Archive for October, 2012


The old south window is gone, as well as the foundation below it and the cob bench as well.  So now the two structures are officially connected!!!  The feeling of the space has now completely changed, with the original room and the addition one large room.  It feels so big and open, and its exciting to be able to now visualize what the completed space will feel like.  I imagine sitting at the (future) table, drinking coffee, the wood stove warming our home and our bodies, Leo running around…

There is still so much more to do, but its looking so nice…

the new south wall


goodbye cob bench!

Here’s a photo of the preparation for the sub floor.  Mike and Greg used chunks of urbanite and old bricks, and then gravel on top of that.  After some tamping the base is ready for the sub floor mix!  The mix they used for the sub floor was 4 parts sand to 1 1/4 parts clay slip, made from the local clay subsoil.

sub floor base

sub floor!:

I brought Leo out again for an afternoon, so he could help out mixing the sub floor.  Thanks for your help Leo!:


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update on the addition

Wow…once again I am way behind in updating this blog.  I’ve recently realized that one of the biggest changes in my life, now that I’m a mama, is that spending all day each day with Leo causes me to live totally in the present.  I think so much less about the past, and in a strange way less about the future as well.  Although I still make long term plans and spend time figuring out what we’ll be doing next year, and the years after, for the most part when I am with Leo my mind is here only.  When we are playing together, I am allowing myself to be fully present, enjoying our connection together.  This has been a welcome change, but I’ve found that I’ve been pushing other things off to the side these days.  I hardly answer my phone…or respond to emails…or update this blog… Even though the addition is looking totally sweet!!!
I wanted to share some pictures from this summer.  Here are some pictures from July, when Greg and Mike spent a week working together on the addition:

a huge overhang on the east side, for an outdoor cooking space, and a crazy dormer that was our solution for connecting two very different roofs:

Mike decking the dormer:

Light straw clay!:

and here are some pictures from early August, when Greg spent another week working:



Greg finished up the layers of the living roof that week, and even got all the topsoil up there!

EPDM rubber pond liner:

cedar slab wood fascia:



Looking from the east has become my favorite angle from which to gaze at the house.  I am in love with the dormer, with it’s window like a great open eye peering east, and the crazy roof line.  Its the kind of thing you can’t really plan, a harmony between all the different angles, curves, and straight lines that is better than what a more intentional roof line would have been.

So, this week Greg and Mike are able to spend a few days doing some more work on the addition.  Greg went out there yesterday and starting working on the straw bale sections of the walls.  Today I brought Leo out for half the day, and I had the opportunity to do something I never thought I would do – take apart a section of the original foundation!  Greg starting removing some of the cob around the large south double window and some of the foundation below it.  And then I got to spend a while deconstructing the foundation.  What an odd thing it was, to bash the dried, solid cob from some of my first foot mixes for this house.  And to piece by piece remove the chunks of urbanite I had so carefully placed years ago.  Honestly, it was a lot of fun.

Here are some pictures from today:

making custom sized bales:

more bales:

taking apart the foundation:

Bastet observes from the balcony:

my last view before leaving today:

the new living roof has so much life already!:

Also, here’s a video of some of the foundation deconstruction:

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