Monday, February 29, 2016

Bath Soapstone Install

The soapstone is in!!! I am really excited. And I think it looks great. Like we did in the kitchen, we're planning on oiling it.

The installers were pretty speedy and they did a great job. I was seriously impressed when those two guys just zipped right up the stairs with that slab.

Dropping it in place, there was minimal wall damage, though there is one small spot I need to fill and touch up the paint.
During the process we had a total headache with finding a sink that would fit in the cabinet. Despite the delays in getting them a proper sink, Portland Marble Works still delivered on time. I doubt they are the cheapest stone fabricator (I didn't shop around) but I was very satisfied with the work they did in our kitchen so I just hired them again for the bathroom.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bamboo Eradication

Underneath our large black walnut tree (Juglans nigra), we had a large, and steadily expanding, clump of black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra). We decided it was time for the bamboo to go to provide a little more space and light in this part of the yard. Jeff had a buddy come by to help harvest the stalks and tackle the root balls.


The harvesting was easy enough. We'll leave the leaves on for about four weeks to help dry out the stalks, then trim them off. They're all stacked up in the back (on concrete so they won't root). 
After using almost every tool in the garage including a chain saw and power washer, we managed to get the root ball dug out. We'll fill the divets with dirt and cover with black plastic to block shoots. And probably move the compost piles here. Now we can start tracking down some of those few plants that do well under a black walnut.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bailey Puppy Photos

This post is mostly for grandma who asked for more photos of her grandpuppy. LOL
video
video

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bath Crown Molding

The crown molding is in! Jeff was determined to get this crown installed, even though he and Eric had never coped joints before. The joints turned out great for being his and Eric's first time doing stained crown, but Jeff did cram wood filler into the very small gaps. We'll go thru and touch it up with stain tomorrow so it won't show.
The masking on the lower woodwork is so we can apply another coat of varnish on the ceiling and paint the room (again). I also need to go thru and varnish all the stained woodwork soon.

As usual, the pictures are not that great. Maybe someday I'll learn how to take good pictures, but right now I'm too busy playing with a puppy. :D

And, excuse me, I have to post some puppy cuteness for Grandma (who wrote and asked for photos).

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Fir T&G Ceiling Installed

Yeah! It still needs a crown molding, but I'm happy with how it turned out.
If I could have sifted out the "discolored" pieces I would have, but there were other strips that had worse blemishes. We bought like 6 extra, but there were too many bad ones.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bathroom Ceiling Started

The guys didn't get it finished before Eric had to take off; hopefully they'll finish it tomorrow.
Here are the before pictures. Pretty ugly. I think the T&G is definitely an improvement.
Next week, we're going to install a stained crown, after I have time to paint the room again.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Vanity Installed

George Ramos did a really nice job making this cabinet; I'm pleased with the flat grain douglas fir wood.
It would have been really difficult to get this cabinet up the stairs and so he made it in 3 pieces. When it's installed you really can't tell.
We have all the hardware for it, and the holes were drilled, but the bolts are too short so I'm going to have to order the extra long bolts for the glass knobs.

Portland Marble Works comes on Monday to measure for cutting the soapstone. And, hopefully, the douglas fir T&G ceiling will go in on Tuesday.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Living Room Wall Patch

John MacNab was able to start plaster work on our project yesterday. He recoated the bathroom, as well as patched the holes in the living room and sewing room.

It was rather clever how he filled the hole in the living room. I thought we would have to open the hole bigger, but he didn't have to.
This is the before picture
He screwed in a long vertical board into the back of the remaining lath and drywall to provide structure then he installed some more horizontal lath boards
He put in a wire mesh over the top
Close up of the wire mesh. The blue stuff around the opening is bonding agent (glue)
He filled the opening with plaster
Let dry overnight
Then finish coat it with a finer material (I didn't ask what it was)
All done. Once it dries for a few days, I can repaint.
The bathroom also looks great, but I can't show pictures because my camera can't figure out what to focus on to take the picture. It will look better when it's dry anyway because it's sort of splotchy now.

Oh, and this was just delivered......

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Varnishing T&G

We've been very lucky the last couple of days and I was able to work on varnishing the bathroom ceiling T&G outdoors. I originally expected to have to work in the living room, but this was way better.
A couple days ago, the forecast was for FOUR sunny days and I was excited to have a bunch of time to work outside, but now our weather forecast has changed and the rain is coming back. Oh well, two days of sun is better than none. I knew the rain would be back, I just hoped it would wait a little longer so I could also do some staining.

Barrett came out today, a couple hours late, and grouted the bathroom floor. Though, he said he'd be back because there are still a few more tiles he wants to dig out and replace. He said grouting shows low areas or other problems, so he grouts first.
Once I painted the bathroom with glossy paint, I could see that the guy I hired to do the sheetrock taping in the bathroom did a lousy job. Sigh, it's not really a surprise based on his whining while he was here. So I decided to see if John MacNab could come out and fix it for us, as well as patching the other two holes in the other rooms. I wish I had just called him first, as his price was more reasonable than I was expecting. Luckily, he thinks he can squeeze in our job on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Then, on Friday, the bathroom cabinet will be installed. I'm really looking forward to that.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Making Dog Gear

When Jeff and I were shopping for the new dog child we were reminded just how much it costs to buy leashes and collars. I don't know how we manage, but we seem to lose a lot of leashes. We quite often are looking around for them when it's time to go out, so I decided I had the technology to just make more. I did have to buy some materials though.

I shopped around some and found Country Brook Design has competitive prices and collar packs, so I ordered some 1" webbing and hardware for collars and leashes for Shasta.

Then while I was cruising around, I found a cool blog that showed how you could dress up leashes with metallic trim. Well, I have a TON of metallic trim in my sewing room stash, leftover from my early SCA days when I actually thought that stuff was period. LOL

There are several websites that show how to make collars and leashes, but truthfully, I just looked at collars and leashes we already had to duplicate their construction. But I did find some good tutorials and I'll list them here.

How to Make a Boutique Style Dog Collar and Leash
Sew Your Own Dog Leash
How to Make a Fabric Covered Dog Collar

I actually started by making this leash and collar set, to practice. I'm not even sure what I'll do with it, because I don't really need it.
Then I finished Shasta a new harness and leash with Jeff's favorite colors. I'll try and get a photo of her wearing it when she's awake.
This was so much fun, I've ordered some more webbing in a thinner size so I can make gear for Bailey. I likely won't bother with the metallic trim for her until she gets a little bigger because she'll grow out of harnesses too quickly.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mosaic Tile Floor

The mosaic in the bathroom is laid, but it is still not done. It still needs to be grouted.
Barrett managed to turn this 2-day job into a 4-day job because he had to take so much time off to deal with family stuff (6-days if you include the two sick days). The floor does look nice though and I'm looking forward to it being grouted on Monday.

Now that we've got until next Friday before the cabinet is installed, we'll probably try and get the ceiling installed this coming week. And I'll hopefully get the woodwork for the baseboards stained and varnished so they can be installed too.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Lucky Coincidence

I was cruising through the 1907 Mott's Plumbing catalog again tonight trying to work out the shower design (again) and I came across this picture of the Plaza bathroom.
As I looked closer, I realized not only did it use the design I was considering for our shower tile, but it also had a nearly identical pattern on the floor to what we chose. This is pretty exciting for me, because I'm a historic research freak.
I still haven't entirely figured out the plan for the shower enclosure. I can't get a period shower as they aren't made anymore and I'm not rich enough to have one made, but I will do what I can to come up with something that doesn't look too modern. I was actually really surprised to see angle brackets on this shower enclosure from the same 1907 catalog.
If you look really close at the left edge of the glass, there are metals tabs holding it together. That makes me feel a lot better about having to use a few in our shower design. I guess there are really only so many ways to hold glass together, so it's not a huge surprise they thought them up by 1907.

Tile Floor Progress

Barrett cancelled yesterday because he was sick, but today he finally got started. He said he started laying out the fancy border design as he went, but then the cement was drying before he could finish, so he decided it was easier to lay out the floor with the basic grid and borders, and then tomorrow he will pop out the appropriate white pieces and replace with green pieces.
This pattern was pulled from a period tile catalog. We doubled up all the borders to get the pattern to work better with our room dimensions.

The dog children are learning to hang out together. For the most part they are both doing great, but Shasta still doesn't want to cuddle with Bailey, nor does she have much interest in sharing her treats.
It's pretty hard to wait the 2 weeks until Bailey's suture heals to be able to let her really play hard. The poor thing is going a little stir crazy because we're having to keep her leashed at the dog park.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Embroidered Pillow Designs (1910)

I've been poking around some of the period texts I downloaded a couple years ago and I ran across these black and white pictures of embroidered pillows. This particular publication is called "Home Needlework Magazine" and the photos are from the Feb 1910 edition.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tile Layout

Barrett from Reiner Tile came out for three hours today and started laying out the tile in our bathroom. Jeff enjoyed working with him figuring out how to lay out the design so it broke at the right places.
Barrett took off for 45 minutes at about 4PM to take his cat to the vet but didn't come back. Oh well, I guess it did not go well; poor kitty. Hopefully he'll come tomorrow.

George Ramos is making the cabinet and asked to delay installation so I pushed out the soapstone measuring a week, to Feb 15.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Barely Productive

We had a pretty entertaining—and wholly unproductive weekend—watching puppy TV, but today I finally managed a little bit of work on the bathroom. I haven't stained the windows yet because the inclement weather wouldn't allow me to uninstall the casement windows for the day. I still need to apply the varnish.
The unstained middle section will be the medicine cabinet.
We need to make/buy a replacement door.
After calling in sick today, Barrett from Reiner Tile is supposed to start tomorrow, so perhaps we will start having some pretty pictures. I guess we shall see.

And the puppy update, for the few folks who are interested: