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Penny’s Saturday Night Partner

11 Mar

Much like the young eighteenth century bride my skin tone indicates I should have been, I approached the night of my union to Mr. DeWalt with trepidation and no little excitement. Betrothed a scant two-and-a-half months (he proposed on Christmas!), I was at once anxious for the promise of consummation, yet shy of his prowess and penetrating reputation.


Saturday dawned bright and clear; a knock heralded the arrival of my mother and father, anxious to begin preparations. While Mother and I bustled about ironing and tweaking a fold here or there to get the fabric to hang just so, Father took DeWalt aside. Over by the windows, DeWalt strove valiantly to impress my father with his strength and speed; Mother looked on with indulgent fondness and I with awe. Finally – finally! – the deed was done, the freshly hung curtains drawn against the chill March night, and we waved Mother and Father goodbye after strong admonitions to beware the sensitive trigger and reassuring words (“You are working on the backside; if you make a mistake, just reposition and try again – no one will know”).

Alone, at last, we sprawled together on the carpet. Continue reading

DIY – Painted Area Rug

28 Jan

or How to Make a Batman Rug

or How to Win at Girlfriending

Oxford Comma’s birthday was this weekend which naturally meant I purchased party hats, silly straws, streamers, and superhero balloons from the grocery store.

Fictional Conversation:
Cashier: Aww, how old is your son?
Me: 26. And he’s a great kisser.

Actual Conversation:
Me: It probably looks like I have a four-year-old son but this is all actually for my boyfriend.
Cashier: No one’s too old for Cookie Monster hats!
Me: RIGHT???!!!

And what better gift for a twentysomething with a job and bills than a Batman rug for his big boy bedroom?

Several months ago while on a Pinterest binge I came across a painted pattern on an otherwise boring area rug, and truth be told I’ve been waiting for an excuse to try this out ever since. It’s extra fun, crazy addicting, and I’m now accepting commissioned projects. Below is my step-by-step guide for turning a relatively inexpensive 5×7 area rug into a pretty special present for a guy who desperately needs to make his room look less like a solitary confinement cell.

Step 1: Outline the border and mark the center of the rug with painter's tape.

Step 1: Outline the border and mark the center of the rug with painter’s tape.

This really is the most difficult part of the entire rug painting project. Making sure the tape lines are straight and equidistant from the edge is a tedious process, but following a modified version of the old Habitat for Humanity catchphrase certainly helped: “Measure twice, paint once.” I placed down large poster frames to mark out the straight lines, but use whatever you have at your disposal!

Step 2: Sketch out your design.

Step 2: Sketch your design.

This was an exercise in tracing and patience. I searched “1989 Batman logo” (because my boyfriend has a favorite Batman logo) on google images and hit “command +” until it was a size I liked. Of course, then the logo was far larger than my computer screen so I traced a bit, moused over, traced a bit more, etc. Afterwards, I taped together all the paper I used like a giant puzzle. There is most definitely an easier way to do this, but it probably involves the Staples Copy Center and money I don’t want to spend.

Step 3: Transfer design onto painter's tape.

Step 3: Transfer design onto painter’s tape.

I drew over the paper design with chalk, and then rubbed it onto a patch of painter’s tape centered on the area rug. Super easy. And those are my pajama-clad knees. Hi, knees! Continue reading

Damn Straight.

13 Sep

Loath though I am to bid adieu to my favorite season, autumn is here and it really isn’t so bad. As you store those sundresses and beach chairs in the back of the closet, soften the blow by seasonally sprucing your space with these decorating tips, care of Colin Nissan at McSweeney’s. Maybe I can snag him for an interview and he can coach me through my proper language problems.

“I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on some fucking gourds and arrange them in a horn-shaped basket on my dining room table. That shit is going to look so seasonal. I’m about to head up to the attic right now to find that wicker fucker, dust it off, and jam it with an insanely ornate assortment of shellacked vegetables. When my guests come over it’s gonna be like, BLAMMO! Check out my shellacked decorative vegetables, assholes. Guess what season it is—fucking fall. There’s a nip in the air and my house is full of mutant fucking squash.”

Stuff for your Mason Jar collection.

7 Sep

My name is Polly (“Hi, Polly.”) and I have a jar problem. I cannot resist a mason jar. I backed this kickstarter. I use jars to hold my pet fish, my laundry quarters, my hair accessories, my flour, my sugar, my coffee, etc. Jars. I love ’em. But I’m currently in a jar pickle!* At this distinct moment in time, I have more jars than things to put in jars.

BUT THEN MOLLY SHOWED ME THIS THING! DIY Natural Room Scents. Freshen up your apartment WHILE displaying those classy pieces of container couture. At last, my excess jars can be put to use. Scent #5 (Pine or cedar twigs ((or any other fragrant twigs)), bay leaves, and nutmeg) makes me ALMOST ok with the idea that summer is nearing its end. Almost.

*I detest pickles and I will not use ANY of my jars to contain those atrocities of preserved produce.

Buckets of Sugar

21 Aug

An interview by Polly, Mini Mary Poppins

My inspirationPolly: Good afternoon, Soteria! Welcome to P&P!
Tory: Thanks, Polly! Long time follower, first time interviewee. And call me Tory!
Polly: Tory it is! And what did you do this weekend, Tory?
Tory: [eye-lasers]
Polly: Ok, I know what you did this weekend because I was there and I bossed you around a whole lot. We organized your apartment! (!!!)
Tory: You don’t have to sound so gleeful.
Polly: We organized your apartment. (Better?) Now tell me, how exactly did you rationalize living in a situation that exponentially approached squalor for so long?
Tory: Laziness, other priorities, exhaustion. Grad school, essentially. I haven’t really lived in my parents’ house since 2005, so I haven’t had a home base since then. It’s difficult to turn a dorm into a real home – there’s only so much I could do without painting or even putting tacks in the walls. And it’s even harder to buy furniture and decorations because I never knew what the next space would be shaped like. I got to the point where I didn’t want to bother because I knew I’d just have to pack it up again soon. And it really got to me when I moved to a city where I knew no one and had no support system. On top of that I was generally miserable (O Grad School, thou art a traitorous bitch). SometimesI just wanted to come home to a space that was MINE, especially when I was stressed or had a terrible day.
Polly: Praise Zeus. I am a huge supporter of investing in your space. And that doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money on fancy upcycled curtains from Anthropologie. (But damn are they cute) Investing time and energy into maintaining a peaceful space accomplishes so much! Anyways, now you’re almost settled,right? Out of grad school, at a great job, living in close proximity to your favorite Amazonian queen…
Continue reading


14 Aug

This glorious book wall might be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Potential design issue: What happens when you want to read a book from the bottom? Proposed solutions:

  • Construct a frame out of thin particle board with compartments specifically designed to fit each book exactly so that when filled, it appears to be a wall of books but is in actuality a highly customized piece of Ikea scraps
  • Book Jenga

Welcome to My Own Little Corner!

10 Aug

Good afternoon, from the first post in Polly’s Design Corner! Here is where I will discuss the importance of frames, how to restore gunky furniture from your parents’ basement, painting tips, organization, and general nesting advice for the young and underpaid. Buuuuut it’s Friday. And rainy. And my office is too heavily airconditioned.

And since rainy Friday afternoons at work are for daydreaming about cozy things we don’t have, enjoy these ridiculous library ideas because a girl’s gotta dream. My Ikea bookshelves seem so… common. (They were $26 at Ikea. I have no regrets.)

Inky bookshelf. Wagga wagga wagga wagga.

Pyramid of literary awesomeness.


Continue reading

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