Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Power of Coke

So I got some more tiling done this weekend. Those of you who stalk me on Facebook know I have Coke to thank for it.

On Saturday I was not feeling it, but slurped down a 12-oz can, and it kept me fired up for four hours of tiling. I got a stretch done around the window and toward the stove.

It was the easier stuff but it still did involved some cutting. I learned my lesson, and did a nice job around the outlet this time, even though it fell in the middle of a tile.

After four hours I was kind of pooped and was soon going to run into the stove (which I didn't want to pull out) and sockets on another circuit (and I didn't feel like figuring out which breaker to shut it off). So I called it a day.

Today I decided that I had to approach the wall from a different starting point and put in the flag I mean "maple leaf with border":
I think it came out pretty good, and it fills the space nicely.

When I first was deciding how to do this section and what was going where, I thought it was unfortunate that the water tap came out right in the stem. But today I found out that actually made it easier as each piece could be handled separately, and I wasn't forced to deal with trying to make a hole in the middle of a tile.

I even got so lucky that the one white triangle didn't need to be cut at all. The other ones were done by progressive approximations.

I still hope to find a nice collar to sit against the tile and make it look more finished. I assume they are available.

Here's a wider view so you can get a sense of the scale and how it fits into the room:

Troy was not loving the idea of doing more lights today, but when I mentioned filling the gaps between the cupboards he jumped at it. There were four left in the upper cupboards. The work was quite fiddly and time consuming but he got them done. (I won't say anything about his having consumed a Coke at lunch today. He wouldn't appreciate my giving Coke the credit.) It didn't help that we actually didn't have a spare board big enough for one strip and he had to make some extra veneer toe kick material work.

Things are really starting to look "finished" around here!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Let There Be Lights

Hope you don't think the title is blasphemous, but I couldn't resist.

Troy has been working steadily and yesterday we had six overhead lights connected to two switches with power. Very exciting.

We've been living with the under cabinet lighting and the lights above the stove and sink. Compared to that, the six overhead lights seem like stage lighting!

I spent a lot of time last weekend looking at the ceiling and drawing big X's where I thought the lights should go. I did some measuring and eye balling and exercised a bunch of "TLAR" (That Looks About Right).

One pendant light was hung in the space/hallway right beside the fridge. If there wasn't a light right there, it was going to be a dark corner.
The other two were centered in the east half of the main room, balanced between the lights above the island and above the table.

Turns out they both came real close to lining up with the end lights in the west half of the room, so I just made them line up.
I came home late on Wednesday but just in time for Troy to offer me the privilege of flipping the switch for the first time. I deferred to him since he had been working so hard on it.

He ran downstairs to flip the breaker on and then ran upstairs and hit the switch. The lights came on...then off. Turns out he had a faulty switch!! It would work only when your finger held it in place. Once you let go, it popped out a little bit and the lights would go off. Grrr. (That's exactly what Troy said. That's all I'm admitting.) He tried switching it out for another switch but when that didn't work, he packed it in for the night.

By Friday he had bought some switches as reinforcements and got it all put back together again. And it worked. Sweet.
I think you can see in the pictures that Troy had to build little "hangers" for all the light boxes since we will be putting in a suspended ceiling. I have no idea how the spacing will work with the panels, and in fact have no idea even what size the panels will be! Troy tells me we will be able to adjust the boxes by up to two inches or so, and I just have to hope that will be enough!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Today's Report

Someone accused me today of not updating the blog enough. She wanted to see all the progress in the kitchen.

I asked, "What progress?"

We really have not done a lot the last couple weeks. I have spent them cleaning out rooms and closets and reorganizing since the fridge moved. I'm not sure the house has ever looked this good. (But please remember, I have set a pretty low bar.)

I even got one more box of random seldom-used stuff unpacked and stowed in the kitchen yesterday.

I've also been cooking and baking lately as I hosted friends for the Superbowl (thank you again, Giants) and had some friends for brunch yesterday. Lots of leftovers for dinners...

But back to the kitchen, Troy got up the new lights in the west part of the kitchen on Friday. It was a long tedious process of overhead work, but he pushed through and got it done.
We had a time looking for lights. Troy had some specific requirements (nothing recessed and the shade had to be clear glass so none of the light would be blocked) and I had a hard time finding anything, let alone something I liked. In the end perseverance won out and I thought I found something I liked. But I couldn't really be sure until I had them up.
My first reaction to them was that I liked them very much. So that's good. Next up is to figure out where six light fixtures need to go in the east half of the kitchen. Yes, six. This is why my lighting worries are not over.

Today I started looking at the tiling on the west wall. I laid it all out on the counter again to make sure I didn't end up with an inch on one end or bad cuts around the outlets. Everything came out pretty good, so I'm relieved about that.
I didn't take very good overall pictures, but I took plenty of detailed ones so I wouldn't have to do it all again next time. I also took notes and marked the back of the tiles so I would know where they go. Let's hope it's enough.
I didn't have time or energy to get anything on the wall today, but next time I'll be set to go...

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