Rearranging

I have a habit of rearranging furniture…a lot. I think I did it twice last week. the good news it that once I finally have it how I like it, I am content and happy. The downside is it takes me a LONG time to get things how I like them. I guess that’s the perfectionist in me. So last week, Matthew brought home a big box full of books for his seminary classes this spring. Add that to the possibly bigger box he brought home in the fall, and we are in major need of shelf space. As much as I have tried to pawn off his books to his office, he sadly has less space there to store books. He shares an office with two other people…who also have lots of books. So…they are staying here, I suppose.

so at about 11:00 the other night I moved a bookcase into the office. Now he already had one in there about the same size but with one less shelf. It also was falling apart. So I took a bookshelf from our living room and moved it into the office which required me moving all of my books somewhere else. Mine are now stuffed in random places until we can figure out a more permanent situation for the books in this house.

So here is what our little reading nook looks like with one less bookcase, and in my opinion, a whole lot more character. I guess it’s a good thing Matthew needed the bookcase in the office, because I like this better than our other setup. But in the future, I am imagining built ins.

The little table definitely needs some work, I am just not sure which direction to go with it, so I will gladly welcome suggestions. Happy Saturday, friends.

It’s a Mad Men Anniversary

If you ready my Valentines post, you would have known there was a hint in there about Matthew’s anniversary present this year. And no one probably knew what it was because I was talking about earrings just about the entire time and because I’ve kept Matthew’s present tightly sealed in my head. Ok, not really. Five people knew about Matthew’s gift this year. My mom and Mary Ann, Sara and Robert (my brother in law), and Robert – Matthew’s dad. Oh…and the Pinterest community…so…actually a lot of people, but not Matthew. And y’all, he spent a week guessing and came SO close. He was so close that it put me in a bad mood all evening because I thought I hadn’t said anything that would lead him to guess his present.

Matthew and I have a tendency to wait until a show is several seasons in, before we start watching it and then we become addicted. Our most recent addiction – Mad Men – and I have a total love/hate relationship with it and Don Draper. I also started the series despising Pete Campbell, but have grown very fond of him recently. Matthew had mentioned wanting a bottle of whiskey so while watching an episode of Mad Men and contemplating what to get him for an anniversary gift, it came to me. Bar cart. So i turned to Pinterest for a little inspiration and found this lovely.

via

On my search, I found several that I loved, but if I wanted to give Matthew a bar cart, it would also need to be stocked. And from the prices I was seeing, that wasn’t going to be an option. So, while out with my mom and Mary Ann, I mentioned wanting to find some way to make a bar cart for Matthew. Immediately they looked at each other and said, “We have one for you.” What luck. Now, this particular cart will need a little tender lovin’, but it’s nothing I can’t handle…I hope. See that picture above, we’re going to channel all that beauty into the below cart for something lovely.

Unfortunately it is in Bellville, which means I wasn’t able able to refinish this beauty before our anniversary – and to be honest, I am not exactly sure what I am going to do yet. So for our anniversary, I gave Matthew everything he would need for a few drinks with friends and set it out.

While searching for the items, I had to do a little research. Some of it involved calling up my brother in law, emailing my father in law, and actually lifting several glasses to find the perfect old fashioned glass. In my humble opinion, it needed to have a good feel in the hand as I grabbed it, and it needed to feel substantial. Not heavy, but substantial. Oh – and it couldn’t cost a fortune either. I found the perfect glasses at Pottery Barn for ten bucks a piece. And for my hunny, I would have gladly purchased them. After mulling it over in my head, I had made the decision to purchase them. A week later I headed down to the local PB only to find that it was closed for the evening. Now, I could have waited until the next day to purchase them, but when I get excited about a gift, I get extremely impatient. So I thought to myself, “Well, I’ll just head into Bed, Bath and Beyond and see what I find,” not really expecting much. I was wrong. I found these glasses for about $2.50 a piece. They are slightly smaller than the PB glasses I fell in love with, but have the same weight and substantial feel. And for a girl whose husband has a tendency of breaking glasses, these seemed perfect and easily replaceable. And because four were the same price as one of the PB glasses, I also picked up some matching highball glasses for the same price. Eight glasses for the price of two…I’ll take it.

Other items on his future bar car include an ice bucket, two beer mugs, whiskey, gin, tonic and some monogrammed napkins. (Yes, I still have some left over from our wedding four years ago.) And you’ll notice the card I made for him…complete with our Mad Men characters. Matthew’s actually kind of looks like him. Mine? Not so much.

At the end of the day, Matthew said I nailed it. And then he told me that he knew what I was getting him. So much for trying to keep a secret. Better luck next year!

Making old new [a lovely chair]

About three years ago I snatched a chair off of the side of the road. Yep. I did that. Every so often we have bulk trash pick up by the city where we can throw just about anything our little hearts desire out onto the side of the road for the city to pick up (and for all the world to see). I am very particular about when this trash goes out on the curb. We get the notice that we can start depositing trash about a week before it is scheduled to pick up. A week!!! That means there is a free for all with everyone’s junk for that week. Because I don’t feel real comfortable with people going through my stuff, I usually wait until the night before to put it out. However, I am happy that other people don’t wait because I snagged up this beauty from my neighbor three years ago. (And by I, I mean Matthew, because there was no way I was pulling this piece of junk across the street to have people judge me.)

Now I know what you are thinking…Haley, that’s not that bad. Well…that’s actually a progress photo. I seem to have deleted the photo of the chair in its original condition. But trust me, it was a sight. The cushion that was on it and been shredded to pieces. Apparently the dog thought it was the dirt and was trying to dig a hole in it. And the webbing (I don’t actually know what it is called) that supported the back had a huge hole in it. It looked like the dog tried to jump through it at one point. So trust me – this chair was much worse! The above photos were taken after I had removed the cushion and cut most of the webbing away.

I had big, big intentions of making this chair beautiful, I just had to find the time and the inspiration. I held onto it for three years. I even convinced Matthew to move it to our new house in May. [Love you!] And then found this while perusing the world wide web. Take a look at that old chair and see what they did with it! Just the inspiration I needed to get started on my own project.

So I ordered the fabric and cotton webbing from Fabric.com, bought my Valspar paint and nailhead trim from Lowes and got to work. I had blisters from removing all of the wedding around the chair. I don’t know it there is a trick or not to getting it off. I just used some good old fashion muscle and perseverance. I then sanded, primed, sanded, painted, sanded, painted, sanded, painted, painted, and polyurethaned until I was satisfied. The below picture is one of the stages of painting, before the polyurethaning.

After letting the char dry for 24 hours, I got to work on the cotton webbing and nailhead trim. I decided to do all of the verticals before the curve first. I let them hang down, knowing i was going to pull them tight and staple at the end of the project. As I got to the curves on the chair I used a continuous piece for the verticals and horizontals. I then finished off with a few more verticals and got to work on the horizontals. Now originally I had planned to space the weave out a bit more, but when I started actually putting the webbing on the chair, I decided to go with a tighter weave and I ran out of cotton webbing. I had to order more which put a delay in my project, but after the holidays, it was probably alright to rest a little while I waited for the rest to come in.

Well I am glad to say that today is finally the day. I FINALLY finished my chair. It’s been a project three years in the making and I am so pleased with how it turned out. Is it perfect? Nope. But it is mine and I did it…and that…I am proud of. I love this chair.

And a little context in the room:

Our couch is a red color that closely matches the red color in this fabric. So when I originally ordered it, I ordered enough to make some throw pillows for the couch. I also pulled out a little chevron fabric that I had and will be making some smaller throw pillow out of it. But that’s a project for another time!