Archive for category: musings

getting it together – january

26 Jan
January 26, 2017

man, tough year. and i’m not talking about 2016. i just can’t take another moment on a social site today, and instead, decided to find something positive to focus on. to work on creating and moving forward (i also randomly decided to scrub my fridge and stove, top to bottom, crazy, right?). i’ve called my local representatives for the day, i’m scheduled to attend my school’s pta meeting tonight… i’m doing. and for however how small, i just need to keep doing. i’m keeping the word #resist in my head, and i’m trying to find daily ways to work towards that thought.

at the other end of the spectrum- daily life. what i want to do with my year. goals, ideas, projects. the house is a constant. i’m slowly working at interior painting, but honestly, i’m getting to the point that maybe i just need to hire someone. be done with raw, mudded ceilings, half painted dining room, pesto mayo paint color EVERYWHERE

and my workroom! which is ever… so… slowly coming together. ok, not that slow. in the last week i’ve made tremendous progress. and by tremendous, i mean i’ve moved all the boxes around, and made a secret cubby to hide from my kids. kidding! not really. actually, i’ve unpacked a huge amount of junk, assessed if more storage is needed, built actual shelving units, and right now i’m in the middle of building the mother of all dream work tables. i say dream because a) it’s huge. b) it rolls 3) it’s underside is ALL STORAGE. and d) it dispenses wine and xanax. JOKE. it’s not that dreamy.

so, what else? i’ve decided to return to the idea of monthly creating. since my goal is to have most of the work room together by end of january(ish), i’m figuring out a schedule of project-a-month ideas, which you know, i totally had for last year, but then decided to sell a house, stage it, go on vacation while buying a new house, come home and move, hyperventilate, nervous break down, all creative plans dashed, *fainting couch*, aaaannnddd scene! i’m just going to try again this year. easy peasy. i also hope to be posting a little bit more regularly, and with the new workspace, hopefully inspiration strikes.

getting going – just getting started

11 Jul
July 11, 2016

for as cute as the photos of my old place looked, i realized right before we listed, that we had a lot of things that got put off, and a few things that were works-in-progress. you realize that most when you’re selling, because you’re basically finishing all those little… i’ll-get-to-that-later… things. and then you sell, and it’s all… not your problem any more. not that there was anything big… but just all the things you hoped for that space… cease.

and then you find a new place, and especially with the house we found, there’s just so much potential. you start imagining, and planning… and then you have to move. and you can’t do anything but schlep junk. boxes, and boxes and (holy cow, just purge already) more boxes. moving (with two small kids) is a drag. but (yay!) it’s over!

so. we’re in our new place. and although i was able to get a few things done before we got here, we are very much starting from scratch. the things i tried to get out of the way were bigger- i got the (asbestos!) popcorn scraped off every surface it covered, i got the downstairs floors refinished (original!! beautiful!!). and unfortunately, found out the upstairs floors were painted with lead paint. bummer. and you know who takes that off? NO ONE. so while i was having the ceilings fixed (popcorn removal jacked them just enough that i couldn’t paint) i also decided that the upstairs floors would get painted. it’s stop gap. maybe in a few years we’ll have them yanked out and new ones put in. kidding! i’m going to send my family on vacation and scrape all the paint off myself, because 100 YEAR OLD ORIGINAL FIR FLOORING!! i’m still kidding. i don’t know what the next step on the upstairs floor is. i’m not there yet.

what i really want is for beds to be off floors, and not be sleeping all in one room little-house-on-the-prairie style. feel me? so… this past weekend (the ceilings and some paint finished last friday) i busted out with painting trim and doors for the kid’s room and adding one more coat to the floor. and today, i need to bust out with painting the trim and floor in our room.

i’m truly awful at before and after. i always forget the before, and about halfway through (around midnight) i’m like… hmmmmm, i forgot to take a picture. and so i take one, and the next morning i think, hmmmmm, that picture looks like garbage. but! today i took some befores! it’s not true before, because the ceilings have all been redone, and the painters did the walls and ceilings, and there’s already one coat on the floor… but trust me. it still looks like a before on the doors and windows. i’m attacking those today. will try to post the afters tomorrow… HAHAHAHA assuming i finish before tomorrow.

up above- those are the windows. i’m going to start researching old windows. how can i save these, but still also have a heating efficient house? i think that’s a rainbow unicorn, yes? also, every single room has 3 windows. my living room… NINE. nine windows. one room. i’m sitting in my kitchen… just counted… 7. the people who built this house loved windows. also, has anyone heard of spackle or caulk? man, my perfectionist little heart is itching to get rid of all those cracks and curtain rod holes. speaking off… what on earth covered all these tens of windows? in some rooms, there’s nothing… no trace of anything. ghost blinds? i’m stumped.

and below:


this door technically goes to a place you don’t want to see. there’s eave storage all throughout the upstairs, but it’s not pretty. so lets just admire this filthy door. if you ever read door sixteen, i love her take on paint colors. she often references warm mayo as being a color in houses she moves into. this is warm mayo. i also have lots of pesto mayo (thanks jessica) in the downstairs. i cannot wait to paint away all the mayo in this house. please note the tiny knob- it’s brass! i promise it will look more brass in the ‘after’ pics.


another door. yes there are 3. this one actually belongs to a finished closet. a rather large finished closet. i’m not bragging. it’s the only closet in the house that doesn’t require anything from me other than painting it’s trim and door. it also doesn’t have a light fixture on the inside, with a cord coming out the wall beside it, plugged into the outlet outside. for this, i am grateful.


this is very close up photo of window fittings. they look black. they are actually brass. i shined them up in the kid’s room, and i felt like i had found treasure. finding gold under black grunge will do that. also, i get that you’re in this house every day, and maybe you didn’t know… but this is a 15 minute task. you missed out on admiring pretty brass fittings on the daily because you didn’t invest a little elbow grease. whatevs. i’ll do it and enjoy them. win!


one last fitting. because they are so gunky, and so is that window (barf), and this is truly a representational ‘before’ photo. but you know what’s better than fresh paint and some brass polish? nothing i can think of in relation to this photo. so i’m going to get to it. lots to do today. xoxo- k.


we bought a house! {again}

08 Jul
July 8, 2016 the martins say goodbye to the old house…

let’s see… left off… we were just getting ready to list our house. it happened! it looked adorable in the photos, we had the best agent ever. and much like all sales in seattle, it was on the market for a week, we reviewed the offers, there was one that won, and we were done.

so then. house hunting… wow. so much to see. so many considerations. and house hunting here is WACKO. i was somewhat worried about selling- i was freaked about buying. just to give you an idea, there were 9 offers on our house. nine. and it basically goes to the person who puts the best deal on the table. so when you’re looking, you get excited about a house, and you think… can i make an offer on this house that will beat out all other offers? am i willing to go through actually starting to like a place, only to lose out in some small (or big) way to someone, basically with more money? what is the most amount of money i’m willing to spend. and then up it. up it to discomfort. and then back down. and then get comfortable with upping it again. we did this back and forth while looking… talking about caps, and maxing, and what was realistically doable.

what’s crazy is that we looked at a lot of houses. all over seattle. so many of them were tiny. a few of them were huge. most of them were gorgeous. people put so much into their homes. i liked seeing that. because most houses here are old. old old. i’m trying to think if i saw anything younger than 60 years… doubtful. and strangely, having really wanted midcentury, i fell in love with houses that were about a century old. i looked at 3. and even odder, because we only bid on one house, we won it.

we won it.

god i love this house. i love it. i don’t know if i’ve ever loved a house. wait… yes. i loved an apartment i had in bellingham. my first apartment alone. and it was about 100 years old! maybe that’s where this love comes from. large spaces, wide trim, gorgeous old windows, tall ceilings… this house is… it’s amazing. ok. maybe it will be amazing. it’s got some good things going on. first, there’s a crazy amount of room. i think just about every house i’ve lived in in this city has been… right around 1000 square feet (or under). which is fine. i’ve learned to live in small spaces. i get small spaces. i would tell you my new square footage, but i’m almost embarrassed. almost.

the floors, original. the built ins, original. this crazy textured wallpaper stuff (lincrusta) that’s between my board and batten (that was under wallpaper and paneling) in the dining room… original. there were LAYERS of wallpaper to scrape (and discover!). there was asbestos popcorn, the floors needed refinishing… the plumbing and electrical need to be redone… but it feels like things that will feel good to do. this house has stood here for 102 years. 102!! i hope it stands here for 102 more.

i can’t wait to complete a few projects, and post along the way.

oh! and once there’s a dedicated corner for a workroom, get back to making. i miss it fierce. but first, time to paint some trim. xoxo- k.


house projects are taking over my life…

14 Apr
April 14, 2016

ugh. like seriously the last thing i should be doing is writing a post. but for reals? my brain (and back) need a break.

so- i did actually do some of last month’s making projects. i made some bracelets. i made the bunny pouch. i bought fabric for the dress (a truly beautiful emerald green rayon blend- delish!), and then got totally bogged down with buying a form. and instead of just buying an adjustable one, and calling it good, i sprang for the REAL DEAL and a kit to customize to my exact shape. and in case you think this is overkill, or too much money- let me explain why i did. when you drape (pattern making via a form), you pin to the center of the form. with an adjustable form, there’s just an open gap in the middle if you’re bigger than the form (i am). so. no dice. and i found a true dress form on amazon for a really competitive price, and the kit was just a bit more. so. expensive? yes. but let’s call it an investment, and move on.

fast forward to, geez, seriously? april. we decided (not so much at the last minute, because we’ve been thinking about it for forever, but…) somewhat suddenly, to sell our house. think up all the little fixing-up projects you’ve been putting off for as long as you’ve lived in your home. yes. those. that’s what i’ve been doing for WEEKS. and packing. and purging. my kids are freaked out. the dog keeps barfing. i can’t find anything.

some days i really love living in seattle. it was such a conscious decision for me to be here. like… some place i set off to be. and then some days… it makes me so weary. meeting people here, and having them be close friends is exhausting. and frankly, starting to feel impossible (whole separate post i’m working on). looking for a place to live, it feels… like a paradox. you pay the most money you’ve ever thought of (not kidding), for a house you’d probably not consider living in. not in it’s current state. like we’re never going to really afford the type of home we’ve dreamed of living in. and then you think on that, and think… so, maybe we should move move? but…i can’t imagine being anywhere else. like minded (educated, liberal) people? check. beautiful gorgeous outdoors with oceans, and mountains, and snow, and places to see? yes. good career opportunities, for both my husband and (someday, again, hopefully) myself. yes! it sounds whiny to keep going, but…i don’t know. some days i just can’t get my head around all of it.

so. i’m going to keep plugging away at the mindless monkey tasks of scraping moss off everything, touching up every surface that’s painted, vacuuming places that haven’t seen the light of day for about 8 years, and getting rid of my collection of… everything. because frankly, it all should have gone forever ago. and if you live in seattle, and want to buy my really adorable house (i might be biased), next week is your chance. i’ll get back to the making as soon as i’m able. probably after i hyperventilate about being homeless in less than a week, and being in the most competitive housing market in the country. cool. no stress. til then… xoxo, k.

do it – learn apparel sewing

26 Oct
October 26, 2015

this past weekend, i went to a party. that’s epic. i don’t think i’ve been to a party, minus my kids since… christmas 2013. not kidding. i was jazzed.

it was great to see so many people i’ve known for so long, so much so, that i started feeling human again. i was… buzzing.

and standing next to a woman i’ve known as an acquaintance for over a decade, she turned to me and mentioned the class i had coming up. somewhat inquisitively, somewhat curiously… and it seemed that she might like to come. so i said- ‘you should come, it’s going to be fun’. and she replied- but it’s in kirkland. (cue slow, sad, buzz killing music…)

i’ve designed clothing for 12 years. i was laid off during  Read more →

make it – farmer’s wife 1930’s weekly check in

10 Oct
October 10, 2015

i joined up with the quilt along hoping that i’d meet a few people, get a little inspiration, and connect with a few like minded makers. i’ve already met a couple of people who have completely inspired me- fabric choices, different ways they’re thinking of the blocks, something as simple as how they’re putting the blocks together.

when someone in the group mentioned that if i didn’t make the block as it was in the book- then i wasn’t making the block- i thought to myself- THAT’S RIDICULOUS. i think i actually guffawed out loud. i wondered, who is someone else to Read more →

make it – farmer’s wife 1930s check in

02 Oct
October 2, 2015

i like fridays for seeing what’s been accomplished. it’s nice to end the week on the note of ‘man, i got some stuff done!’. and as a special bonus, today is grey, and kind of misty- my favorite kind of fall seattle day.

this just feels like a block by block experiment. i keep adjusting, tweaking, ruminating. yesterday i was overthinking any block being too traditional, today, i think a few bits of traditional are going to be the perfect foil to all the modern. i’m going to be more ok with some of the blocks following the book layout. if that means a checkerboard here and there, so be it.

i’ve also decided that i will not be doing some of these blocks. editing, and knowing what you want and don’t want is a significant part of design voice. i know artists who don’t edit. i personally like the edit process, as i think being honest about what you create, and it’s level on your personal meter is key to recognizing which things you make are great, or just kind of there. plus, why dedicate time to something you’re half hearted about. there are some blocks in the book that i have no interest in making. no amount of tweaking will change them. time better spent elsewhere.

anyway, enough of my philosophical artist creating crap. see what a gloomy morning does to me? here’s where i’m at on farmer’s wife. i’m kind of going off on my own path, there are two quilt alongs, i’m somewhere in the middle. and i have extra blocks, so i can skip the weeks i’m not into. and also not be sewing during the holidays. cause let’s be honest. that’s not going to happen.

happy weekend! xoxo- k.

above- the newest, aunt, done in the trad. layout with an accent center square (it’s modern version to the left). below- top row- becky, addie, addie, center row- becky, bonnie, addie, bottom row- bonnie, aunt, aunt

want to make your own farmer’s wife? join up with the quilt along on gnome angel! it’s just started this week, so there’s not much catching up to do.


things moms don’t want to hear – from a mom

30 Sep
September 30, 2015

i wrote this post a while back. i forgot about it. something happened recently and it came back to me. i try not to vent. for reals. but man i’m tired. i’m sooooo tired. i’m am so… blessed… tired. in life, i’ve been through all nighters, and working weird hours at multiple jobs, finals weeks, and big project crunch times. none of it, NONE OF IT compares to having kids. two toddlers, 24/7. you know when i get a break? i have no idea. sometimes between 8:30pm and 11pm? maybe. maybe not.

two and half years of no sleep, and interrupted sleep, and being so tired… maybe i’m less tolerant of listening to other people comment on my situation. i know that’s a fact. because i literally snapped at someone at the store the other day, and then wondered about 8 hours later (after some food and a tiny bit of sleep) if i was a little harsh. and then i said- you know what? no. it’s not ok to say whatever pops into your head about me, my parenting, my kids… people need to edit.

all of this to say- these are the things you should skip saying. things i’m tired of apologizing for. my mindset of waiting for judgement from people (outside our circle), and usually, getting it. i’m shocked that people butt in so far as to address my children, and feel like they can correct their behavior. that they question the job i’m doing, when my children appear healthy, mostly clean, somewhat dressed… so here are a few things i’m suggesting you edit out of your interaction with strangers-

don’t you have your hands full!‘ – usually followed by how i could get my kids in better check. look, i know my kids are high energy. they’re loud. a little crazy, curious. they can’t sit still to save their lives, they have very little Read more →

forever from a garden – 9 years

23 Sep
September 23, 2015

every anniversary, i look through photos. the times we were dating. the parties we had. our wedding, and then wow, everything since then. 9 years of marriage feels both so short, and like forever. i look at the photo above, and remember, ish, my thoughts. it was such a pretty day, that garden was stunning, and alive, and i was marrying this amazing guy i’d found- it felt dizzying. the sense of hope and anticipation was so palpable. to have so many people around us celebrating, i literally felt giddy and like i was buzzing all day.

i wish there was some concise thought i could come up with to impart what marriage feels like. maybe that everyone experiences, and does it, differently. that there’s no wrong way for two people to keep moving forward together. i often wonder what we do different from the people who don’t make it, and i think… it feels deeper than a conscious thought. it feels like there is no decision to stop or give up. we belong together, on the path together, making what we’re making. i don’t question it. my questions are usually just how we can work past differences, fights, hurts, and remain in sync.

i often go back to that day, in that garden, and think how easy it was to pledge to be together, forever. that on the first day, you don’t know what they rest of the days will be like. on the first day, all the days are going to be amazing. who envisions the bad stuff? but the bad stuff, with the right person, isn’t as horrible. the overall feeling after 9 years, is still optimism. i still look at my husband and can’t believe my luck. that we found each other. i wish for a million more moments of laughing, joking, crying, fighting, adventures, kisses, sharing… to forever, and everything that brings.

an unfinished quilt

28 Aug
August 28, 2015

a few months ago, i turned 40. it was like most birthdays, no revelation. i felt good about it. as i do on most birthdays (yay, another year alive!). a little nostalgic, a little hopeful. i consider birthdays my personal new year, and 40 feels really good to me.

so. i don’t even know how to get into this. or honestly where to take it. it was going to be a post about finishing a quilt. but i feel like you deserve some back story. i guess the start of it is, i don’t speak with my father. it’s a long drawn out thing, that mostly has to do with Read more →

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