Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oversized headboards: Looming As I Wanna Be

Because I'm a completely rational and sane person, I started to feel bad about hating on oversized headboards earlier.  I mean, they're just there living their very tall bedroom lives and then some loud blonde lady has to get up in their long faces and shame them.  They can't help it, they were born this way.
So let's celebrate the misshapen existence of these grotesque excuses for bedroom furniture because we all deserve to live in dignity.

And frankly, headboards see a lot of terrible, unnatural, straight-from-the-bowels-of-kinky-hell kind of shit that no one else sees so I think they should get a pass and look as looming as they want.

That's their next album, "Looming As I Wanna Be."

Or "Sorry You Cry Yourself To Sleep Every Night, Madame."

Or "Top Heavy 4 Eva."

Or "If You Put That In Your Butt, You WILL Have To Go To the ER."

Look for them on iTunes in the Fall.

These fuckers are large and in charge and know all your filthiest secrets so we better respect them.


You know, maybe I've been too harsh.  I mean, this handsome fellow just needed the proper styling with his BFF Mr. Tall Mirror and combined with that sexy lamp they have a nice threeway of interesting and flattering proportion going on there.

See?  I'm not such a monster after all.

Also, I'm backpedaling because I kinda wish my headboard was 54" tall rather than 56."  Oh well, that's what I get for scientific guesstimation.

I'm not too worried.  I'm getting a new mattress in the next year so it'll fluff it up nicely.

I'll try to post some progress pictures next week.  Several people were like "Thanks but no thanks I don't care about your free-floating headboard."  However, if I post the headboard in place that's like 97% of the bedroom so, you know, I'm trying to do this tease thing.  But then I realize I'm terrible at flirting so fuck it.

Bedroom in yo FACE soon.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dryer sheets and staples are my new best friends.

I hope you've all been busy knocking out your summer bucket list like I have.  It's been a beauty fest every night, I got some swim time in, got my dirty chai IV drip started and have been stalking Neil deGrasse Tyson.  I've also been building shit the saucy way.  

That way is with no clear direction or skills or hope for a good result...

Things are coming along nicely in that bedroom of mine that I've been talking about for 93849384938493 months now.  This week I upholstered a headboard and all of Pinterest creamed their panties in unison.

After shopping around it seemed like the best deal I could get would be about $200 for a headboard and that's one of those microfiber hellbeds of shame so no thanks, internet shopping.  I have staple gun and an inflated sense of my own ability so I got this.

First up, real fabric.  Guess what? It's beige!  Just a nice simple nubby gold/grey weave I got for about $35.  Nothing fancy.  Although I DID find some hand-stitched wool crewel remnant that was on sale so I was FORCED to buy it as well.  No idea where it's going yet but I feel better giving it a good home. 

THIS is why I'm broke.
Crewel fabric was originally $130 a yard and I got it for $50 so... *high five*
I noticed that my headboard fabric is surprisingly similar to the fabric I covered my couch in a long time ago...  It's just beige everywhere!  

It's like a very bland - YET ELEGANT - spa around here.

Now that the important part was covered (upholstery humor!) I needed to figure out the bones.  My plan was to buy a cheap flat headboard and use it as a frame to screw in my desired shape and height.  Well, lemme school ya that finding such a thing is a lot harder than I initially thought.  

Headboards are everywhere when you don't need them and when you do it's nothing but brass cages of doom and $75 pieces of shit.  But I finally found one for $10.  SOLD!  Then I tried to put it in my car and it was about six inches too tall and no way to get it home. 

They told me by the time I would be able to get a truck it would probably be stolen outside so it was now or never. I then asked to return it and they said nope.  Well, poop buckets.  These people are running our charities, y'all.  I guess my $10 was a donation to their cause.

But THEN I found one at another thrift store for $5.  Suck it, asshole charity!  Or suck it, me, since I didn't think to put it in my car before I paid for it...

That's $15, countless hours of my time and gallons of gas and tears all for this baby.  But at least we could get busy!  As soon as I borrowed a staple gun and watched Orange Is the New Black and mowed the grass and played 2048 for 17 hours.

Fun fact: the genius previous owner of the headboard glued what appears to be fabric softener sheets to the bottom of the legs.  Not only does this protect your floors and makes moving the thing a piece of cake it also just smells really damn nice.  I'm doing it to all my furniture now!

The other supporting characters in this production are:

1. 1/2 inch plywood cut to my desired size free of charge thanks Home Depot.
2. Two-inch thick foam.  It comes in rolls at the craft store.
3. Batting.  Cut the yardage you want at a fabric store.  I splurged for the $6 a yard kind but they do have $3 a yard but you'll want to splurge.
4. Spray paint to cover the legs.

Look I done did a thing!  Legs spray-painted and screwed into the wood to the frame.  We're really rocking and rolling!  

Important thing: you gotta ask yourself some tough questions about how tall you want your headboard.  You gotta know yourself.  Learn yourself.  Sleep with yourself.  Or just totally fucking guess.  I picked a number that was just at the top of where a person's head would touch when sitting on my bed and the average height of some Pottery Barn beds.  That dimension was 56 inches.

What I didn't want was it to end up looking like one of West Elm's headboards...

This proportion sets my teeth on fire.  Maybe you have gigantism of the torso and your top half keeps growing but your legs are stunted nubs.  Maybe you like wearing tall hats when you read at night.  Maybe you just don't give a fuck and love it anyway.  Godspeed, my tall-torso'd friend.

Wanna know something crazy?  That West Elm headboard is 56" tall.  DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND?!?!?  DO YOU EVEN CARE ABOUT THIS RANT??!?!?

Anyway, back to me and some power tools.  I couldn't figure out how to create a smooth surface between where I screwed in the plywood on the back and the front of the headboard.  So I cut up some Styrofoam and made a big gigantic mess in my living room and destroyed my favorite crafting ground protector to make this:

And then I realized I should TURN IT AROUND, YOU BRAINLESS FENCEPOST!  Jesus Christ on a croissant.

Welcome to my world where I only use 10% of my brain about 27% of the time.  

Of course then I had to take the entire thing back outside and spray the back side of the legs because I didn't have the forethought to paint the entire thing the first time.  

Welcome to my world where I'm 127% lazy 100% of the time.

So now that we have the logistics worked out I was ready to soften this fucker up.  It'd already fallen on me once so my already-slow brain needed the extra padding.

I laid the batting on the floor and cut the foam to the shape I needed and laid the headboard on top.  Remember, I'm doing this alone so I only have so many hands.

I would recommend cutting the padding about half and inch bigger than the actual shape it's covering just to make the edges smoother because the foam will squish.  I would probably use a spray adhesive to stick the foam to the wood but I just let gravity work its magic.  Also, I don't want to carry this thing outside anymore.

So now we're here!  And there is STILL styrofoam all over the floor even though I've vacuumed.

And then I remembered I hadn't washed the fabric.  Sigh...  this is why it takes me so long to finish anything. 

Fast forward a day later and shit's on and poppin.  Technically on and staplin.

I wish I had a trick or tip for this part but I don't.  Just make sure the weave is fairly straight then work your way down.  It's way less sexy than it sounds.  Partially because you have a high-powered staple gun in your hands and that doesn't even sound like fun kinky.  

I just did a pseudo hospital corner up top to have as small a crease as possible.  You do you.

But on the bottom things got trickier.  

I was tired and my head hurt from the headboard falling on me again so when I had to wrap the fabric around the legs it soooorta looks like I stapled fabric around a dirty diaper but you can't see it from the front so just deal with it.  

And this is my patented ModernSauce technique.  I call it the DOUBLE RAINBOW of staples followed by the duct tape edge.  The DOUBLE RAINBOW of Staples (TM) actually seems like it would be less stress on the fabric but I'm not a fabric scientist.

Here's the final result! 

Big and beige and flat!  Just what I also dreamed of!  I had to insert some extra pieces of foam if you're wondering why the bottom edge looks weird - I needed a bigger size foam piece but it'll be covered by the mattress anyway.  My spirit can only take so many trips to Hobby Lobby before the Dementors come.

I'm so tired of this being in my living room that I really couldn't get any more/better pictures.  But at least you have process so my work is done for now.  More pictures in situ later.

Even though I complained through the entire process, now that I know how to do it I would totally do it again and recommend it to anyone else too.  The sum of everything was about $110.  I would not recommend skimping on the foam or batting but I bet you could cut corners elsewhere and/or buy cheaper fabric.  

But you can do this!  I believe in you.

I just do not believe in oversized headboards.

I believe in you and proportion and staples and taking the cheap way out.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This 'n That But Mostly THIS


THIS lady.


THIS lady's TED talk about disability and "inspiration porn."

THIS beauty "cloth" aka loofah towel of exquisite torture.

THIS secret love shack.  Actually, I'd like to enjoy its angled beauty alone so... secret masturbation shack?

Speaking of orgasms... THIS comic.  First one's free.  The comic not the orgasm...

THIS painting.

THIS illustration.

THIS 7000* year old Donkey Tail. 

*age is approximate

THIS corner of green.

THIS green corner.

THIS animal bone wedding tiara.

THIS eyeliner.

THIS... partliner?

That's all.  I'm working on my bucket list and figuring out how to upholster a headboard!  

The internet makes it seem so easy.  I'll probably quit halfway through and play with eyeliner...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer Bucket List: Moderately qualified to represent the LBC.

Now that we've officially moved into June I figured I would jump on the blogger bandwagon and write down some things that I'm interested in doing this summer.  

I'm all about trying to capture the exquisite details of the season...  soaking up the sun...  appreciating the contrast of salty language and sweet tea... learning to relish the oppressive mantle of Southern heat that readies us for the harshness of life's cruelty...  *raises fist towards the sweltering sky*

If you read that in Nicole Kidman's Cold Mountain voice it sounds perfectly affected and overdone.

Basically I'm trying to find joyful things about this hell season to avoid thinking about crotch sweat and my driveway being infested with those red mites again, gawddammit.

A summer bucket list.  


Let's start out with the easy stuff...

- Keep my car washed and shiny. Like on the INSIDE.  Where I can't just rely on driving fast through the rain.  

- Make a mix cd (hey, my car is old as well as dirty) but it'll only include Doin' Time (Summertime) by Sublime.  It's the only music I needed in 1996 and the only music I need now.

- Dance to the rhythm.  It gets harder.

- Try to use cut flowers in my house sometimes even though I'm not a big flower person.  I mean, I'm not a giant humonoid/flower hybrid sentient being but I also don't really respond to cut flowers.  They die.  And frankly, I can kill a non-flowering plant rull easy and it's cheaper.  But maybe I'll pretend to be girly and elegant and grab a bouquet at the neighborhood market (Costco) for something different. This seems summery and fun.

- See lots of terrible movies just so I can sit in a deliciously cold movie theater on the hottest days in a sweater.  A summer sweater.  One of my most favorite things in the world for no reason I can come up with.  Like ice cream in winter or arson in Spring.

- Learn how to wear a headwrap with charm.  Frankly, I'm a dirty person on the weekends right now.  I'm in the yard a lot therefore I'm sweaty and have gross hair and when someone calls me to have a margarita or I need to run to the store for emergency bags of dirt I don't have time to "dress up" or "bathe." I'm thirsty NOW.  

Something vintage like this:

via Seamless
This girl is the cutest and she's gonna learn me real good.

- Get soaked in the summer rain. You smell mineral-y and when you dry your hair and skin feel amazing.  Not a substitute for actual bathing (me or my car) but can work pre-headwrap if I'm in a rush, of course.

- Lay on diving board with nothing on but pink fur.  Get 80-yr-old neighbor to Instagram me.

June Wilkinson, Hi-Life, November 1959

- Or at least recreate this.

The Birth of Suburbia by Rosaleen Ryan
- Hell, I want to GET IN SOME WATER!  I love love LOVE to swim - well, it's more like water twirling than stroking for a purpose [MS sidebar: *arches brow*] - but I never get to do it anymore.  I am not above splashing around in a kiddie pool. 

-  As a child/college student I would always follow swimming adventures with a box of mac and cheese so I'm turning this kiddie pool into a white trash extravaganza.  Throw in a Dr. Thunder and we 'bout to get turnt up at the Ranch, y'all.

- I think I want to get beautified this summer and do some pampering.  I love what sweating, heat and vitamin D does for my skin so I'm gonna focus on making my skin beautiful.  I already take prescription amounts of the big D so now all I have to do is use tons of clay masks and rub a sliced lemon all over my body every morning at dawn while I chant to the morning sun.

- Chant at the morning sun until my mind is quiet and the cops are called.

- Make time for reading books in the middle of the day and not 20 minutes before bedtime when I can't comprehend anything.  Hey Self, might I recommend reading in the kiddie pool you're going to acquire?  Self, you are so smart.

- Drink dirty chai lattes so much I'm embarrassed to even face my barista and bank account.  (SPOILER ALERT: I'm halfway there!)

- I love a day trip and I KNOW you love my Instagrams of abandoned sheds all over the Tennessee valley so I'll try to document the other sheds I haven't seen yet.  Also, I hear there's a really weird rock about two hours away... can't wait!  

- Make all those cocktails that I have pinned.  Drink them myself.  None for you.

Yes. It's called the Tennessee Honey Hole... I'll drink it just for the name alone even if it's bad.
- Call Neil deGrasse Tyson and figure out the magic behind avocado toast. Bitches love avocado toast.

- I'm all about smells lately so I've been laying awake at night thinking about crafting my own essential oil blends.  I would like to smell like a forest full of magic and centaur musk but fresh and girly with notes of citrus and girl power.

- Dress like a white witch. Scare everyone with how nice I am and how good I smell.

- Start selling some things on Etsy.  It's getting a little ridiculous around here and I'll need to come up with the money for the kiddie pool and boxes of mac and cheese.

- From the ashes of the plants I lost over the summer, I'll turn into a phoenix and fly into the sun where my spirit will live forever and haunt you next summer.

If there's anything good on your summer bucket list let me know so I can steal it!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A pyromaniac ghost pirate has some specific thoughts on architecture.

Thanks to the internet my sometimes-obsessive nature gets fed with strange and weird things that prohibit me from going to bed at a reasonable hour.  Recently I came across a picture that I left open in a tab for about twelve days because apparently I don't believe in EVER shutting my computer down.  

Meet the Cliff House.  IT'S ON FIRE!

Oddly enough, after 12 days open I still didn't document the source...
Imagine having 3000 tabs open on your computer then stumbling across that every few hours.  It was rather jarring.  I became obsessed.  Thank gawd it was at least labeled.

The Cliff House was/is in San Francisco (anybody ever been there?) and should probably have its story made into a horror movie.  

The first version of the Cliff House was built in 1858 (according to Wikipedia so, you know...) by an ex-Mormon who used the lumber of a ship that "foundered on the basalt cliffs below."  So what Wikipedia very poetically said was that that a pirate ship (because I'm assuming it totally was) crashed on the evil rocks of the California coast so they decided to build a house using the cursed pirate ship leftovers on TOP of the cursed cliff.  

Seems like nothing could ever go wrong with this plan.  
Here's the very first rendition of the Cliff House.  Do you sense the impending doom? 

The second version in 1870 here
Well version #2 (I think just version #1 but with wings so version 1.1) was built in 1863 and became a super fancy hotel and restaurant.  They built a road and shit up from the city and even a track nearby where people could race their horses.

It sounds like a regular Dave & Busters up there.  Can you imagine walking up a damn mountain to get there?  

Can you imagine doing it in a skirt and corset?  Or walking in the sand?  UGH I'm so lazy.  If my yoga pants bunch up in the wrong spot I punch the closest person next to me in the groin and go home immediately.

Mark Twain seemed to like it although I can't read text on a black background so maybe he hated it but I'll never really know because I'll have a seizure long before I finish the anecdote.

But in 1887 another ship ran aground and caused a gigantic dynamite explosion destroying a large section of the house.  Hhhmm...  another ship?  How... 


Adolph Sutro - future Mayor of San Francisco - was the owner at the time and made his fortune working in the mines.  Although he seems like somewhat of a hero, a dynamite explosion?  Really?  This movie is writing itself, y'all.

But the house survived the explosion only to be burned down by a chimney fire in 1894.  Doh.

Well Sutro said "Nice try, pirates and mining ghosts.  You can't stop a man and his glorious beard!" and rebuilt the Cliff House for the third time like a boss.

I love a good 'under construction' shot although something about this terrifies me.  Building an eight story wooden house in 1895 on top of a dangerous cliff just doesn't seem very sturdy.  I mean, just look at the supports over the rocks...  

The architects were Emil Lemme and Charles Colley but I don't know who they were so just absorb that factoid into your grey matter.

So here's the third version of the Cliff House called "Gingerbread Palace."  If you'll notice those wooden supports over the rocks are still there...

It's the cutest thing ever and I love to see those hussies and their legs playing on the beach.
My favorite shot.  So wonky.

For all I can tell this is a real photo although it looks like something out of a movie.  A HORROR MOVIE?!?!?!??!

Well it wasn't all beachy keen because in 1907 the entire house burned to the ground.  AGAIN.  This was the tragedy that initially captured my attention up top.

Maybe it's the fact that events like this rarely seem to be documented WHILE it's happening that make this one so fascinating to me.  

Fire photos from here
The ruin porn also seems quite poignant.  This is some Jane Eyre shit right here.

It was rebuilt again by the Sutro family similar to the original structure but was once again remodeled (thankfully not necessitated by fire) in 1937 into an American roudhouse.

Honestly, I love the retro fabulosity of this version almost as much as I love the haunted ghost pirate version bursting with hell flames.

The building was acquired by the National Park Service in 1977 and in 2003 was remodeled to its current appearance (which was modeled after its 1909 appearance).  Are you confused yet?  Don't worry, I'm not even putting a picture of the current structure on this post because it's so disappointing compared to everything above this that it makes me sad.  You can see it here if you dare...

There's no word on whether or not the new building is haunted so perhaps during one of the numerous fires the evil spirits were finally exorcised.  

I bet if you live in San Francisco you think all this is super boring but I'm totally excited about visiting there one day!  And to bring a team of ghost hunters with me.

I did a lot of reading all over the interwebz but I spent a lot of time at the Cliff House Project, the National Park Service and San Francisco Memories so go there for more info a lots more pictures of old timey people.

And that's your architectural history lesson for today!