Many persons helping out with many details

You might remember having seen a couple of weeks ago that Jerome worked with the skirting boards of the chapel.  A few days ago it was time to continue that part of the work: 100_1617

The reason that these boards are a bit unconventional is of course because the whole house is unconventional, and also assymetrical! No way that we could mount “regular” wooden skirting boards. And after my son Hannes idea to use bendable MDF-boards that were cut in long stripes this was the solution. To prepare for the next step in this work, Harriet and Aurelie covered the nicely glaced floor to protect it from stains:

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Then I tried if I could hold pieces of plastic while filling up with stones and then putting clay into the gap. But it was impossible to hold the plastic in place! So we had to continue with plastic on the walls too.


Then it was time to blend a suitable clay mixture again. Note the chapel in the background! 100_1603

Then I could “smack” clay mixture into the “gap”: 100_1611

Aurelie was kind to keep me company  and did some cleaning of windows and the glass wall at the same time.


This all was conducted a few days ago. In the meantime Lärkan could fill in some screw holes.


Today both clay mixture and filling was dry and I could paint with egg oil foundation:


Even more has happened: Our dear friend Monika has been shopping the fabric for curtains, and today she started to prepare:


In order to keep up with preparations Lärkan and Erik found out a way to attach the curtain hangers on the back side of the iconostasis:



Even more has happened: A few days ago Jerome did some nice work finding out a way to shape a piece of board to become the future altar:


Today Lärkan and Erik cut out a template, or model, for the piece of glas for the little and asymetrical altar table:


At the end of the day they went to our nearest city and talked it through with the glazier who promised to produce the glass.


Friends from Church visiting

Today some laypeople that we often meet at the convent payed us a visit. They we going further up north to their summer house. A few days ago they visited the Convent where the sisters had prepared several icons for us. Elisabeth and Zacharias took all this icons along in their car and today they payed us a visit.

First we had a stroll up to the chapel.


Also on this picture You see that I today have glazed the iconostasis. Here Elisabeth is looking at the little chapel:


After a while we sat down in the lunchroom in our course area and opened the wonderful package that the sisters had prepared and now Zacharias and Elisabeth brought here:



All icons were amazing, but of course one made me extra happy to see:


The icon of Holy Joseph!

Outside the chapel some improvements too

A couple of weeks ago we had hired a man with a dumper and a tractor for a couple of days. One of the things he helped us with was to “deliver” some gravel up to the surroundings of the chapel.



Then he just dumped it around the chapel. I asked him not to drive so close to the walls.


So after that day it looked like above. Now Jerome has done a very nice job with cement around the foundation:


Look at the wonderful result:


Today the cement was dry and Aurelie volunteered to do the raking:


Unfortunately the dumper, when delivering the gravel accidentally backed into the flowerbed and did some damage. That we will handle another day soon.




Painting again

As I have told previously, there has been some “mending” of the paint on the iconostasis. Because of screw holes and other such damage on the surface we have been forced to do plastering and painting several times. Then as a result the surface that should be the “bottom” of the paint have been patched. (Not the foundation but the first layer of the planned hue.)


As You can understand this was not what we wanted! So I decided to paint it all again. But, now there is the nice floor in place, the floor that we do not want staines on… So we had to cover the floor:


I am thankful that Aurelie was helping me:



Also in the tiny sanctuarium:


Before the others left me alone to paint in the chapel we had a look at the little pretty cross that Vincent created yesterday and I started to glace:


We were having a discussion about if it should be painted darker or left a bit “golden” like this. We decided to wait with decision until the painting of the iconostasis is completed. We also had a conversation about another little piece of ornament that we have found:





Essentials indoor

Now we have the blessing of receiving help from four nice volunteers. One of them is Vincent who has taken time to come back to us again. We feel very honored by this. Also Aurelie who was also here two years ago has come to spend some weeks with us. She also brought her boyfriend this time, whom You saw  on a post the other day. Every day now we are so thankful for many efforts that are being done. Among other things they all work with different essential details in the chapel.

For example, today Vincent sawed and sanded a very nice plain and sandy little cross that will adorn the royal doors. Here You see him testing the not  jet totally finished cross it in place for the first time:



Then we had a little discussion, Vincent, Lärkan and I about the hight of the cross:


After a little while we came to a decision that we are content with. After that Vincent finished the shaping of the cross and sanding it. Finally late in the day I started painting it. In some days I will reveal to You how this detail is developing!

Also today some floor skirting had finally dried and Lärkan could attach them:


Some details

When we moved to this farm, four years ago, we found a wooden ornament left in the barn behind some planks. It might have been the decoration of a wooden sofa, or bed, who knows? It has been laying waiting and we did not know where to use it. But a few weeks ago we came to think of this pice of ornament…


Lärkan has very carefully cut of the both ends and with precision cut it in two pieces. And look where he now has mounted it:


Here it is glued to the Royal doors. He has prepared the back too so the ornament will be strong:



I myself have continued to paint, mostly filling in with foundation and first layer of the egg oil tempera on all small spots where screws have penetrated the surface. And it just happened that our friend Monika came up to the chapel and took a photo of me painting.



One new kind volunteer, Jerome from France, that helps us with many things this month, has prepared the boards that will cover the gap between the floor and the walls. Here the gap is filled with small pebbles. Next week we plan to cover the top.


Small details that take a lot of time

As You have seen the iconostasis now is in place. But it has needed some adjustments. Such as a too big gap here and there had to be taken care of. And even though the iconostasis was nicely painted, not only with foundation but also with the first layer of pre paint a lot of screw holes and marks. We filled them, and the filling took some time to dry. Then sanding, finding that more filling was needed… time to dry, some sanding and then painting with foundation. Then it was obvious that more filling was needed, and had to dry and then again foundation… Like that we have been spending time waiting to be able to take the next step.



Also Lärkan has prepared for the little “step” for the priest, the front part of the podium, Here just checking with some small pieces that the height would be the right when the floor planks would be in place:


One day it was such nice weather so that he could move outdoors for screwing and sanding:



One thing that we have discussed a lot, many times over, is how to cover the gap between the walls and the floor. It is an organic building with very few “straight lines and corners”. Regular skirting boards could not fit along the irregular concave walls… Finally our son Hannes came up with the best solution: Thin MDF board with slots to make them bendable!

After some waiting for those special boards to arrive at the lumberyard and be cut in the right dimensions we got them:


Here Lärkan i just checking that the hight of the boards was right, Now we will prepare some more, cut them in good lengths so that they can be bent nicely to cover irregular gaps, paint them and then finally attach them.

Also Lärkan now has mounted the small door between the minimal entrance room and the small church room:


We are so happy for that door! It is from the early 1700´s and used to be in the house where our dear neighbor, Erik, grew up. This week Erik celebrated his 80 year birthday. He pays us a visit ever so often and is happy to see that the door from his childhood now has found a new place.

As it was in those times, the door is not high. We think it is suitable to have a low door in this position! It is appropriate to bend when entering the tiny church room!

This inner door, and the whole iconostasis now look very gray, it is a blend of several natural earth pigments but these first layers also have a lot of white titan pigment in it. The door and the iconostasis will be painted more – when finally all the “mending” = filling and foundation paint and first layer of paint is completed… then finally we plan to paint with a final layer of more translucent hue of a neutral, natural tint of same egg oil tempera mixture of pigments but with no white in it. We hope that it then will be a neutral brownish “silent” background for the icons to be placed and get the visitors attention.

Lärkan is persistent and working step by step with all the carpenting. Thanks to our Lord Lärkan has learned a lot in the process of building this little chapel. He was not at all a trained carpenter previously. As for myself I am not active with the carpenting. I find it too difficult with that hard and stiff material. When it comes to clay, that is a very “forgiving material” that You always can mend and continue building on, I am comfortable. And therefore I was very happy to be the leader of all the clay work in the different stages of the building process and have taken a big responsibility for the construction in that respect. Now I stick to final planning of details and of course the painting and Lärkan is the executor of all the pieces that I find too hard to contribute to by helping out practically. As we have experienced many times in our lives, by the grace of God; together we manage. God has blessed us with the gift of the experience that we complement each other. The process of building this veneration to our Lord and with a special thankfulness to St. Joseph, the step father of Jesus Christ, we experience that blessing in yet another way. Also we have been blessed by so many new friends, youngsters form all over the world coming here as volunteers to share the experience of building this chapel together with us. What joy! Thank God!



Circumstances right for wooden floor

Many, many times during several weeks I have called a steel company some 40 km away to ask if they had a piece of used metal shoe scraper. But always the same answer: no. Finally in the beginning of this week we had decided that we would have to buy a big piece (which is the only way to buy new metal scraper). Then we would cut off a lot (for some future use) an use the small piece we need outside the entrance door to the chapel. My husband and I had decided not to put the wooden floor in place until we had the foot scraper in place outdoors. And, thanks to our Lord, this time they had the perfect small piece used metal scraper waiting for us! So, Lärkan drove there and bought the small piece used shoe scraper to a very low price. Thank God, again!


Then we could start putting the nicely lasured floor planks in place. Now they were of course dry since a few weeks, awaiting to be put in place. First the tiny entrance room was prepared. Erik did the vacuuming:



But the small entrance room is truly tiny, there was no room for both Erik and Lärkan:


Here the last piece of floor plank was put in place in the entrance room:


The very next day Erik and Lärkan started to lay the floor in the “church room”. Compared with the entrance room it is spacious, how ever small it is!


In the afternoon when they were done I was so happy to see the result:



Oh, how nice it all turned out! We are happy that finally – in the right time however – the circumstances were the right for us to put the floor in ( i.e. the scraper finally turned up).


Now we can continue to prepare other details, like skirting boards and a lot more details that also has to be taken care of and that we try to do as best as we can and accomplish with joy. 

Icons being printed

Oh, what a beautiful picture I got by mail today! Look:



The sisters at The Convent of St. Philotei has now printed almost all icons for the iconostasis! Here the icons are displayed on their table. Now they will paste them to boards and prepare them in several ways before the icons will arrive here in about one month. I am so joyful! I can already see for my inner sight how pretty the tiny chapel will be!



Starting with the beautiful doors

A few weeks ago Lärkan made the cuts in the boards to make the wall of the iconostasis, as You have seen in a previous blog post. The “holes” that were then cut out were of course saved. And today Lärkan picked the bigger piece, the middle “hole”, and started to prepare the “beautiful doors”. I did not pass with the camera when he made the cuts, but I captured him in the chapel a little while later:



When he was content with the mounting he unscruwed the doors again:


Then we brought the future beautiful doors into our tiny lecture room where I started to paint the egg oil tempera foundation on them. And it just happened that our friend Monika came by and took a picture of me painting. As You have noticed it is always me taking the photos otherwise. Probably people looking into this blog think that I am just documenting. But I have been active in just about every task except the “pure” carpentry.



In the background of this photo You can get a glimpse of a door leaning to a cupboard. That door is precious to us. It is a door from the 1700´s. It comes from the house where our dear neighbor Erik grew up, also here in our tiny village Järbo. We were so happy that we could take over that beautiful door a couple of years ago. It has been  awaiting its time. And now also that one is getting painted.

In front of me, to the right in this picture, You see the plank that will be mounted as the top of the iconostasis, now painted.