Using permaculture ethics & design principles to transform an old energy guzzling bungalow into a showcase of sustainable design. It's about energy cycling, building community, self-reliance,creatively using & reusing materials... all without spending heaps of money.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Storage feature in Owner Builder mag

Principle 7: Design from patterns to details

We are once again in Owner Builder magazine, this time with a focus on storage solutions. For those of you who have come to this blog via the magazine I've included a few links to expand on the info in the article.
Cellar / Water tank / Cool Cupboard - there's quite a few posts here
Firewood and shoe cabinet / bookshelf - check out the Storage systems from marginal materials post
Laundry bench and shelving / ladder shelf - see Creating space post
Timber rack - see the post Stack 'em up
Tidy workshp - there's a bit in the One rubbish and recycle bin for a year post about how we've reused metal containers for storage in the shed

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Toddler in training

Principle 4: Apply self-regulation and accept feedback

We found that when Sen does not where pants he is much more likely to let us know when he needs to use the toilet
We had been encouraging Sen to use the potty for quite a while before he started walking, watching out for the unmistakable facial expressions. His first 'direct hit' was a very exciting time for all of us. We even wrote it up on our calendar! While Kai took to the potty early and could pretty well look after himself, Sen liked the idea of using the toilet like the rest of us. Early on there were several attempts before the business was deposited in the toilet, but it eventually was, which was a cause for further celebration.

Sen was quite late in getting off the ground. He took his first steps at around 18 months, but it was a few months after that before he was regularly on his feet. At this time we started having more nappy free time in the hope that Sen would let us know when he needed to go. When using cloth nappies and rainwater there are BIG incentives to get this sorted early. Washing a load of nappies every other day uses about 160lt of water a shot in our old top loader, forcing us to use mains water for irrigation for the first time. Besides, changing nappies and scraping poo has never been one of my favourite activities.
While still using nappies at night the number of 'accidents' during the day decreased with time. At about the age of two we put undies on, which he hated, and is more likely to have an accident with them. He'd much rather have no pants at all, even during very cold days. Within a month he got used to the idea of wearing them undies we head out with little chance of an accident.
We now only need to do a load of nappies about once a week or so, and accidents are very rare. While it would be great if he could use the potty himself, his choice to use the toilet is still applauded, even though it's a regular job that requires urgent attention. When outside Kai is training him up in how to fertilise the trees directly, an important job for a big brother.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Getting organised

Principle 11: Use edges and value the marginal

Have you ever been frustrated that you can't find what you are looking for? I have.
The other day, while my family was away in Japan, I was searching through my drawers for a pair of clean undies. I just about emptied it out before I found my last pair, then I had to pack everything else back away. That was it! I was going to deal with problem once and for all.
With bits of scrap plywood I worked on an idea that I had of creating dividers. Rather than build boxes, I made a 'H' type frame which created 5 spaces using just 4 pieces of ply. The two sides could be adjusted by sliding the 'unit' to one side. I decided to create another smaller one to further divide the space, which was useful for smaller items.
Dividing the large space in the drawers into smaller spaces (creating edge) I could place like items together, and make it easy to find what I'm looking for. Not only that but it's much easier to pack stuff away! A nice litte and rewarding job to do.

Drawer with two dividers fitted to separate clothes and make it easier to find stuff

Plywood frame to fit into drawer as a divider

Having separate frames allows them to slide and change the size of the space

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