Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lauren's 10th Birthday

It's Lauren's 10th birthday today and she's now joined the double digit club age group.  No more single digit birthdays,  Kevin says he now has two "double digit midgets", with both Hannah and Lauren.  Cameron's a bit too tall to fit in that category.

We had a quiet day celebrating at home.  Lauren wanted McDonald's for lunch, so we picked that up. Grandma and Poppie came over later for cake and ice cream, and for opening presents.

Opening her presents

Hannah played happy birthday for Lauren on her violin

One of the gifts she wanted is the movie Big Hero 6, so we'll be watching that for movie night tonight.  She's currently busy with Hannah playing with some of her new craft items.   Baba and Grandpa called from California to wish her a happy birthday. All in all it's been a good day.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Fireplace Update 4 - Airstone Installation

The progress on this phase of the fireplace, has taken a bit longer with Kevin's time and schedule having to be divided with work and school projects, so he actually accomplished a lot in a relatively short amount of time, when he did have the time to work on the fireplace.

After going to Lowe's in Port Orange to pick up the Airstone, we made a trip to a local stone yard to choose some thinner pieces of stone in color assortments we liked and would work with the colors in the Airstone.  After sorting through all the bins, we took a couple of carts and picked out our stones, then took them to be weighed and check out.  Once home we hosed the dirt off them and brought them inside to lay out in possible positions covering the brick on the hearth.

Found our stones at Pebble Junction in Sanford

Some of our stones drying after being sprayed to clean.  Love some of the colors in these.

Once we made sure we'd have enough to cover the space, I took a picture for reference then removed them and stacked them behind the couch. Now it was time to start installing the Airstone.  The instructions recommend beginning from the bottom up, so the stones can support the ones above them as the adhesive dries.  The problem with that is the uneven base and wanting to make sure everything was level.  To make sure the stones didn't slide down the wall before the adhesive set we had to create a makeshift brace to hold the heavier pieces in place until they were dry enough to stay put. Kevin's level, a spare piece of wood and our antique ash box did the trick.

Stones laid out to begin to get an idea of how they might work, then we'll have to cut some to fit just right.
First Airstone going up

Adhesive gets "buttered" on the back

Our low tech support system for the stones

As I mentioned above Kevin had to work on this project as his schedule allowed, but when he got busy on this he made progress very quickly.

All that's needed to cut the Airstones is a hacksaw, though a masonry blade on a chop saw would be easier on the arms!

The first side's almost done along with the top rows

Almost done

TA DA!!!

With the Airstone now in place our next step is to lay the stones on the hearth, then it will be time to build the mantel.

We'll have to fill the gaps in the base on each side made when we removed the old fireplace

Stone hearth pieces stacked behind our couch waiting for installation

We're liking the results so far.