Slow Progress

You would think that having lived in my house for several years now that I would have decorating and projects done. You would be wrong!! I’m probably one of the slowest project people that anyone has ever seen. At least The Engineer and I have taken advantage of the past few snowy weekends to get some linger projects decided on and moving on down the road to completion.

We’ve been working on getting the man loft upstairs completed for months. I do still have one cabinet to refinish, but the weather just hasn’t been cooperative for painting and staining furniture in the garage. Until the cabinet is done we can’t really put away the movies and gaming systems…or hang any of the taxidermy work on the walls, so it’s just been easy to leave the whole room a slight disaster area. We’ve made major progress this weekend though…..we’ve finally picked a paint color!

After months of collecting random paint chips and scrolling through Pinterest boards, we’ve finally nailed it down to 3 colors…..or maybe 4….it’s hard to say really.

I think we’ve decided on Olive Sprig…although all 4 are very similar..and minds could still change!

As you can tell, we pretty much have it sorted, just need to settle down on the exact shade of green we like. The Engineer would have preferred grey or blue but we had to let those colors go. None of the grey samples looked nice against the existing townhome beige. The room is so angular and open that somewhere the new wall color is going to have to butt up against the existing beige. The blues looked nice against the beige walls, but they didn’t do much to accent the dark wood, metal, and black concrete tones we have already in the room. Green is really where it’s at I think!

One loft project that we have finished up is refinishing my desk chair and mounting some floating shelves my Grandpa made. I guess at least my small corner of the loft is finished. The first step of my chair makeover was 2 coats of Annie Sloan Honfleur and some light distressing with dark wax. That was the easy part for me, just your standard rags to riches furniture rehab story! I decided to try my hand at recovering the cushion with some scrap hide, and that was really a bit of an adventure.

Happy to be reusing handmade, Peterson family heirlooms!

If your hide hasn’t been tumbled by the tannery to make it soft and pliable, you’ll have some labor to put into it. First, you’ll need to let it soak for an hour or two. I just put the hide in the bathtub with a few inches of water and let it hang out to absorb. This will make the hide seem soft, but at this point if you just let it dry it will go back to being as stiff as a board. To really help the fibers loosen up and plump, stash your wet hide in a plastic bag overnight. Get a good nights sleep, because in the morning you’ll have work to do!

Remove your hide from the bag. It will be damp, but shouldn’t be dripping. I left my bag and hide in the sink in case any water didn’t absorb and drain out….didn’t want any surprise puddles in the morning! If you need to stretch your hide to increase its size slightly, now is the time to do this. Mine was large enough already, but we did give it a bit of a stretch for good measure. Again, it was freezing in the garage and I didn’t necessarily have enough scrap wood laying around to build a large enough frame for the hide…..but I did have a rather large, and rather robust cardboard shipping box!!

Once your hide is stretched to size, you’ll need to do something to soften it. This is best done by beating or tumbling to mash and realign all the fibers. I wasn’t about the toss it into my dryer with small boulders, so I used the next best thing….a paint remover!?!? All of these tips and tricks were provided by a profession taxidermist…..so it’s gotta be the truth! I was told to just work it over the hide until it was soft. I used an African hide, and I’m here to tell you that some parts of it were so thick they never softened. We did the soak, stretch, and tenderize process twice….it’s still a very stiff hide, but it got the job done!

Beat until tender!

We decided to start the upholstry job with a slightly damp hide. The hide was never going to get evenly soft enough, especially because some portions were just so thick. This was extra unfortunate because there was no way we could align the hide on the chair cushion so that the thickest portions weren’t used. Momma Mishappenings was staying with us that night, and she has some fabric upholstery experience which was nice to have…because I had no idea what to do really!

We stapled the front side down first so that we could pull and put some tension on the hide. It quickly became clear that we needed to cut out some of the extra hide bulk in the corners so that they would lay nice. I wish I could tell you a specific shape or pattern to cut, but honestly I just sort of whacked out whatever bits and pieces we needed to make the corners lay nice as we went along. It doesn’t look overly pretty, but it fit and we did eventually get all 4 corners trimmed out and stapled down. At this point, we left the whole thing to dry out for a few days. The hide will shrink slightly as it drys, and we used that to our advantage. Some places that had seemed too big and loose tightened right up once it dried. There was one pretty bad bubble of extra hide on the front by one of the corners and I was pleasantly surprised to discovered it had totally disappeared once everything dried!

Once dried I was going to screw it back onto the chair frame, but it needed one final step. Even though we had cut the corners and tried to get them to fold nice and even, they still needed a bit of work. I used a hammer on the dry hide to beat and soften up any of the hard edges and bulk left in the corners. Anywhere the hide crossed over another piece of hide I gave it a pretty severe whacking. It really did help to form and soften up all the edges. I also added a few more staples and hammered them all in for good measure.

Carefully screw it back into the chair frame, and you’re ready to get stuff done behind your desk! You’ll have to screw up through the hide, so just proceed slowly and cross your fingers you don’t hit a staple. I didn’t, but that’s maybe just beginners luck. The hide was a bit stiff and crunchy the first couple times I used the chair, but it has broken in nicely. Also, I was worried about sitting on the hair, but it doesn’t seem to be shedding and doesn’t get misaligned if you’re moving around in the chair. Even if hair does start shedding, it should just add to the aged and distressed look!

I Didn’t Forget About You, I’m Just Boring

I know I didn’t get a blog posted last weekend.  It’s not that I forgot, I just haven’t been up to anything very exciting so I honestly didn’t know what to write about!  We spent the last weekend of January being lazy at home.  I think every weekend of February has something going on for us, so The Engineer and I just vegged out and bummed around.  I did give the house a good scrubbing, and worked on a couple little projects, but by and large I didn’t do much.  See….I told you….not very exciting

I have a couple little craft and house projects that I’m working on, but I though that instead of giving you little mini blogs about a dozen things I would just wait and do one larger post.  Much like what my Grandma used to say about hair when my sister and I were babies…..”Ya gotta wait for the good stuff!”  Likewise, I have a couple new recipes I busted out this week, but wanted to try them out before I shared them.  More waiting for you I guess! 😛

 

We did have a doggy related incident last week, I guess I could tell you about that.  My poor puppachino sliced her paw open!  Turns out that the metal frame of my couch is broken, and my little’s paw found the hole and the nasty metal.  She ended up with a pretty deep slice between her large foot pad and her ankle.  Think like right where our wrist crease is on your hand….owwies!  We spent most of Tuesday night trying to get the bleeding to stop, but she was such a brave girl about it.  It’s just in a not great spot.  We’d get the bleeding to stop and she’d get up and take a step and poof….more blood.  Pro tip…if you need to get blood out of something you can’t wash…aka my area rug…..warm salt water will do the trick every time!  It’s super science-y, but the salt basically explodes the blood cells and therefore the stain comes right out!

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The pink “Stocking of Doom”…..she wasn’t at all a fan.

She spent most of Wednesday with a sock on just to keep her from licking at it all day long.  She’s been good about leaving it alone mostly, but it isn’t healing up very nicely.  It’s right where her foot bends and moves when she walks, so it’s broken open a couple times.  She doesn’t seem very bothered by it, and runs and bounces around like nothing is wrong.  She’s pretty hesitant to let us look at it, it’s hard to get a view at and we usually have to move some fur and sorta really get in there……but we’ve been checking it every night.  I’ve made the executive decision that if it doesn’t seem like it’s healing up by next week I’m going to take her into the vet.  I’m not sure there’s a ton that can be done, based on it’s placement, but for me it’s worth taking her in and just making sure that things will be alright with it.  I’ll keep you updated on that, but hopefully it just heals up on its own.

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Reward for leaving the Stocking of Doom alone all day….cuddles and a couple pieces of Boom Chicka Pop!!

No News is Boring News….So Updates?!

It’s been a pretty slow and lack luster week here at Casa Mishappenings. The weather this week was too hot and sticky to inspire anyone to do anything other than stand in front of an open refrigerator door slowly wafting cook air over yourself.

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Things that make you say “UGH”

I mostly only when outside when forced or to quickly water and pick some ripe veggies from the garden.   I might not love the heat, but it’s been good for the plants.  I get a handful of green beans and a few peppers and tomatoes almost everyday.  Several of the squash blossoms have become large and in charge squashes now, so I’m sure I will have plenty of spaghetti squash to eat all winter long.

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The daily bean harvest….bring on the Hidden Valley ranch dip!

We bought a patio umbrella lasts weekend, so that has helped with the heat some, but it’s still very unpleasant.  It’s just been the sort of hot and humid that reaches down into your soul and sucks all your energy……like a dementor.

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Accurate representation of SoDak heat and humidity on your energy levels…..

We’ve all just been laying low inside, and I’ve been fitting the urge to pick off my dip nails. They have started to lift slightly at the cuticle, but I’m going to try and seal them down a bit with some gel top coat and try and get another week of wear out of them. I’m not sure if they are lifting because that’s just what they do, or if they are lifting because an extra coat was applyied to them.  However, I’m on day 15 now and they still look remarkably good. No one other than me knows they are lifting, so I’m just fighting my internal nature to not fidget with them.  #thestruggleisreal

Friday night, The Engineer and I went down to my Momma’s house to make doughnuts.  Momma and I spent most of Saturday afternoon at my great aunt and uncle’s house, and considering the doughnut recipe is his mother’s……they were a total requirement.  A couple hours and several rounds of hazing from my Momma and The Engineer about my cooking, stacking, and packing of the doughnuts…..we had 3 batches of doughnuts packed up and ready to be enjoyed.  We returned home last night with no doughnuts and some…….interesting……information about our family’s genetic history.

Today, it was finally nice enough to be comfortably outside so The Engineer and I ran some errands and then hung out under the patio umbrella.  He bought me The Hogwart’s Library while we were at Target, so reading while sipping on mules consumed the bulk of our evening.  We also made a trip to Ulta.  It was initially to look at an at home dip nail kit….however I decided to opt out of that little adventure.  What I did buy was…..sheet masks!

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Yes I put on falsies for errands today….sometimes I’m just extra like that!

Don’t tell The Engineer I told you, but I think tonight is going to consist of wine, a new Game of Thrones episode, maybe some ice cream, and couple’s sheet masks!!!  I’m pretty excited about it honestly, and a little bit of at home pampering never hurt anyone, guys included!  Plus, they are cold….so that should feel nice after an entire week of over heating overtime you look outside.  I might paint my toe nails tonight too, although I’m sure he won’t join me on that…

Side note…..if you’re in need of shampoo and conditioner…..Ulta is having a sale on their large salon sized bottles.  But….you’ll need to hurry as the sale ends next weekend!

A Lazy DIY Weekend

Last weekend was my first “homework free” weekend since summer class started 8 weeks ago.  I was pretty excited to get some stuff done around the house.  My original plan was to finish the dining chairs that have been taking up space in my garage all winter.  However, some of the required supplies ended up at Mom’s house, so that idea was out.  Instead, I did some low key projects around the house.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done much of anything to the house, so I’ll try and get you up to speed.

Friday Night

In prime summertime funtime form, Friday afternoon was spent at the pool.  Post sunning I may or may not have taken a nap before deciding that it was finally time to head out to the store and buy some food.  After getting cat called and followed around the Walmart….ugh disaster……I ended up at a bar with Pimp Money talking about my rally adventures.  Apparently, you know you’re “single as fuck” when your friend calls you at 10pm on a Friday night, and you’re out grocery shopping.  Thanks for that little reminder Pimp Money!

Saturday

I didn’t do much.  I was still way to sore from the gym to even think that going back for another workout would be a good idea.  Instead, I made coffee and eggs and bummed around on the couch watching NCIS.  Fun fact….Netflix has 11 seasons of NCIS.  If you need me at any point in the near future, that’s what I shall be doing.  If your activity doesn’t beat Gibs, Abby, and Ducky….I’m probably opting out.  #atleastimhonest #abbyismyspiritanimal

SCIENCE FOR THE WIN

SCIENCE FOR THE WIN

I did eventually motivate to clean my house, and I did grill a bunch of food so I’d have leftovers to eat all week.  Brats and zucchini over charcoal…..life doesn’t get much better.  The bestie came over and helped me switch out a light in my stairway.  My house has really ugly light fixtures, and they all have to go!  Through the power of google, Angry Orchard, and some creative ladder placement, we swapped the flush mount ickiness for my hanging orb, and it’s looking much nicer now!  Thank goodness I know how to use a wire nut!  (I just took a safety class, and promptly ignored everything I learned while balancing a ladder on two different landings.  We did however flip off basically every breaker in my entire house because electricity is tricky! Safety first kids!)

WHO EVEN LIKES THESE?!?

WHO EVEN LIKES THESE?!?

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Seriously though…..make sure you turn off the power before you start rewiring light fixtures. Zaps hurt!

The next item on our bestie to do list was replanting my terrarium.  I’m not sure what happened, but when I moved he died……..like a very moldy, crispy, dried out sorta death.  So, off to Walmart we headed.  The plant selection was a bit depressing so we decided that girl’s night with the dogs, wine, and ice cream would be better.  No complaints here about HAVING to drink wine and watch Gerald Butler! 🙂

I die.......

I die…….

Sunday

Woke up late with no particular plans again.  Made more coffee and breakfast because ya know……a girl’s gotta eat!  Saturday night I bought the Lonesome Dove box set at Walmart so I decided that I would be lazy and watch it.  I had forgotten that just Lonesome Dove is a 4 part movie!  Needless to say, I only made it through the first 2 parts on Sunday.  While lounging and watching the movie I did manage to make 3 batches of banana bread for no real apparent reason.  So, I’m set on the bread front for the foreseeable future.  I also picked a whole pile of tomatoes off my little plant and made some bruschetta for dinner……because it’s amazeballs!

Side Note– Scout has turned into a deranged tomato puppy.  The first thing she does anytime we go outside is run over to the tomato plant and prance anxiously around whilst licking the plant.  Then she sits there, whines, and pouts until she gets a tomato……spoiled lil diva dog.

I did manage to dress myself and head off to the garden center and got 3 new baby plants for my terrarium and an air plant.  The terrarium plants were classified as “Fairy Garden Size”, and I oddly enjoy that fact.

From crispy dead to fresh and green with a little baby plant to spare.

From crispy dead to fresh and green with a little baby plant to spare.

Terrarium Tutorial

  • Make sure to wash and dry your chosen pot, and wipe hard to remove smudges
  • 1 inch of small pebbles in the very bottom
  • About 1/4 cup of aquarium charcoal to help purify the water
  • Add a layer of larger, flat-ish rocks to help keep the soil out of the pebbles (You could also use a layer of coffee filters, but I find you can see it around the edges)
  • Mix water and an additional 1/4 cup of charcoal into potting soil.  Soil should be wet, but not soggy.  (This helps your new plants get the water they need without having to over water the terrarium)
  • Arrange plants as desired and keep adding small amounts of damp soil as needed
  • Cover, water sparingly, and trim plants as needed.

A covered terrarium, like I have, should in theory “self-water”.  Water filters down through the soil and into the pebbles were it eventually evaporates up and condenses on the lid.  If you want an open terrarium you’ll have to water more often.

After the plants I headed to the mall.  I had money to spend at Victoria’s Secret, and of course the coupons didn’t work online…..so off to brave the weekend mall crowd I went.  Normally, I wouldn’t have spent so much money there, but

A. Sports bras were on sale, and I NEEDED one!  I get sick of doing laundry purely because my gym clothes are dirty.

B. Some of my regular bras have taken to trying to impale me, and I will only attempt to sew them back into submission so many times.  So this…..was also a NEED!

Finally got an air plant for my champagne cork….isn’t he cute?!?!

Mischief managed for the weekend I guess!

I’ve also made some decisions about the rest of my house….finally!

  • Colors for the bedroom have been picked!  I won’t paint until the fall when the humidity returns to a some what tolerable level, but the decision has been made!Bedroom 1I don’t think I’ll paint the whole wall blackberry, but I will be adding a chair rail and trim/molding to the room eventually to up the fanciness level!
  • I’ve decided the time has come to finish my garage.  Bestie, the Hubby, and I will fix all the tape and it needs to be painted.  I’m just going to use leftover house paint, so whatever my garage is gonna be “townhome beige”.  After that I will get all my shelving hung and hopefully get everything up off the floor and organized.
  • I’m debating the purchase of a chandelier for my bedroom.

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I think this may be a need in my life!