Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Paint Colors

Why is it so hard to choose a paint color? These are the ones I'm working with.

Left to right: SW Ice Cube, BM White Diamond, Behr Frostwork. Not that you can really tell the difference.

I want something bright since the bathroom is windowless but I worry it is too light. Once the drywall taping is done I'll be able to get a better feel for how things are coming together but for now I'm leaning toward Ice Cube. It reads blue, grey, lavender in real life which is a little outside of my normal box but not too far.

There has got to be an easier way to pick paint. Any tips?


Monday, May 27, 2013

Oh Look

I finished painting (it only took 6+ months)

Well... I finished painting the trim. The doors are waiting for the purchase of a paint sprayer. Still, one more project off my TBC list!

Hopefully your Memorial Day was more exciting than mine. We did manage to grout the shower this weekend but I want to get the floor installed before I show you.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Pin-Organizing! Pinganizing? Pinizing?

In an effort to get through my unfinished project list, and just corral my 2,179 pins, I've decided to create a Pinterest board just for things I'm currently working on. Rule is, no new business, just pins I already have.

This also helps me from losing pins. Do you have that problem? You find a pin, think it's great, and then go to find/do it only to forget where you actually put it? Yeah, it's a problem. So I've condensed down to things I'm actually going to do. Maybe not all this week, but they will get done. Then I will move on to new things.  See how this works?

Here's the whole board if you are interested in following my progress, but here's a sneak peek at what is in the queue.

Kitchen organization!

Rain barrels!

The ever present bathroom renovation 

And so much more!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grouting- The Final Frontier

This week I tackled grouting our bathroom floor. Not going to lie, I was scared. Really scared. But I pushed through and it all worked out in the end. Here are a few tips.

1. Take the time to make sure any mortar that pushed up through the grout lines is removed. This takes forever but it is worth it.

2. Work in small batches. I did 2 cups of grout mix at a time. which was about 1/4 of our 42 sq/ft bathroom floor.

3. Be prepared. Get everything ready and have extras. Extra gloves, water, etc.

4. It's going to be messy, and that's ok.

This was the scary part. I had my beautiful clean tile and then I dumped grout on it. (below you can see all three phases. Clean in the upper left, hazy in the upper right and freshly dumped grout on the bottom)

And then I freaked out.

Yeah. Not very pretty. But keep going. Just like the instructions say (I liked this series of tutorials btw) keep working that grout in to the grout lines and scraping away. It looks like a mess but it will clean up. I promise.

5.  Walk away. This was the hardest but, because I was working on the floor, I couldn't grout the whole thing at once if I had any hope of getting back in there to clean up. So I put my 2 cups worth of grout down, spread it around and then walked away for 15 min. That gave the grout time to set enough that I could form my grout lines (for a good explanation of this you can watch the video) and clean up. It still wasn't pretty but don't worry.

The first day I did half the floor, cleaned as much of the grout off the surface of the tiles as possible with my sponge (there was still a back haze) and then went to bed. When I woke up in the morning I used a damp sponge to clean off the last bit of haze. If you don't wait for things to dry a bit you just pull up the grout from where you want it and spread it around the top of the tiles. No good.

So pretty right?

It took two days but only about 3 hours of actual labor. Lots of waiting. Don't rush it. I still think it is scary (how on earth will I manage a vertical surface- the grout is like pudding!?!?) but at least now I know it can be done. We are tackling the shower this weekend so I'll let you know how it goes!

Anyone else have grouting tips? This was my first experience with mixing my own grout and it is a lot more liquid than the pre-mixed stuff. Good for the floor but I'm curious to see how it works on the walls.



Tile- Black and White Basket Weave from The Tile Shop
Grout- Un-sanded grout from Home Depot in Charcoal

  Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tiling- The How and Why

Now I preface this by saying we are not master tilers nor is this necessarily the best way to go about things but this is the method that worked for us.

Because Daniel is a computer guy, we started with math.

Our shower wraps around three walls so we wanted our pattern to move smoothly from one side to another with the least amount of cuts (cutting tile is a pain). Math let us see exactly how many tiles we needed and how many part tiles we needed for our first row.

Then we pulled out our new best friend. The laser level.

This ensured that everything stayed straight and lined up. No drifting!

Then we started tiling.

Realistically you could have started here but it helped to have some plan of attack. I didn't get a picture but we actually started at the height of the shower ledge (about half way) and tiled down. That made us sure that the most visible section (the ledge) would be a full tile instead of a partial tile. You can see in the above picture the laser level showing the horizontal and vertical lines (in red). That saved us from so many "are you sure that's level?" and "that doesn't look straight to me" arguments. The level doesn't lie my friends.

Once we got the lower half of the wall figured out the rest of the pattern followed. It probably took 1-2 hours just to get that first row down between the math and the staring. On our first day we only finished the back half of the wall. Day two took us to the left half and that was basically the weekend. Last weekend went a bit smoother. By the end we had made it to 99%

Why didn't we finish? We ran out of edge tiles. I grabbed another case this week and we should be ready for grout by the weekend.

So there you have it. Our third tile laying experience. It was definitely a lot easier this time around but it still took a lot of patience and planning (things I have trouble with) and a lot of mortar. Like way more than I thought we would need.

Hopefully that helps those of you on the fence about a big tiling job with your decision. It isn't rocket science, but it can seem that way. Seeing how the quotes we got for someone else to do the job were around $1,700, my $500 tile job is perfect in my eyes.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Penned In

A few days back I shared my horrible shame list of unfinished projects. Well folks, I'm here today to tell you I've crossed one off of the list. And added four more. Let's focus on the successes though right?

I got my inspiration from this baby gate that Kim @ The Newly Woodwards made and tweaked it to what I had on hand.


It serves two purposes. One, it keeps Norman contained when we have the front door open (which is a necessity as it heats up) and two, keeps us from being bombarded by solicitors. Since Daniel works in the front room (it has the best view) he is unable to "pretend" he is not home when people came by. Now they don't even make it to the front porch.

Boy do my stairs need painting! Ignore that bit and check out the cutest guard dog in the world.

He means business! Unless you have tasty bits, then come on in.

There you have it, one task checked off of my ever growing list. Any bets on whether or not I finish another task before I find something new to add?


Monday, May 20, 2013

Stick A Fork In Me

I'm done! More to come on the how and why but for now I am happy to be basically finished tiling our downstairs bath (here are the original plans if you need a refresh).

I ordered the floor tiles today and plan to start grouting this week. We are inching closer to a shower people!

Anyone else knee deep in a project? I can see the light at the end of this tunnel and I am so excited for the finished product.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Baskets and Baskets

Ladies and gentleman, we have tile!

We were just too excited to wait so Daniel took the afternoon off and we got the whole floor tiled in about 4 hours. There was also about an hour of prep, which was definitely the most important part. First we laid the tile all around the perimeter.

This helped up make sure our pattern fit the space (I wanted to cut as few tiles as possible) and allowed us to adjust for the fact that our room is not quite square.

After that it was mortar, tile, clean up and done. I put the tile down and Daniel came behind adjusting the pattern and cleaning up. All in all it was surprisingly easy and quick (at least compared to the kitchen tile). The mesh made it easy to get things even and the fact that it basically meant you were putting down a square foot of tile at a time.

Grout? That's a different story. We are hoping to get the shower tiled this weekend and then grout the whole thing at once.

Who else is in the middle of a tiling project? I'm looking forward to it all being done.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

TBC- To Be Completed

I have a problem. I like to start projects and then not finish them. It has gotten so bad that I currently have 14+ projects that are half done. So, in an effort to make myself accountable here they are. I'm laying it all out there. Don't judge people.

Or the trim in the kitchen Complete! 7/19/2013

This sliding door project for the bedroom? Nope, not done. Complete! 7/18/13

Apparently I don't like painting around trim. COMPLETED! 3/27/13 

Ceilings aren't much fun to paint either. 

That hole in the ceiling has been there 2 years.  Complete! 7/10/13

We moved the chandelier. Never patched that hole either.  Complete! 7/10/13

That's supposed to be a light switch (in my defense, this is a Daniel Project) COMPLETE! 6/2/13

I started the built-ins. Got hung up on sanding. 

My new porch gate still needs paint. COMPLETED! 3/21/13 

We never finished fixing the crack in the kitchen ceiling. 

The hood still isn't vented (**cough, cough 8 months later cough**)

I never installed the trim around the cabinets in the kitchen. 
I never actually finished painting the kitchen cabinets. 

Our bedroom door doesn't actually close. We should get on that. Complete! 7/19/13

I have a new light for this room that is gathering dust. 

I need to add more rocks to my newly expanded patio. Complete! 7/17/13 

I never got around to installing that rain barrel I bought last year. COMPLETE! 5/29/13 

Daniel and I have made a pact to not start anything new until everything else is finished. Things are going to get pretty boring around here for a while. On the plus side This is all slated for after the bathroom is finished (since that is number one priority) so you still have a few pretties to see coming up! 

Someone tell me I'm not the only one with a house full of unfinished projects. I swear, there has to be a support group out there for this. One that comes with people willing to paint.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Tile Eyes

Yup, that's a real medical term. Symptoms? Everything you look at looks like this

and this

and this

After 10 hours of tiling I wish we were further but I will give you a complete update when we are! Spoiler- it involves lasers and a lot of math.

How was your weekend? I got ceremoniously stomped upon by the dog for mother's day.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Year Two- Recap

Today is our two-year house anniversary! It seems like we've been here so much longer than that (in a good way) and I think we've made some real progress.

Here's what we accomplished in our second year of home ownership:

We went on our 3rd honeymoon to Jamaica, which spawned this cover up and this craft. 
We spent most of the year getting our kitchen done. 
Added bookshelves to the livingroom

Went to Paris

Added house numbers (you know, so people can find the place.)

 Discovered just how cute our house is with the removal of some trees. 

Finally got a headboard

Finished the master closet

Started remodeling the downstairs bathroom

As well as a slew of little projects along the way. It has been a quieter year (that kitchen knocked me out!) but we are moving right along!

Tonight we will be celebrating with delivered pizza, wine, and camping out in the living room in honor of our first night in the house. Always a fun time!

Do you mark important dates with food? How long did you manage to celebrate minor (but major to you) moments in your life? I love remembering the little fun things each year.