2011 in Review

Master Bedroom Mosaic

We became homeowners on Dec 31 of 2010, and a lot of this year was learning the in and outs of being homeowners. We removed what didn't want and started building in what we did. We peeled wallpaper and painted walls.

Snowpocalyspe 11:30am

Shoveled snow and learned the importance of roof-rakes.  (Hint: don't pile that much snow that close to your house)

Gardening Station in the Garage

Perennials were planted in the spring and bulbs were planted in the fall. Lawns were moved and leaves raked. Floors were swept and appliances replaced. And at some point along the way it stopped being their house and started being ours.

Karen & Chris

Starting the day after we moved in, we filled our home with friends: Pie Day, poker games, dinners and documentaries. The highlight was inviting over all our friends for a summer time barbecue and concert.



And we saw a little doggy online and decided to invite him to stay for the long-haul.


During Lent I wore skirts for 47 days and visited Washington D.C. for the first time.

Cherry Blossoms

Korea Memorial

In sewing, I got my own studio space and made a thing or two.


My creation

Fiber-wise, I learned how to dye and needlefelt.



I bought a loom and made a total of one scarf.

The pattern appears

I also did a fair amount of spinning, but haven't quite met my knitolution of knitting anything with handspun yet.

Tour de Fleece Skein One

Knitwise, this has been a huge year for me. I've released three patterns with Quince & Co., one with Twist Collective, and six on my own. I started a mailing list.

My creation

It's amazing to me how much has happened in one year, and how quickly that year has gone. There's snow on the ground outside now and it's a few days to Christmas. It's been a helluva year in the best way possible.

Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year!


Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Best Barbeque Ever

IMGP3263.JPG One of the things Mr. Cleaver and I were most excited about when we moved from our one-bedroom apartment to the house is that we'd have space to have people over.

Oh sure, we had friends over to the old apartment, but, for example, when another couple came over for dinner once we had to move the table into the living room because there wasn't space in the kitchen. So it was a tad limiting.

But now our home is constantly filled with family and friends and that's my favorite thing about being a homeowner.


This past weekend was the best iteration of that so far with our housewarming/birthday BBQ and Hoedown.

We invited a bunch of our friends, family, and coworkers over for a potluck and BBQ. Friends and family brought the sides and we provided drinks, meat, and the band.


Which makes this the coolest party I've ever thrown.

Of course all the credit for the band goes to Mr. Cleaver, who after seeing a set by our favorite New England band Brown Bird, sent them an email to see if they would do a home show. They said they could, gave us a price and some available dates, and we worked it all out.

As Mr. Cleaver said, it like when you hear about people who have Jay Z at their bar-mitzvah or something, but on our scale.

(If you want an example of what it was like, Brown Bird played a set at the Newport Folk Festival the preceding weekend that you can stream in its entirety at NPR.)

It wasn't the cheapest thing we've ever done, but we both agreed that the experience and the memories were worth every penny. Particularly because all the guests had a great time too (or at least that's what they told us) and several wanted to steal Steinbeck, who charmed practically everyone. :)


It took a little when we first moved back to Maine in the late August of 2008 to really settle in and find our groove, but I was reflecting on our life in Portland earlier today and thinking about how wonderfully FULL it is and how I'm so grateful for it all.

(On a side note: I've just joined the chirping masses on Twitter, you can see my latest tweet in the sidebar or follow me @Ms_Cleaver).

Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly

Brown Bird

This is one of those instances where I am so excited by something I just have to share: Mr. Cleaver and I have seen Brown Bird in concert twice in the past 8 days - last week we saw them as the opener for the equally talented Low Anthem and  liked them so much that we went to a small show at the newish Mayo Street Arts Center Saturday night. Between the two show we've listened to their album The Devil Dancing at least a dozen times.

I've been on a big bluegrass/Americana kick for the past year or so and these folks are right in that wheelhouse. I've pasted a youtube link of "Bottom of the Bottle"  and " Danger and Dread" below, but I'd also check out "Mabel Grey," "Wrong Black Mare," and "By the Reins," but every song on this album is really really good!



Print Friendly and PDF Follow
follow us in feedly