Monday, September 29, 2014

Cat Tiling

We picked up the master bath project again and have been making strides the past few days. Zachary continued on with tiling the walls, following his theme he made on the floor a few months ago. Next to woodworking, tile work is fast becoming one of Zachary's favorite renovation activities. It is turning out great.

We are finding Freyja loves to be in the middle of a project as much as Queequeg did, being a helper cat.

Z calculating tiles, Freyja calculating plumbing

We are finding tile spacers all over the house, as Freyja loves stealing one when we aren't looking. Far better toy than any of her other dozen toys.

Base for the vanity cabinet.

Cat Platform

 The beginnings of the vanity and cabinet frame. We are planning on a single sink and then a tall cabinet to the left additional storage near the shower.

We haven't decided yet if we are going to continue with the tile back splash up the wall behind the vanity or stop as is. A large mirror and lights will fill most of the wall space.

Foreman Freyja

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sunspot Moments

The Sun Seeker

Freyja likes to follow the sunspot rotation schedule daily around the house. About 10:45 AM, there is a nice bright sunspot square on the couch.

Caught in a silly pose while grooming

Monday, September 1, 2014

Camp Helen Walk

We spent Labor Day morning at Camp Helen State Park. By the time we finished the nature trail and the walk to and from the beach, we were sweat drenched and parched. And I was worried about not getting much of a workout there, so we didn't bring any water with us. Psh, Dummy. Walking through sun-cooked loose sugar sand gets me every time. It was nice walk regardless. It is still very much summer in PCB.

Remnants of an old pier destroyed years ago by a hurricane

See the tiny white blooms on the long vines?

Deck Saga

We thought in the summers we would focus more on indoor projects and outdoor projects in the winter in Florida, but we have done mostly the opposite so far in 2014.

Lately we have been making nice progress on the deck outside, and when I started to make a post about it, I realized I haven't really mentioned it on the blog. The deck area has been one of those projects, like most of our projects around the house, goes in fits and starts. We get uninspired with one, we work on another for a while. Eventually they get done. Probably not the best way of doing things, but fits us. :-)

So I dug up a dump truck load of pictures to bring you all up to speed...

This was shortly before we closed on the house. The east wall of the house, facing the creek. Lots of brush and vines encroaching from the creek.

Overgrown shrubs on the east side of the, blocking half the deck walk way.

About a week after closing on the house, general bushwhacking begins around the east side and the backyard. May 2013.

The back deck isn't as warped and rickety as the walkway part, but it was built uneven and sagging between the joists.

Winter of 2014, with the help of my wintering parents, we clear out a ton of brush and vines from the creek and reclaim our lawn along the slope to the creek.

Clearing away some of the claustrophobia of brush around the house, our sad & dangerous deck needed some love.

Zachary started pulling up the deck around March. Realizing a lot of the wood was in fair condition, just weathered and poorly constructed, Zachary power washed the boards and set aside the good boards for reuse.

Changing the foot print of the original deck slightly, connecting it to the wall on the east, instead of a separate walkway and widening it. We also made the deck all one level inside of 3 levels like originally.

By May, we used up the good salvaged wood from the old deck.

Zachary met plenty of these digging around the old deck...

In August we started up the deck project again, with a load of new lumber to finish the floor on the east side.

(We will address that growing brick structure next to the deck in a future post) :-)

After finishing the floor, Zachary got the idea to build a side cabinet/workstation for the brick barbecue that is being built in the corner.

Using more reclaimed wood, including the cedar car siding that was in the living room originally, he turned it around for the exterior of the cabinet.

Only having to buy the 8 tiles for the counter top, we only spent $20 for this outdoor cabinet. We had the rest of the materials on hand from other projects.

Right now the tiles are drying on the thin-set mortar and will be ready to grout in a day or 2. Florida humidity slows down the drying times around here. Once the tiles are done, add edge trim to the counter, and the deck flooring and cabinet will be ready for deck stain. 

We are planning on building a railing along the east side of the deck, along with stairs at the end. We are also considering building some sort of arbor/pergola over the east side of the deck to tie both together, so once we get a design in mind for that, we will continue the deck project.