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Attempted Cover Up

What is happening??

How can it be the last week of November? Fall has FLOWN by, but even knowing it’s been a busy season, it’s still hard to believe 2017 is almost over!

The last two weeks were a whirlwind. Just minutes after my last post, my mom called to tell me my grandfather had passed away. (I have so many more words to say about this, but not now.) Husband was out of town, so as soon as he flew in, I flew out. I went to Tennessee to be with my family for a few days. It was so good to be with everyone during such a hard time.

Then, coincidentally, I flew back home the Wednesday before Thanksgiving on the same plane as my in-laws, who were coming out to spend Thanksgiving with us, along with Husband’s brother and his family. We spent our break playing games, running around with kids at the park, and stuffing our faces. It was wonderful.

So now, it’s a only a few days before December, and I feel like I haven’t really been home very much, so instead of getting all my Christmas decorations out, I’ve decided to work on a few projects that I’ve had on my mind for months. (I’m also planning a deep clean/clutter banishing session this week as well. I’m actually ready to bring in the Christmas decor, so making myself wait is good motivation to get things done.)

So, first project up is this leather chair.


We bought this chair (and a matching ottoman) just after we bought our first house back in 2004. Obviously this chair has seen a lot of love.

When the rip first appeared, I hired an automobile upholstery repairman to come and fix it. He did an okay job, but the rip reopened within a few weeks.


Then I got creative. I used some heavy duty fabric interfacing, placed it under the rip, applied gobs of E6000, and let it dry. It’s held up surprisingly well, but it ain’t pretty.


Then a couple of months ago, I got the idea to create a sort of half slipcover for just the seat. (The seat cushion is attached to chair – it’s not a separate cushion – so just covering the seat wasn’t going to be an easy task.)


I searched JoAnn Fabric for brown velvet –  my first choice for this project – with no luck, so I settled on a dark brown fleece. (I wasn’t even sure it was going to work, so I definitely wasn’t going to special order fabric.) The back side of the fleece looks better than the front – less like fleece, more like felt – so I used that side instead.

chair seat cover

I imagined the cover in the shape of a box but missing the bottom surface. I measured the seat from the middle of the front to the inside of the back and then measured from the inside of the arms. I cut out 6 inch squares from each corner to sew those edges together to make the shape of the cushion.


I pinned right sides of the corners together and ran a straight stitch down. I did this for all four corners.

Lastly, I added elastic to the bottom of the cushion cover, stretching and sewing, stretching and sewing, until I got back to where I started.


I placed the cushion cover over the seat right side out and tucked in the extra fabric. It looks good, and so far, it’s staying in place.

(Please disregard the big black cord behind the chair. We JUST got a TV – we haven’t had one for 4+ years – since we moved into this house. I’m not sure what to do with all the wires – another project to add to my list this week, I suppose. As well as finding a home for our dumbbell collection, obviously.)


Ahhhh. So much better. A nice, soft coverup to a well-loved chair. And one more project off my list.

What’s next?


DIY · Home

Craigslist: A Love Story in Three Acts

Act 1

Many moons ago (apparently Spring of 2015 because that’s when these listing photos are from), I found a dining room set on Craigslist.craigslist table and chairsNow, this was during a heavy Craigslist season for me. I had recently found our elliptical and our daybed on Craigslist, and, like an addict, I just couldn’t stop searching. I was now hunting pieces for several different projects, and I realized what I needed was a dining room set. Now, I already had a dining table and four chairs that I loved, but I had BIG PLANS, so I searched for a complete oak set. The one I found (above) had a pedestal table, 4 regular chairs, and 2 captain’s chairs, and it was around $75 for all. Perfect!

As usual, Adopted California Dad came to the rescue and helped me transport my finds. Luckily, this time it was only across town. We worked our magic to get all of the pieces in the back of his truck and my Honda, and we made it in one trip. (Husband just shook his head as we pulled up and started unloading everything in the garage.)

00N0N_eB7qvgEUwHy_600x450First up were the captain’s chairs. This was the main reason I bought this set – I wanted chairs with arms for the front porch to paint red to match our front doors.DSC_0065Husband did the painting on these for me, and we put them to use right away.DSC_0056Shortly after, I thrifted a small table for $10 and painted it to match. BG and I often eat lunch out here, and it’s a great spot for a glass of wine after the kids have gone to bed.

Act 2

DSC_0006.JPGSo, I have a little chair problem. I love chairs. I think it stems from a time when we never had enough chairs at our old house, and many guests were forced to eat dinner while sitting on an ottoman. I look back and realize it didn’t matter one bit, but it bothered me then, and ever since, I’ve had a hard time passing up a good thrift store chair. With this Craiglist find, I now had 4 extra chairs to play around with – yippee!

When we got the Craigslist set home, I added two chairs to our dining room and kept the extra two in the garage. We found ourselves needing a spare chair in the den when both kids were on the computer, so it came in the house as well.DSC_0051Also, just before we painted the captain’s chairs for the porch, the arm and spindles on one side of one chair broke. I searched and searched for replacement spindles with no luck. We cannibalized the 4th extra chair to make new side spindles. (If you look closely, you can see they don’t match, but they work great, and it makes a good story in which I get to use the word “cannibalized”.)DSC_0011I wanted to paint the extra chairs in the dining room a fun color, and this weekend, I FINALLY got around to doing it.DSC_0025DSC_0016It’s “Spa Blue”, and I love how it looks with the navy blue walls and the dark wood table. DSC_0033.JPGI also decided to paint the 3rd extra chair. I went with white to contrast the dark colors of the den. (That camel-colored sectional is also a Craigslist find. I haven’t told that story yet. It’s a good one.)DSC_0034

Act 3

Okay, for those keeping score at home, that’s all 6 chairs accounted for. So, what about the table? Sorry for the Cliffhanger, but Act 3 is not quite finished yet. Husband and I got a good start on it this weekend, but it deserves a post of its own, so I’ll wait and show it to you when I’m finished.

To be continued….


On Procrastination + My Favorite Curtain Rods

Over the summer, while BB and BG were in Tennessee with grandparents, Husband and I worked hard for several days on lots of house projects.

img_8191-001We painted BG’s room. “PINK!” is what she wanted, and pink is what she got.


We built a “new” bed for BB, and we put finishing touches on a “new” desk for him.

img_8192-001We finally decided on a paint color for our bedroom – surprise! It’s the same color as most of the rest of the house – Garden Stone by Clark + Kensington. We used it in our bathroom as well. It was amazing the difference it made in those two rooms – so bright and fresh. (I hope to have another post about the bathroom coming up soon.)

(PS – The man who mixed the paint for us at ACE said, “Would you believe that this pink and this gray have the exact same amount of red in them? These two colors are a perfect fit.” Yes, yes I would believe, because I analyze paint colors like investors analyze stocks. It’s an obsession. Hence taking weeks to decide that we had already picked the perfect color for the bedroom – the same one we used in the living room and the hallway.)

IMG_8194-001.JPGI cannot remember why I’m wearing these goggles – sanding or drilling or something – but I look legit, right?

A few months before we painted our bedroom, I took the doors off of my closet. It had those bi-fold doors on it before, and while I liked having them open all the way to see my whole closet (I like seeing all my options), I hated the doors. And I hated the way, when they were open, they blocked the entrance to our bedroom. You had to close one door to open the other. It just bugged me. So one day, I removed the doors and moved them into the garage while I decided on a solution.

But then, as often happens to this ENFP, I start a project, but then other projects catch my interest, and I forget to go back and finish the first one. Especially when it’s not really posing an immediate problem.


But then, during project week, Husband said, “Should we maybe do something about your closet? Or are you planning on not having a door forever?”

Confession: While the organization of my clothes is pretty Type-A – divided and sub-divided by category and then organized by color – at least once a week, the hangers are a complete mess, and the shoes are just a jumble on the floor. No one really wants to see that.

So, after brainstorming several solutions, I decided on the easiest – curtains. I had extra panels that matched the existing bedroom curtains (these simple ones from IKEA), so I went in search of new curtain rods.


I found these brackets, these rods, and these finals. LOVE them. Classic, not too trendy, simple rod, bold finials and brackets. And I like how the black hardware ties in with the black armoire already in the room.


I liked them even more after they were hung.


The black armoire is now Husband’s “closet”, and my closet it tucked away behind the curtains. Ahhhhh, so much better.

As often happens with projects, we ran out of time to put up the rods for the other windows while we were finishing up our week of projects. So we’ve lived with bare windows for 5 months. It’s been fine. One window faces the back of our house with a huge Rose of Sharon in front of it, and the other is high up with only a view of a fence.

But maybe you’ve heard about our weather in Northern California lately? Crazy storms, crazier wind? I came home one day and thought, Wow! It’s really sunny in here. Oh wait, something’s missing…. The Rose of Sharon had toppled over, roots ripped out beyond repair.

After a couple of weeks, Husband (do you see a pattern here?) said, “Do you think maybe it’s time to have SOMETHING on the windows? Since the window is right by our bathroom, there’s nothing to block light or sight, and I can see directly into our neighbors backyard now, which means they can probably see us?” Right. Can’t procrastinate any longer.


It took less than 30 minutes start to finish. A small time commitment to ensure privacy for all.

But 30 minutes was all I had that day, so now you want to guess what’s left?


Yeah, maybe I’ll get to that last one tomorrow.