Monday, November 23, 2009

everything is just chair-y

Remember this?

...which became this?

Well, I took a couple evenings and made it into this:

(Yep, I'm still uploading pictures from my camera phone.)

Let me just say, I feel triumphant!! I have had this charcoal gray felt in my possession for nearly a year, and it's been just sitting there, taunting me. The last time I reupholstered the chair I used that brown/gold grandma-style floral jacquard. It was ugly and DIRECTIONAL, which made for quite a challenge. The idea was that I rip off the original fabric to use as a pattern for my pieces. I think the first project was a month in the making; I whipped this baby out in two evenings. Not having to pry out hundreds of staples and not having a directional fabric changed the turn-around time dramatically. It was actually invigorating to see the chair come together the way it did.

I also learned which portions could be fitted as slip-covers first and then stapled into place, rather than trying to stable each individual piece on. My favorite part was actually the most time consuming, but came out great: the detail stitching on the foot rest part (sorry it's hard to tell in the picture I uploaded). I ended up having a lot of scraps that weren't big enough to cover any single piece of the chair, but cut into strips and sewn into "stripes" on the foot rest ended up being just the way to use them. I may even have enough left over to do my second chair the same way. Really, I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.

Here's the question of the hour: Do I spray paint the legs a glossy black, or just leave them with the dark wood stain? Your thoughts?

Friday, November 13, 2009

look what i did!

This is how I spent my Friday afternoon. I think I'll make a series.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

ok so i eat a lot. what.

Today a friend and I went in search of soup and salad for lunch. It's a blustery day here in Seattle and that just sounded good. Cruising down 4th Avenue, we saw a sign swinging in the gusty rain:

We both got bowls of the soup du jour: French Onion (bien sur). They brought it to us in those heavy indestructable white ceramic bowls I remember from my time in Paris, and served the bread on the side rather than toasted and crusted under the gruyere in the bowl where it would get soggy (much appreciated by me).

It was the best damn French onion soup I've tasted. Ever. Run, don't walk, to get yourself a bowl.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

apple crisp

Yesterday one of the designers, out of the goodness of her heart, made up little gluten-free crackers topped with cream cheese, lox, and capers for me for an afternoon snack. I love food, and I love gifts, and it totally made my day.

So this morning at 7am I decided to make a little apple crisp to bring to the office and share, giving my snack buddy the first crack at it. The prep time was literally 5 minutes (I looked at the clock when I put it in the oven: 7:05am) so this is something even a super busy morning can handle. If you have 5 min to prepare it and another 1 min to remove it from the oven when it's done baking, all you really have to worry about it getting your timing right.

I made it with real flour so I wasn't able to test-taste it, but it got rave reviews so I feel pretty good about it. One of my colleagues asked for the recipe, but this is one I just eyeball so I made some guesses on the ratios for official purposes --even though I often use measurements like "pinch" and "dash" I don't write them into recipes because I know that stresses some folks out-- and since I had it all written down in an email, I thought I'd post it here as well for those of you who are looking for recipes that require little effort and yield delicious returns.

Apple Crisp:

Slice apples thinly (this helps cut down on baking time). I use granny smith; if you use other apples, toss the apples in fresh-squeezed lemon juice (1/2 lemon per apple)

Spread apples in your baking pan, making sure each slice has been separated from one another so they cook better. Leave ½ inch of room at the top

Topping (these are just the ratios – you may want to adjust the amount depending on your taste):

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp – or more if you like – apple pie spice (a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice)

Stir dry ingredients together

Cut in with a pastry cutter 1 stick butter until pieces of butter are about pea-sized.

Spread mixture over the apples and shake it down into the apples a little.

Bake at 350 for 30 min to an hour depending on how big of a pan you made. My little 6x8 pan that holds two large granny smith apples, sliced, only needed 30 min.

Another variation: Andrew likes it when I nestle little cubes if Kraft (not the inferior Brach’s) caramel within the apples.

Monday, November 2, 2009

cheers to a great costume this year

This year for Halloween we went to a Mad Men themed birthday party. Everyone dressed in conservative attire from the early 1960s. It was amazing to see what everyone found. Before we headed out, Ani came over to get ready (and her beehive was totally worth the effort). That, my friend, deserves a cocktail!