Thursday, July 9, 2015

More NYC an enviable view of the Fireworks and a quilt idea

It will probably be the first and last time I get a view like this but it was spectacular.  The reflection of the Empire State building and the Chrysler building can be seen in some of the photos.

And these photos reminded me of a quilt I had seen at my first quilt show.

A little vacation from the work..... a trip to NYC .... a park installation

Madison Square Park installation Cuban Artist.
Teresita Fern├índez (b. 1968, Miami, Florida) is an artist best known for her prominent public sculptures and unconventional use of materials. Fern├índez’s work is characterized by an interest in perception and the psychology of looking. Her experiential, large-scale works are often inspired by landscape and natural phenomena as well as diverse historical and cultural references. The artist has lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York since 1997. She is represented by Lehmann Maupin in New York City.
The artist’s work has explored issues in contemporary art related to perception and the fabrication of the natural world. Often her sculptures present spectacular optical illusions and evoke natural phenomena, land formations, and water in its infinite forms.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The retaining wall finished!!!

It took a week in high 90 degree temperatures, it was money well spent.



Each block weighs 80 lbs

This was the fastest progress they made because this side had been chopped back of the foliage.

The sod will be coming in the fall.

We are opposed to planting anything here, now that we know the potential for overgrowth.

The next project in the back will be cladding the steps, maybe in the fall.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Switching gears..... retaining walls

Time to switch to the big house, hiding under all that jasmine is a sandbag retaining wall.

We try to judge how long it was left without pruning.  The vines intermingled with the screening and framing, making it impossible to cut back.  The 4 x 4's which are structural were mostly in good condition, except for three that were replaced.  The doors were so rotted, that they fell off.

No, I'm not even going to try to do this one on my own.  The retaining wall was previously made with sandbags under landscape cloth, and held by iron bars.  It was failing, there were no gutters on the house and it's a long roof line, so we need to have this addressed before hurricane season starts.  I tried to pick up a sandbag but they weigh more than the 50 lb mortar bags. The prep work for the retaining wall was started but the contractors will be finishing it for us.  The screens, framing, and doors were removed.  The outdoor carpet was also removed, and worse, the jasmine was removed, but it's starting to grow back quickly.

There was an area where the support was sinking, which is now reinforced with concrete.

Next week, is the prep of the retaining wall.... so fun, now we get to watch other people work for a little.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Getting closer to a working toilet ....

 Finally tiled....

Finally grouted

Trim installed

On both sides.... with a metal trim border

So close..... but the fixture is for a widespread sink, not a 4" center sink...... did I mention we are really close?

A special thanks to my navigator who watches over the GPS while I drive back and forth....

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tile the never ending floor and useful information.....

Who knew 700 sq ft would take this long to tile.  If it weren't for the Ditra we would be finished by now.   Because of developing Hand strain, I can only tile 1 50 lb bag of mortar every two days.  That means 12 tiles a day or 24 sq ft a day.  It adds up slowly.

Onto fascinating tile information.

Tiles are graded in several ways, in composition, durability, and color vaviation.

Durability - What is a PEI rating?
PEI is a measurement of the “abrasion resistance” of a tile, meaning how much “rubbing” does it take to physically impact the look of the tile. The test is scored on a scale of 1 to 5 and each value represents a durability to withstand increasingly more demanding traffic.
PEI 1, Very Light Traffic - These tiles can be used on all indoor wall applications, for countertops such as bathrooms, and very light traffic residential bathroom floors. These tiles are not recommended for any area that will have any constant or heavy floor traffic. Floor & Decor does not recommend these to be used on floors.
PEI 2, Light Traffic - These tiles can be used on all indoor wall applications, interior countertops applications and light traffic residential bathroom floors. These tiles should not be used in areas such as kitchens, entry ways, stairs or areas with heavy traffic. Floor & Decor does not recommend these to be used on floors.
PEI 3, Moderate Traffic - These tiles can be used on all indoor wall applications, all interior countertop applications and all residential interior floors. This tile should not be used in commercial applications.
PEI 4, Moderate to Heavy Traffic - These tiles can be used on all indoor wall applications, all interior countertop applications, all residential interior floors and all light commercial applications, such as restaurants and lobbies. This tile should not be used in heavy commercial applications.
PEI 5, Heavy Traffic - These tiles can be used on all indoor wall applications, all interior countertops applications, all residential interior floors and all heavy commercial applications, such as airports, shopping malls, supermarkets, etc. This tile is an excellent choice for industrial applications where extreme durability is required.

Color variation

V1-Uniform Appearance:
Minimal to no difference among pieces from the same production run because each ceramic tile is manufactured using the same glaze applications and body texture.
V2-Slight Variation:
Distinguishable differences in texture and/or pattern within similar colors.
V3-Moderate Variation:
Though the colors present in a single piece of ceramic tile may indicate the colors to be expected on other tiles, the amount of colors on each piece might vary significantly.
V4-Random or Dramatic Variation:
Random color variation from tile to tile, so that one ceramic tile may have a totally different color from that on other tiles. Thus, the final installation will be unique.

This tile is rated PEI 4, V2 porcelain.  
Despite the V2 rating, we had to open up several boxes, about 20% to sort the patterns to get a truly random placement of the patterns..  Random was a lot harder than it looked.   60% of these tiles are plain, and 40% have a striped pattern that imitates granite. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Doors make a difference

This is the before photo, these were metal doors that were peeling and had terrible seals.  The pane which was made of plastic was warped, the framing was rotted and I decided to replace them With fiberglass with composite jambs.

These were purchased from a local door factory, they use thermal Tru slabs and ocl lites.  I had a less expensive option selected but the devious salesperson made the mistake of giving me the catalogs to take home.

They still need to be stained, since the frames around the windows are a non stainable pvc painting them with a faux wood finish will be a project in itself.  I'm also still researching the gel stain for the wood grain texture.

This was what they looked like in the catalog.  

This is what they look like from inside.

Will the floor ever be finished?