Thursday, December 16, 2010

The last frontier

Yesterday at 11:45, the doorbell rang. I was expecting a very important package that I thankfully didn't have to wait very long for (Amazon Prime trial...two-day shipping is just enough to build the anticipation, and not long enough for me to get impatient). So anyway, I ran down the stairs, flung open the door and snatched my box, which was in the neighborhood of two-by-two and about 30 pounds. Also, I was wearing a towel, and it was about 20 degrees.

After much awkward scuttling backwards so as not to drop my box (or my towel), I managed to get the door shut and scoot back upstairs. You probably want to know what was in this box, huh? THIS!!
I've decided to become a sewer. Wait a minute. Sew-er. Someone who sews. After scoffing at the very idea in high school (when I really should have been taking a sewing class and not being such a teenager) I've realized that sewing is the last DIY frontier for me.

I'm not claiming to be stellar at any of these things, but I can do basic electrical work, build decent-looking furniture, strip and stain wood, paint, grow stuff, cook, decorate, operate power tools without losing appendages, and change a flat tire. When I needed sewing done, I shipped fabric to my mom so she could make curtains, pestered my MIL until she had time to take in shirts or paid someone to do my alterations. (Much more expensive in Oregon than LA.) NOT ANYMORE!
Me and my nifty sewing machine are going to conquer the world! Luckily, I have a friend who seems like an expert to me, and she showed me how to thread the thing last night. I'm sure it'll take a while before I feel really confident with it, but making curtains and pillowcases and taking in the odd t-shirt isn't exactly rocket science.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Operation dresser: completed

After letting the dresser cure in the bathroom for a few days, this is how she came out:
The blue is more vibrant than than the picture would have you believe. I really like it, especially the part about how this...
is now this...Which is obviously much better. I got excited about the extra six square feet that getting rid of the didn't-fit-under-the-bed boxes freed up. That's a mark of someone who lives in close quarters.

Still in the market for hardware for the dresser. I like these Martha Stewart knobs a lot, but this was supposed to be a super-cheap project. At $3.50 each, they'll cost almost as much as the dresser did. Maybe they'll go on sale.
In any case, I'm loving this dresser. Even without knobs.

Monday, December 6, 2010


So the saying goes, "you can take the ____ out of the ____, but you can't take the ___ out of the ___." For me, the fill-ins would be girl and project. I can't help the fact that I love Home Depot (more on this at some other point. I sing along with Home Depot commercials and inform Todd that More Saving and More Doing is the Power of the Home Depot, while he cringes, imagining astronomical AmEx bills and unfinished projects littering our miniscule living space.)
Then there's this other detail: my under-the-bed boxes don't fit under our queen-size bed. Todd's do, but mine sit next to the bed, which is making me crazy due to how ugly they are. Also, it is a bloody pain to live out of a box. So I started my hunt for a small dresser to fit into the narrow space we have for it. It took a few weeks of craigslisting and a drive to Redmond, but I came up with this little guy.
Of course, that kelly green had to go, but I had peacock blue plans for it from the beginning. The wall to the left in the picture above sticks out only eight inches, so this dresser, at 14 inches, is just perfect for the space.

I originally planned to spray paint it (in the bathroom, which was an ill-conceived idea from every angle I can think of) but decided to paint-paint it instead. (Still in the bathroom so it can stay ventilated and cure properly.)

Anyway, I have to put the second coat on one drawer and the frame today, but then it'll be finished!

I'm hoping to replace the hardware with something snappy at some point, but right now, I'm just really excited to have a dresser (and to have painted something peacock blue -- I've been wanting to do that for a while).

Update to follow on this. Bonus: it will give me one more surface to decorate for Christmas. Which will bring my grand total of Christmas-y spots in the house to two. Not enough, but better than one.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Favorites: mugs

I do not believe in extensive, rambling mug collections, wherein the size of the collection is only rivaled by the randomness of its contents. (Usually they fall into three categories: the long-ago-attended event--"1994 Hoffman Estates Park District Fishing Derby," the organization that thinks mugs are a good way to build loyalty--"Bob's Discount Car World," and semi-cheesy sayings--"I Don't Do Mornings." That last category is frequently found in tourist-trap shops while you're on vacation. Don't let your guard down. They're not really that clever.)

But I believe that everyone should have a favorite mug. It should have a happy memory tied to it or an outside that just makes you smile. And since you'll likely be using your mug on days that are somewhat less than happy to begin with, making it extra large is good, too.
That is my favorite mug. It is gigantic: two cups of coffee only fill the bottom three fingers of the mug. It has one of my favorite flowers, the geranium, painted on the side, and it was acquired in one of those happy coincidences that involve TJ Maxx and something great on clearance for pocket change. The funky shape is not my favorite, but I happily accept it due to all its other wonderful attributes.

Anyone else have a favorite mug?