Spiraling progress.

We are very happy to finally have the stove mosaic in our new conservatory completed. The second hand stove is in place for use during very cold winter weather as a backup system to provide heat and protect sensitive plants from dropping temperatures. During the past winter we had no need for it but it is nice to know it is there and it can also be lit to make the space extra cosy and comfortable for midwinter gatherings.

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A work in progress.

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Our long awaited conservatory is starting to take shape. Yesterday we added the polycarbonate and it was a pleasure to sit under it today and listen to the soothing sound of raindrops on the new roof. Some people might argue that a polycarbonate roof is not green and does not suit our lifestyle where we are trying to use less of the earths rescores. But we believe that the benefits will outweigh the carbon footprint for creating the sheets. We will now have a place to dry all our laundry, eliminating any need for a tumble dryer. We will be able to grow a lot of our food that needs the higher temperature and cover provided under the roof. The conservatory will work as very effective insulation for the rest of the house, reducing the need for heating considerably. It will also be a lovely place to sit and chat with friends and family. We built our framework from local trees and branches and bought 4″ by 2″ timber.

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When all the pieces come together – Mosaic.

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We are very happy and proud to announce that our big mosaic floor in the extension now is finished. The actual tiling part of the job was completed a couple of months ago but we only put down a first layer of grout to bind it all together at that stage. We have been busy building, insulating and painting the different wall sections since then but this week all of that work was finished and we could move onto the final stage of the floor.

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Slowly but surely.

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It is great fun working on our just under forty square meter floor mosaic but we are starting to think it would have been wise to have done this kind of work twenty year ago. It is very hard on the back and knees, crawling around for many hours every day, making sure all the tiny pieces are positioned correctly and level. We are also working on the walls and the connection walkway into the old cottage, so there is work enough to go round. And in the garden the weeds, grass and vegetables are all putting on tremendous growth, demanding our attention. We are proud to say that the teenagers in the family are chipping in, harvesting vegetables, painting, baking, cooking and washing up. Every night we are all very tired and collapse into the armchair and sofa, for a movie and a well earned rest. Our social life is nonexistent. But we still think it is worth it. There is a great sense of achievement, building and renovating your own home and creating a sustainable garden together. In the years to come, when we have most of the building work done we will have a lot more time to share our house and garden with friends and family.

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A pattern emerges.

mosaic star floor

We are very excited to finally start our big floor mosaic. As you can see we are staying quite close to our original plan but as always when you work on a project like this, ideas for changes come as you are working. We decided to give the points of the second star different colours to strengthen the connection with the elements, yellow for east and air, red for south and fire, blue for west and water and green for north and earth. We added all our tree roots and made the tiles go slightly onto the trunk in layers to really incorporate the tree into the floor. No one will walk right next to the tree so it is alright to have the floor slightly uneven and built up for a few centimetres around the trunk. This is the most exciting mosaic project we have done so far and now, three days in, we just want to go on working to see how it will all turn out.

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A tale of tiles.

floor mosaic stacks

After renovating the bathroom and sorting out our woodland, we are now directing our energies back to building the extension on our little cottage. We have put down the foundation and built the roof and walls so it is not too long now before we can start work on tiling the floor. We wanted to be able to use a lot of found and gifted tiles and as they come in many different colours and finishes we needed to come up with a clever design to incorporate them all.

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