Friday, February 29, 2008

Commuter Sentences: Cheapest Variety Show

20061005bus_stopThis morning's bus ride was one of the more amusing in awhile. When I first got on, there were several interesting folks sitting in the seats near the rear door. The one woman, who I've seen before, was yelling at the 2 men sitting near her. She has a very interesting appearance. Her skin seems to have one of those disorders that causes spotting and discoloration. That's not what makes her odd--it just adds to the complete picture. She wears what can only be described as tatters. I'm not talking older clothing--but actual tatters. I'm not sure how it stays on. There is not a place where the jacket is actually in one piece. And, she wears the same thing all year, as far as I can tell. Her pants, shirt, and "tattered" jacket are all one color: the color of oatmeal. This set of people got off at Union Station, opening the space for more people.


Two gentleman got on, drinking from a Mountain Dew bottle. I don't think it was Mountain Dew. After a few stops, they had to move from their seats to allow space for a man in a wheelchair. This put them in close proximity to someone who somehow offended them. For the next, oh, 20-25 minutes, they were screaming at the guy, who, as far as I can tell, did or said nothing. I can't even recount exactly what they were saying, though I can remember some:


"Ain't nthin' wrong with you wanting to be white, but touch my friend again, and I'll whoop your ass."


"You remind me of my mother" (to a woman sitting a few seats away) "and that's the only reason I'm not getting down here."


You get the idea.


At some point, a man got on and sat behind me. He was continually commenting on the goings-on up front. I guess I looked tense. I was...between going to work and listening to the insanity, yeah, you could say I was a little tense. At one point, this man reached around and waved at me. I turned around:


"yes?"


"You look tense. You keep movin' your neck around. Maybe I can rub your back for you."


I admit, though a massage was tempting, I had to decline.


"Yeah, these big black hands will feel great on your back."


"No, thanks..."


I got off a block early. A very eventful morning. I think you could say I got my $1.25's worth!


Picture by The Washington Post Express, www.readexpress.com

Clipmania 2008!

After my guest post on Unclutterer, I thought I'd post these supercute clips I found on Etsy from seller SusyJack:


Il_430xn_19604541

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Look! My Binder Clips on Unclutterer

Welcome20mat_2 


I was excited to see a post on Apartment Therapy about my guest post on Unclutterer. I get disproportionately excited about seeing new visitors coming to my site. So, if you're hopping over from one of these places, welcome! Leave comments--they make my day!

Look! My Binder Clips on Unclutterer

Welcome20mat_2 


I was excited to see a post on Apartment Therapy about my guest post on Unclutterer. I get disproportionately excited about seeing new visitors coming to my site. So, if you're hopping over from one of these places, welcome! Leave comments--they make my day!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bedside Bookcase Before And After

After my epic nightstand refinish, the other side of my bed was looking shabby. I was never completely satisfied with the bookcase I put there. It was a stackable foldable one...and I wish when I'd bought them back, oh, <GULP>, 8 years ago in 2000, I had bought 4. I bought 3, and this third straggler has always been an outsider. So, I used it bedside as a table/printer stand. However, it was pretty ugly. I didn't like how the sides extended up past the sides of the bed. I didn't like seeing the clutter on the shelves. I had been looking at other nightstands, but didn't want to spend a ton of money (especially after my big bargain on the other side). Plus, the bookcase was functional, just not pretty. So, I decided to cover it. I was inspired by this photo in the February issue of Domino:


Dominotable2_2008_2


So, I began my undertaking. I enlsited the help of my dad to chop off the top sides. Power tools are AWESOME. He also dug into his stock of random wood for a piece of plywood and cut it to fit the size I needed. The shelf was somewhat deeper than the original so that my cover would fall and cover the printer. (I should also mention that my brother also helped out with this part of the endeavor...and my whole family had been sick, so I appreciate the work!).




My mom and I shopped at Joann for fabric and the rest of the materials. I limited myself to the fabrics they had in stock because nothing kills me like too much choice. Even with those limitations, I was there a LONG time deciding. I narrowed it to a black and white print and a grey solid velvet. The black and white won out because there wasn't enough of the velvet.




Now, I wasn't going to actually make a slipcover. That was too complicated. I decided to upholster the top and then make side panels to velcro to it. Cutting the pieces was infinitely easier for this project because I invested in a rotary cutter and mat. I never thought I needed one, but read in a blog about its ease of use and decided to try. I'm really glad I bought one. It was a relatively small investment because they were on sale with an additional coupon (never pay full price!) and made cutting so much easier.




So, I upholstered the top shelf with some batting, the material, and one of the best inventions known to man: the staple gun.


Upholsteringthetop


I pinned and pressed the hems and sewed them with my seldom-used machine. The first panel (front) was perfect. The pattern matched up, the hems were straight. The second and third, not so much. I don't know if I calculated the cutting wrong or what, but the pattern was off. Plus, I was getting tired, so I was speeding through the hemming. I can't speed--I'm not accurate enough. But, at any rate, I finished! Here's the before and after:




Before:



Fullview 




After:



Bookcaseafter


<

Much Better, don't you think?


Bedside Bookcase Before And After

After my epic nightstand refinish, the other side of my bed was looking shabby. I was never completely satisfied with the bookcase I put there. It was a stackable foldable one...and I wish when I'd bought them back, oh, <GULP>, 8 years ago in 2000, I had bought 4. I bought 3, and this third straggler has always been an outsider. So, I used it bedside as a table/printer stand. However, it was pretty ugly. I didn't like how the sides extended up past the sides of the bed. I didn't like seeing the clutter on the shelves. I had been looking at other nightstands, but didn't want to spend a ton of money (especially after my big bargain on the other side). Plus, the bookcase was functional, just not pretty. So, I decided to cover it. I was inspired by this photo in the February issue of Domino:


Dominotable2_2008_2


So, I began my undertaking. I enlsited the help of my dad to chop off the top sides. Power tools are AWESOME. He also dug into his stock of random wood for a piece of plywood and cut it to fit the size I needed. The shelf was somewhat deeper than the original so that my cover would fall and cover the printer. (I should also mention that my brother also helped out with this part of the endeavor...and my whole family had been sick, so I appreciate the work!).




My mom and I shopped at Joann for fabric and the rest of the materials. I limited myself to the fabrics they had in stock because nothing kills me like too much choice. Even with those limitations, I was there a LONG time deciding. I narrowed it to a black and white print and a grey solid velvet. The black and white won out because there wasn't enough of the velvet.




Now, I wasn't going to actually make a slipcover. That was too complicated. I decided to upholster the top and then make side panels to velcro to it. Cutting the pieces was infinitely easier for this project because I invested in a rotary cutter and mat. I never thought I needed one, but read in a blog about its ease of use and decided to try. I'm really glad I bought one. It was a relatively small investment because they were on sale with an additional coupon (never pay full price!) and made cutting so much easier.




So, I upholstered the top shelf with some batting, the material, and one of the best inventions known to man: the staple gun.


Upholsteringthetop


I pinned and pressed the hems and sewed them with my seldom-used machine. The first panel (front) was perfect. The pattern matched up, the hems were straight. The second and third, not so much. I don't know if I calculated the cutting wrong or what, but the pattern was off. Plus, I was getting tired, so I was speeding through the hemming. I can't speed--I'm not accurate enough. But, at any rate, I finished! Here's the before and after:




Before:



Fullview 




After:



Bookcaseafter


<

Much Better, don't you think?


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Come Buy!

In acknowledgement that I love to buy--sometimes impulsively--home stuff, particularly "vintage" (i.e. OLD) home stuff, I have established a sellers account on Etsy. I tried Ebay, but it's way too complicated for me--deciding on starting bids, ending dates, continuous listing fees. This suits me better. One day, I might sell crafts there too, but right now, I have a few pieces I couldn't pass up that I can't keep! Take a look! Don't they scream "BUY ME?!" Here's what I've got so far:


Vintage bamboo fabric. You may remember this from past blogging:


Il_430xn


A set of Amish Greeting cards...so kitschy!


Il_430xn


A super Glam retro container:


Il_430xn


Vintage Frosted Glasses


Il_430xn


A "Blanc De Chine" style Walnut Candy Dish/Container. How cute!


Il_430xn


Well, stop by when you can. I'll be adding more...Shop early, shop often!

Come Buy!

In acknowledgement that I love to buy--sometimes impulsively--home stuff, particularly "vintage" (i.e. OLD) home stuff, I have established a sellers account on Etsy. I tried Ebay, but it's way too complicated for me--deciding on starting bids, ending dates, continuous listing fees. This suits me better. One day, I might sell crafts there too, but right now, I have a few pieces I couldn't pass up that I can't keep! Take a look! Don't they scream "BUY ME?!" Here's what I've got so far:


Vintage bamboo fabric. You may remember this from past blogging:


Il_430xn


A set of Amish Greeting cards...so kitschy!


Il_430xn


A super Glam retro container:


Il_430xn


Vintage Frosted Glasses


Il_430xn


A "Blanc De Chine" style Walnut Candy Dish/Container. How cute!


Il_430xn


Well, stop by when you can. I'll be adding more...Shop early, shop often!

Valentine's Day Special: Sweaty Bedroom Antics

Well, Ted and I got all hot and bothered in my bedroom last Sunday...hee hee hee. Sorry, bad joke. Ted was kind enough to help me carry and lay down my new rug. It's changed my life.


P2100130


Good thing he came, because it was a bear to both lift the bed and shimmy the rug under it. We both got our workout in for the day. I decided on this one after reading that Ikea wool rugs (and not just Ikea--someone said the Pottery Barn wool shag ones too) shed. This is nylon. No shedding. I added a carpet pad (the kind they use while laying carpet) and it's cushy to the max.


The unfortunate thing is that this does NOT block out my neighbor's "activities" below. I actually left him a note (second note--again, about the TV, which has gotten loud again, and introduced the concept that "the bedroom floor is thin...) So far, it's worked...can't last all that long, though. I feel like I should leave him a message every time I'll be out, like "hey, feelin' frisky now...now would be a good time." :)

On Loss

Glove060402_5 


On the crowded metro this morning, there was a lost black glove that sat beside a pole. This older gentleman with a Southern accent and a leather coat kept asking women if it belonged to them, including me, and everyone said no. (As an aside, I imagined him to be a Texan business man going to a meeting with the oil lobby...but then, he probably wouldn't be taking public transit. And, anyway, he didn't have a 10 gallon hat or yellow suit.)


This reminded me of two Fridays ago when I felt loss quite acutely. My Aunt Shirle died that morning of cancer after a long struggle with the disease. Death of a family member that you don't see all that often but who has always been a fixture in your life is very surreal. In some ways, truly feeling the loss is delayed and not fully understood...until you're at the next family function and he or she is not there.


That same morning, I dropped my favorite winter hat--a black fleece tight fitting cap from Talbots that I'd had for about 8 years--on the Orange Line metro. I was in a hurry to get off, and it was in my lap, and it dropped. I realized it as I went up the escalator and my head became cold. I truly felt that loss...it was immediate and real. Not to compare to a death, but in some ways, having that loss that was in my face, and made me cold, made all of the loss more real. Knowing you will never have someone or something back is hard to deal with, just on a different scale.


In the meantime, I have filed a "missing hat" report (they call it a loss and found report) to metro, adding "it's my favorite," as if the person cares. Unlike with my black hat, I can feel the cold air whipping through the hat I dug out of my closet to "replace" my favorite. And, I find myself, as I plan my new sewing project, wanting to ask Shirle advice. I guess it has to be enough to know she'll be looking over my shoulder from a better place. Slowly, you come to realize that it's really real.


As I was approaching my stop this morning, a woman jutted out of her seat and lunged toward the glove. Her companion said "Good thing you found that...You definitely would've missed that today!" as she united the prodigal glove back with the other. A little bit of me smiled inside.


Photo by Jeffy on Mad Times. Lots of lost glove photos, which I love, and kitties too, if you're so inclined.