Archive for March, 2011

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 14 COMMENTS

In light of recent life events, I decided a makeover was in order. My skills at applying makeup typically leave me with the choice of any of these delightfully horrific looks.

So I scrapped the idea of working on my facial region and went to IKEA. Any place you can buy a sofa and some meatballs is A-OK with me! I went a little bananas because it’s the first time I’ve actually “decorated” and it was a blast. I did pretty well staying within my budget, too. Yay, me!

I don’t have any “before” pictures, but the living room was Cottage White, a couple of random curtains on random windows, and the biggest, ugliest couch you’ve ever seen. We actually bought it 6 or so years ago, when I was pregnant that last time. While at the furniture store, I imagined an entirely different life lived on that couch. But it didn’t happen and frankly, it was really cathartic to get rid of it. My brother helped me saw it into pieces because it was too big to carry out whole. It’s still waiting to be thrown off my back porch, so there’s still fun to be had with it. I love pitching stuff out of the third-story window, it’s as much fun as you’d think it would be. Heavy stuff makes a very satisfying ~thud~ on the dirt yard below.

But here it is now, all chic and clean with French Silver walls and bright white trim. And expertly modeled by Dot, my very own little Vannah White.

The image in the giant frame is one of those big-eyed girl “paintings” from the 60s or 70s. It’s called “Ingrid” or “Inga” or somesuch, but to me, she looks like Bjork in a pink headband and fuzzy sweater. I cut out an oval mat from black foam core and then glued pink rik-rajk around the edge for extra fanciness. It’s ridiculous and girly. The polka dotted Fatboy beanbag chair is going to be replaced with this Marimekko one with red poppies soon. It’s comfy and my niece and nephew love it. So does my brother, so he’s getting the polka-dotted one. He’s always been a bean bag guy.

You can see the new chandelier in this photo. I thought it was very Audrey Hepburn. Or a very stylish hat. Maybe a stylish hat for Audrey Hepburn.

I also created a new reading nook. My apartment is set up in a really weird way. There’s a big central room with doors all around leading to the front hall, my bedroom, sewing room, living room, office and the hallway to the kitchen. It’s the largest room in the place, but also the most useless because every wall has at least one door. There’s not much wall space, no windows and it’s just kind of awkward. But my friend Victor helped me visualize a way to make at least part of the space useful. I love it to pieces and often just relax in silence on my faux knitted couch (it’s printed with a knit pattern!)

It features my other lovely model, Chloe – the Cindy Crawford of the house.

That shelf is full of knitting and craft books and magazines. The fabric on the wall is a vintage piece called “Forest Friends”, you can see details of it here. It’s totally cute. And the embroidered bird is one I made a few years ago. It’s a 1970s pattern that my mom actually made for our house when I was a kid. His name is Mortimer and amazingly, I found the exact same kit on eBay, so I had to get it.

I also repainted my office a bright aqua color and hung some vinyl bird decals and groovy records from the 50s and 60s on the wall. I tried to photograph it, but I couldn’t quite catch the light right, so I’ll have to try again later.

I’m on kind of a bird kick with this redecoration, so my mom got in on the action. Check out this amazing quilt she made for me! She didn’t know how to applique, but taught herself to do it so she could make this for me. I’m crazy about the way she made their eyes and legs different. Her attention to detail is a Thing of Wonder. My momma loves me, and I love her. I’m so glad I got her crafty genes.

Now the trick is to keep it away from Dot. After I use it, I always put it back in the zippered bag it came in. Victor came up with a good plan for it. He’s going to help me hang a clothesline on the wall to hang it on when not in use. And he suggested pairing it with these bird clothespins for cuteness sake. The guy is good, I tell ya’.

So that’s my newly improved pad. It’s nice to have it decorated in a way that always makes me smile. I’m trying to be good about not going overboard, so I’m going to make more things for the walls to save money and personalize it even further. I think the sewing room and kitchen will be next. They mostly need organization, but we’ll see what IKEA has to say about that.

Posted by Stitchy McYarnpants 11 COMMENTS

Things around Chez McYarnpants have changed in the last year. A lot. Things have changed like whoa. Things besides the book. (Which you should totally buy.)

I was doing paperwork last week and saw this exact scene on my desk and knew it was the perfect way to start this blog post. I’ve been putting off writing about it for a while because I’m not even sure what and how much I want to say about it.

Discount Valentine’s candy* and divorce papers. Or as I like to call it,  creamy divorce nougat enrobed in rich chocolate. Neither of these things make me happy, per se, but each were what I really needed. I would have preferred cardamom marshmallows and a lifetime of fulfillment. But you play the cards you’re dealt, yes? Then, once you’ve played them, you switch to a game where you can actually pick your own damned cards!

That’s what I’m focusing on now, figuring out how to assemble a good hand. Ok, I need to quit with this card metaphor before someone tells me to “shuffle up and deal!”

Jon and I separated in May of last year. It was actually just before Caro and I finished the book. A couple of weeks after we decided to separate, I had to hand in my dedication to the publisher. This really threw me for a loop since everything was so fresh, but I realized that just because we weren’t going forward, there was no reason to discount the past. I did appreciate his support during the making of the book and I thanked him for it. And that’s how I’ve tried to proceed since then.

I’m not going to go into details of our relationship any more than to say that after 15 years, our relationship was over and separating was inevitable. I don’t regret our decision and I don’t have any ill will towards him. I just want us both to lead happy, full lives. It’s like a midlife reboot. A Ctrl+Alt+Del in meatspace. A do-over, if you will. Wish us luck!

In the meantime, a new man has entered my life. He looks really young, but he’s actually quite a bit older than me. His name is Bobby and I loff him.

Bobby came to me from YarnyOldKim, who I adore and desperately want to be. Maybe if I eat Bobby, I will absorb her powers.

The cats are getting used to having him around, although he’s not as good at cuddling as Chi Chi would like.

And I suspect Bobby misses his old home. I found him surfing around on my computer the other night. He said he was just looking for photos of naked Sears mannequins, but he was looking at Kim’s Flickr stream.

But he’s settling in well. Thank you, Kim! He looks really great in my sewing room, even though he nearly gives me a heart attack every time I walk in there. That disembodied little darling keeps the ol’ blood pumpin’!


Phew, well, that feels good to get off my chest. I wasn’t sure how to approach the divorce on the blog and I think it was kind of acting like a block. Let my prolific blogginggggg – BEGIN!

*It used to have a pretty bow, but I had to cut it off because Dot was nomming on it.