Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Melissa fortifies the Garden

We're putting gopher fencing in around the garden, under the soil, so we're digging up the whole thing and laying the stuff everywhere. It's a lot of work, and Melissa is doing most of it. In these pictures, I'm off working on many other important things.

That's good dirt!

Did some Milling

I took the time to get the last big piece of the Oak tree we took down to have room for the yurt onto the sawmill the other day. (that only took half the day). This is the main big tree Surfer Mike helped me take down back in the day when I was afraid of my chainsaw.

the photo above is after a few passes, squaring it up, to get the thing ready to really make lumber.

check out how I now have the mill set correctly, and it actually cuts darn square!

Making boards!

and some of the results. I'm hoping to make our front door out of these.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The First House Model!

We actually made a model of the 'big house' out of clay from the garden. By simply adding water and breaking up the lumps, we made some great modeling clay, and using Melissa's detailed plans, built a scale model of the cob portions of the future home.

It's just a 'first draft', so not everything is in place, and hey, come on, it's just a clay model. but it's sort of cute. the little guy is supposed to be almost 6ft tall. Like me.

looking down from the 'southeast'

from the top:

that's a loft on the left (west) side,over a part of the kitchen.
The Ever-present carpenter's project, the spice rack.

I was looking to save shelf space, and came up with this idea. Took an old chunk of cast off lumber to my friend Greg's drill press, brought it back and shined it up.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A little more carpentry in the kitchen:

As regular readers will know, the yurt is round, and the fridge and other appliances aren't. In our kitchen then, we have spaces between things. I thought about building a continuous countertop, but then it would be much harder in later years to remodel the yurt by taking out the kitchen. When it's a guest house, it probably won't need a full kitchen.

So, I wanted to deal with the gaps. I built a little triangle cabinet. Redwood again:

it has a shelf in it, and a hinged top, for extra storage. works pretty well.
Table is done.

Finally, after much gnashing of teeth and trying to scrounge up a suitable base, I was driving along in San Jose and saw a table out on the curb with a crappy particle board top and a beautiful chrome base. I grabbed it, took off the top, and came home to work on a redwood top. I realize we're getting a bit of 'redwood overload' but hey, it's what I got. Looks good with a tung oil finish too.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Nature takes a shot a Melissa's work.

Melissa was setting up to do the next batch of mosaic for the bathroom floor, and had created a really great picture out of broken (free) tiles.

she had it sitting up on a piece of plywood, near where the truck is parked. Then, during the holidays, while we were in the city, there was a wind storm that brought down a few trees. One of which was a madrone, right on top of the mosaic!! We forgot to take a picture of the tree as a whole, but here's the resulting mix up of tile:

I did however, feel some sense of revenge, as we created another nice firewood pile. This picture shows about half of it:

Friday, January 05, 2007

A little colder...
We've been having a cold spell lately. I thought we were at about 36 degrees this morning, but we found a touch of ice on a water bucket. Then I noticed my cooking olive oil, after sitting out on the counter all night. Yow! that's cold!
Coffee in the morning....

We were having some trouble with our battery system, so we were keeping the power off once we went to bed, until we needed it the next day. I got out my mother's old coffee grinder, one of the few things I knew I'd want here in CA after cleaning out the house in WI (of course, there are many other things, but this was a priority)

and now I'm using it every day to grind the morning batch. I love it. I love how it looks, how it works, and how it doesn't take electricity.

$1 tool rescue

Had a moment last week, so we strolled the flea market. A woman had a pile of rusty tools "anything $1!" and so I dug through it ...