Chapters

27 September 2013

Three Thing I Didn't Know I Needed

Horn of America Deluxe Sewing Chair in the color option that I chose
I recently got two items that had been on my 'want' list for some time, but I had never put them on my 'need' list. After using these two things, however, I wish I had gotten them sooner.

The first wonderful addition for me is a great sewing chair. In approximately 2000 some of my friends had given me a good office chair for my birthday, and it has served me long and well. It will remain 'in service' at my 'mixed media' table. My friend, Lauren, had organized the office to chip in for this birthday gift, and if I had to guess, I bet that she added the lion's share of the necessary money. I loved it because it was cushy and a vast improvement to what I had been using as a sewing chair.

I realized some time ago that my back needed more substantial support. I had been looking at sewing chairs and was astounded at how much they cost. Office chairs did , indeed, seem to be a better option financially. I was especially impressed with the looks of the Horn of American Deluxe Sewing Chair, but there again,  the cost made me weak in the knees. I bid on one that came up on Ebay and lost the bid. Losing, it turned out, was a lucky thing.

Thanks to C&T Publishing I knew that I  will have just a bit of extra money that will eventually come in, and so I continued my search for a sewing chair that I could love. My favorite chair remained the Horn product. I began to make to calls about pricing. I chanced to call SewVac Direct in Bryan Texas. I spoke to a very nice salesman named Steve. Sew Vac Direct prices were so good that I ordered the chair within 4 minutes of calling! No shipping! The cost of the chair from them was less than what I had bid for a similar chair on Ebay! No, I do not have any affiliation with Sew Vac Direct - I just happened to call them for a price.

I had looked a variety of chair brands. Some were considerable more expensive and some were less so. The Koala brand looked great, but the chair's dimensions were smaller and, structurally, it seemed equally well fashioned. I loved the Arrow sewing chairs with their wonderful color and upholstery color combinations. They were a bit more expensive, but oh so much more joyful looking! I was sorely tempted by the lime green paint on one that caught me eye. The Arrow chairs, while being far more fun to look at, did not appear to be that cushy or supportive, and since my focus was on comfort and support, I went ahead with my original choice of the Horn brand.

My chair arrived yesterday (less than a week!). It was a snap to put together. The only necessary tool was a small, included little wrench. I was sitting in it within 10 minutes. The lumbar support is really outstanding on this chair! The cushioning and quality is excellent and I know that I made the right choice for me. It's such a pleasure to be able to sit at precisely the right height for my body and my sewing table, and I do believe that, with a proper sewing chair, you can easily increase you sewing time in great comfort.

Here are the particulars of this chair from the Sew Vac Direct website:

Horn 14090 sewing chairs are designed specifically for use while sewing and quilting. A Horn 14090 chair will provide the comfort you desire with the support necessary for proper support providing hours of sewing and quilting enjoyment. Eliminate fatigue from improper seating that you get from using a regular desk or office chair.
Features
  • Hydraulic lift
  • Adjustable Height
  • 5 Casters For Safety
  • High Density Foam Padding For Comfort And Long Life
  • Quick And Easy To Assemble
  • Tilt Swivel with Tension Control And Lockout Feature
  • Pneumatic Height Adjustment with Gas-Lift
  • Contoured Seat and Back with Lumbar Support
  • Thickly Padded Seat
  • Fire Retardant Foam Padding
  • Heavy Duty Upholstery
  • Twin Wheel Heavy Duty Casters
  • Meets Or Exceeds ANSI/BIFMA Standard
  • Weight: 35 lbs.
  • 10-Year Warranty On Parts except pnuematic lift.
  • Phuematic lift carries a 3 year warranty
  • Please note there is a 250lb weight limit on all Horn sewing chairs
Dimensions
  • Seat cushion is 21" wide X 19.5" deep
  • Back cushion is 21" wide and 19" tall
  • Height to top of seat cushion is adjustable from 20" to 24"

The second that that I did not know that I needed is the Neez EZ. I had seen a friend of mine, Janet, use the Neez EZ. This simple device registered somewhere in my brain that it might be a good thing, but I could not really figure out why I would want to use it. I decided to go with my gut and purchased one of them from Nancy's Notions. It wasn't cheap, but it also was not too great of an expenditure and I felt that if I did not like it I could find someone who would love it. In the interim between ordering it and having it arrive on my door step I was at a quilting retreat with Janet and, when I noticed that she had not brought hers with her, she said that she had decided that she did not like it because it did not work well for her. At that point I really felt like I had thrown my money away!
When I got home, the package that included the Neez EZ was waiting for me. Now, I really didn't know what to expect, and I was sure that this was going to be a disappointment. Not so! I have found that using this simple device really works well for me. It seems to make the pressure that I exert on my machine pedal easier, and more even and it definitely takes some pressure off your knees. It makes using the machine pedal much more comfortable. 

Included in the box is a second, larger piece of gripper mat (like the material that you use to line your shelves with) to use on the floor underneath the Neez EZ. I find that I don't need to use that on carpeted floors, but it works perfectly on laminate or wood floors. In my case I do use it for traction on the vinyl chair mat that I purchased to use under my new sewing chair (that's another thing that was well worth the modest cost and that I should have gotten much, much sooner).

So the Neez EZ is one of those things for which YMMV (your mileage may vary) when using. For me it is a boon and I am very pleased that I followed my gut and bought it.


Lighting. This is the third thing is something that I always knew I needed but really could not afford to 'fix'. I needed much brighter, clearer light in my sewing area. The lamps that I had considered were at least $120 if not closer to $180. for the strength and wattage that I felt I needed, plus I needed two of them! I've been using simple, inexpensive, round reflector clamp lamps. Although they are an inexpensive lighting solution,  I needed better bulbs with higher wattage, much clearer light and lower heat output. I decide to try these speciality Alzo full spectrum light bulbs. These are compact full spectrum 27 watt bulbs with 5500k clear, daylight effects. These are large bulbs at 6.5 inches long by 2.25 around. They work like a charm in my inexpensive fixtures and make all of the difference in the world as far as lighting in my little space goes. WoW! is all I can say about the light that they produce. They are touted as having a 10,000 life. I always think those claims are a bit high, but heck, these make such a difference for me that I would buy more anyway. I gather that these bulbs are used for treating S.A.D., plant growth and photographic uses. For me, as I work with colors in fabric, they are perfect! I managed to save money by buying these too - now I can do without the new, more expensive lamps!

GE 'Reveal' bulbs had been a favorite - or the newer, 'daylight' variety, but compared to these bulbs, the BE (or other) brands really appear yellow!

In the past, when I was working, I could have much more easily afforded these items. Although I had considered buying each of these things along the way, I always thought it was not the right time, and I had not deemed them worthy enough of the expense. Now, at a time when I am less able to afford this type of 'luxury' items, I can really appreciate how they are things that I really needed to have all along for comfort and pleasure, but just didn't know it at the time.

Look around your sewing/painting/mixed media/work area. Can you think of any things that you have considered buying in the past, but decided against because they were too costly or too 'iffy' ? Ask yourself about whether these things would make your 'arting' time more pleasurable or comfortable and then, if you are able to, go ahead and try them out. The worst thing that could happen is that you won't like it and then you can return it - little wasted and, possibly you will have found something that you too never knew you needed! 

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