Saturday, November 25, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
For this, I am Thankful,
My Mom doesn't have to spend Thanksgiving alone,
That I have the time to listen and to discuss those questions (they are often unanswerable) ,
A husband who builds and doesn't mind my "change orders" (not much, anyway),
All the trades we've encountered who still take pride in their work and see it as a craft,
All those who have stopped by during building and given us encouragement,
The friends who have helped with the building ,
A vocation I enjoy, an avocation I love,
That I still feel excitement at hearing the cadence of a marching band,
Things that are so beautiful they bring tears to my eyes,
Books that I want never to end,
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The garage floor is poured!
Things are moving now. The garage looks like it takes an enormous amount of space-but it's all relative to the size of the lot. It's a normal 2 (1.5 usually!) car size. It will also house our W/D and freezer.
Here are some more photos of The Big Pour. Framing next week and then Victor will come back to stucco it.
Monday, November 20, 2006
A friend came over and helped me hash out the design for the west wall. And she brought me chai, she fielded questions from curious passersby and we laughed alot-what could be better?
Kiko Denzer does beautiful work in clay. I can learn a lot from his style. He has a great book on building earthen ovens which I used for the oven we had at our previous home. The book is much more than the mechanics of building an oven-it's about the importance of bread, "the Bread Cycle" and our relationship with the world around us. A quote-"Life doesn't ask us to buy, it asks us to participate-to watch, to learn and to create."
Still working on the buildouts around doors and windows-fun stuff!
This is my bamboo scene-wanted something with plant life but not cactus and coyotes. Digital cameras are so useful because I can study this and see what, if anything, needs to be added. There are also 2 dragonflies that are very hard to see at this angle.
The forming for the garage floor is completed and the pour will be tomorrow. We can get that finished quickly. (i know we can, i know we can, i know we can)
And the Gumbati Cons. guys came over to discuss the kitchen, which meant I had to get a final drawing for what we want where. It's such a small space it's imperative that we use it efficiently and I think I have a pretty good desgn.
So things are happening!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Across the Field
Fight the team across the field,
Show them Ohio's here
Set the earth reverberating with a mighty cheer
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Hit them hard and see how they fall;
Never let that team get the ball,
Hail! Hail! The gang's all here,
So let's win that old conference now
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Ever have a great day? Ever have 2 great days in a row? Not just a good day when nothing catastrophic happens and you slog through your job and come home and have meatloaf (your favorite) for dinner and then it's NCIS (your other favorite) night on TV and you get to bed before 11. I'm talking about the kind of day that makes you glad you have been given space on this earth for a period of time. The sky is blue, the birds sing, rabbits romp, butterflies float, the plaster practically jumps on the wall (and sticks), and the strawbales begin to disappear under that coat of beautiful mud. If you've had a day like that, you have an appreciation for my last 2 days.
I used to get nervous when things would seem too "good". Did you know that's a carryover from "evil eye" myths and superstitions? Envious people would cast the "evil eye" on someone for whom things were good and then bad things would begin to happen. And it wasn't an intentional thing-those looking weren't witches or evil, just envious. Good to know it's a myth-now I can enjoy good things when they happen.
The plaster is about 50% complete. And that's just 2 days of work. We still need to build up the base coat a bit because I want smooth walls, not lumpy-bumpy this time. Then it will be time for the finish coat. I'm also thinking on the detail work I want to do around the windows to provide a frame. I think windows look better with some type of frame. Nothing fancy because the house is small and the windows already have some detail. At the moment I'm seeing a curve at the top with straight sides and perhaps a slight curve at the bottom. The curves will tie in with the other curves and help soften all the strightlines and angles of this very linear house.
This is Jose from Rite-Way Ventilating. There are some jobs that may seem like not much but are back breakers. Lots of bending, stooping, up and down the ladder, small space work. He worked really hard getting that duct work up.
Above is the west wall after the slip was applied. Below, same wall with first plaster coat.
North wall, almost finished with first coat. How about an arch over the glass block window?
I'm working on this corner to get it plumb (or at least close). It's a good one to play with because it's on the northeast corner and not many people will see it.
Still not liking the color-too pale, too beige. Haven't found any darker clay. May have to cruise the washes and roadbuilding sites looking for a darker material. Have shovel and bucket, will travel.
Sun's up, gotta get to work!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Plaster samples-this is very sandy clay as it is actually adobe MIX from an adobe block company. It will need almost no sand added. I'm not excited about the color but will play with it.
This is the scratch coat under with a sample brown coat over-too sandy!
The slip is going on with the help of a sprayer-pictures of that coming soon.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
The orientation period for my new position at the hospital has ended and I am back to working 24 hours/wk and am finally able to get started on the plaster. I screened some of the clay in order to make clay slip and some more straw-clay (more holes to fill). I'm screening the clay for the straw-clay and the first coat of plaster through 1/4 inch hardware cloth. The clay will then be mixed with water, long straw and a bit of sand. This clay is pretty sandy as it is. I made a test mix and put up on the wall yesterday and will see how it looks when I get back there on Saturday. The number of cracks should tell me how much sand is needed. All clay is different in its composition and requires testing.
When I get to the finer finish plasters the clay will be put through a 1/8 inch screen and then for really fine stuff, a window screen.
For the slip, I took some of the leavings from the screening, soaked them in buckets of water then screened that mixture to remove the larger bits of rock. This will have no straw added and is applied to the walls to create a bridge between the straw and plaster. One of the best things I learned at the Canelo workshop was to let all of the mixtures to sit, at least overnight. The slip becomes "slippier" and the plasters and light straw get gooeyer and easier to work with. It a also takes on a very, shall we say, earthy, aroma!
Sam, installing the box for the ceiling fan.
Rick with his thinking cap on. The knee is about 85% at this point and he will be finished with directed physical therapy next week. From there it will be up to him.
Beautiful curve created by Victor who is doing the cement stucco. The plan is to stain this a rusty orange-red. I got an excellent deal on some cement stain at the Habistore (how I love that place). The original plan had been to use ferrous sulfate and we may still- have to test the stain colors to make sure the color is right.
The lot was graded this week so we no longer have to jump trenches and we were able to do a rough layout of the garage. The HVAC guys will come next week and get the ductwork up. Then the floor will be stained and it's on to drywall. On the outside, the slab for the garage is to be poured next Saturday and then the framing will go quickly. A large part of our lot will be swallowed up by the garage but it will provide us with some privacy to the east and create a nice winter patio area looking to the greenway.
Things will really move from this point!