Saturday, July 8, 2017

Forever House #52

Hahaha this is pretty funny I reckon - reduced version of the drone footage created by my friend Pete out at Currawinya. He forgot the Forever House name and called it Long Time House which is almost a better name... and his production makes me laugh each time I watch it - hope you enjoy. There's a lot of the roof and surrounds - I can't wait till he is good enough to fly his drone through the house! Thanks heaps Pete. x

Mum opening the gate - dear love
Wednesday 5th July, 2017
Today was earmarked to go back out to the Forever House and collect the camper trailer now that Ronnie has finished with it for the time being. He is actually taking the camper trailer.

Mum came with me for the drive, and we met Ronnie and mate out there. Ronnie had to collect all his left behind tools, scaffolding and planks and his trusty camp chair. I towed the trailer back to his place

Metal finished apart from cnrs which will happen next time
As you can see from the pics, the last of the metal has been put up and most of the doors and windows have been hung and had lockable handles put on them (although I had to climb through a window to get in cause the keys were inside haha.)

Sliding doors washed and in although
weirdly one of them was 100ml narrower than the others.
I worked out - when Peter Mac took the excess over
to his and Quan's share many moons ago
he must have taken one of these by accident.
Ronnie has filled the gap with timber for now and
I will have to have a cover made later to fix permanently.

It is fab having the sliding doors on the big opening at the front - I bought those windows in 2004 and they have been laying in waiting all this time. One of them is not quite wide enough which was a bit confusing at first until I remembered I had given some windows, excess to my needs, to another Currawinyan way back in the day. He must have taken one of this set by accident as he picked through the pile. Nevermind - we will fill the gap with same coloured aluminium cover when Ronnie returns in November - for now it has timber filling it.
Sliding doors at long last - so good
Front door has a lockable handle on it now.
For completion it needs timber added to to the bottom
and stained glass panels installed

A number of things will wait for next time Ronnie is here - like the frame for the glass walls above the mud walls, and some of the doors and windows are fixed in place still to be hung and given handles. As I have said many times, I have so much to get on with, this is not an issue. I am very happy with the job Ronnie has done and where the house is up to.

panes of glass and coats of paint still needed but largely done

I will be getting on with stained glass while at home and cutting panels for the remaining glassless windows out at the farm. When we were there the other day it was apparent how confused the swallows have become with so many of their entry points closed off. I hope they work it out sooner than later because they will be damaging themselves on those large glass doors.
inside view

compare this view with the timeline pic at the top of this blog
to see the difference this push has made

view from mud room thru
into dining and lounge

lockable mud room door
I have given myself July to catch up with myself at home after going out to the farm consistently for nine weeks. Managed to get a fireplace installed at home to see me through these cool evenings. It sits where my Jeff's desk and chair were in what was his workshop - where he spent all day most days - a fitting place from where to draw my warmth now. Got back into the surf and it was a relief to know I can still do it and love it as much as ever. Definitely wet suit weather. Catching up with a few more family and friends. And hopefully getting on top of some admin. Got to spray for bindies before it gets too late and my whole lawn becomes a pain in the feet.

I also hope to complete the mosaic floor I started in the bathroom late last year but which has been on the back burner for a while.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Forever House #51

Monday 19th June 2017
Ahh ... finally in my caravan bed, candles alight and head torch on, ready for sleep after this update. I'm only here for less than 24hrs this week but better than nothing. My goal by the end of next week is to have all six of the bedroom windows sanded and painted and ready for installation. I've come out with all the replacement glass cut, ready to add to the many re-usable panes to re-glaze the windows - but sanding and painting is the most important at this stage - glazing can follow, post Ronnie.

It was pretty exciting arriving this eve about 5.45pm to find the villaboard walls installed inside the house above the block walls. Ronnie decided he needed to do that first, and there's a timber picture rail to sit above the blocks to tie it all together. Then by the end of the week all the insulation will be pushed into the cavities from the outside and the corrugated iron up around the outside. Next week the windows and doors and voila - luck up!

I met Ronnie at 10.30am at Bunnings car park today to collect a few bits. He then went to collect additional mouldings from Metroll and angle from GJames. I went to the servo with a couple of gerry cans to fill up - he headed west and I went to work.

He's using up heaps of the timber that has been laying around for window surrounds etc. During the ten days he's been away the weather has been foul and the camper trailer needed some attention first up for him today. All I did on arrival was clean up the swallow shit on the kitchen bench, heat up frozen curry and naan bread, and sit by the fire with a wine.

Tomorrow up at 6.30am and on with the day - Night for now...

Tuesday 20th June 2017
Rose to a relatively mild morning; porridge and coffee; and daylight view of the progress Ronnie made last time he was here.

It's always exciting to see the changes - but this time in particular because he's closed up the gaps above the block walls and all of a sudden the true dimensions and look of the room are known. No longer imagined.

The light, the framed views through windows are there. Of course I gush and carry on a bit excited - it's remarkable. The photos tell the tale.

Ronnie continued to work on the picture rail and window surrounds. I worked on the 2nd and 3rd sets of windows for the main bedroom. Sanding, scraping and undercoating.
I had to scarper and leave Ronnie working alone for the remainder of the week. He hoped to have the iron up by the end of the week.

Tuesday 27th June 2017Instead of doing iron over the remainder of last week, Ronnie decided his priority was to get the timber trim on above the rock wall and around the windows inside. It took time getting it perfect, and as usual he has done a beautiful job. He used up lots of the old hardwood lying around - bringing it back to look fresh and new. The villaboard that will eventually cover the internal block work, when next Ronnie comes back to the Forever House to help finish the interal fit out, will slot into grooves he has routed in undersides of that timber trim. The finish will be awesome.

When we were at Richmond Sand and Gravel getting the sand and gravel for the cement a couple of weeks back we saw some samples of stone panelling that we thought might be a nice alternative to the render I had thought would be the finish on the outside of the block walls. They let me take a sample out to the Forever House this week to see what it looked like and to see what needed to be done to allow for it to be attached under the metal flashings.
This is the latest painting I have done - Currawinya Sunrise looking east in the early morning from the front of the Forever House towards Gab and Dave's House. 

Tuesday and Wednesday this week Ronnie did the trim work for the external corrugated iron, and then inserted the iron. Fiddly around the bird windows and getting easier along the western wall.

He had done all but the wall above the front door when I left on Wednesday afternoon.

I put up the insulation in between working on the windows.

Ronnie was using turps to wipe down the corrugated iron walls and the smell took me back to so many memories - mainly of my \Dad who used to tinker around building boats and painting oil paintings. A very nostalgic smell is turps. I think I have said that I was Dad's helper when I was young and I'm sure my building streak is an ode to him as much as anything else.

We had lots of visits from interested shareholders. Dave, who had done so much work on the Forever House previously, arrived back on the property and was pretty excited to see the work being done. Everybody comments on the quality of the work Ronnie is doing.

We were invited to dinner at Gab and Dave's house with Pete and some new shareholders Pam and John. They too are interested in building in cob and came to check my place out on Wednesday.

Dave, Gab, Pete and they were off on an adventure looking at possible sites for their share - Ronnie and I had to stay and keep our heads down and bums up. It seems I have been doing that for many years - working on the house every time I am out there and not adventuring around the countryside like I will when I can. My time is coming. I am excited for when the house is done and I can immerse myself in that magnificent landscape with no more work to do!!
Yay the windows are largely ready to install

The final push to lock up was on this week and Ronnie was trying to get it all done by Friday. Windows hung and door handles on and maybe even one of the frames above the mud walls for the glass to sit in...

I have yet to go out and see how far he got - that will happen on Wednesday (not tomorrow but the next day) when we go out to collect the Camper trailer which has been up for almost ten weeks now, and anything Ronnie couldn't fit on his ute when he left.  Will post the final lock up pics soon.  

Au revoir Ronnie after 8 weeks of amazing work
and easy company. Thank you so much.
I will miss having company as I continue to
progress the Forever House in the next months.

Forever House #50

Wednesday 14th June 2017
Queens birthday weekend and a week away from the Forever House.
I headed off to Melbourne to see my two - and Ronnie had the week off at home to spend with his family.

The weather in Melbourne was gorgeous (which is more than I can say for the Far North Coast of NSW which was threatened with flood again so soon after the devastating flood at the end of March).

I was very comfy in my little Airbnb cabin and small rental car. Neither of my two have cars at the mo and I have done the Melbourne thing enough times now (this is her 5th year and his 3rd) to allow myself and them our own spaces rather than move in to their share houses and be in their faces.

We caught up for dinners and swims, movies and breakfasts, dog walks and glass classes, op shops and gigs. Hung out with some of their friends and all up had a lovely time.

Sitting in on Dan's glass class -
she is making fused glass earrings
Danika is making
a glass lamp shade
I fiddled with some off cuts and hope to see this piece fused
some time in the future

I had my heart set on gathering some old hearth tiles while in Melbourne. I had bought a set of ten back in 2013; but they like so many items intended for the Forever Hous, found their way into the renovation at home. They are in the splash back in the kitchen there.

Danika and I, on an op shopping and soldering iron buying trip to South Melbourne, Googled our way to the same tile shop from 2013 - Steptoe's Renovation Supplies in Collingwood. It turns out they no longer sell the sets of tiles unless they are going with a fire surround also bought there.

So the owner directed me to the odd hearth tiles which was a recipe for financial disaster for this Libran woman who can't be given too many choices. The set of ten, last time, cost $200. This time I bought 30 tiles @ $15 each (they sell between $15-$30 so technically I was saving money at $15 flat rate).

Somehow I made room for the tiles in my suitcase and managed to keep the case within the 32kg excess baggage which cost another $70. I had to wear a lot of jackets home.

I have some ideas how they will be used but as with everything else at the Forever House it will be an organic process and it will be what it will be. Excited am I.

There's a mantel piece I got from somewhere years ago; a brass surround for the front edge; a stash of slate in the shed; and there are river rocks. My friend Suzy gave me a redundant largish firebox that needs blackening. When Ronnie has gone, I will play with the space and the materials.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Forever House #49

form work for the cement corners
and Lolly's renovated French doors in situ
Tuesday 6th June 2017
Unbelievably, after all the strife I've been in with my right arm and more recently left neck , I've had two good night's sleep - no numbness and no need to sleep upright.

Over the weekend I've been continuously heating the wheat bag and laying it on my neck. I've also been heating up a hot water bottle for bed time to use when the wheat bag cools down.

I bought the hot water bottle out to the farm just in case. Ronnie was just saying, by the fire, that a hot water bottle would be good in the camper trailer. He was very pleasantly surprised and keen when I told him I'd brought one out with me and that he could have it.

The windows go in. Tthe metal work and blocks get straightened up
ready for the corrugated iron to go above it all.

So today started with porridge and coffee by the fire with a fog forming all around us.

Then it was straight into making cement to fill the formed up corners of the block work that Ronnie had prepared earlier. These needed to be done so he can get on with running the metal flashings around the outside above the block walls, and then the corrugated iron.  He's re-done some of the metal framework so that the lines of screws in the tin cladding will be straight. And he's trimmed the top of the block wall - which was like a roller coaster - so that the corrugated iron has a straight edge rather than having to cut it to follow the undulations as they were. Such is the perfectionism of Ronnie! I get that in the end the finish will be amazing and these seemingly fastidious things will make all the difference.

Ronnie making frames for window openings
(these are for the bird highlights)

Among other windows, Ronnie put my bird highlight window up. Oh my... much excitement.
The green frame inside the oiled timber jams looks fab. A momentous day.
One of two bird highlight windows goes up (missing one pane).

I just have to solder the remaining pane of this first window, and the five panes of the second window and install them in the frames - sometime after Ronnie has gone. They are theoretically part of bringing the house to lock up but not crucial at this stage. More pressing is getting the bedroom windows sorted for installation while I still have Ronnie here.

I love this photo at twilight looking back up at the house with the moon just rising

the friction hinges off the old windows
I got on with renovating the friction hinges that belong to the bank of six old windows in the main bedroom. They came up a treat. I'll be attempting to get two of the windows undercoated and painted and re-glazed tomorrow for Ronnie to install when he can.then two the following week and two the final week. It's great that he is coming back for a further two weeks to complete the lock up. He, like I, just wants to see the house finished.
and after
I have scraped, steel wool-ed and sprayed with stuff
to protect them and make them slide better.
I had bought silver spray but the brass mechanisms
are way too beautiful to cover up with paint.

the renovated shower - now with pully system

Salmon, sweet potato, broccolini and corn for dinner Yum.
I made sure I had my shower before dark, cosied up in bed under two doonas, with my hoody and a head torch on. Ready for sleep - fingers crossed my arm copes well again tonight.

Wednesday 7th June 2017

Aloe vera growing prolifically

Off came the form work to reveal the concreted block work corners had worked a treat. 

Window furniture before renovating

beautiful brass door furniture to go on bedroom windows
one of six windows sanded
and blue undercoated

2 coats of green ready for glazing
and then final coad
another section of the lock up
getting sorted by Ronnie...
a plank of hardwood recycled to sit above the kitchen window

the rock wall that still exists post fire back in 2000.
A close up of I my filthy rear canopy window
which I left open over the two days I was there...
When I went to pack up and looked up at the window
this is what the elements had created out of the dirt...
a magnificent masterpiece. Awe-some
the smiley face was drawn on the window prior - when it was just dirty -
by a man in a servo who was thanking me for moving my car
so he could get fuel while I went in to pay for mine haha