My bed, my choice

Last September — no, it goes farther back than that.

Back in October 2015, I got a slightly better paying job, which meant I finally had the extra scratch to re-do our bed linens: new sheets, new pillows, new mattress pad, new duvet cover, and it was basically the best day of my life.

I should probably preface this whole post with one very important truth about me: I love bedding. Like, love love love it. Back in the states, I had at least 6 bed sets, and I switched out the duvet cover and shams whenever the mood struck me. I could re-decorate my bedroom daily. If I had my way, our wardrobe would be stocked with hella sheets and blankets. I love walking through homewares stores, and I get lost in interior design pages. It’s not surprising in the least that I have lost hours standing in the aisle of Target contemplating two slightly different colour yellow sheets (twice). Bed linen shopping is my favourite.

SO, back to The Best Day of My Life 2015. I found a great pair of bright yellow sheets that were high quality and ridiculously expensive but also 75% off. But I also saw this pair of gold printed sheets that were of sightly lesser quality and were ridiculously expensive and not on sale. I sent a picture of them to Joel, who said they were “too busy.” But they were gorgeous. And I kept thinking about them. After debating whether or not it was worth it to spend over $100 on a single sheet set that Joel would hate but I would love, I decided they weren’t worth it. Maybe later, when they’re on sale.

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Fare thee well, gold beauties.

Flash forward One Year. The sheets still haven’t left my mind. Every time I passed the bedding store over the course of that year, I would be haunted by the gorgeous gold print sheets that could have been. But they were never on sale, and it was never the right time to buy them. And then one day, we decided we needed a summer blanket. And I was charged with finding “something that feels like sheets” that also satisfied my need for “colour” while at the same time satisfying Joel’s need for “nothing busy.” I mean, shopping for bedding is fun, but shopping for bedding for two opinionated people who don’t have the same taste in bedding is sometimes the worst thing ever.

It took 4.5 hours of back and forth between 5 different stores on 3 different levels of the shopping centre, muttering about “printed sheets or solid doona or printed doona and solid sheets.” Nothing exactly fit or blew my skirt up, except for this one green, vintage floral print blanket — that just SO happened to be modelled with my dream gold printed sheets, and that I just SO happened to be lusting over as long as I had been lusting over the sheets, and that just SO happened to be on sale. So, after lots of deliberation on whether to just get the dream sheets and the dream doona cover, and deliberating if I could afford both of them (because separately it could be a splurge but together was way too much), I threw my hands up and said “Fuck it” and bought the doona cover, and the affordable white sheets as a compromise to my pattern hating Joel. I left the store, dying that I didn’t buy the dream sheets when I had the chance.

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However, the bedding Gods smiled upon me, and Joel was stoked for the new blanket. Well, as stoked as he can be, or at least pretended to be for me. And the blanket looked nice against the stark white sheets. So it wasn’t a total loss.

But still.

I really wanted those damn sheets. And after a week of obsessively thinking about them, I once again threw my hands in the air and said FUCK IT, and bought them. I brought them home, washed them, made the bed with its matching blanket, and fell in love. And even Joel thought they looked nice.

 

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The sheets glowed in the sun, and they were so comfortable. I felt triumphant.

A few months later, I noticed there were huge discoloured areas where our bodies touched the sheets. Very odd, considering we didn’t use any bath products or lotions with peroxide or bleach, and I washed and dried according to the care instructions. But the tops of the pillows, and the top of the fitted sheet were pale yellow compared to the rest of the fabric, which was still gold.

I sent pictures to the customer service of the store where I bought the sheets, and they said I could replace them, no problem, they had never heard of this happening before. When I took the sheets back to the store, they were sold out of my size. OF COURSE THEY WERE. They said it would take 2-3 weeks to get the sheets back in stock, if I wanted to wait. Of course I didn’t want to wait, I had spent 3 months on my dream bed and I didn’t want it to end. So after an eternity of considering other sheets to exchange them for, and talking at length with the cashier about which sheets were best, I settled on another pattern that I hated but hated less than the other ones. I’d only have to wait two days for our size to come in. Which sucked, but a few days was better than a few weeks.

Two days later, the new sheets came in. I went to pick them up, and LO AND BEHOLD, there were my gold sheets of glory, in our size. I brought them up the counter, and the same cashier that had been really helpful was there. I told her I how excited I was, and she said they got an unexpected shipment. I asked if I could just take these instead, since they were what I really wanted, and she said no. She had already done the exchange, and she couldn’t do an exchange on top of an exchange since it was an exchange on a faulty product. I tried my best to beg her, but she wouldn’t budge. I took the shitty sheets home, wondering how fucked that was. I didn’t think it was so big an ask, and it was a simple issue (not one cent in price difference) and something I would have (and did, when I worked in customer service) worked out for a customer. I wrote another email to corporate, asking if there was anything that could be done. Corporate basically wrote “nope, sorry, you had your chance, suck it loser.” So I wrote off that store forever. It was dead to me.

The shitty sheets never became un-shitty, and after a few weeks went into the donate pile. And I sneered every time I walked past the store.

But still.

They put those beautiful gold sheets in the window, and I’ve had to pass them weekly as I leave the grocery store. It’s a strange thing to be haunted by bed sheets, but there I was. I haven’t been able to find a pair of sheets that I like as much, and it killed me to see them drop lower and lower in price, knowing that they were dead to me.

So, a couple weekends ago, I let myself do the unthinkable: I went inside the dead store and went to the clearance section and checked, just checked, if they had our size. OF COURSE THEY DID. They may have my size, and they might be 50% off, but this place is dead to me. I put the sheets back and left quickly. I felt dirty.

As I was walking home, I thought to myself, “why did I think it was ok to give ex-boyfriends and bad jobs and McDonald’s infinity billion chances after fucking me over, but I wrote off this one store after one bad jib? What’s the point, if I love the sheets so much, can’t I just let it go?” “Yeah, but you left those boy friends and jobs for a reason and you don’t eat McDonald’s because it’s terrible for you. You don’t have the money to spend on those sheets. So stop it.” Shut up, brain.

And so, the arguing between my good brain and my bad brain continued arguing all through the week.

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right up to the point where I threw my hands in the air and said FUCK IT, and brought the sheets to the register, and more so when I tapped my debit card on the machine, and even still when I brought them home. And even MORE arguing when Joel came home and didn’t hate them. And yet MORE arguing when I impulsively threw them in the washer and dryer, because it was 9* and dark outside and they wouldn’t have dried in time even though the care instructions said to line dry only SHUT UP GOOD BRAIN — and finally, when I made the bed with the glorious new sheets, and got into bed and felt the inevitable scratchiness of karma, and Joel said “wow these sheets feel rough,” my brain all at once came together in unison to say “Yeah you really shouldn’t have bought these.”

SO yes, I was in a foul mood all night, as the scratchy fabric ruined my dream bed, and I felt more guilty for spending the money. That sucked. It seems, through  like these sheets and I are not meant to exist in a perfect union. I’ve been Googling “how to soften sheets that you put in the dryer because you can’t control your impulses and now you’re stuck with shit sheets,” (apparently the trick is washing them with baking soda, and rinsing them with white vinegar) and I’m holding onto hope that they’ll continue to soften over time.

And that I’ll be able to curb my bedding habit.

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Doubtful. But hey, we live in hope.

xo

Christmas!

Ah, Christmas. I love this time of year. I’m even accepting that it’s a summer holiday now, and somehow it’s just never going to snow and I won’t get to wear sweaters. And I’m like, almost ok with this. Continue reading “Christmas!”

another WORKSPACE post

Someone I live with might have mentioned to me that the time between my posts is getting longer and longer, and they’re sounding a bit down lately. And that’s totes true. Mostly because when I’m busy in real life, my consistency goes out the window. BUT NOT SO ANYMORE! Behold, a post within 2 days of my last post. AND on a cheerier subject – our new office space. YAY!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a nerd for all things workspaces, home offices, and stationery. The only downside about moving this years was that I finally got my workspace just so, and I had a whole separate room with two desks and lots of space to play around with. Now we both share one desk and one corner of our combined kitchen/living/dining rectangle. I’ve been plotting and planning how to get our this space working at its optimal form, taking into consideration the following:

1. We can’t hang anything on the walls – including command hooks
2. We have limited wall space thanks to some awesome windows
3. We’re sharing the space – a challenge unto itself.

I knew a shelving unit was the answer – something to corral all our stuff without looking too bulky, blocking the windows, and not costing an arm and a leg. And after weeks of looking, researching, planning, and convincing Joel that yes, this is absolutely essential to my our wellbeing, and with a little help from my pals at Ikea and a 5 day weekend, I finally got to finish step one of our remodel. Nothing dramatic, but it’s much better than what we had before. Take a gander!

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Before, view one: hodge-podge, and stuff stacked on the ground, spilling out of the shelves
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Before, view two: more hodge-podge + desk
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After! New shelves. More space, and no more shit stacked on the floor
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Wheeee tidy desk, too. With a calendar to make me feel guilty keep me on track

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Our old spice/medicine rack re-purposed into a stellar stationery rack (those 4 for $2 fat spice jars from Ikea are awesome for holding paper clips and tacks and other small things)

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Still figuring out with Joel the best way to store all his bits and bobs – another work in progress.
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Mascots.
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🙂

The open shelves make the space feel bigger, and they aren’t as clunky or bulky as the ones we had before. Plus matching (+10). And the adjustable, stackable shelves mean we can add and change it up depending on how much space we need. Even if it did take about 2 hours of assembling and reassembling to get the shelves measured juuuust right. And walking in and seeing stuff put away because there is room to put is totes amaze.

I sat in the new workspace and wrote tonight, and it felt good. It’s a new place to help me get stay back on track. Yes, that’s me. Totally inspired by Ikea shelves and a few cute stationery bits.

Here’s to new starts and renewed productivity!

xo

a WORK SPACE post

I love work spaces. It’s a serious business thing for me. Seriously serious.

A) If I’m not happy with my work space, especially how I feel when I’m in it, I’ll get nothing done. It will become my #1 excuse for getting zero shit done. And I’ve always been most productive when I’m really loving my set up.

B) I have basically an unhealthy obsession with office supplies, work spaces, stationery, organising tools, etc. I’ve spent an embarrasingly large amount of time day dreaming, planning, Googling elements of my most perfect workspace. And I love creeping in on other people’s work processes and office spaces. It’s especially cool to me. I am a nerd.

C) I’m super fickle and I can never predict when I’ll change my mind. I can’t even count how many times I’ve rearranged or re-ordered my desk area at home. And at work. And have wanted to do with other people’s work spaces.

I’ve been at a battle with my desk since I was like… 8 and got my first desk. But my latest work space battle has been with my part of Joel’s and my study. I’m pretty sure I only used the study about 20 times in 2015, and that’s being kind. And probably half of those times I was in there, rearranging it to make it more what I want. Even though I took borrowed Joel’s additional monitor so I’d have a dual set up, I spend most of the time working out in the lounge, working from the table or the couch (always in sweat pants, apparently).

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This year, I’ve decided to use our study for working, and the lounge for lounging. And that meant making my work place an area that I want to go into. And not just a catch-all for things we haven’t put away yet or boxes from Christmas presents (hooray!) that we haven’t taken down to recycling. This room always ends up on the bottom of our priority list. So I made it a mission to get the study into fighting shape while I was on break from work.

I started with this:

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yikes

By the end of day 1, I got this far:

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And day 3 was all rearranging. Then I scored a $15 dollar shelf and a $10 calendar in Boxing day sales, and a free metal cart with drawers from the recycling area, and the room magically came together.

Day 4 ended with this.

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Joel isn’t done with his side, so I’ll leave that out for now.
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When I brought this home, I told Joel I’ve always wanted a cart like this. To which he said “Everything you find on the ground is something you’ve always wanted.” annnnnd? Free is good. Just a few pieces of duct tape to secure it and it was good to go.
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My nephew drew the dinosaurs for me, and I couldn’t love them more. And Hyperbole and a Half is my spirit animal. The calendar is there to keep me on track /visuals

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I’ve carried these post cards from Ikea around for like, ever. So I’m glad they finally have a new home.
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Thanks, K-Mart!

Who knew all it would take is, switching the wall, a calendar, a cheap shelf and a piece of trash to make this a room I waaaaant to work in, that I want to hang out in.

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And there’s a space for Joel to hang out in when he needs attention and treats. And to practice his centrefold poses.

I love having everything in its own space and at my finger tips, whereas before it was all stored in the closet or in and behind everything else and I’d lose track of it and it’d slip my mind. I’ve been in there almost every day working while I’ve been on break.

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It’s fantastic. And I only spent $25.

Here’s to a productive 2016!

Fantasies

So far in November, I’ve only had one day of work. So I’ve been spending a lot of time by myself at the apartment, job hunting and performing as a Domestic Goddess. Aside from the constant fear of forever unemployment brimming constantly below the surface, it’s been nice. Usually, I’ll have some free time after I put in my job hunt hours and I hit the grocery store, when I’m at that infinity hour between needing to start dinner and Joel getting home, so I’ll try to read or get some writing done. Or, let’s be real here, take a nap. Lately, though, I’ve been having fantasies.

Craft Fantasies.

Like any girl with good mid-west roots, I love a good craft. I’ve clocked in countless hours making collages, t-shirts, cards, bags, sewing projects, even re-decorating rooms. I get a relentless,Type-A like focus and energy when I start a new crafty project. I stay up all night. I skip meals. I obsessively research and plan. I have endless patience to drive around to all the different stores in order to find the exact piece of fabirc or glue or bric-a-brac that I need. I am driven by a successful outcome and I won’t stop until it’s perfect. I mean, I wish I could apply the same craft-borne hustle to the rest of my life. I’d be Martha Stewart.

Wait… maybe I am more Martha than I already know.

Because I’m not working, I’m at a place in my life where I have unlimited time and heaps of inspiration. But, because I’m not working, I have no expendable income.

Life. You bitch-goddess.

I do however, have a blog. So I’m just going to catalog my ideas here. And when I start working again and I’m too tired to do anything but go to bed, I can look back and remember that at one point, I had craft ambition.

Pillow Coverings

I would love to recover our couch pillows. They’re perfect, but they’re a bit on the plain side.

DSCF0733I’d like to make some cool covers that have a graphic, like an animal or a taco or something on one side, and print design on the other. It’d be easiest to make these with a sewing machine, but I could also use heat seam bonding and a couple of hand stitches. And, as long as I’m fantasizing, I’d like to recover the couch. And as long as we’re really fantasizing, I’d like to get a new couch for the lounge, and use this couch for the office. And if we’re really, really, fantasizing, I’d like a lounge that’s big enough for couch with a chaise lounge piece attached. /fantasies

Gallery Wall

In my last place, I had a gallery wall in the living room and one in the kitchen, and I absolutely loved looking at them every day.

Side note, that big red bookcase is the best Ikea 'as is' find I ever had.
Side note, that big red bookcase is the best Ikea ‘as is’ find I ever had.

Joel liked it too, and now we have big plans to make a gallery wall above our table.

DSCF0735 Since we can’t nail into our walls (they’re made of painted concrete), we have to hang prints unframed with sticky-tack, or framed prints on contact strips. We have a handful of prints already, but they’re unframed. And we want to frame them, so the project will take some considerable plotting and funding. But, it’ll look really good once it’s done. I’m waiting with baited breath for this one.

I’d also like to frame some more of Joel’s prints and hang them on this wall.

DSCF0734Since we can’t paint (another fantasy), we might as well throw some art on the walls.

Nightstand

My friend Odie left this nightstand behind when moved back to the States, and now it’s mine and I love it.

DSCF0736I have issues with dark furniture, but especially with dark bedroom furniture. So I’d love to strip it down and paint it a lively color, like orange, teal, or coral.

I’d also like to find a print, or hang my lantern lights, or do something with the blank space above the bed. I’d also like to find good fabric to make a throw cover.

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I am a champion bed maker

There’s plenty of more, like knitting a loose cable scarf, developing better office space storage, making some prints for the bedroom, make a hanging photo collage… Ahhh… now I want to craft more. MORE MORE.

But, all in good time. I have a potentially awesome job interview tomorrow, so I’m crossing all crossable appendages that I get it.

Because now I really, really want to recover those couch cushions. And put up that gallery wall.

What crafts are you yearning to make?