Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Office Chair Reupholstery

Thought I'll write a post after reading my friend Beverly's note on being green. I did this project last summer, right about a year ago. It wasn't a simple green project but gave me a lot of satisfaction after it was completed. Of course, there are those who would question why I don't go out and get a new chair, my husband included. But there is something special about making things with your hands and turning potential trash into something useful. The experience is something that money cannot buy.

I love the website P.S. I made this. The creator really inspires me to look around and see what can be repurposed. I learned to do the upholstery from Apartment Therapy and a few other websites.

It's pretty simple. I went out to Walmart to get a heavy duty staple gun, which is very handy for home and decoration projects, always good to have one handy. For the fabric, I went to Ikea and picked out a fabric that I liked for less than $10. The whole project probably cost me around $20 while a new chair would have been a few times that price, not to mention that it's probably not going to fit in the car and I'll have to get it delivered.
So I simply unscrew the parts, taking care not to lose any screws or small parts. One tip is to stick the screws on a piece of tape. Then I cut the fabric, ensuring it's big enough the cover the original fabric. The next step is to start stapling with the staple gun and make sure the plastic parts cover the edge of the fabric when I assemble it back. Lastly, simply screw the parts back together and there's a brand new customized chair!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And...The Ring Fits!

Standard ring sizes start from size 6 and I’m probably a size 5, so it’s pretty hard for me to find fitting rings. I don’t want to give up on those pretty rings so I went ahead and got them anyway. After all, I’m sure somewhere out there in this universe, someone has to be selling something to adjust ring sizes.
So I started looking online and found several solutions. After combing through the reviews, the ring adjuster seemed to be the best solution; or rather the one with fewer failures.

I was really thinking about ordering it when I came across a reviewer who said it’s just a pvc tube fitted over the ring. Yeah, why would I pay $2.99 for a few pieces of pvc plus shipping? So I checked out the Lowes website and found that vinyl tubes were sold for as little as 20 cents a foot. What a genius. I went to the hardware store and cut out a foot of the vinyl tube I needed. Either 3/16 or 5/16 inch would be good depending on the size of your ring. I took it home, cut a small segment, and looped it over the rings. Works like magic!
Cost: 20 cents and 1 foot can probably work for 7-8 rings.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Saying No Made Me a Happier Person

Some weeks ago I was having a bit of trouble with handling requests from people. It always started with a small harmless request and it started working its way, growing bigger and encroaching my comfort zone. Twisted but it reminded me of the way crime documentaries describe how pedophiles groom their victims.

When asked for a favor, I was always too quick to say yes, or find it hard to turn down the request. In some cases like I said, I had agreed to doing one thing but that one thing quickly multiplied in the form of by-the-way tasks attached to the original request. Because I totally agree with the portion of Kein's post about saying no: "do not say yes and subsequently waste everyone's time by not doing it", and because I've been taught these 20 odd years that we have to deliver what we promise, I ultimately follow through the task, albeit with a lot of unhappiness on my part.

Buddies advised me not to feed the monster by agreeing to things that I'm not comfortable with, because that will only make the requesting party think I'm ok with it and I'll never see the end of it.

Now, I often click on the links posted by Kein on Facebook simply because there is always just a one word instruction - "read" or "watch". That made me realize something basic. People often take action when you instruct them to, and people act the way you want them to. And buddies were right - by not saying no I'm leading the requesting party to think that it's ok to request or demand. While most people have the self realization to not overstep their boundaries and give others space and respect, we certainly can't expect everyone to be the same. In some cases we just have to tell people exactly how we want to be treated.

So I started practicing the art of saying no. Growing up with the notion that we have to do what we are told to, it wasn't so easy at first. But you know what? It's been alright. There's been no nasty drama, no excessive tension, no raging winds and lightning bolts. In some cases it just becomes a negotiating game. And it works. This week I just said no to a ridiculous request. I was glad I took a little bit of time to process it, said no but offered an alternative that solves the problem within my comfort zone. I gave myself a little pat on the back. And that's growth right there.