I want the focus of this blog to be about playing with yarn. However, I have some other crafty interests that I occasionally pursue (I’m usually too busy playing with yarn to do other things). So this post is going to be a little different, as there will be little to no yarn involved, because today is not about yarn. Today is about creating and redefining a space.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m in the process of moving apartments. I’m going from the kind of apartment that I associate with the collegiate years—everyone stacked on top of other apartments, fighting over parking spaces, etc.—and trading that for an older house-turned-apartment situation. I just took up residence in the new place yesterday, and I think I kind of love it: hardwood floors that have clearly seen a lot of use, mid-century heating elements (seriously I have to take a photo of these, they’re so cool and I’m kind of sad they don’t work), the most adorable (and tiny) kitchen (big on shelving and drawers, serious lack of counter space)… don’t worry, there will be lots of photos, and I even took a video yesterday, I have big plans to move into the 21st century and technology!
(Because digital videos are totally cutting edge technology.)
With this new place comes new inspiration for making it my home. The blinds are old and ugly and dirty. This means I get to make curtains! There’s actually some curtains in the bedroom, but they were left by the previous tenant and plain navy blue is totally serviceable and totally not my aesthetic. We’ll be upcycling those suckas (mostly I plan on using them to block light, but still, upcycled). The previous tenants also left behind a table that has seen some better days, as well screws that attach the table top to the legs. I can find screws (I probably have some) but first, I want to sand down and possibly paint the table top. It’s not in terrible shape, but it could use some spiffying up.
I recently picked up The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking. I think I’d heard about it in BUST magazine or something, and I put it on hold at the library. I picked it up, took it home, and promptly read about half of the book in one day. Kate’s approach to DIY homemaking is straightforward, embodying the ideas surrounding homemaking that I appreciate (upcycling, recycling, being as
cheap economical as possible and making use of what you already have) and encouraged me to try some new things, including but not limited to using more natural cleaners in my house. For example, I’d heard that vinegar can be an all-purpose cleaner, but I’d never really heard of how to use it. Now, I have two giant bottles of vinegar (one at the new place, one at the old) and together they cost less than most chemical cleaners. (see above, re: cheap economical.) And I love that she’s totally non-judgmental. Frequently throughout the book, she’ll say “You should try this! It’s awesome! But only if you want to. Or whatever.” But in more writerly language than that. I’ve read a few DIY home blogs or magazine articles and always came away feeling like “If I don’t do this, I’m a terrible person,” an approach which generally encouraged me more toward ennui and less to action. Kate’s book is more about encouraging people to do the things that are within their relative scopes of commitment and giving them the tools to do so, while providing inspiration to do more, should they choose. This book also covers a crazy wide-range of topics, from how to clean everything to how to make other things to ideas for parties to show off your personal version of domestic bliss.
And that’s really my aim (the domestic bliss, not the showing off part, though it would be nice to have more visitors, hint hint). I want to create a space that feels like my own, that showcases my quirks and interests, that makes me feel like I’m home. I’ve moved a lot in the last 12 years, since moving out of the only home I’d ever known. A lot of places have just felt like temporary housing, which is unsettling and not restful. And while I have no idea how long I’ll be in this new place, I want to make every minute of it as enjoyable as possible.
So I plan on sharing my crafty homemaking diversions here (along with yarn, there will always be yarn). My first step is to figure out what I want to do in the new place. After that will be figuring out what I have the means to do right away versus what things I will need to save money toward or scout out good deals. And then, of course, how to do those things that I can. Anyone have any good DIY-homemaking inspirations? Via Twitter, I discovered Young House Love today and of course I know about Design*Sponge (which sort of intimidates me, I must say). Anyone else have any great resources?