6/24/14

Full Bathroom Reno Day 18: How to Grout with a Grout Bag and Paint the Shower Ceiling

You may have noticed a lack of bathroom renovation posts here on the blog, and that's because we haven't worked on it for nearly a couple of weeks, for extenuating circumstances. We got back to work on it today, though.

We started to put up the pencils, which if you're not familiar, they look like this. But, due to the nature of our uneven natural stone, they weren't lining up. The idea of a pencil is to act as a trim, making a straight even line around the uneven natural stone. But in our case, it wouldn't have been even so we decided not to go through with it. Instead, we are going to finish the edges with caulk, like a typical shower surround.

Next, we decided to fill in a gap near the ceiling on one of the tiled walls.

filling in gaps with stacked stone tile

On the other two walls we tiled up to the ceiling, but on this first wall we stopped a little short. It was the first wall we did, and we assumed we needed to leave room for caulk, but it was a bit too much room. So, Jake cut tiny slivers of the tile and we filled in the gaps with those.

install stacked stone tile

We let the thinset dry, then we grouted the two corner lines. We decided to use a grout bag, to pipe it in the cracks easier. We chose unsanded grout, because our lines were less than 1/8".

grout and grout bag

how to mix grout

We mixed the grout per instructions, but I will note that if you're using a grout bag, it's a lot easier if the grout is more on the runny side. We did one seam with grout that was a thicker consistency, and one with grout that was a thinner consistency, and it was a ton easier with the thinner grout. With the grout bag, you simply pipe it into the cracks just like you were icing a cake.

how to grout with grout bag

After we grouted the seams, we smoothed it with these caulk tools to great a nice line.

grout stacked stone tile

grout stacked stone tile

In these photos the grout is reading lighter than it reads in person. In person, it blends beautifully.

After we grouted, I painted two coats on the ceiling of a water and mold resistant paint. In hindsight, it would have been a lot smarter to paint it before we tiled, but live and learn.


We were ready to seal the tile, but I read on the instructions that you must wait 72 hours after any grout application to seal it, so we are waiting. After that, we can caulk around all of the edges, secure the hardware, and be done! Yay! I'm very happy to be at this point.

6/23/14

On Saving Things

I have found so much joy in the kitchen lately, and it is due to my "new" cutting board. There are quotation marks around new because it's new, but it's not. I bought it around five months ago with a birthday gift card. I just started using it about three weeks ago.

wood grain cutting board

Why? I was saving it. I do that with most of my new or nice things; do you? But here's the question, what exactly am I saving it for?

wood cutting board onions habeneros

Yes, it's a beautiful cutting board with lovely graining, color, and details in the wood. But it's a cutting board. It was purchased with a given gift card. And, it is intended to use for cutting things!

chopped onions wood cutting board

For five months, it has been in my skinny cutting board cabinet with all of my other cutting boards that I actually use. It was tucked away, buried in the cabinet. I was saving it because I loved it and didn't want to mess it up, but wasn't it an even bigger travesty to not use it? Better to love it and use it than never mess it up and keep it tucked away forever, for fear of ruining it.

chopped habenero wood cutting board

Here's the beauty: I actually love it even more now with the hundred little knife marks in it. It's rustically beautiful. I get to use it on a daily basis, and I enjoy it the entire time I'm using it. When I look at it or use it, it creates happiness. And, who doesn't need a little extra happiness in their day?

rustic cutting board

Life is a celebration. Let's treasure and celebrate each moment, even if that means messing up a perfectly good cutting board.

6/18/14

Baking: Mason Jar Shaped Cookies

Every year for Mother's and Father's Day, Jake and I always get a little something "from the dogs". Usually it's a cute card with a dog on it and a note from Tex and Charlie, and they sign it. In past, I've used ink and stamped their paw print on them, and Jake's drawn pictures of the boys. It's always something fun and silly.
 
mason jar cookies

I had a little extra dough from the beer shaped cookies, so I made Jake some cookies. He had to work when we celebrated Father's Day, so he didn't get any of those cookies. I left one at home for him, but I think someone couldn't help himself and ate it. (I'm looking at you, Tex.) So of course, Tex was apologetic and asked me to make some more.

mason jar shaped sugar cookie
 
One of my friends shares my love for mason jars and gifted me a mason jar cookie cutter some time ago as a thank you. I thought it would be fun to make cookies and say thanks for being an "a mason" dad! 

sugar cookie shaped like mason jar

This time, it was a lot easier to roll out the dough. I think I learned my lesson last time- you have to press down on the dough hard with the rolling pin bit by bit until it's mostly flattened, and then roll it out. So if you use this recipe, make sure to do that. All in all it was a happy ending, Jake loved his cookies and Tex was reprieved. That silly pup!