Category Archives: and so on

A new year

2012 was a great year for me in a lot of ways, chiefly that I both shacked up with my lovely boyfriend and got a new job. But both of those things also had the deleterious side effect of  cutting my free time way, way down, which left me feeling rushed and frustrated and scattered a lot more than I’d like. I’m still making things, but blogging fell pretty far down the priority list, though that’s something I hope to correct going forward. (I have multiple sweaters I wear regularly that I have absolutely no record here of starting, working on, or finishing, for example, which seems ludicrous, considering that this is supposed to be my knitting blog. Anyway.)

I had great plans for holiday decorating and cookie baking and general merriment, but I was sick for about two weeks with the hideous crud that was making the rounds in New York–I honestly can’t remember the last time I stood on a train next to someone who wasn’t sniffling or coughing–and it was all I could do to go to work and feed myself a couple of times. Being asleep by 9 every night for a while does wonders for making a holiday season disappear. I did manage to do a couple of reasonably festive things before I went down though.

Hung some old ornaments in the kitchen window:

And made some magazine-page snowflakes and a paper chain garland:


Begone, Laura Ashley walls!

When we moved into this apartment at the end of February, there were a number of projects I wanted to tackle. Some of them, like painting over the cheap fake wood paneling in the office/guest room or cleaning decades’  worth of gunk off the exhaust hood, we did right away. The latter was a multi-hour job involving me, a bottle of ammonia, and a sacrificial sponge. I didn’t even realize when I started that the hood was actually metal — it just looked like a sticky dark brown. Actually, I just realized that I have a lousy picture of it on my phone:

The brighter part on the front is reflecting the light, the rest of it is still coated with grease. It was spectacularly disgusting. But it’s done now.

Something else that’s done now? This wallpaper is gone:

Aside from being a bit of pattern overload when you walked into the kitchen (seriously, who thought sprightly florals were a good match for that warm-toned Mediterranean tile floor?), the wallpaper was yellowed, soaked with grease over the stove and in a couple of  places someone had clearly just cut a piece off the roll they had at the back of the closet and pasted it over a hole or dirty spot. Aside from not matching the pattern at all, the newer bits were bright white and  just highlighted how grimy the rest of it was.

We got the paper off the long wall (to the left out of the frame in the photo above) before our housewarming party in early April (or, more specifically, Rob and his mother took the paper off one day while I was at work), and since then we’ve sort of thought of ourselves as being in the middle of this project. But a couple of weeks ago, I realized that we had pretty much abandoned the effort and it was time to knock it out. So, we spent a couple of hours on Saturday scoring the paper and using some vile blue goop that loosened the adhesive and let us just peel the paper off, revealing nice plain wall everywhere except over the sink and cabinets, where the walls seem to be made of cardboard. It seems like a less than ideal thing to make walls out of, but that’s why I’m happy to be a renter. [shrug] I smoothed out the nail holes and dents with joint compound and once we find the sandpaper I know is around here somewhere, we’ll be able to sand those spots and slap some paint up.

Some color would be nice, but I know we have a gallon of white semi-gloss already. Plus, I can’t think of anything that would look good with both the cream/terracotta tile and the minty green hallway [why?!?!?]  that butts up against it. White walls, some artwork, and a new curtain for the glass door should do the trick. That muslin piece of crap is both too long and not wide enough.