rockpile’s new home: before and after

We moved into our new place almost a month ago (!) and it is finally feeling like home. Here are some of the befores:

Every single room and hallway was painted yellow, a color I don’t mind in moderation, but that in this instance was total overkill.

Also, once we had unloaded all of our boxes and furniture from the truck, there was hardly any room to move around!

We put a whole lot of elbow grease into this place…pulling up the old, gross carpet, painting most of the rooms, and doing a lot of cleaning.

So here are the after photos. We have miraculously made everything fit somewhere, and now I can really appreciate all the quirks and cool things about it.

Now I can relax and enjoy this neat little place. Andy spends hours reading in the sun room, and I am in love with my new studio. Come visit!


…we are going to MassMOCA. I have loved visiting this awesome museum in the summers whenever we visit Massachusetts, and it’s novel to be able to just take a spontaneous day trip there now.

My digital camera is still vacationing in Providence (it’s been so hard not having it!) so I think I’m actually going to use film today. It’ll be interesting to have to wait to see the photos after being instantly gratified by digital technology for so long.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and beyond.

(The photo above is Andy in front of a Sol LeWitt wall drawing, part of an exhibit “now on view through 2033”)

saying goodbye, settling in

We made our big move almost two weeks ago, and the time has really been moving fast. In some ways it seems like we’ve been here for a lot longer- so much has happened already. In the next week or so I want to post some before and after photos of the apartment that we moved into in Northampton. We had only seen pictures of it when we decided to sign the lease, and although it’s turned out for the best, I’m not sure that I’d do that again, or recommend it. It’s a neat little apartment with an unusual layout, and there were a lot of small issues that came up immediately…but more on that later.

Other than my insane home-improvement campaign, I’ve been working on trying to get settled in the area, meeting people, and spending a lot of time outside. We live close to downtown and I am really into how flat the roads are here! It’s been great to be back on my bike after a long hiatus in the mountains. A few days ago Andy and I rode to Amherst on a neat bike path that goes over the river and past lots of pretty farms. Last night I saw lots of meteors from a blanket in the back yard, and I love that the weather has been cooling down at night.

The things I’ve been missing about Asheville are the abundance of local food at restaurants and the farmer’s markets, running into friends all the time, the narrow streets (somehow the roads feel so open and exposed here at times), and our old garden. Overall I am really enjoying experiencing life in the Northeast. We are planning a quick trip to Maine for some time in the next week, and I spent the weekend with my dear friend Emily in Providence, where we made the best blackberry peach pie ever, ate Indian food like I haven’t had in years, and danced funny dances to some really bad hip hop.

I’ll be blogging more often now that my studio is finally unpacked and my home is finally starting to feel like my own. Stay tuned for photos of our new place and our going-away party in Asheville, during which I really saw how wonderful and full of beautiful people my life is.

More adventures in Western Massachusetts to come…

summer temps update

The past few weeks have been full of all sorts of fun and busy times, and lots of summery happenings.

A dear old friend of ten years came to visit us on her Outer-Banks-to-Tennessee bike tour (shoulda seen her legs…all muscle!), and more visitors a few days ago as well: much-loved friends on their way back up to their New York homestead, which, with its goats, chickens, horse, and more, sounds like a dream I’d like to live in a few years down the road.

My sister is coming down to visit in a few days, and since she’s eager for relief from city craziness and inescapable heat, I’m excited to take her swimming and berry-picking. One of the things I’m currently looking forward to about our move is the proximity of so many beautiful places to visit, combined with a little bit of much-needed free time, so that Andy and I can have some summer travels of our own.

The next month will be packed, but with special times and beautiful people. I’m hoping to have a gathering of friends before we leave town, and it will be nice to have so many people I love in one place for a few hours. I’m also looking forward to the Big Crafty next weekend. I moved out of my studio space this weekend, so for now our sunroom is also a temporary work space, and I’m excited to be able to spend more time at home working on creative projects. I’ll be working on a neat custom wedding book, finishing up lots of books for next weekend, and altering lots of clothes so that I can feel like I have a new summer wardrobe (theme of the week is minimal-but-work-appropriate clothing).

One of the loveliest parts of my life as of late has been teaching my beginning bookbinding classes. The June sessions were wonderful, and  I am convinced that I have the most amazing and enthusiastic students in town (thanks to all of you for making my work so much fun)!



Here are a few more photos from our trip to Massachusetts.

I’ve always felt a certain degree of reverence for New England, and it will be interesting to notice how the influences of this new place affect my way of living from day to day. We saw so many beautiful things in our days up north last week, and considering my serious need for lovely surroundings (give me beauty or give me death!!!!), I think I should be right at home after the move.

PS This is Andy’s niece…serious cutie pie!