Thursday, May 26, 2011

I was totally pretending here...

Have you ever pretended to be something you're not? Like maybe you pretended you needed glasses in elementary school by totally screwing up those little 'E' tests on purpose or maybe you dressed as a nun for Halloween (give it up, we know you're a slut girlfriend). Well, this last project I pretended I knew what the heck I was doing with a staple gun, 3" foam and scissors, oh and a glue gun. I took many pictures through this re-upholstery project because I just had to stop and laugh at myself like every 5 minutes because I had no idea what I was doing!

We all remember how this chair started out:
Before - pretty drab and smelly

Oh, this is why it's smelly I guess

This is most likely when I went "oh *#&)!" 

There was no turning back though...

Yeah, pretty, I know. I should have just cut my losses here and taken this chair back to Goodwill...

But I decided to venture on, this would be a learning experience and hey, maybe the outcome wouldn't be so bad. (Little did I know how expensive the outcome was going to be though...)

So here is the chair in progress:

I covered the springs with some fabric...

Then added 3" foam....

Then covered it all with batting....

Thank you Dad for purchasing this for yourself :) 

Imagine each time a picture is taken, I'm laughing at myself going "Okay Traci, you have no clue what to do about a few more staples?"

I used 3" foam on the bottom and back of this chair. Note to self: 3" foam is $40.99 a yard! And overestimating what you need in this case was a bad idea. More percise measurements next time. Please.  And then I covered it with some batting I found in the remnant bin at the fabric store. I was trying to save money anywhere I could since I flubbed up and bought the wrong staples first, which are nonreturnable since they were open (anyone have a use for wide crown staples?? ...just and underestimated the cost of a lot.

I had already cut out my fabric based on the fabric that I took off the chair. This was about mistake number 4. Since I used such thick foam on this chair, some of the cuts- 2 out of the 3 - were a little small. Another Note to Self: use something thinner for the back of the chair - unless you feel the need to sit straight up at all times, then this chair is going to be perfect for you!  I managed with the back of the top half of the chair, but the seat cushion fabric had to have some additional fabric sewed onto it to make it work. It worked okay and I'm not totally happy with that, but it was cheaper than another $17 for another yard of fabric.

I'll stop blabbing, that's not what you're here for (or are you??)'s the finished project:
After - I just noticed I pretty much lined up the pattern from the back  to the seat!

Yeah, it's pretty impressive I think. Let me show you the back:
So glad hot glue is clear :) 
Since I wasn't sure exactly how to do the back, I folded over the fabric and hot glued it to the chair. Probably a sin in the re-upholstrey world, but I.don' I was so ready to have this chair done, I didn't care WHAT I had to do to get it done.

How about a close up of that fabric?
Loved the pattern, so I paid way more then $2/yd for this...

Good stuff no? I'm enjoying the chair, it was a lot of work, I learned a lot of lessons from this and am already on the search for a new upholstery project!

I still have the small chair and shelves to it sad that the smallest of the projects are still yet to be done? Or is that normal? You get so excited about the big stuff you just put the small stuff aside?? Someone once said "Don't sweat the small stuff"... I'll just be lucky if I don't sweat all over the small stuff, this was hard work :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ta da - one more finished project!

I got busy last week with projects and knocked out 2 more chairs!

I'll show you the easy one first. Even though this was the first chair I painted, it was the last chair I found fabric for. I headed over to Etsy to find something I couldn't live without. After an unsuccessful first purchase, I'm very happy with the second fabric I found. So without further ado, here is the little rocker:

Before - I actually liked the fabric...

After - pretty close to robins egg blue

As artistic as the camera I have gets people...

The fabric - Kalla on Etsy - Love it!

I love how this little chair turned out - great color, great fabric...perfect! I hope you like it as much as I do!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Opinion Monday - my hair is driving me #)#$*(&!

We've all been here - the "I'm growing my a hair out and it's driving me batshit crazy and all I ever do is throw it in a ponytail which has me wondering why the hell I even wash/dry/style each day!" stage of growing your hair out. It gets to this super obnoxious in-between stage that just makes us all feel so blah blah blah.

And what's worse is that I JUST got it cut, well trimmed, a few weeks ago. Set me back almost $100 after I bought product and tipped my girl cuz I like her that much. And we all know that finding a good stylist is harder than finding a good boyfriend, and breaking up with a stylist is just as awkward as breaking up with a boyfriend too, and I can attest that it's even more awkward to see the ex-stylist out and about at the bar after getting a little liquored up. Let's just say I have yet to call and schedule that appointment with her.

Anyways, so my hair. I'm not sure what to do with it. I feel like it deserves something more than a ponytail each day. BUT I also like my sleep and getting up 30 minutes early just to make it all cute so I can feel good about myself all day while I sit at my desk and look at my reflection in the giant window in my office...wait a second, that does actually make sense.

Everytime I have it short, I wish it were long so I could curl it and look like a model from a Pantene commercial. And then when it's long, it's in a ponytail all day because I'm too lazy to do anything with it.

Any advice?? Help a sister out you keep your hair a certain length just because it's easy and you're lazy? Or do you just really enjoy spending 30 minutes doing your hair everyday?


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ta da - (one) finished project!

You all remember when I bought a bunch of chairs at Goodwill right? Well, I'm happy to report that I've finished one of them! Two more are in progress - you'd be surprised at how picky I am when it comes to finding material. The little rocker is getting hand screen-printed material from China and it should be here in 7-10 days. It's the third fabric I've purchased for that chair so far, cross your fingers I like it!

So let's take a look back shall we? Here is the rocker as I purchased it from Goodwill:

Before - beh, pretty ugly I'd say...
Luckily for me, I found out that this was not an antique or expensive piece when I was disassembling it. I found a Wal-Mart sticker so I felt okay about sanding and painting and updating to a more contemporary style.  So now, drum roll is the finished project:

After - updated just the way I like it!

And a close up of the fabric - old design, updated colors

I'm proud of myself with this piece, it's the first color and fabric I picked out - normally I go through about 2 to 3 colors and several different fabrics. Being indecisive makes it a little difficult to be a "wannabe designer" ya know.

Stay tuned for the other finished projects - they're all coming together and I'll be posting them soon!

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Opinion Monday - Can I see your ID?

I went to the movies yesterday - hooray for $4 matinĂ©es - to see Bridesmaids with my roomie and my old roomie. We consumed a few glasses of wine  (okay, the box holds 4 bottles, we had little left after we filled our water bottles) beforehand as we've found that makes movies even more enjoyable. We should have known this would have left us all crying more than laughing during the movie, but oh well, we did it anyway.

After waiting in line for a few minutes and being told to wrap the line around in the atrium, not the road, I was in place to buy my ticket. It went a little something like this:

me - "One for Bridesmaids please."

teenie bopper ticket seller who looked like Bieber - "Could I see your ID please?"

me  - "Are you kidding me? I'm 27!" (turning to Dana and Val who have successfully purchased their tickets without being harassed - "I'm being carded right now!" ...Laughter ensues from those two, thanks girls!

So I take my ID out of my wallet (which we strategically had already removed from our purses since we were carrying in our own water bottles) and do a little eye roll I'm sure, and pass it under the little area that is available to me. You know what this kid does next?? NOTHING! Doesn't even look at my ID, gives me a "thank you" and passes me my ticket without looking at me again.

I was recently carded while buying cigarettes for a friend (for reals, smoking is gross) and I was as shocked then too, especially since I'd just driven from the bar to the gas station to purchase them. So I already knew I don't look 18, but now I look younger than 17! I can't even get into 'R' rated movie without pulling out my ID.

I should be flattered, I know. But 17?? I'd like to be mistaken for someone that's actually graduated at least high school! I've theorized though that maybe he just wanted to ask me to prom and wanted to confirm my age and address. But since he didn't even look at my ID or at me for the remainder of the transaction - I'm  pretty sure I  broke his Bieber heart.

No worries Biebs, we'll be back next Sunday to see "Something Borrowed" - I'll try to dress a little older for ya!

PS. The movie was fantastic - I won't ruin the end, but I'm pretty sure they've been recording Val's and my conversations and my dance moves for the past few months. Life imitating art or art imitating life - we're pretty sure they stole it from us :) Go see it, you won't be disappointed...well, unless you're a dude.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Opinion Monday - vouchers

I recently went to Jamaica for a destination wedding. I booked my stay with a travel agent (and neglected to pay my self imposed monthly payment so I was doing some major scrimping 45 days before the trip to get it all paid for) and thought it would be smooth sailing. And it was. Until we got to the resort.

I was staying with 3 others in our room - our travel agent talked us into upgrading for a mere $40 a piece to an "oceanfront room with concierge service, king bed, pull out sofa and roll away often do you get to see the ocean from Iowa?" is how she closed the deal. Yeah okay, I don't see it that much (from Iowa that is) but how often would we really be in the room? I was planning on waking up there and passing out there, showering and brushing my teeth when my hangover allowed. But okay fine, I've spent $40 on much more ridiculous things before. So we all decided to upgrade and decline the insurance - I was going to Jamaica no matter what!

When we got to our resort, we were all shuffled into the concierge room to check in - this was annoying by the way. We've been traveling for like 15 hours, just give me my keys and we can sign papers in the morning. We were escorted to our room way across the resort with an actual key in hand, with the little wrist band thing too, so fancy. However, when we got to our room, we noticed we needed a swipe card, not an actual key. After tracking down the guy that had dropped us off there sans luggage (someone else was in charge of that) he let us in with his master key.

Oh no, this is not the room we booked. We're staring at 2 double beds, no stocked bar!!, and is was dark, but not the "oceanview" our agent had sold us. Okay fine, nothing we can do about it tonight. So we decide to grab some dinner, I grab two bottles of champagne and make no friends at the karaoke bar that evening.

8AM the next day, I'm calling our travel agent and she's not in yet. When we get in touch with her, I tell her we're in the wrong room type, we want to be moved and we want to get the room she sold us. She asks me what type of room we booked (I polietely told her she was the agent, not me and she should know that), argues with me for a few minutes and tells me she'll do what she can. We were able to move to a new room, right next to the bride and groom, about 8 hours later. Annoyed and all, I continued to drink the champagne.

After a beautiful week in Jamaica - we were back to Des Moines and I was off to send our travel agent a request for a refund of our upgrade fee and her fee. Both of which are non-refundable. Okay whatever.

So a couple weeks go by and we're informed that we have been given a $100 voucher to use on another Delta vacation in the next year. Um why do companies give vouchers for services you're not happy with in the first place?? It's like getting a gift card from Applebee's after sending back all your food and having your bill comped - why would you want to return?

So now I have this silly $100 voucher for a company that did pretty much what I could have done on my own - and have done before, and most likely will do on my own from now on. At least when I get to the wrong room at the resort, I only have myself to request a refund from...and I'll probably give myself a voucher for next time :)

And because I had so much fun (or was too drunk otherwise) here is the only pic of the bride and groom I took - congrats Kayla and Jim!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh, did I tell you I do landscaping too??

And when I say I, I mean we.

Tyler decided he wanted to come home to my parents for Easter this past weekend (not so sure why, I wasn't even expecting him to ask) and in a most likely drunken state, we thought that doing some landscaping at my parents was the perfect way to spend Saturday. My dad told me it was going to rain all day Saturday and Sunday so on Friday night when we got home, our plans were squashed. I woke up on Saturday and decided to bake some homemade cinnamon rolls like my Grandma Giles taught me. After that, my mom, Tyler and I went to Quincy for a quick trip to the mall and Sam's Club. It was a beautiful day out, we could totally do some landscaping - and that is exactly what we did :)

We headed to Lowe's to pick up the necessities: that black stuff you put down to prevent grass and weeds (yes, that is what they call it), those spike things that hold it into place (which can also be welding rods bent into a staple like form - goooo Frank on figuring that out!), a few plants (and only a few, my mom does NOT have a green thumb), and some mulch (like 20 bags).

My parents have lived in their house for 15 years now (yeah for paying more towards principal than interest now!) and at one time, had some rose bushes in their front area. Those have since died, been removed and the grass was taking over. I thought it was time that it looked like someone lived there (we have yet to hang REAL curtains up, still using tension rods with $5.99 curtains from Kmart) and since their anniversary was coming up, and we were there, this was the perfect excuse to get this project done.

Before - nothing but grass and weeds

Laying down that stuff


And again, with the G and some turtles in place

Happy 36th Anniversary Mom and Dad! This literally took us about 4 hours, maybe less - we had some visitors and lunch - and about $200. I haven't heard from my parents, but I hope that they're watering the plants. If I didn't live 4 hours away, I'd go do it myself :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Opinion Monday - Wallpaper

This past week I took on a new project that was just begging, well, screaming my name - wallpaper removal and new paint! I don't live with my boyfriend but I do spend some time at his place and while the rest of the house is wallpaper free, there was one room that had this awful, horrible green flowered designed paper on the walls. Bonus: wallpaper covered outlet covers too!

One night while we were all having some adult beverages (Blue Moon from the keg, my how keg choices change as you get older!) I convinced a few people that it would be fun to tear the wallpaper down. See, you have to tear the top layer off to expose the paper backing so it's easier (in my opinion) to remove later. So that room set with half wallpaper, half wallpaper backing for several months. I finally decided it was time to take it down, you know, since I had nothing else going on. And because his roommates sister would be moving in next week for the summer...

And guess what, removing wallpaper sucked just as bad as I remembered! Why do people go to the trouble of putting up wallpaper when they know that someone else is just going to take it down?? I feel like the hanging process is just as time consuming as the removal process. How about we all just save ourselves at least 4 hours and just paint the damn room! I don't care if it's the most hideous color of yellow or green or purple, at least that takes one coat of tinted primer and one coat of paint to cover! Wallpaper removal is just a bitch. I have a steamer but found that a spray bottle, a boyfriend, and a 6 in scraper was actually the best route. Step 1) have said boyfriend spray the paper; Step 2) remove with 6 inch scraper. I used the steamer for half the room and the new method for the second half - hands down, second method was the best!


Paper has many other practical uses - write on it, wrap a gift with it, blow your nose with it - but please do NOT put it on a wall, EVER! (Unless it's super awesome and it only goes on ONE wall).

Here are the before and after pics though of the completed removal and paint process. The decorating is not up to me, someone else can do that.


After - Glidden Wood Smoke

This was under the wallpaper - not sure what was happening here....

Be sure to get yourself one of these from your local paint store. This is FREE and has all the colors this line offers!

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