Archive for January, 2007

A Week of Redecorating

Bedroom

Bedroom

I just completed the bedroom redecoration that’s been keeping my heart beating at a quicker pace. I’m the kind of girl who can’t sleep–or at least think about other things–until a project is done. I guess you could say that it’s the end destination, not the journey, that that defines me. I do enjoy the making of things, but really it’s the finished product that keeps me making things, reading things, cooking things. Some people would say this isn’t the best way to live, but there are always more projects to be made, more books to be read, and more (many more) meals to cook, so it all works out in the end.

There are many pieces that I want to show you, so instead of having one, really long post that is overwhelmed with pictures and far too many words, I’ll show you things piece by piece. I bought this dresser and a “matching” headboard off of Craigslist for $75. Both pieces date about 1930, although I don’t think they were a set, and were stained a mahogany color. Somewhere along the way the dresser had been veneered and chipped to pieces, so I decided to gold leaf and paint it with a powder blue (Laura Ashley). The gold leaf process was very delicate and took forever, but actually pretty easy to do. I used the special gold leaf glue the package recommends, which stayed tacky for 24 hours, laid the gold leaf, and sealed it with water-based Polycrylic. The trick to gold leafing is using wax paper to pick up and press down the leaf. It worked like a charm, and only 14 hours later I was finished. The supplies cost about $70, so the project totaled $120, if you don’t count man hours.

More bedroom pics tomorrow!

6 comments January 31st, 2007

Love and Loss

Seattle Olympic Sculpture Park--McMakin

Olympic Sculpture Park--Calder

Olympic Sculpture Park--Serra

It was a gorgeous, spectacular, beautissimo day–actually weekend–in Seattle so we took the opportunity to visit the newly opened sculpture park at the Seattle waterfront. I don’t know if it was the weather, the happy people with their dogs and children, or the sculpture, but we had a lovely time. SAM did a wonderful job both with the space and the art–it was designed, usable, and beautiful at every turn. Ryan was more captivated by the many cute dogs and matching owners and I couldn’t stop taking it all in.

I was somewhat appalled by the mass amounts of security (two men per piece) and signage telling people not to touch the sculpture. Societal rules tell us not to touch art, which we shouldn’t, but the museum did decide to put all of the sculptures in an outdoor park where dogs and children are allowed free range, where the art does not have any protective fencing or covers, and where the park is without any fencing to officially close the place after hours. Honestly, weren’t they expecting the pieces to take that wear and tear? Apparently not, as the signage was an addition after the opening–some of it simply a recycled print-out tacked to the wall. The Times jumped on board and ran a front-page article in that Sunday’s paper reminding people not to touch the art, and the article, like the security, seemed ridiculous.

But, that’s one minor and somewhat comic flaw in an otherwise flawless, spectacular park. Well done, Emerald City! Go check it out if you have the chance. It’s truly inspiring. You can check out the rest of the Flickr set here.

3 comments January 30th, 2007

Oh Me Oh My–Griping Plus Pillows

Trouble. I’ve been having lots of blogland trouble. Starting last week, I haven’t been able to load comments on any Typepad (TP) blog. I tried troubleshooting with Ryan on several occasions; it won’t work on the PC or the Mac, on Firefox, Safari, Opera, or IE at our house. Elsewhere it’s fine. Ryan seems to think that TP enabled some new java bits on their comment box and the wireless we freeload off of manages to block something or other. I’ve never felt so disconnected and out of touch with you all before. It sucks.

To make matters worse, my server was changed over the week and two of my posts were lost, kaput, not to mention who knows how many of your precious comments. And, now, as I try to remake my posts, Flickr won’t seem to work with Firefox. What? I’m curs-ed.

And now, new pillows for the drab couch… again.

New Fancy Pillows

New Fancy Pillows

The only pertinent information in that post was that I bought the cheapest down pillows ($5) from Ikea and used them as pillow forms. It worked out very nicely and I won’t hesitate to use them again. Oh so soft and so cushy!

1 comment January 26th, 2007

Sew French

Simple Sewing with a French Twist

Simple Sewing with a French Twist

Simple Sewing with a French Twist

I received this book as a Christmas gift, “Simple Sewing with a French Twist,” by Celine Dupuy. It really opened my eyes to a whole new section at the bookstore. I don’t know why I didn’t think of there being sewing books, especially with all the reviews and tips in blogland… but I didn’t. This book has some great ideas and gorgeous photos. There are numerous house items–ottomans, lamp shades, upholstery projects–and I love the way everything is coordinated. Her fabrics are luscious, too. I’m excited to try a few, especially the hat pattern. I’ll let you know how it works out and whether or not I recommend the book once I do!

6 comments January 18th, 2007

Out of Dodge

Downtown Vancouver BC

Ryan and I haven’t had a vacation together in years, unless you count day trips to NYC and hotel night stays after 12 hours of driving cross country with a cat in a green bug. I don’t, he doesn’t, but we got a bit closer this weekend when we decided to up and leave by the seat of our pants to Vancouver, BC. The last time we were there was in 2001, when he proposed to me on New Year’s Eve. It was fun to see the city again and feel, at least a teeny tiny bit, like we had left the country.

Downtown Vancouver BC

This was the view from our hotel room. Have you ever used Priceline for hotels? I didn’t try it until last year after a flight attendant friend of mine (who apparently knows all the tricks to traveling) stayed at the Marriott in Times Square for $100 a night. It’s a little like gambling, as you have to name your price and if they accept, you have to take it without knowing what hotel you’ve agreed to (but you do get to pick the number of stars and what city and area, if it’s a big enough city). We had a room at the Hyatt Regent, a four-star hotel for $65 Canadian!

Downtown Vancouver BC
We mostly just walked around, ate, and chilled in our cozy bed where it was warm, as we’re prone to do when traveling. It was a much needed rest for both of us. We’ll be back again soon, Vancouver.

Downtown Vancouver BC

Downtown Vancouver BC

3 comments January 16th, 2007

Cherry and Toffee Quilt

Quilt

Quilt

Quilt

I made this quilt for my dear friend, Aja. I was really happy with the fabric combination, despite it being very out of the whole pink, blue, green, LOTS of color scheme. It’s simple, and I think it’s more powerful this way. I wanted her to have something soft and pretty to cuddle up with on cold Northeastern days, and, there’s something about a quilt that says, “I think you’re so special I want to keep you warm and happy.” I hope she feels this way each time she uses it.

I’m not a fan of winter. I appreciate the joy of a hot cup of tea on a cold morning and how pretty the snow is, but it really gets me down once January hits. I want to hibernate and return only when it’s warm and the sun will shine. There’s a lot of dying that goes on during this month. The leaves are dead, the holidays are over, all of last year has ceased; it’s a time of introspection, I suppose. I’ve had so much change over the past year: deciding to give up on a career, leaving the East coast and dear friends, rejoining family, new houses, new cities. It’s a lot of change for a girl. I am so very happy to have this blog and my crafting as an outlet. It’s been very productive for me and a great way to receive some much needed encouragement. So thanks, blogland. I’m wishing all of us a happy and healthy new year.

15 comments January 12th, 2007

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