Monday, July 25, 2011

oh happy day!

The most amazing and best news as of late is that I FINALLY got a job! And a real full-time, punch in, punch out, request sick days, and direct all calls to my extension job at that! To be honest, that whole last sentence kinda freaks me out, having been out of the normal working person loop for quite some time. But I am very excited to finally have a steady source of income and get back on my feet after all these moving shenanigans.

I'm the new Catering Coordinator at the Holiday Inn Select at Cherry Creek. Basically, the sales team sells events and meetings and then turns them over to me. Then I fill in every last detail from menus to room setup and timelines. So it's right up my alley. I was explaining the process to Shawn today and he said "Oh geez, you're gonna be crazy," after I told him all about the lists and calendars and agendas. Just the thing for my little OCD self :)

p.s. After I got home today, we went to Washington Park to enjoy the lovely weather and I was actually chilly on this July evening! I miss my Florida folks, but humidity, I am delighted to be so far far away from you..

Monday, July 18, 2011

a new chair

Way back when we first got to Denver, we picked up our table and two miscellaneous chairs from the Craigslist free section. One of those chairs was this one:

Since that day long ago, I have been slowly plotting and pulling together the necessary items to give it a new life. I didn't mind the color the wood was painted, but it was pretty beat up and really needed a fresh coat. And the fabric, well, that's just hideous.

Step 1 was to remove all the fabric and layers of crazy batting and cushion. My original plan was to re-use the cushion but upon seeing it, I decided some less-than-20-year-old foam might be a better choice. Also, the seat part of the chair didn't have a hard base, but instead was supported by these crazy springs that stretched from the front to the back. Shawn helped me get those off (miraculously without losing an eye) and I started brainstorming on what to use to restructure it.

Step 2 was sanding. Sanding sanding sanding. Until it looked like this:

Sometime between steps 1 and 2, we ended up at an estate sale where the man had been a furniture upholsterer. What luck! And it was half-off day so I ended up getting some fabric for $2.50. Not my absolute favorite #1 choice ever for fabric, but considering this is my first attempt, I figured it would do.

Eventually, I ended up buying some high density foam from the craft store along with some extra stuffing to fill in any gaps. Probably the most expensive part of this whole project. I decided to just do a piece of plywood across the seat to serve as the base and kept my eyes peeled in the alleys and dumpsters for a while. After weeks of no luck, I thought perhaps I should just see how much a piece might cost from Lowe's. Even their smallest piece was more than I wanted to spend, but luckily I spotted the scraps next to the giant lumber cutting machine. I pulled out a piece of thick MDF that was close enough to the size I needed and asked a friendly Lowe's guy how much they would sell it for. "You can just have it," he replied. Music to my thrifty ears :)

So the only missing piece to the chair puzzle was the paint. I was wanting a glossy mahogany but didn't have any luck finding it in a quart size or even in spray paint. On a trip to Lowe's, Shawn found a quart of "oops" paint that, priced at $2.50, was surely close enough.

Then the long, often procrastinated, process of putting all the pieces together ensued. I had kept the old pieces of fabric to use as a pattern and discovered that the bolt I had bought had literally just enough cloth to replicate the pieces. Phew! The seat was cut to size thanks to the borrowed saw from the resident construction workers (turns out they are good for something...) And a couple of coats on the wood frame  had the chair looking fresher already. The paint color did turn out a bit more orange-y than I had originally wanted, but I'm considering adding a tinted glaze on top to give it a bit more gloss. One day. I also painted the blue table legs in the same color to pull them together somewhat. An estate sale staple gun came in handy for the actual upholstering, and I'm happy to say I think it came out rather well!

I must admit that the back is not fully finished, as I'm debating if I want to do visible nailheads or use the tiny ones that disappear for the last panel. Perhaps something will pop up and inspire me!

Here's one more before and after:



I wish I could blame my absence on our first out-of-town guests, but the fact that they left over two weeks ago makes me think I've just been lazy... so now I have a ton of backlogged news and stories to share.

First I must share some rather devastating news: the mighty Lord Tennyson is no longer with us. And of course it had to happen while Jess and Jesse were here. Their lovely guest suite had been set up in the living room and Jess was not too keen on sleeping in such close proximity to a frog. We assured her that he had never escaped in the two months that we had him. One morning while Shawn was making breakfast for everyone, I casually wandered over to the tank to watch the fish. That's when I realized LT was no longer there. {Enter the FREAKOUT} I started frantically looking everywhere; behind the tank, under the couch, in every nook and cranny, wanting to find him but at the same time knowing that I didn't really want to find him. He's fully aquatic so he can't live outside of water. I knew the clock was ticking especially since we didn't know if he had escaped during the night or some time the evening before while we were out. Jesse was helping with the search, Shawn was chained to the stove lest he burn the eggs, and Jess was basically just freaking out that the frog may have hopped across her in her sleep on his way out.

I continued my search in the bedroom, looking under the bed, under the dressers, finally moving to the closet where I slightly moved the laundry bag and there he was just inside the closet door! Unmoving :( I screamed (obvs) and went running out of the room doing the scream/cry much like my sister upon seeing a spider. Shawn finally decides to step in since I have basically become useless at this point. He gets some paper towels and scoops up LT from the floor, heading towards the trash can. (Ew.) "He's alive!!" Shawn yells all of a sudden and makes a beeline for the tank. Jess and Jesse are in the path and both run straight out the front door. LT plunks down into the water and definitely appears to be shaken up but still alive.

Unfortunately it didn't last very long. He had been out of the water for too long and just couldn't recover. A couple days later I noticed some conspiring among Jesse, Jess, and Shawn and soon discovered that LT had met his end.