Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Our Cob Pedestal Project

Cob Pedastal
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

When I came back from my Cob Together workshop I was very eager to do something with cob right away, and to get my family involved.
We've had this Buddha statue on the floor for almost a year now and I've always wanted to raise it up. So....
I got a load of subsoil from a construction site, some straw from a feed store and we made cob--one batch anyway, and made this funky shape. It's about 18" square on the bottom, and maybe a foot high. Pretty lumpy.
I think my family wasn't all that impressed, though it was fun making the cob. It also took a long time to dry as we built it on the North facing porch and it never got any direct sun.
Finally this morning I mixed up a batch of plaster and we "finished" it.

Poised for Plastering

Poised for Plastering
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

The gunk in the blue bucket represents an astonishing amount of work! I drove all the way to Petaluma to get this nasty adobe. It looked like chunks of asphalt, but melted down when I soaked it for a few days. We just had to screen out a few pebbles and we had almost pure clay.
We sifted in a bunch of sand (with our kitchen sifter), added white flour and finely sifted straw and hay (which I got for free at Western Farm feed store) and I mixed it by hand, with gloves on.
We ended up just using our hands pretty much, as we never got the fine pebbles out of the clay and they screwed up any trowel work.
Ironically, the blue plastic is a sign from one of Krista's Artrails open studio tours a few years back. They sure come in handy.

The Cake is Frosted

The Cake is Frosted
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

At this point we weren't too happy with it. It looked so blobby we felt we had little to lose with adding design to it.

Krista at Play

Krista at Play
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

The medium was a bit frustrating as I didn't screen the straw well enough, so it was hard to get fine lines.

Our Little Project

Our Little Project
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

It's growing on us. I think we'll probably give it an alis paint job too. As it dries the color is getting lighter too.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Our Week

India is up in Oregon at Not Back To School Camp. We just got an email from Natalie, the homeschooling mom who drove India up there with her daughter. Sounds like the girls are bunking in the same cabin, which is great.
India will be gone for two and a half weeks! And Eden is enjoying her shot at being an only child. At some point the three of us will drive up to get India and maybe make a little road trip out of it. I want to show them White Oak Farm, and maybe we'll get to camp there overnight (and see the glorious stars). And I'm hot to go all the way to Portland and see some of the City Repair projects there, and maybe dignity village.
And we'll be there just in time for the Eugene Celebration, which hosts a crazy fun parade (or at least it used to). And Nancy Bright's birthday.
I've been a little burned out on driving lately, but I think we can handle one more road trip this summer.

In other news--my bike got stolen! In broad daylight. In front of the Santa Rosa Public Library. Some asshole cut the cable on my lock and took it. What a bummer. I was using that bike for transportation quite a bit. I guess it's my old karma, but it still sucks. I'm trying to deal with it by calling stores and getting some new orders. I got one today from Cami at Crystal Channels in Santa Rosa. Cards and Stickers.
I swear I'm so lame at selling our stuff. I'm near phobic about calling stores. Cami, however, was very pleased I called and super fun to sell cards to. So I'll press on. Once I get "enough" new income happening I'll probably go bike shopping. And I'll get a better lock!

Krista is back in her studio. I'm hoping for some new paintings soon. She's also been working on her website to make it more buyer friendly.
Personally I think it's time for her work to be in a gallery. Ideally in San Francisco, or maybe Marin County. Or even Portland. She's mature enough and should really be in there painting all the time.
And I should be planning our new house and preparing to build it come Spring. Still looking for that land.


Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Eden Fay

Eden Fay
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.


Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.


Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Revenge of the Lobster

Revenge of the Lobster
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

I just finished uploading all of our New Zealand photos to flickr. 134 of them!! If you go to the New Zealand Set they are in the rough chronological order of our trip. Or if you just view my photostream you can read each photos title and description (if any).
Good God what a lot of time and energy that took! I probably could have been doing some sort of more productive or lucrative work. A labor of love, I suppose.
I just hope a few people see and enjoy them.

ps I'm going to try putting smaller photos on the blog to get my profile and links to come up to the top.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Who's on Force Edited by Ray Chung

This is pretty funny!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Family Cobsters

Family Cobsters, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

I really wanted to make a batch of cob! We have this great Buddha statue from Bali and I've been wishing it could be off the floor, but it's very heavy. So I got the brainstorm to build a cob pedastal for it and dragged my reluctant family into the project.
Once we got going they were into it and we ended up with a pretty nice flat topped pyramid for the pedestal. Once it dries out we're going to try plastering it.

Making Cobs

Making Cobs, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Eden and I got a start on making cobs while Krista measured out the base for our pedastal. It was really fun (at least for me) and quite interesting working with different soil and short straw (I got for free from the feed store). The soil I got from a construction site. It had more clay in it than the 'ready mix' we used up at White Oak Farm. It also had little sharp bits of gravel! But it wasn't too bad.

The Eel

The Eel, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Back to the Eel, only a different (an MUCH colder fork). We followed my old friend Kelly and her neat girlfriend Amy up there on the way to visiting Amy's new property. We had a nice quiet time on the beach as other friends of theirs showed up. It was a beautiful spot but the water was freakishly cold.

Touring Amy's Land

Touring Amy's Land, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

We went up this tortuous road in Amy's SUV to get up to her place. It really took the 4 wheel drive and big tires! She's got 40 acres up above Potter Valley--mostly very steep sloped with big rock outcroppings and a good variety of trees.
She offered to let us build a small cob cabin up there, but it felt too rugged and remote for us. It was good to visit.

Summer Dinner

Summer Dinner, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Jerry womped up this glorious vegetarian BBQ last week. Amazing how scorching food makes it so yummy. The corn was my favorite. It was a warm evening too (rare for Sonoma County) and it really felt like Summer.

Monday, August 07, 2006

We went camping.

Untitled, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

We drove up to Standish Hickey State Park this weekend to join the Tumbleweeds (we are sort of honorary members of this playgroup which started about 8 or 9 years ago). The park is along the beautiful Eel River and we hiked down river to a nice swimming hole. The river is slow here and deep in places. Folks can jump off the cliffs.
We went last year and it was very hot. This year it was much cooler and though it didn't stop the kids, most of the adults found it too chilly to stay in long.
It was a strange campout, rather introspective for all the adults.

Tired and Grumpy

Tired and Grumpy, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

It's actually really great for our kids to have a group experience. They have playdates at home, but since they don't go to school they rarely ever have to interact with a group.
In general I think the kids all had a rollicking good time. I don't remember why the long faces here. I do remember that India helped out a lot by making little felted finger puppets to cheer them up.


Bedrock, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

We were very comfortable, of course.


Paisley, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Here's a video of Mike, one of the interns at White Oak Farm, busting loose with some slide quitar.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Well, we finally saw it. Everyone at the cob workshop was talking about it. And it was great! Krista and I are not exactly unaware of the situation (some might say obsessed?) but we learned a lot and actually left feeling more inspired than bummed out.
So. If you haven't seen it...