My business has been operating for over eight years now and many of you would know that I managed to build the shop and studio but as yet building a house had eluded me.
Over the years I had designed many houses for my location at the end of the farm, both on paper and in my head and the one I had settled on about 4 years ago was going to have everything that opened and shut and was just lovely. Unfortunately so was the price tag - yikes!
What is a girl to do? Well I suppose I could have made it a bit smaller (it was rather large) but then I thought every time I tripped over something I would think, if only I could have built the house that I really wanted. Any of you who have popped your head into my studio will know I am not the tidiest person around! So I decided I had to design something completely different. So I did!
On a day when I really couldn't be bothered doing anything of any significance I did what many of us do and played on the internet. Somehow I came across yurts and my imagination started to go where it had never gone before. Maybe I could live in a round house! Many of you may know but many may not as I am often asked "what's a yurt?" Yurts are best known as the houses used by Mongolians and they are usually made of felt. I was pretty sure, whilst I knew I could make the walls with alpaca, our local shire would not allow me to live in a felted house. More the pity as it would have been cheaper and I do have access to lots of alpaca fleece. So I found a company in Goulburn in New South Wales and I sent up my plans I had drawn using a dinner plate and two bread and butter plates as my templates to their draftsman of choice who helped me put straight lines around my scribbles.
Six months later three yurts arrived down by truck and they are currently now being put up by my wonderful builder Craig and his team and they are going to be joined together by two "pods" that I put into the design. (no plates used for the pods, they are rectangles!)
So my house of 3 yurts and 2 pods has started and is gaining lots of attention from friends and locals, not to mention the alpacas in the surrounding paddocks. Craig and his team are coping well with the designs and the 4 engineering reports that were required, but that is another story for another day and I now think they are feeling quite pleased with themselves. However we are yet to get to the roof frames and putting up the cupolas (the glass tops that sit on top of the roofs). Think I will stay away that day.
Probably one of the hardest parts has been thinking in the round. Put two French doors side by side and they don't both look at the same view, there is about a 45urt degree difference, so the view you wanted you might miss completely. All good fun.
The next stage is to make the pods and put on the roof and wrap it up so it is water tight so I have spoken to my 3 dogs to see if they can think of any way of raising more capital but as yet they haven't come up with a plan but I am sure something will turn up. You never know we might even sell some more alpaca clothing in our shop
Speaking of which, I went to Japan earlier in the year to study SAORI weaving and now Nickelby Designs is producing SAORI garments in our range and they are proving very popular with many special request, so the loom is working overtime. Here is a sample of what we are producing which you might like to come and see or check out in our online shop.
Well with winter well and truly here I am trying to tell myself that I should get out of the studio and into the olive grove and start my pruning but it is just so very cold and the shop and studio are so much warmer. If you are passing, pop in for a bowl of soup or a ploughman's platter and a glass of wine or even a coffee and cake and I will update you on the state of my yurts and pods!
Until next time