Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When Goodwill's ugliest chairs take up temporary residence in my home

One evening a month or so ago, as I was out and about by myself (rare!), I swung into Goodwill.  It was a spontaneous stop (I had just read about and seen pictures of some crazy amazing junk transformations) and my purchase was even more spontaneous.  Because I really wonder if I would have bought these beaut's if it had been a normal day of the week.
But no, it was a day I was feeling antsy to get my hands dirty and make something beautiful.  A day I craved a creative challenge.  So...
I came home with Goodwill's ugliest chairs.

No seriously, they were ugly!
I got into my van and actually laughed at myself.  I couldn't believe I was bringing Goodwill's ugliest chairs home.

Behold the peeling, faded, 80's-upholstered ugliness.

Really, the pictures do not do them justice.  They looked like they had been on your Grandma's neighbor's back patio, covered in cobwebs, beaten by the sun, and washed in the rain for the last 30 years.

But I thought I saw their potential.  Aren't those curvy lines the coolest?  And get this - they swivel!  And they're actually pretty comfortable. At $5 each, I just couldn't pass them up. I had an itch, remember?  I couldn't wait to transform them!

The first thing I did was wash, then lightly sand the frames.  They each got primer and a few coats of white lacquer spray paint. In all honesty, they probably could have used another can each, but I'd already emptied three cans onto each chair!  My fingers were sore, and I was trying to be cheap!

The next step was fabric. I was picturing a modern fabric in blue or green with white lines, perhaps mimicking the lines of the chairs. Something like this Waverly fabric:

But alas, I live in Flagstaff and our fabric pickings are slim. Plus, I was trying to find something on sale.  I came home with something I liked well enough, but wasn't in love with.

When it was time to reupholster the cushions (btw, I have never done anything like this before), I thought I was being so clever and so meticulous to take apart the cushions, trace them onto newspaper, and carefully plan out the placement for each "pattern" onto my fabric.

I thought that was the hard part, since I had opted to do without piping or zippers.
I thought that was, until I started sewing.
Once again, the curves had me muttering under my breath something about putting square objects into round holes.  I do not have any idea how the original cushions edges looked so smooth because mine were filled with ripples and puckers.

Anyhow, behold Goodwill's ugliest chairs now:

I'd say they are a lot less ugly.  Kind of pretty, actually.  

If I could do it again though, I'd go with an off-white paint, or a fabric with crisp white in it.
I was initially less than pleased with my upholstery work, but once I quit staring at them so closely, like I was when sewing them, I got over it.
So, not too shabby.  
But then I realized they wouldn't work in the space I had imagined them in.  I just don't have the room in my sitting area, or out on the patio, for two chairs.  Darn!

I moved them outside for a while, but got tired of the cluttered patio.  
I put them up for sale on Craigslist.
It is with slight reluctance that I will watch them go.  
I put a lot of hours into those chairs. And I do like them. 
But not enough.

Next time, I will buy the fabric I love.  
Actually, next time, I will probably leave the upholstery work to the professionals.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nothing of Interest

If this were Facebook, and not my blog, I could post often.
On a weekend evening, you might gain a bit of unimportant information about us, like what we are having for bedtime snack... "mmmm, banana splits!"

Or perhaps you'd get a laugh reading the little tidbits of life in this household...
When "Oh crap!" takes on a very literal meaning:
I am nursing my 3 month old to sleep. From the bathroom I hear the 2 yr old say "I peed and pooped!" Then the four year old says "bend over, let me wipe you."
yeah...oh crap!

Brant just bought a bent slinky from Aubrey for $20.
New rule in this house: all transactions involving dollar bills requires an okay from mom first!

Dean just informed me that the three naked kids in the pool that is on the tramp "are not his children".
Hmmmm, I wonder where they came from?!

But blogs aren't status updates and typically consist of more than a few sentences and minutes of my time. And finding the time to write more than a few sentences is becoming harder and harder.  Actually, I am writing. In my spiral notebook/journal.  But I don't think anyone would care to read those writings, as it's usually a pretty desperate need that makes me pick up my  pen. I have very little to say at this time about my daily life of laundry, housework, meal planning, grocery shopping, bill paying, owie kissing, homework enforcing, toddler hugging, baby snuggling, child bathing, and bedtime readings, I will probably be kind of quiet on here.

Until, that is, I find some motivation to make time to finish up my chair project.  I'll share the results.
And if I ever finish Aubrey's quilt some time in this next decade, I'll probably share that too.

And most likely I'll once again start going crazy wrapped in the doldrums of mommy talk and chores that I'll log on and post something uninteresting or unimportant.

Basically, my point is, I have nothing that I think is of interest to share.  But I'll most likely be sharing it anyway.  At some point.  Because sharing kind of makes me feel like an adult and it somehow keeps me sane. But it'll be sporadic because I've always got some laundry to go fold.

Thanks for letting me share.  Thanks for helping me feel like an intellectual, while in reality I am surrounded by preschoolers and play a lot of candy land. Thanks for helping me stay out of the loony bin.

I am forever in your debt.  And I bet my husband thanks you.

Okay, I'll shut up now.
And go fold my laundry.
And go find out what Elaina is getting into this time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ahhh, September

September just might be my favorite month.
The excitement and promise of a new school year, the settling down and establishment of routine, the cool mornings and evenings, and the still-gloriously-warm sunshine are a few of the reasons I'm loving this time of year.

Yes, summer was and always is wonderful..
I almost have to look through my pictures though, to remember that we did in fact have some relaxation in this form...

Did we really go camping only once this summer?!?  And did I really not get any pictures of the funnest part - swimming and kayaking in the reservoir?!?

And did I really never share other summer pictures from our fun road trip to California?!?

What is summer without at least one trip to the beach?
What is fun without some cousins to share it with?

It felt like we were really busy this summer.
But I must have been spinning circles alone, because I found these pictures...

It looks like the kids got the fun, relaxing summer that I wished for.
I wonder if they wished for an activity-packed and busy summer that I did not wish for, but certainly felt!

Either way, I am breathing in and relishing the September air, much like the way Brant and I buried our faces in the warm, crisp sheets on the clothesline this morning.

Sure, my calendar might look just as full this month as it did last, but my doors are wide open and the breeze is carrying in the sounds of the boys playing in the sunny back yard.  
And soon I know, will come the sound of the school bus dropping the kids off at the corner, followed by their feet and voices as they hurry through the front door.  

Ahhh, September.
What are you loving about this month, or about today?