Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Becca!

Happy Birthday to the best littlest sister ever!  Hope you have a marvelous day and the Easter Bunny also treats you well!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Estate Sale Luck!

There was an estate sale in the neighborhood this weekend.  A woman died and had at least three generations of things stuffed into the place. We aren't sure about the family, other than the husband was in the Navy (our neighborhood was called Admiral Row at one point because of the order for Naval officers to live near the Naval Observatory, before it became the Vice President's home).  HE passed away some time ago but she died just recently, at the grand old age of 93.  

The couple traveled the world, as there were numerous things form Japan, Egypt, China, and Europe.  Beautiful sterling silver, some Tiffany vases (oh to have the money to buy one!), and some fun knick-knacks.  

We purchased a very sweet little clay milk jug along with a small china bowl and dish made by Jens Peter Dahl- Jensen.

Will spotted another lovely bowl with turquoise glaze on the inside and nice oriental pattern on the outside.  It has a really interesting hallmark on the bottom but we have no idea how to research it.


He also spotted a really pretty copper pot that was marked as coming from Egypt.  Both bowls are now holding orchids.

  For cheap we got another cheese scoop that we think is plated silver and no one had an idea what it was used for.  But*we* know.  

 We got a fun map of DC depicting Washington at the time of Mr. Lincoln's assassination. It has been rolled up for so long that I can't get a good photo-- you will have to wait until it framed.

But we think that the crowing glory of the day is the discovery of this rubbing of the dancing Apsara, which are nypmhs are spirits of the clouds and water in Buddhism and Hinduism.  We saw them as decoration on the walls of the temples in Angkor Wat.  We think that the it is a rubbing from some Southeast Asian temple-- the dancers are on onion paper.  

It is a really clear rubbing so we are pleased.  

The ladies are obviously Asian and the frame is from Naples, so who knows how old it is or from where these ladies hail from, but they are in our living room now. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Even More Progress

 Today we have a color on the walls and water in the toilet.  

There is water in the bowl!
The color is "carriage house" from Pratt and Lambert and it looks really nice with the tile.  Another great thing about painting is that the nasty turquoise colored ceiling is gone!  It is a proper white ceiling-- and it makes the whole room feel fresh and open.

The worry with the grey is that it can be too brown, too green, too purple, or too blue.  This color seems to lean towards the blue grey, but it works really well with the varying colors of the tile.

The linen closet is painted and the trimmed out and now you can tell that it doesn't go all the way to the ceiling.  While this was not my choice, I do think that it will be a nice feature.  We just have to figure out what is going up there: a plant? a statue? We also have to figure out who will dust up there.

The alcove has been tiled with the thinset and left to dry before installing.  I think that they will cut the hole for it on Monday, and finish tiling the shower.  Grout will be applied on Tuesday for that wall and I guess on Wednesday, we will get the shower head and tub faucet.

The toilet is a Kohler toilet, in the Memoirs style.  It looks very pretty and even though there is water in the bowl, no one has flushed it yet.

And in the stairwell, the hole in the plaster has been patched with drywall and spackle.  Drying for the rest of the weekend, it will be ready for sanding on Monday.  Sigh. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Moving Forward

Well, after several phones, meeting in person, and an intermediary, we seem to be back on track.  Things are not comfortable, but things are moving again.  The biggest issue of no water supply line to the toilet has now been rectified as well. Not by tearing out the newly tiled wall-- oh no, why would you do that?-- but by tearing a hole in the stairwell wall to get access to the pipes and drill into the tile from behind.


T-joint from the new cooper for the sink with the newer cooper for the toilet.
Our newest hole in the wall
So, it seems that we have made progress instead of tile replacement it is plaster repairment, which the contractor claims is easier.

Also, the insert came for the alcove and they have begun tiling that inset.  Tomorrow--yes, they have worked every Saturday for three weeks-- they will cut the hole in the shower for this and place it into the wall. 
alcove insert with some tile set

Is it over yet? Stirling asks

In the meantime, the grout has been done all around the tiles: the floor, the tub, the walls. It is looking quite nice, but since there is no vapor barrier, I am worried about it.  We will have to be quite diligent in resealing the tile yearly.

grouted tub area

grouted floor

 We also have progress in terms of the finishing work: door jams, trim, and mantels.  They have taken over several rooms of the house upstairs and at this point, if working on the weekend means that they finish one day sooner, than I think I can handle the mess that is the 2nd floor.

newly created mantel
doors hinge

closet area leading into the back guest rooms

middle guest room

front guest room


hallway trim

grouted and silicone sealed in the corners!

water supply line for the toilet

shower stall, minus the alcove

pencil tile

now this wall looks correct: water for the sink AND the toilet

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Where to start?

Things are not going well. Not at all. We are having some major issues with the contractor. Besides the fact he or his crew let Stirling out (and she walked herself to the dog park where a kind stranger called me to say he had her), or the broken framed poster, or the no vapor barrier around the tub ( which isn't absolutely necessary apparently but is a good idea), we thought we had been able to move past it all to get the job done.

Now comes the request for more money to reframe a wall that we thought would be included in the contract under "frame walls." The leveling and reframing the floor. The rehanging of the door frame.

Then late last night the discovery that there is no water supply line for the toilet visible. There are pipes coming out of the wall for the sink but not the loo. Well, we lost it and are now trying to figure out our next move. Do we fire him now? Have him come and find the pipe for the loo and then fire him? Can we finish the rest ourselves? Should we rebid what is left?

So things aren't going well. Not at all.

Monday, March 18, 2013

More Tile & Doorway!

 More tile come added to the walls today.  They have added most of the tiles around the bathroom; just a few more rows needed here and there.  The tile-guy is doing a great job of mixing and matching the tiles so we don't have a clump of colors.  

We also now have a door frame and drywall in the hallway.  One door, versus the two, on that wall does make for a cleaner look. 
 We originally wanted the tile to go up the wall 40 inches, only to change that to 46 inches.  Now, the wall plug has to raised.  But then it will be even with the light switch.
 The cuts around the pipes for the sink are great.  It will look really clean and smooth with the pedestal sink.

We also have a completely framed in linen closet.  Just need to make the cuts for the access panels. 
 And the issue: no alcove for the soap and shampoo.  I didn't catch it and the workers forgot about it.  We think we have a solution: cutting an alcove on the wall with the shower head.  We have to get a very narrow and yet tall alcove and there won't be one for the tub.  Namely because the workers were unwilling to rip out tiles.  Don't ask.  We have had lots of issues with them, including one of them letting Stirling out (who took herself on a walk to the local dog park.), and so I am adding this to the list of why I won't recommend them. 

 Ceiling has been smoothed out and ready for the vent fan and a fresh coat of white ceiling paint. 

The project is winding down.  Will and I are excited that this will be the last project for a while that requires a construction crew.  The bathroom will look amazing.  Here's hoping it doesn't leak.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Japanese Irises

The Japanese irises are in full bloom in our front yard. Never getting more than 3 inches off the ground, they are at least beginning to spread out. They survived snowquester, which wasn't difficult considering there was only rain in DC. They seem to handling the chillier days in March so far. I think both the flowers and myself are waiting for the warmer weather

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Tile on the wall in the shower/tub stall

They have started tiling and you can get a great idea of what the whole room will look like.  We got a marble tile from Home Depot called "Grecian White"-- it has lots of greys in it as well-- and we opted for the 3" x 6" subway tiles all over the walls; 12" x 12" tiles on the floor; and capped off with a 12" long, rounded piece of pencil tile. 

Corner of tub

Linen Closet without the ceiling.
 The linen closet is also framed out and walled in, minus the ceiling.  It will be 7 feet tall, 26 inches wide, and 30 inches deep. It will be a very nice indeed!  We are trying to figure what shelving system we want in there (Ikea or Elfa) to maximize the storage space.

 Currently there is no grout on the walls, just the tile glue for the walls.  Is it glue?  Whatever that stuff is that makes the tiles stick to the walls.  Eventually, they will grout everything with a white grout and I am hoping that it will be look more like one piece of marble versus a million little tiles.

7 Feet of Tile

Tile in process

Pencil trim, beveled on the side, waiting to be joined up with another piece.

Done! The pencil trim marks the edging the tub/shower stall as well.

 We also now have the bathroom wired up-- we are just missing light fixtures and witch plates!   We will have one light switch for the overhead, one for the vanity light, and a third of the fan.
Wires in place
 They also have put up the wall board for the sink/toilet wall.  Where the green board ends is basically where the tile will end.

 Just close up of the tile around the window.