Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Love Triangles

To be clear, I do not hate every work that contains a love triangle; I just hate it when the love triangle is the main driving plot element, or when the author spends so much time on the triangle that it takes up the bulk of the narration. A lot of people are really passionate about love triangle stories, and cannot understand why I am not interested, so I feel like I need to explain. There are two reasons why I feel this way:

#1. I don't find a love triangle to be realistic as a long-standing situation.

Sure, I can see being conflicted about which option to pursue, for a short time, but when the confusion spans several hundred pages it makes both options seem unappealing. In books or movies it always seems like the main character must choose one of two people. In reality if you find yourself unable to commit to either one of your two admirers, you shouldn't just waffle back and forth until one of them gets sick of you, then settle for the more desperate of the two. No!

You should ditch both of the people who only inspire lukewarm interest, and find a third option who you can actually feel excited about.

#2. In a love triangle the stakes are just not high enough.
In order for me to care about a story, I need to feel like the main character's problems are important. I like to think about what I would do in a similar situation, and I am interested to see how things turn out.
So, what are the stakes if Frodo fails to solve his ring problem?
 Seems intriguingly serious. I am not sure what the best course of action is.

What about if Person A fails to win the affections of Person B?
Uh, Person A is sad, I guess? Seems like the best course of action is for Person A to find someone who actually likes him? Or get a cat? I don't care.

If you are a person who loves love triangles, don't be ashamed; I am really particular and if our tastes are not the same it's cool. But don't try to convince me that I will enjoy a book or movie that is mainly composed of love triangledom!

Friday, May 17, 2013

New Bench with DIY Cushions

I got a bench at the thrift store about 5 months ago. I paid $1.00 for it, and I wasn't sure that it was even worth that. It looked pretty bad, like it had probably been left outside since the 70's. I took pictures of it, but then I deleted them so I could take cute pictures like this one:

Just understand that it was ugly enough that I actually had to sand down to the wood, which I am usually waaaay to lazy to do. Then I refinished it and painted the brass handles a matte black. 

I had plans to make cushions so it would be a cute and cozy place to sit, but then I got sick. So for three months the bench was refinished but empty and I stayed on the couch and tried to make sure McBaby didn't burn our house down.

But now I am better! So I decided to get to work on my cushions! I used this tutorial for the bench seat cushion, and this tutorial for the round pillow. I would say that the bench seat was an above average difficulty in sewing. This is not to say that you need to have above average talent to make it, just that if you, like me, are of average-ish sewing ability you will have to concentrate very hard and endure some frustration.

 The round pillow is my favorite part, and it was easy, but labor intense. The tutorial is great, but one tip I thought I would share is my pin-tuck marking tool that I invented, above. It's a yard stick with pencils taped to it! That may not seem like such a useful thing to you, but I wanted my measurements to be perfect, and I know I am not to be trusted in making a whole bunch of perfectly measured dots. It made the marking stage go by so fast!

 One other place where I deviated from the tutorial is the pillow-form. I have a weird curmudgeonly problem with pillow-forms. This problem is called "cheapness." Forms are like $10+ and if I am going to be forking over $10 I might as well just buy a pre-made pillow. So instead I used leftover foam and an electric kitchen knife to carve my own form.

 The foam was pretty firm, so I cut a crisscross pattern halfway through the foam to make it more flexible.

 The problem with this home-made form is that it wasn't exactly the same size as a store-bought form. It was too big! So I shaved it down a little and then forced one side shut.

 Not too bad eh?

 Then I turned it over and saw that the other side was exploding. So I shave shave shaved that foam some more.

 McBaby thought this was a great game, and wondered why we don't play with electric knives more.

 Finally after a great deal of shaving and some evil step-sister-style "I'll MAKE it FIT" determination, it was finished!

 Here is the final product with the buttons.

Special thanks to Andrea B. and Brittany for their super fantastic tutorials!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Storage Ottoman Part 1

If you have seen my most recent McBaby youtube video, then you have also seen the toysplosion that is our family room.

The toys could all be put away, but they had to be meticulously arranged in order to fit in their tiny storage containers. That room also didn't have as much seating as I wanted, so I decided to take care of both problems at once.

Actually, Handsome Bryce did most of the problem fixing by building me a wooden box. (This is a common theme with our projects, Bryce does the hard work parts and I do the easy fun parts.) Which I covered in quilt batting with a staple gun. Fun!

Then I measured my fabric to fit around it.

A lot of internet sewing projects pretend to be easy, but then turn out to require 10 days of work, but this one really is easy! You just have to sew one straight line! I recommend sewing the cover to be even smaller than what you measured, because you want it to fit tightly. Like jeans on the day after Thanksgiving.

After that it is smooth sailing because the staple gun does the rest of the work. I stapled that bottom like this, and then glued a large piece of felt on top of that.

Handsome Bryce is going to build me two more, to finish taming the toys.

McBaby is on board with this plan because he thinks the ottoman is a new toy, not just a receptacle for toys:

Friday, May 03, 2013

News Update

Hello blog, it has been a while! This is why I haven't had time to post stuff:

3. Celebrating Handsome Bryce's birthday!
Bryce didn't want me to take any pictures of him, and since it was his birthday I couldn't force him, so instead here is a picture of me. As you can see, rainbow swirl cake is back by popular demand!

2. Celebrating our anniversary!
I feel so lucky to be married to the dreamiest man in the world! We are also lucky to have my parents who watched McBaby for us while we went on a cruise! It was great to spend time, read some books, and play Killer Bunnies together. Thanks everyone, for your book recommendations!

1. Celebrating this:
And by celebrating I mean barfing, for three months straight. It was not a fun time, but now things are better and we are so excited! I am grateful for this pregnancy, and grateful for everyone who helped us survive, (mostly Handsome Bryce who did all the chores) while I was an unwashed lump on the couch!