Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ruins Of San Juan Parangaricutira Church

A couple of years ago as we traveled through the Mexican state of Michoacan
 we were advised by fellow travelers to visit the Paricutin Volcano
I am glad we did.

Monday, December 27, 2010

More Gates

It is time to look at some more gates.
The gate above is in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Church Domes In Mexico

I want to add one more post on domes.

Above is in Zacatecas, Zacatecas.

What We look For In Real Estate

      This is the fifth in a series on buying real estate. To access the first four posts click on Buying Real Estate on the right side bar under Labels. The earlier posts cover where to look, whether to build or remodel, using the internet to look for real estate and what to look for in a realtor. I am not a realtor but only want to share what I have learned buying and selling a few properties over the years.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bamboo Water Features

When we were in Taos, New Mexico this past summer 
we stopped by the Wired Coffee Shop a couple of times
 and admired their gardens around the patio 
which had some nice water features.

In the photo above a slow stream of water fills the bamboo 
and when enough water drips in the extra weight
 will tip the bamboo allowing the water to flow out and down. 

Buying Real Estate; Realtors

     This is the fourth in a series on buying real estate. To access the first three posts click on Buying Real Estate on the right side bar under Labels. The earlier posts cover where to look, whether to build or remodel, and using the internet to look for real estate. I am not a realtor but only want to share what I have learned buying and selling a few properties over the years.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Domes In Mexico

One of the things that interests me the most
 about building in Mexico is the domes.

Above is a beautifully tiled dome in San Carlos, Sonora.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Real Estate: On Line Sites

     This is the third in a series on buying real estate. To access the first two posts click on Buying Real Estate on the right side bar under Labels.

     We use several sites for looking at real estate on-line. The main one is to do a search for Multiple Listing  Services (MLS) in the area you want to look. The MLS is the list realtors compile of all the listed properties for sale by a realtor or real estate agencies in that area. The list is constantly changing as properties are sold and new properties are being added.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Small Buildings

There has been quite an up surge in interest
 in small buildings these last few years and that is good
 as I have always been a proponent of small is beautiful. 
So here are a few to consider.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Passive Solar Ideas

With winter coming on it seems like a good time 
to look at some passive solar heating options.
These are all in northern New Mexico.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Adobe In Patzcuaro, Michoacan

A couple of years ago we stayed at the Hotel Villa Patzcuaro campground 
in Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico and the owners son, Hernan Pimentel,
 is an architect and builder who has a passion for adobe and traditional building.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rainbow Gathering Kitchen

In the summer of 2009th the annual Rainbow Gathering was held
 in a remote area of the Jemez mountains in northern New Mexico.

The Winter Garden #2

Back in early March I did a post on our friend Susie's garden in
The Urban Food Producing Winter Garden in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
 Now is time to look at that again here at the very end of a cold November.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Ruins Of Paquime

In the northwestern part of the Mexican state of Chihuahua
 is the Pre-Columbian ruins of Paquime.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Thinking of building a bridge for your landscape? 
Well here are a few ideas.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hoop Houses

This past summer we went to an open house at the
which is in northern New Mexico just upstream 
along the Rio Grande River from Espanola.

 This is a farm run by New Mexico State University.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More Color

An interesting trend in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico 
in the last few years is adding color to the exteriors
 of some commercial buildings as they are remodeled.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gypsy Wagon

We have been in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico recently 
and I had the fortunate opportunity to tour this gypsy wagon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

An Adobe Dome Building

Our friends Bill and Barbara up in El Rito, in the northern part 
of New Mexico, took advantage of the Adobe Construction Program 
put on by Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) a few years ago
 and had the class build a small adobe dome building on their property
 for the price of supplying the foundation and the adobe bricks.
 Such a deal.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Insulated Concrete Forms

Our friend Susie let us tag along when she went to check out
 insulated concrete forms at a job site in Santa Fe, N.M.

 She was interested in using Faswall Wall Forms 
and had gotten permission from local contractor Doug McDowel 
to let us visit his building site where he was using Faswall.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Andrew's Windows

If you are planning on designing or building windows 
our friend Andrew has built several that offer an array of ideas.

Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs, Ark.

Before we leave the Eureka Springs, Arkansas area I want to include
 the Thorncrown Chapel which is on the edge of town.
The website has a nice virtual tour.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spring St., Eureka Springs, Ark.- Buildings, Gardens, And Springs

Whenever we are driving across the country and we have enough time
 for a detour we try to stop at Eureka Springs, Arkansas
 And once there the place to be is Spring Street.

More Stone Buildings In Winchester, Virginia

The previous post was on the Colonial Stone Buildings Of Winchester, Virginia
 but building with stone continued into more modern times.
 Above, and the next two photos, show mid 20th century homes. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Colonial Stone Buildings Of Winchester, Virginia

Winchester, Virginia is a gold mine of historical architectural styles
 which have been carefully cared for and restored over the years, 
and there is an abundance of stone buildings
 throughout the historical downtown area.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Artist's Home

We have been camping near the tiny town of Pilar, 
about 20 miles south of Taos, in northern New Mexico recently.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Small Backyard Pond

I have covered our friends Susie and Ray's
 Albuquerque urban garden in previous posts:
Rain Water Harvesting on June10th
A Cold Frame on April 17th
Worm Composting on April 2nd
The Urban Food Producing Winter Garden on March 7th.

Now I want to show you their very nice and very small backyard pond.
Above is a water lily with koi swimming below.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stone Descanso

Recently we were driving between Ojo Caliente and El Rito
 in northern New Mexico, when we stopped to photograph 
this descanso which had been placed here to memorialize some one 
who had apparently died in an auto accident at this spot.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Small buildings are making a big comeback, 
at least in the blogging world, as witnessed by the number of sites 
devoted to the subject.

Above is a cabin at Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Semi-Stabilized Adobe Techniques

Our friends Bill and Barbara have been building ( in their spare time )
 a music and art studio next to their house in El Rito, New Mexico
which is in the northern part of the state.

We happened to stop by the other day to check on the progress.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Real Estate: Build Or Remodel?

     On July 26th, I started a label on buying real estate where I talked about where to look. Now I want to continue with that label and consider the pros and cons of building from scratch or remodeling. My wife and I have always looked for properties to remodel so this will be slanted in that direction. 

More On Shipping Container Building

Back on May 16th I wrote a post on Shipping Container Buildings
and as I was reading the local Santa Fe arts guide yesterday, Pasatiempo
 in the Santa Fe New Mexican, there was an article on the very same project.
 Sorry but Pasatiempo is a pay site, not sure about the archives.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The St. Francis De Asis Church

We have been on the road again so I haven't put
 up a post in what seems like forever.
We are in the Taos area and last week we stopped in Ranchos de Taos
 to see the the San Francisco De Asis church.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

More Stone Steps

I would like to continue with a post I did on Stone Steps on March 7th.
 If you happen to be thinking of installing steps 
maybe these will give you some design ideas.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Windows And Doors At Arcosanti And Cosanti

My last post had no pictures so I hope to make up for that now.

 I have covered the work of Paolo Soleri enough now 
that I will make his own label covering his work
 at Arcosanti and Cosanti as well as the updates I have added 
about the amphitheater he designed in Santa Fe, N.M.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Buying Real Estate

     My wife and I sold our fixed up home that we had owned for 13 years back in June of '07. Since that time we have been looking at real estate, mostly in New Mexico, but also just about anywhere we have been in this country and Mexico. It is always fun to speculate how we would like to live in different places. We rarely pass up an open house put on by realtors. In the years before we have bought and sold 2 homes without a realtor and 1 home with a realtor all told.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Free Form Stairway

I want to get back to stairways and one of the coolest 
I have seen lately is one that Andrew has built.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Paolo Soleri Amphitheater Update #3

     Laura Paskus has a good article in the Santa Fe Reporter that came out today on the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater and the Santa Fe Indian School. The feature article is Redemption Song. For more links on Soleri, Arcosanti, and Cosanti go to my update from July 12th - Paolo Soleri Amphitheater Update.

     Paskus is an excellent writer and her article is well balanced on what has become quite a controversy in the Santa Fe area about whether the amphitheater should be torn down or not. She also includes some history on the Santa Fe Indian School. Enjoy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stone Work In Silver City

Since we are in Silver City, N. M. for a good part 
of this summer I want to continue with some
 of the building techniques that I see around town.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Woodworking By Rob Stout

I have highlighted some of the work of Rob Stout in 3 previous posts:
 and his work was included in Door Handles And Latches on 6/24.

Now I want to show some of his woodworking skills.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tile Mosaic in Silver City

We are currently in Silver City, New Mexico
 and yesterday I went by this beautiful mosaic wall 
and the owner and artist, Jan, was happy to let me take photos.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Paolo Soleri Amphitheater Update

     This blog has followed the work of Paolo Soleri in three previous posts: on April 4th - Arcosanti; on April 16th - Cosanti; and on May 25 a link to the plans to demolish Paolo Soleri Amphitheater in Santa Fe. My wife just alerted me to two articles in the Santa Fe Reporter on the issue: from June 11th - Frances Abeytas Fire and June 21st - Stewart Udalls Life. I am not sure where things stand at this point but I am not hopeful that the amphitheater can be save.

Mudding The St. Francis De Assi Church

     I ran across this article in the Santa Fe New Mexican this morning on remudding the St. Francis de Assi Church in Ranchos de Taos. This is an annual affair and gives a nice account how this is done. Building with adobe is still an important part of life in northern New Mexico and is not just an oddity enjoyed by the rich or owner-builders.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Window Gardens Of Guanajuato

Window gardens of Guanjuato, Guanajuato are to be seen 
all over the central historic area.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

An Adobe Tower

I have wanted to build a tower for some time
 and I am not sure of the motivation, 
but my friend Andrew has already accomplished the feat. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More Stone Carving In Mexico

On our way back from Mexico we stopped at this stone yard, 
Canteras Guadalajara, in Imuris, Sonora 
just about 40 miles south of Nogalos, Arizona.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What Is Wrong With This House?

We are currently in the Silver City, New Mexico area
 and just down the street from where we are staying 
is this seemingly empty but very new house
 in the county just outside the city limits.
So far we have not seen anybody in or around this house.
 We don't know if it a foreclosure or what.
 There is no for sale sign and it just seems 
to have been sitting empty for quite awhile.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Monticello's Gardens

     I ran across this article in the New York Times this morning: At Monticello, Jefferson's Methods Endure. For the slide show click here. Enjoy

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Windows And Shoji Screens

     This post is the first under the new label of windows and I want to start with a window I wrote about on February 13th, Woodworking At 831. It brings up a couple of points.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ethical Architecture by Professor Paul Lusk

     I was looking through a book on green remodeling when I noticed a link to Ethical Architecture, a site that features the work of Paul Lusk, an associate professor of architecture and planning at the University of New Mexico.

     This is a rather old site but he has some very interesting ideas he experimented with on grey water purification systems, composting toilets, building with adobe, cement ponds, solar greenhouses and cooling towers in an addition he added to his house in the southwest valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

     I did a google search on Paul Lusk and came up with the book Building to Endure: Design Lessons of Arid Lands available at Amazon. It looks interesting and no this is not an endorsement and no I receive no money for anything I put on this site. If anybody knows more about Paul Lusk I hope you will post it in comments.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shel Neymark's Tile Murals

Back in May we went to the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens
 which I have shown bits of in previous posts. 
One of the things I was most interested in seeing was some of the work
 of Shel Neymark whose work we had become acquainted with 
while living in Santa Fe.

Friday, June 25, 2010