Couch Surfing 2.0, or how I’m being stalked by a couch

Quick summary of yesterday’s post: we need a new couch.

Visual representation: Too short. When I sit on on the couch in my leopard snuggie my feet have to sit on top of the arm. It’s really more of a loveseat.

Here is the list of places that I’ve been keeping to visit/websites that I have looked at:

And of course I’ve looked at Pinterest. A lot of these websites have great couches but most of them are out of our price range. Admittedly, our price range is pretty small for what I want… I’d like to keep it around $1,000 and a sectional is practically two couches, or at least a couch and a loveseat. So I realize that is kind of crazy. Our plan is to look around at couches and figure out if we need to a) revise our couch dreams, b) wait until we can spend more money or c) get lucky. So far we have only gone to Rooms to Go and didn’t really love anything there it. It was helpful to figure out what we like and don’t like, though.

I started out loving the couch that John & Sherry Petersik from Young House Love have.

It is Karlstad from Ikea. I love the color, I love how comfy it looks. I love how much room there is for lounging! Seriously. Number one reason for a sectional, in my mind, is for lounging. I thought it was The One. But then I showed my husband. He does not love it. I showed him approximately 100 pictures. I showed him multiple posts of people singing praises. We visited it in the store. No go… He thinks it looks too modern for our style. And you know what? I kind of agree. I think a combination of how beautiful this room is and all of the instagram photos of them curling up on the couch dazzled me. I still love it and them and the room and feel slightly dream crushed but he is right; it is not us.

By now I’ve spent hours looking around on the internet to narrow down my interests and here are some pictures of sectionals that I love:

(From L. Fish) I don’t love the corduroy fabric or the color but I like the shape and I like the more traditional style. You will also notice that it is a bit smaller than the Karlstad because it does not have a chaise lounge. I would love a chaise lounge but I think a smaller footprint as well as more versatility with layout are key right now. We have no idea what our future house will look like, afterall.


(From Bassett) This is basically perfect. I love the color, the shape, all of it. Oh but it’s over $2,000. Womp.

(From Pottery Barn) Oh hi, beautiful. Obvi this is perfect- it’s from Pottery Barn. Wait, what’s that? It starts at $2,600 ON SPECIAL?? Lol. Goodbye, my friend.

Let’s be honest, there was a lot of that kind of disappointment. I’ve probably looked at 100 couches online and the perfect ones are always buku bucks. And then the clouds parted and I saw it. Ektorp. It was there on Ikea’s website all along but I always looked at Karlstad. But then I was like, “self, if Karlstad is so reasonably priced, and most of Ikea is reasonably priced, doesn’t it make sense to see if they have other couches?” Honestly, their couch selection is pretty small – it’s basically these two styles done a whole bunch of different ways. But that doesn’t matter because look at it!

<3. Yep, I less than three it. Annnnd it is under $1000!!! Doesn’t it look so much like the Pottery Barn couch? I’m ready to go with it but since we haven’t seen a ton of couches in person we still plan on looking at a few other places to just to have something to compare it to. However, I’ve read a bunch of blogs and reviews of it and I feel like we can’t go wrong with my pal Ektorp. Plus, he’s stalking me! Seriously! I read a whole bunch of stuff about it yesterday and when I got bored of that I was not bored of the Internet so I started reading back posts of a blog I started reading recently, NiceGirlNotes. I have no idea how I got to this post about her living room sprucing but I did. And what’s that hanging out to the right of this picture of her living room?

Yuuup! I was all “it’s fate! I must have it!” and I commented and asked her how she likes it even though the post is almost a year old. I was kind of worried that she wouldn’t see the post. But then there it was again in her post from today!! I commented on that, she responded saying she loves the sectional, and it was yet another check in my “pro” column. He’s everywhere. I kind of want to get a restraining order of -1 feet. So he has to always follow me around and I can lay down whenever. That’d be weird, huh?

I know you can tell that my mind is pretty made up but I’ll still look at other couches. If anything just to reaffirm my lust. BUT (hint hint cosmos) if Ikea has a sale my hand will be forced.

Is anyone else being stalked by furniture? Do you think sectionals are bad ideas or good ideas or the best idea in the world? (I fall into the last category)

Couch Surfing!

For anyone looking for a post about nomadic traveling, sorry for misleading you. That’s my b. Other than the fact that I can sleep almost anywhere I am probably one of the least suited of ladies to couch surf. You know how in movies or maybe in real life if you aren’t The Ugly One there’s always a girl that can just hop into bed in cute PJs and hop out in the morning looking the same? Not that girl.

Teen Girl Squad, anyone?

The actual point of this post is my new obsession: finding a couch. Our apartment came furnished with typical college dorm (I’m saying dorm. Just deal.) furniture. Think about the furniture in lounges. Fire retardant, stiff, durable to the point of being unyielding. Yeah, that’s what is in our apartment. Most of that is fine because sturdy is good. The bed was too hard so we traded it with someone else’s bed that was too soft. What, you don’t drive mattresses across college campuses on a whim? Weird.

The two places where this provided furniture is just not cutting it is the chair and couch. The chair is kind of whatever – neither of us really use it unless company is over.  I’m one of those throw-everything-in-my-arms-down-the-second-I-walk-in-the-door types. My husband comes in and puts all of his stuff away so nicely and I just dump it. So the chair is a pretty common dumping ground. That leaves us with the couch. It’s a huge issue except a tiny huge issue because I can’t even stretch out full length on it. And I’m not tall. It’s also not very comfortable. (Remember what I said about it being fire retardant?) We’ve discussed on and off about how awful it is and how nice it would be to have a new couch but it was just in passing until recently.

Two weeks ago I had my wisdom teeth removed. Anyone that’s done that before (and isn’t a weird superfreak and able to eat tortilla chips and run a marathon the same day) knows that you put in some solid couchtime. Like 3 days work and it would have been more if I didn’t have to go back to work. Our couch is so awful that I set up shop on our futon. When I say futon I hope you aren’t picturing something pretty or large or really appealing at all. It’s from my husband’s college dorm room. Some of you may have heard it termed by a less than appropriate phrase.. the “flip and f….” That last word rhymes with duck. Listen, I didn’t make that term up but I DID use it to search for the futon and what do you know, here it is on the very first hit on Google. I kid you not.

Yes, it is tiny, but those arm things snap down so it lays flat. I put down both arms and then propped up my head with pillows. My feet still hung off the end but it was better than having my feet hit the arm of our couch. But this really upped my complaining and I convinced my husband that waiting until we move out of this place (probably over a year from now) to get a couch isn’t necessary. Yes, it would probably be easier to have a new couch delivered to a new house that we won’t be leaving for many years but I just don’t know if I can handle another year of no comfy place to hang out. It’s a sad fact that my computer chair is the most comfortable place to hang out in our apartment other than the bed. And when I get into the habit of hanging out in bed I have a hard time sleeping in the bed. And then I’m grumpy.

So on to searching for a couch aka couch surfing. I want a sectional. This falls into the category of My-Parents-Never-Did-So-I-Want-To (like cable TV, fast food, and tropical vacations. [Yes, my parents are a lot healthier than I am.]) For some reason I feel like sectionals are the epitome of comfort and lounging. I am definitely a lounger. Fancy formal living rooms are not my thing. Unfortunately, sectionals are also kind of pricey. We are still a few months off from being debt free so are shackled to a hefty monthly student loan payment. But after that all of our money will be saved for a down payment so there isn’t really a “good time” to buy a couch. Obviously that means that I want it now!

This is kind of long and I have big girl work to do so later or tomorrow I’ll write a post about all of the sectionals I’ve found online, the one that I am pretty sure I want, and how it is now stalking me. Yep, being stalked by a sectional.

Tell me about your couches!

Skyline Art

It all started with this pin (where else?!).

It was actually a Pinterest Challenge! You can find the post about that art here on Design OCD. As you can see from my comment on the pin, it made me think of a skyline. So I decided to make it an actual skyline. I also wanted to change it a little bit and rather than paint the skyline do it from paper so it would have a little bit more texture. I’ve made a few of these now and love them! Here is one that I made for my sister in law and her boyfriend who recently moved from North Carolina to Chicago – just a little reminder of where they met!

Skyline Art | atightsqueeze.com

Also, I realize how phallic that building looks. That is not an exaggeration. There is a joke in the area that “if you lose your direction, look for the…” Well, you get it.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Canvas – this can be any size that you like but it is easier if the width is the size of the paper that you will be using. My paper was 12″x12″ so this canvas is 16″ tall and 12″ wide. If you have different sized pieces of paper you can do some overlapping, you just may have a bit of a seam.
  • Paper for the background. I bought a sheet of scrapbook paper (12″x12″ again) at Michael’s with a poka dot print on it. You could really do anything with this!
  • Coordinating cardstock for the skyline. I used black but again you can use any colors you’d like.
  • Mod Podge
  • Scissors/Xacto knife
  • Print out of the skyline/building that you want to use. I used Google Image and typed “Winston Salem skyline”.

Skyline Art | atightsqueeze.com

[Once again I made a few of these and took pictures of each so some pictures will have a different background paper. Sorry!]

1. Get your canvas ready. I painted the edges of mine black so it would give it a more finished look. You could also use mod podge to cover the edges in the same scrapbook paper you’re using for the background (for a more wraparound look) or in coordinating paper. I use paint because it doesn’t involve cutting. I also like to paint a little bit over the edges onto the front of the canvas so if the paper is the tiniest bit smaller than the canvas it doesn’t show a gap.

Skyline Art | atightsqueeze.com

Skyline Art | atightsqueeze.com

I use this foam brush and acrylic paint because it’s what I have. It works great but it is definitely possible that there is a better paint/brush combo out there. I just like to work with what I’ve got, as they say. Also, I blurred the rest of the photo so you can’t see the dirty dishes in my sink #realtalk.

Another tip – the zebra print that you see sticking out from the bottom is a shoebox. I put the canvas on something elevated so I can paint it easily and it won’t stick to the plastic bag underneath it and so it is easy to get underneath the edges and not miss any spots. For some reason I don’t use this same method when mod podging later but I do lay down wax paper because the wax makes glue/paint not stick. Both work.

I usually let this dry overnight.

2. Cut out your skyline! I used two methods and think probably a combination is good. First I cut out most of the skyline with scissors. I cut on straight lines and got rid of a lot of the white space.

Skyline Art | atightsqueeze.com

Then I taped the skyline print out onto my cardstock and went around everything with an xacto knife. I think the best method would be to tape the print out onto the cardstock from the getgo, cut out as much as you can with scissors, and then touch up with the xacto knife. Whatever works with you to get the skyline cut out of the cardstock.

Skyline Art | atightsqueeze.com

In the above image you can see that I moved the far right building over a little bit. Normal US paper is 8.5″ by 11″ so I had about an inch of room to spare when taping the printout to the cardstock. I wanted to have the buildings spread across the page so I cut and taped it over a little bit. I could have just had some extra space on the edges though.

3. Secure the background paper to your canvas. Once the canvas is dry (this should be fine overnight) use mod podge to attach the background scrapbook paper. In most cases the canvas will be longer than the scrapbook paper but the extra space will be covered by the skyline/cardstock paper so make sure that the scrapbook paper is flush with one end.

To attach, apply mod podge to the paper. I made one where I put the mod podge onto the canvas and it was a lot more bumpy. Live and learn, right? I use the same foam brush, just rinsed out, and wipe mod podge all over the paper. Then I line the paper up and carefully press it onto the canvas. Use a library card (or in my case a Rite Aid Wellness card) to smooth it out and press out any air bubbles. Mine looked a little bumpy at first but dried smoothly!

4. Attach the cardstock skyline to the canvas. It should be flush with the OPPOSITE END as the background paper was flush with. So it covers any canvas showing from the scrapbook paper not fitting.

Skyline Art | atightsqueeze.com

(I took this when I just put the skyline down to see how it was looking – no background was on yet and no mod podge applied.)

5. Let it dry. I did it overnight again but I think it probably firms up fairly quickly if you are too impatient to wait.

6. Mod podge the whole thing! Again using the foam brush I put mod podge all over this sucker. On the edges especially to make sure that the paper didn’t start curling up. **WARNING** The black cardstock that I used bled into the paper a little bit the first time that I did it.** To combat that the second time I dabbed the mod podge on the edges of the skyline (where the black cardstock met the background) and then dragged my brush from the scrapbook paper over onto the cardstock. That way if there was any bleeding it was just bleeding into itself. I don’t know if it was the type of paper or what but be aware and cautious of this!

7. Let it dry. Yeah, again.

8. Attach stickers (if you want)! I searched AC Moore for a good size and font that I liked. I could have been more careful with placement of the stickers and used a ruler or something but I used the pokadots in the background for a general guide and I think it turned out fine.

Once again – here is the finished version!

Skyline Art | atightsqueeze.com

There are so many ways to personalize this and other than waiting for drying time it is a fairly inexpensive and easy process! It definitely takes some patience but doing just one building (I did one of a chapel on our campus) or a structure can make it easier.

How do you commemorate important cities in your life? Can I call this “Pinterest Challenge with a Twist” so it’s not just yet another Pinterest Challenge?

Ornament Update

Here’s where my list of things to post about stands:

  • Christmas Decorations
  • Wedding post!
  • Skyline Art
  • Thumbtack balls
  • Lollipop spiders
  • Ticket box

So I have some posts to write, huh? However, I’m having too much holiday fun to do any work so I’m just letting everyone know that I updated my wedding ornament post with pictures! I made an ornament for my sister in law and actually remembered to take some progress pictures this time! Things I did forget: to take a final product picture. I’m the worst!

What’s everyone doing for New Years Eve? Hubs and I are going to dinner with friends and then to a house party. I have good feelings about 2013! If you can accomplish one thing or have one wish granted for 2013 – what would it be? What was your biggest success of 2012?

CHRISTMASTIME IS HERE!

I feel like Christmastime has been here for a while but I’m finally getting around to a post about my decorations! I actually started it on Thursday – I had all of my pictures uploaded and stamped and ready to go – and my boss let us leave early since we didn’t have a lot of work to do! It was a Christmas miracle =) My husband and I were able to leave about 3.5 hours early to pick up my sister in law and make the trek north. It was so nice to get to DE at 10pm instead of 1am or later and we were able to avoid any rain. It was a really windy drive, though. So we got to DE Thursday night and stayed at my in laws and then Friday my husband and I went up to NJ to attend my dad’s 50th birthday! We were able to surprise him (and most of my family – only my mom knew) and celebrate for the night. Saturday we saw some of my friends from high school and then drove back down to DE. So now I have some time to update about my Christmas decorations!

We have a tiny apartment but I still try to decorate a lot because I just love Christmas. We have a teensy tiny Christmas tree that we already have too many ornaments for but I pull it out and put on as many ornaments as I can! We do have a lot of ball ornaments that are beautiful but not super meaningful so I usually don’t put those out unless I put them in a vase. It’s a step or two above a Charlie Brown tree, in my opinion.

I’ll start with my “mantle”. It’s really just the dresser in our kitchen but it’s the one flat space that is relatively empty that I can decorate. It works pretty well, actually. I’ll show the big picture (literally) and then break down each item.

Awwww how prettyyy! My decorations are a combination of cheapos that I used in my dorm room, homemade things, and hand me downs. This would fall in to that first category – I think my bestie from high school sent me a Christmas package with this countdown but I love using it every year!

Full disclosure: I took this picture weeks ago. I have zero idea why I wrote 12 days. I’m never good about remembering to change it every day so I’ll just tell myself that I was making it easier for myself by predating it. A few days after I wrote it/took this picture it still said 12 days (and still was more than 12 days until Christmas) and my husband was like “why does this say 12? It’s like 17 days away…” DON’T ASK QUESTIONS. The sleigh is a recent acquisition from my MIL. I’m not normally the type to have candy bowls out (mainly because I can’t avoid the temptation) but somehow I am able to avoid the siren call of Hershey kisses. Hershey kisses with caramel inside, though? They’d never make it. The bowl in the middle is also from my MIL and has some pretty holly on it. There’s also a small plate that goes with it. Always good to have some Christmas dishes that are pretty and can go in a mantlescape but also can be used. I had some pumkpin bread on the plate earlier this month.

Okay – see the frame? It was SO easy but it’s one of my favorite things.

If you don’t immediately recognize the quote then I need you to step away from the computer and watch Elf IMMEDIATELY! One of the Christmas movies that I watch every season (along with Home Alone 1 & 2 and Love Actually). The frame was something that I found at AC Moore or Michael’s after last Christmas for very cheap – maybe $3. It was just sitting around waiting for something until I found this printable! I don’t know what I’ll use it for next but I think I might just make it my designated printables frame. The frame looks like it’s wintery but also is a seafoamish color so I think it will work year round. So I just printed it out, used my paper cutter to cut off the excess, and stuck it in the frame! 1 minute project and I love, love it, love it!

Oh and what’s that over there on the left? My card wreath! Doesn’t it look so good with cards in it? I posted about making it here for my Pinterest Challenge but that was in October so I put it away until December 1. We’ve gotten a good amount of Christmas cards but I also saved them from last year so I’ve just been replacing an old card with a new one when we get it in the mail so it can keep looking full. I want to marry it.

Another quick project is this bead vase.

I have a ton of beads so I went through and picked out the Christmasey ones and layered them into the bowl. And that was it! I tucked it onto our TV table kind of behind the TV so it just adds a little bit of Christmas to that corner.

I also have these candles on our table. I love the red and silver. They didn’t fit well and my SIL told me they have some taper candles with thicker bottoms but I kind of like my solution. I grabbed some scraps from scrapbook paper and wrapped it around the bottom until it was thick enough to hold the candles in there. I wish I had more of the gray paper because I think that looks so good on there. I could also grab some green paper and make them look even more Christmasey (P.S. how many times can a person use Christmasey in one post?!)

Oh I have another update!! I really should have made this into a few posts but when the blogging spirit hits I have to run with it. So I posted here about my Goodwill find for $2. Here’s what it looks like all dressed up!

I like it. It’s in the middle of our coffee table which is a little big for it so I think if there was a tray underneath it it would look better. It’s a work in progress.

Know what I do have on the table next to it? The 12 Days of Christmas in New Jersey. And it’s not just 12 days of chemical spills and trash! You know I’m New Jersey’s biggest fan!

Okay last thing! Please ignore the Jameson coasters in the background. Note to self: pay more attention to other items in the frame! My sweet little paper Christmas tree:

I REALLY love this thing. Like a lot. I saw it on BowerPower and pinned it a while ago. She used wax paper which I think I might try another day but when I did this I had computer paper next to me and wax paper in the other room so… computer paper won!

Okay – that’s a lot for today. Doesn’t Christmas this year feel like such a weeklong event?! I think it’s because Christmas is on a Tuesday so a lot of people have Monday and Tuesday off – 4 day weekend! Do you have more time off? Do you have any holiday traditions? My family always opens one gift on Christmas Eve. Really trying to get my in laws to let us do that tomorrow =)

Happy holidays, everyone!