Monday, August 31, 2009

Progress on The Chair

I did the upholstery for the seat and the front of the chair. Both pieces went on super easy. I think the back will be harder, as I'm not just stapling it but using upholstery tacks. I'm hoping to tackle that this weekend. From there, I need to sew the cushions and put on the red trim. I think this project will be a success!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Made the First Cut


I finally understand the lyrics to this song (or maybe it should be this link?), but in a whole different way. In retrospect, I wish this has been playing when I made that first cut. I certainly hope that "when it comes to being lucky, (s)he's cursed" doesn't ring true. I followed my pattern from the original upholstery... did you note it isn't symmetrical? 'Cause I did but went with it anyway. (Knocking wood.)

I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes on....oh, my nerves!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Just a Minute... August

Time for this month's just a minute...

Watching...
Hawthorne : I've never been a huge Jada Pinkett Smith fan but this show might make me. It's has some good drama and I think Michael Vartan is yummy. Also watched The Closer and Royal Pains. So I guess yummy looking doctors sum up my August.

Reading...
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this but I read sTori Telling by Tori Spelling this month. It was great: funny, sweet, and made me like her even more. I haven't been as good of a reader this month as I should be....

Finding...
the awesomeness of new friends. I feel so lucky that these women have come into my life.

I've also found I've been really big on nesting this month. I'm not exactly sure why but am really loving the comfort of my home as I tweak little things here and there.

Exploring...
the idea of rearranging my apartment, moving the kitchen table into the living room space to make a living/dining area and then turning the space in the kitchen into an office/craft space. I'm not making any decisions until the Ugly Orange Chair is done, because that process is in the way right now.

Recovering...
The Ugly Orange Chair. I put on the second coat of spray paint today. I think by Monday I'll be able to start the upholster process... which both scares me and exhilarates me. I can't wait to start but am frightened of that first cut.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Supplies Requistioned

Supplies bought/received yesterday. The book is so so - I think my deconstruction is more helpful than the book itself. And yep, I forgot the paint thinner. Off to my local mom and pop hardware store this morning. Painting will commence this weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Telling Fairy Tales

Last night, after sanding the chair, I decompressed with a little quilt sewing. (Yay for the Fairy Tale quilt top.) Once the left and right sides of this quilt top are joined, I get to figure out the back. I'm loving this little quilt and can't wait to get to the process of quilting it. Yep, I'm officially hooked.

Aged to Beauty

My mom sent me a bunch of old spools of thread recently. I love them! I'm hoping to find a jar to display them in. I love the wooden spools, the various colors, the old imprinting on the top, the price (15 cents!!) and the variety of the threads. What a treasure.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Naked Chair

My little Iraq bundle is packaged and mailed, thanks to the wonderful help of one of my post office's employees. She told me it would get there in about two weeks - plenty of time before the goal deadline of September 17th.

After getting the bundle together last night, I decided to get to business on stripping the rest of the fabric off the Ugly Orange Chair. Well, it shall be called that no more!
All of the fabric, minus that one piece attached to the reinforced netting of the seat, has been put aside until measurements f0r the replacements are needed. This is as naked as it is going to get folks!

Oh, but you should see the sheer amount of staples I pulled out of that sucker. Leverage is such my friend right now. The little bit of rust on so many of them made me wonder if my tetanus shot was up-to-date. Luckily, I never stabbed myself with a staple so I think I'm in the clear.

Over the next couple of days I need to rough the chair up a little (sandpaper really but that does not sound nearly as troublemaker-like) and get the primer, paint and upholstery tacks. This weekend I'm hoping to prime and paint all of the exposed surfaces. After that I get to cut out fabric pieces (yeah, that's the part that scares me). It is coming along....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sewing Love Paid Forward

I love how one blog entry can make you bounce from site to site. Today, I was at One Shabby Chick which led me to this cause listed over at Sew Mama Sew. And so I ask you artsy crafty types (they are taking yarn and fabric) to think about putting together a bundle for families in Iraq. Or just send fabric. I'm planning to go through my fabric stash and see what I can come up with to donate.

ETA: Adding pictures and info on yarn donations!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fairy Tales

I did spend a wee bit of time this weekend sewing... you know, when I could tear myself away from ripping fabric on the chair (Can I just say what a wonderful feeling it will be to throw out that ugly orange fabric... fantastic!). I worked on the Fairy Tale Quilt, as I'm now calling it. This is what is pieced together thus far. I'm planning on three main blocks on the right side, all in Far Far Away fabrics by Heather Ross. I'm thinking two smaller blocks too of some brightly colored pink or green fabric. Such delightful fun!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

De-Upholstery

Before I get into a chair update, I have to say "Wow!" because this is my 300th post. When I started blogging, I never imagined I would be talking about reupholstering a chair or that my craft journey would take me where I've been. Amazing and exciting!

And, on to the chair. I've had a fruitful weekend for the de-upholstery process. The fabric is detached across the back and the seat. Right now, I'm working on the front of the chair back. It's attached with a weird metal thing (you can see it in the top of this photo) and I can't get quite enough leverage to free it. I'm going to pull a few more staples and pull again. If that does not work then I'm going to ask my neighbor if she might be able to help me by holding the chair still so I can pull with all my strength (think cartoon character with a flying Stacy as it comes free!). Hopefully I can get it down to the bones this week. Right now, I'm leaning towards painting it with a cream colored paint and then sanding so the wood shows through a wee bit... all shabby chic like. And, I'm thinking of highlighting the circles on the arms with red paint. That said, I might also change my mind about 30 times before I get to that point.

I have to say, I'm really enjoying this look at the chair construction process. I'm learning a lot about how fabric is placed on a piece. I have more appreciation for the amount we pay for furniture now.

In browsing through JoAnn Fabric's the other day, I first gravitating to the yellows, green and blues. The fabric at right was the first thing I really liked. I kept looking and feeling. And, kept gravitating back to this fabric. I wanted something darker so that dirt would not show too much. After picking it out, I looked for trim. I vacillated between yellow and red trim for the longest time, even stopping a very nice woman to ask for advice. She was so sweet, talking to me for about 20 minutes. I opted for the red for now. If I get the chair completed and find the red is not quite working, then I'll go back for yellow.

So we are slowly moving past Ugly Orange to Beautiful Blue... such fun.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Gosh, I Look HOT in Goggles!

Well, step one of Reupholster 2009 has occurred. I bought 5 yards of home dec fabric today along with some red trim. I ended up buying at JoAnn's and it was quite the score let me tell you. It was $9.95 a yard and I used my 40% off coupon... yep, five yards for just about $30!!! Can you say happy? I also stopped at Lowe's to buy goggles so no flying staples will take out my eye during the ugly orange fabric removal process. I loosened up the fabric on one side but then got hot and knew it was just about time to head to Rosy's grooming. Hopefully a little more work tonight! And a pic of the fabric will come soon....

ETA: And, if you want a little squirrel for your photos, go here. Have fun!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Looking Forward

Ahh, how I love a weekend with nothing too big on the agenda. I'm a ISFJ on the Myers-Briggs which means, in large part, I recharge by spending time alone. Hopefully this weekend can help in that recharging slightly while still giving me some good time with friends!

Anyway, I'm hoping to accomplish a lot:
  • JoAnn's trip to hopefully pick out fabric and trim for the Ugly Orange Chair. I might also pick up a pillow form for the quilted cover I started making...
  • Lowe's for goggles (lots of staples to pull out on that chair) and paint
  • Target for odds and ends, including perhaps a new curtain rod for my bedroom (I'm really into nesting right now for some reason)
  • Quality sewing time
  • Brunch with a friend and her mama!
  • Exercise, hopefully to include a long walk with Rosy in the woods
  • Rosy's grooming appointment - I can't wait for an unshaggy, clean puppy!
  • Baby gift knitting perhaps?
  • Relaxation
What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Living Room

As requested...
Here's my living room. My couch is about 10 years old so let's say it probably has another year or two of life. I need to coordinate it with it now and have something that will look okay with something later. Oh, and I'm in need of a new rug, what with having a dog mess up this one (it's well loved, right?).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A New Reason to Love Peach Season

This past weekend, while at the beach with friends, we got some peaches and tried this recipe (at the bottom of the post). We tried them over vanilla bean ice cream... simply delicious! I'm told they were even more yummy the next day, after the sugar and wine had a chance to really sink in. I highly recommend them.... delish!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Searching for Fabric

This one....
Or this one?
Or this one?
Or this one?
Yep, I'm hunting for fabric for that ugly chair.... hmm, if only I knew what I wanted.My living room couch is yellow with blue, red and green in it. Oh decisions!

ETA: By the way, that was also me trying out for the part of an eye doctor on Grey's Anatomy. I plan to make out with both McSteamy and McDreamy.

The Ugly Orange Chair

Oh oh, look what I inherited. An ugly orange chair! On Friday, I found it left on the curb outside my apartment building. After testing the springs and determining the chair was in overall good condition, I decided that I must be able to reupholster it. (Confidence is a good thing right?) I'm glad the wood is in such great condition that I don't need to strip and refinish it. Even though I like refinishing items, doing so with any kind of fabric involved might be more than I can handle.

I brought it inside and now it sits in the living room, waiting for a thorough sniffing from Little Dog (who I just got back today after being away) and then some good fabric. Well, and some quality Google research on good re-upholstery jobs....

Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Baby Quilt

You know that secret project I oozed with excitement about before? Well, now that it is done and has reached its recipient, Maria, I can share!! Here it is...
The front: It's tied, not quilted. I like the look a lot but I think...
I like the back more than the front.

I hope the new little one she and Eric are expecting gets a lot of love out of this little baby quilt. I certainly enjoyed making it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

I've Got It Bad

I think I've caught the quilting bug. I got a bag of scraps in the mail from Amber. This morning I found all of the ones that were rectangular and cut them to the same length for a coin quilt. And, then I HAD to sew them together. I have run out of pre-cut scraps now and am off to shower and drop the dog off at the sitters. You know, because I can't just sew all morning when I'm supposed to be leaving town this afternoon. (I'm going to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware this weekend. YAY!) But really I wanna sew!! I'm already envisioning the rest of the scraps for this little baby quilt. Now, to determine who it is for.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Giveaway Public Service Announcement

Oh, oh... check out this giveaway. It's completely lovely and I agree with CurlyPops, I can see it all glammed up for Christmas!! Run on over...

Also, this great, great giveaway of fantastic baking dishes. Beauty!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Where I Am

Now that we are in the eighth month of the year, I thought I should revisit the 2009 theme of "savor the possibilities." I've been trying to keep this little nugget in my head through all of my daily experiences. How have I been doing it? Through running with the Shakespeare in Clark Park as soon as the email hit my inbox. Buying fabric that I love, even with no plan in mind. Admiring a sunset. Saving a little money here and there to be put towards happiness. By visiting the farmer's market as much as possible (two different ones last week!) and stocking up on summer goodness. Making new friends. Making single jars of delicious jam. Trying that Bellows Breath exercise of my mom's. Exercising more. Seeing flea market finds through different eyes. Telling people I love them every chance I get. Savoring....

The goals I originally came up with for 2009 are:
  • Make another quilt.
  • Eat more veggies.
  • Save about $250/month to put towards a new computer as my little Mac is getting older.
  • Refinish a piece of furniture.
  • Continue dating and don't get discouraged.
  • Volunteer more locally.
I'd say I'm doing fairly well. Of the goals I've fallen behind on, I'd list saving money and continue dating. My savings gotten eaten slightly by a new timing belt and catalytic converter. Dating hasn't been a priority. Otherwise, I'm doing pretty good. How have you been savoring the possibilities?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Babies and Kiddos Oh My!

I managed to spend that promised quality time with the sewing machine this weekend. Today, I made a tag blanket and bib for my sorority sister Meaghan's soon to be little one. She's having a boy and since her husband is a hockey player, I thought a little stay warm at the rink blanket was in order. It's fleece lined on the back so it'll definitely do the job. The bib is out of the same fabric. The shower was last month so the gift is late. However, I think she'll be pleased.

I didn't end up going to the NJ Fresh Food and Wine Festival. My friend Lisa was in town with her kids. I ended up going with them, her nephew and another friend to the Please Touch Museum. It was such a good time, although wrangling three kids was a handful! Much better than wine I think....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I'm Not Sure Life Gets Better

I'm rationing.

The One Where Other People Need Vacation Too

I went to the bead store at lunch time yesterday in the hopes of buying some chain and clasps for skeleton key necklaces. Unfortunately for me, the shop is closed until the 13th. I still had it in my head that I needed to make a necklace and knew I had a bit of chain at home. So necklace making I did! How fun to design something to go with this tiny teeny skeleton key, only an inch in length. This new little lovely is in the shop. I'm hoping after the 13th to add a few more necklaces.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Oh Weekend!

Fridays, oh Fridays. You beckon the weekend like a lighthouse calling a ship home. I just love the weekend. This weekend I plan to:

- spend some quality time with my sewing machine
- make a trip to JoAnn's
- visit the farmer's market
- go to the NJ Fresh Food and Wine Festival
- workout
- a hint of knitting
- figure out baby gifts
- make a caprese salad (yum)
- take Rosy for a long walk

What are you planning to do?

Wrapping Up a Project

Oh, what did I do last night you ask you ask? Well I ate dinner, watched the news (Oh, John Hughes!), got lazy for a short while and then suddenly, inspiration hit. And I did some sewing! I finally worked on my wreath project that has been waiting ever so patiently in the wings for me.

Right now, this little lovely is hanging on my door, welcoming people to my home. I'm pretty happy with how it came out. I love the combination of colors and the long strands of ribbon hanging down. Welcome to my home!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ready, Set, Organize Your Crafts

I realized this morning that I really do need to get busy with my sewing. I have approximately four friends pregnant but gift-less from me. I also have a friend getting married in November and need to decide if I want to buy something or make something as the gift. Oy! Lately, I've been so focused on the secret project that I haven't been seeing the big picture - keeping myself balanced in the gift creation arena. I think this weekend I need to work on a list and approximate "due dates" for when I want to mail things. I like structure and perhaps giving myself some will help. Plus, it can all go into a pretty spreadsheet... I'm a geek, huh?

I have been knitting though. The Something Lavender is coming along nicely. I'm probably about 15% completed. I find I am babying my hands slightly because they have been feeling a little carpel tunnel-y lately (I blame that Solitaire game on the iPhone... it is a saucy devil). My aunt, who has been a big sewer for years, just had to have surgery for hers.... I will not suffer the same fate.

Anyway, in other news, Rosy and I encountered this folded up hammock the other day or our walk. She wasn't quite sure what to make of it. I'm pretty certain she thought it was the cousin of the white furry rug. It's hard to find a butt to smell on a hammock, let me tell you. But Little Dog sure tried. What a trooper!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Making Lemonade out of My Lemons

Sometimes life just messes with you to see if you are paying attention. I failed. Last time I was at JoAnn's they had bias tape for 25 cents a pack - wicked deal no? Well, sadly it is not double fold but rather single fold. I don't really need it. I saw the price tag and stopped paying attention....

Now, the key question is when will I have a chance to get back to JoAnn's? Well, that and what fun project can I find for this single fold bias tape... oh, the challenge!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Champagne Wishes and Clafouti Dreams

When reading Alicia's blog on Friday, I was inspired to print out the recipe for the clafouti. It sounded so good and with so many berries in season, I knew I could supplement the pears for berries.

On Saturday, I bought blackberries at the farmer's market. I also picked up some raspberries at the grocery store because I simply adore the mixture of the two berries together.

Today, I stirred, measured and baked this little deliciousness. Seriously, it
is amazing. The clafouti is an easy recipe with maximum yummy results. The only flaw (if you can call it a flaw) is it has got to be horrific for you, what with the heavy cream in the recipe. I might do exactly what Alicia does next time - sub in half-and-half instead. In the meantime, I'll delude myself into enjoying the fruit and protein from the eggs! Yum!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Oh Shakespeare....

Last night, I went to Shakespeare in Clark Park with two friends. Saturday was a gloriously sunny day, perfect for a picnic and a show. The show was scheduled to begin at 7 PM, so we arrived coolers in tow, at about 6:30. The place was packed, although we still managed to get excellent seats. The park is set up like a bowl, with the performance in the bottom middle. We got to sit right about on the lip of the bowl, perfect for viewing.

We each brought our own sandwiches. Robyn brought chips and Dorthe brought a dessert of berries and Cool-Whip. Nothing is as delicious as a picnic, especially when you are with such fun company!

The performance was of The Comedy of Errors. The sound quality was wonderful, the actors hilarious and and the overall atmosphere just so fun. The Countess has an absolute giggle inducing dance, similar to Elaine's on Seinfeld. The whole production was well done.

Really, it was just a perfect evening... especially since we all remembered bud spray and left without a bite.

What did you do yesterday?

ETA: I forgot to mention that before the show started, I saw a man standing not too far away from us wearing an Allentown Art Festival shirt. Allentown is a section of Buffalo that holds a well known festival every year. Being the person I am, of course I got right up and walked, sans flip flops over to him. Turns out he is from the Town of Tonawanda - same town as me! We talked intersections and then I let him go on his way. Yay for the Buffaloians!