The people in our neighborhood are either way more well off than we are, or they don’t understand what Goodwill is. Either way, they put some AWESOME stuff out for Big Trash Day. I kid you not, I saw a chaise lounge out there not too long ago, but it was gone before I got home from work.
Anyway, Hubby and I collect things we think are still good, and either keep them for ourselves, or donate them to Goodwill for a nice tax deduction. Our latest acquisition was this massive, round ottoman. I got Flapjack on it for scale:
We decided to recover it completely. This is going to be a long “How To” post, so get ready. First, we wanted to rip off the fabric that was already on it. It was torn up, and ugly, so we just started pulling.
The whole thing was held together with hundreds of massive staples:
Hubby had the idea to use the back of the hammer to pull them out.
We still ended up with a few strays, but the needle nose pliers took care of them. If you have any you can’t pul out, you can always snap off as much as possible, then hammer down the rest so you don’t have any pokey-bits.
My wonderful staple gun is all I need at this point.
This is the fabric we chose to cover it in. It’s a faux-quilt print, with lots of asian-esque designs. We measured the whole ottoman, and got a high-thread-count, and hopefully durable fabric. We spent about $35, so this is not really free furniture anymore. If it had been smaller, it would obviously have been cheaper.
We had to take two sections and sew it together down the middle to cover the whole top. There’s actually a seam running right down the middle, but because of the pattern in the fabric you can’t even tell. I used a sewing machine to join the two pieces. We then draped the big piece over the top, and made sure the seam was centered.
We covered the ottoman in 2 sections: the top first, and then the lower half, almost as though we were putting a skirt on it. I’ll explain the top half first:
Round furniture can be complicated because you have to pleat the fabric around the piece. We made it simple by stapling at first in one spot, then directly opposite to anchor the fabric in place, effectively dividing the ottoman in half. In the middle of each of those halves, we stapled again opposite each other, so that the piece was now divided into quarters. That means you only have to pay attention to making the pleats even in one section at a time, instead of the whole thing at once.
As I was going around stapling, I was trimming off excess very roughly, and tucking the bottom edge under. I stapled through both layers of fabric to give it more strength.
For the lower half, we measured all the way around the ottoman, and the length from the middle to the floor. We were able to cut the fabric in half length-wise, and then I use the sewing machine again. I folded what was going to be the top edge down, and down again, and sewed through it twice (which is what you see at the bottom of the picture:
We put the “skirt” on the ottoman upside down, which is what you’re seeing above. I stapled through the hemmed part, again, to give it extra strength. Once I had done this all the way around, we folded the skirt down, so the staples are all completely hidden. Here’s how it looked at that point:
The entire thing is basically hollow, and we didn’t want all of our crazy pets blimbing in there and destroying it from within. We stapled an old sheet across the bottom, and cut off the extra.
We stapled it fairly close to the middle of the wood on the bottom, so we could layer the main fabric over-top.
You can see here the ottoman has tiny legs, which I just stapled around on the bottom. They are removable, and I didn’t want to impede that process in case we need to take them off and put them back in the future.
We did all the pleating around the bottom section the same way as the top: anchor the fabric in fourths, then take one section at a time. It looks so much better now, and we had fun working on it. It seems like a lot of steps, but it’s really fairly straight-forward. You might try it on a smaller piece for your first time, though.
When I picked up this book, I was looking for some basic, easy-to-read chick-lit. This is definitely a girly book, but the plot was much more substantial than I expected.
The book starts out with the main character and her long-term boyfriend in their kitchen. He up and leaves her, right after an unsuccessful in-vitro fertilization attempt. I know what you’re thinking: ‘Bastard!’, right?
But this is not your basic girl-gets-dumped-then-meets-someone-new story. She gets hell-a dumped, and then goes off on an adventure. The plot still follows the ex, and other characters, and weaves together a more complex plot than I expected.
What’s the Clever Chick rating? Why, I’m glad you asked. This earns a “I recommend it, and even gifted it to a friend”. In case you’re curious, that means, no it didn’t earn a place on my sacred shelves, and I probably won’t reread it. I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity of the plot and characters, and it was a bit of a departure from basic girly books.
Westworld is kind of an odd movie. It’s about a resort people can go to, and choose between a vacation in Romanworld, Medievalworld, or Westworld. It’s basically a giant Live Action Role Playing (LARP) game, with robots for the guests to interact with. It stars Yul Brynner as a cowboy, which is my favorite role to see him in. He is a robot cowboy though.
I’m going to tell you right now, do not google the movie trailer on this one. That trailer gives away everything! I try very hard to avoid spoilers, but that was apparently not a consideration back in 1973. Basically, the story follows James, James Brolin and his friend through Westworld. They get to live old-west style, including riding horses, bar fights, and shoot outs.
Considering the age of this movie, the special effects are really spectacular. They hold up remarkably well, and Yul Brynner is menacing as all get-out. There’s very little in this movie that makes you think, “Well, it was the 70′s. We should cut them some slack”.
One interesting fact I found on IMDb’s Westworld page, is that it was written and directed by Michael Crichton (yes, the Jurassic Park guy). This guy obviously uses the Stephen King method of writing, only instead of in every story something normally inocuous becomes frightening, his single plot line is “There’s a huge technological inovation that somehow goes horribly awry”. Seriously, name one book of his that’s not like that.
Guess what else the wonderful Internet Movie Database has shown me?? (God, I love that site). There’s a remake in the works!! I have ceased to be surprised by Hollywood’s constant cannibalization of itself. I can’t even keep track of all the remakes enough to be outraged about them! And that gem of a human being Russell Crowe is rumored to be a part of it. I hardly even want to waste the energy to shake my head in disgust. The only thing that would make it cool would be if Josh Brolin was in it, but I doubt that’ll happen. I think I’ll have to google every movie from now on just to make sure whether or not it’s a remake. Is there no creativity left in the world!??!
I’m sure by now we’re all familiar with the unfortunate phenomenon of the Snuggi, or Slanket, or blanket with sleeves. These things are everywhere, and ridiculously expensive for something you don’t need, if you ask me. Well I figured out how you can make your own, using just an old bathrobe.
You will need: a bathrobe, and some badass bookshelves to pose in front of.
Put your robe on backwards: Ta DA!!
That’s your Snuggi!
Happy April Fool’s Day!!! I hope you enjoyed reading this one as much as I enjoyed snickering to myself about it for MONTHS!! And I kept my mouth shut this WHOLE TIME!!