Wednesday, January 27, 2010

He's Hot

I just wanted to share with you all a tried and tested method for cooling off after a grueling workout.
Yesterday when I got home from work, Bradford was at my apartment doing a P90X routine with Tony and crew sweating away on the 50" TV we recently purchased for my place. I started on dinner while he was finishing up. Once he finished however, the wide open window letting in the crisp winter air still wasn't enough to cool him off. He quickly ran outside, and barely mentioned his plan to me before I was able to snatch my camera and run to stand in my bath tub to take pictures out the window of his adventure down below.

I'm still not sure if sweaty man covered in snow is better than just sweaty man, but he sure seemed to like it. And apparently it was quite effective in cooling him down. Feel free to use this method if you so desire.

(Please ignore the poor picture quality. My flash reflected off the window screen so I turned it off, and I didn't have time to make it any better since I would have missed the opportunity if I hadn't hurried. We wouldn't have wanted to miss this now would we?)

In other news, Bradford and I are working on getting Claire, his cockatiel, moved out of Bradford's parents' house and into my apartment. Her current cage is gargantuan and since my apartment is not, we purchased a more reasonably sized cage for my place. It is darling, and perfect for her since she loves to sit on top of her cage. I'm really looking forward to having her with me!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Helpful Hint

If you just so happen to be dressing up some plain old picture frames by gluing wooden decorations to them, and your adhesive of choice just so happens to be Gorilla Glue, and when gluing said wooden things you happen to get Gorilla glue on your fingers do not continue your project thinking you'll just wash up later. In addition, do not proceed to paint the aforementioned picture frames while the Gorilla glue is still lingering (and yes, drying) onto your poor little fingers, black paint and all.

Unfortunately, just about any home remedy you can think of at this point will be in vain. You are now stuck with black paint smudges glued to your fingers until your skin cells decide to cycle out. And yes, it will still be just as bad the next morning while you are frantically scrubbing trying to improve them before work. Shoulda washed your hands at the first sign of contact, genius.

Please learn from my mistakes. I think I'm going to invest in some disposable gloves...

(PS- wearing your brand new, silk, J Crew shirt while carrying out this project is probably not advisable either. Thankfully, that was one casualty averted.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Full of Fluff

This weekend I finally sat down and made my long overdue couch pillows. After struggling with the large amount of red in my living room, I finally settled on my complimentary color(s). I chose a range of blues that I felt would play well with the red but not seem too overbearing or out of place. I'm pretty happy with the end result.

I had a bunch of random throw pillows that I've kept around with this project in mind so I used those for my pillow forms instead of going out and buying some. They worked really well and were virtually free since I've had them for so long. To make the covers I used the same simple pattern I used on the last pillow I made, a simple envelope type idea so the pillow forms can be removed easily if I ever want them to be.

For one of the pillows I made I used the same linen fabric I used on my stockings (you'll be seeing this fabric elsewhere in other upcoming projects also- I really love the look and feel of it and its super cheap). I had the idea of stenciling some kind of pattern onto the front and I decided on a crown (don't ask me why... I think I remember seeing something similar in a Pottery Barn catalog).

I searched online for an image of a crown, found one I liked, printed it out, and used my x-acto knife to cut out the parts of the crown I wanted to use for my design. Then, I used a sponge brush to paint on the pattern with some dark blue acrylic paint.

After the image dried, I stuffed it and finished sewing up the two side ends (I'd sewn the top and bottom together before I painted) while adding a blue ruffle trim into the seam. Ta-da! I didn't end up absolutely loving the end result of the pattern but I think it'll do just fine for now. The next day I had the idea of doing an antique key stencil instead of a crown, so maybe on the pillow I'm going to make for my chair I'll go that route.

I think the pillows look pretty good, and its pulling together my color scheme nicely. I still have lots of projects to go until I feel I can call my place "done" but I'm really enjoying the progress I'm making.

I still have some pillows to make for my ottoman/window seat. Luckily this is one of the easiest and fastest projects so I can probably whip those out one of these nights after work.

Stay tuned for this weekend's project: wall art for my kitchen!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It Isn't Christmas Anymore

I know that Christmas was SO last year (har har...) but I am a slacker and the only post I have for the whole month of December was on the 31st. And I didn't even write it. And it definitely wasn't for lack of material to blog about, I just never made the time to sit down and actually do it. So, though this post is a bit late, I am going to post it anyway.

A few weeks before Christmas, Bradford's mom let me know that she would no longer be stuffing his stocking for him and that if I didn't want his Christmas to be ruined I'd better pick it up this year. Or, something like that... Anyway, since Bradford no longer had a stocking to call his own and mine (and my family) are hundreds of miles away, I decided that to stuff a stocking there must first be a stocking to stuff! Ergo, I had a project on my hands. I guess I could have just gone out and bought a couple stockings and called it good, that would have been the easy (and sane) thing to do, but apparently I relish a challenge (and am not sane, but we all knew that didn't we?).

Having never made a stocking, or even thought of making a stocking, I only had a general idea of what I wanted it to look like. I went to the fabric store, picked out some fabrics I liked and that complemented each other, brought them home, scratched my head a few times, stared at them, scratched my head again, and then held my breath and started cutting. I did have the idea of drawing out on tissue paper what I wanted the final shape of the stocking to look like and I used that as my pattern. I laid it on the fabric and used a crayon to trace around it about an inch from the egde of the tissue pattern like so:

I had linen fabric for both stockings and then a red striped fabric for one and a green fabric for the other. I cut out four shapes of the linen and then two each from the red and green fabrics.

After they were cut, I laid two of each piece together, marked with my crayon where I wanted the stitch to be, pinned them and then sewed them, leaving the top open.

Next, I grabbed one of the linen stockings and one of the colored stockings, turned them both inside out, sewed the openings together with a bit of lace in the seam, then turned them back right side out and the result was a lovely stocking that was reversible to be either red/green with a linen cuff or linen with a red/green cuff. And I must say, they turned out MUCH better than I expected them to. My seams were clean and straight, the shape turned out well, and they looked pretty close to what I imagined.

I decided to dress them up a bit by making pins for each of them. One had a bow and snowflake (the bow I made and the snowflake was an ornament I found at the dollar store) and the other was a rose that I made from ribbon (which was surprisingly easy to make and turned out pretty). I made them pins so that if I wanted to reverse the stocking I could unpin and re-pin them interchangeably.
I really enjoyed making these and it re-boosted my desire to get cracking on the ever growing list of other projects I have brewing up my sleeve. Hopefully I'll be getting one or two of them knocked out this weekend. Wish me luck!

P.S. Yes, one of those projects is to fix my blog background. Promise.