Thursday, January 29, 2015

Re-upholstered-no sew chairs

So when we bought our house, I knew that we would need furniture, but that we would be house poor. 

My solution was to buy some wing back chairs at the D.I. (It's like a Saver's or a store where people donate their used stuff.) I bought two chairs and spent $35.00 on the pair. They sat in my garage for awhile until we decided that we were done updating the house for this year. 

I pulled them out and bought some fabric for $85. That was a great deal at $7 dollars a yard. I bought about 12 yards and had some leftover. 

My sister had covered a couple of wing back chairs which she has featured on her blog. (A link to her blog is on my side bar.) I was super nervous because I am not a perfectionist and I didn't know what in the world I was doing. I tried watching a couple tutorials on the internet, but gave up and just dove in and figured it out as I went after my sister encouraged me too. It was trial and error, but seriously not bad at all (two days work) and super worth it!!! 

 I started by covering the "wings. I just tucked the fabric into the crevice and found some wood in there to staple it too. It's a lot easier with two people so one person can push the cushion down why the other staples the fabric. You have to get pretty deep in there.
 Then I just pulled the fabric tight behind the wings and stapled it anywhere there was wood framing.
 The top picture shows the side with the exposed staples.
 The wings looked good so I kept on going. I did the arms next. I stapled the fabric deep underneath the arms so the staples were hidden and again tucked and staples the inside part.
 The front I covered and stapled to the bottom and the edges.
 My fabric is kind of busy and I was glad, because it hid a couple of staples I had to staple on the outside.
 Not the most flattering pictures. Why you ask am I in workout clothes to re-upholster the chair?
1-Because I am always in workout clothes. It gives the illusion that I work out even when I don't. and
2- I was sweating as if I had worked out after doing the chairs. Sweat = workout in my book so yeah I worked out.

This picture shows the "seams" I created by hiding the staples.
 So I'm sorry we didn't take more pictures of the process, but you get the idea-really you probably don't, but I didn't either and look at these awesome chairs I covered. So I guess embrace your ADHD impatience, and non perfectionism and dig in. So here is the finished product. The toughest part is once you have all the exposed staples,  you then have to cover them with fabric. So you staple the underside of the fabric for the back of the chair and then fold the fabric down which creates a line and consequently a "seam." You do that on all the flat sides.
 BOOM! Yep, that just happened. Two awesome chairs for $75 a piece. I had a girl in my neighborhood sew the cushions-which she did for $20 a piece. I wasn't about to ruin the chairs I had made by trying to sew some cushions. Anyway not bad. So glad that there are creative and crafty woman out there who think up the ideas and let us copy them!! Yay plagiarism!!
 So once I had the chairs I of course wanted a side table. It's the whole if you give a mouse a cookie thing. I again was cheap and didn't want to spend more than $50. Which is what I ended up spending on this bad boy. The table top was a Pottery barn side table that was broken that I got at their salvage store and the bottom is a bar stool that the top was broken off of. I saw the two and thought maybe I could put them together and make a side table. By "me" I meant my husband. Which he did. He's awesome. He hates it BTW. That's how I knew it was good.
 Here is a look at the underside of the table. The barstool part.
 I will try to find some before pictures of our fireplace because that is a crazy transformation. The lanterns I got at the same salvage store as the chairs. They were ten dollars a piece. They were rusted and ugly orange so I spray painted them black and that was that. The dining room table is in there temporarily, but I actually think it's fine. Now when I scrounge up a few more bucks I will set out to decorate the mantel and the other side of this room. It's coming together.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Latest article. How 2 boys taught me not to assume the worst.


BOUNTIFUL — Late afternoon this past summer I was out in the garden picking tomatoes when, suddenly, my 2-year-old who had been there moments before was nowhere to be found.
Our house sits at the end of a dead-end street, eight houses up from a very busy road. As I ran to the front of the house, I looked down the street. I could barely make out a tiny object just feet from the main road.
"Oh please. Please don’t let that be him," I pleaded.
I began to walk fearfully toward it when suddenly I knew what it was: My son’s wiggle car with him on top, his tiny legs pushing it forward, unnoticed by passing cars.
Panic gripped me as I flung off my sandals and began to run as fast as I could. Time slowed.
Two children stood on the street corner just a few feet from my son, watching. I thought, "I am about to watch my own child get run over by a car. My life will be ruined — my husband's, our children, whoever hits him, and those two kids watching — and it’s all my fault."
Horrified, I knew I would never make it in time. I began to pray out loud. “Please God. There’s no way I’m going to make it in time. Please stop him!”
In that moment I screamed as loud as I could. “Edison! Stop!”
Edison calmly stood up, his legs still straddling the wiggle car, and waited for me.
I have never felt relief like that moment I grabbed him in my arms.
I stared at those two boys on the corner. They were probably 5 and 8 years old. I was so upset. It was all I could do not to yell, “How come you just stood there and watched him trying to drive into the street?! Why didn’t you go get your mom or grab him?”

Yes, they had stood there. But not just watching him; watching over him — a minor detail that made all the difference.
I knew that was wrong. Of course the fault lied with me and me alone. So instead I bit my tongue and shot out a sarcastic, “Thank you!”
A couple of weeks ago I saw those two boys on the corner again. Out of curiosity, I went up and talked to them. I asked them if they wondered, that day, where in the world the little boy’s mom was. One of the boys kind of smiled and said, “Yeah.”
I smiled back and thanked them for real this time, though I didn’t know why I had. Maybe subconsciously I somehow knew the real story.
That Sunday I met the mother of the two boys. I told her the whole story. She smiled, “I know. My older son came in that day and said, 'Holy cow. I just got that lady’s kid out of the street and then she yelled at me.' ”
I was annoyed at this. As I walked away my first thought was, “I didn’t yell at him. I bit my tongue. In fact, I should have yelled. He stood there and watched instead of going for help.”
And then all of a sudden something she had said hit me with full force. I went back over to her, this time humbled.
“My son was still in the road when I got to him, but he was on the side of the road.” I told her. “Your son said he got him out of the street.”
The woman nodded.
“Did your sons tell my baby to stay there?” I asked her. “Did they stop him from going any further?”
The woman nodded. “That’s what they told me.”
I thanked the woman profusely and then told her to please tell her children how grateful I was. I told her to send them over any time for cookies or to come play at our house.
As I walked away I couldn’t fight the emotion. I had been taught an extremely valuable lesson. I had assumed these boys had just stood there and watched my child make his way to certain death, but my assumption couldn’t have been further from the truth. Yes, they had stood there. But not just watching him; watching over him — a minor detail that made all the difference.
As I walked away I wondered how many other times I had assumed the worst about a situation or someone when the opposite was really true.
A priceless lesson I learned from two young boys who saved my toddler's life.

AFTER THOUGHT (after reading comments left on the article):

I found it so interesting when I read the comments (which I rarely do. It's sad, but most of the time people pick out the negative and comment about that. Thank you to all of you - that see the truth.)

People said I didn't do enough for those two kids. They are right. Truly how could I do enough for them?

However they did the very thing that I had done. They assumed.

I did talk to those boys and I did apologize and thank them. In fact I say that earlier in my story. I simply did not go into details choosing instead to focus on what I had done wrong so that other's could perhaps learn from my mistake.

I really appreciated a girl that commented that as a mother she could understand that situation, that every kid gets away from us at some point. What is sad to me is when we read about stories of people who accidentally leave a child in the car or accidentally run over a child or any other genuine accident that is horrific and people take the opportunity to pounce on those people. Letting them know how horrible they are-as if they don't already believe that about themselves. As if they will ever ever be normal again. As if any cruel, judgmental and ignorant thing said in hate will "teach them a lesson". As if they haven't suffered enough - we decide to inflict more damage and pain. I hope I am never ever among that group who mis-judges a person who has gone through such a heartache. I hope I am never among the group that suffers that heartache. I hope I am someone that does not assume and I hope that when I do wrongfully assume the person I have wronged will forgive me.