This story starts with a chair, a chair my grandfather made for me. I’ve had it since I was a kid and I love it not only for sentimental reasons, but also because it’s so comfortable with it’s giant arms.
Originally it was pink, a dusty pink, girlish fabric I didn’t choose. As a teenager I made the unfortunate request for him to reupholster it with leopard fabric and it’s been that way ever since. Partially because of this fabric choice and partially because of it’s size the chair has been banished from our apartment for most of the time we’ve lived here. A few months ago, I reclaimed it from my mother who had been keeping it for me.
I was determined to make the chair fit in our space and as soon as it was home, I started pulling and peeling away fabric, surprised that the pink was still hidden underneath. I was ecstatic, hoping I could just return it to it’s former glory by removing the leopard. The pink was actually quite nice, though faded it had a circular pattern I quite liked.
I cut and I tore and removed as much leopard as I could, only to discover that only about half of the pink fabric remained. So I was stuck. Then the chair just sat like this for months. Occasionally covered with other fabrics to disguise it’s Frankenstein appearance. I was too intimidated to reupholster it and all the slipcovers we found were atrocious.
But finally, nearly six months later, I bit the bullet and made my own slipcover. I had some “help” from little Weetzie. I made a pattern from sheets, pinned and basted all my pieces together and sewed the whole thing up.
It’s almost like a whole new chair! I’ll admit it’s still a little frumpy, but it’s a vast improvement from being covered with a sheet or in it’s torn up state. When I finally chose a fabric, there wasn’t enough yardage to make a cushion so that was sort of a drag. At least now it looks complete and blends in with our apartment. Mostly I’m just happy I tackled and finished a project that has been on my to do list for months and months. Now if only I would repaint our mantle…
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My mind has felt a little like these random photos recently. It seems to be full of all things, all at once. We’ve been cleaning and organizing our home, getting rid of clutter and taking things out of closets. So many secret treasures are hiding in boxes. The end of summer has been full of birthdays and gatherings and yet I’m feeling more antisocial than ever. I wish fall were here already, the heat makes me anxious. These past few weeks have not just signaled the change of yearly cycles, but also a change in life seasons. New excitement is peeking over the horizon. New challenges are drifting in with the wind. Summer lacked direction while now deadlines are looming over me. Everything all at once.
Even the words I write here are scatterbrained. I don’t have just one neat thing to share. I wish I did. I have been struggling with where I want this blog to go, what I want it to be. It’s just for me, so it can be whatever I want but how much of myself do I want to share? How many of my worries and ponderings do I want to put out into the world? How much self reflection is appropriate for public consumption? I’m still trying to figure it out.
Lately I’ve been addicted to audiobooks. It’s nice to have something to focus on when you’re stuck in traffic or doing the dishes or binding a quilt. At the same time, I’ve been a little let down by my reading selection. I know I should look back to what others recommended before, but I need a sure fire winner. I’m looking for not just something that you think I might like, I’m talking your favorite book, or one that just blew your mind.
On the other hand, even if I don’t like a book as much as I’d hoped, I’ve been enjoying rating and reviewing things on Goodreads. There I can actually give reason behind why I didn’t like a book or why I did, plus others’ reviews help me choose my next book.
Of the books I recently listened to above, I enjoyed The Red Garden and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I am a big fan of Alice Hoffman so The Red Garden was easy to love. Quiet was really interesting, especially as a person who is extremely introverted. It highlighted all the talents of introverted people, but it didn’t really lend any advice to fitting in to the real world. Mostly I really enjoyed learning the history of how extroversion became popularized in American culture.
On the other end of the spectrum, I hated A Discovery of Witches. I only got this one because it was on sale and seemed decent but it was awful all the way through. It grosses me out how mediocre writing is celebrated these days. I demand new ideas! I demand editing! I’m only posting this book as a warning so you do not make the same mistake I did.
I also tried out two books by Jeffrey Eugenides. I have always been a fan of The Virgin Suicides so when The Marriage Plot was released I thought I’d give it a go. I suppose these days I’m maybe too aware of feminist issues for this book to work for me. I wonder if this book also was negatively affected for me by a mediocre audio production. Maybe I’ve just outgrown Eugenides as an author. In any case, I wasn’t a fan of this. Middlesex on the other hand was so highly recommended that I thought maybe it would cleanse my palate. It was certainly better but I think I had the wrong idea about it going in. I did really enjoy about two thirds of the novel, but there was one third that dragged on and nearly made me lose interest in the book entirely.
Ok, so what’s the most awesome of awesome books because I need a real winner right now? What do you think about audiobooks, are you a fan?
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Remember those kittens we had for adoption? Well, they all found homes, a wonderful, rare, happy ending. It just so happens that one of them found her home with us. Her name is Weetzie Cat.
She was the first one to come up to me back when they were still outside and I became sort of attached to her. We didn’t plan to keep her, but it was always in my mind. She’s very sweet, loves to snuggle and play and explore. She loves to explore. I sometimes think maybe we should have called her dust bunny as she crawls through all the hard to reach spots (behind the washing machine, under the victrola) bringing fluff balls and cobwebs with her.
We’re working on making friends with Meeme and Mochi. Meeme seems fine, mostly ignoring this little meowing black furball, giving her the occasional sniff. I think they’ll be friends one day. Mochi on the other hand is none to happy about this addition to our home. There has been lots of hissing. Mochi, the sweetest and friendliest of cats clearly is much happier with humans than other cats (well, except Meeme). Hopefully time will ease this tension as clearly Weetzie just wants to hang out with the big kids.
One of the major points of contention in our home decor adventures has been the dining room table. When we found our dining set on craigslist, we learned that the table had been carefully protected through the years by the grandmother who owned it. The table top is in near pristine condition, shiny and smooth, without a single scratch on its surface. Ever since, I’ve felt some sort of obligation to keep it in this perfect state, which means keeping the custom table pads on top and covering it with a tablecloth.
The only problem is that I’m not particularly a fan of tablecloths, even though they can be quite pretty. Partially it’s that they aren’t so easy to keep clean, but mostly, I hate that they drape so low over the sides of the table. Not only does it hide a lot of the detail of the table, but the cats, who often sit in the dining chairs end up pulling it this way and that. For the past year we’ve had an oilcloth on top, which I’ve been fairly happy with, but Shawn did not like at all.
This weekend we finally found some fabric at my favorite fabric shop that we both agreed would make a great tablecloth and a few hours later we had a cute custom piece. It’s the perfect length, very short, and matches the room while still being cute and fun. I’m very pleased with it and also excited to make tablecloths for various holidays and occasions (I already have one for Halloween in the works). Maybe one day I’ll get over my need to protect the table and just let it be, but for now, I’m quite happy just making a plethora of tablecloths.