Planning of surface layer on the outside

First I like to remind myself and You about how it looked when we started the building process back in june this year (2012).

Look at some pictures from the 12:th and 13:th of june:


My husband Lärkan is leading the carpentry work.



And look how happy I was, already then… june 13 rejoicing over the reality of the chapel starting to be built:


Today, slightly more than 5 months later we have a building, not finished, but with walls, a door, windows, a simple roof and a polished surface on the inside : ) just waiting to be painted.

I have been thinking quite a while about how and when to make the final layer on the outside.. Next year of course, it is far too cold to work now and in early spring -13.  There are also certain special details to be taken into consideration… since the shape has to grow from flat to rounded.

Since we constructed the chapel, as You have seen, with 8 strong loadbearing beams, and 4 slimmer but still strong beams we now have 12 “corners” on the outside of the chapel. They are nicely imbedded in clay that is reinforced with coconut mesh and  cracks covered with sheep´s wool. You can see it clearly on the picture above and below, like vertical stripes…

Between those stripes there are still flat surfaces:


This is not the way we want it to look later on… but there was no time to come further THIS year… and it will be no problem we think for the surface to endure this winter.

And TODAY I was happy to come to a preliminary agreement with one of my best contacts among the professional clay builders in Sweden, Ulf. We made plans to work in the end of may 2013 with making the outer surface nicely rounded as much as possible like a kiwi-fruit as I want  : )   God willing we will then arrange a few days when people can come and share the experience of moulding and clay plastering the final curvature of the outside of the little chapel.


Overview concerning directions

Somebody that looks at this blog once in a while told me he did not understand the directions of how the chapel  is placed and situated…

So today I will share some pictures that I took to show that:

First of all: WHERE on our pice of land is it situated? Before we decided the location I had  thought of, and drawn ideas of many possible places where to build it. I was thinking it would be best to have it close to our daily life where we walk between houses, barn, byre, etc. I thought of that so that it would be easily done to ever so often get away and have a little time of prayer in a house built for prayer…

Before deciding we asked a friend,who is also a landscape architect, about his opinion. He said, “I am not a religious man, but I come to think of the Japanese Tea Ceremony Gardens and houses… when one wants to have the ceremony it is important to be able to leave the everyday life and cares behind, to walk a little distance, and during that  transport make at lest ONE 90 degree angle, and preferably go over some water before coming to the special place…”

This appealed to us! And there was this spot where we had wondered WHAT will we use this little hill for… will it only be a beautiful place for our guests in summertime to put up their tents on, or what? After having heard the  thoughts of our friend we without hesitation chosed THAT spot for the future chapel. So there we built. Another day I will tell You  some things I previously never told on this site  about the building process… But now, about the placements:

On the picture below I am already standing on the overpass that we created during our first summer here, 2010,  so that everyone could cross the little creek without getting wet feet : )

When standing here one has already made at least one 90 degree angle from our “daily life area”. After having walked up the little slope to the chapel this is for the time being the view from the east:

It looks strange now with the plastic tarpaulin over the whole roof, but this is the temporary “costume” of the chapel this first winter. Coming spring we hope to continue with the roof: take this temporary plastic off, put on some tarmac paper, wooden slats and nail the shingles on to the roof  and also to have a lantern placed on top of the roof. On the left side we now have put the scaffolding under plastic to save them from the snow. They will be used for the work with the roof. The window You see here above is the future Altar window.

When one takes a few steps to the right from this place, this is the view:

The altar window is then just out of sight to the left. Instead you see the “coffee-windows” which let light in but will never be windows to look out through. To the far right You see one of the windows in the tiny “entrance room”. If You look sharp You might even see the door slightly ajar.

It is also obvious that the chapel on the outside has not jet received its final shape of surface. Still it has 12 reinforced “corners”. In springtime we hope to make it nicely organically rounded… I see for my inner sight a “kiwi-shaped” chapel.

When walking further to the left, to the west now this is the view:

In the right window You see something “light blue-ish” It is Three Days arm. She here is polishing the windowsill a last time, and below You see her polishing the glass blocks that separate the tiny entrance room from the chapel room:

This is one of the last things she is doing here…because this week is her last week here. She is not  WWOOF-er but a person living in the nearby village and has been here a few hours a day 5 days a week for some months. Now she is soon getting another type of internship. We thank her for all she has done with us!

The rest of us here on our little farm is still working with other things. Vincent is now building a nice stairway from one level to the higher level in the barn, over the sheep. That nice stairway will make it possible for us to without a lot of pain in knees go up on the “loft” and get hay and straw to the sheep even when we become many years older…  The stairways down to she sheep and the second up to the hayloft will during many many years be looked upon of as two of many gifts from our red haired friend who stayed with us for many months this year : )

For a few days we also have help from a  “wandering journeyman” who now is building the food table for the sheep. I and our dear friend Monika are still busy with cooking and preserving food from our own vegetable cultivation (and some bought products), and also some other things that had to be taken care of before the winter is totally upon us. We got some extra days now that the thick layer of snow on the ground melted away and the temperature is not SO freezing.

Celebrating a son of St. Joseph

Today is the day that the son of St. Joseph: James is remembered and honored.

St. Joseph had had a previous marriage before that with the young Maria, who became Theotokos; Mother of God. He was a widower when he was promped to betroth Maria. I have written a few words about some details in connection with that earlier on this blog: June 19… “The rod/walking stick”. Please go back in the archives and read that  : )

Anyhow, with that previous wife he had one son called James.

Here is an icon that I think is so beautiful:


Here You see The noble St. Joseph rescuing his family.

When the child Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Joseph got an instruction from an angel saying that the ruler of the country were after the child´s life,  and that the familyfather had to take his family to Egypt to save the child.

On this icon You see St. Joseph carrying the child on his shoulders and leading the horse on wich The Mother of God is sitting. Behind, as a young helper the earlier son of St. Joseph is walking. James. I think this icon is so lovely. It gives us some hints of their cohesion during their demanding escape. I love the view of S t. Joseph carrying the child!

I got this lovely icon from a dear friend who is a nun, Sister Magdaleni. She had bought this icon for me when she a few years ago visited The Holy Land. She bought it at the Monastery of St. Gerasimus. There is the location of a cave in which the Holy family supposedly stayed over night on their escape to Egypt.

The young James helped his father and the young woman Maria, and the little child that just was born also to be a part of their new family constellation. When Jesus was a few years old he probably looked  up to this young man as a big brother, more experienced… But, this young man, James, had quite a “journey” ahead of him… not only this pictured escape-journey to Egypt and some years later back to Nazasreth, but also a journey in another perspetive. For this young man, later in his life, when Jesus had grown and started his deeds, this “step brother” also became one of the Apostles!

And today is the day when we celebrate him – James the son of St. Joseph. Congratulations!

Good night, sleep tight

We are still not totally ready for the winter. But day by day, little by little we get there. There is still a lot of snow, but there has been a few days of thaw. Not nice, because instead of the beautiful snow to make tracks in there is slippery ice…  But the good part is that it gives us some more days to fix things that we were not ready with.

Today we packed our reliable blender in which we mix all the building material.


My husband here ties ropes to keep the blender dry. In the background, on the other side of our little creek You see the chapel behind some birches.


On top of the first plastic we attached another thicker protection.

Finally we said  -Good night, sleep well… we hope to see You in five and a half months or so… in april. Then we will start the new building season. One of the first things to be done then – as soon as we can endure the cold clay in our hands is the final few layers on the outside of the walls of the chapel.