archive for the ‘around the house’ category


Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

the box + hannah
i bought a new kitchen stool, and it was delivered in a big cardboard box. i HAD to make a playhouse out of it. i finally got a chance to do it last saturday night.

she gave me a lot of instruction as she worked
my niece helped “cut” a few windows with the flat-blade screwdriver end of my swiss army knife, and she gave me color direction (purple door, red roof).

i think it's pretty cool, even if she doesn't
i stayed up past midnight painting it, and she was somewhat impressed with it when she woke up sunday morning but she was more interested in walking the dog and having bunny & goldfish crackers for breakfast.

my house still smells like damp cardboard.


Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

if you follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen this photo, but i still wanted to post it here…

this is two evenings of paper crafting with my niece, who is two and a half years old. she loves folding paper (we added a little water color and tape the second evening). and i love how it looks in this bowl. i’m not sure i’ll be able to take it out…


Monday, March 9th, 2015

started my tidying up...


Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

i can't wait to be done with school so i can purge!
i sense a HUGE purge coming…

oh, nostalgia

Monday, June 30th, 2014

the other night i found these mrs. grossman’s stickers, and started to get nostalgic for things i didn’t save. the top of my list? my first swatch. it would be so fun to find that in a box or drawer. then i got to thinking: what else from my childhood would i love to see again? my list:

an esprit totebag
a benetton sweatshirt
my “pretty in pink” movie poster from the winsted theater
esprit denim ads, collected from teen & fashion magazines
cassettes (but only a few, not all of them)
my sticker books
rainbow sheets
pazzaz mousse
verve (the teal one)
the big, chunky jewelry i would wear
trapper keepers
maybelline purple eyeshadow

my list is circa age 12-14. it was such an exciting time for me. no longer a little kid, i guess, and starting to really figure out the stuff i like. i miss that “me” from that time. and i miss my swatch.

all that from a few heart-shaped stickers.

previous pinings for the past:

the eighties…
basement finds
duran duran


Monday, February 17th, 2014

i finally went to ikea last week to pick up more halogen bulbs for my track lighting in the kitchen. 2 of 5 bulbs burned out over a month ago, and a 3rd died a few weeks ago. i couldn’t deal with my dim kitchen any longer. i went to ikea after class on valentines day, and the drive was awful (rush hour), but i made myself a promise that i could eat a whole roll of KAKOR CHOKLAD (chocolate flavored sandwich cookies) as a reward for getting there, so i soldered on.

i brought a list of a few items that i needed (halogen bulbs, frying pan, kitchen rug, dinnerware for my niece, place mat for dog’s water dish), and i fully intended on sticking to the list, but famous last words… here’s some fun stuff i put into my shopping bag while wandering thru the marketplace:

ikea goodness
current food storage in my kitchen consists of a few ancient pieces of tupperware and a tub that once held chocolate chip cookie dough. that’s how i justified purchasing 2 of these KULLAR lunchboxes: they’re perfect for storing a few servings and they don’t suck.

ikea goodness
do i need coasters? no, but these SKÖTSEL coasters are awesome! can i string them to make kick-ass bunting? yes! or maybe i could use them as coasters: i’ve been thinking about having a party for my 40th birthday this spring, and if i do, i want my house to be full of colorful party shit.

ikea goodness
i’m a sucker for a dishtowel with fish on it. part of the TRENDIG 2013 line.
ikea goodness
ikea goodness
i didn’t have napkins on the list, but these hopped into my shopping bag on their own. they will get used. OERSÄTTLIG and LÅNGVARIG.
ikea goodness
i wanted to get my niece some fun plates for when she comes over, and but i couldn’t find dinnerware that wasn’t breakable. i really liked the plates in the TRENDIG 2013 line, and i don’t think my niece would fling the plates to the floor, but i’m not ready to serve her on stoneware. so i bought small BESÖKA serving trays instead.

ikea goodness
i’m pretty sure the 2 TVIS mats i brought home will be trashed within a week or two. but they were $3.99 each, and the bright color (orange!) was desperately needed.

once home, i snacked on KNÄCKEBRÖD FLERKORN and OST HERRGÅRD®, along with my roll of KAKOR CHOKLAD, and i washed it all down with IPA made in minnesota.

photo credit: all photos from

duran duran

Friday, August 30th, 2013

the folder!
i don’t think i’ve shared my duran duran folder in this space. my local friends are very familiar with this amazing relic of the 80′s, and it’s one of the few things i will never be able to part with. i’m so happy i had the brains to stash my folder and not purge it.

the cutouts!
we didn’t have a tv, but my grandparents did, and they had cable. so when i visited them, i sat 2 feet from the tv, with MTV turned on, and i’d keep track of the duran duran videos i got to see.

john john john!
mmmm, yummy. my first favorite was simon lebon, but it was john taylor that had my heart. for years. everything in this folder was either taped to my bedroom wall or tacked onto the bulletin board. and i’m only showing you about 1/4 of it here…

and i still have the john taylor facts my bff heather wrote up for me! his nickname was “tigger”!


a little history about my little house

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

my front garden
my front garden
st paul mn
july 27, 2013
expired polaroid 600 film

last friday i was working at home enjoying a very rare meeting-free lunch hour when my doorbell rang. i went downstairs and saw a woman in her 60′s at my door, and she didn’t seem to be holding any religious propaganda, so i opened the door and asked her if i could help her with something. she replied “i used to live in this house, would it be ok if we looked around the backyard?” and i said “sure, but would you like to come inside and see the house?” and the look on her face was one of joy/disbelief that i had invited her in. she said “really? are you sure?” and i insisted that she come in. she turned, and then i noticed 2 other women on the sidewalk, looking at my neighbor’s house. they were the woman’s sister and their sister-in-law. i invited them all in.

it was so wonderful to hear them both of them talk about their time in my house as they pointed out the things that were different and things that were the same. a few other tidbits:

  • there was a porch off the back door, which is now a deck.
  • they were from a family of six! 4 children and mom + dad lived in my little house, and they said it never felt small to them.
  • their mother is the one that painted the woodwork. it was a dark brown and she painted it beige. sad face. but she painted one of the kitchen walls red. so bold for the 1960′s!
  • their father suffered an aneurism at age 52 while shaving in my bathroom, and died in the hospital. whoa.
  • their parents bought the home in 1955, and their mother moved out in 1971.
  • i asked if they were responsible for the stash of ephemera found in a step during a remodel project. i had them rummage through it, and they identified the little girl/stasher (jeanne) as one that lived in my house before them.  jeanne’s family moved to the house next door when the sisters moved in and they became friends. the older sister is still in touch with the jeanne on facebook! so i had her take some ephemera to share with jeanne.

i was having so much fun with the women and i lost track of time… i ended up being 10 minutes late for a meeting but i was happy i hadn’t cut their reminiscing short.

my first art purchase

Friday, July 12th, 2013

i don't remember if it had a title
the bottles
while digging deep into closets and boxes recently, i found my first real art purchase. i think i bought it for $80, which felt like a lot as a college freshman. it was originally displayed in the coffee shop (espresso expose) where i would spend my evening with my new college friends, drinking mochas and lattes right before bed, because that’s what you do when you’re 19. anyway, the piece was created by the barista that worked nights, a guy in his mid-20′s, with nice eyes but bad teeth. i eyed the piece for weeks before buying it, loving the bright white chair. it wasn’t until i bought it that the barista pointed out that it really wasn’t a chair, rather, it was the result of pulling out the positive space from the photo of industrial bottles pasted in the lower right corner. well shit, that made it cooler!

there was a wave of nostalgia that washed over me when i pulled it out of a closet for the first time in many years. i briefly considered saving it, then snapped back into purge mode. i removed the piece from the frame (it was held in the frame by masking tape and a piece of cardboard), put it in the paper recycling bin, and sold the frame for $5 at my yard sale a few weeks ago.


Monday, June 10th, 2013

don't know how i lived with out a kitchen and bathroom for over a month
from the archives:
standing in my kitchen, looking through the bathroom, and into the extra bedroom
september 2005
polaroid 600 film


Monday, June 3rd, 2013

did a ton of yardwork, too
i started the weekend with mopping all the floors in my house friday night, and the spring cleaning frenzy continued into sunday evening when i addressed the very neglected cupboard under the kitchen sink. my body aches, but the house has never been this sparkly. and it smells like lilacs!


Thursday, January 17th, 2013

it's too small for my morning tea, so it awaits its purpose
from june 2010


Thursday, January 10th, 2013

horse lover's is the only badge i can identify
i found some girl scout badges from the 1980′s! (i’ve been in purge mode lately, digging deep into nooks & crannies.) i was probably at the end of my scouting career when i earned them, since they weren’t sewn onto my sash (i hated sewing patches onto my sash). love that i still have these badges… wish the sash was still around…

wouldn’t it be fun to have grown-up badges? you turned 21: here’s your booze badge! you made it thru college: here’s your financial aid statement badge! you had a baby: here’s your diaper badge! on second thought, maybe this isn’t a such a good idea…

basement finds

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

oh, nostalgia...
while cleaning the basement last weekend i found lots of uninteresting things that need to be recycled or tossed. but i also found:

  • lisa frank stickers, circa 1984 (they are so ugly!)
  • a fold-out poster/interview with robert smith of the cure, from sassy magazine,
    circa 1989

i had no idea these treasures were still in my possession!

spring chores

Friday, May 18th, 2012

candle in a pot (classy name)
every spring i make myself crazy with a big list of chores that i tackle once a year, and i am in the throes of that list. my yard work is 90% done, the windows are 50% washed, the basement is 40% clean… there’s more, but i won’t bore you. and i won’t be doing much creating until i am done with my list. the month of may is for spring chores so i can play in june.

i did one tiny creative thing this week: i found a gold terra cotta marker in my craft drawer, and used it to spruce up some really small pots i found in the garage (used for seedlings once?). and then i popped votives into them. they’ll be perfect for summer nights on the deck.

yay, weekend!

from the kitchen

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

piggy & saucer
2 favorite things from the kitchen: pig butter dish i picked up at jonathan adler in greenwich during my last trip to manhattan and small saucer made by cynthia levine.

leap day miscellany

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

rockstar mail
it’s nice to get a card like this on a day when you’re feeling not-so-great. thanks, c!

rockstar mail
it’s time to compost the tulips.

rockstar mail
i want to make a bunch of little spiral bound notebooks this weekend.

rockstar mail
loving my new valentine’s day dish towel from m.

rockstar mail
i need to figure out where to hang this garland that i made featuring paper beads from s.

rockstar mail
i love working at home and hanging with this kitty.

it’s march! how did that happen?!

polaroid door

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

polaroid door in my home office
when i posted bookcloth is better in a bucket last week, a few commenters were curious about what was happening on the door. here’s a better look:

polaroid door in my home office

polaroid door in my home office

most of the polaroids are from 2009. it was a good year for polaroid-taking, and i wasn’t stingy with my stash.

bookcloth is better in a bucket

Friday, January 13th, 2012

bookcloth in disarray

bookcloth in a bucket is better

happy weekend!

dog room before & after

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

i’ve got an extra room on my first floor, which i call the dog room, as it’s the only room that the dogs are allowed to sit on the furniture (the futon has a great view of the street). technically, i can no longer call it a bedroom, as i removed the door frame and 1-foot deep closet during the remodeling project of 2005 (bathroom + kitchen + dog room). when i remodeled my living room in 2009, i got rid of my bookcases so all the books that were in that room ended up being stored in boxes and random tower shelves in the dog room. where they sat and sat.

in spring 2010, my ex took the IKEA entertainment center i had in the room (which matched the random tower shelves), and he took me to IKEA to pick up a new bookcase. which sat and sat in its boxes. here’s what the room looked like, for over a year:

before : view from the hallway

before : boxes of books, hannah on the futon

before : messy supply cabinet, containers of stuff

why did it take me so long to put up the bookcase?! it’s because i wanted to repaint the wall the bookcase would sit in front of. and that wall led into the hallway, which meant i’d have to repaint the hallway, too. and i had absolutely no desire to spend a weekend repainting. i could have skipped the paint job, but the walls were scuffed up and looked like crap, so things sat and sat. i finally forced myself to paint last september while i could still keep the windows open. see in the first photo, where i’ve removed the outlight/light switch covers, have patched some spots on the wall, i even have a can of paint and rollers ready? i took that photo last january. it took me 9 months to get my shit together and paint. good grief.

after : view from hallway

after : no boxes of books, hannah on the futon

after : less clutter

after : new bookcase

in the last few weeks i’ve put a thing or two on the walls, and found some boxes to store stuff in, and i consider this project done — after 2 years. i still have empty walls. and the rug doesn’t really match, but it was the cheapest one IKEA had, and i am not spending more than $60 on rugs until my 12 year old lab goes to that place in the sky where someone is throwing a ball constantly and his legs work like he’s a puppy again (a bout of the barfs last spring ruined most of my rugs, and a bout of the shits 2 months later finished off the rest). but i’m calling it done!