Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hazel Trellis

It's time again to put up the pole bean trellis, so I went into the woods and got a batch of long hazel sticks and started weaving them together:
We had guests who were very helpful holding one end and tying strings as we worked to build the thing:
 Jack is now in charge of guarding against field mice who come and eat the bean stalks... Jack, and the Bean    Stalks! ha! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Thought I'd go through and document the different spots on the wall that have already taken some abuse. The spots are from the plaster being chipped off:

between the french doors and the kitchen counter, the bar chair swings around and hits the wall.

The back of the rocking chair has hit the vertical of the steps a couple times:
 This one isn't abuse, but rather the plywood under the plaster  on the clearstory seems to have moved a bit, and there's a crack about 12" long about 1" up from the beam:
 A little ding on the bathroom wall near the floor. Broom hit it maybe? it seems that down near the bottom of the wall things are little brittle. May be that the limewash dripped down there and built up a bad layer, creating a bubble or something. 
 between toilet bench and door frame; it was plastered after the rest was in and painted, so the joint isn't great. some of the thinner plaster has flaked off and it just looks a little rough. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Solar Shades

Made four little stands to hold up those $1 beach mats over the skylights:
This keeps out the hot noon-day sun while still allowing the morning and evening sun to brighten the rooms. I decided to keep them off the bathroom skylights (far right ones) as heating up that room seems like a nice idea.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bathroom light cover

So, one of the last things on the list for the inside of the house was the covers over the bathroom lights. (I actually like how bright they were). Here you can see how they were just sticking out of the wall:

and here's the home-made redwood & airplane cloth Japanese-style lantern cover, to match the rest:
 And here's a picture of Mr. Wrong Side, next to his nemesis, the door.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Water Cabinet is Up!

So, this experiment in new (old?) materials is up and functioning.  I wanted to build a little thing with all the cut branches from the tree work, since so many seem straight, and there's so much of it... so I took a shot at building a little cabinet on legs for our water filter.   I also wanted to follow through on an idea we had had about using hazel sticks as a sort of paneling. 
 Since it was actually a big job to go find all those hazel sticks - it's not that we don't have tons of it in the woods, it's finding the right size that are straight enough without getting distracted and clearing brush for a few hours - I decided to leave the back open, so the 'plumbing' parts would be easy to get to.
 We have a batch of these 1.5 liter wine bottles we use for water, and I made the shelf just the right height to hold a batch of them and the one being filled.  Notice in the above photo you can reach in, turn on the faucet and fill the filter without having to hold the hose.
 The thing is a little wobbly, as it's tall and thin, with joints that are a bit hacked (though those through mortises don't look too bad in the pictures, huh?) but with it being tucked in next to the buttress, there's really nowhere for it to wobble to.
Oh, and did I ever post the finished little deck bit?  There's that too.  It's small like that because the main idea of the west side of the house is to have a big patio, so I didn't want the deck taking up that room.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Clay and Dirt

Well, another repair job on the clay plaster under the stair runners was needed. I didn't take a picture of the big chunk that I peeled off (about a foot long) but here's a shot of the first round of limewash going onto the patch:
And here's after about 6 coats, all cleaned up (you can see it if you're up close, but this looks pretty good):
 Meanwhile, Melissa is digging away at the patio area, getting it ready for gravel, sand and stone. She uses flour to draw her lines on the ground.
 and has made all sorts of calculations based on the tops of the post footings.  We don't want the post footings to be low spots (where water could settle and then soak into the posts) and with the slope going down to the west, we have to figure out stairs and such... so each footing becomes a bit of a marker.  Unfortunately, we didn't really think about that back when we dug those footing they don't follow a specific pattern.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Kitchen work

Another perfect loaf of bread comes out of the oven... we bake about every 5 days or so.

I dried a bunch of wild blackberry leaves for tea, and decided to chop them up in the blender thing... that may not have been a good idea, as now they're so powdered they will go through the tea strainer. oh well.

Cabin shower pan getting in place

Actually, kind of happy about this progress.  It needed to be up so the drain trap will fit.