Friday, September 25, 2009

Spreading the Blove

Blove - that is Blog I got my first trackback the other week. This great blog called BrickCityLove linked to my very cool blog about the Molly Mutt beds. How cool is that. I am followed all the way in NJ - and these people aren't even related to me, and I didn't even have to pay them to read!!

Check their blog out, they have renovated a very cool rowhouse in a historic part of Newark, NJ  - its well worth a wander over to the other side of the continental divide and check them out.

Meanwhile, I am still figuring out what to do with this blog and my lack of pics......stay tuned.

Overshoot Day

September 25, 2009 is Overshoot Day.

Overshoot Day is the day in the year where we begin to use more natural resources than the earth can regenerate in a year. So from this point on till the end of the year we are going into debt, over utilizing natural stocks and accumulating more waste into the environment (think CO2) than our system can handle. This year Overshoot Day is 2 days later than last year - in due to the recession slowing down our consumption and in turn waste generation.

Of course a continuation of this recession is not the solution, but  a middle ground between economic prosperity and minimizing our use of natural stocks and services so that future generations can enjoy a high quality of life and they don't have to recognize Overshoot Day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Water, water, water

Well if we lived in Georgia, we sure wouldn't be wishing for water, but here in CA we are. Hey Peachy, send some this way!

The water situation at the house is bizarre. The main water source for our drinking and washing etc. comes from a spring and is stored in a cistern. The water *NORMALLY* is fantastic, it tastes great and we have considered ourselves lucky.

Eeerrrrrrkkkkk, that is our lovely water situation screeching to a halt. No, we didn't run out of water, though that is a constant worry. We have sulfur..........suuuuuuullllllllllffffffffffffuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrr - that lovely rotten egg smell as you take a swig, wash the face or shower. Lovely, huh!

The only thing that is weird is that the water that comes straight from the outside water spicket is NOT sulfury. None, zero, nada, nothing. So, even though we first thought that the water table had fallen to a point where it was now picking up some sulfur, we are now wondering if its actually the pipes or water heater in the house that his the problem.  Hmmmm, the mystery continues, meanwhile, we hold our breath while we shower and fill our drinking water bottles from that outside spicket - very Little House on the Prairie.

On a side  note, I am still trying to figure out this blog thing and storage. I looked into a blogspot site but can't find out how much space I would have there, though its a google app, so probably a lot. The other problem with blogspot is that some guy has and hasn't updated since 2004....let it go buddy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Straw Bale follow up

The use of straw bales as an alternative building approach is gorgeous, soft and has character from day one. Not to mention longevity as one of the oldest homes in the U.S. is a straw bale home in Kansas (I believe)....but this new house featured in DWELL shows that straw bale can be clean lined, more modern as well as elegant and timeless. It also stresses the energy efficiency of these homes - an amazing resource.

They also stole my tag line - Grrrrrrrr but here is the slide show.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hay is for Horses but Straw is for Houses

A new take on the straw bale home. Familiar with the "bale" usage - those lovely deep window sills and window seats. Well, a company in Ashland, OR has come up with a way to bale straw waste into slightly more unusual bales than what we are used to.

StrawJet creates pillars of straw waste that work well as both wall fillers with great R-value.

strawjeted02Inhabitat has a great post with more info - as we will have 2 site built walls, this is most definitely a possibility as these walls will not be weight bearing. Something else to consider.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I laugh all the way to the bank

For those who scoff at all our DIY efforts - take this!!

A previous post I showed our new home office (as I work at home most of the week).  Kyle had built me a new desk. I was made from a closet door we took out of the double wide and he used pipe and galvanized fittings and wheels. Very cool, industrial looking, which isn't everyone's taste, we recognize but its definitely ours.

Well, it must be someone else's taste too because the same darn desk is at Restoration Hardware and yes, it has a traditional RH price tag - $1295 plus shipping.....ours = $35 for the pipe, of course Kyle's time to make it = $Priceless!!!!

And no, ours isn't quite as rustic as theirs - okay, I will spill some acid and beat it with a chain - wait, I like the black and galvanized...screw 'em.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Radiant Floor Heat

So an article on AT today featured DIY Radiant Heat floors. As we move forward on the house, this is becoming a reality that is fast approaching. Our plan is to have concrete floors with radiant heat plumbed into a solar hot water heater with propane back-up, because we all know I don't like to be cold!


Apparently the reviews on installing your own radiant floor are mixed with varying degrees of difficulty. I am a bit worried as if you make a mistake, its a BIG effort to fix it once the top finish layer of concrete is poured. Hmmm, that would stink. I am hoping that it might be easier in a house from scratch rather then retrofitting an existing floor, but this still doesn't sound like a walk in the park.  Other sources for the DIY Radiant Heat direction are on casaGURU and Design2Share.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Container Homes - more media

How great is this, another article on container homes from Daily Green - check it out HERE.

"Not just for resourceful squatters, container architecture is taking the world by storm."

And HERE are some more pics of that Container Home built in Houston, TX - it was also featured in this month's DWELL Magazine.

Molly Mutts

molly muttsBrilliant, why don't I think of these things. Molly Mutts has come up with a brilliant idea for a doggy bed. They are removable and washable covers that fit over an interior stuff sack that you fill with old clothes and rags etc..!!! Voila - brilliant, so smart. Not only molly mutts sackare the clothes much more comfier than the traditional dog bed fill, you can wash all the clothes inside and also easily change them out if there is an this idea.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Good 'ole Shirt

P8290007In 1992 I was lucky enough to spend the year in full time training with Peter Gray, an Olympic Eventer from Bermuda. It was a fabulous year, with lots of ups and downs and a lot of hard work.

At some point in our travels, Peter gave me a button down shirt and I loved it, worn in, super comfy and too big. I have hung on to it for years and this year my mom said - No More, it had to go. But it was in good shape and still clean so I thought, why not, repurpose it.

P8290008Voila - a pillow for our living room. It fits perfectly as we have a brown leather couch and we have ALL brown pillows, what a nice change.