18 March - 24 March 2013

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11 March - 17 March 2013

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04 March - 10 March 2013

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25 Feb - March 03 2013

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18 Feb to 24 Feb 2013

Another big week.

 Been thinking about what finishes we could use outside for the cladding. Weathertex or ShadowClad. Both great products. Weather text is made nearby in Newcastle, Shadowclad in NZ. We've settled on Shadowclad. It travels further and it has a metal fixing system which a negatives. On the positive side we can fit without the fetal system and use local sustainable timber instead. It suits our aestetic better (we are going witha vertical stripe) and it requires less ongoing  maintainence with the finish we are going to use. Low sheen Taubmans exterior paint - 10 year garantee!

Also on a mission to find insulation materials, floor coverings and ideal wood for the joinery ... more to come on that ext week.


Been out to the shops lately .. Easter is in full swing. Here are some Chocolate Buunies shaped like Pirates and Princesses. This is a great time to talk rabbits. Tonight at our council meeting a Notice of Motion was adopted to review rabit ownership in Pittwater. Domestic Rabbits that escape and wild feral rabbits are a curse to many of us up here. They do an immense amount of dammage in the local area and undermine bush regeneration work. We are currently releasing rabbit diseases to control the wild population, but the pet rabbits are immunised and can still be an issue.

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Its so hard with the kids to say no to products like this .. they are ubiquitous. We are holding back on a chocolate binge and WILL be successful in not caving in.

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We have had huge amounts of rain this week. It's been good to test out the dish drains The one around the top side of the huse is working really well ... but the one under the house is pooling water. We've listed it on the defects for the builders who have let us know that it will be a fix at the end of the job. I also discovered that one of the vents we have in the foundation wall was fitted cracked and broken. It should never have gone in and has caused me a bit of a philosophical issue. The pragmatic stsuatinability side of me says 'it is still fit for purpose and functional why replace it and use more materials and energy?' The client in me says 'I'm paying a pile for a new part of the house and I want it perfect!" The designer / maker in ,e sayd "why would soemone put something into a permenant struture that was broken?' If we were not living on site we would probably not notice a lot of these things .. but maybe it is good that we are.

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I now realise my ambition to be a glass artists was very optimistic. I love the classes. They are run by a local glass artist Penel Pigg of http://www.firebirdbeads.com/beads.html. There are 2 other women in the class, one is a silver smith and the other has done bead making before. It is just great chatting to them as we work. We are learning to use Borosilicate glass. It is a very forgiving material and a load of fun. The flower above is my 3rd class!

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Was great to host the AmIADesigner  http://amiadesigner.com/methods/ team at COFA this week. as part of Social Innovation Sydney. Wonderful discussion on the role design can play in cocreating or co designing or leading or teaching and enabling communities in developing countries solve problems and find solutions to local issues.

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Also had the opportunity to spend the day with Cheryl Kernot from the Centre for Social impact http://www.csi.edu.au/ developing the structure for a Course in Design Methods for Social Impact. Exciting combination!

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On Friday afternoon I took this picture of the view from Turimetta Headland. The local residents are complaining that the trees are ruining their view! I think they make the view.

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Last weekend our gutter pipe which was disconnected leaked into our bedroom via the stairs in the big storm. The builders rigged up this fix .. seems to be working. 

I was VERY excited on monday when these super long engineered timber - laminated beauty - arrived for our roof. Our windows and sliding doors also went in.

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First the North - South oriented bearers went in - these beams will be exposed on the inside of the house. It was quite a task getting them in place - heavy and long was not a good combination.

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Once the bearers were in the East - West joists were installed. this meant part of the roof needed to be opened up. Not a great prospect when cyclonic winds and rain are prediced for the weekend. We pushed ahead anyway with sandbags and a tarp our only defence.

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The storm hit on Friday night and it rained all the way through to sunday morning. The wind was wild and uprooted many plants in the garden including corn, sunflowers, pumpkins, paw paw and tamarillo. After 130mm of rain the tarp was full. We hardly slept on both Friday and Saturday nights from the noise of the tarps and the window coverings violenlty flapping in the wind and torrential rain. On Sunday morning we woke up and were lying in bed enjoying the quiet after the strom when all of a sudden there was a huge spalshing noise and a shudder on the side of the house. I raced outside to find our builder looking very tired as he had stayed awake all night worrying about us surviving the storm. He had come to check on us and was empying the waer out of the tarp.

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All the rain and humid weatherhas been making the garden grow like crazy. It has also brought our amazing insects.

Water Lily, Citron Flower, Sweet potatoe

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Wood lichen, banana flower, orange blossom.

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Jewel beetle, centipede, butterfly

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lady beetle larvae

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On Saturday I did a soap making course with the ladies from www.remingtonandemmett.com. We learnt to make 4 diffeent types of soap from natural ingredients. Loved the experience.

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On Sunday we have a pwrmabee at a my friend Danny's house.They have a pool and Mr T had a sim while we worked. He was joined in the pool by a very large water dragon.

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We cleared a mass of perilla, weeds and died back pumpkin and had an amzing vegetarian lunch.

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11 Feb to 17 Feb 2013

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Imagine being 5 years old waking up on your 2nd week of kindergarten, getting ready for school, and as you walk out the gate you are met by a cement truck! Boy heaven for Mr T. The concrete was for the dish drains under the house. Really important for us to get them in as it is predicted to rain over the weekend very heavily.


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In fact it rained that night! Great we had the drains in.

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After a bit of a mopping up the rest of the frame went up this week. First the engineered merbau pillars - I was not happy about these but it was the only suitable timber available. Then the front walls with the frames for the windows and doors.

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Lili has been keeping a very close eye on everything that is going on on site. She did miss the lady beetle above - she usually likes to sniff these out. I had my laptop repaired. 10 daus without a omputer at the busiest time of the academic year has been very hard.

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Miss A turned 8 this week. She now has 30 kids in her class so I had to make 3 dozen cup cakes for morning tea! It was a lot of fun decorating them with her. IMG 9808IMG 9809IMG 9820

For council this week we had a foral SHOROC meeting at Taronga Zoo to hear from the Minister of Planning. IO was shocked by how bullying he was with us at question time after his lecture to us. We are all keen to see what the planning white paper will contain .. apparently 6 weeks to go until we get it ... not holding my breath.The stormy sky over the harbour was spectacular to watch as the afternoon turned into eveing and the sun set. We were taen, before dinner, on a private tour of the nocturnal house to see a new exhibit and meet some of the animals - all rescued from the local area. These included a yellow bellied glider and a pair of very friendly festher tailed gliders. Both victims of cat attacks. People who own domestic animals, especially cats, need to be responsible and keep them in from dusk until daylight to give our native animals, living in urbanised areas, a chance of survival.

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Had a lot of meetings at work this week. COFA is looking great after the rebuild. Lily came in for a couple of them. She loves hanging outside the cafe and boofing at all the other dogs.

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07 Feb - 10 Feb 2013

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06 Feb 2013

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05 feb 2013

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04 Feb 2013

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