As of August 2021, we have been living in OUR HOUSE! Black Cat Cape. Home sweet home.
We were house hunting truly during the worst possible time. The market was insane. Every offer we were putting in was $30k over list price. When we saw this house we weren’t wow-ed, but we were starting to feel broken down by the whole process. It took us 5 months, 22 houses, and 8 offers to finally get one! We were shocked when our realtor told us the news.
Black Cat Cape is a cape style house, built in 1948, and full of character (ie: lots of old wiring, walls that aren’t straight, wood paneling, and a mostly un-heated second floor. But overall its in really good shape, with a metal roof and a workhorse furnace. There are tons of projects to do, some of which we have already started. We jumped right in to painting as many rooms as we could, starting to see it take shape around us.
There are quite a few projects we hope to work on this winter.. building out a kitchen pantry from a coat closet, possibly pulling down the kitchen cabinets to put up open shelving (we also need a new sink, faucet, dishwasher, backsplash, and countertop!), shared sewing studio wall painting (probably just white)… and more. Every weekend we have worked on something. Jonathan has really jumped right in and we’ve been learning a lot!
My dye studio in the basement has been a god send. I can work on bigger batches and dye/rinse/wash/dry all in the same spot! Our basement has quickly filled up with my dye studio and laundry on one side, and Jonathan’s tool work area + storage on the other side.
We are full into winter in Maine now, after several big snowstorms (which provided quite a bit of snow for snow dyeing instead of ice dyeing!). We spent Christmas with strictly immediate family and covid tests, and even had a Christmas day snowstorm. We decked our house, had a real tree, and loved the decorations. This winter has been colder than last, and as cold as I remember winters past being. Most mornings we wake up to 0f temps.
Because of the winter season and covid, we have been spending most of our time staying home and hunkering down. Magic is the happiest cat in the world with his own house to run around in. He has 3 floors to zoom around in, and loves running up and down the stairs, but prefers to have the basement light on. He loves sitting on the radiators in the windows to watch all the birds outside.
We are all dreaming of Spring, to get us through this Winter - we have a lot of outside projects to work on once the temperatures rise and the snow melts. But winter is something you can’t rush - she does what she wants and you have to just go with it. Leaning into winter instead of fighting it is the biggest skill to learn in a cold weather climate. We have been doing a lot of cooking in the crock pot, bundling up, and salting the icey driveway. It will be another three+ months until we see Spring, so we are in it for the long haul.
Looking ahead: Spring will see us putting up bird houses, landscaping the yards, scraping and repainting the front porches, replacing the storm doors, replacing the outside lights… and Summer will see us fixing the support posts under the back porches, screening in the second back porch (first back porch is glassed in, second is open air), and hopefully getting the driveway excavated, filled in and repaved.
It has been nonstop for almost six months, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Making a house a home is something Jonathan and I are both good at, and being able to do it together is such a gift. We mostly agree on things - and when we don’t we work it out (eventually one of us gives in). You can follow along with our home projects and progress on our dedicated instagram @black_cat_cape. XO