Thursday, June 17, 2010

Penny Floor Update

So the short answer is this:
we quit.
After the hundreds of hours that it took to do the dressing room "test area" we decided that our time might be better spent pursuing other adventures (ask us about WonderlandMaxine, Dear, or Tigertree Ranch).  You can still come in, try some stuff on and check it out.

One unintended perk is that people seem to loose a lot of change in there.  Score.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

our kitchen is on modwalls' website!

I was on Modwalls' website today looking for some tile for the entryway and saw that they posted the pictures of our kitchen!
We're the EXAMPLE kitchen!  So exciting!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Painted Stairs

When we ripped the carpet off the stairs (about 2 years ago) , it revealed some wood that was pretty beat up.  Its all scrathed and has adhesive stuck to it.  The plan is to sand and paint.
We love our house, but we don't plan on being here forever.  So when we do anything to the house it is important to keep in mind that it cannot be too personal.  For instance, we are working on the entryway right now and I really want to do a bright rug pattern out of 1 square inch glass mosaic tiles.  Instead, I think we will do grey tiles.  I also have dreams about what I want to do to the stairs:

But they will probably be white. 
Maybe all of this self editing is good though.  When we do have a forever home it might end up looking like a fun house. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tiny Branding Iron Excitement

There seems to be an increasing amount of cross pollination between our home blog and our store blog.  So I'll keep this short but, like the penny floor, it could have some fun home applications.
Browsing Not Cot one day (which you should do if you aren't) I found Shape Ways, which does 3D printing of almost anything imaginable.  Actually, if you are way smarter than me and can do the design side, you can take away the almost and you have known about this for a while.   You also probably call what they use a CNC machine, but I call it a Star Trek box.  As a side note to what is already turning into a tangent Electrolux went even more Star Trek and made a food printer
Now these obviously work well for a store but I think they have tons of other applications as well.   A family crest on an old newel post or a wall paper pattern coffee table you are refinishing.  As a thank you for letting you know about tiny branding irons, use the comment section to tell Niki she should let me buy a CNC printer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Entryway (sucks)

This horrible entryway has been haunting us since we moved into the house.  I have had plans to rip up the linoleum and replace it with slate for some time.  I had peeked under the linoleum before and saw a subfloor.  I was thinking that I would pull up the top layer, put down the slate and then add some sort of threshhold.
it occured to me yesterday that the linoleum, and thus the subfloor, were probably added when the house was carpetted back in the 70's.  Which would mean that there was some original flooring under that subfloor. So, all I needed to do was just pull up the "new" stuff, to expose the original and that would be a huge improvement. 
When I took that picture of the old entryway last night I was thinking that this would be the first project on the house that ended up being easier, cheaper and faster than planned.

I pulled up the subfloor to expose hundreds of these nasty little saw things. 
These little bastards do not want to come out of the boards.  From what I can tell, these came as part of the subfloor stuff so that some lazy contractors 40 years ago could just put it down, pound the crap out of it, and bingo, subfloor.  But when I ripped that stuff up, these stayed.  And now that I am trying to pull them up, they are still staying.  I mean, like, really staying.  They laugh in the face of my hammer and pliers.  
So now I am back to slate.  Thanks house. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Motorcycles Are Heavy

Last week, Jason and I carried my CB175 down to the basement.  This picture is very upsetting because it does not show how steep or slippery my basement steps are, or how heavy a 1973 CB 175 is.  It does accurately portray the fact that Ben was not there... 
I have been saying I am going to start tearing this thing down for a rebuild for months now, so I am excited to finally get to work on it.  I know it is not a home renovation, but I think posting about anything we aren't qualified to do on here is applicable.
If you ever wonder how I manage to get so many work/tool related injuries, my workshop is a good indication.  
Every bolt/mirror/nut/cable had not been touched for years.  I got this thing from the second owner with 2,100 miles on it.  He claims it had been stored "in his garage" since then, though the leaves and rust tell a different story.   The clutch is shaped mysteriously too as it had "never been dropped."  All of this creates some stubborn hardware. 

So the hope is to get it stripped, bead blasted, painted and rebuilt by spring. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Safe Dishwasher

When you buy your first house everyone tells you about crazy things that will happen that you could never have been prepared for, but are forced to deal with.  I don't mean like your house getting broken into, or even a furnace breaking down when its 15 degrees, I think most people have an expectation that that sort of thing is going to occur from time to time.  I mean those curve ball problems.  We noticed an odd, almost electrical fire, smell when we walked in after being away from home for a week.  While we were busy walking miles and miles of trade shows in Vegas to make Tigertree better, our dishwasher was running, presumably the whole time.
A lot of issues arise from a dishwasher running for 144 hours straight.  First, we are expecting really high utility bills this month.  Second, even dishwasher safe products (like dishwashers for instance) don't hold up very well to a 6 day dose of hundred degree water.
Unfortunately a lot of our favorite kitchen gizmos, the top of our food processor and our wine saver corks were in there.  So we lost a ton of money in kitchen gadgets and have to buy a new dishwasher.  The upside though, is we get to document a dishwasher installation on the blog!  And if it is anything like my sink/faucet/disposal install (which I unfortunately did not chronicle) it should be pretty interesting.  Honestly, if your dishes are still dirty after 144 hours in the dishwasher, it is probably about time for an upgrade anyhow. 

The grates used to be white.
This is not photoshopped.  All of our plastic stuff melted in a similar fashion.
I feel like adding some "really, really"'s to the dishwasher safe line.


What we were doing while our house was almost burning down. 

 We love Canters at Treasure Island, but it is always empty.  This concerns us, so please go have the best ruben of your life next time you are in Vegas.  All of that hot sauce and mustard is in response to the awful cold I had all week.
If you were shrewed you would have noticed that Niki is sitting on the same side of the table as me.  Is this because:
a) We are one of those obnoxious couples that sits on the same side of the table at restaurants.
b) We are good photographers and the lighting was better there.
c)  We went to Canters two nights in a row.
Leave your answer in the comments.

New York, New York has this amazing giant claw machine.  I did not win an XBOX.

They also had this cotton candy machine.  Which we want for Tigertree.

Then we caravaned home with Obama.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Yesterday I grouted the test section.  It was messy and smelled kind of weird.
The grout is dry today and even though it hasn't been sealed yet, you are welcome to come by and walk on it.  It is a test section after all.  Once we get the sealer on and put the baseboards back and everything is the way it should be, I will post a picture of the finished product!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Test Section

My dad caught wind of our penny flooring project a few days ago and gave me a call. I should explain that my dad is a master of all trades.. if anything really catastrophoic with the economy/world in general ever happens, my brother and I are grabbing our loved ones in Columbus and heading up to my parents house. My dad could build us a dwelling to live in with plumbing/electric/etc that could run on air or something, he could raise lifestock and produce to eat and then make a mean meal from it.

Anyway, that said, when dad calls and raises concerns about a project you are doing, you listen.
He pointed out some mistakes that we might be making and pleaded for us to do a test section. He wanted us to wait a year and see how the floor held up.. we are going to give it a couple of weeks.

We glued down the first 64 square feet in the dressing room area today. I thought it would take about 2 hours. I left after 4 and asked Josh to finish that last two rows. Turns out that our squares tiles don't quite line up. Honestly, I'm not totally sure why. If you found our blog because you are wanting to do a penny floor and are looking for tips, sorry, I have nothing.

Anyway, the tiles are down. The next step is to grout and then we will either use some sort of poly or wax to coat the top to protect the pennies from moisture. I think the look will change quite a bit when we grout since the adhesive is white and the grout will be black. The pennies are standing out quite a bit right now as individual pieces, our hope is that the finished product will stand on its own as a big complete picture. Like when you walk in the store you say "This is a nice looking floor... Oh! It's pennies! I didn't even notice!" That's how it is going in my dreams anyway.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Put your money where your flooring is

**This project has nothing to do with our house, but I think people who enjoy reading about how we rip things apart in our house will be interested in this renovation project and plus I'm going to complain about it a lot which just seems uncouth on Tigertree's blog.

We decided a while ago that we were going to tile the whole store with pennies. We have been collecting pennies from our very generous customers for a few months now and by the time we realized that we were in way over our heads, it was too late to turn back.
Obviously it would take too long to lay out each individual penny at the shop, so we thought we could really save some work time there by assembeling square foot tiles of the pennies here at home. We ordered some tile mesh (like the stuff that connects any small tiles when you buy them) which arrived Wednesday and we went straight to work.

We tried a bunch of different ways to attach the pennies to the tile mesh, but after a few hours, a complicated multi-step approach was all we could come up with. I remember something from my lean manufacuring classes about how efficiency goes decreases by some multiple every time the product has to be touched. We are touching the hell out of each of these 200,000 pennies.

Touch 1: Unwrapping

Have you ever been frustrated with a shop clerk that has to open a new roll of change during your transaction? Its so hard to get the paper to start to come off, and then the change gets all stuck at both ends. We have about 3,500 rolls to unwrap. Theres a few days of work that we didn't count on.

Touch 2: Spacing

The pennies have to be layed out in uniform rows so that the tiles we are making will line up properly. The template we made holds something like 175 pennies, and two sets of those make up one square foot.

Touch 3: Taping

After the pennies are laid out they need to be transfered to the mesh. We do this by taping them down in rows of three to lift them off the template.

Touch 4: Glue Application

We are using contact cement to adhere the pennies to the mesh. The fun thing about contact cement is that it need to be applied to both sufraces that it is going to join. So we have to first roll it onto the mesh itself (which by the way came in two giant rolls that need to be cut into 1 foot squares)and then roll it onto the pennies. Wait half an hour and get a huge headache from the fumes and then you put the two together.

Touch 5: Sticking
Once the cotact cement is dry, the penny strips can be lined up on the mesh. Five strips per square.

Touch 6: Untaping
After the bond between the mesh and the pennies is secure, the tape needs to be removed. You might say that this isn't a touch since it just involves the tape. You would be right if about a quarter of the pennies didn't decide to stick onto the tape instead of the mesh at which point I have to pull them off and set them individually.

And that's it! Now you are 1/750th of the way done!

We need about 750 square feet. We started on Wednesday and have been working pretty much non stop. We have almost 100 square feet done. And to make it all HGTV, the Alive is supposed to be coming next weekend to do a story on the finished product.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Here are some better photos of the kitchen. I am making Chicken Pot Pie.. this could be like Rachel Ray's kitchen, no?

We found a couch at the Grandview Merchantile that is basically like a huge bed that is acceptable to have in your living room. Needless to say, we had no choice but to buy it.

I made Rufus wear boots on our walk today. He doesn't really like wearing boots. Weird, eh?

Oh and I should mention.. the door. I almost didn't notice it in the picture because it has been something like two months that it has been there. We had a little incident and had to have a custom door made for our crazy old house. Lowes keeps saying it should be here any day now. Oh well, half the drawers in the kitchen are still missing, what's some plywood on the door? Hooray home ownership!

tiles, cows and dogs

So the kitchen is ALMOST done. Its only been about a year and a half, now. In our defence, though, we do own a store that sucks up a lot of our creative and phyisical energy. For holiday Josh reinstalled his vegas inspired Tiger-christmas-tree.

I did the other half of of the window with these cute vintage birds. I tried to find a balance between the birds fluttering about in a Cinderella sort of way, interacting with the manicans without being too Hitchcock-y.

We did manage to get some house stuff done though. Dad came over to help me install the million pound microwave/hood over the stove. Josh and a few handy friends put in a new sink and faucet (two faucets actually since the first one (from Ikea) ended up being broken.)
I tiled the kitchen backsplash. Josh wanted to be super cheap and get crappy tiles, but I fought for these glass mosaics from Modwalls and won. The blend is called City Sunshine and I think its perfect.

Also, and I realize that these are not really renovations or anything, but the house got some nice gifts for Christmas.
Josh got me this gaurd dog for the front porch. June is super jealous and barks at it everytime we go outside.

I got Josh the cowhide rug that he was been asking to buy for years now. The gift was no so much the actual rug, but the permission to have it in our house. Its growing on me, though.

The next big thing on the list is to get the firplace working. I would like to set a date for that for accountability. Lets say a week. Yes, we will have a fireplace in a week. I will keep you posted.