Thursday, June 30, 2011

Seeing Red No More

For a while now I've been planning on re-covering my couch. The red suede just isn't doing it for me anymore. I want a crisp, clean, looking front room and red has proven to be my adversary in finding harmony in that design.

I initially wanted to cover it in something very textural. Like a large weave linen or tweed in a grey or very pale blue. However, I need about 20-25 yds of fabric and finding something that was sturdy enough, cheap enough, and that I liked proved to be much harder than I'd hoped.

After dozens of swatches later (as well as falling in love with a select few then having to heart-wrenchingly break up with them after realizing there was no way I could justify spending $250+ on fabric alone, ew) I was pretty frustrated.

The thought of keeping red so central in the room really bugged me and I could not come to terms with keeping it as is. Finally, I was struck with inspiration as I remembered a current "trend" right now of using canvas drop cloths as rugs, dropclothcurtains, slipcovers, etc. Though it wasn't an original idea of my own, I still felt pretty clever (and re-motivated) heading down this avenue.

I went to Lowes to see what they had and to determine if they would, indeed, be sturdy enough (and un-ugly enough) to work as my material. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was just about the best option all around I was likely to find.

They have a slew of different options as far as size goes and I found one that is 9 feet wide by 12 feet long. I ended up buying 3 of them to start off with, figuring I can always buy another if I end up needing it. Total cost for these suckers? 55 dollahs. Done.
The color is pretty light. Lighter than I had wanted, practically blending into the color of my walls, but with the way I'll decorate around it it should work just fine. At least it will be a significant improvement from the red.

2 3 6

(Notice: Charlie has his socks close, just in case he gets bored destroying things.)

Last night I started cutting out the pieces. Since I want it to look as if its been upholstered (without having to actually rip off the existing fabric and re-upholster it) and I don't want it to look sloppy as if an, ahem, drop cloth had just been thrown over it, I decided to make a pattern of sorts. I used newspaper pages and pinned and cut them to fit the couch and then laid them out on the fabric and cut around them (adding an inch or so to allow for the seams).


Charlie, always having to be involved in whatever I'm doing, even if it means occasionally being stepped on (oops) because he is always underfoot, decided he was going to help. A few half-eaten patterns, flinging fabric scraps around the room, and dumping out all my pins from their container later though, I decided it was time for bed. For the both of us.


The rest of the couch will have to wait for another day.


(Next time I may also find a bunny babysitter... any takers?).

*I used a lot of ( )s this post (also commas). That's probably somehow bad grammar. April? Can you look into that for me? You're a pal.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Its the Little Things

Last night, as I was crashed out on the couch and trying to keep myself awake until it was a more decent time to fall asleep for the night, I occupied myself with watching Charlie explore my living room. After the usual series of jumps and multiple attempts to chew my carpet without me catching him (naughty rabbit!), he flopped himself down on his belly and laid there, searching the room for something else to get into.

Not very long after that, he discovered a rogue, balled up, pair of socks that, unbeknownst to me, had tumbled off my laundry pile earlier that week. I was curious to see what damage he planned to inflict on the innocent cottons, would he chew it to shreds? Dig at it and scratch holes in it? As I watched him evaluate the black blob of socks, probably asking himself the same questions I just had, I was surprised at the relatively calm approach he decided to take.

He pushed it. With his nose. Over and over again. For almost an hour.
He just nudged it in circles, around the room, so intent and focused the entire time on pushing, and pushing, and pushing. Whodda thought? I guess I shouldn't bother spending money on buying toys for him anymore. He always prefers the more simple things anyway.

Like chewing/eating/shredding phone books or anything else lying around that's paper.
Should I be concerned?

*Again, all pictures courtesy of my cell phone... I should get my real camera charged eh?
**Also, Charlie's favorite activity is NOT holding still so most of them are blurry. Take it up with the bunny.
*** And he is not evil, even though his eyes are red in most of the pictures.
****Ha. Just kidding. There's not another note. Thank you and class dismissed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sir Squishy

Before Bradford left to Alabama for a 28 day long (22 more days to go!) field training for the Air Force, he gave me a pitcher of cream topped raw milk. I won't say he "bought" it, because according to Sir Padre (no relation to Sir Squishy) the selling of raw milk is illegal in some states. Dumb I say. But that is leading into an entirely different topic for an entirely different day...

Anyway, however Bradford acquired this milk, he left it with me and said, "be sure to use it before it goes bad." Oops.

Yesterday morning I sniffed it. Is that the raw milk smell or the raw milk beginning to go sour smell? Still not sure, I tasted it. It doesn't taste THAT bad. But do I want to pour this on a bowl full of cereal? I did not.
I decided that since it was just barely on the cusp of being bad, and raw milk is a rare treat, and also Bradford stared at me real hard and in all seriousness said "DON'T let this milk go to waste," and I already decided I did not want it touching any of my other food, I quickly found ways to make cheese.
After skimming a few recipes, I concluded that ricotta cheese seemed the most fool proof and I settled on one from one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen, which also just so happened to be her most recent post. Coincidence?
Every recipe I've tried from her has been fantastic so I figured I couldn't go wrong. I tweaked it a little, I almost doubled her recipe and I only had lime juice, no lemons, and I went off of memory when I made it so I didn't put as much salt as I probably should have. Also, I didn't use heavy cream since the milk had a fairly thick layer of cream on it already. It turned out pretty darn good, regardless. Something I'll definitely try again. I'm excited to make some crostini with it later this week.
See Bradford? Not a drop wasted.
*All pictures were taken on my cell phone. Don't judge. *

Monday, June 13, 2011

"I cannot live without books." -Thomas Jefferson

I love to read. I love when what I am reading impresses me and makes me feel enlightened. I've read things that make me stop and really think, things that express something I've been feeling in a much more eloquent way than I've ever been able to.

I am currently reading The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. Now, while it is overall a very lighthearted book, and by no means meant to be deep or philosophical, I was struck by a phrase that I stopped and re-read a few times. I loved the way the words flow and how simply they illustrate a common observation I myself have had:

"...It is only when we are very happy, that we can bear to gaze merrily upon the vast limitless expanse of water, rolling on and on with such persistent, irritating monotony, to the accompaniment of our thoughts, whether grave or gay. When they are gay, the waves echo their gaiety; but when they are sad, then every breaker, as it rolls, seems to bring additional sadness, and to speak to us of hopelessness and of the pettiness of all our joys."

This phrase isn't incredibly profound or even earth-shattering in its meaning, but I love it just the same.

*I'm about two chapters away from finishing the book and I already highly recommend it to anyone looking for an easy, entertaining read.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fast and Furious

Sunday, during fast and testimony meeting, out of the corner of my eye, I see a rogue, blonde headed toddler zooming up the aisle toward the pulpit. All the while pushing a stolen walker in front of him.

I guess when the spirit really moves you, it moves you and helps you with the getaway car.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Living is Easy

Ooo Yum I say to myself, driving down the road, with my windows rolled down, sunglasses on, and Billy Joel jamming away on the radio. Lemonade!

There is something refreshingly idyllic about a jauntily set up lemonade stand set on the corner of a residential street on a warm summer(ish) day. Add a scraggly, handwritten Lemonade 50¢ sign, held by a juice stained 8 year old boy, and I am sold.

Kool-aid never tasted so good.