Friday, March 11, 2011

Where is this all going?

Some days I ask myself, why am I blogging? Most of the time, I find myself stumped for something to say. You see, I'm an incredibly private person, so I feel like I've boxed myself in with personal restrictions on what I will and will not put out there on the interwebz. I like sharing projects, or things I've created...but often I will write a post and decide against publishing it because it's too personal. Ironically I LOVE reading personal blogs, but I just don't want to put too much of myself out there where any old person can see it. So, when I don't have a finished project to show off, or a plan for what I'm going to do next, I wonder what's the point of even having this blog? I toy with just taking the whole thing down, or making it private so I decide who can see it. ...The thing that stops me from taking it down altogether is that I do like having a little log of what I've been doing. I have a crap memory for my own life - I can remember lyrics and movie lines like no one's business, but what I did last week? Yeah, that's gone. I've also gotten to know some really awesome people, like the very fun and cool Sara (who I need to meet up with again and visit her mansion!), and I've liked trading comments with Kim, Delaney, and Kasey, and I'd be a little sad to not connect with them anymore.  Well, at least not a two way connection - I'm not giving up reading and commenting on these and my other favorite blogs!

So, currently I'm thinking I'll go private. Leave me a comment or send me an email if you'd like to keep up with my blog. I can't say for sure, but I think that an added privacy barrier might actually make me a better blogger. If I know who's reading, I think I'll feel more comfortable writing more about my life. Tentatively I'll be making the change early next week - so let me know before then and I'll add you to my reader invite list!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wingback Chair Reupholstery - Reveal!

For a little refresher on how far this has come, click here.

In August, the chair looked like this:

I had a notion of recovering it in this fabric, so I did some pretty laughable photoshop renderings of my vision for the corner.

However, after the acquisition of that shag rug, and 30 days (I kid you not, I started ripping into this on New Year's day and finished in the nick of time on January 30, mere days prior to my February 8 book club hosting duties) of backbreaking labor later, and the relocation of a table I already had that was somewhat homeless.....I had this:

Hooray! I'm so happy with how it turned out! It SURE isn't perfect, many mistakes were made, but I think it's a heck of a result for my very first time upholstering anything more complex than a simple seat that you staple over some batting.

Now for more pictures!


So there you have it - my baby! If there's any interest/I make an effort, I may eventually post a tutorial.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Because Perfect is the enemy of Good

I have had a finished project sitting in my living room for over a month now. I kept putting off photographing it because it was too dark or the room wasn't clean enough or I'm not a good photographer and today I thought ENOUGH!

Reveal coming Monday. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Craiglist, we can be friends again

Finally! I managed to hook up with a seller who was 1) not 100 miles away, 2) willing to negotiate on price, and 3) honored my position in line despite receiving a subsequent HIGHER offer! Hooray!!

So I suppose it's only fitting that I showed up wouldn't fit in my car. Blast! But thanks to my seller being 1) not 100 miles away, we were able to call some nearby friends with a van to come and rescue us. The too-oversized-for-a-Corolla-purchase?

It's ~36" tall x 40" wide x 20" deep, and will make a perfect bedside table on the husband's side - our bed is off center due to a wonkily placed floor register, and I've been SCOURING the world for a non-expensive, tallish item that will fill the space and make the bed placement look a bit more intentional.

See? More space on the right, and actually there's even more space to the right that you can't see because I am a crappy photographer and I don't have a wide angle lens.

I haven't totally investigated the condition of the wood yet, but I'm enamored with the idea of painting it a smokey gray color - we have all white painted built-ins on the opposite side of the room, and our bed is a deep cherry color. I put together this little before and after to get the husband on board with my purchase via Anthropologie's website. New hardware is a definite....and I'll apparently be removing the wheels. I was on the fence....and then we lost one in transit. Dilemma solved!

Maybe someday if I do something with it, I'll show you the results. Or maybe not. Since I've had another h-u-g-e project (two actually!) completed for almost a month now that I haven't shown you yet. Trust me, it's awesome. And apparently secret due to my paralyzing laziness in taking "after" photos.  :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 1 - Anyone remember those resolutions?

Don't give up now! It's no longer January, so for most people, I imagine those hopeful resolutions made last month are sooooo last month. But not here! Oh no, I'm living in the past. Actually, I sort of credit my blog with keeping me relatively on track thus far! I read The Happiness Project last month by Gretchen Rubin where she basically made resolutions monthly rather than yearly. One of her biggest tips was pretty much to write the darn things down! If you keep them in front of you, surprise! You pay attention to them!

Here's a look back at mine:

2011 Resolutions

  • daily gratitude/happiness journal
  • exercise - 2 weekdays and 1 weekend workout
  • do the dishes EVERY night
  • floss EVERY night
  • go to bed earlier - 10 pm weeknights!
  • get up when the alarm goes off.  the first time.
  • limit drinking mainly to social events

Some, I am a rockstar.....some, well, I have 11 more months to get it right!

  • daily gratitude/happiness journal
I have 31 (actually a little more, as my calendar started in December) nice little entries in a calendar next to my bed. It's just a sentence or two about something that I did that day, something that made me happy, something I'm grateful for. NO negativity allowed. Sometimes I even write little inspirational notes to myself if I'm having a bad day. It's pretty cheesy, but you know what? I think it's helping me focus on the great things in my life. Plus it's helping me remember, oh, Thursday. Because my memory is seriously crap these days.

  • exercise - 2 weekdays and 1 weekend workout
I'm not 100% on the exercise yet, as you'll notice from my Friday check-in's. Because my baseline is complete sloth, I personally count one or two instances of purposefully getting off my couch as a WIN. And I'll work up to a regular routine.

  • do the dishes EVERY night
We (husband makes 1/2 the dishes, so I've enlisted his help with this one) have been doing AWESOME at the dishes resolution! I think there's been one or two nights when it didn't happen, and it seriously bothered me. Added bonus - we have some of our best talks as one washes and one dries. I don't know what it is - some people talk in the car (we're pretty much mute. It's weird), some talk over cooking (I'm usually distracted by trying not to burn things or remove appendages), but for us, dishes is where it's at. Oh, and to help avoid getting absorbed in a movie or something and being too tired lately? I set an alarm in my phone to go off each night at 9. It tells me "Dishes, Brush teeth, Floss!" Even if I don't do it immediately, it's been brought to my attention.

  • floss EVERY night
Flossing is going mush like dishes. Yes, it's sad to make a resolution to perform a basic human function, but it's WORKING! I also enlisted/ guilted the husband into joining me here, and our efforts were rewarded at the dentist. I was complimented on my excellent home care, and husband was told that his gums bled a lot less this time!

  • go to bed earlier - 10 pm weeknights!
Um, yeah. I LooooooooooVE sleeping, so convincing myself to tuck in early is e-a-s-y. Basically the phone alarm goes off at 9, we clean up, get ready for bed, and I have about 30 minutes to read and I am truly in bed by 10. LOVE it. Yes, I AM turning 87 this year! Ha.

  • get up when the alarm goes off.  the first time.
Waking up however.....different story. Hate it. I have the alarm on my phone that goes off twice to ease me into the idea, and the horrible buzzer on the other side of the room.  If I'm working out, I can get up after two horrible buzzes and be on time. Other mornings....I turn off the buzzer and get back in bed and keep resetting my phone alarm. Ugh. My problem may lie in that I don't always have to get up at "workout" time, so I push it later and later on those non-workout days. I realize I SHOULD just get up early....but I still hate it.

  • limit drinking mainly to social events
The key to not drinking on weeknights? Water. It's so funny - I'll crave a glass of wine or something if I have nothing to drink already, but if I have a glass of water? I don't really care so much. It's made slightly harder when the people on TV are drinking - the power of suggestion or something! But it's really as simple as giving myself an alternative. Plus it makes me really enjoy that glass of wine on the weekend or out with friends. (Yes, I amended my resolution to basically don't drink alone or during the week. Dinner on Wednesday with a friend - go for it.)

So there's my resolution stick-to-it-ness update. Anyone else sticking to theirs? Or were they just a fun little diversion for a week or two?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Craig? I have some peeves.

Ok, so, Craigslist. What's that song, when you're good you're good, but when you're bad, you're oh so bad? That's how I feel about Craigslist. I've had some successes - I got my awesome desk chair from Craig.

photo credit to the awesome Sara

I've gotten rid of some stuff that way too, like various tv's and our old desk. But it's never without a little....weirdness.

Like the desk. Well priced, tons of inquiries. Tons of arrangements made for people to come get it. And I got stood up no less than FOUR times! People - how hard is it to just SAY you aren't coming? As a corollary - you should probably try to BE there when you've arranged for someone to come get something, and not make them sit on a farm in the middle of nowhere with your dad who doesn't know exactly what you're there for while you just don't answer your phone.

I have approximately a zillion issues with how people word their sale postings, the pictures they provide - I don't even LOOK at ads without pictures, so those people are a whole other story - and some of the insane price points people think they can get. Oh, and posting every single day for three weeks about your "majestic" table and chairs that SO aren't without a single drop in price? And not at least deleting your other 21 previous posts so that I can SEE you haven't lowered the price? Lame.

Also lame? Why do people not post dimensions? I have to ask for dimensions for virtually every. single. item I try to buy. Putting your dog in the picture for scale doesn't really help - I don't know how big your dog is. Please don't tell me something is 2 and a half feet high, and get all offended when I arrive and it's 18" tall at best and I don't want to purchase it. Or the most awesomely terrible response I got to my inquiry?

I don't have anything to measure to dimensions right now. But I did quick step measure, it is 3.5 steps to 2 steps and my foot size is 9.5.
What the heck? I mean, I do not wear a 9.5, I don't know if you are a man or a woman, I have no i-d-e-a how big that is!!

And while I'm all about contacting people if I can't make it to a pick up, or I'm running late, I do NOT consider a sale in the bag until someone has given out their address or a meeting is arranged. Just because I emailed to see if something was available? Yep, doesn't mean I'm married to it. My understanding of the unwritten Craigslist rules is that I'm under no obligation to reply to you in this instance. Sometimes I will with a, "thanks, it's not right for me." But I don't always have time, and don't feel it's necessary.  Apparently the guy who followed up several weeks later to tell me his item was stiiiiill available did not feel the same way. And he REALLY didn't feel the same way when he further emailed to yell at me for wasting his time, and that I must get off on inquiring if items are still around. I'm sorry dude, YOU are the one wasting your own time following up on casual inquiries from a month ago. But since you likely have no friends, I guess it's your time to waste.

I'm also fairly confused by what seems to be a new trend - selling already refinished furniture, or handmade crafts....on Craigslist. In my opinion, Craigslist is where you BUY the items that you subsequently refinish. I mean, if you want to sell them for a profit, maybe there should be a special section for that. Or a boutique or something. Because I can put Anthropologie knobs on something just like you did and not pay your markup. I'm on Craigslist to find a deal. Paying your markup? No longer a deal. And the crafts? Try Etsy. How many people in your local area even want knitted baby hats modeled on a scary baby doll head?

Sigh. Come on Craig. I'm having a baaaad run of luck here. Just give me one good deal and a smooth transaction on an item I can actually afford and that I know fits in my space ahead of time, and we can be friends again. Until then? Well, I'm keeping my someday-to-be-posted unused drafting table, ceiling fan, and brass light fixture for MYSELF!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Note to self

No more side jobs. I get to a certain point every time I take one on where I just really don't want to do it anymore. There are definitely things I enjoy about it - the money for sure, working on something different than I do on a daily basis (we don't do home design at my firm, which is also why moonlighting is allowed!), working out problems, getting into a groove.....but it doesn't last. I really dislike the demands on my free time. I don't like the guilt I feel when I should be working on an all too brief weeknight when all I want to do is relax. I don't like having to turn things down on the weekends because that's my only free block of time to really get into that groove. I'm learning that I don't really like dealing with clients - it's not that I've actually had any bad's just that it's really not part of my personality. I'm fine working by myself or as part of a team, but I just don't like being the point person. I sometimes wonder if this is a skill I'll develop and learn not to dislike as I advance in my career, but at this point...I just don't.

I need to remember this feeling of having to drag myself to work on this the next time I am tempted to take something on. Or to at least pass it off to my husband, who seems to enjoy side jobs as a form of recreation. Me, well, I'd choose just about anything else.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Possibly overdoing it....

Each day has it's own little rhythm, but they're basically five workdays book ended by two lovely slices of weekend days. The weeks go by one pretty much just like the last, and that's cool, but then I got a little itch. I thought, I have to DO something. I need a task, something to keep my hands busy. So I decided, hey, I'll upholster a chair. I gathered up some research materials, but I didn't really do much. Even though I wanted to do something, inertia is a beast. So then I was approached about drawing up a house for someone, and I thought, Ok, I'm not really doing anything anyway. So I worked on that a little here and there when I had a free weekend day, and then I got cold and thought I need to knit stuff so I got a whole truck load of yarn that I needed to wind into balls pretty much immediately. In the meantime, I've still got that house project going on and the chair is LOOKING at me and the husband is using the computer anyway so YES grab some tools and start deconstructing the chair! I worked on that for a few days non-stop, and then I had to do serious work on the house project, and then I was tired so I started knitting one night and HEY I got a mixer for Christmas and yay fresh bread! But then my living room looked like crap so I thought I should cut everything out for the new pieces for the chair so that's all in carefully disarrayed piles because whoops! Project deadline! Commence three straight 12 hour days of ridiculous focus and intensity in drawing. I sent it off to the client today and I really hope they don't have many changes because I don't think I can look at it right now, especially not with the mess in my living room that has grown past the point of "I'm in the middle of this and don't want to lose my place" and now is in danger of permanently looking that way and hey wouldn't it be fun to build some furniture from knock off wood.....Um, did I mention that I work full time?


I may have a little problem, wherein I like to do things all or nothing, and all at the same time, and if it ain't the deep end then I don't want anything to do with it.  However, running at this speed for the past two months has worn me down a little bit.  So new rule? Finish chair. THEN knit the pouf. THEN take a nap for crying out loud.

Friday, January 7, 2011


I haz some.

Hopefully, one day, it will look like this.  You know, right after about 14 other projects.  Or concurrently, because I seem to like to spread myself thin.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It has begun...

I decided to face this new year head on and dive right into a project that is way above my head. It looks pretty bad.....but hey, surgery would look a lot like murder if you stopped halfway through, right?

I'm about 85% of the way through the dis-assembly stage.  I still need to take apart the pieces on the foot of the recliner, and then I need to rip the seams out of all the skirt pieces and the seat cushion.  Most of the tutorials and books I've been referring to are for standard wingback chairs....that don't recline.  And therefore don't really come apart.  At the beginning, I did not realize how much the moving parts were going to impact my method.  I had to completely remove both the foot (as I'm calling it, no idea what it is actually called!) AND the chair back itself.  I started out trying to keep it intact, but I got far fewer owies on my hands when I took parts off rather than wedging my hands in with all the metal and raw wood edges.  I've taken roughly one zillion (actual count is more like 200, but still) photos of my progress, along with copious notes about the order in which pieces were removed, and numbered and up-arrow labeled all pieces.

Next task after dis-assembly is complete - cutting the new pieces.  That should be done in, oh, a year.