Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Putting things in perspective

And I thought my bathroom was out of order....

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Now I know that grouting the tub enclosure is a bad idea, because once I have a functioning shower again, I will lose momentum. But let's be honest here; I've already lost momentum. Lots of it. What I'm really talking about is STOPPING for awhile and focusing on Other Things. So I might as well have a shower so I will be clean while procrastinating. Later. After I finish the grout.

The grout is Tec Silverado (949) unsanded.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Well? What do you think?

Tub enclosure is done.

Of course, there's still the little matter of the rest of the walls. And grout.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The importance of good communication skills

This is what happens when you and your partner/spouse fail to agree on the appropriate shower tile height in advance of the project.

You get Regress instead of Progress.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Road to Hell is Tiled with Good Intentions

....Because paving it would be FASTER. And then how would we spend Eternity?

I had to interrupt this weekend's tile-a-thon for some social events (woohoo! I have a life!), and make one Goat Cheese and Onion Tart, which I will not make again. It was fairly yummy, but the ratio of yumminess to prep time and calories was not really worth it.

But despite the distractions, I almost tiled myself out of the tub enclosure, and had some new fun with Chair Rail.

The last time I did chair rail, I had only one mitered corner to deal with, so I held it in position on the tile saw with my fingers, and I'm still feeling rather lucky that I finished that job with all digits intact.

This time, I have 8 45 degree angle cuts to make, so a cutting guide of some sort seems like a good idea. MK Diamond sells an angle guide attachment for my saw, so for $21, I can make my nice precise cuts. But I am too cheap or too impatient to wait to mail order it, so I've experimented with the $8 carpenter's square. It works surprisingly well, though I'm sure I wouldn't want to do this if I were a Tiling Professional (NOOOOOO!!!!!)

Perhaps another day I will post a close-up of the perfectly angled corner. But for today, be content with the big picture.

What exactly is the point of this product?

I need to put up chair rail, and it seems like having something super sticky - stickier than my normal thinset - would be a good idea. So after a visit to my local Home Despot, I picked up a little tub of Ceramic Tile Adhesive. Very sticky stuff.

After I got it home, I took a closer look at the disclaimer in fine print. It says "Not for use in areas of prolonged water exposure". Now I ask you, what does one usually tile? Oh yes, backSPLASHes and TUB surrounds and SHOWER enclosures. What do those things have in common? Let me think. Oh yes, PROLONGED WATER EXPOSURE.

So what EXACTLY does one tile using ceramic tile adhesive where there ISN'T 'prolonged water exposure?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Decapitated bird feeder

Dorothy was quite the birder, with three bird feeders scattered about the yard, which have remained sadly empty since our purchase of Ballardia.

There's quite a variety of interesting wildlife that I can't identify, not being Nature Girl, though I suppose that one of these days I should get out my unused copy of The North American Field Guide to My Cat's Tasty Snacks and make an attempt.

All of the little birdies seems united in their understanding that SOMEONE at my house is supposed to feed them. They look at me just like my cats do when they realize I am holding a can opener in one hand and a can of Fancy White Albacore Tuna Packed in Spring Water in the other.

Back when we had a functional bird feeder, I filled it with a fine mix of no-sprout seeds, and promptly discovered that I had created a squirrel feeder. And can they pack it away! Frustrated, I turned to web surfing to solve my problem. I found all sorts of ingenious little squirrel-deterrent feeders - for $68.95 and up.. No thank you. For $68.95 and up, I have home improvement projects awaiting my attention! to encourage the correct wildlife? With the power of the Internet at my disposal, I quickly discovered that Birds, unlike Mammals, do not taste the stars in their Thai food - a byproduct of Nature's Need to propagate those chili pepper seeds via The Bird Distribution Network. And, with the power of the condiment section of my refrigerator at my disposal, I quickly discovered that coating my birdseed with Tabasco sauce does the trick nicely. Birds still love it; squirrels in their disgust beheaded the bird feeder.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Never Put off until Tomorrow what can be done the Day After

I have one of those sinus-y colds where my ears feel like they have earplugs in already, even though they don't. And I don't think there's room in there for the foam ones.

This LEGITIMATE illness is not to be confused with Tiling Apathy, which has also struck swiftly and severely this weekend.

I will not be firing up the tile saw until the mucus departs.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wood Stoves and Covered Wagons

The Trusty Fisher Wood Stove, with a little help from Craigslist, has moved on to a New Life.

Far better than its repurposed function as a Wine Shelf at Ballardia, It will be heating a sheep wagon, carefully restored and outfitted like a small guest room or Camping Alternative.

The little Fisher stove, with its small footprint, is apparently the favorite choice for heating up these miniscule little residences.

And so my little wood stove is moving on to a higher calling. I'm so proud.

I'm also a little in awe of the creativity of the Seattleite who came up with this nifty idea and is managing to sell the sheep wagons for $35k, after, well, paying considerably less for the component parts like my wood stove.

After a short moment of silence in honor of the Trusty Fisher Wood Stove, I've pushed the fridge over to the former wood stove location, and we can now use the back door to step out into the.....


We can now use the back door to step out into the gaping void of Nothingness.
But it looks good from the inside, at least it does if you ignore the hole in the wall where the chimney used to be.
ok, so everything at Ballardia looks better if you squint.