Monday, April 29, 2013

Showing some love to a run-down chair

Two weeks ago I was driving along minding my own business when this beautifully worn chair yelped at me from the side of the road. Occupying a space in front of the house where it undoubtedly spent decades providing ample back support for a family. A sign rested on the front of it with the magic words: "FREE" and within seconds I squeezed that baby into the back of my car without giving it a second thought.



Curiosity got the best of me and, after finding a manufacturer tag on the bottom of the seat, I did a little research and found out it was a mid-century EckAdams chair worth anywhere from $100-$300. 

I wasn't interested in selling this beauty so I decided to give it a little makeover. 

I dismantled it and reinforced all the joints with glue and clamped it overnight so it would be nice and sturdy. 

Notice those nice old school flat head screws!

I then proceeded to sand it approximately one zillion times. Since there was a lot of wear on the wood (i.e. water stains, scratches, etc.) it required quite a bit of sanding on my part but once it was done it was smooth as a baby's bottom!

During this sanding process I found out the chair was constructed of solid walnut wood. At this point, I knew the hours of sanding was worth it in order to make this chair last another five decades. 


After sanding it profusely, I oiled it up in order to bring out the natural colors of the walnut wood. 




Then came the hard part. I knew from the beginning that the reupholstering would probably be a little bit outside my comfort zone since I have only reupholstered simple dining chairs before this project. Especially since I've never done piping, but, I was up for the challenge. 

After picking out a vintage-meets-modern colorful fabric, I sat down in front of my sewing machine and began. I based most of my process off of the old fabric size and shape. 





After successfully tackling the sewing part, I began to reassemble the chair and cushions. And ta-da! I was able to put it all back together and sit in it without fear of it crumbling beneath me. 


In case you forgot how faded and old the original fabric was.

Who knows what next project the side of the road "free" pile will send me, but I'll keep you updated. 
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Outdoorsisize Yourself

Here we are entering a new year and with everyone spilling out their resolutions online for accountability purposes, I figured I would share my resolution: See more of the great outdoors. Or as you may call it: Outdoors-isize? Outdoorsing? Outdoor-yourself?

Well anyway, you get the point. It doesn't necessarily mean I have to take bunch of trips hiking each week (although that would be nice) but just something as simple as walking around my neighborhood for a stroll each day. The fresh air and excuse to stretch my legs can drastically improve my mood.


And for the days I can't get out, I'll read through my favorite blog: Tripod Diaries. Check out some of the incredible pictures Ashley Herrin manages to capture and the inspiring quotes she pairs with them.

(Photo via Tripod Diaries)
 (Photo via Tripod Diaries)
(Photo via Tripod Diaries)
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Berlin


Sorry we are a bit behind in posting pictures from our European Adventure! To kick off our trip we left London on September 2 for Berlin. Neither of us had ever been to Germany (aside from our quick trip from Frankfurt airport to Austria via train for our honeymoon last year) so we were both quite excited to see what this place had to offer!

Our conclusion: Berlin is full of hip young people consuming delicious food and the entire city is steeped in history. Overall, a total winner in our books!

We stayed at this incredible flat from Airbnb.com and walked everywhere we went.

Before we left for Berlin, our friend Drew sent us tons of great ideas for things to do and see in the city. The best decision we made was to spend the afternoon on a free walking tour he mentioned to us. It took us around the city and was extremely informative and fun.

Another big thing we did here, on recommendation of our tour guide, was to check out an awesome burger place in the city. We haven't had hamburgers for around 3 years since we've been vegetarian so it was a big deal for us to randomly decide to consume a hamburger. And, ultimately, it was the best decision we'd ever made. This hamburger was INCREDIBLE. I mean, better than In-n-Out. Better than any other hamburger I have EVER had. So good that we had it for lunch, went wandering around the city, and found ourselves back at the same place for another burger for dinner! The best part is the restaurant (if it can even be called that) was located in a revamped 100-year-old public bathroom underneath a train overpass. Yes, true story. Delicious burgers. The end.



Berlin Wall

Street art



The city also featured the most beautiful memorial for victims of war and tyranny. One of the only memorials I know of that is for ALL victims of war, including those persecuted and those doing the persecution. The statue of a woman holding her son sits under an opening in the ceiling that is exposed to the elements. If it rains, water falls on her, if it snows, snow falls upon them, if it's sunny, the sun shines on them. Quite moving.





Up next: Rome!


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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

7 days

Picture from our first days in Edinburgh.
Here we are, 7 days out from leaving our beloved Edinburgh. Trying to keep from walking around tearing up at every old mossy building I pass. It's working alright so far.

Christopher turned in his bloody dissertation (I can say bloody now, right?) on Friday morning. We all cheered, then went home to take a nap.

We've seen a few shows for festival. Many of them have been spontaneously sprung upon us since EVERY place in the city is a venue. It's quite the scene.

We also visited this amazing island. I'll write more about it's awesomeness later.

On Monday we had dinner with a friend after visiting his studio. He's a mason and works with beautiful stone and marble to create amazing pieces of art. His latest project is a collection of stones he has carved to look like clothing, from a pressed shirt to a shirt hanging on a clothesline. It's all quite amazing. Even more amazing is Christopher got bought me one of his bowls for my birthday this year and last night our friend gave us the completed product. It's the most incredibly beautiful bowl you've ever seen. Even better is that it's made out of Scottish Marble!


Yesterday we strolled around the city with our dear friend Robin who is also departing from Scotland in a few weeks and heading to California. It was nice to see him once more in this cold habitat before we see him in sunny California in a few months time.

Then last night we went had a going away drinks party with a dozen of our friends at a local pub just so we could make sure we got to give each one of them a proper goodbye. It was a beautiful smorgasbord of friends from school, church, and everywhere in between. Needless to say, it's becoming increasingly difficult to say goodbye to these dear souls that we've met over the past year and been so graciously invited into their lives.

Christopher's parents and grandparents arrive in Edinburgh this afternoon. They have a view of the castle from their flat. We are handing over the keys to our flat on Monday and then we'll be staying with them at their flat until we leave on Wednesday. It'll be nice to play tourist again before we leave this ancient city.

Then it's on to London, then on to Europe, then we take over the world. Or something like that....

Much love to all. We'll keep you updated in the coming days and on our upcoming adventures! Hope you are all doing well! Pin It

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The final countdown

This week has been filled with many stressful emotions as Christopher finishes up his dissertation. 

Mostly there's been a bunch of me doing this: 


Along with me asking every hour "What can I do to help?" Yeah, I'm sure I'm only adding to the stress at some points! lol.

And then there's been a lot of Christopher staring at his computer screen typing and going like this:


A long week indeed. And now we find ourselves in the lab with several other friends at 9pm for the foreseeable future until he and they all turn their dissertations in. 


We can see the light at the end of the tunnel..so very close!!

P.S. I made some changes to the blog so you can find pictures more easily of all our adventures. Enjoy!
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Friday, August 10, 2012

Music

In case you're not lucky enough to be attending Outside Lands in SF this weekend (insert my sad cries here), I lined up a few links to music you can listen to and enjoy online from anywhere in the world!



First up, Gary Clark Jr. live in concert at the Newport Folk Festival last weekend. This many is crazy fierce and gives a new meaning to guitar solo. It's only a 30 minute clip so I just listen to it on repeat for about 5 hours at a time, no big deal.


Second, NPR kindly recorded Sigur Rós in concert in Brooklyn last week. It's simply divine and a really awesome recording of an incredible show. Check it out!


And lastly, Christopher reintroduced me to My Morning Jacket's Z album today. I've been listening to it on repeat all day (are you sensing a trend here?). 

And, in case you are as sad as I am to be missing Outside Lands, you can also listen to it live on TuneIn who is broadcasting several great bands throughout the weekend. 

Finally, in completely unrelated news this interview about Charles Shaw (aka Trader Joe's 'two buck chuck' wine) made me homesick and looking forward to good cheap wine and, more importantly, shopping at Trader Joes!

Happy listening!
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

21 days


Well, the time is quickly approaching and we're only three weeks out from leaving lovely Edinburgh. Yes, it's with a heavy heart that we begin to pack up our belongings, give away stuff, clean every corner in our flat, and begin our goodbyes to this beautiful city. I know the awesomeness of this place truly won't set in until we are settled back at home, and even then, it may take years for us to decompress and come to terms that this was the best year of our life thus far.

Seriously, it's going to be hard to top this year and all of the incredible adventures we had. We couldn't have asked for a better first year of marriage. It's felt like we've been living on an extended honeymoon for the past 13 months. I think about what we were doing the year before we moved here and I am so happy that we chose to take this leap because it truly opened our eyes to the world and everything it has to offer.

One year ago, we were both stuck in jobs that weren't in our field and, frankly, we didn't get much joy out of working where we did. Now we've spent the year doing amazing things like learning at a renowned university where people like David Hume and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle walked the same campus we walk today, roaming the same countryside that John Muir fell in love with, and using the internet to freelance write my way through this year. One year ago, I wouldn't have thought any of this was possible, but here I am, believing and knowing now that it is, feeling changed forever.

I can't decide what we will miss the most: the people or the scenery. or the history. or the trees. or the castles. or the mountains. or the stories. or....all of it.

In a few weeks we'll be packing our bags and kissing our sweet cozy flat goodbye, but until then, we intend to seep up as much Edinburgh love as we can!

"When God Himself takes to panorama painting, it turns out to be strangely beautiful.....I believe I have found the beginning of my Scottish Symphony there today." - Felix Mendelssohn Pin It