DIY Buffet (because calling it a “buffet” sounds fancy)

When we were living at the apartment, we’d come across all manner of items left for “free” outside our dumpster area. Most of the time it was annoying and an eye sore. (Newsflash: No one will take your soggy mattress! Which is why you left it there, isn’t it?) But this one time as Mr. Darcy and I were headed to our cars we spied a piece of furniture that had been tucked away at the back of our alley. On closer inspection it was a decent piece of furniture and so I somehow convinced Mr. Darcy to help me haul it into the maintenance room right that second (it was raining) (we do live in Seattle so that goes without saying).

Fast forward to present day. The buffet, as I like to call it, sits nicely in our dining room area adjacent to the back door. We could have kept it the original blue color but I am trying this more minimal decor thing out. My fashion colors can be wild and bold but my house doesn’t have to be. Having moved from such cramped quarters, everything is now spread out in our huge house and I kind of like it. Maybe cozy clutter wasn’t really my design esthetic but rather a result of my small surroundings?

It was a nice sunny day and I convinced Mr. Darcy to embark on a project with me. Again, not sure how I got him to agree but I think it has something to do with my breasts. Mr. Darcy seemed skeptical that a joint DIY project would be fun. How could it not? Togetherness! Painting! Sunshine!

Doors & shelves removed. Mr. Darcy is still in his skeptical phase.

Mr. Darcy uses paint on an almost daily basis so I tend to let him take the lead as The Expert when it comes to such things. Unless we are talking about paint colors. Then the gloves come off. He’ll quote the color wheel and I’ll rely on emotion-based tactics to explain the difference between teal and aqua. Again, the fact that we decided on wedding colors in a 2 minute conversation still astounds me.

Anyhow, I’d decided to go with white because our walls are beige (Mr. Darcy would call them some other color, I’m sure) and I wanted some lightness in the room. We sat in the sun slopping on paint, listening to the quiet of our neighborhood. It was very zen. After a couple of coats, it was almost done. I’d bought a spray sealer and as we sat waiting for our final coat to set I asked Mr. Darcy about it.

Me: “After this is dry we should apply the gloss, right?”

Him: “Yes, except we did not buy gloss.”

Me: “Yes we did. It’s right there.”

Him: “It’s not gloss though. It will not have a shine.”

Me: “Oh, okay.”

A minute later.

Me: “After we apply the gloss we can just leave it out here to dry and move it inside later tonight.”

Him: “Sure. Except it is not gloss.”

Me: (Giggling) “Right! I meant. . . spray. What do I call it?”

Him: “Satin sealer.”

Me: “Got it.”

A few minutes later.

Me: “We should probably apply the gloss right now.”

Him: “Ok, but it’s still not gloss.”

Me: (collapsing in a fit of laughter, tears running down my face)

Him: “I want you to manage your expectations. It’s not going to be glossy.”

Me: (still laughing)

Despite my terminology confusion, the buffet turned out rather nice.

I’m pondering a simple design on the doors and am on the search for new handles for the doors/drawer.

Mr. Darcy even proclaimed that he’d finally found something I don’t over-think and am not super meticulous at. (He means this as a compliment.) Not that I do a sloppy job at painting but more so that I just dive in and do it without spending an inordinate amount of time considering what could go wrong (which is generally my M.O.). He said he found it enjoyable to paint with me. HUZZAH! This is perfect! Because I want to paint my craft room this weekend.

Custom Caricature Key Chain Holders- You know you want one.

It’s November. Can you believe it? That means we’ve got something like 55 days until Christmas, right? Aack! Sorry to panic you.

With the holidays breathing down our necks, Mr. Darcy and I thought we’d extend a unique opportunity to the readers of Sizzle Says. Remember that key chain holder I roped Mr. Darcy into painting for us a while back? Let me refresh your memory:

Sizzle & Darcy Key Chain Holder: The Original in Action

Yeah. That one.

Well, we made a couple of others. See?

These were both commissioned wedding gifts.

And now, we’re offering to make one for you or for your friend or your sister or whoever you think might like one. They make great gifts- wedding, house-warming, or the holidays! For a limited time we’re going to be taking orders on these custom caricature key chain holders for $75 each (includes shipping only to US and Canada, other countries, we can negotiate). We can do a couple or one person or maybe even a pet (great for hanging their leash).

Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery (depending on how many requests we get). We guarantee that you will receive it in time for Christmas. If you would like to place an order, please email me at sizzlesays at gmail dot com.

BONUS! GIVE AWAY! We will give one custom caricature key chain holder away to a lucky winner. To enter: 1) Comment on this post and/or 2) Tweet the url of this post and cc @sizzlesays so I know to count you for another entry.

We’ll accept entries until Sunday, Nov. 6th at 6pm PST. Winner will be announced on Monday, Nov. 7th.

Creative Collaboration

“I have this idea but I need your help,” I say to my artist boyfriend, the one and only, Mr. Darcy.

“Okay. . . what is it?” he replies with a hint of skepticism in his voice.

“I want to take a small canvas and paint caricatures of us on it then add two hooks underneath to hang our keys,” I explain enthusiastically.

“Sure! Sounds cute.” (I love my agreeable boyfriend.)

Weeks later we finally got the canvas and Mr. Darcy had the time to create. We have different ideas about colors but we ended up compromising. Here’s the finished product greeting us in our hallway.

Stop. Collaborate & Listen.

I’m great at coming up with ideas and he’s great completing them. Our differences balance each other out, luckily.

What did you do all weekend, Sizz?

I have spent the majority of the last 36 hours elbow deep in felt. Observe:

Hoot & Chirp Productions: A Glamorous Life

As you might note from the photo, besides felt and thread and needles and scraps there was also my cell phone and the remote control to keep me company as I toiled away the hours with this back breaking crafting. No. Seriously. My back hurts.

The good news is that all my hermiting this weekend has paid off. I’ve got close to forty owls and birds to sell on Saturday, Dec. 5th at the “Art Under $100” sale. If you’re a local and want to come out and support local artists please come by! It’s from 4:00-10:00pm at the Old Firehouse in the South Park neighborhood (8201 10th Ave. S. in Seattle). My sis is selling her handmade books and we’ll have some of Putzy’s fine craftsmanship for sale. He hopped on my bird and owl theme. Check out this sneak peek:

Hoot & Chirp Magnets

Hoot & Chirp Felt Pins

I had no idea how many I might need for the sale since I’ve never done this before. If I don’t sell any then I guess I know what everyone is getting for Christmas this year. Ahem.

Behold: I Sort of Make Sense Before 5am (Maybe)

It’s 5 minutes shy of 4:30am as I type this.

I went to bed at 11pm but was rudely awoken by a (408) area code at 11:38pm. (“No one I know would call me at this hour.”) (Guess that movie quote.) (By the way? 408 area code caller? Thanks for not leaving a message. Rrrr!)

The cold still lingers though despite utter fatigue, my mucus production seems to be waning. (I know you were dying to know.)

I will be at work at 5:00am and more than likely, toil away on my feet until at least 3:00pm. (Oh and I get to work on Sunday too!)

Note to self: Very inconvenient to have a head cold when running the volunteers for a 24-hour radiothon.

Even as a morning person, this is really too damn early to be functioning.

Please, check out the artistic talents of our fellow bloggers on Neil’s site today. There’s some great stuff and, like you need reminding, the holidays are weeks away! I submitted a shoddy photo of the pins I custom make.

Tomorrow, when it’s a decent hour and my brain is working better, I shall tell you all about the 2nd Annual Blog Crush Day– the brainchild of myself and my blog buddy, Sandra over at Internal Monoblog. Mark your calendars now: Friday, Dec. 14th. Details to come!

Aww moment of the last 24 hours: The Fella bringing me Pho (Vietnamese soup for those going, “huh!?”) for dinner last night while I was in my 9th hour of working my butt off. (And double”awww” he still thinks I’m cute despite my holiday/head cold-inspired Ruduloph nose.)

{You know how sometimes you get a song caught in your head but only know like one line? I’ve got “it’s gonna take a lot to tear me away from you. . . there’s nothing that a hundred men on Mars could ever do. . .” which are probably inaccurate lyrics and I want to say, are sung by Toto. Help a sister out, will ya?}

*This marks the end of this post and the end of my over-useage of parenthesis.*

(For today.)

D’oh!

Sew What

sew machineI finished my skirt sewing class last night. Do I have a skirt to show you? Um, no.

I left class pretty irritated. Why do they advertise that you will walk out of class with a finished product when in BOTH classes I walked out with incomplete garments? That’s false advertising! And it’s not like it’s just because I am slow or inept. The other two women in the class weren’t done with theirs either. Now I have to try to remember her rushed instructions in the last five minutes when I actually get around to finishing the skirt.

I think I need to take a class at a different location with a different teacher. This one is pretty ditzy and couldn’t seem to manage the three students she had in class since we were all working at different paces. She’s nice enough and definitely knows how to sew but should she be a teacher? That is debatable. Especially since she was totally blaming when the sewing machine I was using jammed on me. She assumed I had done something wrong and acted annoyed that she had to fix it. Uh, hello? I was just sewing like normal, like I had been earlier. It wasn’t my fault. (Waaah!) Luckily the owner of the store was there and is a very kind and patient lady who fixed the machine. And yeah, she confirmed it wasn’t ME who injured the machine.

Take that stupid teacher lady!

I’m not sure how far I can take CGR (Chubby Girl Revolution). This sewing business requires a LOT of ironing and precision. I hate ironing. I hate measuring shit. See? I like coming up with concepts and instructing other people how to execute them. I am good at managing people but executing an entire project start to finish on my own? I lose interest. I don’t have the patience. I’m a starter, not a finisher. I’m not saying I am giving up the dream. I don’t want to! Chubby girls need cute skirts (and deserve them!). It’s just not going to happen tomorrow.

Sigh.

Sew So

sewing machineSewing while medicated is not recommended. It says so on the very bottom in the left hand corner of the box in teeny tiny print. I ignored the warning and went to class anyhow. It’s only a two part class. If I had stayed in bed I would have had half sewn pj bottoms. Little did I know that’d still be the case when I left class last night.

I hauled my sewing machine down to class in the hopes that I would get a first-hand lesson in how to work the contraption. After she loaded the bobbin and had it all set up, she tried it out and complained something was wrong with the belt. Great! So much for that.

As I carefully, painstakingly followed her directions inching the fabric along the 5/8ths line, keeping a steady rhythm with the pedal I managed to sew a semi-straight line along the outer seams of each pant leg. Yay me! I showed her my work and that’s when she said I had pinned the wrong pieces together. Two fronts and two backs sewn in that configuration will not make a pair of pants anyone can wear.

Now you tell me.

My teacher is a skilled seamstress but as a teacher? Kind of flighty. I was particularly frustrated because she skipped over reviewing my pinning last week even though I was remarking that I thought I was doing it all wrong (and guess what? I was!). So there I am, blowing my Rudolph nose for the umpteenth time, wishing I was lying down and having to rip out all the sewing I just did, press it all with an iron and repin it. Motherf*@#&!

After that I was on fire with frustration so I whipped right through the rest of the sewing as the teacher yammered on about New York vs. Philadelphia, fashion school and boyfriends who are hermits. That was all a fine and good way to pass the time as we sewed but it was difficult to interrupt her for further instruction since she was so intent on conversating. By the time 9pm rolled around I had material that resembled pants but no hems and no waistband. As she whipped through the remaining instructions I lost interest. It kind of sucks that we don’t get to actually complete the pants in the class. We can go back into the store to finish up or try it on our own at home but apparently my machine isn’t in working order so… now I am left with unfinished pants and a strong desire to stay in bed for at least three more days.

I did sign up for the skirt class though. I’m a glutton for punishment.