Archive for May, 2007

What I’ve been doing on my not yet summer vacation

Posted by jackie blue on May 29th, 2007

Not knitting much, I’ll tell you that. I do a line here and there on my ribby cardi. But I sure don’t need a wool sweater these days. So today I dug out an old started project, the ballet camisole from Magknits. A quick easy knit, right? sure. Provided I can concentrate on more than a line at a time.

So with the baby quilt washed and packed off and given to it’s recipient (finally! and you know, washing it puffed up the stitching and gave depth to the flat colors that wasn’t there before – and I ended up really liking the quilt in the end) I needed a new quilt project – so here’s fabric that is actually going to be a quilt style duvet cover rather than an actual quilt. I started on it the other day.

duvet_fabric.jpg

I really lamed out this weekend – usually memorial day weekend is the first beach weekend for me and this year the weather was really accommodating. But I relished some quiet time and getting things done. I’d been so busy lately that projects were piling up. So aside from one evening of dinner/drinks and a lot of sitting in park time, I holed myself up to sew. I finished a top I’d started literally a year ago. Photos of that soon. And, I started on a skirt that I’d cut weeks ago. I was helped along by watching the entire second series of Life On Mars in one day, and most of Life As We Know It the next. It’s not like me to spend a beautiful weekend indoors so much but I needed this down time.

I watched my little garden grow.

aerogarden.jpg

I also cooked. Prune meatballs from Chocolate & Zucchini.

meatballs.jpg

And I prettied up the place a little. Sometimes it’s nice just being home.

greenmarket_flowers.jpg

Crafting? No. Kitchen yes.

Posted by jackie blue on May 13th, 2007

I’ve been swamped with work this past week, really swamped. Knitting and quilting and clothes making seem in the distant past. But I did manage to get my kitchen 99% done.

Let me start by explaining that I live in a small studio apartment. A rental, and one that I’ve been in for over 13 years. Which when I moved in, was probably not updated since the 70s. A fresh coat of paint was about it. Old appliances, original (probably) kitchen and bath. It’s rent stabilized which in NYC means I have “a deal”, but what I don’t have is the brand new marble counters and stainless appliances etc. that most people who live here now do have. I also don’t pay nearly as much rent, so they aren’t giving me any of it. To have them renovate would mean a major rent increase. When my refrigerator needed replacing recently, they gave me another, rescued from an apartment undergoing renovation. A cast off, probably 10 years old.

It’s also one of the smallest kitchens I’ve ever seen. But it is separate, with doors, unlike a lot of studios, and I have managed to cook and bake in it just fine.

I can’t complain too much, as I said, my rent is a deal and I live in one of the best neighborhoods where buying means spending close to or over a million for a pretty small place. But I guess I’ve been reading too much Apartment Therapy, as I really started to hate my kitchen and resent that I couldn’t gut it and start over. This is a rental after all, and even though I’ve been here forever and have no plans to leave, I was not in the position to plunk down big bucks for a renovation.

I decided to put my craftiness to use. A paint job is easy, and surely there was some other things I could do. And so I did. After some paint, vinyl tiles, and a lot of new organizational pieces, I have a kitchen I almost love. Sure, I would love new appliances, and I would give my eye teeth for more space, and cabinets that weren’t deteriorating under the sink, but for now and for just about $600 instead of $6000, it’s looking pretty good, I think.

Here’s a sneak preview. Mind you, I can’t get a full shot of my kitchen at the angle it’s positioned, as doors are in the way.

AFTER - back splash organization

More before, during and after at my Flickr set.