In the Studio Part Two

Wow, it's been a while since I posted. But with the past month I've had it's not surprising. Here's a quick recap before I move on to new things. Since July 2nd:

    • Tour de Fleece happened and I have about 600 yards of handspun yarn
    • Turned 28
    • Saw the final Harry Potter movie
    • Helped write and turn in our major funding application at work
    • Took a business trip to Buffalo and spent inordinate amounts of time in the Philly airport
  • Saw an Elvis Costello concert
  • Released Alaria with Quince & Co.
  • Submitted a potential project packet to a knitting mag
  • Painted and revamped my studio
  • Knitted a design for another knitting mag to be mailed off today
  • Had a giant BBQ in my backyard with over 30 friends and a live band.

Whew! and I thought summers were supposed to be slow!

I'll post about the BBQ later this week, but today I wanted to show off my newly revamped studio space.

As you may recall, when we moved in, the first floor bedroom looked like this:

Downstairs Bedroom

In the early days of moving in, we stripped the wallpaper and I'd been using it as a studio in this configuration.

Studio (for Now)

While the hearts and bears stenciling was an improvement over the baseball wallpaper, I still wanted an update. So my big birthday request was to paint the studio (I ended up with a much bigger gift than that, but more on that later this week).

There was a heat wave the weekend of my birthday, so we waited to paint until the next weekend.


Steinbeck was very helpful and only stepped in paint once.

The color is Yolo Colorhouse Water .02 - a fantastic blue that looks at alternate times of day anywhere from periwinkle, to lilac, to grey. The trim is the same Air .01 as in the living and bedroom.


The other major change comes from hanging things on walls, particularly the addition of the pegboard.


Pegboard makes me feel so organized.

Some other notable items - the original Ms. Cleaver portrait by Sharon Barto and three old knitting magazines courtesy of Bristol Ivy.


I still want to put some kind of yarn storage on the wall to the left of the loom, crates or hatboxes maybe and eventually all the carpet in house should be replaced, but other than that, I'm pretty darn happy with how it turned out and I can't wait to start making stuff in there!

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Unintentional Before and After

Potscrubber 700 Those who know me in person know that ever since we moved into the new house, I have been making fun of our dishwasher, the Potscrubber 700 because:

  1. It's name is the Potscrubber 700
  2. It has never remotely worked well

While it didn't work, we didn't plan to replace it anytime soon because we had been washing dishes by hand before, so why change now?

Potscrubber 700

On Saturday evening, I baked a citrus pond cake in preparation for the next day's Easter dinner. Shortly after I pulled my cake out of the oven, John started boiling water for some pasta and a popping sound later - nothing on our (electric) stove would turn on.

Busted Stove

We checked the plug.

We checked the breakers.

We looked at the manual the previous owners had left us.

But alas, the 25-30 year old stove decided it was done.

Our Easter dinner plans shifted location and Monday night we went out stove shopping. And since we were in for an oven we figured we might as well look at dishwashers too.

A good deal later, we ended up with a new stove and dishwasher annnnndd a new sump pump - since that broke Monday too.

New Stove

New Dishwasher

It's been an expensive week.

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In My Studio: Before & Now

So one of the best things about the new house? I have my own studio.

(And whenever I say I'm going to my studio, I immediately think of this random reality tv moment I saw last summer. One, be forewarned, it'll get stuck in your head.  And two, it's worth it to watch to the second half of the video to see how context can change a song.)

I've co-opted the first floor bedroom, which used to belong to a baseball fan.

Downstairs Bedroom

Thus far, we've only had the opportunity to remove the wallpaper (fortunately one easily-removable layer), so the room is far from finished, but I needed to set up and do some sewin'. So I figured I'd show it in it's current state.

Studio (for Now)

The bears really make it.

Studio (for Now)There's great natural light during the day and there's plenty of space for my cutting table and all the other stuff. There might even be extra space, except...

Studio (for Now)

there's one thing more: New additionI bought a loom.


It's a 36inch four heddle Harrisville that I got used at a really great price on Sunday, thanks to a tip from Bristol. I haven't done anything with it yet except drool, but soon and very soon.

I'm so excited!!!

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Master Bedroom: Before and After

I'm sure you were all waiting with bated breath for the decision regarding the bedroom paint color. (The vote was 15% keep it, 77% lose it, 8% other). Completely ignoring the will of the people, we kept it.

It grew on me and when I brought in swatches of my backup colors, they just didn't look great in the light. That said, we still didn't move into the master bedroom until yesterday because we didn't get the second coat on the trim until earlier this week.

So without further ado, the before and after reveal.

Before: Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom Closet

After: Master Bedroom - Current

Master Bedroom - Current

Master Bedroom Current

Having a bedroom with no sewing tables, cross country skis, and bookcases in it feels, a bit weird - but I like it!!

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With Brush In Hand

At the start of the weekend, the master bedroom looked like this: Bedroom - </p> <p><br /> <a title=

Now it looks a little something like this: Bedroom - Paint Try #1

Bedroom - Paint Try #1

The bad news: I don't like the color, it's just too saturated/bright. I was going for a robin's egg blue and this is much more tropical than I was aiming for, if that makes any sense.

The good news: The paint only cost $10 on sale, so it's no big deal to buy a different can and try again.  I'm leaning toward the following color.

Water .01

Yolo Water .01

[polldaddy poll=4405228]

In the living room things are more certain.


Living Room

Living Room


Living Room - Primed

Living Room - During


Living Room- Painted

Living Room- Painted

Living Room- Painted

Both Mr. Cleaver and I absolutely love the transformation. The original color made the room so dark and den-like - it's so much brighter and more modern now! Eventually I'll make some curtains to cover the lower bookcase and we'll paint the doors to match the trim, but aside from a few touch-ups and painting the built-in's shelves, we're done in this room - which is huge.

Once again, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our friends, who helped out enormously!!

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The Garden: Then & Now

Then (June 19):All planted

Then (July 5): IMGP8140.JPG

Now (August 4): How does your garden grow?

Then (July 5): IMGP8136.JPG

Then (July 28): IMGP8341.JPG

Now (August 11): Tomato on the Vine

Then (August 11 - 5:30 pm): Harvest

Now (August 11 - 6:09pm): Salsa!

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Month by Month

Before I start, can I say that it feels like forever since I've done a proper blog entry? I've really had a tough go getting going this month. Let's call it the early-mid-winter slump and try to move on, shall we? Last year, I decided that the New Year's Resolution, while good in theory, doesn't really pan out well in real life  - even for those of us who have in the past planned out parts of their lives 3 years in advance to a fairly high degree of success.  Instead, I found last year that thinking of things on a monthly scale worked out better. 

So for January, my goals have been two-fold:

  1. cook more
  2. make our apartment more "homey"

And I've done decently on both accounts.

So far this month I've learned to make a quiche, chicken pot pies and given another go at making wheat bread in the bread machine (though I'm still in search of a great bread machine/wheat bread recipe, so if you have one, send it my way!). 

Last week Mr. Cleaver and I took a trek to Massachusetts in search of cheap Swedish furniture and while we came home with a few nice pieces, neither of them were what we were looking for  (if you know of an affordable TV stand approximately 52"w x 30"h x 18" d or something to put a ten gallon fish tank on we'd be ever so grateful!) Even without said furniture, I did do some work on the living room - mainly hanging up pictures and sewing a pillow cover. In any case, I'm finally going to show some photos of the apartment.

A before and after, both in all their non-cleaned glory.



We bought the chair and couch separately (at a consignment shop and Goodwill respectively) but they match amazingly well. The borrowed tray table and fabric covered plastic boxes add a touch of class to the original arrangement as does the printer, just hanging out on a spare dining table chair from Craig's List.



The Chicago neighborhood print was a Christmas gift I gave to Mr. Cleaver and is flanked by some vintage Maine postcards (one of which feature the Westbrook highway-seriously) and my first real art purchase, a Clifton Henri photo. The two photos by the closet are by my father and myself. The end tables are real tables now - but the printer is still hanging out, keeping it real. Not a real big change, but it does feel much better.


I whipped the pillow cover out of some leftovers of felted sweaters. And if a certain reader from Oregon is wondering, hey aren't those my sweaters? And shouldn't I have some coasters/bowls coming my way? Yes they are and yes you do, they're just going through one more wash cycle before I mail them out next week - promise!

Speaking of sweaters and things completed on monthly scale, I'd also like to present to my "Mermaid Coat," so named for its sea moss colorway and oyster shell buttons. 

My Mermaid Sweater

The pattern is the quite popular Drops A-Line Jacket, the  yarn is Peace Fleece Worsted in Kamchatka Seamoss, and the shell buttons are from Savaged Relics. And like an actor in in their first high school play, I have no idea what I'm doing with my hands here.

My Mermaid Sweater

It is super cozy and super warm. It's a simple pattern and I finished the whole thing in month - give or take a day.

My Mermaid Sweater

So I guess you could day I'm sitting pretty on this whole "month-a-lution" thing. Now maybe for February I should decide to be a better blogger.

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