Our beautiful friend Sage built herself a house this year. The rustic little cabin is made entirely out of recycled materials, timber milled on site and rocks from the creek that runs out the front of the verandah.

Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
This is the house that Sage built. It took about six months from start to finish. She started by constructing the roof on poles and then built the walls.

Sage Lian, July 2014
Although Sage did most of the construction by herself, she says she was thankful to have the counsel of others who have experience with building and the loan of hand-tools for the job.

Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
While Sage uses the pristine creek for drinking water, she collects rainwater with a small tank for washing up. The roofing was recycled from another shed on the property and the paint is slowly washing away, so Sage says she was getting green flakes in her water supply and decided to not drink it.

Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
An old french door is turned onto its side and serves as a top-opening window.

Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
The timber and rock walls are sealed with a mixture of recycled fast-food cooking oil, linseed oil and methylated spirits. It gives the cottage a warm, almost yummy scent. A single solar panel on the roof provides an adequate amount of electricity for Sage's modest needs, including this sensor-operated light that's situated outside the door.

Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
When the door to the cabin opens, it reveals a single room well insulated from the extreme temperatures and heated by a combustion fireplace.

Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
Two burners, a sink, a 12-volt cooler: the kitchen facilities are basic but adequate for a single person.

Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
The other side of the cabin is Sage's living/sleeping space. The upper interior walls and ceiling are all insulated with batts.

Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
By carefully selecting panels of roofing tin that are already curved, Sage has a distinctive roof for her verandah.

Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
Sage's home is in such a beautiful spot on the property, I'm not surprised she's chosen to call it "Peace Cabin".

Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
Sage's Peace Cabin reflects in the calm water of the creek where platypus come out every afternoon to feed.

View from Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
This is the lush view from Sage's cabin — a visual respite from the dry paddocks surrounding the house.

Stones from a sacred fire from the Tenterfield Rainbow Gathering, July 2014
A Rainbow Gathering was held on this land in April 2012. The cabin is very close to the rock circle of a sacred fire.

Playing in the Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
The girls love playing in and around Sage's cabin. They find the rock walls easy to climb and soon work out that they can exit via the windows!

Brioni playing a homemade drum, July 2014
Brioni discovers the drum that Sage made by wrapping packing tape around a recycled tyre. With the addition of a cooking pot, Brioni expands her percussion options.

Playing in the creek, Avelon, northern NSW, July 2014
We enjoy playing around the creek. It flows across flat rocks and is hardly deep enough for a dip, but the water is fresh and clean.

Our family really loved visiting Sage at her Peace Cabin. She connected well with the girls, involving them in her tasks around the property, and in return they regaled her with stories of what they’ve been learning during the year.

I’m thrilled that my girls are growing up with a range of role models from which they can be inspired — including a woman who constructed her own amazing home. Sage appreciated our visit and has invited us to return anytime. Now that we know where to come, we look forward to visiting again in the future!

Peace Cabin, Avelon, outside Tenterfield, northern NSW, July 2014
"Love is the path" it says on the side of the rock outside Peace Cabin, and the journey that has brought us to visit Sage is certainly testimony to the truth of that statement.