Saturday, August 24, 2013

Painting, the New Caffeine

So last night at the open house at the bead store, all I could think about was being horizontal and at least slightly unconscious, but as I got home I realized that if (a) I was going to spend all day Saturday grouting and (b) I wanted to paint the fireplace wall, the painting might be better served by doing it first thereby ensuring its completion because otherwise it'll be another week with the family room furniture jammed into the living room and I don't think I can stand it any longer.
 Turns out that painting a brick wall (and remind me to never do it again because OMG the tedium of not being able to use a paint roller) is pretty invigorating. So much so that I had a hard time falling asleep when it was over, even though it was somewhat past the bedtime that is my wont when I'm not exhausted. Go figure.
 Of course I had an audience.
 There were attempts at active participation. This guy just climbed up and down all night long. Who knew cats liked these things? The primary cat though? Not even slightly interested in the equipment. Her contribution to the effort was to complain that I wasn't giving her enough attention.

Of course I wasn't.
 When I woke up this morning and hung the stuff back on the wall and attached the new switch-plate (the finish of which - brushed nickel according to the packaging - might force me to replace the brassy fireplace doors. Or not) I looked upon my work and saw that it was pretty good (though not perfect, but it does match the new tiles pretty well and doesn't clash with the Roman shades, so that's a plus) and it was evening and it was morning of the first day of this home improvements weekend. (Why yes, this stuff is making me feel pretty powerful, why do you ask?)
 He likes it too.

The grouting really isn't as onerous as I'd been led to believe. I think I mixed the bag of grout successfully (because yes, it was the consistency of peanut butter, toothpaste and/or cookie dough) but here's my gripe.
When you use the Power of the Interwebs to collect hints and tips about grouting, there seems to be a decent consensus on the opinion that you should mix only the amount of grout you can use in half an hour, because otherwise it starts to set up, and I can attest to the truthiness of the time for the grout to harden: it was a bit more than half an hour, but quite a bit less than the amount of time I'd have needed to actually use it all. Like half the time I would have needed.

So it being the case that you should not mix an entire twenty-something pound bag of grout all at once, why is it that it's impossible to divide up the bag with anything resembling accuracy so as to mix up only useful amounts?

You try and figure out how much is left in the bag when you start pouring and it !fwumps! out into the bucket in a cloud of noxious fine particulates. (Yes, I was wearing a respirator). I know that two quarts of water is good for one twenty-something pound of grout, but I really don't have a scale in my backyard with which to measure out fractions of a bag of grout.

So it's possible that if much of what I mixed were not in fact a hard crumbly mess in the bucket that I would be finished with the grouting as we speak, but in truth my back has kinda given out and so it turns out that it might be better that I did not spend a few more hours today on my hands and knees, wrangling grout into cracks.

It's actually somewhat energetic work. Not difficult, but it's work.

Meanwhile during the week I made an earring as a sample for the class I taught on Tuesday:
Yup, just the one. I'll get to its mate later. Sometime.

Yesterday I bumped into one of the students from the class who told me how much she's enjoying the project - it's a chain of motifs like in the earring (sort of), joined one to the next as you go. It's a really simple project which eats twin beads and fire-polished beads like breaking the Fast, and I guess I'm often surprised which designs particularly do it for a beader. The things that I get juiced about are complex and clever and intricate, but I guess it's nice to bead for relaxation too.

I also finished my silk sweater and even though I really could have taken a somewhat better picture if I were not inside the sweater, I didn't, so my Proof of Finishedness isn't so picturesque.
It turned out pretty well. You can't really tell but it's a hip-length a-line swingy shape with sleeves in the same lace motif as in the front which reach almost to the elbows (but I might shorten them. I haven't decided if I love that length).

Tomorrow: Finish the Grout, dammit. I might paint the baseboards and the door to match the fireplace too.

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