Saturday, July 22, 2006

Finished the second layer!

Niki finally gets to dig out all that sand! In this picture you can see the arched doorway that I made.

Finally we needed Peter to dig out the sand because no one else could reach the back of the oven! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

This is the second layer of cob at the halfway point.

This is the door. The sand is still in the void and Niki desperately wants to start digging it out! Mole boy!

Almost done the second layer!!!!! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Whew! So Hot!

We have been going through a major heat wave! The last series of posts was actually one looooong single post. I wanted to show the progress of our oven building and since we did the majority of it in one day I really wanted to show the progress of the day. So look at those 5 or 6 posts as one long entry!

Update on the oven - Peter cut the door and now I have started the second layer of cob. I will add some pictures later. This layer of cob is almost the same except you add a bit of straw as an insulative layer and for strength. Straw is like rebar in earthen construction.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Building an Earthen Oven - The Foundation

Digging below the frostline. We started the foundation of our cob oven in 2004. It was a very busy year for us. Willow was born that autumn and somehow we've only begun working on it again this year.

Laying down cement blocks.

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Building the foundation up to a level that will be comfortable for baking our bread and filling in foundation's center with gravel

Fire Brick and Void

Topping off the blocks and gravel with a level layer of sand and laying the firebrick which will be the ovens floor.

The next step is like building a sand castle. This sand is going to be the void or the empty space that is the interior of the oven. Willow got a chance to help out!

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Peter's sand castle building skills!

Finishing the Void

Building up the void. The height of the interior of the oven will depend on the width for the optimal baking conditions. Peter was our math genius and figured out the dimensions.

Once you have the height and width of the void, it's time to pack that sand tight with a 2x4. I'm having a great time playing in the sand!

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Almost done making the void! Wow, that's going to be one big oven!

The Fun Part, Making Cob!

Making cob is surprisingly easy. The first layer is just a mixture of sand and clay. Under our thin topsoil we have almost pure clay here. Cobber's paradise! Put your ingredients on a tarp, add water and boogie down on your muck!

Cel-e-brate good times, ALRIGHT!

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I'm doing my little jig, Yee-Haw!

The First Layer of Cob

Peter is building the first layer of cob.

Sculpting our work of art!

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Building with cob is like playing with play dough or plasticene. It takes you right back to childhood! It's such a fun experience.

It's a Dirty Job!

The hands of a cobber.

And the feet of a cobber. If you want to build an earthen oven you have to get dirty!

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The first layer is almost have finished!

Cobbing at Night

Midnight Stompin'

Almost done!

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I didn't go out and get a picture of Peter finishing the first layer, I was in with the kids by then. Peter finally finished around 1:00am. I did reward him with the gift of beer though, Ha-ha!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Day at the Beach

I love this picture of Josi and Niki. What sweet kids!

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Josi looks so happy!

Heart Applique Apron Top


When I originally started this blog my idea was to keep a little record of the clothing and other things that I make. The Silver Wheel is the name of my "store". I have 2 outfits that I still need to photograph, but in the mean time, here is a picture of a sweet apron top that I made last year. Apron tops are so comfy and are just perfect for the hottest days of summer. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Rural Summer


Here is the wheat field that surrounds our house. It's wonderful to see it change from green to gold as the summer progresses. I also love the way it resembles waves on the water on a windy day. I feel like my house is in the middle of a lake which delights the Crabby Cancer nature! If you look at the background closely you might be able to see the poor bare branches of our oak forest. The gypsy moths have been devestating this year! Luckily the caterpillars are now in their cocoon stage and are no longer feasting on our trees. The leaves are actually growing back and it looks like springtime!
This is Vickie and Kris's new house. Isn't it cute! Vickie and Kris just moved back to Ontario after 8 years in BC. They live outside of Owen Sound in a lovely little Amish community. There is a couple of Amish ladies who comes by in their buggy bringing homemade butter and pies and bread to sell to the neighbors. They seem to do quite well. The butter is fantastic. Peter is in heaven with this non pastuerized dairy product. Next time we will bring a jug and get some milk! Night time at our friends place is a little less ummmm . . . amish. It usually invovles wine and the hot tub!
Aaah, the local water hole. This is just a minute down the road from Vickie and Kris's place. Josi and Niki had fun watching the minnows. Later we found a crayfish. Vickie's oldest daughter Raewyn found a water snake!
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Here is Raewyn, Eillish and Sha'mn (sorry if the spelling is way off!) Vicki and Kris's lovely children. Somehow Hannah is not in the picture. She is such a funny girl! All the kids had a great day at the water hole. When we get together there are 7 children between us. It's chaos. But a lovely chaos. Sweet!