Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The chook pooped on a book

I had to take my chook to work the other day. She is a beautiful girl and was needed for a photo shoot in the Grove Community Centre to promote the Less is More Festival. She was very well behaved and smiled when asked by the photographer.

However, she did poop. On a book. But we cleaned it up and the lovely staff at the library didn't seem to mind so much. And it resulted in a fantastic article on page 5 of the local paper - my chook and Lindsay Miles posing for the festival!

I absolutely love my job because I get to hang out with some amazing people and learn so much about living more sustainably. I spent all of Saturday at the Less is More Festival which was coordinated by Lindsay (an Earth Carers volunteer). With help from us in the office she gathered around 22 volunteer presenters and around 17 support volunteers to hold a day of rolling workshops and activities designed to help people live more sustainably and consciously. The festival is in its third year and 2014 was the best yet! I'm not sure if it was because we had some extra funding from Lotterywest for advertising or if people are just into it more, but there were hundreds and hundreds of people there. The nice thing about this year was that there were a lot of ordinary looking western suburbs folks who might not have been exposed to DIY toothpaste or composting much before. Lindsay specifically marketed the festival at everyone, not just our beloved hippies. I feel we really struck a chord with lots of people and we have been able to get the 'Full lives, empty bins' message out there.

I didn't take any photos on the day - I missed the chance to get one of Adam doing his fruit tree talk. He gave away a banana tree to a very happy chappy. And I did my usual on composting.

The festival was a lot of work, but its such a buzz to be able to share our passions with others and to get such a positive response from the community! My friend (and sometimes parallel blogger) Lindsay has popped some pics on her blog, so rather than duplicate here is the link to Treading My Own Path.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Renos a go go

We started doing some renovations in December and now that we're back things are really starting to happen. Our plan is to build a new room separate from the house out the back, with an outdoor bathroom, a big solar pergola and a wooden deck.

So far we have 6 big steel posts in, these are the supports for the pergola. The pergola slopes up to the north and will have solid tin in one area and clear sheeting in another. Underneath the clear sheeting we will have adjustable louvres to enable us to block or let in light depending on the time of year. Hopefully we will get lots of light coming into the house in winter to warm us up...

We have a pad for the new room and bathroom, it's polished concrete and looks quite nice.

Most of the timber for the walls is on now too. This is the new room looking south east. The room is about 3m by 5m and will be for visitors to stay in and for Quin when he gets older. It will have a kitchenette, with a sink, kettle and toaster. One of the steel posts is inside the room so we're hiding it inside a cupboard.

We have moved some jarrah door/windows from the main house to the new room and replaced them with aluminium framed doors and windows. We swapped them over because the jarrah frame has the wrong type of glass for north facing since it blocks all the warmth, but is perfect for a western aspect. The new windows in the house have Low E glass which is much better suited to a northern aspect. Eventually we may replace the floor boards out the back with a pad for thermal mass to store heat in winter.

This is the new room with jarrah door/windows. There are also banks of louvre windows in the corner and next to the kitchen area.

The post-hiding cupboard and kitchen area.

The outdoor bathroom will be beautiful (much nicer than the indoor one). We got cast iron slipper bath half price (it was a bit chipped during shipping but has been re-enameled), so that will be the centrepiece, plus we'll have a separate shower and it will all run into the relocated grey water system. The chooks can even watch us having a shower!

We'll keep you posted as work progresses.