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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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

What’s next?

 

Style · Thrifts · vintage

Everyday Vintage: 11.15.17

vintage green shirtdress

Welcome to Everyday Vintage, my new weekly-ish roundup of how I incorporate vintage finds into my everyday life. 

I love vintage. This is not a surprise. I love vintage so much that I started selling vintage clothing in my Etsy shop to deal with the plethora of vintage finds I just can’t pass up.

A few weeks ago, I realized that I wear something vintage almost every single day. Now, that might sound like I’m one of those people who dress only in period clothing and that I leave the house looking like I’m a member of the I Love Lucy cast.

Not so.

For me, the most fun part of wearing vintage is finding pieces that fit seamlessly into a modern wardrobe. Trends come and go and then come back around again (and again and again). It’s fun to spot new pieces that are based on a vintage style and then hunt down the originals. It’s also fun to find a truly unique vintage piece and make it work in a new way. (See How to Update Vintage for ideas on how to do this.)

I thought it would be fun to post some of the ways I incorporate vintage in my day-to-day outfits, because I think it can be helpful to get new ideas for putting outfits together. (A few of my favorites for non-vintage outfit inspiration: The Pleated Poppy shares her weekly outfits in her What I Wore posts, Emily of Jones Design Company always has great ideas in her seasonal outfit posts, and I LOVE the Week of Outfits posts on A Cup of Jo.)

So I’m going to start a weekly(ish) roundup of how I wear vintage in my everyday life, highlighting pieces that are easily found at thrift shops or other finds that I come across for my Etsy shop that I just HAVE to give a little test run before I list them.

Because, really, playing dress-up is half the fun of vintage hunting.

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green vintage shirt dress

I found this homemade dress at a thrift store in Tennessee this summer when we were visiting family. The crossbody bag is a vintage Coach, also thrifted in Tennessee. (Confession: this was not worn this week, but a couple of weeks ago when it was a little warmer. It’s COLD here now in Northern California. Well, cold for us. But I’ll wear this again soon with tights and a cardigan.)

vintage black and white dress leather jacket

A vintage shirt dress is easy to dress up or down. Here, I paired it with wedge heels and a faux leather moto jacket for church. (Let’s just ignore the clean laundry on the settee in my bedroom – I do. Obviously.)

vintage knit skirt puffer vest

This striped vintage knit skirt is from an estate sale. I paired it with boots, a turtleneck, and a puffy vest.

buffalo check flannel vintage frye boots

Perhaps the best vintage find ever – Frye Campus Boots – paired with skinny jeans, a buffalo check flannel shirt, and a leopard scarf.

I’m curious, do you wear vintage? Does it intimidate you? What would make it easier for you to incorporate vintage into your wardrobe? I’d love to hear.

 

 

Being Mama · Kids

On Forgiving Your People

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When this sweet little apology note arrived in my mailbox, I was very confused.

At first, I could just decipher the first line – “I am sorry” – and I could not for the life of me figure out why this sweet little boy – the son of a dear friend of mine – was sending me an apology note.

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When I read closer, I realized the words following said, “I am sorry (Nicole) for scraping your car.” (Love that giant circle for the period at the end!)

What?

Why is he apologizing for scraping my car?

What is this about?

It took a minute, but I finally remembered being at their house a few weeks prior, standing in the driveway chatting. This sweet little guy was running around with a stick because, what else do boys do, really, but run around with sticks? His mama told him to be careful with the stick and not put it near my car. And then he did exactly that – put the stick very close to my car.

Now, I don’t remember if the stick actually touched the car or not. What I DO remember is his mama having a heart-to-heart with him about listening and following directions and being careful with other people’s cars, the same as I would. Actually, probably not the same as I would because, truth be told, if it had been my child who had the stick, I would have been MAD. I can be stern with my kids, and I can make small things feel like a VERY BIG DEAL. But my friend remained calm and her words remained kind in a way that I’m not sure mine would have.

When I got the card in the mail and realized I had forgotten this completely, I also realized that if it had been my child, I would NOT have forgotten it completely. I would have stewed about it for days, thinking about WHAT KIND OF CHILD POKES A STICK AT A CAR, FOR GOODNESS SAKES?! IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF MY CHILD’S PATH TO DELINQUENCY AND A LIFE OF CRIME?!

But for me, with it being her child, it was just a moment. A tiny little thing that left almost no impression on my memory whatsoever. Forgiven and forgotten instantly. Because I know this boy – a sweet, funny, inquisitive, curious boy who would never actually scrape a car just because. He was just a kid, being a kid.

And guess what?

So are my children.

What a lesson this was for me, a change in perspective. To take a step back when my kids do something that I don’t approve of, even when they break a rule. Instead of feeling like it’s the end of the world and being unable to let it go, I can ask myself what I would think if it were another child, not one of my own.

Would I think less of that child? No way.

And – maybe more to the point of how I truly feel when my kids misbehave – would I think less of their parents?

Of course not.

We put so much pressure on ourselves as parents to raise these perfect children who navigate every situation in the correct way. We think we must react to every infraction in order to teach “valuable lessons” so these kids do exactly the right thing and turn out okay.

But we are imperfect people, too. I know I DEFINITELY don’t navigate every situation in my life in the most correct way. (And news flash: most of the time, there isn’t ONE correct way.)

I mess up all the time! I need to say sorry freely and often. And I want to teach my children to do the same. I want them to know that when they do mess up, I am a safe place to come, to tell the truth and to receive grace and, yes, sometimes instruction, but always forgiveness.

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Our children are precious little people who are learning to walk in this world and figure things out for themselves. They have been entrusted to us to guide, yes, but also to enjoy, to delight, and to have relationship. They are OUR PEOPLE.

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This came back to me a few weeks ago when we had friends over for dinner.

The adults were on the back porch while the kids were running around – girls inside playing dress up and reading, boys up in the treehouse. At one point, I look up because I see a solid stream of liquid coming down out of the treehouse and into the yard and over the fence into our neighbor’s backyard.

Of course, if you have boys, you know exactly what is happening. I assume it’s my child and feel myself start to get upset – what will the neighbors think when they see that my kid is PEEING INTO THEIR BACKYARD??? Then I realize that it is just as likely the other child taking aim (both of their backs are to us), and just the thought of him deciding that this is a good idea CRACKS ME UP. The dads, of course, laugh immediately, saying that this is so normal, it’s just a thing boys do, we knew kids growing up who did this all the time. (“I have this ‘friend’….” Ha!) The guys then talk to the boys, telling them, of course, that they shouldn’t pee from the treehouse, especially into the neighbors yard. And all the while, I have to cover my face to hide my chuckles and laughing tears. And this was just seconds after I almost made this into a VERY BIG DEAL.

(Come on, it IS pretty funny!)

Now, obviously I’m not suggesting we let everything go because “kids will be kids”, but I am suggesting that we – that I – take a step back and take in the bigger perspective. I have to guide and teach my kids. But I also have to show them the beauty of grace and of forgiveness and of the freedom that comes with knowing that their parents love them unconditionally and can handle whatever comes their way.

Because not everything is a VERY BIG DEAL. Sometimes it’s just boys peeing from a treehouse.