Wednesday, September 17, 2008

About that sofa...

Two days ago I announced our intention of dismantling and reassembling a sofa. Wow... In case you've been sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to find out how that went - I won't leave you hanging any longer.

This is NOT a project for the faint of heart. While I've read that there are several companies in the NYC metro area that can do this for you in a matter of an hour or two for a couple hundred bucks, it's really not a quick job if you don't know what you're doing. And we didn't.

We carefully removed the fabric covering from the bottom of the sofa and then from the backside. I think we hoped that at this point the "secret" of deconstruction would simply reveal itself to us. Um... no.

So we spent a couple of hours removing the arms and the upholstery that held the arms on even after the nails and various sized staples were removed from the wooden frame. We banged apart nicely glued dowels and drew a curious crowd of spectators.

Finally - we had the 44" wide sofa in enough smaller pieces that we could squeeze it up the 27" stairwell of the third floor walk up.

Then it got tricky! LOL

I am greatly relieved to report that after several more hours of work and enough staple scratches to look like we were in a death match with a pack of feral cats the sofa body is back in one piece and seems no worse for wear.

I took some photos - admittedly less than I'd planned to - and will upload them later. Bottom line: Would I attempt this again? No freakin' way!

We were very lucky that we didn't turn a perfectly good sofa into a piece of trash. This is one of those things that in my exhausted and bloodied opinion is best left to trained professionals.

And in case anyone is in the sofa market - Bauhaus doesn't skimp on the construction. At all...

Oh, and one more thing - the public voting portion of the True Value contest ends today. Please toss me a vote, if you wouldn't mind. I'll be forever grateful!

Peace out! :o)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dismantling a Sofa

That's going to be the big challenge of the day. No, I've never tried it before and frankly the thought is making me feel a little queasy - but, I don't think we have a choice.

A very dear young friend of mine has just landed her first apartment and it's lovely. Or at least has the potential to be lovely. It's spacious and has plenty of natural light and a nice view. The trouble is that you need to climb two flights of narrow stairs to get to it. Twenty-seven inch wide stairs!

My first reaction to the the "how are we gonna get anything up here?" question was to think "Fire Escape!" But no... The fire escape - while more open - is narrow and rickety. Yeah it might hold up long enough for a 100 pound girl to run down it in case of fire but I don't see two adults carrying a sofa at shoulder height going up it without an ambulance on stand-by.

So, after thinking about ropes, hoists, boom trucks and a whole lot of other stuff that simply isn't going to work - we're going to try to take the sofa apart and put it back together. Apparently this is a pretty common thing to do in narrow stairway plagued NYC - and there are scores of businesses there offering this service. But, not here in Pittsburgh as far as I can tell. We're on our own.

Here's the plan: Carefully remove the fabric from the underside and the back of the sofa, look inside to see what we can cut and then re-attach to get the back away from the seat and "wing it". I'll take lots of pics to share the experience with you later. Please wish us luck - we're going to need it!

Monday, September 08, 2008

You May Be a Do-It-Yourselfer If...

Originally uploaded by gimbler
Someone describes themselves to you as a painter and you assume they're a house painter. Even if they've arrived at the job with no coveralls, tarps, ladders or buckets.

I forgot, much to my embarrassment, that there's more to the world than scraping off and applying wall and trim paint to walls and trim - there are actual artists out there. And the young man who had arrived on a bicycle with a backpack that I so boldly offered to "help paint" while we were waiting for the Obama Headquarters in Homestead to open was that other kind of painter - an artist.

Isn't that portrait phenomenal? And the man who painted it in a few short hours was very gracious about my mistaking him for a house painter.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Price is Right?

No, I'm not talking about the TV game show - I'm talking about Craigslist and Freecycle. Love Freecycle! When something has got to go, it's been my experience that someone on Freecycle will come and take it off your hands lickety split.

Same thing with Craigslist - as long as it's free! Whenever I put anything free on Craigslist it's gone within hours - sometimes minutes. But, when I have something I'd like get a few dollars for.... the hemming and hawing, the coordinating and logistics. Holey Moley! With the exception of a couple of "construction/material" items - (which I guess us DIY types know how to jump on a bargain quickly!) - the hassle has made the transaction almost not worth it.

It makes me hesitate to post anything that I'm not willing to freely give away.

How does your experience compare to mine? Is it me? Does anyone have any tips?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

There's a Glitch in the Matrix

Okay... My black cat came to the back door with some kind of spider-webby mess on her back and haunches. I wouldn't let her inside because I knew she'd head right to my pillow with that crap all over her. So I wet a paper towel, went outside, scolded her for getting into something nasty yet again - and started wiping her off. She resisted just enough to save face and did her typical affectionate meowing "rollover". After I finished cleaning and petting her I sat on the back steps watching her and our male cat Rodney play.

It was while I was sitting there watching that MY black cat came running around the corner and up the steps. Yep - I just cleaned off and scolded a complete stranger of a cat. Who looks and acts identical to mine.



Apparently we have four cats. I don't know how or when this happened. But, last night after I posted this entry the "strange" cat came to the back door TWICE to be let in. Curious, hubby let her in. She's obviously familiar with the place and with our other pets. In fact the only one of our pets that didn't appreciate her presence was our own black cat. I don't know how many times we've let her in not realizing that she wasn't our cat - but her doppleganger. And in a two story house with a basement and three "free-range" cats I suppose it wasn't hard for a "duplicate" to slip by as long as she and our cat didn't turn up in the same room at the same time. Freaky...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Today's Agenda

Originally uploaded by gimbler
Because I work in retail my weekends start on Monday. Today is my "Sunday" and tomorrow will round out my three day holiday "weekend", and bring my personal summer vacation to an end.

I haven't picked up a paintbrush, hammer, drill or pry bar since the first week of July. After tomorrow that all ends and we're back to stripping paint, hanging cabinets, building storm windows, stripping floors..... sigh...

But today, TODAY - I'm going to float in our teeny tiny pool, relax in the shade with a book, and then take a nap on the porch swing. I will try to resist the temptation to check in throughout the day to see what bizarre new allegation is surfacing on the Sarah Palin soap opera, but I will tune in to F/X at 10pm to catch the season premiere of my favorite TV series - "The Shield" .

I'm looking forward to today, and I hope your day - wherever you are and whatever you're doing is at least half as enjoyable as mine promises to be.