make do

for roommate who is traveling

excerpts from a southwest travel journal

This past August I found myself driving from Santa Fe New Mexico to Seattle Washington via the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. One of my dear friends is a props artisan, upholsterer, and fine artist who works at operas around the country (if you need any upholstery, murals, or staging done, give her a call. She’s one of the best). After her third year at the world famous Santa Fe Opera, I flew out and we drove home together.

As there wasn’t much room in my pack after getting the tent, sleeping bag, and camp kitchen into it (we camped the whole way ), I decided to leave my camera at home and paint my way home instead. A revelatory experience. I highly recommend it. Here are excerpts from that journal.

closet refresh

Closets are generally difficult to keep in hand and, with only one between us, half of that being taken over by the water heater, and odds and ends from my small business tucked here and there, it was time to take some drastic measures. And I must say...I have never loved the simplicity of wooden crates and a simple cork board more. A crate for each category, a hook for each necklace, and late-afternoon February sun doused over the whole.


a little yarn magic

As our apartment moves and shifts to accommodate a new piece of furniture, the floor space for my knitting basket has disappeared, leaving me with the perfect opportunity to create something I've thought about doing for a long time...


It's a common crafter/knitter/crocheter dilemma: the possession of the most delicious yarn and the inability to use it. I'm always fighting the urge to stash my favorites away and never use them, just in case I use them on the wrong project and discover that I have utterly wasted its potential for perfection.

Of course, the yarn continues to be wasted as long as it sits in a drawer, unused and unseen. So! Whenever I can muster the courage (which has been more frequent with practice), I choose my favorite yarn and make something out of it.


This project has been the perfect excuse to pull out my absolute favorites because I'll always get to see, feel, and enjoy them. What better way to celebrate beautiful yarn than to wrap up my needles and hooks?


The yarn is Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter in Sap, Woodsmoke, and Fossil. *WARNING: looking through Brooklyn Tweed's website will make you want to compulsively buy yarn whether you usually create with yarn or not. 

I used half double crochet for the whole length of my mason jar cozies to put focus on the yarn's texture and color. Moogly has a similar and well-laid out pattern over here.

decorating with memories

In a small apartment, deliberate decorating is a vital joy.

The chart reader from Portsmouth, a bigger-than-life chunk of my childhood book adventures and even more magical as a living, breathing town. The pin commemorating that time the car broke down in the middle of New York CIty after a two day drive from Georgia.

decorating with memories | seekthewelfare

The mug that brought months of solace in a terrible job. The mug that a dear college roommate created with her own hands. A card collection filled with color stories from our travels.

The drum from Uzbekistan, brought back in a suitcase, intact and fascinating. The concrete pot I carried twelve blocks from the little shop two neighborhoods over.

decorating with memories | seekthewelfare

Decorating with what I already have has always been my favorite. Why fill this intimate space with items that don't call to me? That will be forgotten tomorrow? That don't have a story to tell?