January 10, 2011

2010 Year in Review

January:
We buy a new home.
February:
We're still reveling in the joy of our new home.
We celebrate our first date 5 years ago on Valentine's Day. (Yeah, I know, what kind of loser goes on a first date on Valentine's?)

March:
We receive a $12,000 tax return (Thank you, federal tax credit!)

April:
We pay off $8000 in student loans.
I write on this blog for what turns out to be the last time for the year. I'm a pathetic blogger.

May:
Ivy starts to walk and say her first real words. (First one after Mama and Dada: bunny)
Ivy turns one.
I get an iPad for Mother's Day/early birthday (And yes, it has changed my life and I love it. Only downside: Ivy now thinks it's hers.)
June:
My grandma celebrates her 100th birthday in style, with BYU football players making an appearance because she's their biggest fan. (Coolest grandma in the world, right? Don't even get me started on her awesomeness.)
Jared gets an iPhone 4 for his Father's Day/early birthday (Yes, we're geeky.)

July:
Jared gets pneumonia.
We take a trip to Bear Lake with my brothers and sisters.
We go to an awesome Paul McCartney concert.
August:
I turn 25. We eat sushi.
My younger siblings, Matt (15) and Jen (17), get a new home with my sister Stephanie. (It's complicated; if you want the details, email me.)
My 35-year-old brother Daniel is last seen by family members. (And is still missing now. We're working with the police trying to find him.)

September:
We go to Snowbird during Oktoberfest. We eat the best German chocolate cake ever and run into the sweet people who adopted our old cat.
I start to sew for the first time since high school and realize I'm not so bad at it.
Ivy becomes obsessed with Sesame Street.
We play. We explore.
October:
We take advantage of the last of the semi-warm weather.
I quit breastfeeding and feel surprisingly sad about it at first.
We have a close call and barely avoid a terrible car accident. Two people were killed and another woman was critically injured (You've got to read her story. It's amazing.)

November:
Jared turns 32.
We decide to start trying for baby number two.
My sister Michelle gives birth to her fourth beautiful daughter.

December:
We celebrate our 4 year anniversary. We eat sushi again.
I spend most of the month upholstering in my spare time.
We have a great Christmas.
New Year's Eve is pretty fun too.
Anything else?

I went the entire year without a car while Jared's at work. My great little truck died and we donated it to Cars for Veterans. Having only one car can be a pain, but it's a great money saver. I just hope it doesn't last too much longer . . .
I grew herbs on our little balcony. Better than nothing, but having a garden is the one thing I miss about our old apartment.
I cooked more than any previous year. I made several new things I'd never dared to do before, like whole chickens, beef braciole, and pickled bok choy.
I learned the true meaning of entertainment while watching Ivy play.
I experienced heartbreak by seeing that the family I grew up in is a long distant memory and that things will never be the same, or even close.
I prayed a thousand times that I won't die before my children are grown, like my mother did.
I felt joy in knowing that the family I'm creating is solid, loving, and happy. So happy.

Now bring on 2011.

January 4, 2011

DIY Torture (i.e. Reupholstering a Wingback Chair, Part 2)

Day 10
Sew seat piece together with pleating 
Day 11
Staple seat piece to chair 
Day 12
Staple left arm piece to chair
Day 13
Staple left wing, start right arm 
Day 14
Finish right arm, right wing

Day 15
Staple on inside back and piping around sides and back 

Day 16
Remove fabric from little front of arm pieces (meant to cover up staples, and no, I have no idea what they're really called) 
Day 17
Trial and error with nails on arm fronts. It may seem silly, but these little arm pieces gave us a lot of grief. The first time, I tried to use nails that were too small, so they bent when we tried to put them in and we had to start over since the nails had to go in before it's covered in fabric. Bigger nails were used next time around. Also, since they are curved, the fabric must be put on while the pieces are tightly curved. We ended up wrapping them around a rolling pin while stapling on the fabric for a nice tight bend.
Day 18
Attach sides of chair using ply grip, metal teeth, and staples (see this video on how to use ply grip)
We had to use a mechanical pencil tip to push the little spikes out on the ply grip since we just reused it from the original upholstery.
Almost there . . .
Day 19
Attach outside back using ply grip, metal teeth, and staples 
Day 20
Staple fabric onto arm fronts & nail to chair (Success, finally, with two larger nails on each piece)
Staple piping along chair bottom

Done!
I can finally move on and get the visions of upholstery to stop dancing in my head now. And I've got a nice chair and an ottoman to show for it.
If you actually made it to the end of this post, congratulations. I think that means you have what it takes to get to the end of an upholstery project.
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