let's have a picnic

How would you like to sit outside on a nice 8 foot long picnic table made out of solid cedar?
Well, if you come to our house, you can!!!

We are having a few get togethers in the next couple weeks, and recently realized that other than the couch that we basically live on, there is nowhere for more than 2 people to sit and eat.

So, the man devised a plan - build a picnic table! (and pray for good weather)

Andrew and I went out to Menards on Saturday and bought a bunch of cedar, went by his work to pick up a few of his tools and headed to the back yard.

First we set up the work bench

Then we started cutting and screwing things together to make the frame

We made an A for Aly! and for Andrew!

We got out the chisel and put together some cross-lap joints to make it sturdier

Then we screwed down all the planks and  . . .  

I'm so excited to go get a BBQ sometime next week.  It better start getting warmer and not so rainy, I want to hang out in the great outdoors!
This table was so much fun to make, we spent two hours on Saturday and only about one today, it really wasn't that difficult and the materials only cost about $200.00 (it could be less if you choose a different type of wood, but we love cedar, it is pest, mold and rot resistant, and it smells awesome!)

Ain't she a beaut, I can't wait to spill something!

getting started {part two}

Back to what I was saying . . .

Third Class:
Mitered Blanket - after taking 101 and piped pillow I had to take one more "intermediate" class before I could take the ottoman class.  I chose mitered blanket thinking, "yeah, awesome who doesn't need an extra blanket" .  .  .

(sorry for the fuzzy pictures)

Then I realized I was making a baby blanket!  It doesn't keep me as warm as I had hoped but it keeps my shoulders cozy.

Forth Class
OTTOMAN!!!!!!! - Finally what I had been waiting for for months!

I had the mister come meet me at The Needle Shop after the blanket class so we could pick out the fabric for the ottoman, and he had picked this owl fabric (from premier prints) before I even got out of class.
yeah, my man's got pretty great taste.
I got the yellow and grey polka dot pattern to make the piping and brought it all in a few weeks later.
In the end, after all that sewing practice, there was barely any sewing involved.  Apart from the seems on the corners it was almost all staples. And I loved every second of it!  Going in with a pile of fabric and some piping and coming out 4 hours later with a fully functional ottoman was awesome.  It was a great feeling of accomplishment, and I can't wait to feel it again!!!

getting started

I'm finally getting down to business.  I started this blog to talk about projects I'm working on and so far all I've talked about is food (we had an awesome breakfast this morning by the way). So, to get us started here's a little background.

My talented man makes custom furniture.  Before I met him I was always curious about the design and construction of furniture, but since we've been together I've become much more than curious.  Now a days whenever I see a chair, ottoman, etc. I start thinking about how it was put together, and with the boy by my side it's easy to figure out.

About eight months ago I became interested in learning more about upholstery, I thought, "hey, my boyfriend makes furniture, wouldn't it be awesome if I could learn how to upholster so we could make things together. That way he'll never be able to get away from me!! MwaHahahaha!!!" (just kidding, I'm not that scary of a girlfriend, and he's actually excited about it).

So I started looking for a place to learn, and didn't find much.  What I did find was The Needle Shop, which is the cutest little fabric store run by awesomely cool people.  They had a class to make an ottoman, but first there were a few prerequisites.  My mom is an amazing seamstress and she taught me a lot (well sometimes she taught me a lot and sometimes she pushed me aside and just did it herself - I LOVE YOU MOM), but I thought, it's been a while, I should just take it from the beginning.

First Class:
Sewing 101 - learning how to make a basic pillow - with a zzzzzipper!

I made a second one for practice

Second Class:
Piped Pillow - making a . . . piped pillow (duh, what did you think it was)

Third Class:
Will come in the next post, it is late and I'm sleepy!!

in major need of some r&r

One of the ladies at work made muddy buddies, I had some and thought, "jeeze, she must not be good at this, I don't taste any peanut butter OR chocolate."  And that's when I realized that I really do have a cold.

So I'm sick and gross and the man made me some delicious chicken, noodle, potato, and chard soup

yeah I'm pretty lucky.

I have to go into work tomorrow so here's to hoping I feel better in the morning!
Good Night!

sunday brunch!

I had a very productive day! Sunday morning I woke up . . . at 9:30 . . . AM . . . in the morning.  For most this is no great feat but for someone like me who can stay in bed until 2:00pm no problem, this is quite an accomplishment.  And what, you may ask, made me so motivated? BRUNCH!!

Saturday night I ran into my friends Maria and Daily, and they invited me to brunch at Daily's bar, Blokes and Birds.  They just started serving brunch a couple of weeks ago, and oh my oh my my my, waking up was well worth it.

We came in and were greeted with some great Bloody Mary's

(of course with anything from Daily it comes with a shot, this time a nice stout shot)
They had a wonderful kick to them and they infuse their vodka with bacon (obviously if you are a veggie they can hold the bacon), and the tasty piece of havarti on that little skewer didn't hurt either.

Then for food I chose the Hash

 The duck confit with confit potatoes and two fried duck eggs on top. . . hash. YUM!
I was so excited to eat it I broke the egg before I could take a picture.  It was incredible.

One of the other ladies at my table got the stuffed french toast

It is stuffed with Nutella and has carmelized bananas and fruit and deliciousness all over it. (drool)
To top everything off it was a beaUtiful day.  One of those Chicago days, in the middle of a cold month, that reminds you summer still does exist. And also reminds you of all the bare chests and short shorts that are in your future.  I wandered around until it was too windy to keep my eyes open, then headed home to do chores, FUN!

Cleaned the bath room, cleaned the kitchen, worked on my chairs (pictures to come), watched a movie, made some dinner, and ate too much ice cream.  

See, Pro-duc-tive! 
I love days like that.

left to my own devices

My Morning Man left today to see some of his family on the East Coast.  His sister is graduating from the police academy and so we had to get him a suit, which is a lot more difficult then one might think. 

here he is covered in tailors

We went out to the Old Orchard Mall and to complete the experience we ate at the Cheesecake Factory!!! Adams Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple is my all time fav.

Of course before he left he made sure I was completely taken care of. . .

that's right, Pulled Pork!!! Yum!

He asked and how could I say no, when it's the best food ever, in the whole world . . . ever.  And because it's just little ol' me this weekend all this will probably last until he gets back on Monday.

It may only be 5 days but I sure am going to miss that man.

how sweet!

They got me cupcakes!

These ladies sure are sweet.  It had been a long day, and I didn't want any more suprises, but this was a good one.  They went to Crumbs Bake Shop and got me cupcakes for my workiversary.


Today is my 1 year jobiversary.  One year ago today I started working in this office, I was so excited I finally snagged the kind of job I wanted.  Yep, my dream job was doing administrative work in a cubicle.  In the past year I've climbed to the top of the 2 person ladder, gained a lot more responsibilities (office administrator, office manager, and personal assistant to the principal attorney), and I've learned a lot. 

A few months ago I finally had a epiphany.  After earning a BFA at one of the top 3 art colleges in the US, I actually want a job that is a little more creative. . .  I never said it was a brilliant epiphany.  You'd think I would have come to this realization 17 years ago in elementary school, when I would finish other kids' art projects for them, and get upset when the art "lesson" (painting on paper plates) would be replaced by math, because everyone was behind on their times tables.  Instead it took me 1 year at a desk.

Now, I'm no dummy.  I'm not going to go quit my job and work as a studio artist.  I've never been delusional enough to think "studio artist" could be a valid career choice.  My student loans are too high and my parents have enough worries of thier own without trying to pay for their grown daughters' rent and groceries.  But there are some changes I can make, time I can set aside, and skills I can teach myself so that one day I can work somewhere that's a little less beige.

So, here I go, first step make a blog (check). Next, make stuff . . .
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