30 October 2011

Reupholstery Tutorial: Part II.

This weekend I was finally able to finish up that office chair reupholstery project that I started last week.  It's kind of made me want to reupholster every piece of furniture in my house.
Here is the second part of the reuphosltery tutorial which includes redoing the seat cushion and finishing up all of the chair's details.  In case you missed it, the first tutorial is here. 

Let's get started!

23 October 2011

Reupholstery Tutorial: Part I.

When I was 13 or so, I picked out an office chair with wheels for my brand new desk.  It was a bold aqua color.  At least, I think this color is aqua...Whenever there is some combination of blue and green, I don't ever know how to define it.  I mean, I know a handful of terms that define a mixture of the two colors: cerulean, teal, turquoise, blue-green, green-blue, aquamarine, aqua, seafoam, etc. But, I'm lost when it comes to the actual concentration of blue and green in each of these colors.  Is this just me?  I think we need a scale like the one in all science books for wave sizes (infrared, radio, x-ray...).
Regardless of its actual color, this chair has gotten pretty dirty.  And, since I painted my room "Avocado", it's a blaring clash of colors.  So, I decided to reupholster it.  There are some great reupholstery (or upholstery, I think it's just common to add the prefix re- in front if it's not the first upholstery for this object) tutorials out there including these ones: here and here.  Every furniture item is going to be constructed differently, so all you can really do is take the essential ideas and apply them to your own!
Here is my own reupholstery tutorial for an office chair!  Enjoy!

17 October 2011

Train Activities.

My train ride to school is almost exactly 1 hour long.  Each way.  I used to just fall asleep, but it was the sort of sleep where your head slowly droops down until that point where the neck muscles finally just give up, then your head snaps up violently and somehow you'll manage to fall asleep again within milliseconds only to repeat this process again for the next ten minutes.
Save sleep, I really feel like I need to do something for the 10 hours a week I'm on Trax.  Something resembling productivity.  Of course, I can't be too productive, say as to read my fluids textbook or start on homework assignments, because that would just make too way much sense.   Instead, I need to:
  • Play through my old gameboy games?  Am I too old to enjoy Pokemon again?
  • Write a book featuring train people.  I'm convinced they're a separate, yet closely related species.
  • Crochet or knit something small enough that doesn't invade space. 
  • Listen to as many wonderful podcasts as I can squeeze in.
  • Compose a song purely from my head without hearing any of it until completed.  (Before you get any notions about this...I'll tell you now that it will sound awful and I am okay with that.)
  • Write down and illustrate all of the things I want to take apart and the things I want to invent.  

So far I've accomplished two of these.  The podcasts, and the knitting one...
I kept seeing images of children frolicking and wanting to see my knitting projects, but then when I'm leaning over to show them, the train screeches to a halt and my knitting needles gorily poke them in the eyes.  I bought circular needles to relieve myself of this unlikely, but very real image.  I also needed a place to hold my yarn other than my lap so that I can pull it out from the center without it rolling and bouncing everywhere.
And I found a solution that makes me ridiculously happy.

Yarn.  In a shoebox.

Knitting.  From a shoebox!

That's right!  I'm using a shoebox.  It makes perfect sense, really.
I cut the slit on the side of the lid so that I can easily pull the yarn in and out of the shoebox.  
Also, this shoebox is the same one that I was proposed to with.  I know, it's ridiculous.  But I'm in love.  With all of it.

16 October 2011

Donkey Kong Crochet.

I'm going to knit/crochet entire screenshots of old 8-bit or 16-bit games.

I started with probably my favorite one...Donkey Kong.  I think I love Donkey Kong even more now that I've seen the movie The King of Kong:  A Fistful of Quarters.

It's made out of Tunisian (or Afghan) crochet.  I wish I could do this stuff on the train to school, but it requires at least 4 skeins of yarn at a time and using an 18 inch double-ended crochet hook.  I kind of like to be as small as I can manage on the train so that people don't hate me for taking up their space. 

Here is a list of some other games I've thought of doing:
  • Secret of Monkey Island
  • Pac-Man
  • Space Invaders
  • Mario 
  • Joust
  • Defender
  • Root Beer Tap
  • Excitebike
  • Dragon's Lair
  • Centipede
  • Frogger
  • Dig Dug
  • Asteroids
  • Tetris
Tell me any that I've missed.  The more pixelated the game is, the better.  Also, the more awesome the game is, the better!  I need around 8 of these huge panels in total for my secret mission project.  I just like to call it a secret mission project so that I can feel like a secret agent.

15 October 2011

Introductory Piecing.

I recently went purchasing (as we now call "shopping with a purpose") at an admittedly adorable store in Gardner Village: Pine Needles.  It's a fabric, quilting, and embroidery store and it was setup in such a way that it felt like every nook and cranny you looked in you'd find more piles and baskets of fabric.  I kind of felt like hugging every piece of fabric in there.  Somehow, I managed to only buy half of the store and frankly, I'm pretty surprised that I've never heard of this place before for fabrics.  Any ideas?  I've only been to large chain retailers before like Hobby Lobby and Joann, so I don't exactly have the widest range of experience here, but this place was unbelievable. 

With the help of Google and lovely internet bloggers who post free tutorials, I decided to learn a little bit of quilting and piecing and paper piecing techniques and freezer paper techniques.  About 15 youtube videos later, I decided to go for a simple geometric design (I love engineering paper for this stuff).  The plan was to measure out the pieces directly onto the fabric, until I arrived at an SAS (side-angle-side) problem.  And for those of you who remember your Laws of cosines from trigonometry, good for you.  I know I could have looked it up on google, but since I had already done a bunch of right triangle trig, and it's Fall Break, and it's just 5 pieces for a simple block, I got lazy and just cut pieces out of paper and pinned them onto my fabric. 

So, I picked the fabrics out for a good friend of mine whom I am making a project for.  My first experience with piecing turned out not to be a huge disaster. 

All in all, life is good.