I attempted my first tarp tent. I was very pleased with the experience. I've always enjoyed open-air camping and the more temperate climate of Northern California usually allows for this style.
I am amazed at what can be done with a $10 tarp. There are configurations that answer most weather-condition concerns. The addition of a bug net will answer my last worry about tarping it. And of course as I settle on this method of tenting I'll upgrade my materials....will say goodbye to the blue tarp. But it's great material for experimentation and learning.
Here's a snapshot of what I ended up with after my first try. I'm very impressed with the amount of room and relative privacy. I'll normally substitute the comfy chair for my backpack and other gear. This is my backyard configuration.