Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fun little introduction to our group

Here's a short video we did to introduce everybody and give a peek into our first week here.  (so first week was a couple weeks ago, but I take a while to get organized).  Katie and Emilie did the interview and I put it together with the titles and such on iMovie.  Yay teaching myself basic video editing!  (My more recent iMovie exploits coming soon with the video about our timber framing week).

Monday, June 18, 2012

We raised a house in 6 days!

This week was a crash course in timber framing.  By timber framing, I don’t mean nailing a frame together out of 2x4s.  I mean traditional wood frame joinery with mortises and tenons and wood pegs.  No nails.  No screws (ok, so I think there were 2 screws in the whole thing, just to hold the rafters together at the top). 

So we started on Monday knowing absolutely nothing about timber framing.  In 6 days, with the excellent guidance of our instructor Sarah, we learned new tools and techniques, measured and planned out locations and sizes of mortises and tenons, carved them out, cut out braces and posts and tie beams and plates, and assembled them on Saturday with a crew of volunteers to make our three bent frame for our cottage.
Our awesome, badass instructor, Sarah

It was a challenging week for the group, but we pulled together really well.  Lots of new information really fast, lots of long days (working into the evening with headlamps on Thursday and Friday), a lot of communication and teamwork necessary to make everything come together on Saturday.  And hey, we didn't even want to kill each other by the end!  I'd say that's a good sign for our group.

Gathered around for some instruction
But at the end of the week it was incredibly satisfying to see what we had made.  All the planning and detailed work and long days produced this beautiful, perfectly fitting timber structure that will be seen on the inside of our finished cottage and will be enjoyed for decades and decades. 

There was much good local beer drinking and music playing and singing and skinnydipping to celebrate :)  Perfect end to the week.

Here's some photos from the raising day on Saturday:

Laying out bents 1 and 3 (a bent is 2 posts connected by a tie beam)
More layout

Raising bent 1.  I am the one in the plaid shirt and the blue pants :)

Bracing bent 1 in place

Raising and bracing bent 2

All three bents up!

Bracing bents against each other.  The temporary braces will be removed later.

Look, temporary floor going on top of our floor joists!  Britt is excited about this...

Finished!!!  ...for now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A little tour of my new home!

It's been a busy week doing the timber framing for our cottage, but I thought I'd at least give you all a little photo tour of my home here.

So here goes:

I really like this photo.

Out through the gardens toward the lake (lake is to the left)

Breakfast under the canopy

Vicki in our little kitchen

The yoga studio out behind our building...and a slackline!  Maybe I'll master it yet...

Looking down toward the lake

The path from the lake

The chicken (and turkey!) coop

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I think I have arrived in paradise

Greenhouse, gardens, and the crazy white peacock

...an exhausting paradise, but paradise.  Today is day 3 and I already feel like I have been here for weeks.  We have our adorable little tent village in the woods, are cooking meals for each other, getting to know each other, and starting our first project: a cob oven.

Cob oven!  from left: Britt, Marina, Katie, Karen, Kelley, Vicky

Side note: I must say, I have a bit of trepidation about starting my first blog without Lissa, my excellent writer from our roadtrip blog.  I will just have to tough it out by myself on this one….and you all will have to endure some not as humorous writing.  Although we’re kinda the only ones that think we are funny anyway, so maybe you won’t notice a difference.

Anyway, I am so excited to be amongst such an enthusiastic, passionate, inspiring group of women.  It is a pretty diverse group of different ages and different backgrounds, which is really cool.  I think we will learn a lot from each other’s life experiences.  Everybody has something different to offer, from being a professional dancer, to knowing how to make homemade mole and homemade tortillas, to having a past life as a massage therapist.  Also, I’m being challenged a bit on my cooking skills as we have limited ingredients (at least this first week) and I’m not the most creative cook.  Maybe I will finally learn to be more inventive in the kitchen.  Or just learn some new recipes.  That would be cool. 

So I am happy to be getting into a routine of waking and sleeping with the light, learning new things every day, being outside all the time, and being out in nature.  I could get used to this!

Ok, here are some photos:
Moving heavy logs using leverage!

Makin a really rustic bench

Woo!  I know how to use a drill!
Home sweet home
Our little tent grove.  This is my living space for 4 months!