Birds of a Feather

Ikea: Scandinavian Wonderland September 25, 2010

Filed under: Home,The everyday — kcfeather @ 1:52 pm

Ikea is definitely hit or miss.  I could do without most all particle board furniture.  And sometimes their Euro-modern style is a bit over the top for my taste.  But usually when I visit Ikea, I am proud to be a Scandinavian (especially here in Boston, where Ikea is much less crowded than the one in EPA and so things are orderly as well as cheap and functional).

First of all, how can you beat a $3.99 plate of Swedish meatballs with lingonberry preserves and potatoes.  It’s like Christmas Eve, everyday (K grew up having a Swedish smorgasbord – including Swedish meatballs – on Christmas Eve).

On our most recent visit, we bought two Lack tables ($9.99 each) and then made our own version of this West Elm table, with the help of a little Gorilla Glue (I got the idea here).

Nothing else was purchased during that visit, but there are lots of goodies that were very tempting…we just don’t have a place for them right now.

Alvine Kottar Curtains

Barbar Tray (Striped)

Barbar Tray (Dotted)

PS Tott Fabric

 

New Hobbies September 14, 2010

Filed under: The everyday — kcfeather @ 12:02 pm

K isn’t the only one around the house trying to find ways to pass the time – C also has a few new “hobbies.”

First, he’s been reading a lot about drug dealing (this is actually for academic research, but I still find it funny).

He’s also been learning to swim (since they go swimming a lot at his office).  The first day he got back from the pool and said, “I think it might be easier if I wore goggles when swimming laps.”  I said, “I think so, too!”

Then he decided to see if he could use the goggles while reading as well:

How do these glasses look?

Another new favorite past-time of C’s is playing with his laser pointer while we’re watching movies.  We got a projector instead of a TV, and we use one of the walls in our living room as our “TV screen.”  The laser pointer is a feature of the remote control for his computer, so is always out when we’re watching movies…and is apparently irresistible based on how often there is a little red dot bouncing around at the screen (the eyes and noses of the actors are common targets…)

 

Project: Making a Quilt! September 8, 2010

Filed under: Crafty — kcfeather @ 2:07 pm

Even before we moved, I had my eye on getting a simple sewing machine for little projects, but it didn’t seem to make sense to buy one just before a cross-country move.  Once we arrived though, I pretty quickly made a trip to Target to buy myself a sewing machine (a Singer Esteem II).

It’s been great – my first project on it was the rug.  Then, I finally finished the cloth napkins that I had cut and pressed over a year ago.  I had a few other things in mind, too.  Learning to quilt, and sewing throw pillows.

Quilting seemed like quite the undertaking, though – but in July I made a friend at the gym, and it turns out that she is a quilter and was more than happy to teach me!

This is the basic process:

1. Pick a pattern (I borrowed the Yellow Brick Road pattern from my friend/quilting teacher – this was her first quilt, too!)

2. Pick your fabric/color scheme (I chose purples and blacks/whites/greys)

3. Press and cut the fabric (this part was really fun!)

4. Sew the blocks

5. Arrange the blocks

6. Cut and sew the border, backing and binding

7.  Do the actual quilting

8. Sew on the binding (this is the step I’m on)

This has been a fun process, and I can’t wait to finish up my first quilt.  It is definitely stretching my little Singer to the limits…I am already thinking I might need a new machine if I decide to keep making quilts!  Though for now I think it is fine.
Here are a few pictures of the process (I’ll of course post a picture of the end result once the binding is done).

Arranging the blocks

Arranging the blocks

With the border and binding (not yet attached)

Quilted! (Hard to see, but I did stitch-in-a-ditch around the inside of the border, and diagonal hatches inside of that)

Close-up of the quilting (still a few threads hanging loose)

 

Project: Living Room Rug September 7, 2010

Filed under: Crafty,Home — kcfeather @ 12:21 pm

The rugs that came with the house were also not our cup of tea.  We rolled them up and put them in a corner, and then I began shopping around for rugs.  But, it turns out that rugs are expensive – and particularly since we won’t be in this apartment forever, it didn’t make sense to invest in a nice rug that might not fit the next place we live. I scoured Homegoods, where there were some decent options, but none that I loved.

Then, I came across this tutorial and realized that I could make my own rug!  I found a great indoor/outdoor fabric with a pattern and color I loved that was 50% off at the local fabric store.  Here are the results:

Finished rug

Close-up of the quatrefoil pattern

 

Project: Dining Room Chairs September 4, 2010

Filed under: Crafty,Home — kcfeather @ 12:38 pm

The past few months have been a great test of creativity – what does one do to keep themselves busy all day, when they don’t have a job and don’t know many people where they live (particularly if they dislike cleaning the house all day)?  One thing I (K) do is go to the gym a lot.  But you can only work out so much.  I’ve also taken on a few projects that I’m going to write about over the next few days.

Our apartment came furnished, which was great except for that some of the furniture had gotten a bit yucky from years of use.  Particularly the dining room chairs, which originally had white upholstery that had gotten discolored. I had a dream of recovering them with a fabric that was a) clean and b) more colorful. We’re pretty happy with the results – here’s how it went down:

Original chair

Close-up: Original Upholstery

Putting the new fabric on the seat (staple gun required!)

Screwing the seat back on

Finished chair!

You can see just a peek of the rug in the room behind the chair – another project I’ll post about soon.