Friday, February 10, 2017


The other day I was tiling and came across some issues that are worth remembering, so I've decided to stick them right here. 

There is something so clean and timeless about white subway tile.  I love the way it adds a touch of elegance to the most ordinary of kitchen spaces.  However, it would seem that I have forgotten some very important details about grouting this beautiful tile.  Grouting takes a lot longer than I think it's going to take.  I mix up too much and then feel pressured to finish it all so I don't waste it.

Recently, I installed some beautiful white subway tile in my kitchen renovation.  I finished about 4:00 in the afternoon.  Ambitious as I am, I figured I could nail out the grouting in a couple of hours so I began.  About 5:30 I started running out of steam.  I still had a bit of the mixture left so I continued spreading it.  Oh, I forgot to mention I was invited to my friends house for dinner.  So now I am rushing to wipe this stuff, that's already hardening, off.  My sponge was too tiny for the job and it was taking forever.  By 7pm I gave up.  I knew I'd have to come back with some better tools.

You can't procrastinate when it comes to cleaning grout.  The longer you wait the tougher it gets, literally.  I already knew it would be a tough job, because there was a blizzard on the way and it would be 2 days before I got back to this mess.

A couple days later, after we shoveled out, I looked around my house for something to dig the grout out without damaging the tile. My eyes settled on a tough plastic spoon that was my granddaughter's.  Armed with the spoon I went back to the project.  I wet the tile down good and started to dig out.  I'm not going to lie, it was lame and it took me an hour to do about 10 square ft.  I looked around for a better tool and noticed the wooden handled steel brush I use to clean my paint brushes.  I thought, "The end of this wooden handle seems pretty solid and about the right size and shape to do the job", and whoosh, off to the races.  This is working great!
So I am moving along quickly now feeling proud of myself for being so clever, when suddenly I noticed it was time to leave to go take care of my granddaughter, Skylyn.  Unfortunately, I still have one section of the wall left to do,  the whole left side.  The wooden handle isn't working so good anymore, so I look around once more for a solution.  I decided to gently try the 5 in one painter's tool even though it is metal.  I figure, I'll use the pointy end to break up the grout so it will be easier for me to work it tomorrow.  Low and behold both ends of the tool work fabulous without any damage to the tile! I was able to clean out all of the horizontal lines, now tomorrow all I have to do is the vertical ones, and clean it up!  

     The point of all this is:  
  1. Don't start grouting late in the afternoon
  2. Only mix small amounts at a time
  3. Clean up small sections as you go along and before continuing on to the next section
  4. Clean out the grout gently with the 5 in 1 painters tool before it cures
  5. Use a flat green dish scrubbing pad to clean up splotches and edges of tile.
     These few pointers will save you much hard labor.

Be Positive,


Tuesday, January 31, 2017


It's rehab time!  

I love working with tools, there is just something so satisfying about it.  I am going to give these cabinets a face lift.  I am using a product by Benjamin Moore called advance, it has amazing self leveling properties and they are coming along nicely in Rockport Gray.  One problem I did encounter was when filling in existing holes with putty, I needed to sand off as much as possible because I discovered the putty will show through on the final product.

A Work In Progress
 So I'm stuck at home today, the snow is rolling in and my shoulder blade is cramping up.  :(   I have a day off from watching the little one today and I have 3 more projects to tackle on the rehab before flooring goes in and getting it on the market.  It looks like Mother Nature won this round... Back at it tomorrow. 

Be Positive,

Monday, January 30, 2017


   Hello, My name is Kali Adair.  I can't really say where I'm from because I've lived so many places. Currently home is Rhode Island.  I inherited my love of woodworking and gardening from my grandpa Truman.  I learned how to be crafty from both my grandmother's Ruthlee and Louise.  And I learned to love all things farm from my grandpa Root's farm in New Hampshire.  My grandmother Ruthlee did all the walls in the house half way up with barn-board and filled it with the most beautiful antique, furniture, clocks, braided rugs and kitchenware.  I always felt that I was surrounded by the most interesting things that seemed to cultivate my spirit of adventure.  These are just some of the things that have shaped who I am today.

   I am a proud mother of three beautiful and talented children, Stephanie, Sophia and Kevin.  They are grown now so I am just settling into the next phase of my life that is a little different than I had been planning.  As my youngest child, Kevin, was finishing up his senior year of high-school and getting ready to go off to college, the news of a new addition to the family arrived and several months later I found myself holding this beautiful little grand-baby whom her mother, Sophia, named Skylyn. When you are holding one of these new bundles nothing else in the world seems to matter.  I chose to help my daughter with the care of Skylyn, in order that she be able to continue working and to build a foundation in which she and her baby could thrive in.To date I am so pleased to say this is so. They are thriving!  I am honored to be a full time grand-mom to this adorable, bubbly, energetic little girl, who at the time of this first blog is now 3 years and 8 months young.


   Skylyn and I spend our days looking for little adventures to add interest to the day to day routine. I love to hunt for old treasures as i go about and think up a cool way to bring life and usefulness to it again.  I rehab old homes, furniture and antiques as well as build new furniture.  My style varies between farmhouse, industrial, french country and modern.

   I prefer a simple neutral color palette and bring a room to life with architectural details like moldings and wall-art.  Pops of color come through various textiles and greenery.  That's classic and comfortable for me.

   Today I was constructing some shutters to go on a project I'm working on.  Since Skylyn was with me, I keep her entertained by assigning her own easy project.  I gave her a piece of 1x6 piece of pine about 9 inches long and set it on top of a rustic looking shim that was roughly 9x12.  I then gave her a small foam brush and a little container of  the paint I was using on these shutters, which was Benjamin Moore's Dragon's Breath.  

She painted the whole board and it looked great, some of the paint dripped on the shim and speckled it with color.  I told her we would let it dry and bring it home.  Once dried the paint glued the board to the shim and with it's rustic edges it was a beautiful piece of art-work. (Next time we do this I will purposefully glue the board to the shim before she starts.) Next we drilled a couple of holes, strung a rope through them and tied them off.  Printed her name on it with white chalk and hung it so proudly in her room.

Skylyn's First Woodworking Project

   These are the memories that are priceless to me, and what a beautiful keepsake to cherish.  If you are lucky enough to have one of these little guys to spend your day with please try this project with them and let me know how this adventure works out for you.

Be Positive,
Kali Adair