Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Lenny Blog

Or so it seems these days.  For something so little whose day consists of a monotonous routine of sleep, eat, poop, play….he takes up a lot of time.  Juggling work and said routine has left me aborting my typical lunch break with my butt in a chair and sandwich in hand.  Instead, I fly home, eat while he’s eating, and hope for the satisfaction of a poop in the twenty minutes I’ve got with him.  Should I be so lucky as to witness a good dump, I return the satisfaction with an excited “good poop Lenny, good poop!”.  I leave the neighbors on the “pooping” side of the house questioning my sanity.  I’m not sure if they’ve caught on that we got a pup, but I know they’ve caught me in bathrobe and towel turban jumping up and down with these unusual exclamations on numerous occasions.  I’m okay with it.

Needless to say, I don’t have many updates for you.  The week before we got Lenny, I did take on a sewing project a little over my head.  Had I the foresight to heed to the “not for beginners” warnings all over “sewing piping” and “making a dog bed” sites, I would have avoided a number of profane sessions that would make a child’s ears bleed.  But after much frustration, I was able to mimic the bed I was drooling over for little Lenny, and give him a close replica-for about the same cost.  Fail.  I’d say I saved on shipping, but the number of times I drove to the craft store for ‘one more spool of thread’ is negating.

Here’s the bed I wanted:

And here’s the one I slaved over:

Luckily he knew it was his from the moment he laid eyes on it.  Second only to his crate, it’s a fav.

The combination of long hours of work and long hours of Lenny have left us in more than out.  Chris has become quite the bartender to supplement drinks on the town.  An old fashioned for him, an espresso martini for me.

And because he’s so stinkin’ cute, samples from the 4,542 photos ops I’ve had with him.

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Hiatus

I might be on a blogging hiatus.  That, or this blog is going to throw up Lenny all over itself.

If having a puppy is anything like having a small child, I’m decades away from being “ready”.  Lenny is probably the cutest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on, so his Houdini-like skills and intense spurts of whimpering every three hours throughout the night go without resentment.  Chris has been a stay-at-home dad our first week with Lenny, and I’ve been taking the early morning shift before work.  If this is a foreshadowing of a future with kids…it’s damn good birth control.  I’m usually an expert on operating with little sleep, but this week I’ve been dragging.  Yesterday mid-extraction I just didn’t have any energy left to get that sucker out of there.  I used a lifeline and let the boss whip it out.  Apparently, I’m tired.

But despite the low-quality sleep I’ve been getting, I look forward to waking up to him and coming home to him with sheer excitement.  Most All puppies are undeniably cute, but something about it being your puppy gives you a bias that could make others throw up a little in their mouths.  I think Lenny is just perfect.  His love for bathroom mats, gnawing on skin, and escape-artist abilities prove otherwise, but I’m satisfied living in denial.  For me, he’s perfect.

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“Art”

When we were in Florida the four of us were perusing a street art fair when I fell in love with an ostrich.  I tried to keep the love to myself, glaring at it out of the corner of my eye, not saying a word.  When the ostrich popped up in my dream and again in my thoughts the next day, then…then I knew it really WAS love.  Although I hate to put people out I dragged the other three guys down the art fair again, all eyes peeled for the booth with the ostrich.  When I finally found it, my excitement was only heightened by Chris not only approving of it, but having actual affection toward it.  It was meant to be.  That is, until I saw the $700 pricetag.  Nope.  I don’t have that kind of chump change to spend on a tiny corner of our guest bathroom.  Damn.

So in true DIY spirit, I bought some acrylic paints when we got back, and put a paintbrush to a canvas for the first time ever.  I finished it as a therapeutic means to end a terrible, awful day in the office yesterday, and the curious little look on this guy’s face somehow made it all better.  I threw it up with some other sketches I did a few months back.  Though the wall needs more frames to make it feel balanced, I’m liking where it’s headed.  I’m also liking the new fish eye Chris gave me bought for work.

Here’s the one we saw in the art fair (I only wanted the head)….And here is my humble rendition.

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Lenny!

Today after work Chris and I drove to the Berkshires to pick out our puppy.  All six in the litter were adorable and I’m not sure we could have made a bad choice, but I’m completely smitten over our little guy.  We take him home a week from Sunday.

Meet: Lenny the Labradoodle

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Invisible zipper pillow covers……and a house guest.

Remember when you’d not only voluntarily but excitedly run to the mailbox in anticipation of something with your name on it?  Whether you found an advertisement prompting you to beg your parents for a subscription to Scholastic magazine (an item destined for the trash after an uninterested “no” from mom) or a deceiving postcard announcing your fabulous artistic skills had “won” you the ability to have your parents fork over money to attend their art class, it had your name on it, and it validated whatever overzealous amount of excitement you had for the postman’s arrival.  Today, I hate getting the mail.  The stack is ever-growing, and is full of nothing but junk mail and bills.  I open one eye while flipping through the pile, hoping most of it is for the other C.L. that lives in this house.  The majority somehow ends up being for me, because I’m not sure who sold my dental soul to corporate America, but I’m confident that everyone trying to make a buck is soliciting my choices in dental armamentarium.

Now that the contents of the mailbox prove without contest that I am, in fact, an adult….I’ve filtered those overzealous energies that use to look forward to the postman’s arrival—-to the FedEx man’s arrival.  I LOVE packages.  They get my heart rate up, I sweat a little, and I’m so quick to open them that I probably shouldn’t be allowed to do so with a knife.  Unfortunately, most of the packages are for Chris.  New lenses, filters, memory cards, etc.  I’m not sure what “NewEgg” is, but they deliver to our house a lot.  Monday the Fedex man brought me a package, and it was a good one.  I gave him a bottled water and winked at him so that he’d remember to stop by with things in my name more often.

While the contents of the package won’t excite you like they did me, here’s what was inside:

Thrilling, I know.  Are you seeing the pattern on the left?  Are you loving it like I am?  Blood pressure was up not only opening the package, but laying it out in our living room to see how it “felt”.  Luckily I don’t work Mondays (yet), so I got busy that night.  Despite several prior attempts to sew pillow covers with invisible zippers (think finished covers still inside out with zippers that won’t open), I finally found a tutorial that had enough pictures that I understood what I was trying to do.  The result:

I know, exciting stuff.  I love them and I can’t wait to sew more invisible zippers into things. Rest assured, I won’t start growing out my armpit hair and sewing my own stockings and tunics anytime soon.

We have a trial run house guest staying with us this week.  I confused the crap out of him when I picked him up last night after dropping his parents off at the airport, but he’s starting to settle in here, especially once he saw Chris lives here too.

Enter: Noa.

He’s adorable.  He doesn’t, however, have confidence with the hardwood floors.  We’ve been laying out old carpets for him to trot on because he thinks the wood is quicksand and refuses to put a paw on it.  We’ll see if he can adjust by the end of the week.

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Rug Fail and Fix… and Pelmet Boxes

Welp…we’re back from Florida.  I’m tan and peeling all at once.  I’ve got pictures to share, but they’re on Chris’s computer and he’s on the road again.

Chris and I have been searching for a rug for our living room for what seems like eons.  We finally thought we’d found one that would lighten the room and warm things up, but when it arrived, our tan and grey beauty was yellow and iridescent blue.

Fail.  After debating whether or not to commence a new internet search, I had an epiphany.  New puppy + new rug= a terrible idea.  Rather than spend a buttload on something that could potentially be ruined in a mere two weeks when we bring the little guy home, I opted for a simple cream rug that didn’t break the bank…and I’m actually really happy with it.  Before I show you the new rug, I want to show off my pelmet boxes.  What’s a pelmet box?  I didn’t know either…until I stumbled upon a tutorial while searching for DIY valences for the living room windows.  We finally decided on a fabric…Indigo Balik by P. Kaufmann.  For those of you that aren’t in the market for inexpensive valences, I’ll show off my finished product and spare you the details:

A quick reminder of what this room looked like only a few weeks back:

 

Now for the how to:

For this project I used:

-a yard of fabric per window

-a yard of 6oz batting per window

-foam core board (on sale for $0.99 per sheet at Michael’s–I used 8 sheets for 5 windows)

-duct tape, scissors, exacto knife, 1/4″ staples and staple gun

-3olb PerfectHang picture hanging kits from Home Depot ($3.99/window)

First I taped out on the windows the approximate size I wanted, then measured the foam core board and cut to size with an exacto knife.  I found the foam wasn’t as long as I needed for each window, so I taped together the junctions of the pieces.

and reinforced those junctions with small additional pieces of foam board:

You’ll need three pieces of foam board per window; you’ll need the front large piece, and two side pieces.  My front piece for a single window was 36.5 x 14, and the sides were 2.5 x 14.  When you tape them together, be sure you have the side pieces aligned at a ninety degree angle.  The fabric will reinforce this angle when you staple it, but the best way I found to initiate the angle was to take a thin piece of duct tape and kitty-corner it (one on top, one on the bottom), then place a full-width piece of duct tape down the entire “binding”.

I then ironed the fabric, and cut the batting and fabric so that I had enough to wrap around the foam board.  Two things that were essential in getting this part perfect:

-Be sure to cut the pieces of fabric large enough to wrap the back side of the boxes as well as the front (you might be able to see the backs from the outside of the house)

-Be sure to cut the exact same piece of the pattern in the fabric for all of the windows so that the boxes are consistent.  They won’t look nearly as polished if the pattern displayed in each window isn’t the same (more on this below)

I used my staple gun to staple the batting around the boxes:

Then I wrapped and stapled the fabric.  The trickiest part here is to ensure you line up the pattern exactly the same on each of the boxes (as mentioned above).  You can see what I mean here by looking at the consistency between the bulbous thing showing halfway at the top and in-full at the bottom, and the grape-like thing showing in-full towards the upper-middle:

You’ll see that’s the same in each window:

After the boxes were done, I had to really think about how to get them on the wall.  None of the tutorials I found had any instructions on this (I found this tutorial most helpful).  I used the PerfectHang shown above, and screwed the pieces into the back of the fabric and board with a screwdriver.  I placed the D-rings about 2.5 inches in and down from the corners of the top of the box.

Then I connected the wire between the two D-rings as taut as possible.

To estimate where to hammer the wall anchor in, I marked the middle of the window with a pencil, then I held the pelmet box up to the window, held the wall anchor against the wall with the wire in place and raised and lowered it until it was just right, then I pushed a little on the wall anchor (which had the nails resting in it) against the wall to give me a reference for the nail.

Then I nailed the anchors, hung the boxes, and felt overwhelmingly satisfied with my  inexpensive little pelmet boxes.  And one more time for good measure:

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