Archive for June, 2011

Super ridiculously busy around here and not expecting things to let up until oh, I don’t know, winter but figured I should post some pictures of our progress. We’re a few weeks into the building season and things are moving quickly, if not as quickly as we’d (I’d?) like. I’m focusing on the master bedroom during the week while Shane’s at work and it’s coming along nicely. I have several new injuries that may prevent me from wearing any skirts in public this summer but that hasn’t slowed me down any. I really need to stop falling off walls though, or slashing myself with sharp objects, or not so sharp objects that just seem really sharp when applied with force…

Anyway, the domestead is further along than this already but these are the last pictures that we took. 🙂


bedroom coming along

long view of the house

getting taller

bit of perspective

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I haven’t had much of what a person would consider down-time in recent weeks. We’re up at 5 and work pretty steady until nightfall and I’m lucky to make it to 10 p.m. without crashing. We’ve had a lot of rain the last several days (snow on Saturday believe it or not) and one day it rained hard enough that I got a few minutes in between baking bread to search the web for interesting articles and projects.

I am all about repurposing objects in useful or interesting ways. I’m drawn to higher quality end products though. I’m not big on the whole ‘look at this milk crate as a chair’ sort of deal. Not to knock people who are happy with that, it’s just not my style. There are so many really creative processes that can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, why settle for mundane?

I was delighted then, to come across these wonderful products of repurposing. There is a whole page of interesting items created from cardboard on Inspiration Green. Some are practical, some are decorative, but I think you’d have to agree they are truly incredible in their approach to reusing cardboard. My personal favourites are the works of Domingo Tortora and of Sanserif Creatius (particularly the Moroccan style table). The cardboard office by designers Joost van Bleiswijk and Alrik Koudenburg is incredible too.

I also came across the work of Gülnur Özdağlar and her two daughters, producing under the name of name of tertium non data (Latin for “the third is not given”). They recycle plastic bottles into incredible works of art. My favourites among their extensive collection is the aquatics line. There is a tutorial online for those interested in producing their own artwork at instructables.com, though I expect it takes a long while to reach the level of skill to produce works of art such as those from tertium non data.

How perfectly wonderful. I have already asked Shane to start collecting cardboard for me. I’ll stockpile it in the shop and when winter rolls around and I have some time, I’ll have to try my hand at cardboard furniture. Maybe tiles too, for a backsplash in the kitchen though I’m still leaning towards hand painting my own clay tiles. And if there’s time still after that, I might just see what I can do with some of the plastic bottles in our collection.

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I came across these two short videos that are wonderful demonstrations of the beauty and innovation of earthen architecture as well as speak to it’s versatility. I am reminded of the Chinese proverb, “the person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.” Simply remarkable. What will you build with the earth beneath your feet?




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The strangest things excite me these days. Like this great big pile of reject gravel! Is that gorgeous or what? And I’ll tell you why it’s so gorgeous- someone else brought it to the property. That’s right- we didn’t have to shovel this pile by hand, twice. First into the pick up, then out of the pick up. And that pile is about 12 truckloads so that’s a massive amount of work saved.

And then, when I hardly thought it possible, I came to fall in love with this fabulous pile of gravel even more. Sweet baby Jesus, the pile is full of clay! No sand, no silt, just beautiful, wonderful clay. Every last little stone is covered in it! As mentioned in a previous post, I check every new batch of mix for consistency and when I checked my first one today my heart just soared.

Do you know what this means? Less sifting clay for me! And the timing is brilliant with Shane away and unable to supplement my clay supply. I’m using half a bucket less clay per mix for the same consistency. No- better consistency because my sifted clay sticks beautifully to the clay coated gravel. If I were any happier I could roll around in the stuff! Oh what the heck…

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