January 22, 2012

Free at last!

The great thing about -29C is that when the temperature finally hits -3 it feels like a heatwave. The dogs actually WANT to be outside, so today was a good day to let off some of their pent up energy. You can see it in their eyes. "Can we go now...now? Huh? We're ready...can we go? How 'bout now?"

As absolutely adorable as Gotham is (new babies always steal the limelight), we wouldn't want to forget the real star of the show. 

Besides, as you can clearly see from the expression on Rory's face, Gotham has a lot to learn. "Really? Doesn't he know the ground is too cold for stalking? Make him stop, he's embarrassing me."

It really is a beautiful day.

And Gotham, at seven months, is finding his feet. And his legs. The playing field is leveling out for those wrestling matches and chasing Rory.

January 7, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Or, back in the mortar bucket...

Didn't quite get finished the backsplash installation today. And what do you know? It's time for supper but the stove is out of commission for now. Guess we're going out.

I'm thinking steak. And red wine. Oh, right, and finishing off the rest of the backsplash tomorrow, including the pretty pencil tiles at the top of the shorter runs. Grout will have to wait until later in the week.

January 2, 2012

Sealing Tile

Ahhh...2012. The tools having been put away and out of sight for the 23 days since the open house, it's now time to get back on with things. Things, in our case, being finishing up those last pesky bits of trim, molding and tiling on the main floor. Drats.

I'm easing myself back into it. Today's adventure was limited to sealing tile (different of course, from ceiling tile). This soft limestone will be the backsplash behind the stove and the trim around the rest of the counter-top.

Yah, limestone. The thing with natural stone like this it's soft and is prone to pitting and wearing if it comes into contact with acid (think lemon juice, tomatoes...) so it needs to be sealed. It's not something I would use as a countertop material, but with care it will make a beautiful backsplash. 

The pale grey of the stone by itself is gorgeous, but to get the full effect of limestone you really need to use an enhancing sealer so that it retains the wet look that highlights the variations and fossils.

The enhancer takes it from nice, but vanilla, to wow.  Above and below are the same tiles - before and after sealing. The variations in the stone really come forward and the colour is even richer.

And why put the sealer on before I've even installed the tile? Experience. The sealer is drippy stuff, trying to apply it on a vertical surface would be a serious pain. The other reason is that if you've got the stone sealed before you install it any thinset or grout that gets on the face of the tile is easy enough to wipe away if the pores are sealed.