knitting it up in a big way

Category Archives: home

After my whole daydreamed redesign of our bedroom, we moved! I’d already started implementing little things, and documenting the room ‘Before’ the change when we found out that our landlord was selling. Suddenly, I didn’t feel quite so motivated to make changes to the bedroom. So… alack! Twas all for naught!

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We took one look at this place, with it’s huge beautiful windows, abundance of natural light, deco detailing, and decided yes, this was our new apartment.

We moved in September 1, and I’ve been busy unpacking!

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I kind of hate pictures with so many unpacked boxes in them, but hey, it’s totally the truth. I went around taking pictures of a few areas in the mean time, though:

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Unpacking the kitchen was my first priority. Gotta be able to eat and drink! Putting up my magnetic knife rack was a big one, as it turned the room from A kitchen to MY kitchen. This is by far the smallest room in the place (I think it’s possible it’s smaller than the bathroom, honestly), so I was worried about organizing it.

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We put some shelves in this shallow closet to make it a pantry, which freed up all of the cabinets for china and cookware.

New place!!!

There’s limited counter space, so I’m being very picky about what is allowed to take up that space. Coffee is a must, though! The microwave is hidden away in a closet right now. We’ll see if it actually gets any use in there.

New place!!!

It felt sooo good to unpack our books. This made it more of a home than unpacking the kitchen or my clothes. Also, as a note, our local Binny’s was really nice about letting us grab a handful of boxes anytime we asked, and wine/beer boxes are perfect for books! You can’t pack them too full, because they are fairly small, so they never get too heavy, and they are traditionally a little more structurally sound because they’re made for heavy product!

New place!!!

If you have eagle eyes, you might note that the desk is already on a different wall than it was above. I expect things will change as we actually live in and use the space. I’m trying not to hang anything on the walls until I feel like the furniture is a little more finalized…

New place!!!

I’ll probably be organizing things a little more visually, ultimately, but I’m trying to prioritize unpacking right now. This is our couch without the white slipcover, by the way. I should say former couch, as it has moved on to a new home, and you can peek at our new couch here:

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Exciting to be in a new place! With full height ceilings! And lots of natural light! And more space!


i’ve still been pursuing my desire for a ‘clean slate’ as of late. this weekend was really productive. i cleaned the entire apartment. and i’ve been trying to finish projects that have been laying around for a while.

like this overhead light for the bedroom:

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i’ve had the shade for quite a while, but i bought the other components last week, so i finally got it up this weekend. all light in the bedroom has come from lamps, so it’s really nice to have something that casts a better glow.

and i finally figured out what to do with this cute faucet handle i bought a few flea markets ago:

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right above the audubon print in the bathroom! the audubon print is also from the flea market (serious love for the flea market). i like it for many reasons, not least because it reminds me of ‘okay for now’ (note to self: get back to those book reviews).

as i was going through and cleaning, i went through this one corner of the kitchen. it’s the kind of corner (i’m sure we all have them), that collects things… you know, unpaid bills, nice cards from the most recent card type occasion, and those papers and small objects that just don’t seem to have a home… anyways, i decided if i put something there, maybe it wouldn’t collect nearly as much stuff. so here’s what we’ve got now:

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time will tell if this actually keeps the clutter at bay, but it’s worth a shot!

well, anyways, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that this was the weekend of the flea market.

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i only bought one thing:

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a lovely turquoise ring. new mexico has very much been on my mind, recently…

i also saw this fabulous large poster for the rocketeer:

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jake loves that movie, and i love the heavy art deco influence on the design, as well as the retro advertising. the poster is a ridiculous size, considering our small apartment, but i had to admire it. jill got a really fantastic hudson bay blanket, which i offered to carry around for her. someday my own hudson bay blanket will find me! until then, i will snuggle with all of my wool blankets that i already own…

i finished a couple of other smaller projects. i’ll share those later this week! what’d you do this weekend?


when i’m taking photographs of an object, i usually use our kitchen counter. it is white, and gives me a clean, easy background for whatever object i’m trying to capture.

this same counter is where baiza gets her daily treat. and where she can be nosy and get in the way while we try to dish out her meals. also where she gets gently taken away from when ‘people food’ is being prepped. sometimes repeatedly until she understands.

so most of what we people do on the counter is of interest to her. so it shouldn’t surprise me that when i try to take photos of objects, she’s pretty sure this will be an event of interest to her, and try to participate.

anyways, my mini photoshoot with the krumkake roller got sidetracked into a kitty photoshoot, so i thought i’d share her silliness.

baiza

baiza

baiza

baiza

baiza


i spend too much money on starbucks. it’s a fact. it’s my little indulgence, my mid afternoon pick-me-up all too often. i am known in my family, and among friends, as a coffee addict/snob/connoisseur. depending on whose opinion you’re asking.

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for christmas i recieved a little stove top moka pot and a milk steamer, and i’ve been making myself home made cappucinos, and lattes for jake.

First cappuccino with my new equipment!!!

First homemade latte for Jake! With a little bit of cinnamon! #homemadebarista

i’ve been hibernating recently. but instead of the tired, sleeping bear style of hibernation i dealt with much of last winter, i feel invigorated. possibly due in part to the cappucinos! i have no desire to leave the house, but ready to take on new projects, clear out spaces, get rid of things. the spirit of the new year has me wanting a tabula rasa. we donated some unnecessaries over the weekend. i’ve been digging out partially finished projects to see where they stand.

Been working on darning the hole in the elbow of a sweater today.

like this sweater, with worn through elbows, that i’ve been meaning to do something about… for years.

i like this energy, i love clearing out old projects. let’s hope this trend continues!

how about you? what has the idea of the new year brought out in you? resolutions? house cleaning? or a desire to crawl under the blankets and impatiently await spring?


eep! my first recipe! a couple of weeks ago i made a ‘more veg than risotto’ to try and clear out some of the over abundance of veggies we’d picked up at the farmers market, and to use up the tiny bit of arborio rice in the pantry. i posted a picture on instagram, and got two requests for the recipe. for me, that is a positive stampede!

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maybe you all have made risotto forever and are super used to it, but i really only started this year, and i was intimidated by it’s high-maintenance reputation. but it’s not hard at all. arborio rice is the usual base for risotto, a highly absorbent rice that requires not infrequent stirring. the other base elements, as far as i can tell, are onion, a little bit of white wine, and some variety of broth, heated separately, and added a few spoonfuls at a time until it absorbs. that’s it! after this, practically any variation is possible!

the cast of characters:

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more veg than risotto
yields approximately 4 servings

1 quart vegetable broth
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup Arborio rice
¼ cup white wine
1 ½ cup chopped carrot (2 of my mutant huge carrots, probably 3 more normally sized ones)
1 cup chopped green beans
½ zuccini
½ yellow squash, 1 ½ cups chopped combined zuccini and squash
1 cup sliced mini bell peppers
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup parmesan cheese, additional parmesan for a garnish
salt and pepper to taste

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on one burner, heat a good amount of the vegetable broth in a saucepan to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. i used about 3/4 of the quart.

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on another burner, heat a medium sized (i used a 3.5 quart) pot over medium flame. add olive oil. chop onion and garlic, add to pot. cook until softened, 3-5 minutes. add arborio rice, cook, stirring until well coated, 1-2 minutes. add wine, cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.

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add a cup of vegetable broth to the rice, stir to combine, and cook a few minutes to absorb. continue adding broth, a few spoonfuls at a time, waiting until it’s absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally.

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in between cupfuls of the broth, chop and add vegetables. i added them in approximate order of density/cooking time. first carrots, then greens beans. zuccini and squash went in at the same time. sliced peppers and lastly the halved tomatoes.

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cook until rice is creamy and just tender, maybe 45 minutes. feel free to test it as you go! when the risotto is cooked, remove pan from heat. add butter, stirring until it’s melted and distributed, and add parmesan, stirring to combine. serve immediately! (risotto thickens as it cools)

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garnish with salt and pepper to taste, and additional parmesan, if you feel as strongly about cheese as i do.

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for the most authentic experience, put on the shins wincing the night away, pour yourself (and your cooking partner) some wine, utilize dance moves that you never would in public, and possibly try to convince your kitty to dance. do not be surprised if your kitty is not having it. at all. but if you give her chin scratches and pet her nicely, she’ll forgive you quite quickly.

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my family encourages use of butter, and my personal desires never resist the allure of cheese, but exclusion of these would yield a very tasty vegan dish. if your desires lean the opposite way, chicken broth instead of vegetable broth is delicious. and i bet a 1/4 lb of italian sausage (casings removed), browned at the beginning with the onion, would be excellent!

if you try this, let me know how it turns out! what are your favorite risotto ingredients?


daffodils
cheap daffodils from the grocery store

before: stool
i decided to pull the old paint splattered burgundy canvas off of this little stool.

after: stool
ah, much better! this picture makes me want to re-paint the trim in the kitchen, though. okay, let’s be honest. looking at the trim in the kitchen makes me want to re-paint it.

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i made smitten kitchen‘s tomato and italian sausage risotto the other night. it was incredible. i’d never made risotto before. i could barely believe that i had made it, it tasted so good! ‘surely,’ i says to myself, ‘this is beyond my culinary ken!’ ‘apparently not,’ i responded, ‘and don’t call me shirley.’

… sometimes the oddest things happen when i sit down to type up a blog post.

the days are getting warmer and sunnier, but i just got an exciting belated birthday present that has me wishing for some rain! but i’ve been so pleased to just throw the windows open and let in the fresh air. i’ve been doing some spring cleaning, which also feels great.

what’s been going on with you lately?


in this case, i guess i won the… flea market? reigning champ of the flea market! (where’s my matching purse and belt?) jill and i have gone twice, and both times i’ve walked away totally elated with my purchases and ready to re-enact the last shot of the breakfast club:

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anyways, wanna see my spoils?

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i found this great flour tin. you can’t really tell the size of it from that pic, but here’s a little more context, in case it’s bugging you. i haven’t decided if this is staying with me or not. i might use it as a gift box for an event on the horizon, but i haven’t bought the gift yet, so it will depend on whether or not the gift will fit inside the tin or not. i sure wouldn’t be bummed to keep it, but i’m trying not to get too attached in case it works perfectly for it’s intended purpose.

in case it does work as a gift box, i bought this little faucet handle:

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wouldn’t it look cool tied onto the tin with some rough twine as a little present embellishment?

i have had a mad crush on west elm‘s line of enamelware (so sleek! so clean! so simultaneously vintage and modern! that graphic black edging! oh, how my heart flutters and spasms!), but all of those pieces would be redundant in my kitchen, so i can’t quite grant myself permission to buy them. but! when i saw this at the flea market:

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it was obvious that it wanted to come home with me! best part:

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can you see it? no, you want closer?

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love it!

i saved the best for last. do you remember how i oohed and ahhed over a navajo rug last time? yeah, i have a thing for rugs. love ’em. always. but they are expensive. so i always have my eyes open for inexpensive rugs. even at the flea market. i didn’t have much hope of finding one (most i saw at the flea market started around $70 and went up from there. i think the most expensive one i saw was $400. these were mostly smaller area rugs, 5×8 and smaller.). but i found one, immediately fell in love, and began the process of looking for reasons to barter down the (unknown) price; the dye bled, it’s unraveling in a few spots, not great overall condition. i’m not much of a barter-er, all in all, but i was ready to fight for this one.

i approached the vendor, rug in hand, and asked what the price was. he said ‘i had it at $15, but i’ll take $10 for it.’ reader, i took it. i pulled out $10 as fast as i could, probably with trembling hands, and practically ran away with the rug so he couldn’t rethink the sale.

new rug

new rug

oooh, i love it! i finally have my runner in the kitchen! i don’t mind the flaws at all. if anything, it means i’m okay with this guy hanging out in the kitchen, where it might occasionally get food on it, and will get heavy foot traffic all the time.

anyways. have you guys made any good purchases recently? are you suffering from any material crushes like my west elm enamelware one? do tell!



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