Saturday, February 27, 2010

I love weekends. And sewing machines.

My mom bought me a sewing machine. Out of the blue (well, not entirely. I know I've been talking about sewing a lot.).

It came last weekend, and I've been contemplating what I should sew first. The chair fabric? A pillow cover? I found some cheap remnant burlap at the fabric store, and decided to christen the sewing machine with some lined bags. I would have made another one, but I didn't get that much burlap.

The sewing machine works great! Very smooth. And it threads the needle itself.

I think that sentence deserves an exclamation point. I don't know if a period carries the depth of significance and excitement I feel. And it threads the needle itself! or even And it threads the needle itself!

The bags are now in my kitchen. They take up some of my limited counter space, but they do it with such style. 

I love weekends because I have time to make breakfast, and I love breakfast. Moments after posing sweetly for my pictures, those oranges became juice.

And I also made banana nut muffins.

That's Miles in the background, staring intently out the window. That's one of his favorite hobbies these days.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fat vs. Skinny

I'm talking about couches.

Andy and I are thinking about getting a couch. I have wanted to post about this for a long time, even though it's really pointless. But there's probably no better time to write a pointless post about sofas, right?

I'm picky about sofa styles. My preference typically trends towards mid-century modern.

Why? It's the Fat vs. Skinny debate. Example:

Fat Couch
Photo from Ashley Furniture. I am trying to avoid copyright infringement here.

Skinny Couch

Photo from Room and Board.

The first couch, from Ashley Furniture, looks fat to me. Just blobby, shapeless, fat. The skinny couch, a Murray sofa from Room and Board, looks sleek, thin, structured. I do not like fat couches, no matter how comfortable they may be. The ideal, I suppose, is a couch that is both skinny and comfortable. And affordable.

Andy doesn't think we need a couch to begin with, which is a totally separate question. I don't really have an answer, other than aesthetics. That seems incredibly shallow. But then I guess, so does the Fat vs. Skinny couch debate. But it's just a couch, so it doesn't matter if I discriminate based on looks. Nobody's feelings get hurt.

Except for Fat Couch. Sorry, Fat Couch. You just didn't make the cut.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On the cottage

While I was in Prague, I didn't get to participate in one of the quintessential Czech weekend activities: the cottage. It seemed like every Monday, when I would come into class and ask my students what they did over the weekend, they would say something to the effect of "I was on the cottage." (Multiple lessons on prepositions stemmed from this phrase.)

But despite the 10 months I spent in Prague, I never got to experience this. It's been a Czech tradition for decades to go to a cottage during the weekends. (I think this is also traditional in other European countries, but I can only speak for Czechs.) Many Czechs own little cottages in quaint villages not far from the city. I think I got stuck in one of those cottage villages once and had to sleep outside. But that's another story.

I had to spend most of my weekends in Prague, but I wish I had gotten the chance to head to a real weekend cottage, because it always sounded like so much fun -- just hanging out with friends and family, surrounded by trees and hills, grilling fresh vegetables, getting away from the city and relaxing, spending the evening by the fire.

When I saw this Croatian cottage renovation at Design*Sponge, I fell in love. It's so simple and relaxing.

Someday, I'd like to buy a few acres of land in the mountains, not too far away, and build a cottage. Just a small one, something simple and rustic, where I could spend weekends Czech-style.

These amazing photos are by Damir Zizic. You can see more at the cottage's website, Kucica.

I have added it to my list of life goals. It's right up there with things like traveling the world and renovating an old house, things that require lots of time and money. But I can dream, anyway. If it ever happens, you can bet it's going to look a lot like this cottage. And yes, you can come spend weekends there with me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I think I have fallen in love with fabric, and not just for reupholstery. Now that I've borrowed my mom's sewing machine, I want to make everything I can possibly make out of fabric.

Because how could you NOT fall in love with Birch Forest by Ink & Spindle? (Or really, any of their fabrics. I love them all.)

Or Grass Green by Cicada Studio?

How about Miki by Maramiki?

And there's always Mod Green Pod, where I got my chair fabric.

Stop me before I go crazy. It might already be too late.

Monday, February 8, 2010

So I did it

I got chair number 2. This one is from the office, and I've been obsessing over it. I love it. I told them I'd get them another chair if I could have it, and they agreed!

I'm not going to do anything to the finish. I just have to change out the fabric. You may not be able to tell in this light, but the fabric is purplish. The chair is also pretty wobbly, so I'll need to fix that.

The dog took to it immediately, which gave me the opportunity for some pet portraits.

He looks so properly posed in that first one. It's like a school yearbook portrait.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I can post from my iPod. Cool.

See? Here's the little tag that says so. Sort of. No iPhone, but it's the same app.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Six years of devotion

I'm gonna geek out a little here and express my intense joy and elation (and sadness) at the start of the new season of Lost.

I've been a devoted fan since 2004, when it started. It was more than just a show to me. It coincided with the start of my freshman year in college, and a tradition was born, as well as some close friendships. Our group would get together and watch it every week, sometimes with a lot of us and sometimes with just a few, sometimes with snacks, sometimes with homework on our laps. (We stopped bringing the homework after a while, because that just doesn't work.)

We did this every year, every season. During commercial breaks we'd hash out Lost theories, or talk about school and work, or sit in stunned silence.

When I went away to Prague for a year, I could only afford to download one TV show from iTunes, and of course, it was Lost.

I'm thrilled to start another season with those same friends, but I'm saddened that every new episode is one closer to the end. It will (hopefully) answer all the questions we've had since season one, but will also bring a close to many good memories.

I'd like to say we can just find another show to watch together after this one ends, but I know won't be the same.

Regardless, I am so excited I can hardly sit still. I'm posting this at about 11:30. Eight and a half more hours to go!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Elbow grease

This weekend I busted out the sandpaper and attacked the chair, because I'm going to remove the old stain, with its cheesy black spots, and re-stain it.

I got this far, and let me just say, it was like trying to break up concrete with a pencil.

I was sanding and sanding and sanding but not getting very far. And I was choking on sawdust, which is like glitter, in that it gets everywhere and will always turn up even after you've scrubbed the house.

And after all that work, I remembered that my mom has a power sander. So I think I'll be borrowing that for a while. Along with her her sewing machine, because guess what came today?