Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

How wonderful it is that our forefathers had the insight to set aside a day to be thankful!  We have had many gifts and blessings bestowed over the last year.  However, I must say that today I am most thankful for the reminders of the fragility of life that have decorated our lives.  What a breathtaking, sometimes joyful, and sometimes sorrowful reminder they have been.  This thing we call life can come or go at any moment, and if we live in the past or yearn constantly for the future, we miss really living.  However, particularly this year, we have been constantly reminded that the best thing we can do is just live and love.  So, as we all sit down with the ones we love or steal a few quiet moments before the insanity that is sure to come with cooking loads of food, let's promise to show our gratitude by living in the moment, soaking up life, and enjoying the food made tastier by the love with which it is prepared today.

Oh, and on this chilly morning, a cute sweater, working heat pump, snuggly down blanket, comfy couch, and the opportunity to snuggle with my mom while she does some work is pretty awesome, too.

Puppy kisses all around,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New chairs and the great coverup

So, I finally managed a good pictures of our NEW CHAIRS.  We spent quite a while searching for the perfect chair - comfy, swivels, and rocks.  Oh, and does all that without looking like it belongs in our neighbors' houses (aka in the home of someone 30+ years older than us).  We finally found them AND a fabric I have loved for ages that also happened to be this amazing Sunbrella fabric.  We ordered them, all excited (except for the whole spending money part - not so thrilling), and then we waited.  And waited.  And re-counted the weeks.  And then called to make sure the place we ordered them from was still in business (hey, you never know).  And then, one day, right before I went nawth, they came.  Things of beauty, I tell you.

And comfort.  One more problem, though.  So, you buy a new rug, and you don't like the old chairs.  You buy the new chairs, and suddenly... that ottoman you had recovered 8 years ago needs a new look.  I still love the tiger stripe, but... well...

Euck.  So, last weekend, in a search turned slightly desperate by Saturday morning, we found the perfect fabric.  I know my mom thought I was crazy, but as Karen (an interior decorator, after all) said, "Every room needs some whimsy."  So, there it was.  A lovely Ikat pattern.  A punch without being too in-yo-face.  The MIL helped me determine how much fabric to get - 3 yards.  And so I got to it as soon as the fabric was in my hands!

 I started by drawing out where I would make the cuts, since I had no pattern.  Then, I laid the fabric out, measured the top and sides, and cut with about a 2 inch addition to those measurements to make sure I would have enough fabric.  I hemmed the side panels and double stitched them.  Then, I sewed the four sides together.

The four sides stayed wrong side out and got slid back over the ottoman.  Then I pinned the top piece of fabric print-side-down on the ottoman.  Yup, literally stuck pins through that fabric into the ottoman.  I pinned all the straight sides of the top to the skirt that was also pinned to the ottoman. Then, I started sewing.

 When I got to the corners, which are slightly rounded, I gathered with 1 pleat and kept trucking.  Then, I turned it inside out and held my breath.  Holy smokes.  It worked.

In fact, it looked so good, that hubby had the great idea that I should make the mini-version of it on the small stool we recently covered.  I went through the same process all over again.  I finished both in one day that had a BUNCH of other things occupying it.  I was pretty darned proud!!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

I'm a fan.

So, for Christmas, my parents gave hubby a fan.  Yes, that's right, almost a year ago.  We have had a floor fan in our bedroom since the day we moved in with plans to put in ceiling fans at some point.  Well, then, especially after my grumbling over his cooling techniques this summer, he decided he also needed one in his office.  Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, and we were FINALLY having the boxes for the fans installed.  My coworker's boyfriend is an electrician, and after our go-to electrician flaked on us not once, not twice, but three times (and he planned on coming at 7am on a SATURDAY, people, for one of those flakes), we decided to employ "Tank" to install the boxes for the fans and do a few more things.  So, hubby crawled up into the attic (can you find him?  He's in the pic below), cursing our incredible truss-work all the while.

However, after a couple of hours, the boxes were in, and new switches were added to the walls!  The most difficult part of the day was cutting into the wood floor to install a floor outlet for the sofa table.

No more tripping over the light cord or not being able to close the door to the printer!  Yippee!  

While the boys were working away, Erin and I also took on a mini-project.  With his bad back, we have had to modify all the sofas in our house so that Winston can step up onto them instead of jumping.  Trav brought an old stool from his grandmother's house.  I had some extra fabric, so we got to recovering it.  Erin helped me wrap the fabric around...

...and we closed the ends like a gift so that the top of the stool had nice crisp corners.  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, and Winston approved by using it after getting trained with following a treat up it only twice!  

On Sunday, hubby installed the fans.  Really.  I held a few things for a minute or so, and he was able to finish the install all on his own.  So impressive.  Now, we have the unique, more casual fan in his office...

And a more traditional and streamlined one in our bedroom so as to not compete with the bed...

And we are huge fans =)