Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sick, Sick, Sick!

I can't tell you how much fun this has been...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Endless Entertainment

I could watch this for hours - the cat grabs the dog and the dog grabs the cat and the cat grabs the dog, on and on it goes, round and round, day after day. Are they fighting? Are they dancing? Who's to say... all that's for sure is that I am the cheapest of cheap dates. I could watch Bailey and the Beloved Talia square off and spar endlessly.

I'm not sure precisely when this started... but it started with a whole different cat. It started with Maggie who was black and white and practically perfect in every way. My current two cats have issues, as do many cats... with a capital I. But Maggie was a text book perfect cat. Charming pleasant, didn't tear up mail, pee on carpets (or shoes or the stove -- I once knew a woman whose cat regularly peed on her stove!!!!) Maggie was perfect. And she played a perfect little game of "Poke" with Talia. With her nose Talia would poke Maggie before hurriedly darting backward before Maggie could liesurely grab her. Then Talia would dart in for another quick nose poke to which Maggie would calmly stretch and reach out for another grab. It was a sweet game - kind of quiet and charming, like watching two little kids taking turns to play jacks.

Suddenly one weekend Maggie sickened. She was gone before we knew it. Our Practically Perfect Maggie. We missed her terribly -- none of us missed her more so than Talia. For weeks Talia had that lost look, a little sad, a little confused. But I give Talia huge credit for her attempts to rally. She first tried to play the game with Molly. I should say that Molly is 16... you can only guess how little Molly was up for a game of Poke!

Talia then tried Poke with Bailey... who was NOT amused. "Poke me, will you?" Bailey hissed. Talia's face was priceless. She had offered her greatest gift -- the invitation to play Poke and the snotty haughty Bailey had the nerve to hiss! Harrumph!

But maybe hissing wasn't so bad. It wasn't the way Maggie had played the game... maybe Talia could teach Bailey the rules. Maybe they could take the game of Poke and make it their own. Maybe.

Poke has evolved into a game of Grab-n-Snatch. It is not a quiet little parlor game. It's a tumble-bumble raucus good time. Talia pounces on Bailey, Bailey pounces back. It is anybody's game. There's an object lesson in here about resiliencey and evolution and blah, blah, blah... but mostly it's about the little white dog and the big black cat making splendid good fun.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Big Reveal!

For most of us we are never truly DONE with home decor -- we're forever adding, a plate here, a throw there... or taking away, the vase that doesn't work, the print that misses it's mark. So I can't say I am done.... but what I was shooting for is "livable". (My secret dream was for my rooms to feel like a jewel box. From the sub-standard, less than humble beginnings, what I had were HIGH HOPES!)

That was then:

This is now:

Notice the picture on the wall above the pitiful blue chair never changed.

It started with removing this wretched radiator! My problem with the radiator is that it extends beyond the window (read drapes) by several inches. My second problem with the radiator is that even an attractive cover would have resulted in a large "dead zone" in an already small room. Clearly the radiator HAD to go.
Here's the radiator:

Here it's gone:

Here's the result:

Finally, this shot of my living room, is from the space between those dark cabinets (where the radiator used to be) looking squarely across the room.

The dining room was another "Project". Initially when I moved into this house I did not want a "Full Time Dining Room". Thinking that we use a dining room twice a year and I use a work room on a daily basis, what I wanted was a Full Time Work Room and a Part-Time Dining Room. But it did not work out...

It wasn't a bad idea... the problem was that I did not take this room seriously. I didn't really "decorate" it. I kept the ratty old carpet, I did nothing to disguise or gussy up the lower cabinets. I did not consciously worry about storage or edit my projects and materials. The room quickly grew into an Unmanageable Monster Mess.

So I took it apart -- moved the work room upstairs...

And reclaimed the dining room...

It has been a very long process -- it started with having the radiator removed and baseboard radiators to replace them. Then there was installing the carpet. Both were projects I hired outside contractors to do. Everything else was all me. From painting the walls to dyeing fabric for the drapes, sewing the drapes, upholstering the furniture... oh, I did have my boyfriend build the china rack. I even learned to matt my art -- not because I am such a stickler for details... though maybe I am, but because of "creative differences" with the frame girl at Michael's (let's not go there).

One of the cabinets in the living room had to be, shall we say, rescued. It feels like a baby's bottom now, and I've turned it into a first rate liquor cabinet with a wine fridge and all, but when I first suggested bringing it in the house the looks I received were shock and horror.

It's been a lot of work and there are still things to do... but we've gone from a frightful chaotic mess to pretty and presentable.

And during the process there were birthdays and holidays. I did the kitchen too. And the occassional time off for good behavior or to prevent bad behavior. So I hope you can understand why there were weeks, even months, when I was silent here... there just wasn't much to report... there were often things I'd rather not mention... But finally, finally, I have what feels like a home. Ahhhh.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Looky!!! It's done, it's DONE, it's DONE!!!! Lest you think I've been lounging about popping bon-bons... shall I say, I've been indispoed. I could not be happier or more thrilled!!!! My beautiful, wonderful, spectacular chair is DONE!

Remember where it started!?! This is my shame, my embarrassment -- worse even than the Heartbreak of Psoriasis!!. This chair was loved. A LOT.

The Naked Truth.

It looks way better with Talia in it, don't you think?

Best to rip it up and renew it's dignity. I like this part -- it's satisfying and already the ugly chair looks better.

This part, though, I especially HATE. This is the cushion getting it's piping. Of all the things I sew, and I've sewn everything including dog collars and leashes, velvet capes, a Batman suit, pillows, drapes, dust ruffles, duvets -- all the usual suspects, prom dresses, baby clothes, hands down a seat cushion is the absolute most hateful hardest. All those fiddly corners, fitting the final ending of the piping... or maybe I am just a whiner.

But Tah-Da!!! Let's look at it again!!! Ain't it purty!?!