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Last May, I decided to tackle our bedroom - it's the only non-child-proofed room in the apartment, which meant that it was mostly a catch-all for dangerous, unstable, and delicate things. Which, while functional, does not make make for a very inviting or relaxing atmosphere. So I rearranged furniture and purged things that did not bring joy, and got it to a decent state of Clean Slate.

We already had a comforter I liked, that we got when we moved in (to replace Adam's that we were using, which he'd had for I-don't-know-how-long), so that gave me a starting point for sprucing things up.

For my birthday in June, Mum had this photo, which I took from the 13th floor window of the lower Manhattan office building I worked in the summer I spent in New York, made into a 3' by 4' engineer print...

Isn't it cool?!

...and I hung it up at the foot of our bed. I love the idea of decorating with black and white photos of places, but I decided that it would be more significant if I used photos of places that were important to us (preferably ones that one of us had taken), instead of choosing a random location.

During my chalkboard paint spree, I painted the letters L, O, V, and E and then wrote the lyrics to Top of the World by the Carpenters (which was playing on a near-by carousel when Adam proposed) around the edge and hung them in the odd little hallway that goes past our closet and into our room.

To break up all of the black and white, and to tie in the comforter, I found green black out curtains - which, besides looking better than the towels Adam had clothespinned up so we could watch a movie on a projector, also made the room look more like a Room.

And then I saved my pennies and bought a whole bunch of yarn, and started working on the final project - a felt headboard. It was huge. 100 stitches in every row (it was about 3 feet wide) and then I kept going until it was about 5 feet long. It took months and felt like it took longer...

...but I finally finished it, committed it to the washing machine (with a prayer) for felting, dried it on the floor on a couple of towels, and hung it up on a curtain rod and a package of shower curtain rings. I had to reclean our room after I put it up, because it had taken me so long that everything had kind of deteriorated, but it was a good feeling to stand back and really look at it, since I'd spent so long hunched over small sections of it. It will be easy to move, when we move, it will go with any accent color I choose (should green ever begin to wear on our senses), and if we ever get a platform bed like I'd like to, we can still use it.

More black and white photos - one from Northwest Arkansas and one from Little Rock, under my LOVE letters

Our grown-up room needed one final improvement: a new mattress. Ours was about 13 years old and had been loved to death, and it was time to let it go. To learn what that little (19" x 19" x 44") box has to do with a mattress, head over to Stacey's blog...


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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…