October 2011

Working on the Weekend

The weekend was a whirlwind of home repair that’s spilling over into this week.

I set up my shelf and bookended my notebooks with a couple vintage radios my Dad had kicking around (interesting note – the silver circle on the left-hand side of the white radio is a speaker with a wire. Patients at the Vancouver Hospital this piece came from could request the radio and slip the speaker under their pillows).

I finished my desk but did not have the patience (nor the desire really…I kind of like the scuffy turquoise) to sand all the paint off. Since I favour function over form, and needed this desk to be usable again in under a day, I simply slapped a couple layers of varnish on and called it macaroni.

Painted my drawers (shoddily – again, no patience! I just want things to work NOW) and finally hung the map of Great Lakes shipwrecks I picked up in Tobermory last fall.

Scraped tile glue off the walls and installed (or rather, watched Sean install) pot lights in the kitchen – another step on the long road to renovation.

And my fave – got rid of our old credenza so we could fit this one in the living room.

Both Sean and I hate the idea of a TV serving as the focal point of a room. This little unit is the perfect size for our screen.

I’m thinking about rigging up motorized red curtains so we can have a full-on theatre experience when we sit down to movies.

In the meantime, attention is where is should be – top deck with the record player and the martini shaker.

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Her (Meaning Me) on Homes

A lot of writing catch-up/playing around with new story ideas means I haven’t been in the studio at all these last few days.

I plan to head in next week to make some moccasins for the shop and to work on a birch bark cuff whose design has been burning a hole in my sketchbook for months.

But first. This weekend is wholly devoted to starting and finishing projects I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages.

Number one is finally re-painting this chest of IKEA drawer because I’m over the song lyrics and fairy portraits I doodled on there in high school. I just want some solid-coloured storage for my rings and elastics.

I’m also re-finishing this beautiful 1800s-era writing desk I got from Chaises Musicales back in the summer…

…as well as a credenza* I traded CM for a bike repair (care of DBH).

(* if you’re looking for a credenza of your own, we’re getting rid of our current one here. It’s totally sweet, just too big for the other plans we have for the living room.)

Also on the list?

– Scraping the kitchen walls clean of the super-thick cement that held hideous tiles in place for the last 40 years.

– Putting up a shelf for the mountain of notebooks that clutter my desk every day.

– Scraping even more tile cement (you have no idea how tile-crazy the previous owners of this house were) from the bathroom walls so we can paint that place up and lay down this pretty stuff…

…in place of the huge, oooooglay brown tiles that are cracking all over the place.

Wish me luck!

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The cuff I worked on last week – a raven’s feather for the Yukon.

I did the background in a faded shade of purple. This was an experiment in not making everything as though I were going to keep it for myself.

My preference would have been a brown background and brass snaps, but I thought people might prefer black with silver, which doesn’t (according to traditional mixing and matching of hides and hardware) really go with brown.

Sized for an 8.5 inch wrist and heading into the shop in the next couple minutes.

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Hibernation Mode

I took a ton of yarn up north with me so I could knit during the drive. I was planning on doing (what else?) another cowl when it occurred to me that arm warmers would be just as easy and much faster.

After falling in love with Lion Brand Thick & Quick (this stuff is supersoft and awesomely chunky) during prep for Knit Night on the Brain, I picked some up in the same fall shades we used for the bricks.

The superhero-style points over the hands were kind of a screw-up (somehow the final edge ended up being shorter than the edge I started with) but I’m pretty into them so hopefully I make the same mistake with the next pair.

In the meantime, the cold can bring it – I’m getting cozy as a bear in its den.

Or a dog in my bed…

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We usually go up north each October – Algonquin, Wawa, someplace where there are many-coloured leaves to feed my love of fall.

It was starting to look like it wasn’t going to happen this year because we’ve both been working like crazy, with little time or money to spare (especially after the trailer purchase).

However, since we’re taking care of Sean’s Aunt’s pooch, Pepe, for a few weeks, she suggested we also take a break at her cottage in Minden.

Even though Sean was sick the whole time (with the cold I’ve now got), it was awesome. Much-needed and so so so appreciated.

Sometimes you just need to lie around on couches and do nothing but eat and read and eat and read and eat and read and…

…switch it up with maybe a little wine.

In addition to wood, wood, everywhere, there was a surplus of comfy couches and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Minden Lake…

Decor au naturel…

Morning mist on the dock…

Endless coffee…

More nature than you could shake a stick at and more sticks than a dog could ever dream…

Wishing this woodstove worked…

And wanting to do it all again this weekend.




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