Above shows what the ground is like here...rock! This is why it is taking months to get to the point of actually putting in footings and getting a building under way. The ground is unforgiving and the rock is relentless. But it is close to being done and then the really fun stuff starts!
Dave has been working for a while cutting the space out for the stairs that will join the old house with the new below. Today he finished that task which is a milestone.
I always like to fill my house with handmade things. If there is something that we need or want I prefer to find the solution with something that we can do ourselves or at least by using something recycled. By thinking outside the square and trying to do it ourselves we not only save a lot of money but create a house that has individuality. And the satisfaction is so far above what you get from just going to the shops and buying the product and putting it in your home. No amount of shopping can give you that satisfaction. We don't have a lot of money, and we will at some point soon run out of the money in the bank for this renovation but it doesn't matter. We are doing it ourselves so if we have to wait to save for a building product then we will save and just carry on with another part of the build. We are comfortable in our house and so there is no rush or urgent need to finish. Actually (and bear with me on this cause it may initially sound outrageous) I am happy that we don't have heaps of money. You see, by having to really think hard about where we spend our money it forces us to come up with clever solutions or at least to do a lot of research and get the same product for a lot less than just going to the appropriate shop and purchasing it. If we had all the money we needed, this build (and indeed our whole lifestyle) would cost a hell of a lot more for the same end product. As we go along with this build the forecast total cost is going down from what we thought it would be and that's because we are finding better solutions to just going out and purchasing what we need from the shops. And, not only does it feel good because it is all costing less, it feels good because you feel really clever! You feel that you are outsmarting the system; bucking the trends. So, I am glad that we don't have the money. It makes it more fun, more of a challenge and definitely more satisfying. It also makes my work more enjoyable because I can relate it clearly to what we gain. I sew a dress and then sell that to get the money to buy, for example, some timber. It is so simple and I like that. It gives reason to my work and keeps me motivated.
I know that we are lucky to be able to do this build because Dave has the skills but there is an awful lot that we are doing and have done in our renovation of the original house that were things neither one of us have done before. We research and generally back ourselves and just give it a go. So many people say to me "yeah but you guys know how to do all this....." and it really annoys me because there is so much that we have taught ourselves and basically just given it a go and kept on trying until we could do it.
I'm not just talking about the renovation and building here, but all sorts of things that I hear people wanting to do but just not giving it a go like making soap, vegetable gardening, pickling, sewing.... I wasn't born with an ability to do these things I just googled it and tried. Most of the time I haven't succeeded straight away but I have persisted and eventually worked it out. Life is short people, if there is something that you want to learn how to do then know that you can do it and just start the process of learning. It gives your life a new dimension, learning these handmade crafts. It gives freedom and satisfaction and changes perspective. All things that money can't buy!