Twenty-third post in the series
"Living Large in Small Spaces"
Hello and welcome to another edition of Living Large In Small Spaces.
My guest today Ronda of the blog Island Mother is unlike anyone I've ever met. And her small home on a remote island in British Columbia is unlike any I've featured. It's as unique as her personal story.
In the fifth week of her pregnancy Ronda's partner left and she found herself alone in a tiny cabin with a leaking roof. Rising above her unfortunate circumstances, and with unparalleled determination, she added a second floor to her cabin and continued to work on building not just a cozy house, but a fulfilling life for her daughter and herself. I know this wonderful woman's story will inspire you as much as it has inspired me.
My ex-husband and I bought the cabin and moved here when I was 23. When our marriage ended in divorce we split up our property and that is how I ended up with the cabin. I will be forty this month and my daughter will be three. Her birthday is the day after mine.
The cabin was originally 344 square feet. With my two large looms there was no room for a crib. I single-handedly took off the roof. I added on another floor, then framed and put on a new metal roof. I had help lifting the floor joists up, lifting the walls up, and screwing down the last sheet of roofing. My helper had to hang off a rope to do it. It was important to me to do everything myself, unless I thought it too heavy or in the case of the sheet of roofing, too dangerous.
With the renovations the cabin is now 750 square feet and it's the perfect size. I was about four months pregnant when I finished putting the roof on. I'm still working on the cabin and one day my dream is to complete it. It's the last "hippy" cabin remaining on this end of the island. The island is off-grid; I use a generator for our electricity and have a rain water catchment system.
I also weave to support us. In the past couple years that has been rug weaving, but now I have returned to tapestry weaving as motherhood permits.
This is my kitchen.
I love bottles...but I never buy them...I only collect what I find, usually when digging. I've been lucky I guess; I've never broken one with the shovel. . .yet.
This is a floor loom in my kitchen. It's really handy having a loom here; it works for me. My name means river and this tapestry depicting one resonates with me. I've carved out my own life - my own river.
Driftwood wall in the kitchen.
I plumbed in the drain plumbing in my bathroom sink last summer. Someday it will have running water.
Stairs I built from reclaimed lumber and driftwood railing.
Hanging over my daughter's bed is a mosquito net. We have a few of those -- both nets and mosquitoes. The afghan I knit for her first birthday, and the quilt was made by my late grandmother. It was on my bed for many years. There is also a quilt made by my mother and another made by my great grandmother. The floor rug I wove.
This is my weaving area with a second loom I built with my toddler. I have baskets of yarn everywhere and the table runner is one I've woven. There is a tapestry on this loom that I've been working on since mid December. It's finished now. I cut it off the loom the last week of February. Weaving tapestry is a slow process and living this way has given me the mindset to follow that path.
This is one of many recycled cotton rugs I have woven and sold locally. Last summer I became aware of BC high school kids who have been abandoned by their parents and our government. They have no home and are known as couch surfers. They live out of a backpack and stay at their friends' homes. I donate 40 percent of my weaving sales to purchasing clothes for these kids. In this school year we have helped 12 kids. My mom shops at thrift stores and buys what is needed. The clothing which is typically nearly new is then laundered by my mom and mailed to the Vice President of the school who distributes it. I work closely with both my mom and the VP and only those items she requests are purchased. Other items like underwear, socks, hats and gloves I purchase new, and mail them to the VP. I am so thankful for the island people who have supported me. In the future I will be opening an online shop where people who want to make a difference can purchase handwoven tapestries. This is very close to my heart.
These kids need our love. How can we expect the world to be a better place when these teens only know rejection?
|Crocus now blooming outside the cabin.|
Thank you so much, Ronda, for sharing your life and home with us. Your daughter is very blessed to have you as her mother.
Ronda writes and shares photos of island life with her daughter on her lovely blog Island Mother. Stop by and say hello.
Join me next Saturday for another post in the special series
Living Large in Small Spaces
See more home tours in the
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.
Living Large In Small Spaces Series here.
From the comments I've received, many
people have been encouraged by the homes and lives shared here.
If you live in a small space I'd
love to feature your story, too.