Friday, April 19, 2013

Bad Dog II

About a month ago, we went through a "trustworthy" phase with Harry.  He was given free reign in the house after his lunchtime walk.  Figuring he'd be occupied by his puzzle treat dispensing ball he got for his birthday, we thought that Harry would entertain himself into a sleepy stupor.  That was not the case.

Above is our one week old IKEA Tullsta chair that we bought specifically to increase seating capacity for my annual Oscars gathering.  Harry thought it'd be a good time to completely eat the foam cushion and tear apart the cushion cover.  He thought it especially a good idea to do this on a Friday night, when his Mom and Dad just wrapped up a long week at work.

Unfortunately, IKEA doesn't sell replacement cushions and I didn't want to spend another $100 on a chair when the remaining parts of the IKEA chair were in perfect condition.  Harry's engagement was primarily with the cushion.  For somebody to cut foam to size and  create a cushion was going to cost at least as much as the chair itself.  So I decided I'd attempt to do it myself and went on every foam site I could find online.

It just so happens that as I was taking Harry on an evening walk before trash day that I spotted an old Victorian-esque type chair out on the sidewalk with a handwritten sheet of paper attached saying "FREE".  Although a funky chair would've been a sweet addition to our living room, I was really only interested in its foam cushion that was the exact same shape and size as our IKEA chair.  So I got our cushion for free...after a very intense smell check (we're good).

The tricky part now was how do I cover this thing?  I've never sewn something close to this shape, and I don't know how to attach zippers to things so making a removable cushion was out of my skill range.  It was after googling a bunch of how to's that I came across the perfect no sew option on e-how.  Wrap your item you wish to be upholstered, and pin it in place.  It doesn't have to be perfect, because the top is the only part that matters.

After picking up a so non-matching fabric (because I was afraid my attempt at matching would result in failure) in Fabric Row, I laid the fabric on my kitchen floor, place the foam in the middle, wrapped and pinned in place using safety pins.

It works for me, although the fabric can get bunched and rumpled after being sat on for a while.  But it required little to no effort and cost me only the price of the fabric...which is too expense on Fabric Row, but I digress.  Harry better keep his distance.

Monday, April 15, 2013

DIY Doggy Bed

You may remember when Harry ripped his bed to shreds.  That nice orange chevron print donut bed that he cherished, he ripped open and tossed its entrails all over our living room.  Despite the inner area of the donut being deflated, we continued to let Harry use his flat bed until we replaced it with something better.  Then, Harry went to town on the outer section of his bed.  And then Harry no longer had a bed to sleep in.  

It was a confusing period of time for Harry.  The bed was his observation deck; the spot from which he watched TV and watched me cook dinner simultaneously.  Early mornings, Harry would awkwardly sit with his butt pressed against the wall because his bed used to be there.  He even took to squeezing his entire body onto the doormat just to get off the floor.  

Long ago, before Harry had received his first bed, I had vowed to make one.  Buying his first as a groupon offer was an easy solution.  Once shredded, it was up to me to make him something with (hopefully) staying power.  Recently, one of my favorite blogs, Design Sponge, posted a tutorial for a dog bed that seemed as if it were designed for the most beginner of beginner sewers, me!  

Since I didn't want to recreate the wheel, I didn't post my step by step process here.  However, check out the tutorial at Design Sponge for theirs - it's super easy to follow.  I bought a yard of upholstery fabric from Adler's fabrics on Fabric Row in South Philly.  Fabric Row is interesting.  Since I wanted my fabric immediately, I took the drive, but I'd much rather buy my fabric on Etsy since it's cheaper, and you can't tell if the business is run by hoarders.  1 yard of this fabric cost me $24 - cheaper than a bed online, but still.

The tutorial on Design Sponge features a leather strap section that I left out.  Basically Harry's bed is one big couch cushion.  Half of a 5lb box of poly-fil (deceivingly small box fyi) was shoved into the cushion while Harry watched pointedly.  I think Harry thinks poly-fil is cotton candy.  Between cutting and sewing, the project probably took me a total of two hours.  It's basic straight sewing and then flipping it right-side out, stuffing, and sewing up the stuff hole.  

Once complete, I tossed Harry's bed on the ground and told him I made it and that it was his, but he couldn't chew on it.  He looked at it, sniffed it, and went back to his ball.  Then when I laid on it and showed him how to use his bed (yes this stuff happens in our house) he figured it out.

Words can't describe the feeling I got when Harry pranced onto his new homemade bed, turned around in a circle approximately 30 times, and laid down.  It was stomach filling, chest pumping, cheek tingling, and so super satisfying.

The three of us spent the rest of our Friday night with eyes glued to Homeland, until Harry dozed off. 

The satisfaction of seeing Harry's appreciation was completely worth the effort.  Plus the bed ties in with our decor, and I feel like I gained some sewing skills.  I'm applying the same tutorial on a smaller scale to make chair cushions for my roof deck.  Thanks to Design Sponge for posting such an easy to follow tutorial!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hoppy Easter Harry!

Sunday started with a 10 mile training run pre-Easter brunch.  Harry had been showing signs of fatigue, so I ran with a human buddy.  When I came home, Harry was already dressed up in his Easter best ready to go to Mee-Mom and Pee-Pop's house.  The outfit (you can find similar here) was all the boo's idea, but of course I was completely giddy over it, and forced Harry to pose with my Fairmount Bunny Hop ears.

After 45 minutes in the car, we arrived and Harry spent the morning romping around his grandparents' backyard while we ate brunch.  The Easter Bunny had already hidden eggs that were yet to be found, mainly because the hunt hadn't started.  Harry didn't get the memo and proceeded to find plastic eggs and sprint around the yard with them in his mouth.  Had Harry been able to truly participate in the hunt I think he would've won.  Unfortunately we had to tell the kids there were minus 2 eggs to find, because Harry had eaten them.

Harry has been around for one Easter pre-adoption, but I'm not sure if they actually celebrate in dog shelters like they do in family homes.  The egg finding thrill was new to Harry and he was ecstatic over it, as you can see by his ridiculously long tongue and big smile.  It's the boo's family tradition (at least for the past 5 years) to receive a visit from the Easter Bunny himself.  Most of the kids were a little freaked out during their first Easter Bunny experience (he is pretty creepy) but not Harry.  I suppose he had some prep by meeting the Phillie Phanatic last week.  

As I watched Harry race around in the backyard in his blue pastel polo, I realized that the boo and I have officially turned into those crazy dog people.  We may have also turned his family into crazy dog people too, or at least Harry has.  We don't have a child to cart around to family events, we bring our dog.  And we fuss over him as much as a parent over a teething baby.  The boo's family embraces our obsession and even goes as far as including him in family pictures, which I find extremely amusing.  It seems everyone smiles just a bit bigger when a full grown dog in a preppy polo shirt is being held up in the family photo.

Harry thoroughly enjoyed his Easter, and then enjoyed it some more at my sister's home where he got to visit with his fur-cousin, Jager.  Despite Harry's fear of cars, he loves spending time with his extended family and was completely exhausted when we got home.