place that I fell in love with and started really exploring there. And it kind of got me into all these COVID era hobbies like I'm obsessed with antique bottle hunting now for a couple years. And I started finding stuff out there like this sweet spot on an old postcard of a bridge nearby in the woods from the 17 or 18 hundred's. Wow. Kind of near this area. So there's a lot of history. Linked in to. Wow. It was it was fun. I got away with it. Not one person saw me found me your question me. Good for you. And I'm building another one right now. I guess I should get to that. I started another one.

Ethan Waldman 20:54

Same, same neighborhood are different. No, this one's actually

Derek Diedricksen 20:57

real close to where I live. I can actually walk the pieces there. I cut my own trails. I built bridges all with like scrap wood and stuff. I found that I don't want to spend money on it. If it ultimately it's gonna be torn down or ruined in the woods. Yeah, because I'm not really gonna use it. I just want some kids at some point. Like, how cool would it be if you're hiking in the woods, you find these trails as a kid. And at least this random tree house in the woods. That's like, so cool. So,

Ethan Waldman 21:22

man, I've never seen your house, but I have to imagine that there's just so much cool building materials, like stacked up and like ready to go.

Derek Diedricksen 21:30

Yeah, I got a lot of stuff. Too much stuff perhaps. Trying to cut back.

Ethan Waldman 21:35

Yeah, but you're a big Facebook marketplace guy. I'm always seeing you like oh my god. Yeah.

Derek Diedricksen 21:39

Yeah. It's addicting. It's fun. During COVID. I made like a crazy amount of money just selling junk off the side the road and fixing every wiring things. And it taught me a bunch of new skills doing it, which was a lot of fun. Yeah. Bicycles do that kind of stuff.

Ethan Waldman 21:56

Yeah, bikes are really fun and easy to work on. No, yeah.

Derek Diedricksen 21:59

And I didn't know a lot about them. And I kind of just taught myself through YouTube. Yeah. So I guess there's one of the benefits of YouTube. I didn't mean to slam YouTube earlier, but there's a lot you can learn.

Ethan Waldman 22:08

That's okay. Well, we cut that part out. We weren't recording out. Yeah. Nobody has to know that you're slamming YouTube.

Derek Diedricksen 22:14

No, I wasn't because I do YouTube videos all the time. I literally just put a tutorial on how to save great stuff. Spray foam when you do nice and easy trick for it. So it's funny, those videos they do well, but slowly over time. It's the long tail. Yeah, you get 1000 views at first and like, oh, man, that video was a fail. And I checked back several months later. I'm like, oh, it's got 70,000 views now like, oh, yeah, yeah, strange. Yeah, I just made $1 it's like, yeah, spotify.

Ethan Waldman 22:43

Exactly. micro micro payments unless you're like a Dow or just how you treat myself to a Tootsie Roll? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, you're, you're such a like, multidisciplinary, you're an artist. I'm telling you this now. You're multidisciplinary artists. So are you tell us about Inverter? I always I see posts. Usually I see a post of you on Facebook. You're the frontman, it looks like you're mid like Scream. Yeah. Or mid yell?

Derek Diedricksen 23:13

Well, it's funny because we do all these shows. And even people I know, because I drummed in bands forever. This is the only band I've ever fronted. Yeah, and there's a long story behind that. But we just pieced together this project. It was a studio project. Between me and my buddy Bill bracken. We recorded a full album, put it online, and all sudden got all these offers to play shows. And like we're not even a real band. It's just a studio thing. So we built a band around it. We were lucky enough to find this guy, Jeff Lon. And Jimmy Evangelista. He sounds like he's a strangler for the mob to play and they're they're fantastic. Like I couldn't ask for better guys and musicians. We've been really busy. We have a new album, I was lucky enough to get to contact a friend of a friend new Corey Glover from the band Living Color. If you're familiar with them, living colors won two Grammys, they've sold millions of albums all that and we sent a track to Corey Glover and he loved it and actually came into studio with us recorded vocals on a track which was like a little surreal for you know, the dude who wrote the track of you know, the cult of personality and and all those Yeah, yeah. Anyway, so we have a new album coming out through Salt of the Earth records with that Corey Glover track on it. And it's, it's fun. If anything was interviewed by now maybe you're starting to sense that I'm eclectically into weird stuff. And so even lyrically, there's a lot of whimsical, bizarre references hailing backed up by my youth as a total nerd sci fi references I'm a cinephile like a big big movie guy. obsessively. So it's all worked into this so it's kind of like it's evil, but it's fun. That's what we try to go for. So salt of the earth records I think September Nice. Inverter from Boston. We're actually playing up in your neck of the woods at higher ground. Oh, two Yeah. And coincidentally living colors playing next door, which probably will Be back because they're huge. We're not huge like them. But that club is the best. So that's yeah, higher grounds. Great. Yeah. So we got some cool stuff coming up. Nice. So,

Ethan Waldman 25:12

you know, with with all your interests, all your skills and things, it seems like tiny houses, small structures, simple shelters have kind of kept your interest over the years. What do you think it is about them that like, keeps you kind of hooked?

Derek Diedricksen 25:29

Well, I mean, it's something that's so every day and useful. Yeah, you know, Shelter by itself. We all need it. Sure. And it's kind of a, it's a mix of like, my childlike affinity for whimsy and things that are just fun and colorful. And I get to create these little structures and decorate them with all this stuff that interests me. Yeah. But you know, I do a lot of painting too. So that's another thing was are repurposed materials. I've been doing more and more than a year. So it's kind of the one thing centrally in that in that Venn diagram, where all the things overlap, kind of except music, I guess.

Ethan Waldman 26:04

Yeah. Well, I mean, music in tiny houses is fun.

Derek Diedricksen 26:08

Yes, yeah, I did a short series in one of the tree houses in my yard where we had some artists come out for like, the idea was, it's the smallest live studio ever for performing up in a tree. And we had Chuck Mosley, before he passed away from faith, no more. Guys, and Tantric, who had a gold album, and a couple of big names came out to just hang out in my tree house and perform, which was again, a little bit surreal. That is very surreal. And at some point in time, I want to do more of those. I just haven't had the time.

Ethan Waldman 26:37

I mean, you more than anyone else I know.

Derek Diedricksen 26:39

Yeah, I guess. Yeah, I feel as I get older, I feel like the days keep getting shorter. It's bothering me. And I hear that from a lot of people older than me. I'm like, oh, so it gets worse.

Ethan Waldman 26:48

Well, each, I guess as you get older, each day is a smaller percentage of your life. So yeah, that's kind of shorter.

Derek Diedricksen 26:54

Yeah. Thanks for bumming me ou, Ethan. All right, I

Ethan Waldman 26:56

know I know, you're gonna be dead soon. On a positive note, if you go to sign tiny owl summer camp, you also have the opportunity to stay in in these like funky structures that you've built over the years, right?

Derek Diedricksen 27:12

Yes, that's true. Yeah. Like I think there's a lot my brother and I have those counts that they're like, I think there's 11 of them now. And there's a bunch of them like little tree houses, little pods like sleep pods, you can you can spend the night in instead of bringing a tent people can camp out in the tent on the on the field for free. There's motels and stuff somewhat nearby where some people they'll stay or choose to stay. Yeah. And yeah, I mean, I kind of feel if I go to things like this, I want to be on site the whole time. I am on site the whole time I stay in one of the main cabin. So yeah, because the fun of it is people as you know, they stay up real late. People bring acoustic guitars. Yeah, they hang out, you know, some beers are open, you know? 11pm Midnight by the fire. Always a jam. Yeah, you get to meet people ask questions network. Yep. All people that are that are in the same wheelhouse mindset and spirit of what you're into.

Ethan Waldman 28:02

Yeah, I mean, I think last time a tiny house. Last time I was there. I learned how to melt down aluminum cans. Smelt aluminum. Yeah, I went for a wild foraging, walk and learned how to like eat weeds on the side of the road. How to stay warm in a pile of leaves. Now let's that was adventure mat. That was the Yeah,

Derek Diedricksen 28:22

absolutely. Yeah. Over the years, I keep adding things to it where I'm like I want like, it's mainly about building construction and tiny house, but we have a lot of side offerings. Because I want it to be something that's very different than like, when I started these there weren't there were almost no people doing anything hands on. Yeah. And then all of a sudden, other people you know, I'm not saying they're copying me, it's just naturally it's the progression of things. There's a lot of people doing them. So I'm like, I gotta add stuff to this to make it fun and to entertain me. Because I get I get bored doing the same thing over and over. Totally. Matt Gabriel, Animal Man survivor on YouTube. Yeah, he's awesome. He's they do is an encyclopedia of backwoods knowledge. It's true, like he was born in the wrong century. And he teaches all these side classes if you want to take them you want to start a fire with a bow and drill. You want to go on a wild edibles war. Yep. One thing you haven't experienced is now we do the tours of all the cabins like where everyone officially gets to see all of them at night, by candlelight only walking through the woods. It's like a scene. Oh, it's like a scene out of Snow White with the dwarves walking through the woods. So that's been a big hit with people you know the candle vigil like the bottles. We have people bring those? Yeah, totally. It's pretty awesome to see this trail this ribbon of little fire, like traveling through the woods and we arrive at the giant robot treehouse for a talk. Yep, you've done one there.

Ethan Waldman 29:46

Yeah. So it's like one of the best pictures of me ever is like backlit by that robot.

Derek Diedricksen 29:51

It's just such a strange setting to have this mossy grove. There's like a 23 foot tall lightup robot. That's a tree house. We don't show people that one till these second night after the candle walk, that's where we arrived. Nice.

Ethan Waldman 30:05

Well, man, any anything else you want to kind of get the word about? Or like, preach the gospel of tiny houses to us? Or what? Oh, it's

Derek Diedricksen 30:13

I mean, I just tell people with the workshops, too, whether you ever attended one of mine or not, it's like, just get a few tools and start with small projects and start start doing it. You'll soon find out that it's not as complex some of it. Yep. Yes, you thought it might be. There's a wealth of knowledge out there through YouTube through books. Yeah. Again, workshops. And if you join one, great if you join us, I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun. Vermont or in California to beat a dead horse. That's what I got to do. And yeah, it's so doable. I know. I say this. It's not as a joke. But I know people who are morons, and don't really have any of their s together. But they have built some of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Because they have patience. They take their time, and they select the right tools. And that's really all there is to it. Awesome, but no knowledge of course.

Ethan Waldman 31:04

knowledge, knowledge and experience

Derek Diedricksen 31:06

or power. Yeah, so that's what like, start by building a stupid birdhouse or a toolbox. Yeah, you know, yeah, got a few boards. People come out to these workshops. We've never nailed two boards together, literally. And by the end, they're using a lot of different tools, framing walls, designing stuff with us. And it's pretty cool to see their transformation throughout those three days.

Ethan Waldman 31:25

Yeah, it's great. I've seen it. I've seen it happen at your workshops, and it's always cool to watch Yeah.

Derek Diedricksen 31:31

Each each year it's different to the projects are always different. So we get a lot of return people to nice, yeah, nice.

Ethan Waldman 31:38

Well, Derek D. D drinks and thank you for returning to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast. Thank

Derek Diedricksen 31:43

you so much for having me, Ethan, always great to talk to you. And it's good to see you being so incredibly busy too. I think you might do more stuff than I do. Online. Maybe but I don't know. Yeah, maybe Yeah, yeah. But it's it's respectable, commendable. Impressive. So keep doing your thing, man.

Ethan Waldman 31:58

Thank you so much to Derek Deek, Diedricksen for being a guest on the show. You can find the show notes including a complete transcript photos and more over at Again, that's Thank you all so, so much to FOTILE for sponsoring the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast. Make sure to check out their two in one in sink dishwasher. The link is in the show notes of this episode. And man, I really wish I had one of these in my tiny house. If I was building a tiny house right now, I would not hesitate to put one in. So check them out. Well, that's all for this week. I'm your host Ethan Waldman. And I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.

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