Friday, July 31, 2015

Latest Bathroom Sketchup Files

I haven't had much time to play in SketchUp this week as we've been really busy dealing with canning and other neglected projects. But I did take the time to add all the fiddly bullnose tile pieces on my master bathroom sketchup files.
Now that I won that tile auction, there will definitely be tweaks. But at least we won't have a shortage of subway tile as one of the problems. We might even change the tile around the shower so we tile all the way to the ceiling.

We're getting really close to being able to start this remodel. We should have the basement bathroom mostly finished by the end of next week. Then I just need to find a tile installer and a glass shower enclosure installer. I've lined up the woodworker who made the basement cabinet to make the master bath cabinet, but I may get a couple more quotes.

I'm relieved that this week the Mac Store was able to retrieve all my old files off my dead old MacBook. In particular, I got all the photos of our house pre-purchase and during the remodel. And, yes, I did have a backup, but somehow that drive went astray during the post-remodel clean up. I would have found it eventually, but I didn't feel like waiting or spending that long looking for it. I'm now working on making new backups in several places for future.

The last couple of days I've been trying to get my stencil cutting plan up and running. I had the challenge of getting a new operational copy of the cutter software (since it was on the old computer) and now I'm trying to learn it. But it just won't import my image files, even though they are one of the alleged acceptable file types. So, instead I'm now trying to run them through CorelDraw first to convert the file type to something that does work. It's a little frustrating, as I'd really like to stencil the basement bathroom with an historic stencil design that I've cut, and not one I've purchased. I'm spending a lot of time trying to relearn CorelDraw as it's been years since I touched it. Sigh. I suppose it's good that there's so much I want to learn.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Amazing Tile Deal

I got the most fantastic tile score tonight!! I'm so excited.

Sadly, Designs in Tile is going out of business. They made some beautiful hand painted tiles. I was bummed when I heard they were quitting, but I was very fortunate in my timing in looking for subway tile. I guess their tile has been on sale for a while, but the last of it was all listed for auction in large lots this week. I was fortunate to be able to win all the auctions I was hoping to. Unfortunately, I am also getting a LOT of tile I don't need, but that is a problem easily remedied.

I recently called Subway Ceramics and they told me reproduction subway field tile runs $17/sq ft. American Restoration Tile told me it would cost $25/sq ft. So, it would have cost us over $1600 for just the field tile for our master bathroom, not including any specialty trim pieces, borders or shipping.

Tonight I paid just over $3/sq ft, and if you adjust the total for the amount we actually need for our project, it is still only $4.25/sq ft. Because I was so lucky on the field tile price wise, I was able to bid on several of the misc. trim piece and bullnose auctions. So, I am hoping that in the end, we will have enough pieces to tile our entire bathroom. The grand total for everything is just over $1,000. And that includes tons of border pieces, and colored trim pieces.

Of course, the rub is we have to drive down to Mt. Shasta, California on Saturday morning to pick up all the tile. We're going to have to borrow the Ford Ranger back from our friends we sold it to, and I'm actually a little concerned about all the tile fitting in the bed of the truck. I guess we shall see how it goes. I suppose we can always get a one-way trailer rental if we absolutely have to. It will still be a good deal.

And now we have to find an installer. I don't even trust myself to install it to my standards. I don't know why I'm so picky about evenly installed tile, but I am.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Preserving Peaches

I was about to title this post canning peaches, but it has never made sense to me why it is called canning when we are using jars! Maybe we should call it jarring peaches?

Jeff and I went off on an unscheduled adventure with friends yesterday to Sauvie Island. Sauvie Island is where Portlanders go when they want to buy locally-grown fresh produce in bulk quantities. We came home with 40 pounds of peaches, 20 pounds of heirloom tomatoes, 25 pounds of red beets and a few other vegetables in smaller quantities.
Today, Jeff decided he wanted to start off the day by defrosting the freezer before we made a bunch of new containers to go into it. In the process, he rediscovered a bunch of food he wants to use right away. Let's just say I'm going to be happy about having pie and baked ham for the next several weeks. :D

We processed two batches of jars of sliced peaches, which was more than one box of fruit. I don't normally talk about how to can. With so many excellent websites out there, I don't see the point of adding my meager skills to the pack. But I will point out a website I frequently visit when I do set about doing some preserving, called It's a great resource for general recipes and photos about how to preserve food. I've been visiting the website for years, as I mostly learned these skills after I was an adult and my family lived too far away to teach me.
The other box, we've sliced and Jeff is making Peach Salsa again. We're big fans of Trader Joe's Spicy, Smoky Peach Salsa and we're trying to come up with a recipe we can make ourselves. Jeff found a recipe a couple years ago that was pretty close, but it was just a little too hot, so we're going to give it a try this year with a little less HOT. This year he is trying this recipe, mostly. (He never follows recipes exactly.)
Update: We tried the salsa with our dinner tonight and it's really good. I think we found our recipe. :D
We're going to do another batch of the salsa. It's really good and it will be nice to have it through the winter.

Wunderful List

I found a new To Do list application, called Wunderlist, that I've only been using for a couple days but I'm already a big fan. While I don't really like that it's online (and therefore unusable without internet), the ability to share the To Do list with Jeff makes up for it.

Even though we could build task lists on our MacBooks, I was never happy with how to deal with recurring tasks. Wunderlist makes them super easy. Once you finish a task, it automatically reenters the next occurrence on your list. Now we just need to go through and enter all the recurring tasks in our lives. :D

I've also been digging through all my assorted lists and consolidating them in this one place. After such a long break from house projects, you can be sure we had a lot of projects go astray. I'm now getting my projects back on track.

For the three days I've been using Wunderlist, it has already helped. When I have a little bit of time to kill, I can just go look at my list and see if there is any quick task I can fit in. This morning, I had about half an hour before we went off on our day's adventure; just enough time to finish painting the basement window frame.
Or, if I don't feel like doing a task (like staining the fence) having the huge list helps me get off my ass to do it. I see how many things I have coming up and know I can't afford to not finish today's project. So, I am now making pretty steady progress on projects.
The next big project in our plan is the master bathroom. I am currently trying to find reproduction period tile, which will surely be the most expensive part of the project. Once we have tile figured out, we'll probably prepare for demo. Especially now that the basement bathroom is nearly operational. :)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

More Projects

Jeff has been working on digging out the floor of the pergola when the weather is cool enough.
I've finished staining the door for the sewing room. Once it finishes drying I'll start putting on the shellac.
I painted the basement bathroom again, but when I removed the masking tape I discovered one of the rolls of blue tape I used was not a good roll; it didn't have good adhesion. There was some bleed through on the woodwork so I'm going to have to do a little bit of paint clean up, which really sucks. It's not my highest priority right now.
I'm hoping now Jeff will hire his friend and they'll install the cabinet and marmoleum flooring. I still need to stain some shoe molding for both the basement and sewing room.

If we want to install the sink and faucet in this bathroom, we will have to cut a temporary plywood top for the sink cabinet because I'm planning to have the soapstone cut for it when we have the soapstone cut for the master bathroom remodel. It won't be pretty, but at least we'll have another operational bathroom during the remodel of the master bathroom.