Friday, January 29, 2010

This has got to be some kind of fallacy

I don't know what kind. Hasty generalization? Appeal to emotion? Affirming the consequent?

Fallacies aside, this poster makes me so happy.

Probably a lot happier than it should. I giggle every time I look at it. I think I want to hang it in my house.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gutted, like a fish

Well, there it is. I have removed the layers of fabric, including the bits of hideous yellow green that were clinging to ancient staples. I have yanked and bent and pulled out those staples, hundreds of them. Staples stapled over staples. And one of my fingers is even splinted! It's hard work to grip pliers and a staple remover when you can't bend one of your fingers.

I gutted the chair while Andy watched the Colts game, and I occasionally glanced at the TV for crucial plays. And Miles spent most of his time attempting to get under the chair while I worked.

I have no idea what percentage of my work is done, but I have a feeling the staples are going to be much easier to put in than they were to get out.

A Sweet Favorite

The other night Andy and I ate at what is probably our favorite restaurant in all of Chattanooga. Maybe favorite of all time.

This might come as a surprise, because the restaurant doesn't stand out in terms of decor or location. The interior is clean but lacking in atmosphere, with a few authentic pieces on the wall but little else.

I love atmosphere and decor in restaurants, but I don't care when it comes to this one. What Andy and I go for (on a regular basis) is the food. The restaurant is Sweet Basil, and the food is fragrant, flavorful Thai, with its coconut curries and hot chilis. As a vegetarian, I can get just about anything on the menu with a tofu substitution. My favorite dish is a sweet, slightly spicy curry with tofu on a bed of spinach.

Andy loves the restaurant because he can get his food "Thai hot." He's never been satisfied with other Thai restaurants that seem to skimp on even the spiciest dishes (I can't tell a difference though - it's all too spicy for me!). Whenever he asks for his dishes "Thai hot," the servers get this huge smile on their faces. They probably don't get that request very often. And even though Andy sweats and cries over his curry, he says it's wonderful, and he keeps coming back for more.

I haven't asked to find out if the servers are all from Thailand, but I would bet that many of them are. They are certainly among the friendliest and attentive servers I have ever met.

Whenever we get a craving for Thai food, that's where we go. If you're a Thai-curry fan, I recommend Sweet Basil highly. I don't have any photos of it because I didn't think to bring my camera. But next time you come to my place, let's go out to Sweet Basil, because I can't seem to make my own homemade Thai taste so good.

But make sure you come on Tuesday, because you can get two entrees and an appetizer for $19.95. is Tuesday!

Friday, January 22, 2010

It sounds cool, but it's not

I suspect I have something called "trigger finger," which makes it sound like, well, like I have a .45 in my belt and I'm itching to fire it.

But really, it's more like carpal tunnel for your finger. My finger gets stuck halfway between straight and bent, and if I continue bending it, the tendon snaps and causes all kinds of pain.

I am wearing a finger splint. Do you know how hard it is to type (or tie your shoes, or hold a mascara wand) with a finger that doesn't bend? I think I am now faster at texting with my thumbs than I am at typing with my fingers.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A revelation

I just went to a fabric store. I learned something. Apparently, $40 a yard is not an unheard-of price for good upholstery fabric (who knew?). In fact, it's pretty common for the price to be more. Twice as much, even.

So since I know the orange flower fabric will make me happy, and since I know I can't get much better for much cheaper, I'll just save my money and whine.

And hope I don't mess it up, because that's definitely money down the drain. And hope my dog doesn't chew it, because I can't be mad at my dog no matter how hard I try, and I will try very hard if he ruins my chair.

I also learned that I probably shouldn't go into a fabric store without money to spend, because being there makes my head want to explode with all the creative fabric-based things I could make (bags! quilts! dresses! pillows! chairs! curtains!).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A chair obsession explained

You're probably sick of hearing about chairs, but I'm sure this isn't my last post about them, which is why I propose to explain why I've found a sudden interest in furniture.

For most people, a chair is just a chair. Its purpose is twofold: it is a place to sit, and it is an object with which to decorate, but when it comes to buying a chair, chances are that you won't buy a chair you don't like. You'll continue looking until you find a chair you do like.

Well imagine only needing to like a chair for its shape. Beyond that, it's fully customizable! Don't like the fabric? Switch it with one of the millions of other cool fabrics out there! Don't like the color of the frame? Paint it any color you please!

A whole new world of options has exploded onto my senses. It's like my brief foray into eating meat. After a lifetime of being vegetarian, suddenly I could enter a restaurant and actually get whatever was on the menu. I remember walking into all my favorite restaurants as though it were the first time, staring at the options like a blind person who could suddenly see. You mean I can get ANY of this stuff? I'm not limited? No more frustration at finding slim pickings on the menu? No more asking for subsitutions, like "I'll have the burger please, but, uh, without the actual burger. Can you do that?" (That is the rebellion of a vegetarian, ladies and gentlemen. If only I could travel into the past to my teenage years and tell my parents that the extent of my recalcitrance is a chicken sandwich. I probably could save them a few years of stress.)

Anyway, when it comes to chairs, I have discovered that I have the freedom to make them into whatever color or texture I desire. I can now have one-of-a-kind chairs that no one else in the world will have. There are probably hundreds--thousands--of chairs (or sofas, or other pieces of furniture) languishing away in forgotten corners of offices, homes and flea markets, waiting to be revived by a new coat of paint and a vivid fabric. Suddenly, I'm looking at chairs with new eyes, seeing their potential and itching to unleash my creativity, which has been bottled up for far too long (I'm convinced college is a creativity-quasher).

But knowing me, it's probably just a phase. Which is why I need to get on with the reupholstering, quickly, before I'm onto the next thing, so at least I can get some good chairs out of the deal.

I couldn't possibly have known that

I have been hunting for fabrics for my newly found chair, spending countless hours slogging through Google pages. The vast majority of upholstery fabrics out there are really boring. I even searched "modern upholstery fabric" but came up short.

Silly me. I should have just typed "modern fabrics" and it would have solved my problem, but I thought (quite logically, in my opinion) that I would need to include the word "upholstery" in there somewhere, since that's what I was after.

Well a roundabout search through scads of other sites let me to Modern Fabrics. Tada! Just exactly the kind of modern upholstery fabric I was looking for! It's a bit late, unfortunately. I already have my heart set on Mod Green Pod. BUT there are lots of other amazing and retro fabrics there, and cheap too, since they're reclaimed from fabric factories and stores.

So basically, all it has done is made me want to reupholster MORE chairs. Is it bad for me to be searching for another project when I haven't even finished this one?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Chair, aka I'm Probably In Over My Head

I haven't written a blog post since October. Sorry.

There, now that that's over with, I'd like to share my latest project. I have been following the Before & After section of the site Design*Sponge for a while now, and let's just say I've been inspired (because "obsessed" sounds bad).

It's full of fun DIY projects, like refinished furniture and reupholstered chairs and even renovated rooms. People find old stuff and fix it up, and it looks incredible. My fingers have been itching to do something crafty, so here goes. My very first reupholstery project.

I found this chair for $20 on Craigslist. Isn't it cool? Well, not yet it's not. But it will be (hopefully) when (if) I finish it!

I really don't think this will be difficult. I've been Googling "How to reupholster a chair," and I even found video! No problem, right?

Just gotta find some fabric. Don't want something too traditional. It's gotta be modern and a little retro, but not too over the top. When I ran across Mod Green Pod's Bloom fabric, I fell in love. And it's even organic! (Their other fabrics are also pretty rad.)

It's also very expensive, at least for my budget. A couple yards of this stuff will turn this $20 chair into a $100 chair, and if I were going to spend $100, why would I even bother with reupholstering? I could have found something great for way less trouble. So I'm not sure this fabric is worth it, but after seeing it, nothing else measures up.

Anyway, I'm apparently too impatient to wait for fabric, or even proper tools, because I've started tearing the thing apart already. I've learned some things in a very short time, too. Like that this chair was once bright blue, and before that, something yellow-green and very '70s. And that my dog finds its musty smell irresistible.

And that this might get a bit nasty.