Friday, December 30, 2011

The Interesting Things That Can Happen When You Are Pregnant

I don't mean this blog post to be a complaining post. I have absolutely loved being pregnant and I have embraced every part of it--the good with the ugly. But when I say ugly, there are some things about my body that have become, literally, down right scary! Pregnancy has been an amazing journey and watching how my body has changed in order to support a living being inside of me is nothing short of miraculous. However, sometimes us pregnant folk must adjust to a body that is less than, eh, ideal. :) I have been extremely lucky in that I have had minimal aches, pains and general issues that can plague a pregnant woman. However, I did not escape this pregnancy problem free.
In the last few weeks, I have watched my feet, ankles, legs and hands swell to unusual sizes. Wearing compression socks have been the only relief for my legs and my hands have not worn any sort of jewellry for some time. While generally uncomfortable, it has been the source of amusement for me, Jason and, while they were in town, my in-laws. We played the game of Lets-See-What Sort-of-Indentation-We-Can-Make with my feet. Here were the results:

Behold the fat foot

Sinply press in...

 and, Voila! your very own indentation.

Impressive, no?

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Story of How We Built a Couch

Once upon a time Jason and Chiara wanted to get a new couch. Their couches were old, ugly and abused and they figured it was time to upgrade. They searched throughout the land but could not find a couch that was what they wanted or in their price range. They desired a big, overstuffed couch that could serve also as a bed for guests and that would have plenty of storage--for their home was small. So, they came up with the brilliant plan to build their own--from scratch!
This tale has been one of blood, sweat and tears, over the course of 6 months. But it is a happy tale because we finally finished it! What an accomplishment! I feel as if a very heavy burden has been lifted and I can now continue on with my life! It was a great feat-one I wish never to repeat in my life!

So without further ado, through picture story telling, here is the story of how we built our very own couch:

First, the supplies we needed:
Wood-- we chose to use 1x1 to build the frame and plywood to cover the sides
Upholstery fabric--we chose a light brown chenille fabric from Jo Ann Fabrics. We used approx. 50 yards!
Batting--We used a brand called Dacron. This added additional cushioning to the sides of the couch
Foam-- Rather than buy the pre cut squares of foam, we ordered shredded foam-both regular and memory foam--online because it was much much cheaper!
Tools: Jason built a work table so he could use his circular saw and drill press. We also needed a regular drill, an electric staple gun ( for upholstering), wood glue and screws

All of our supplies!

How to Build a Cushion:

We came up with a template for all the cushion sizes, including 1/2 " seam allowance when sewing.

 I cut all the fabric pieces and sewed simple rectangles for the most part. Sewing on the zipper for each one was the hardest part for me.

 After sewing the cushions, we glued a layer of dachron in each one so that you wouldn't feel the lumpines of the shredded foam.
 The spray glue made the fabric bunch so we would have to stretch it out like below:

Then we put the pre-stuffed cushions outside to air out

Let the stuffing begin! We used a mixture of regular (blue) and memory foam(pink).

 Building the Frame:

 First, like mentioned before, Jason had to build a work table to do all of his drilling and sawing.

 Then came the assembly of each frame that would make up the different chairs in our sectional couch.

After building the frames, using screws and wood glue ( for extra strength) we put the plywood on

Look at all that room for storage! :)

After building the chair, it was time to put the dacron and upholstery on it to make it look like a real piece of furniture!

Each chair has a lid that is also dacroned and upholstered.


The corners were the hardest parts to do:

Sometimes our house got a little our of control! It was an ongoing battle to fight entropy!

But we managed to somehow stay sane through it all, taking periodic breaks throughout the course of the 6 months to enjoy what we had built so far.

The final part was to build the two platforms that would serve  two different functions: 1) the first platform was to allow people to sit comfortably on our unsually high chairs and 2) the second platform would allow us to use the couch as a bed. We ran out of fabric and had to wait almost a whole month for more to come before we could finish!

And that is the story of how we built our own couch!!!!