Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Grout it out

So you tiled your backsplash. Did a celebratory dance, and settled down with a glass of vino. After pausing for 24 hours(ish...read the box!), it's time to GROUT! This is my favorite task, IMMEDIATE satisfaction. Tile without grout is like Chipotle without the Guac. Still tastes good but you KNOW it's missing something good. 


I went with the whitest white the grout came in (Bright White) in an Unsanded grout. HERE'S the deal, SANDED grout is sturdier, good for large grout lines. BUT, there is sand in it, which when spread on my dear glass COULD scratch it. So that ain't gunna happen. Also, my grout lines were small enough (I made sure) to fall in the Unsanded category.

Grout can come in a pre-mixed container, it's a little harder to find Unsanded in premixed, so I had to mix my own - NBD. Make sure you mix enough for the entire backsplash, ESPECIALLY if you have a funky grout color. Grout colors can vary depending on how much water you add in each box.

THEN all I did was smear it everywhere (even my hands! = no photos), let it sit for a few minutes and use a sponge to GENTLY wipe the excess off. I went back a few times with the sponge getting rid of the after-haze...and VOILA!







I didn't ground the bottom line, I used a silicon caulk to seal it up. Pro tip: they put $$ silicon caulk in the tile isle, go to the paint isle for the cheap (and JUST as good) stuff!




Thursday, May 14, 2015

Installing a Back Splash [and cutting weird pieces]

THE BACKSPLASH, it's in! The kitchen is ONE more step closer to being FINISHED. You can rest easy now!

If you recall, I chose Loft Sea Foam green glass tile from the Tile Bar. The tile came a little less than a week later and I was READY to roll. I picked up a tub of thinset and a trowel from HD. They have some un-mixed thinset as well (it's cheaper). I went pre-mixed this time incase I couldn't finish it in one night (spoiler: I DID).

This was actually super easy to work with, i'd defiantly go pre-mixed next time.
Typically when tiling, you spread the thinset over a large area and set the tiles in that area - which works for about 90% of spaces. At times, a trowel juuuuust won't fit into an area. So that's when you BACKBUTTER, like below. Apply the thinset on a piece of tile and smoosh it into place. Depending on your area, this might be the easiest way to go. I used this method for about 60% of the backsplash.


I staggered my pattern to show off my mad tile skillz (JK, it just looks better). WHICH meant i'd need to cut a bunch of pieces in half. I used TWO different cutting methods for the backsplash (and took photos of 0! Go me!). I used a score and break method for all of the edge pieces. Since my tiles are glass, cutting can be trickier than with a ceramic - but I didn't seem to have an issue with this method.


Where I ran into a problem was around the outlet, kinda hard to score and break a piece like this:


What I ended up doing was whipping out a wet saw (for glass tile, you need a super special ($$) diamond blade) and made a billion cuts in a row to etch out an area for the outlet. 



SEE how the tile PERFECTLY wraps around the outlet?! Also, USB outlets FTW!

And my countertops turned red?



The tile looks like 3 different colors in the last few photos, sneaky chameleon tile! The whole project took me 4.5 hours - next up GROUT!


Friday, May 8, 2015

The Hapiary

Apiary: A place where bees are kept

YOU GUYS. This past weekend I became the owner of about 5,000 BEES!

But lemme back up...

SO, after I assembled the hive, I brought it over to my parents house. Because what parent doesn't want their child's bee farm on their land?! The City of Eagan changed their views on bees this past year and is allowing urban beekeeping (just in time!). So, I filled out the permit, drew some pretty maps and had a VERY nice gentleman come out and inspect the location. He gave it a thumbs up mere DAYS before picking them up *wipes sweat from brow*.

My fasha cleared a nice path for the bees to navigate through the jungle towards the water (a water source is critical for happy bees) - everything was set up, we just needed the bees!


Early Saturday morning we high tailed it out to Dresser, Wisconsin.   It's best to pick up bees in the early morning (before they fly away to get some grub) or around dusk (when they come home from work). I bought my nuc + queen through Rushfeldt Apiaries. Sarah (a young lass raising bees since she was a tyke) was out tending to all 400+(!!) of her bee hives when we showed up. The boy made a baller vid of our trek east CHECK IT OUT HERE!


Once we got home, we suited up to place the bees in their home!

Beekeeping Selfie!
I stopped by earlier this week to check on them and make sure they liked their new digs - all is well!



Now go plant some flowers so these babies can pollinate!