More Indecision


Maybe I should just go for a patchwork theme?

The rug is a tiny bit of progress though toward the final vision!  It’s from Overstock, and the pets are a big fan of burrowing into it.


Pallet = table?


Still on the search.  Having not great luck.

source I saw this table last week at the Restoration Hardware outlet store.  It’s made of sanded reclaimed wood.  Sadly, it was still way beyond my reach even at outlet pricing!

source Then I saw this table listed on a site for a furniture resale shop I plan to hit this weekend.  It’s a coffee table, and yes, beyond my reach, but it’s made of reclaimed wood…from shipping pallets. Sort of like the kind hanging out in my garage from one project or another.  It’s not really a new thing, and it’s been on my radar as a pretty cool look for some time.  Let me show you what I mean!

source I love the twist on a rustic, cabin feel when used on a small niche of wall.

source Check out Camila’s DIY of this table, also from Restoration Hardware, also from shipping pallets.  She has a great how-to on her site!


And then I found something very intriguing……a full sized table tutorial.

source I would do it a little different if I go this direction…I would forgo the 1×4’s in favor of more closely spacing the slats, and I might even go so far as to fill the gaps before staining or painting.  My husband is afraid of any filler coming out eventually thanks to the computer mouse, but to that I say, “use a mouse pad!”  😉

So I think I’ll do this.  Unless I find the perfect table on Craigslist.  Or if it turns out to be really cost effective to have my friend’s dad build me a table just like the gorgeous one in her dining room.  Yeah…..indecisiveness is a bit of a trait of mine…

Desk Alternative


This morning I came downstairs and noticed the laptop on the dining room table.  Again.  This totally bugs me, but I get it, because our office is Un. Useable.  We have a bitty corner desk, next to which is a file cabinet, next to which is a drafting table, under which is a little plastic drawer tower so you can’t fit your legs under and oh my goodness it makes me cringe just to think of it!  Any time we need to spread out papers, or look at something side by side, we set up in the dining room….with its big expanse of flat work surface….(!)  (That was an idea happening)  Why not just get another dining table, and use it as a desk!!  I’ve been toying with starting over and getting a bigger desk, but bigger desks just never seem BIG enough!

I mentioned this to my husband and he looked at me like I was crazy.  A DINING table in the OFFICE?  But, but….you can’t do that!  And I thought, well I’ll just show him how awesome it could be!  (Yes, there is still the issue of where does the printer go, but come on, we’re architects.  Surely we can think of something!)

source  How cool to build in little cubbies to shove stuff!


source  both of these last ones feature the Ikea Melltorp table, with moveable storage units below.  This is EXACTLY what I mean, and at $70 for the big one, the price isn’t too shabby either!



source  I just love the well worn wood here

source  Look how much you can spread out!  And that’s not even a huge table – it’s just deeper than all those puny little office sized desks.

source  I’m sort of lusting after the worn in look of this table.  Perhaps this is an opportunity to try out that milk paint thing??





source  She just set her printer on a corner.  We could do that!  Currently we have two printers, but we could probably consolidate to one and just let it live on the table.

I’ve even gone so far as to find some potentials on my local craigslist.

I think they have serious refinishing potential, and they’re all under $100!  The ones pictured with chairs even come with them, and who doesn’t occassionally need to pull up an extra chair.  It’s weird to make your dad pull up a too tall barstool.  Trust me.

So, I’m pretty much sold.  What do you think?  Would you do table as desk? 

Still Haven't Started That Chair


Argh.  Ok guys, I promise that this is the last post about my darn chair until I actually start doing something about it!  I have it home now, and it’s more or less where it will live.

Now, forgive the photoshop job on all of these following images, but I have a vision for this corner, and I thought that a picture was worth 1,000 words.  I know I want some sort of overhead floor lamp, because this will be my reading chair, and duh, you can’t read in the dark.  I’ll also need a side table, and a small one is in order here, so I’ve tossed in one from Target that we used in a past project.  I’ve also been hinting to my husband that I would like some bookshelves in that corner that relate to the little niche you can see on the right side of the image (ignore the fan…that’s not decorative).  Finally, with some of my options, I feel like I need a shag rug.

Like I’ve said, I thought solid might be best for ease of construction….but it’s so boring.

I tried it in a color (I don’t want to go dark as we have light colored pets)….and I still think it’s boring.  Better…but….

So then I went for prints.  I found all of these options on for less than $10/yd, which is right in my budget.  The colors are all more vibrant than shown because I made it a little transparent so you could still see the outline of the chair.  I didn’t want to bother matching up the pattern because, well, that would be just as difficult as actually upholstering it!  So with that, all the patterns would actually be smaller than the bold graphics.

So NOW I feel like I have TOO many options!  I think patterned definitely looks the best, and modernizes the chair, which is part of my goal.  I think I may just need to order a whole bunch of samples.  Do you have a favorite?

Probably biting off more than I can chew


Ah, fall.  My favorite season.  Season of crunchy leaves, warm sweaters, scarves, cocoa, bonfires, and projects.  The unbearable heat of the summer is passed, and we haven’t yet reached the bone-chilling cold of winter that drives me to huddling under my down comforter and praying for spring.  Now is the time when I want to knit, cook, sew, and take on very large projects that are WAY over my head!  Maybe it’s because my mom always started making our Halloween costumes around this time?  In any case…I recently had an idea.  Cue terrifying sound effects.

A while ago, I posted about my naked corner.  It’s still naked.  I’m poor, what can I say!  I don’t like the idea of just filling it with something, and I’ve got a list of about a bazillion things that need to be budgeted for in front of new furniture.  But….my parents have been wanting to get rid of this chair for quite some time.

Now, it’s not suuuper my style, but it’s structure is in pretty good shape.  The fabric is worn and discolored at the head – hence the strategically located blanket in that really awesome photo.  There is also a bleach splatter on one side where my dad once sloshed some coming in from the garage.  It’s a recliner, which my husband loves, and I can rest easy knowing that it didn’t come from some dank smoky basement.  And it’s free…so that’s awesome!

So my idea?  Reupholstering.  Myself.  Um, I’ve never reupholstered anything beyond stapling new fabric on the seat of my directors chair and sewing a new back for it as a teen.  So a wing-back chair, that’s only about the most complicated item to learn on.  So that’s the one I’m going with.  Why bother hiking up hills when you can take on Everest, right?  Pacing yourself is for pansies!  Maybe this is how I’ve ended up doing triathlons without really knowing how I’ve gotten there….

The chair is arriving this week.  I’ve done a tiny bit of internet research, and found pretty good tutorials here and here.  I also happened on some book recommendations here and here.  In my head, I can get fabric for $10 or so per yard – fancy fabric on one’s first attempt at this is not really a great plan in my opinion – so toss in some misc. supplies, and I could get it done for under $200.  I kind of like the idea of white, like in my original post about that corner, but the husband isn’t so sure.  I think I’ll definitely go with a solid color though, so I don’t have to be as concerned with matching up a pattern repeat….or stripes.  Shudder.

This could go a few ways.  1 – I never do anything and we have a blue chair in our green and brown living room.  2 – I start the project and never finish, resulting in a half dismantled blue and stuffing color and as yet undetermined color fabric strewn across my living room with me rocking in another corner in the fetal position.  3 – I uncover heretofore undiscovered talent for upholstery and get an awesome sort of new chair.

Place your bets?

Bedding part 2


I am a self-admitted blanket hog.  I love to take the blankets, tuck them under me, and roll up into a burrito…thus leaving no blankets on the rest of the bed.  When I got married, I registered for a new down comforter, and I thought it would be a great idea to get the oversize queen for our queen sized bed.  That way there would be more than enough blanket to go around, and we wouldn’t have that weird thing where the comforter doesn’t hang off the sides at all.  Perfect!

And then I tried to buy a duvet cover so as not to filthy up my white comforter.  FAIL!  There are not a lot of oddly dimensioned oversized queen duvet covers in the world!  (In hindsight, I should have just gotten a king.  It’s not that much bigger that it would look silly, and then it would be a standard size.)  Some people would just buy a new comforter, but I am a tightwad and I tend to work with what I’ve got.  So on a 90 degree day, I thought that playing with many yards of feathers and fabric would be the FUNNEST thing to do.  🙂

This thing is huge.  I thought hard about the most open floor space-d area in my home, and it STILL wasn’t quite big enough to lay out the whole thing!  (I decided to go the route of tracing my existing comforter on the duvet because I don’t trust myself to measure and draw straight enough lines.)

I solved this problem by doubling it up.  (And I had to do this twice, because the heat fried my brain and I forgot to turn it inside out first.)

I then laid out the comforter on top, also doubled up.

Precision was not key, since I didn’t want the cover to fit toooo snugly.

I placed pins just outside the edge of the comforter, again, outside to avoid too tight of a fit.

Here again with not trusting myself to sew in straight lines, I ironed a crease to follow along the pin lines I’d created.

It’s a little difficult to see, but I sewed two seams.  The first was just a straight line along my ironed crease.  Then I ran out of white thread for my backup zig zaggy seam – for the likely event that I somehow break that straight seam – so I used gray since it will A, never be seen, and B, I was in no mood to run out to the store.  This duvet came with corner ties, which I once read is how Martha Stewart keeps her comforters secured inside her covers.  I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, so I detached them from their corners, cut them in half, and attached them to the new corner location as well as on the comforter itself.  Then it’s muuuch easier to recover if you’re going it alone, as you tie the corners together and just shake the rest of it into place. 

Then I got really nervous to just cut away the excess – measure twice, cut once!  So I laid the whole thing out one more time to make SURE I’d sewn in the right place, and then I trimmed off the excess. 

Voila!  It fits!  And I don’t have that sad empty 3-6″ pocket of space along all the edges of my comforter.  Which is awesome, because you absolutely need a down comforter in August.  🙂

DIY Artwork


Being a person of a limited budget, I am a huge fan of DIY art. There are just so many options, so if you can’t afford the artwork at your local Starving Artist’s Fair, read on.

You’ve already seen me make some of my own artwork in the form of fabric panels.  Another great (and simple) idea is to stop by your local paper store or even your local target and pick out a pretty, graphic gift wrap or scrapbooking paper. Mount this on some foam core or other substrate or frame in a frame of your choice and voilà! Art!

This morning I came across an article on Better Homes & Gardens’ website on this very subject. They had about 15 or 16 different ideas, but here are the ones I liked the best.

#1: Place Mat Wall Art: Simply find a placemat you really like, drill holes in the corners and connect the mats with wire, twine, string or a chain.

#2: Canned Art: Save those old diced tomato cans and repurpose them as vases on your walls!

#3: Silhouettes: Trace whatever you want–yourself, your family, your cat, birds!, and then cut the shape out of black paper. Mount on a colored or patterned background and then frame.

#4: Six of a Kind/Repitition: Find a number of small items, post cards or greeting cards work well, similar but not identical. Frame them and hang in an orderly fashion.

If you want to read the whole thing, you can find it here. Let us know if you plan on trying any of these ideas out or if you have your own idea for DIY art.