A Birthday Comes…

… but once a year. Excuse my absence from this lovely little spot for just another day or two while I help prepare for our littlest one’s first birthday.

Colors Colors Everywhere

It will be low-key, but it should be fun-filled, full of laughter and lots of love.

So Many Colors

And of course we are busy making, making, making, right up until the last possible second… maybe even a teensy bit beyond!

Waxing, Waning, Nostaglia, and News

A few days ago—well, I guess technically it’s already been a few weeks—an anniversary slipped past my notice, which honestly isn’t saying that much. As my husband and I joke, one of the reasons we got married in the first place was so we would officially have a date to celebrate our togetherness, since neither one of us could remember when it was that we became a couple. I’m sad to say that I am still not great at remembering the actual date of our anniversary, although I know it’s in August and it’s one of two days. My husband thankfully finds this amusing, although I’m always annoyed when I forget. But to wind back to the actual subject, a few days ago this blog celebrated—or un-celebrated as the case may be—its fourth anniversary.

I’m not sure the date is really worthy of mention; I have not been a faithful blogger through all that time, and there was an entire year where no entries were posted. I’ve never had a huge following, nor did I have a business to support, so there was no pressure to maintain it when other life events became distracting, and life, in these past four years, has been nothing short of one huge distraction. Multiple pregnancies, loss, new opportunities, moving, moving again, and then once more for good measure, new friendships, new roles… I won’t say I’m not thankful that the roiling changes are settling to a simmer or that I’m not grateful that life had become more predictable because I am gratefully thankful for both. But as crazy as those changes were, they are part of our lives, they have shaped us in ways that we may not understand for quite some time yet, and regretting that time is nothing short of completely futile.

It’s Two AM began as a way to document the creative energy and time I spent knitting. I knit in the wee hours of the morning, struggling with insomnia; I knit in between diapers changes and through the aches and pains of pregnancy; I knit with friends, I knit for friends; I knit as I watched TV or as I listened to the creakings of not-so-quiet old houses filled with family; I knit as we traveled together to visit our beloveds, and on our way to new homes far from them.


Even today I knit still. I find the rhythm and repetition soothing and I need something to do with my hands when the rest of my body is stationary. There are times when my needles are lost to many daily distractions as demands for my attention whittle away the hours between rising in the morning and falling in at night. And always I struggle to manage time for my interests, for my responsibilities, and my needs in the context of the interests, responsibilities, and needs that managing a family of six requires. Sometimes it all overlaps, but most often it doesn’t. When I find myself out of balance, and sleep becomes a nightly mental wrestling match with no victor, I will find my way back to my needles, letting the metaphor of the loops and knots and tangles work itself from the metaphysical to the tangible, feeling my body relax, letting my mind slip, creating a fabric, a net, to allow me to catch my breath once again. Knitting is my meditation.

I am so happy that I managed to capture some of that time on this blog; I look over the past posts and am grateful for the snapshot of that life, as it is the same and yet different than the time I spend now. I have so many pictures; now I wish there were words and explanations to accompany them as I have here in this space. It is too easy to forget. I wish somehow that I had caught more of those threads, even as I realize that recording them takes time away from the actual event itself. Yet the act of retelling is somehow its own meditation, and one whose value I had forgotten and have missed. I am glad to be back at it.

But this space and my need for it has changed since I’ve come back. It is not only the knitting that I want to capture and discuss, but all the activities devoted to making that I’d like to record. I may not be able to knit everyday, but there is always something creative going on… or at least being planned. It is messy, there are more projects than there is time, there are more people in this house who like to be creative than just myself… it is exciting. And I no longer feel I can categorize this blog as one that is mainly devoted to knitting.

I’ve been tinkering with the site lately—adding navigation, changing layouts, posting different projects, including more “in progress” process work—to see how it feels. So far I’m liking the changes, and I hope if you joined me a few years ago that you’ll find enough of the old blog hanging around that you’ll stay to see if the new stuff is interesting. I hope if you’re new that you enjoy the mish-mash of projects that are going on and that you won’t mind the occasional knitting post, because there will still be some of that. There will always be some of that.


If I ever was at all, I am no longer a blogger that knits; I am now and always have been a maker that blogs and this space will reflect that. I blog about the projects and thoughts that keep me up way past a decent bed time hour; time flies from the moment I begin something until I notice that, once again, it’s two am.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll stick around!

The Library :: A Little More Progress


It's Painted

And specifically I mean “LOOK at the awesome painted walls! Pay no attention to the blasted mess left behind!” But hey, let’s keep it real, yo! This is what things look like around here mid project. Shove things off to one side, get in, get out, deal with the catastrophe and clean-up later.

I also managed to get the cords put up from the lights I installed on the little half wall.

Progress on the Lights

Unfortunately, there is this problem I need to figure out…

Progress on the Light Cords

That looks nice and inconspicuous, right? Just what I was going for… sigh.

And of course, there’s still the problem with the kids’ bookshelf.

Bookshelf Problem

Let’s take a closer look…

Bookshelf Problem Closer

There are two very long sections here. The length makes it really difficult for our kids to keep their books upright, since all the books stacked back to back are quite heavy when they fall. Our oldest is six, meaning none of them really have the strength to move all those books around in one big pile, so we’re going to have add four dividers to help them out (two on the top shelf, two below). Of course, this isn’t going to be easy, since the boards that we will need cut aren’t at all square. I’m going to have to ask our local lumberyard shop to cut them for me, and I don’t know if they’ll do non-square cuts. We shall see! I also need to find the white trim paint that the contractor used… I really don’t want to have to repaint the entire bookshelf.

I’m not looking forward to getting this part done, but it really will help the kids keep their own books straightened up, so it must be done soon. Wish me luck!

The Foyer :: A Chalk Board

I love it when a plan starts to come together, how about you? For instance, the foyer “command center.” Although this part of the grand master plan was completed a few weeks ago, it’s just now that we’ve actually started using it… the foyer chalk board!

Foyer Chalk Board

I know that chalk boards are trending out and are a little over done but we all loved our chalkboard in our last house, and I couldn’t wait to put another one up as soon as we bought our new home. This is what our last studio / chalk board looked like…

Studio Chalk Board

Blood, sweat, and tears went into that chalk board, let me tell you! And honestly, the studio never looked this clean, trust me. This was a photo we took to put the house up on the market when it was time to move and I’m pretty sure that ten seconds after the photo was taken, the kids came in a threw stuff all over the floor. Sigh. I really miss that house. This chalk board is painted with Rustoelum’s Chalk Board Paint, five layers in the Peapod shade, sanded to the smoothness of a baby’s bottom, with three undercoats of Rustoleum’s Magentic Paint. The magnetic paint, BTW, was a total loss; couldn’t hold a magnet to save its life. I think the wall was just a bit too textured from 100 previous years of painting, which is the reason I sanded the wall so finely; all that texture made it nearly impossible to draw on the board. After I was done sanding it though, you couldn’t tell the difference between it and a slate board… and MAN did I get some guns from all those days of sanding!

First Drawing on the Board

Back to our new board; I knew I wanted another chalkboard wall for the kids, but it took a while to figure out where to place it. This wall is the last section of foyer before you enter the hallway that leads to the main living area. Because it’s mainly a pass through area, it was too narrow to put any furniture, so I thought maybe I would make it a gallery wall. Then I took a trip to visit some friends in San Francisco and came across this wall calendar at Paper Source (oh no! It’s looks like they don’t have it anymore… I hope they make some more in the Fall!) and I thought this wall would be the perfect place to hang them! A central location where I would walk past everyday, reminding me of all our appointments and keeping track of who is coming to visit when. So why not make it a chalk board as well?

Another Angle

I decided to try the Hudson Chalk Board Paint, which I will be the first to admit, was not the cheapest gallon I’ve ever purchased. The shade I chose was Oil Spill, which I thought would complement the blue and green shades I had selected for the rest of the foyer walls. Choosing the color was a bit difficult; picking a shade from a website is really tricky (calibrating monitors is nearly impossible) and when I requested a sample card, the paint colors were not chips, but rather printed with CYMK (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and Black) mixes. As a designer I can tell you that this is not a true representation of the actual color; it’s like showing someone a picture of the color you painted your walls. It’s very difficult to capture the true color. For as much money as the paint cost, I would have expected a card that had actual paint chips, but alas, that’s not what I received.

Getting Cleaned Up

I wish I can say that was the only disappointment I had with the paint, but in my humble opinion, is no better than a gallon of straight up eggshell latex. It is certainly not worth the $75 plus shipping I spent on the gallon. Never again. The Rustoleum is a much better product, albeit with a more limited palette, with a flat matte finish which allowed me to sand it as soon as it was dry to get it as smooth as possible. The Hudson paint has a bit of shine to the finish, and does not sand well at all, balling up as a normal latex would before it’s done curing. I think it’s safe to say that should I ever decide to paint another chalk board I will either go back to the Rustoleum or use a flat, good quality latex paint which is what I did before chalk board paint became a “thing.” All you need for a working chalk board is a paint with a bit of tooth that can take a bit of scrubbing. Although I have read a few blog posts that add plaster powder to the paint mix, I’ve found that a nice, flat latex grabs the chalk just fine.

Live and learn… live and learn.

I have a few more things I’d like to add to the wall, a design of some sort in chalk marker above the calendars, a tide clock, maybe two or three other clocks in time zones where our most beloveds live… I have a few ideas and I’m not sure where I’ll end up. But I think those finishing touches can wait until after I get those stripes worked up!

Scary Saturday

This post brought to you in two parts thanks to a hurried attempt at clean-up.

I present to you




Not So Scary


Could also be titled “Pee’d My Pants” and then “Felt Silly When I Realized It Was Plastic” or “Woke the Neighbors with the Sound of My Scream” and “Insisted to the Police That Showed Up That It Must Have Been the Other Neighbors They Heard.”

No more little plastic bugs will be purchased for the male child any time soon, I can promise you that.

The Foyer :: A Progress Report

We have achieved base coat!

I am too tired to put all the crap back today, but I wanted to grab a quick shot so now you can all view my supreme and superior house cleaning skills. Mad skilz I’ve got.

So excited to see fresh paint!

Art! Art for the wall! Five dollar art for the wall, although I like the other side better. Show ya that tomorrow… after some sleep!

Another Project Begun

Because life isn’t interesting enough, the decision was made to start another project. You think I should finish something before starting another? Well, I suppose that’s wise advice, but you see, my father is here this week and he’s quite handy with a paintbrush, so I’m putting him to work. While the paint dries in one room, he moves onto another, getting a nice rhythm going while I do things like change diapers, make lunches, separate screaming children, change diapers, get snacks, put everyone to bed, change diapers, pick kids up from school… you know, nothing really of much importance.

On that note, I’ll introduce you to our foyer… the next on the list of ToDo’s.

Once he finished the walls in the library Dad moved on to this space. It’s pretty much the same as the day we moved, sans a few boxes. And trust me when I say it is not ever this tidy unless the camera comes out; I have moved several stacks of mail waiting to be sorted, a few jackets that never made it into the closet, and at one point there might have been one or two dust bunnies the size of tumbleweeds in the corners.

Another Foyer View

Full of light, lots of closets, a place to put all of our mail when we walk into the house from the garage… I will be honest and tell you this foyer and the little mudroom attached to it was one of the many reasons I fell in love with it in the first place.

Foyer to Garage

I’m so excited to get to this space! It is the first place we land when we come home; it’s a space that helps get us organized before we leave and as we come back; it’s a command center for the family… or rather, it will be after I have my way with it.

But I wasn’t sure what to do with it for a while. I started dumping things here when I didn’t know where to place it in other rooms, as a matter of fact quite a few things from our breakfast room in the previous house made it here. Have I mentioned there is no breakfast room in this house? And as much as we didn’t really want a breakfast room, I got attached to it, and especially my little photo wall. Before long, it became clear that the foyer would be a great place to continue that color theme and a get my mini pictures back up on the wall.

I grabbed a few swatches a few weeks ago at our local hardware store, taped them up to the wall, and then got completely stuck trying to decide between two shades… a lovely pale aqua and a rather muted chartreuse. Couldn’t make up my mind, so I decided I’d use them both. Then I thought maybe I could so something with stripes… so I took to trusty old photoshop to mock up a few ideas. This is one of them.

Foyer Stripes

What do you think? I’m pretty sure I’m moving in a slightly different direction, but it was fun to mock it up to see if any of my crazy ideas could possibly work. I think I’m going to stick with the stripes, but with a different application. I’m going to try it out tomorrow, well, if time and children permit.

Or maybe I’ll clean up the library.

Or add another layer to the hutch.

Making Valentines

There is so much work being done right now; nothing is quite finished and ready to show, most things are 75% – 95% complete. Life, as usual, keeps throwing curve balls and all that time I have ear marked to get things done simply vanishes before I have a chance to blink. But we’re so very close!

So I thought I’d show you a Valentine’s project I worked on with our Kindergardener last year.

My kids get a little crazy with the art supplies, and I had stacks and stacks of art papers laying around, waiting for something magical to happen to it before it went into the recycling bin. As previously stated, I can’t get enough of this art when they’re at this stage; it is such a pleasure to watch and there are so many ideas I have to use it all up!

So, a few days before her party, we sat down, went through the stack, picked out our favorite pictures, traced a lovely heart shape, and then cut them out.

I had some vellum envelopes in my craft stash, so we placed the colorful hearts in the envelopes and our girl wrote out the names of her classmates on labels, which we placed in the center of each envelope. Her name was written on another label that we stuck to the back.

They were awfully cute, and I was so happy to see her maintain her focus until we placed the last heart in the envelope and stuck on the last label. I think we both enjoyed spending time together making things; I hope we get to do it for a few more years.



The Hutch :: A Progress Report

Well, it’s not done. You might be surprised, but sadly I’m not. I don’t really have to provide a visual of how much laundry four children can produce, do I? We’ll save that amazing post for another day. I also had to pick my dad up at the airport late this morning, take him and the kidlets to lunch, then naps, then tea, then supper… so really, there wasn’t much time. I did sneak away for a bit to play when I thought no one would notice, so I’ll show you a few pics of what I managed to get done so far. I will apologize in advance for the color. My camera was really struggling to get the white balance right, as I did in post-editing. This is a tricky color to capture, and the change from natural, fading light to incandescent was not so easy to correct for.

First, here’s the whole thing with one solid coat of Duck Egg Blue, as well as one dry brushed “texture” coat. The finish on the hutch was the original spray coated yellow paint, which had no character and was completely flat and level, so I really wanted to add some texture.

Once Solid Coat

Then I went at it with some dark glaze.

Once Solid Coat

Dark Wax Detail

Another Dark Wax Detail

It was a nice effect, but it was a bit more subtle than I wanted. The textured/dragged coat worked well, which was nice to know.


Since I wanted a bit more drama, I decided to move to the clear wax while adding some color with a few more of the chalk paint. I used Graphite, Coco, and a mix of both for these next shots.Wax Glaze

Wax Glaze Detail

Another Wax Glaze Detail

It’s getting there. I think it’s going to take a bit more layers to produce the richness I’m looking for, but adding the paint to the clear wax is definitely more dramatic than the subtleness of the dark wax only. I’m not sure what the actual terms for my technique is… does “hey, what would happen if I did this. Cool… let’s do more” or “oh geez, good thing I can paint right over top of this” work? There was a lot of that. Also a few “eek, that looks awful” swipes as well as some “hoo boy I might be getting what all the hype about this paint is” jigs. Quite a variety, as you can see.

My dad says it looks pretty dark in the corners, maybe a little dirty. I told him the was exactly what I was going for. Yay! But even with my enthusiasm, he didn’t look so convinced. We shall see whether I can change his mind.