Sunday, February 28, 2010

Upholstery Class

Kristen and I took a month-long upholstery class back in January at Blue Sky Galleries in NE mpls. I decided to redo the two living room chairs that used to be my mom's. The chairs had been redone about 15+ years ago and then about 8 years ago Kristen and I made slipcovers for the chairs. The chairs have had many looks over the years and now they have another.

The instructor recommended that I get rid of the pillows and just use the frame and add padding. I was open to any ideas of how to make it look more modern and sleek, but also more comfortable. I think I made a mistake on the fabric I chose though. The color is a little too boring and also the fabric has a strange shininess what doesn't look good if any water gets on it. Alas.... no going back now, I really can't overstate how much work this all was.

I stripped down the chairs to their bare frame and started from scratch. No easy task because of all the foam and staples. Also discovered that some questionable materials were used like the burlap on the left above and then below you can see that tire rubber was used for the webbing.

Old webbing on the left, new webbing on the right.

The owner of the gallery is a woodworker and he suggested that I get rid of the cloth arm rests and replace them with wooden ones. So I had him make me these and I really like how they look (I just got these on friday so that's why this post took so long to put on here).
Best garage sale find ever this weekend. A reproduction Bush radio!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

L.A. break

Christina and I recently spent a four day weekend in sunny LA. We stayed at our family friends Jimmy and Loey's house in the Van Nuys. Mike came with and had a hotel room nearby at a place called the Sportsman's Lodge. We had the chance to visit Minnette, our wedding flower girl (and Loey's sister) a bunch of times. Lots of driving around the city as usual.

We visited the Watts Towers in the lovely (sarcasm alert) Watts neighborhood. I could explain the metal structures, but it would be easier for you to read about them on your own here. Of course you could also just go there and take the tour from the girl we did. She loved the towers and her glasses (see below).

So much tile and glass mosaic. It was amazing to see how much is still intact from over 50 years ago.
Although Christina didn't get the chance to photograph much graffiti on this trip. She did make sure we stopped the car to snap this colorful stairway.

Christina and I headed out alone one night to grab a bite at the famous deli on Fairfax, Canter's. Later we head over to the El Rey Theater to see the band Fanfarlo. Tasty food and good show.

We had a nice brunch at Firefly in Pasadena. Minnette's granddaughter Monique and her husband run the place. Monique's daughters are in the front row.

Mike surprised Minnette with a visit to his friend Maggie's studio. Mike met Maggie at the Sherlock Holmes conference this year in NY and thought that Minnette would love to meet her. Minnette runs an antique shop and loves jewelry. Maggie makes jewelry and props for Hollywood. The resume of work she showed us was impressive. She basically made any jewelry you've seen in any Star Trek television show or movie for the last 30 years. She said she can't advertise her studio or Trekkies would be a major bother. She made the championship belt for Rocky and a bunch of Michael Jackson's concert accessories.

Her specialty is badges. Recently she made dozens of police badges for Shutter Island.

The studio was jam packed of all sorts of shininess.

Minnette and Christina especially enjoyed the visit. We took a break for lunch at a nearby Scottish restaurant called the Tam O'Shanter.

Before our flight home I had chance to pick some oranges in Jimmy and Loey's backyard. They were so good! Unfortunately we had to make a last minute stop to the hospital. Minnette was taken in for some breathing problems that came up. As of today she is doing better. We hope to see her again the next time we visit L.A.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Luminary Loppet

Last night I skied while Steve hung around and took a few pictures. Above, the Icecropolis, a series of ice 'graves'. Below, Steve was actually standing in the picture with me, but because of the long exposure, didn't show up. You never know what will happen with those things.

This dragon has shown up every year for the last 15 years or more on Lake of the Isles. Even before the loppet was around. This year though they upped the ante with some glowing eyes.