Saturday, August 28, 2010

Slow progress

It has been an incredibly busy week, with studying and starting a new job and meetings and still some building. We did not make as much progress as we hoped we would, due to time and health issues. But we're grinding our teeth and holding on.
With a little help from our friends.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A week of yurt

As you can see on my facebookaccount and this blog, pretty much everything in our lives apart from the yurt has been put on hold this week.
We've been working on it every day and we made a lot of progress.
All the floor pieces are finished and the bamboo is ready for drilling and joining.

Next week we want to finish all the details on the floor and maybe even put it up already. There's still lots of small things that have to get done for that. We are currently marking up the exact measurements of the pieces. Then we need to cut them out and sand them neatly.
We started cutting some really long planks in half and glueing them on top of each other for making strong main supports.
And we still need to get rope and stakes for the final design, and pitch to protect the wood from humidity.

Then at the same time, as soon as we've found the right cord we'll start drilling holes into the bamboo and tying the trellises together.

But that's all plans for next week. This weekend we are taking a much needed break because we're both really exhausted from having such full heads all week. Besides, yesterday was a pretty crappy day when everything went wrong, our tools didn't work the way we wanted, I realised that my photocamera is broken, and I got a really bad wasp sting that is driving me crazy.

Go to Lia's blog for some pictures.

Have a nice weekend!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ups and downs of the carpenter's life

Luckily, there are a lot more ups than downs, as far as I can see.

Lots of great friends who came around to help and made work go so fast.

The new baby:

The ten pieces of the inner ring for the floor are finished. That's about half the work done. (The creature next to it is yaga in her onion look ^^)

Downs surely are the crappy weather, that makes working space very limited and lots of clothing layers necessary.
Further on: A leaky tipi that made me move my sleeping stuff in the stable in the middle of the night.

Half good half bad is the fact that we really need to get the floor finished in two weeks, because then the stable will be occupied by the cows again and there will be no place to store the wood. That puts a lot of pressure on us, especially since this is the last week of my holidays, but it also lets us get tons of work done.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The fascination of powertools

Or why we're still going on. Well, it's hard work but who could resist electric screwdrivers, drills and sanders? And we got rewarded:

The first of thirty pieces of our floor. Yay!
We are gonna stay out on the site this weekend, so I'll be tuning back in on monday or tuesday, hopefully to show a lot of progress, since there are many helping hands around these days!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Little green house: Cleaning

It was a rainy day and a welcome excuse to stay home and recover from the nasty cold. So I have been cleaning a bit.

I got really unnerved by our ancient vacuumer which is maybe less efficient than a broom. And, I thought, a broom would not only be cleaner, it would also be greener, because it is powered by your own muscles. Well, vacuumers are a very handy thing if they work right, I won't deny.

But what other cleaning products are you using that could be substituted with something greener, or even just cancelled from the list?

I use these things for cleaning: Water, Vinegar, baking soda, a sponge, a microfiber cloth, a normal cloth and muscle power.

From floors to watercookers to the bathroom I clean everything with vinegar. The smell evaporates quickly, and if you want you can put a piece of fresh vanilla or some lemon juice in your cleaning vinegar to scent it.

Everything that needs an extra boost, like the toilet, a sticky stain or a blocked drain I treat with baking soda. Right, that's the stuff you buy at the grocery store (you can get it at the pharmacy in bigger amounts). Just pour some soda on the questionable area, fizz with a bit of vinegar and let it soak for a while. The rest is scrubbing and rinsing.

There is more greenery going on. I am thinking about plastic *very* hard these days, and I am planning on greening my washing. Stay tuned. ;o)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Lia and me drove to Aargau yesterday to get 400 sticks of bamboo, up to 3m long. They didn't quite fit in the car, but we managed to pack them with minimal sticking out in the back (not like the guys from the selling place...). The way back was really uncomfortable for Lia because she had to squeeze into the passenger seat with its back turned halfway down, and pulled all the way to the front... and it took us so long, since we couldn't use the highways. But finally we got there and picked up jana.
The rest of the afternoon we girls worked away on all that bamboo, measuring, cutting and smoothing, whilst Trev continued with the floor. It was a very pleasant way of working, repetitive and satisfying. A bit like knitting but with mor co-working. :o)

The not so pleasant thing was that I had caught a cold the other day and was feeling more and more feverish as time went on. So today I am staying at home and trying to get better, hoping that we can continue tomorrow and on the weekend, pray the weather gods allow!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

*Real* work

We were both pretty nervous to actually start cutting the wood.
Trev was busy all week finishing the program that told us exactly where to measure the wood so we didn't have to mark angles, and it worked like a charm with minumum waste on the planks.

We worked all afternoon until the sun went down and got almost everything done. We will have to finish the cutting next week, then sand everything and screw the pieces together. Then it is already time to set up the floor.
I will also order the bamboo next week, so we can start on the trellises.

I would never have imagined how rewarding physical work is. It just makes me feel so satisfied and at piece with myself and the world. I like doing the work, and I like coming home in the evening and feeling exhausted and knowing why. ;o)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Busier than bees!

Is it possible to be busier than bees? If yes, then that's what we are this week. There are guests from all over the world, hardcore pancake cooking, hiking, firejuggling and all sorts of crazy things going on!
We went to measure out all the wood on monday. It took us three (!) hours, and if my good friend David wouldn't have been there to help, I am sure we would still be there.
That way, we have a program running now, that will tell us how exactly to cut all the pieces so we get minimum waste when constructing the floor. As you can maybe imagine, this takes some time, so we are taking care of the rest of the material at the moment: truck canvas, bamboo, reed... it takes lots of googling, comparing and calculating to be sure we choose the right and most affordable material.
Have a happy wednesday evening!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The first step: Getting wood

Yesterday we spent the afternoon transporting the wood that we ordered to our building place. Since the weather is so unsure these days we had to decide very spontaniously that today is the day.

Since we couldn't find a car to borrow I emergency-phoned a rental service, and they just had one transporter left. It was a bit small for the long pieces, so we had to drive back and forth three times, but it wasn't far, luckily. And it was fun to drive such a big car!

Now everything is piled up in the stable, and we can start constructing the floor. That will be lots of measuring and then lots of cutting. Friends with saws are very welcome! ;o)

Then we had a very hard-earned break under the cherrytree and just enjoyed our new home for the first time...

The yurt will stand where the tipi is now. I realise it looks a bit like the shire on this photo. And it's green like this all around. There's sheep and chickens and cows and bees... it's just wonderful!

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