home additions.

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I’ve been hemming and hawing over floating shelves for my kitchen since I bought and moved in last June. I looked at Ikea and hated the quality–twice. You can see where I’d hang them from most parts of the house and I wanted something sturdy and substantial, something that “shows” and is a piece of art in and of itself.

Nothing stuck.

I found some amazing Japanese burned ones that blew my mind. Then, I priced them out. In my “forever” home, I thought.

So I went to a trusted source: Etsy. I support local, small shops and artisans who create incredible things every day (hello! I make, too). And why I never started there is beyond me, because I stumbled on Sound Side Carpentry and their amazing reclaimed barn wood pieces.

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Last weekend, we finally got our floating shelves delivered. We also purchased a hairpin leg stool that doubles as a million different things (which I love!): a side table, a stool to sit on when we have extra guests for a party, a plant stand for our cactus which traveled 3,000 miles from Phoenix with Sean to live with us in Boston last summer.

And it fits my eclectic taste. I would never want to walk into a house and know what store, and when in time, that owner bought and decorated everything. I spend a lot of time thinking things over and deciding where it should go and whether it makes sense. I love vintage antiques. Unique pieces. One of a kinds. I’ve even sometimes bought something that didn’t work right then but knew at some point, it would be a must piece that completes my space.

My floating shelves are amazing and finally let me display some of my bowls and glassware and vases and kitchen trinkets I’ve collected along the way. I get to show off some of my vintage Blakley Arizona cacti frosted glass collection (I’ve got more on my bar cart), too.

See more snaps from my home here and here.

 

brunch

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Is the best thing. I miss my visits to Phoenix, where patio brunching is a new year round possibility. Especially for ceviche and breakfast tortas and the best margs imaginable.

But, it’s better that the doc and I can now brunch any Sunday we’d like, even if it isn’t patio style.

I miss my holiday break; brunch even on Mondays or Tuesdays, and time catching up and connecting.

 

porch life.

Finally, home feels settled. And after years of living in the city without proper outdoor space, I have not one–but two–giant porches. One facing east toward downtown in the back, and one facing west and the world’s best sunsets.

The back porch is a great place to enjoy an after work cocktail, or a book on a warm Saturday morning. I love that it feels like a living room. And our pooch, Jackie B, certainly loves it, too. I’m spending as many fall evenings out here as I can.

custom.

I’m moving, very soon. And so, that means since I’m a homeowner, I can make things in my life a little more permanent. Like custom return address stamps, from this awesome place, which has a really fast turn around.

I did a version that is just mine and then one that includes that my guy will also be resident at the new, humblest abode. I like both versions muchly.

Do you have custom address labels? What other things does a new homeowner need?

paint samples.

It was official last Friday. I closed on my first home; I won’t move in until June (it’s a lease back for 59 day situation, which is perfect timing because we will be out off work for school summer break) but in the meantime, I’m plotting in my head where my furniture will go, purchasing a few new items mostly found through antiquing (score: a danish mid century modern angled book shelf that looks exactly like this one for an appallingly cheap $30), and of course, deciding on paint colors.

The entire condo is painted a gentle yellow, which is fine for the guest bedroom and maybe for now, the bathrooms. But I’d like to put my own stamp on the living room, dining room, and master bedroom. I’m thinking shades of green–all lighter and maybe leaning grayish. I think it will be a nice compliment to the historic details. And I hate dark paint colors.

More to come as I get to decorate my first owned place.

home buying.

Today, I closed on my very first condo in Boston. I am a home owner. I can’t wait to live in something that I can do what I’d like to it. I have a middle unit with outdoor space–two porches, in fact (one in front, one in back)–two beds, two baths (a master bath guys! a master bath!), a house built in 1899 but fully renovated in 2011, close to the T, and restaurants, and beautiful original fir floors, and a gas fireplace, and central air. I mean, it ticks all the boxes. And I get to call it mine.

Be prepared for an onslaught of home decorating posts at kraftwork.

bread.

This winter has been all about turning the oven on for extra warmth. It was 3 degrees here without the wind chill this morning when I left for work. I’m thinking baking a loaf of bread when I get home tonight is in order.

What are your favorite bread books? I know its easy to get recipes online now, but I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of recipes available. It feels endless. In that way, I just love recipe books. You can flip through pages and snuggle up with them, marking pages and dreaming of all the things you’ll make.

I love Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads and Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.

tortilla chips / nachos / pintos.

During winter storm # million here in Boston (no, but our second official blizzard in 3 weeks–known as the Valentine’s Day massacre), I decided that the necessary reward for shoveling was homemade tortilla chips for nachos.

Do you ever go this far? The thing I find about homemade chips is they are thicker than store bought chips, so they hold toppings really well and don’t get soggy in the oven.

My toppings for these nachos included jalapeno, green pepper, red onion, grilled cubes of chicken, and homemade pinto beans. Cheese, of course, a blend of Mexican, and fresh salsa and fresh avocado after the oven.

too fucking cold.

This winter really does deserve as many of the Winter Blues hats as humanely possible. Not only is it snowpocalypse, but the bitter arctic blast still plaguing us and not melting any of the great white is an equally oppressive problem.

My guy Sean was visiting from sunny Phoenix this past holiday weekend, only to be afforded the following: a blizzard, the coldest temperatures on record in 20 years, and a gorgeous new hand knit.

This one was knit up using one skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the black forest colorway for the main, and some natural for the color work. Modification again of removing the hearts in the color work section and replacing them with snowflakes.

I love this hat; I will make it for everyone that wants it here in Boston. It’s too good not to. Oh, and his scarf is a knit I made for him several years back–a Noro Silk Garden striped scarf, which he wears any time he visits. Make one of those, too!

baking.

We’ve had four major winter storms here in just under 3 weeks. It’s been hell trying to dig out, and this coming from a seasoned New Englander who does in fact enjoy snow. Dare I say Mother Nature can have this one–I give, I can’t take much more.

On top of all this great white stuff comes bitter cold. The kind of cold that begs for you to throw on the oven for added warmth. And so, last week, when we had yet another two consecutive days off from school, I baked. This honey oat loaf. And reaped its rewards the entire weekend.

It’s definitely one of my favorite loaves of bread to bake. It comes out perfect every time, is full of flavor, and usually I have all the required ingredients on hand. Win.

snow joke.

We are drowning here in Boston. Historic snowfall has left the entire city crippled. The only benefits to this collapse is all the snow days dedicated to making things. In all the years I’ve lived in Boston, I haven’t seen it this debilitating. Where I live, there is nowhere to put the snow, as evidence by this photo I snapped on Tuesday in my alley. But, make all the things during a snowpocalypse.

bed / knitting.

Multiple days of snow (yes another two days, starting now and into tomorrow…and again, on Monday apparently) means tucking into bed early with books and knits. It’s the only way.

These will be a pair of socks I’ve so fittingly named cabin fever. Cheers to winter.