Tile Be Seeing You. Aug 2, 07

Holy crap - August already.So I've been abandoned by our fearless leader. Po keeps looking at me as if to say "And what do you think YOU'RE gonna accomplish by yourself hotshot". Not much. But I'll do my best. Remember how the other day Rich tried to put together the entertainment center and found he didn't have the little IKEA bits and bobs to assemble it. Today the poor little fella tried to assemble the bookcases... ditto. Someday, hopefully, we'll find a box that has the pieces in them and then we'll have furniture. Before he left we got the closet COMPLETELY assembled. Ok - we ran out of screws. But we got the closet ALMOST completely assembled. There's just one wall of shelves left to put up. It's going to be really nice - the shelf/hanging things are great (Rich took great glee in pointing out that they are EXACTLY what we had in NY when I asked 'if he was sure they would work'). And I really hadn't quite realized we kind of have a walk in closet. A modest walk-in - but nonetheless it's a big size. We're still figuring out exactly what shelves should go where (especially since inside the right door you could potentially poke your eye out - but when we have eight more screws and some hangers (mystery box number 232) we'll shuffle things around and come up with a configuration we like. But the sweat equity is all done in there really - so it's one more thing to find out. I was pretty impressed with the stud finder Rich was using until I took it out onto Main Street in the hopes it would find me some studs. Nope. Cheap Japanese crap.

RICH LOOKS FOR A REAL STUD dsc_0718.jpg

And before you give me a hard time for that caption remember I had the words "screws" "drills" and "stud" to work with for this one. I kept it pretty clean, people. :) stud-screw.jpg

So here's some closet pics - i left the ladder in there because a) I'm lazy, and b) it gives you a sense of scale. So keep in mind that's the edge of the mirrored doors - so that's half the closet out of view. So it's a pretty nice size, right?

TAKE THAT IMELDA dsc_0716.jpg

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So then Rich hit the road and I spun around in circles for a few minutes saying "burble burble burble". Then I got to work on my tabletop prototype and I have to say... SO FAR... it's going pretty well. There are still a few logistics to figure out - but in terms of actually doing the tiling it's goin' ok. Rich had cut me out a tabletop dummy and I rounded the edges (like on the real tables we already bought) with the scroll saw. The scroll saw, ladies and gentlemen, is the only tool at which I have skill. When I was a young'un I designed this really complicated cutout plywood thing for a set and the construction people told me if I wanted it - then I had to cut it out myself... so I learned. And seven billion tight little curvy lines later, I still got it. I guess it's like riding a bike - except you can cut your finger off.

So I took my plywood base and laid out the tile we bought at the H.D. (who surprisingly had cheaper tile prices than Lowes... so there's a first time for everything). Because the tabletop people had the audacity to NOT design their tables with pre-existing knowledge that I would want to tile them, the tiles for the border needed trimmed and rounded. Eek. This meant using the tile nippers, in which (or rather in-my-use-of-which) Rich had expressed doubt, concern and a certain lack of faith. HA. These thing are AWESOME. I trimmed like eight tiles and it didn't crack or break any of them... I was amazed. I'd like to take credit - but I'm sure it's just a really well engineered tool. It breaks off the part you are trimming and then snaps it below your cut line - so it never cracks INTO the area you want to cut - as long as you have your nippers pointed in the right direction. So you can do curves in a series of little straight lines and it does them beautifully. This was REALLY surprising to me.... I thought it was gonna look choppy and like crap - but you can see in the pics - with a tiny bit of smoothing with a file they will be a perfect curve.

NOTE. Now - I remember that I read this in my research. But, Rich has been known to point out that I have a habit of doing the research, reading the material, and then totally forgetting some of the most pertinent things i was supposed to absorb. Now in the research I NOW recall them saying that the little pieces and shards of tile which you have trimmed off will be sharp. (Have you ever heard of a soft snuggly shard?) If I had remembered this I would probably trimmed them over, say, a trash receptacle. Rather than all over the place where I was sitting and working. So - there was a brief commercial break while I bled - and then back in business. (Yes I vacuumed). It was a tiny little finger cut people, don't fuss.

So then I moved off the base and used the premixed Thinset. Yes I read the directions. And it involved the notched trowel - and we all remember that I was pretty good with that. So - that went dandy. And then I squished the tile down (you're supposed to kind of turn them a little back and forth so they grip the goo (yup, Joel gets more goo)) and used the little plastic spacer dudes. The whole thing took about an hour (tile trimming, bleeding, squishing together) - which wasn't at all bad I thought for my first attempt. It has to dry for 24 hours - so I don't get to grout until tomorrow. Here are pics so - far. The bummer is that I didn't calculate enough of the border tiles - so the whole thing isn't complete. But it's a prototype - use your imagination, darnit.

SPACER INVADERS. dsc_0719.jpg

WITH THE WALLPAPER IT'S SUPPOSED TO GO WITH (although it's tough to see that the EXACT brown matches and looks awesome) dsc_0721.jpg

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So that pretty much was my work day. I had to get ready for a phone meeting I had with two writers in NY for this musical we're working on - so I had to listen to their latest stuff and make notes. And now it's pretty much sleepy time. But - at least things haven't come to a GRINDING halt without Rich. The brakes are faulty - but we're not at a complete stand still :) Tomorrow - Grout.

Yours. Lonely-ly. (I know - waaaaahhhh). Jo Jo.