Mark and I decided this year to buy stuff for our house together, instead of getting one another individual presents. We made some bucks on our barn sale, which was seed money for a "new couch," since we have very little furniture we have chosen ourselves. We wanted a new futon couch, mission style, dark wood, with a really nice thick mattress for our great room. We had done some window shopping this summer, and figured if we threw in what we would normally spend on one another, we'd have enough money.
We've been dealing with all sorts of space utilization dilemmas lately. First, the fuel oil bill arrived. $835!!!!!! So much for heating the upstairs this winter. And my office is upstairs. Brrrr...
I needed a downstairs workspace. I tried working from the couch, but after a week my butt was in agony, my laptop was stuffed under the couch when I wasn't working, and there was paperwork everywhere. So I looked online for tiny laptop desks. If I were going to take over our den, I didn't want Mark having to look at a general mess. I finally settled on this one.
I was set to buy it (free shipping!), but decided hold my horses and take a look around the house before parting with actual money. Tonight I realized I had the album shelves that my grandfather had built my mother. It has been sitting empty. So...
You'll note there are real curtains in that window. We've been in this house since 2000 with no real curtains. We saved to order these last month. Previously we had been using polar fleece (hint, cheap, you don't have to hem it, and you can make cat beds out of it later on!)
The polar fleece will now move to the kitchen to cover the windows there for the winter.
Mark scored me a really nice used office chair. This was my previous chair with a memory foam pillow to save my butt:
When Mark brought the "new" chair home yesterday, Cricket had to try it out (Yes, she is missin' a leg):
Ummm...Cricket? MY chair?
Well, off we went today to go couch shopping. Once upon a time, Ithaca was the futon capital of the world. Now you can only buy them at Treeforms. But, sadly, they had nothing in a mission style in our price range. So with Mark diplomatically steering me away from disappointment, we finally decided to buy a new double foam core futon for our current basic blond couch frame, and just settle for that for now.
The choice of futon covers in stock was pretty dismal. We normally just use fitted sheets, but you know, I really do want a house that looks like grownups live in it. We picked out a dark paisley print and settled for ordering one for future delivery. The manager (owner?) came down to help us, and while we were flipping mattresses from one frame to another to determine what size they were, I found a rustic looking cover sitting off to the side. I jokingly showed it to Mark and he said he LIKED it! So we brought it home.
Just in case you can't make out that pattern, Jack is showing it off here in a close up:
Yes. They are bears. So much for being grownups! And I swear we weren't drinking at lunch. In fact, we didn't even have lunch. Maybe it was low blood sugar. Mark looked at me and said "You do realize that this sort of sets a new motif for our great room, don't you?" The previous "motif" had leaned toward worn Victorian. I'm not quite sure where we are headed now!
OK, next dilemma. Since we would now have two old couches, instead of an old one, a new one, and an old one to sell, something had to be done with the oldest couch to make it presentable. Thankfully Joann Fabric was having a 60% off sale (plus $3.99 for upholstery pins). Goodbye orange and green upholstery!
The new inexpensive look:
Mark had headed off home with the futon. I was still Christmas shopping. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology was right around the corner and they have a Wild Birds Unlimited (good gifts for Mom!).
You know how when you are shopping for other folks, you always find one thing you really want to buy yourself? Well, why the Lab of O had a tile with a feral cat painted on it, I don't know, but I asked the clerk if she could get it down for me to look at.
As she handed it down from on high she lamented "Oh, it's cracked!" Indeed it was, in many places. I asked if she would reduce the price, and she said $10. I said yes, then looked closer and we both agreed the damage was pretty serious. Reluctantly I handed it to her and said no. $10 can buy me two discounted bags of premium cat food.
As I was checking out, the two clerks conversed, and mine rang up my gifts and said "You know, we'll only have to throw this out. We are going to give it to you."
And here it is after a layer of decoupage finish over the cracks:
Thank you, Lab of O! I promise all of our kittens will go to indoor homes so they'll never eat another bird!
So now, does anyone want an old futon? It's a full-sized, totally cotton (no foam core) futon, with no disgusting stains (although a few small non-disgusting ones). It's OK as a second futon under your main one if you are sleeping on a futon on the floor, or folded in thirds as an extra couch against the wall if you are in student or squatter mode. It would also be fine as a bed if you have nothing else, but its damned firm, so you have to be futon-savvy. Drop a note in comments or email me at info at americancat dot net if you want it. After Christmas it goes on Craigslist or Freecycle.