Tub Tiling 101

This past Friday Carl turned teacher and walked me through Tub Tiling 101. Our recycled tiles from Re-Store are looking pretty neat and much more interesting than just one color. This past weekend I was in Bellingham so I picked up more tiles to complete the job. All the tiles were called 4" but the measurements differed a bit. Plus, with the mixed colors, textures, varying degrees of gloss, and thickness we're hoping they'll look a little more irregular and handmade once grouted. They were placed completely randomly. This isn't a fancy bathroom so it's a great place to learn the fine art of tile setting and to experiment with materials and techniques. For a low budget solution, recycled tiles are great and are a huge improvement over the plastic tub panels frequently used.


Tiling the Bathroom

For tiling our bathroom, Brad went to the Re-Store in Bellingham
and picked out white and off-white tiles (5 cents per tile) for a
mosaic of whites. Here's our uninstalled assortment. Carl
Magnusson is going to get me
started with the tiling process
later in the week.

Finishing Off Our Barn's Bed & Bath

The oh-so.sweet siding and window detail

The chicken-shit siding, yet to be painted

Here Comes the Hot Water

Our Rinnai On-Demand Hotwater Unit

Propane line under pressure and ready for hookup

Recycled Wood Used in a Million Ways...

The 2x8's we purchased from a Tacoma Warehouse and the large beams we purchased from a Seattle Warehouse are serving us well:

Monster sawhorses

Swing Seat

Shop workbench and shelving

Temporary bridge across ditch




Rafters, purlins & beams


Beams cut into thin strips for paneling

2x8's milled for siding


Douglas Fir

Our barn, constructed of recycled wood
(mostly Douglas Fir) is nicely placed behind
two beautiful Douglas Fir trees.

Photos by Brad

Bringing Order to the Construction Site

Fran & Ed work the ground
-- weeding, moving soil and backfilling
behind the foundation walls.

Ed moving soil uphill is a huffer-puffer
(Or, who needs a health club?)

Fran weeding. Our two recycled windows for
the guesthouse are in the background.

Monochromatic Barn Shot

Photo by Brad


Kent -- a very welcome helping hand

Brad's long-time friend, Kent, is joining Brad to work on our project two days a week. Brad and Kent have worked together before, with the most noteworthy project being a huge remodel on Kent's home on Martin Luther King Way in Seattle. We're delighted to have both Kent's charm and building expertise on site. Travis is leaving at the end of the week to move to Spokane; Abe left last week for Evergreen State College. They'll both be missed -- especially Abe's singing-on-the-job and Travis' unfailingly calm demeanor.


Labor Day Party

The neighborhood's Labor Day party includes watching the goat milking operation

celebrating Eric's birthday

and eating well

Plumbing -- slow, tedious and annoying!

Building small can also mean minute tolerances , cramped spaces, and constricted working conditions. Smashed fingers and bumped heads mix it up with angry words and short tempers. We'll be glad to be done with this part of the project.


an Americorp volunteer at the Island Coffee House & Books uses the shop to work on finishing up the posts for the coffee house sign.


Nasty Work!

Ed has been insulating the ceiling and I've been doing the walls. We'll love the warmth this winter but right now, this job is horrible!

Doors, Doors and More Doors!

Scraping, sanding, painting...