Why My Table Usually Has A Centerpiece

Sunday, May 28, 2017

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Short answer: it's not because we are just so fancy.

We were watching an episode of Star Trek the other day where Geordi was trying to convince Data he needed to train his cat. I, being the owner of two head-strong felines myself, chuckled and shook my head. Anyone who lives with a cat will tell you - you might as well try to train a dragon.

My two cats are a great example of perfect cat-i-ness. While absolutely wonderful a lot of the time, they still have those moments where I wonder if maybe they were put on this planet just to drive me insane. Our Russian Blue Stormadeddon (as in Dark Lord of All) is normally so docile and sleepy. Exception being during that magical cat time when their inner clock tells them it's time to MOVE. That's when he runs exactly two high speed laps around our house, or plays a high energy game of floor is lava. The other cat, Odin, is our real problem though. I'd say Stormy is calm 90% of the time. Odin, on the other hand, is not. White, deaf, and with more than a few anxiety issues, when this cat gets riled up he can sound like something straight out of a nightmare, and not even know why we are all glaring at him (Stormy included).

When I say you can't train a cat I might have exaggerated a bit. You can, sort of, train a cat. For example, you can spray it with water every time it gets on the counter, and eventually they'll stop getting on the counter... when you're around. The problem with cats is that they're smart. They figure out sneaky ways to get what they want. But I want to be able to drink without fearing for my drink's life. And to have glass things displayed, and to own nice furniture, and to have a tablecloth stay on the table instead of being jerked off when then cats decide the NEED to run across any available long stretch of clean surface.

So how do I deal with the whole "we can't have nice things" thing? Centerpieces. AKA: finding ways to work with my cats.  So I know my cats are going to tear across the table. It's in their hunting genes, I guess. My solution is to put up a heavy centerpiece and when I come home I just tug the anchored tablecloth back into place. Bonus for added cuteness. All that I want is to display pretty breakable things? Arrange them int a way that makes the surface crowded and unappealing to cats. Furniture looks like you rub on it with a cheese grater? Artistically drape a blanket across it.

I'm not saying this is by any means a perfect system, and often I still want to pull my hair out and lock them into one room for all off eternity. But learning the tricks to make living with these beasts totally worth it. Especially when we are all sitting on the couch and they curl up beside you, tuck their heads underneath their paws, and purr softly.

Yeah. Worth it.

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DIY Faux Fur Covered Stool

Thursday, May 25, 2017

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This DIY was born out of the need to not pay over $30 for a stool, and the knowledge that I had seen a mid-century modern stool at a ton of thrift stores. I've been looking for a soft accent piece to put into my art/guest room, and every time I made a mood board this stool by A Beautiful Mess kept popping up. I don't really have the time or skills to make a full stool, but make a slip cover for a stool? That's something I can do.

Also I just like the furriness. 

A stool, fur (I used this from Ikea), scissors,
straight pins, thread, measuring tape,
a permanent marker, and sticky pads for the feet.

One: Turn your stool over and trace the outer edge. I had to go around quite a few times to get a good solid line, but with how thick my fur was, I wasn't really worried about the marker bleeding through.

Two: Measure the circumference and length of your stool (or the length you would like your stool to look). 

Three: Time to do some math! In order to fit the circumference of the stool onto my fur, I had to split it in half. I also added an inch to the bottom and sides, to make room for bunches in the fabric and seams. So a long 44" by 6.5" strip became two pieces, both 23" by 7.5".

Four: Measure and draw your sides out. I used the tape measure to measure out dots then connected them to make a straight line.

Five: Time to cut! I found it was easiest if  I cut as close the fabric (beneath the fur) as I could.

Six: Onto pinning. I had to pin together my two pieces first, sew that seam, then pin the long piece to the top.  Before you do anything, though, flip your fabric over and make sure when it's all sewn the fur will all lay the same direction.  While pinning, smooth the fur back away from the edge to make it easier to get the pins in.

Seven:  I hand sewed this whole thing. I doubled up my thread, used an upholstery needle, and settled in to watch some TV. I'm sure that you could use a sewing machine, but I just didn't want to deal with that. Hand sewing gave me more control, and I could problem solve some parts as I went. Note: my hand stitching consists of whatever stitches I think will keep the project together. It is not pretty. It is functional.

Eight: Flip your cover right side out and pull it onto your stool, and that's it!

I was really happy with the outcome of this project, and I think it's great that I can take off this cover and replace it with something else if I feel the urge. You might need to attach a bit of ribbon or elastic to the bottom to keep it on, but I don't see this stool getting a lot of abuse so I just left it as is. The fit is snug enough that I'm not too worried about it shifting. Also, if you can't find a good stool at a thrift shop, I tried the same cover on a stool from Ikea and thought it turned pretty cute too.

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