Friday, May 7, 2010

The Wall Continued.

This is the bathroom wall continued. The other pictures showed it with the silver finish that we then primed with mahogany coloured paint. This is the finished top coat. It is hard to photograph it perfectly. It has a mat finish that is covered with a glue (for want of better word.) I suppose, it is a varnish really, but it soaks right in and dries almost like you put nothing on top of the rust. It makes the finish water proof and smooth, not rusty and flakey. The rust is mulicolours with depth and patterns from grey to mat black to yellow, orange,to dark red.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

One more cob picture

This is the back of the cobbed wall viewed from the top of the staircase. The light through the stainglass shines on the floor and cob in colours.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cob finished close-ups

This is the cobbed wall mostly done. I could not get a very good full shot of it, because of the angle of the wall. I tried to show some close ups too, but none of this does justice to how wonderful this wall looks-- especially at night with lights shining through one side of it. I still have to do two layers of plaster on it. This will smooth it up, give it a colour and cover up the wood studs between each section.

Cob, endless cob.

Continued work on the top half of the cob wall. In some ways this is quite a bit slower than the bottom half. It took a lot more cob mixes for the bottom half, but there is much more shaping involved in the top half. Sometimes I did not use a whole mix a day on the top wall.

I also had to transfer the cob longer distances for the top half. The bottom half I just dragged the whole tarp full of cob mix from the porch where I mixed it, to the entryway. If the cat did not escape while I struggled over the thresh hold, this was fast. Most of the top wall work was done from the landing. I had to make balls of the cob and stack it onto the wall and then run around to work, or load the cob into five gallon buckets and heave them up the stairs. This took much longer.

Cob, beautiful cob

Just before Thanksgiving, I finished the bottom half of the cobbed wall. This is a great wall that separates the staircase from the entryway and is full of all sorts of sculptural potential! The bottom half (as you can see in two of the pictures) is very plain. I put in some of those glass bricks to bring light into the basement. Jan and I got those at the salvage place in Seattle. She made cool bookends with hers. I also left a scooped out arch shape for the cat. He likes to sit on the ledge inside the staircase and then leap through to the entryway. He very obligingly poses in it for pictures, but I don't have one here. I left the majority of the wall plain, because the coat hooks are going there and the coats will cover almost half the wall anyway.

The pile of driftwood is various pieces that I collected with knot holes. I found the first one at Brenda's place. I thought this is so cool. I could make holes in the cob with these framing them or add glass... In the end I did a bit of both. I love coloured glass, so I bought some different glasses from places like World Market and found some in junk shops. I got a beautiful cranberry glass to use and some lovely amber ones with crackle finishes.

I have two lovely stainglass windows that my friend, Debs', daughter, made in art school for us when we lived in flat one of Maderia house. We swapped them out for plain glass again and moved them with us. They just make the cob wall.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Wall

This is the wall for the downstairs loo. David has humoured me on this one. I love rusty barn roofs. I wanted to salvage some, but it comes all twisted up and is incredibly expensive. I found this great paint that you put on in layers and it has actual metal, (iron or copper or other) that you apply acid too and rust than seal. I did the upstairs bathtub with it. Someone suggested I do that to new metal work and get my rusty barn roof cheaper and easier. David worries it is too hippyish, but agreed to put up some sheets of galvanised metal roofing on the walls. This is what it looks like so far with first metal, then bottom coat of paint. I put the acid on it a few days ago, but we are away now and I haven't sealed it or taken further pictures. I will get those up later.

Downstairs Loo closer to finished

We spent another weekend doing the sink. This looks better in the pictures than in the flesh. It badly needs re enameling. We will eventually get that done. It is a nice little sink and the taps are old and brass and actually came with it. Two washers later, they work great!

I made a curtain out of scraps -- various Linen fabrics from Bells in Cranbrook. Jan helped on a weekend they were up just before Christmas. We had two sewing machines out. Jan was quilting like a mad thing all that weekend, but she stopped and helped get the cuts straight with her quilt cutter knife and big cutting board. The last fabric had a great fringey selvage that I just left on the bottom unhemmed. I reused in the window, an old curtain I'd made for the Oasthouse, because I love the fabric. I just added tabs from ribbon and we got an Amish curtain rod.

The Amish curtain rod is okay, but I have to say, I really miss Andy, the blacksmith!!! I tried to find someone to do brackets for the fireplace and they wanted $850 for two brackets! (I am reusing some salvage ones instead!) I shudder to think what a curtain rod would cost.

A Door!!

WE HAVE A DOOR! I can not tell you how wonderful this is. This was a job that I just could not visualize in my head properly. Our friend, Helmut, took us to Homedepot and showed us what the pieces look like and talked us through the procedure, but that was in July. We went online and looked at some sites too. New doors come with the door jam framed around them like a box and you just install the whole thing. These are our Walla Walla, Whitman college, 100 year old doors of all different sizes. (This is possibly far more sadistic than toilets!) It isn't an easy job and takes David a couple of days to do one door, but he can do it and do a good job. He does it differently from how the websites show you. They somehow have magic doors that stand on their own while you construct the whole jamb around them and then you install it. David found it much easier to install one piece of the jamb into the door frame first-- then add the door and then put the last two pieces of jamb in place.

Helmut introduced us to shims-- a wonderful thing made for hanging doors, that have multiple uses in building. Our old toilets are shimmed against the wall and at least one piece of sheetrock. If we are having trouble with something now we shout for someone to bring some shims.

Downstairs Loo

This is the downstairs loo. We are very excited to have a second loo. First, we tiled the floor. This is tumbled travertine from Mexico. I wanted a warm colour. I'd seen this other orange coloured marble or something at Homedepot, but they discontinued it (and when I saw the price, I wasn't surprised.) James says that the tile we got is really pink-- but I am calling it orange. This is our old toilet from the 30ties-- David guesses. We got this at a salvage place in Seattle. Our friend, Bob, says I am a total sadist to make David restore old toilets. I have to say though, he is getting VERY good at it. And Nutmeg the cat helps.

upstairs bathroom

This is the upstairs bathroom that is, sort of, finished-- no walls or sink yet, but a fabulous tiled floor and old bath and toilet. The first pictures shows David's insulating-- it does not capture the effort of that job! He insulated the whole of the upstairs ceiling and the walls where there is no ICF. We still have a few very high places like the cupola to insulate, but we just covered that with plastic this year. We have to figure out some scaffold system. The tiles are tumbled travertine mostly cream coloured with at Claire's suggestion, some coffee coloured ones.

sittingroom continued

This is a few more shots of the sittingroom panning around to some different corners. We are getting ready to rockface the fireplace. We are filling up this corner with washed rocks from the pile outside-- often there are rocks in the sink soaking-- even when it was the only sink.


The first picture isn't our sittingroom. It is Claire with my brother's Christmas present-- Tosho, the Akita puppy. Claire loves to babysit him.

Thanksgiving day the kids spent the night with Lee and Delores at Grandma Phyllis's. We slept in and thought,"no kids! We can get a project done." We had just started sorting the schoolroom shelves and I thought, I bet, we can put our big shelf up. We had all the pieces even the screws (and it was neatly labeled.) David made this beautiful shelf for me years ago from old church floor, wood we bought in Sussex. We thought, a couple of hours this shelf will be bolted to the wall and we can go to Phyllis's for Thanksgiving dinner. (My pies were done, because I had no functional oven and made them at Sean's earlier in the week.) That wretched shelf took all weekend! It was THE holiday project. I have never seen David be so frustrated at something engineered square-- the new house walls are actually straight. Yeah! The bookshelf wasn't. It was made to fit a Victorian house wall that sloped slightly and then modified to fit the curve of the Oasthouse! Of course, we added to the problem by switching the sides around so the little shelf was on the left and the big on the right-- just opposite of how David originally designed it.

Unpacking EVERY box of books, was like Christmas! We had not unpacked our boxes since moving-- just the kid's books. David says the house looks much more cozy in these pictures then in reality, so I have to point out the styrofoam walls, the unfinished gypcrete floors, and the wires everywhere.

Inside the house--

This is the kitchen and the homeschool room.

The kitchen has our one functional sink from June 2009 to Feb 2010! In the project as it progresses, we are learning to really appreciate the simple things in life-- a sink with running water or a sink with a mirror over it so you can see to shave! We reached a melt-down point with all the boxes. Claire NEEDED a dictionary and I could not think which box it was in. ( I could not stop to help her, because I was in the middle of a tiling batch with fast drying goop.) We had tears of frustration, so we decided walls or no walls we could not stand the 40 plus boxes of books any more. We set up all the shelves-- even found another one for ten dollars in a junk shop. Now we have access to EVERY reference book we own without scrabbling through tons of boxes. We burned the pile of boxes in great celebration! (better than Guy Fawkes.)

outside: winter scenes-- the frozen creek and deck.

We've had a mild winter with one very cold spell early in the year. We had record cold and the creek actually partially froze. Claire took the camera down and made some great shots.