Monday, April 16, 2012

Truckin' Right Along...

I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting new pictures of the progress... I have gotten so much done since my last blog post but have had ladders & scaffolding & stuff everywhere! I decided I needed to do some cleaning up first before I took pictures. Well, I was finally able to do that (thank you Ted!) so here you go...
American Clay Earth Plaster
After the drywall was complete instead of just painting the walls, I decided to go with an earth clay plaster as my final finish by a company called "American Clay." I chose this for a number of reasons... I have seen a lot of pictures of homes with the earth clay & it gives the home such a cozy feel and adds a softness to the room. There are great health benefits to the plaster as well! It is a totally natural clay & the pigments used to color the clay are made from minerals in the earth. It is mildew & mold resistant and it helps to balance the humidity & temperature levels in the room. In dry environments the clay releases moisture & in humid environments it absorbs moisture. It is low maintenance and easily fixable if needed. It also absorbs the unhealthy positive ions given off by the electromagnetic radiation of computers & such, and converts them into healthy positive ions. People believe the good feeling you have at the beach is due to the positive ions that are given off in the sand when the ocean washes up on shore. It's the same effect, so it is believed the clay can actually help to increase a feeling of well-being. But besides all that, it looks really cool and of course I LOVE playing in mud, so it is definitely my finish of choice...
My dad & I applying the first coat of earth clay
I actually went to a class to learn how to apply the earth clay & I took my dad and Glean with me to learn as well. We actually put a coat of primer on the wall first with a special sand in it so the clay has something to adhere to. Below we are applying the first coat of clay.
First coat of clay going on
First coat of clay drying
My dad applying the second coat of clay
The second coat of clay went on a bit thicker
Second coat of clay finished & drying

After the second coat of clay was dry, we started the compression coat. For this I used a garden sprayer to spray the walls down with water, then used a plastic trowel to compress the wall. This actually compresses the two coats together for the final finish. It also keeps the wall from shedding. After we finished the earth clay, we got the interior doors put in. I need to figure out what color to stain them! I've added several pictures of the earth clay walls from different angles.
Earth Clay walls complete
Bathroom & closet doors in
Me in the loft
View of the gable wall from the loft

Glean did a great job grouting the tile in the shower 
Tile grouted & ready to be cleaned & sealed
We tiled the stain glass as well
Bathroom wall with stain glass almost finished!
Light shining through
Lance installing my cabinets
Lance Boswell is the owner of Tekton Cabinetry in Georgia. He did a fine job building the cabinets for the kitchen & bath. We decided to go with rustic cherry. I wanted something rustic looking but also elegant. I am very pleased with them. I found these really cool hand forged iron knobs & pulls for the cabinets too which look nice.

Kitchen cabinets in, ready for the countertops
Backside of the kitchen island
That's where the oven/cooktop will go
Sliding door cabinets built into the loft for extra storage
My plan is to put a rolling ladder along that beam
View of the kitchen from the living area
Nice view of the earth clay walls
Another view of the kitchen
Bathroom vanity in
The electrical is also almost completely finished & is coming along nicely. An electrician has come into my life that has a lot of experience with log homes. It's amazing what a difference that makes when having to get creative with the wiring through logs & exposed beams!
Loft lighting in

Recessed lighting in
The next really fun & exciting project that we started & have now finished is the rock work... I was told about a company out of Oneonta Alabama called Lamb Stone. They are the only place in Alabama you can buy REAL rock that has been mined, but cut like veneer so it is lighter & easier to work with. Pretty cool... I decided to go with the cottage mosaic pattern. Each rock weighs roughly 15 pounds.
I sure had fun picking that rock up with the truck & trailer! I got 3 1/2 pallets of rocks at 1200 lbs each + 10 bags of stonemix cement at 75 lbs... All went well, but I did run about 3 red lights hauling it to the cabin because the light kept turning yellow & I was afraid to stop! This was a project completed by me, my brother Jackson, & my concrete guy Billy. It's a good thing he helped, because I was pretty slow being it was my first rock job ever.

My brother Jackson posing for the camera
Kitchen island rock finished
I had to add this picture of my thumb, because I'm proud of it... I used to always say that Stewart & I have put blood sweat & tears into this cabin. The truth is it was Stewart's blood, our sweat & my tears that had gone into the cabin. Well now I can officially say that MY blood, sweat, tears, love & toil have gone into this cabin...
Blood, sweat & tears...
(Be careful when dealing with metal lath. It can act like a cheese grater to your fingers)
Rock work on the outside is complete
Close up of the cottage mosaic rock work
Rock wall complete AND the awesome door finished
Another project finally complete is the awesome cypress barbarian door that David Boswell built. What a fine job he did. David came back & we got the hinges painted & the rest of the lock & handle completed. Thank you David!! He's got amazing craftmanship...
David finishing up the details
How about that for a cool entrance door to a log cabin?
Exterior view of the entrance door

 Up next finishing the grout & tile in the shower, concrete countertops, finishing up the plumbing, etc.... Stay tuned!!

The cypress trees for the main house are still in the swamp because it is still too wet to get in & cut them.
Pray for God's perfect timing & provision for these trees to arrive at my land...


  1. Rachel, the cabin is gorgeous! You have done a great job picking out colors, materials, etc. They go together so beautifully. God is so good! Praying and thinking of you today.

  2. I can't decide what my favorite element is so far... the earth clay, the stone shower, the beautiful doors, the stonework outside... Rach, it's all just beyond beautiful. I can't WAIT come see this in person one day. To say I'm proud of you would be an understatement. Love you much!

  3. Wow, this is simply beyond gorgeous. The cabinetry is so elegant, and I love the reasons behind using the earth clay. And stone? Girl, there isn't anything that surprises me these days that you can accomplish and do on your own! Proud of you for adding your blood to the work. :) Stewart would be so proud of you. And I know how long it takes to get cypress! That's impressive that you're getting it straight from the swamp. Louisana? And how many inches is that bathroom door? :) Can't wait to stay in it soon!

  4. Cool picture. Looks like it would be a fun but taxing job as well. I love looking at log homes!

  5. Thanks for post I like it me also share with you some tips hope you like Firstly, as a primer for your plastering surface. The aim here is to allow the PVA solution to dry thus reducing the suction (or thirst) of the wall. Left untreated, a surface with a high suction can literally draw the water out of the plaster before it has had a chance to set, thereby weakening the plaster skim coat and increasing the chances of the plaster falling away at a later stage (known as "blown" plaster).Plastering London Plasterers Rendering