Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Patio

Who did this, and where?


Reply from Sue:

FAV'S...Re: Mosaics [Re: Catherine!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Patio. adobe, cob?
Sunday March 24, 2009 4:35 AM (4 hours ago)

Here's the website and story of that patio, she used to have a mosaic studio, (its in New Zealand) sold the business end, and put in a cafe!

here's a couple pics of it...

couple more...

Couple more good ones...

It could be made from cob but it may not last a long as cement, but think if the cob was covered with a layer of cement before the mosaic and had a cement or rock base to keep water from creeping up from the bottom it would last quite awhile...Could definitely do more with cob, cost wise.. I flipped when I found this patio, best I've seen yet. I do have some other inspiration I am attaching... I see you were able to bring up (open) that last word doc I sent, so am sending this in the word format also..

Catherine wrote to Sue: "Here's a mosaic website with a bunch of interesting links... and I like your mosaics better!""

Hey there was a few in here I hadn't seen, thank you!! Believe me I have spent many many weeks and hours researching lots of Mosaics, I especially love the large dimensional ones! I have probably over half the Megabits of my computer eaten up with tons of files of mosaic pictures. I'm talking tons of pics... I have them categorized by stuff like fish, birds, cats, dogs, chickens, murals, furniture, benches, cool ideas, lizards & snakes, cowboy, beach scenes, animals, flowers, garden art, guitars, etc ...48 folders so far and still trying to get them organized. all filled, some up to 16 MB each!! I get so excited and want to do so many of them! ha ha

Hope I can stay for at least a month when I come down, it will be this year, don't know if it will be with Trek Study or just coming down when Astrid is going down in Dec. So be sure to start a BIG collection of pottery/dishes/cups and tiles. Try to sit them on some wood or someway -so they won't get buried in the dirt/sand during the rainy season. Rocks too...separate colors of everything the best you can... We'll do SOMETHING! Cob takes more than a month (several depending on the weather) to dry before you can put cement on it, so we'll have to figure out something unless you can get some kids/friends/hire someone to get a bench or something started so it will be dry...

Later! [Sue Pearson]

Monday, March 23, 2009 ~,_Inc.,_Tucson,_Arizona,_USA

I don't think this is the same Home Planners, Inc. that have the book with great architectural plans for sale. Find them at

This is a Wiki page for that bears looking into, at least from the Wiki design standpoint.

Finish this entry...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lois Lewis, 72, Built Her Own Cob Home

"I was flying by the seat of my pants...."

How Lois Lewis, 72, Built Her Own Home

Interview by Becky Bee

Becky Bee: What inspired you to build a house?
Lois Lewis: I needed to do something I'd never done, and I needed a real change from what I was doing, which was taking care of my father. I saw your newspaper ad about workshops on building mud houses, or as you call them, "cob" houses. I was free for a week, so I went to the workshop, never dreaming what it would lead to!

We worked hands-on in the mornings and attended class in the afternoons. I took copious notes, and made up my mind to build one. I was 68 years old. I knew that if I was going to do it, I had to do it now, because who knows how much time I had, or how long my health would hold.
I started looking immediately. It took a while to find my land. I bought it in the spring, and didn't wait for the year around to see what was going to happen on the land. I felt an urgency to just get going. My daughter and I bought the land together. She has three children and needed a three-bedroom house. The piece we bought had a whole acre, plenty of room for me to put my house on it, too. (more)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Recycled plastic for houses & furniture (finish)

(Finish... add photos)

Muros Perimetrales

madera hecha de plástico reciclado duradera, ecológica y económica







Muros Perimetrales

madera hecha de plástico reciclado duradera, ecológica y económica
- Leer más...


La madera plástica tiene muchas ventajas sobre el barro, la madera y el concreto. Por su flexibilidad y resistencia, no se quiebra ni se parte como sí lo hace la madera, las tejas y las estructuras de concreto prefabricado. El material es ideal para la construcción de pequeñas casas.

Además, resiste el sol y la humedad, por lo que no hay mejor opción que la madera plástica para ranchos y casas pequeñas.

Más Información...

NO necesita mantenimiento, ni tintes especiales para alargar su vida útil.

Copyright 2008 - 2009., mail :


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tomb of Abélard et Héloïse, Père Lachaise Cemetery


I'd like to have an outdoor bathing pavilion with hot volcanic water just like this one. This can be a place of restoration as well; you can bury me under it later. Will I be able to build this at Lake Atitlan? I will ask my architect Amilcar to draw it up and figure out the best way to create the Medieval arches, since I can't afford a stone carver in Panajachel. A thing of beauty is a thing that lasts.


Tomb of Abélard et Héloïse, Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France ...
Pierre Abélard (1079 – April 21, 1142) was a French scholastic philosopher, theologian, and logician. The story of his affair with his student, Héloïse, ...

Tomb of Abélard et Héloïse, Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France ...
The letters of Heloïse (1101–1162) and Pierre Abélard are among the best known records of early romantic love. There seems to be some question as to ...

Père Lachaise Cemetery...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

15 Amazing Monasteries, Sanctuaries and Abbies



15 Amazing Monasteries, Sanctuaries and Abbies
(for photos and more!)

Posted: 04 Mar 2009 01:12 PM PST

Monastic architecture is often spectacular, an attribute seemingly at odds with the ascetic lifestyle of its adherents. Time is a harsh mistress and after centuries of war, religious strife and natural disasters, only the strongest - and strangest - have survived. For that at least, we may be thankful.
Meteora and The Stone Forest

monasteries_1(images via: Greek Landscapes and WebUrbanist: Cliff & Mountain Houses)

Meteora means “suspended in air” in Greek, and that’s an apt description for these centuries-old monasteries. Perched atop 1200-ft tall crags of Thessaly’s “Stone Forest”, as many as 24 separate monasteries thrived during the area’s heyday in the 14th century. Today only a half-dozen are still active. Today tourists - not rampaging Ottoman warriors - are the main visitors to this stunning setting in northern Greece.
Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest”

monasteries_2(image via: Vytautas Bukauskas Travel)

The Taktsang monastery in mountainous Bhutan is one of Buddhism’s holiest - and most beautiful - places. Said to have been constructed in the 8th century by a holy man who flew to the site on the back of a flaming tigress. Taktsang is known as the Tiger’s Nest. Looking at the complex, perched upon a sheer cliff nearly 2,000 feet above the Paro river valley, one begins to believe the ancient legend just may be true! Taktsang can be considered a work in progress as new buildings continue to be added to the complex, the most recent in 1982.
Pechersk Lavra Monastery, Kiev

monasteries_15(images via: Lights2008 and UA Zone)

Kiev Pechersk Lavra, or the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, is a huge complex of spectacular buildings in the heart of Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. Originally established in the year 1051, the monastery was destroyed by the Mongols twice: in 1240 and again in 1480. In the centuries following, the complex grew both in size and in wealth, gaining its brilliant golden domes that are its trademark.
Mont Saint-Michel, a Mountain in the Sea

monasteries_3(images via: Telegraph UK and National Geographic)

Mont Saint-Michel is a “fortified abbey”, and it sure does look the part! Construction on the site began in the year 966, when the abbey’s location was a rocky island protected from land-based marauders by Europe’s highest tides. Marsh drainage and construction of a causeway in the 19th century disrupted the natural flow of water, allowing silt to gradually surround Mont Saint-Michel on three sides, but a reclamation project now underway should restore the abbey’s isolation by the year 2015.
The Monastery at Petra

monasteries_14(images via: VRA Web and Libyan Soup)

This 150ft tall building in the ancient Nabataean city of Petra, Jordan, was laboriously carved out from the red sandstone canyons over 2,000 years ago. It resembles it’s more famous neighbor, the so-called “Treasury” so prominently featured in the 1984 film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Curiously, both the Treasury and the Monastery are nothing of the kind - their true purposes are still unknown.
Rumtek Monastery, a Riot of Color

monasteries_4(images via: India Times and Indiashots)

Nestled in the lush, monsoon-drenched foothills of the mighty Himalayas in northern India lies the Rumtek Monastery. Home to monks of all ages, even boys such as the one pictured above, Rumtek revels in bright colors set off with the glint of gold. The glorious mandala above graces the ceiling of a porch leading to Rumtek’s main temple.
Nilov Monastery on Stolbnyi Island

monasteries_5(images via: Tushar and Stah)

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii took the above (upper) color photo of the Nilov Monastery in Tver, Russia, in 1910 - before there WAS such a thing as commercial color photography. The process used by Prokudin-Gorskii to create magnificent images like this one was so complex, Czar Nicholas II gave him a fully equipped railroad car with which to travel through Russia and document its most iconic sights.
Xuan Kong Si “Hanging” Temple, near Datong, China

monasteries_6(image via: Weirdomatic)

Xuan Kong Sì was built into a cliff face near Mount Heng in Shanxi province, China, about 1,400 years ago. HOW it was built, is anyone’s guess. Although it may look rather fragile, the Hanging Temple has hung in there through dozens of severe seismic events including the deadliest earthquake in recorded history: a 1556 temblor in which up to 830,000 lost their lives.
Sumela Monastery: Another Cliffhanger

monasteries_13(image via: Dark Roasted Blend)

Another cliff-hanging sanctuary, Sumela Monastery in the Turkish province of Trabzon (Trebizond to the ancient Greeks and Byzantines) dates from the year 386. As the story goes, a pair of priests journeying eastward from Athens thought the steep cliff overlooking the Alt?ndere valley would be a good place to set up a monastery. One can only imagine what they thought a BAD place would be. Nonetheless, their choice ensured that Sumela Monastery would be a tough nut for invaders to crack - much more likely they’d be cracking their skulls on the rocks below.
Monastery of St. Catherine, near Mount Sinai

monasteries_10(images via: Tour Egypt and Igougo)

One of the oldest Christian monasteries in Egypt, if not the world, the Monastery of St. Catherine near Mount Sinai dates from the earliest years of the faith. The roots of monasticism itself can be said to have sprung from the stony soil of the Sinai. The monastery was sponsored through the ages by kings and emperors from distant lands who saw it as a foothold of faith worth protecting. Today its still formidable walls, built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian in the 6th century, are in remarkably good condition.
Skellig Michael, Ireland

monasteries_11(images via: Skelligs Trips and O’Shea Image Gallery)

Skellig Michael, an inhospitable rocky island 10 miles off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland, is one of Ireland’s oldest and most famous monasteries. The long-suffering monks, rarely more than a dozen or so, lived in cold & gloomy “beehive” huts made of stone from the year 588 to sometime in the 12th century when they moved to the Irish mainland.
Khor Virap monastery and Mt. Ararat

monasteries_12(image via: Sacred Sites)

One wonders whether the Khor Virap monastery in western Armenia has ever been used as a movie location setting. The ancient walled monastery sits alone in an otherworldly setting dominated by the massive bulk of snow-capped Mount Ararat, said to be the final resting place of Noah’s Ark. Khor Virap also houses the dungeon used to imprison Saint Gregory, considered the founding saint of Christian Armenia which dates from the year 301.
Palkhor Monastery, Tibet

monasteries_9(images via: Tibet Travel and Corbis)

One of the most distinctive of the many Tibetan monasteries, Palkhor was built in the late 14th century near Gyantse, Tibet. The pagoda-style main building is 9 levels (about 100 ft) high and contains over 77 individual chapels and shrines.
The Legend of Glastonbury Abbey

monasteries_7(images via: and The Isle of Avalon)

Glastonbury Abbey was already more than 350 years old when William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings and by 1186 was the richest abbey in the realm. King Arthur and Queen Guinevere were said to be buried in a place of honor before the church altar.

monasteries_7b(images via: and The Isle of Avalon)

In the 1530s when King Henry VIII solidified his position as head of the new Anglican Church, Glastonbury Abbey was looted and destroyed - the greatest and final act in what is now referred to as the Great Dissolution of the Monasteries. Though little remains of Glastonbury Abbey and its associated buildings today, enough still stands to hint strongly at its former glory.
Sanctuary of Truth, a Wooden Wonder

monasteries_8(images via: Sanctuary of Truth and Visit Thai Sea)

The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya, Thailand, is made entirely of wood and is styled to resemble ancient Buddhist temples such as Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. Though it may look old, it isn’t - the sanctuary was begun in 1981 and the entire complex is expected to be complete by the year 2025. What kind of person decides to build a 315ft tall religious sanctuary? Lek Viriyaphant, for one, a Thai millionaire said to be somewhat eccentric.

As for the future, who can say? As long as humanity seeks answers that his own science, logic and common sense cannot provide, there will be a need for monasteries, abbeys and sanctuaries where such things may be contemplated in peace, quiet and inspirational surroundings.

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Catherine S. Todd Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 11:09 PM
To: Andrea Netscher
"... The Taktsang monastery in mountainous Bhutan is one of Buddhism’s holiest - and most beautiful - places. Said to have been constructed in the 8th century by a holy man who flew to the site on the back of a flaming tigress. Taktsang is known as the Tiger’s Nest..." (more below)
[Quoted text hidden]
Catherine Todd
3007 Bent Tree Dr. Oxford NC 27565
H 919.693.0853 U.S. cell 919.605.0727

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan
Guatemala cell (dial 011 from the U.S.):
(502) 5013.6300, or (502) 4198.7184

For 2009:

"The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need do is set our sails."
~ Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa ~ Gospel of Ramakrishna
Catherine S. Todd Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 11:10 PM
To: "Gabriela Jiménez P."
I want to go HERE. There. Visit ALL of them! CT

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: WebUrbanist
Date: Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 8:08 AM
Subject: Web Urbanist

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Catherine S. Todd Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 11:13 PM
To: Eddy Amilcar
See "This 150ft tall building in the ancient Nabataean city of Petra, Jordan, was laboriously carved out from the red sandstone canyons over 2,000 years ago."
I will be back April 1. See you soon! Catherine Todd

Véase más adelante "Este 150ft edificio alto nabateo en la antigua ciudad de Petra, Jordania, fue laboriosamente tallado de la piedra arenisca roja cañones hace más de 2000 años."

Volveré 1 de abril. Hasta pronto! Catherine Todd

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: WebUrbanist
Date: Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 8:08 AM
Subject: Web Urbanist

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Gabriela Jiménez P. Fri, Mar 6, 2009 at 2:06 PM
To: "Catherine S. Todd"
amazing & beautiful !!!!!

Thank you for sharing this.......
[Quoted text hidden]
Gabriela Jiménez
Cel: 5314 7006
Catherine S. Todd Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 8:03 PM
To: Eddy Amilcar

I want you to design and help me build one of these beautiful monasteries! A small one for me ... I come back April 1. See you soon! Catherine Todd

Quiero que me ayude diseño y construcción de uno de estos hermosos monasterios! Un pequeño para mí ... Vuelvo abril 1. Hasta pronto! Catherine Todd