Friday, September 26, 2014

Did It Myself No. 5: Toy Box Ottoman

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Umm... yeah. This is awkward. I know I've been away for a long, long time. It probably seems like I've been avoiding you, but honestly I've just been, like, super busy. You know?

I was actually flabbergasted – yes, my gast was literally flabbered – when I logged in today and realized I haven't posted in nearly a year. I knew it had been awhile, but in my mind it was more around the 5-6 month mark – not 349 days! In fact, it has been so long that I've changed the way I do my m-dashes! You may have noticed they are now bookended with spaces instead of flowing into the adjoining words. And if you did notice then wow. That is like really, really sad. [Turns out, upon further examination, that what I'm now using is technically an n-dash, aka en dash, which is not quite as long as an m-dash, or em dash, but is certainly longer than a hyphen.]

This historic home in Stony Plain, Alberta (referred to as
"Rose Hill" by the locals) was the subject of the first
article I wrote for my hometown's newspaper.
But considering m-dashes [and n-dashes] is actually one of the reasons I've been away. For realsies. I was writing for my local newspaper's real estate section (and I just now realized I totally should've been posting the articles on this blog because, hello, talk about related subject matter). It was within this job that I revised how I use my most favourite punctuation mark (and was advised by my editor that less is more even when it comes to dashes).

Other things that have kept me away from a-blogging are raising a child, raising a husband, getting some short stories published (yay!), doing projects around the house that could then be blogged about (but then not blogging), general and specific merriment, general and specific disgruntlement, and – of course  our dear old friend Mr. Procrastination.

Plus, I now have a new job, which is why I said "I was writing" and not "I am writing" when I mentioned the newspaper gig... teaching dance! I spent pretty much all my "spare time" (my explanation for the scare quotes  motherhood) this summer working on lesson plans and memorizing exercises. I even dedicated an entire seven hour round car trip to watching Royal Academy of Dance videos and meticulously typing up each dance step only to later realize that just watching the videos would've been enough. But I am nothing if not a chronic over-preparer. Which means I don't get a lot done, but what I do get done  gets done really, really thoroughly.

Love this pattern... and it was on sale!
It's actually outdoor fabric, which means
  it's all ready to have water, juice and/or
 milk spilled on it.
Such as the actual topic of today's post  this ottoman! I can't take all the credit for this DIYer as my most loveable and talented husband was the one who actually built the thing, but we did design it together (amidst much ruler waving and pencil scribbling) and I selected the fabric and foam padding and wrapped this bad boy (girl?) up.

As is usually the case, the task at hand was not quite as easy as I initially imagined because we wanted as few seams as possible and I couldn't manage to wrestle all the fabric into my sewing machine facing in the correct direction. The answer? Hot glue gun. It's like the duct tape of DIYing... except duct tape is probably the duct tape of DIYing. So maybe it's the duct tape of more delicate DIYing?

Our only concern with a hot glue gunned seam was that our daughter would pick at it and it would come loose. After all, this ottoman was designed for her. Well, for her and her toys and her soft little baby head that kept smacking into our old solid wood coffee table. But the ottoman has been in service for over a month now and so far she hasn't even noticed the seam.

Shh... The toys are sleeping.
I suppose it pales in comparison to the stuffed animals, books, wooden blocks, plastic tea cups, tupperware and various beeping and booping gadgets the ottoman houses.

We put wheels on the bottom of it so we could move it aside and create more floor space for playing (and also so we could periodically block off areas of the house we don't want her entering, i.e. the kitchen when I'm trying to unload the dishwasher). The wheels have also proven handy in helping her learn to perambulate as she holds on to the ottoman and "walks" when we move it.

Hard to believe the last time I posted she was 4 weeks old and about as mobile as a sack of potatoes. Really freakin' cute potatoes. But still  potatoes.

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