Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Half Done with Arch Plastering

1,627 hours later, the north wall of the living room is done. Note the bottle light on the right ride maintains its swallow's nest. And we've got some fancy furnishings. At the end of each work day, noble and I sit and admire our work over Lone Stars and plan for the next day's work.
Sorry for my Poor Photo stiching job.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Before, Way Before...

Trying to find a "before" picture of the north wall in our living room. Forgot to take one before I plastered this wall, so I post this one from our 11th day of work.(Above) and below around the 7th day.
Tomorrow will be the 101st day. The french doors are in, this level of the house is all closed in, elecrity in...wait till you see the progress...
Of course, I look just the same as I did back in 08.

And Remember Eve's Garden Bed and Breakfast and Ecology Resource Center is up and running.
Write to Kate at
We still have space for superbowl weekend. Come on down!
Below is a shot of the Sapphire Room.... Give you an idea on how AWESOME our place'll look when all done this spring.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Making Papercrete Plaster

Pre-Step One:
Make a deal with the local recycling center or bank or school to take their shredded paper off their hands.

Step One:
Weigh out 35 pounds of shredded paper.
Step Two:
Toss the paper in your big ole mixer (save the plastic bags for reuse).
Some people say a toe mixer will work fine for making papercrete, we found that it doesn't mix up everything well enough. We use a big cement mixer. If all your ingredients aren't thoroughly mixed, your first wheel barrow will be all paper, your middle all sand, and your last all cement (or some order of events)
Step Three:
Sling over your shoulder in to the mixer on top of the paper, 40 shovel-fulls of plaster quality sand (or crappy sand that you've sifted into 14 half-full 5 gallon buckets--put in 10 today)

Step Four:
Hope that your hose isn't frozen and then squirt five minutes of water into the mixer.

Step Five: Hope that you can start your mixer. If you're so lucky, then tumble your paper, sand, water mix for 10 or 20 minutes.

Step Six:
After you've shut off the mixer, hose down the paper from the side of the mixer and let the paper, sand, and water mix sit overnight. Looks good enough to eat. Har Har har.

Tomorrow Morning:
One 94 lb bag of Portland Cement
Half of a bag of Metacalin (I'll check the spelling) Clay
14 shovel fulls of sand (or the reserved 4 half-full 5 gallon buckets of sifted crappy sand)
Water to your liking (I like a dry mix cuz I have to haul my plaster up to the third floor. I add about 2-3 mins from the hose)

Tumble for about 30 mins.

Dump into wheelbarrow and NOW you Can Get TO WORK!!

We get about 3 small wheel barrows out of this mix, haul it up to the second floor, add more water, and work with it for between 6 and 12 hours! (times TWO people).

Taa Daaa

Saturday, January 28, 2012

100th "Day" of Working on the World's Tallest House of Paper

Yippeee! 100 Days!
It did take Noble and I ALL Day to get this arch plastered. SO GORGEOUS!
Can't wait to see the next arch plastered!
Above shot the west wall of the living room, entering the kitchen and the front door.

Below, the other side of that same arch. It's a double arch, I only did the lower arch. It ended up taking a LOT of Plaster to try to smooth out this arch.

Maybe tomorrow I'll show you how to make the plaster, step by step.


Friday, January 27, 2012

1,593.5 Hours of Work on our House!

OK, today pre-loaded the mixer so we can plaster the first of the four arches in our soon to be living room!
After loading the mixer, I cuddled up with my computer by the fire with all my old records to update my time log.
Since we started building our castle in 2008, I've been logging how many hours it's taken to get to where we are today. I knew it would take the course of Years, but wanted to log actually how long it takes if we had the time and funds to just build and build and build.
So, since 2008, we've spent 1,593.5 person hours of work. Averaged out with two people working eight hour days, that'd be just 99 and a half days. I'm hoping we can finish these three floors (world's tallest house of paper!) in less than the equivalant of one year!
(Not included planning nor shopping time, just physical labor)

The second floor of our house (Aka apartment)  is all sealed up, so even if it does freeze at night, I can now keep on plastering inside. Here's the "before" shot of the west wall of our living room, pre-plaster. Could plastering this little 12 foot high arch really take a whole day? We'll see tomorrow...

This is the same arch, foto taken while standing even more wester in the house, in the kichen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Ceiling as Smooth as...

Well, a ceiling as smooth as a rhinoceros' back side! It's as smooth as the smoothest papercrete ever! Three weeks from now we can start painting!
In the end it did take three days to plaster the ceiling. Working from first light to dark, slow process, but now, again, I can say the hardest part it done.
We figured out we'll need 18 light fixtures on this floor!
For example, just in the living room: there will be:
two spotlights on the back side of the bottle wall there on the east bottle wall.
four sconces, one in each corner where the arches meet, so light shines up on this perfect ceiling,
two other lights hidden on the arches to shine on the north wall which will have local art,
four lights outside the french doors on the south and north walls,
two hidden lights underneath the crystal nichos on the south wall,
and the big ole six foot wide ceiling fan has a light.

OPPS I guess I did the math wrong somewhere, that's already 15! light fixtures Just in the Living Room!

NEXT we'll start plastering each of the four arches around our living room! Those before and after pictures impressive!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Covered in Productivity

See there on the scaffold at my feet is the contraption that is connected to the air compressor, I load the hopper up with papercrete plaster, hold it up over my head, and spray on the ceiling, then trowel it into a perfectly smooth finish.

Stucco Tools--donated this stucco sprayer to us, it's a great tool for building with papercrete or I'd bet any kind of stucco. It can be used for a wide range of papercrete mixes , from progressive stiffening form-work to colored mixes of papercrete stucco.

Monday, January 23, 2012

He's Electric!

You'll have to turn your computer on it's side to see these pictures correctly I guess. I can't even figure out how to use the camera, let alone the complicatedness of  wiring the electricity for 100000 lights and outlets and switches.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Working on a Room to LIVE In!

We're working our way through wiring and plastering the interior of the house. The above picture is where we start. I plan to get the living room plastered in eight days! (Really I plan seven, but underpromise!)
We'll set up a scaffold and I'll plaster the four foot mini-vaults in the living room. Harumpff, more plastering over my head! At least it's not on the stairway! I love plastering! I LOVE plastering! It's true, just hard work. Each 200+ pound load of plaster has to be mixed, then moved from the ground to the second floor and then stuck to the ceiling! The feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day is un-reproducable though. 

Here's Noble about to drill a hole in the ceiling to put the base for the Awesome! six foot wide ceiling fan we'll get in here before too long.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Insert Your Own Cliche Title about Celestial Stairways Here.

WOW!! WOWW! You gotta come walk up my AWESOME New Stairway!
Just three easy days, and Poof , gorgeous plastered stairway!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Second Outa Three Days Papercrete Plaster

I'm tooo Tired to type. A bicycle, two unicycles, one big double wheeled wheelbarrow.  TWO tired!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


 Started at the top of the stairs and working down. Thought I could do it all in two days, but will probably take three.
I have a cake decorating tool I use plaster around these small spaces, it's only about an inch across, Clyde (father and law and our papercrete gooo-rooo) thinks I'm crazy for such detail, I can't help myself.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Papercreting the Stairway

Oh, I did have some pictures of what's getting plastered, this week.
TOMORROW shots of progress!

Below is a pretty pictures of a finished plaster job, it was taken by our friend Alexa Walker (http://3heartsranch.com/photographs/index.html) and I put it here just to make sure that people know that Eve's Garden Organic B & B is up and running, and has been for around 10 years. We have seven unique hand built rooms all made out of Papercrete and other alternative and recycled materials. Come for a visit! We're a work in progress to demonstrate alternative construction methods and to inspire folks to build crazy stuff too! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Moving Up in our World

This is the shot of our hand built papercrete stairway taken in 2009. That same year we did get the roof over the stairway, I just don't have a good picture of that. 
The next project for this season is to plaster the stairway. Plastering on the stairway is hard enough, but the ceiling on the stair is a 9 (or is it 10) foot arch! YIKES!
Above another couple of pictures of stairway while it was in process.
Below a closeup a pre-plaster nicho, one of nine that serve as the handholds for walking up the steps. Plastering this detail is also a challenge. 
Those bottles that look red are just beer bottles, on this east wall at sunrise the SHINE.
Like my Shiny Noble, planning the days work at the top of the stairway. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Feeling Blue Again

It's been three weeks since I got that plaster on (tricked ya) and climbed back up that ladder to get the first layer of paint on the papercrete.
We'll "dry brush" a layer of gorgeous gold paint on top to this to make it fit in the fancy courtyard.
But on to the interior. Working next on the elecrical and the plastering of the living room, on the inside of this french door. 

Below a picture of Grandma kitty who supervised the whole process.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Getting it on!

 Getting the papercrete plaster on the wall. Ruff to get up and down a 10 and a 20 foot ladder to pret-tify this space, but when you're overlooking the below courtyard, a lot to live up to!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Exterior Interior Space on the Paper Palace

Here is Noble standing in our living room, through the french doors of what will be someday our "Juliet Porch." People often compare Eve's Garden to the Winchester House, in California, with 100's of rooms, doors and stairways leading nowhere. Don't worry, we'll get the porch made, probably in 2013. That porch is overlooking this pond....

This is the coffee shop open to Eve's Garden guests which is located below our house. Our "house" is on the second floor in the semi-interior greenhouse-courtyard space at Eve's Garden.