Friday, September 30, 2011

September 30: Plan for the Day and the Weekend with a Side of Me

I have made a number of quilt tops for my father-in-law's church bazaar.  Today I need to figure out the backing and batting amounts so that we can head to the store and purchase all of it.  Want to figure out a couple of other tops and backs as well, so I am thinking this is a paper and pencil day.  Show and tell will come with Monday's blog.

Over the weekend we are going to check out the fall foliage, visit a couple of wood studios, attend a school potluck, run some errands, deliver Kevin's laptop for repairs,  attend church, celebrate Kevin's retirement, and then spend a good chunk of Sunday with our wood/fabric passions.  Should be a terrific time with a number of photo opportunities.

Several people have asked to see what I look like since I started my body changing journey.  I don't honestly see the changes in my mind, yet, but I do know that I have changed a number of sizes and have much longer, whiter hair.   Don't really know what to do with the hair yet, but I am going to let it grow until we leave Vermont.  There are many things that I do now that I would not have considered in the past, and I am constantly telling Kevin about that.  Exercise and balance are still not things that come naturally for me, but I keep plugging away searching for what works.  My goal size of 8-10 is still a few months away, but I am so much healthier and more willing to be in front of the camera. 

Hope all of you have something fun planned into your weekend!

September 30: It is Official

My husband has always been a patriot, defender of justice, protector of those in need , peacekeeper, and an all-around great human.  Nothing has changed except that he is now going to be doing these things as a private citizen rather than a military type.  HE IS MY PERSONAL VISION OF A TRUE AMERICAN HERO!

Today is Kevin's last official day of active duty. (He has been on terminal leave for about two months but still on active duty.)  When he wakes up in the morning he will be officially retired or is that fully transitioned.  To celebrate he took treats to school this morning.  Tonight we are going out for dinner.

Don't misunderstand!  He really enjoyed his 30 years as an officer in the United States Navy, but 30 years is long enough at one job.  What he learned there will always be part of him and his way of doing things.  He is now entering his second career and enjoying every minute of time he spends at school and thinking about wood.

The other perk of this retirement/transition is one we both agree is very special.  We get to spend many hours together IN THE SAME PLACE EVERY SINGLE DAY.  No trips to the airport or the pier to send him off for 3 days, 3 weeks, 6 months, 9 months, or a whole tour of duty in another state.  No waiting for the letters to catch up with what is happening.  No less than satisfying short "tin can" phone calls.  No unbelievably huge phone bills because of calls from Italy.  No misunderstood emails that take days to clear up.  No poor connections on Skype.  No more single serving suppers.  No more evenings alone wondering what the other one is doing.

We know we are greatly blessed for so many reasons, including many times that we have been unaware of how our faith in God has guided, protected, and consoled us.  We will continue to thank God for helping us navigate our choices to the joyous, thankful side of life.

Life is good!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 29: May Be More Like the Energizer Bunny Than I Thought

I am still feeling like a truck smacked me in the head, but sitting still does not seem to feel better than doing, so I finished the second top for the day.  This one is about 48x56 and is another one for my FIL.  The lighthouses are beautiful and the blue really does make some of them really pop in person.  Planning to keep the quilting simple again, so I will do diagonals in the non-lighthouse blocks and border.   That should also keep it light and fluffy feeling.  The binding will be the lighter blue.

Decided that I still have an hour before Kevin is home from school, so I am off to work on a table runner.  Need to get some binding started soon to make my self-imposed deadline.

September 29: My Mission for October

Some of you know that I inspired my father-in-law to do machine embroidery as a new hobby to help him keep himself busy and doing.  (He is a woodworker and loves working in his woodshop, but his legs don't let him spend as much time out there as he did previously.)   He bought his own machine over a year ago and has been more than prolific with his stitching. I refer to him as my very own Energizer Rabbit. 

Because I have been busy with other kinds of  quilting, moving, life transitions and many other excuses, I have let the block sets build up.  Another part of it has been that I have not really known what to do with some of the sets.  Therefore, besides working on Aleah's place mats and napkins, I am dedicating my daytime sewing until the end of  October to turning the blocks into quilts. Bindings will be done in the evening and on the road.  Many will simply be alternating blocks, but a couple will require more unique settings.  Most will also be baby, small wall or lap quilts but a few will probably be twin or full size.  Some will have sleeves for hanging and other won't.  There are also about 8 table runners cut out and ready to sew.

I don't want anything to outshine the quilted blocks because I know how much effort and time he has put into stitching them out.  (He learned his colors when there were very few in the box.  Now he is having to figure out sage, avocado, teal, and sandstone.)  When the quilts are finished I will mail them to him for his church's fall bazaar.

I love the bird houses but could not think of a setting.  Decided that I would simply set these with green, add a border and bind with the same green.  It is 36 x 48.  I am adding a sleeve to the back.  buying a wooden dowel, and attaching the dowel ends to little wooden birdhouses.  Should be just the right touch.

My cold now has a wicked cough and hoarseness that I hate, but otherwise think I am getting better.  I have plans to stitch up another lighthouse quilt this afternoon, and hopefully I will get a woodland animals one cut out some time today.  Of course, there is a chance that my new friend Sandi will brave this house of germs and come by for a visit this afternoon.  She has been warned about the nasty colds. However, if she comes I will be more than happy to visit.  I am always willing to sit and do some hand stitching when another quilter comes to call.  I will also remember to offer her refreshments, unlike last time.

Hope to find some time this evening to do some hand piecing on my Mystic Blues quilt.  I have about half of the blue border in place and am hoping to finish that border to night or tomorrow night.  Obviously, I am focused because I barely hear my next book calling.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 28: Cute Little Bear Quilt

I have managed to clean the apartment, create a new recipe for supper and make this little quilt today, but I think a nap is in the offing.This is a small baby quilt - 36 x 40.  Dad did the embroidery and I did the piecing.  I was going to say designing, but there is not really too much designing to this type of quilt.  I am going to diagonal quilting through the light blocks and into the borders.  Nothing fancy but love the little bears. 

September 28: Not Much Steam Today

I do fine with minor cold aches and pains, but now I am hoarse, sneezing and coughing.  Think this is going to be a very lazy day.  Have my hand piecing right next to the chair with my box of tissues.  Might try to machine piece a baby quilt top first, but............................. Still have not caved in and just gotten out a book even though it is a tempting idea.

Anyway, I will survive, as usual, but needed to whine just a little.  Connie tells me that I am making my immune system stronger by fighting off this cold, but I am a peaceful person and hate fighting!  lol   Hope you make yours a productive day!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 27: Can't Sleep so............Rag Quilt Thoughts

 Just a few last thoughts on the rag quilt.  Although I have been referring to this as a quilt it isn't technically one because there is no third layer, as in batting.  I have two other rag "quilts" that I have done this way and know that with the denim and flannel there is really no need to add the batting.  You still don't get to see the front view of the birthday quilt, but this is the back.  All the fabrics on the back are denim.  The front is both denim and flannel.  Thought I would have some leftovers for another quilt or place mats, but I somehow forgot just how many squares were needed for the back.

The container has the snippets that I pulled by hand from the dryer and the the dryer screen.  I cleaned the vent out with the vacuum and got at least that much again with the suction.  Before the quilt went into the dryer, I shook it repeatedly so the front yard has quite a bit of the snippets as well.  Last time I make one of these quilts I washed it right away and then dried it.  What I did today is more sensible.  If you do wash yours first, I suggest that you put a nylon over the drain hose and empty it whenever the machine finishes draining.  That is a lot of fabric bits that could potentially clog a drain.

When you start snipping the edges of the blocks be cautious and do not snip the seams.  This is not a quilt that could take the wear and tear if the seams are cut.  Besides, personal experience on my other two quilts showed me that it was difficult to get my sewing foot back in the same place to restitch the seam. 

One last suggestion, if you do not have an Accu Cut, I recommend that you invest in these scissors by Fons and Porter.  They were created specifically for rag quilts and do help save your hand from full blown blisters.  I have tried the regular scissors, too, so it is experience talking.

September 27: A Little Sharing

Because this is a birthday quilt, I can't share the whole thing, but I decided to show you just a bit.  Still have to trim some threads, but I just had to do a little show and tell. Great Grandpa did all the embroidery and I created the quilt.  Dean is a quilt lover and animals are his favorite conversation piece, so this should be a wonderful gift.

September 27: One Month Down and Loving It

We have been in this apartment for one month.  At first I was very anxious because it was so filthy and needed so much work, but it has become a cozy little place that we refer to as home.  It is a huge change from the last few big houses with all the stuff to this much more modest and simplified version, but we are liking the chance to live more simply.  Even so, my cute little 2 1/2 quart crockpot might have to get a big brother because soup season is coming and 1/2 my chili recipe I made for tonight almost exceeds its capacity.  Know my friends will find humor in my crockpot enhancing plan.

Happy Birthday to my sister Sue!  She is one of those people that has really come into her own as a grandma.  She has some very lucky grandkids! Hope everyone can join you to PARTY!!!

With my new cold and the need to avoid leaning too far forward, I decided that this was a good time to work on my travel quilt.  I pieced part of the border together and was feeling like I was getting so close to being done.  However, I need to add a blue border first and then put the white edge to the center and add yet another border.  Love how this is looking, but I don't think the top will be done before the end of October.  Had hoped to start spending some early fall evenings doing the actual hand quilting, but I guess that will come in time.

Sat on the front steps and finished snipping all the edges on the rag quilt.  Shook that puppy for a few minutes and then put it in the dryer to tumble.  I have cleaned out the vent a couple of times already, and plan to keep it up for another hour.  It is amazing how many little short threads one lap size quilt makes.  I have been up and down the 16 steps a number of times and now it would appear that Charlie Brown's friend Pig Pen has moved in.  I will vacuum later this afternoon, but figured I should wait and just do it once.  Those steps will be so much fun with a runny nose and everything.

Just a little thought about my newest favorite food:  Plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and a packet of Truvia.  I tend to eat it in stages all morning long and then finish it off at the end of my lunch.  Pretty darn tasty.

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26: Back Again

Decided to share a couple of silly things first.  Bought these socks today.  They are advertised as being mismatched on purpose.  They made me think of my toe-socks from my early college days.  They are 100% cotton and actually quite cozy.

The second silly thing is that I am self-reporting on myself.  On Sunday, I started the day with my red striped shirt inside out.  Apparently it had never been turned right side out after washing and drying it.  I took it straight out of the suitcase and wore it that way until 11:30.  Visited with a number of different people at the wood show and even sat with my back in full view of many people passing by.  Suddenly, Kevin leaned over and whispered, "Did you know your shirt is inside out?"  Now there is a loaded question that could have received may responses.  I think I kind of cringed and went into the restroom and made the switch.  If it had not been for the label and the inside out seams, no one would have ever guessed.  LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

We managed to catch the cold that most of the people at the school have been nursing all week.  I tried not to cave in and just sit with a book.  I pieced this quilt and then spent 1 1/2 hours snipping the edges on the birthday rag quilt.  I feel like I have accomplished quite a bit, but I do have a book on standby for tomorrow if needed.  Hate it when my noses drips and my eyes itch, but I am okay until the coughing starts.

September 26: A Last Travel Thought

Fall foliage has started to arrive.  We will be out again next weekend trying to capture some of it for those that will miss it.  Already things are changing and pretty, but I am hoping for spectacular next weekend.

September 26: Fascination with the Sky

I have always loved looking at the clouds and discovering that the various shapes represent images to me.  I was a big fan of the Harold and the Purple Crayon series as a kid and have bought more than a few of those books as an adult.  I imagine myself getting that big crayon out and outlining all the clouds so that my wonderful husband can actually see all the things that I imagine when I am looking.

However, I think that the clouds that I see in the sky here in Vermont seem to have a much different affect on me.  I was talking to Sandi and she said there was a lady here that used to have to travel west to the plains to see the sky because she did not like always having to look up to see it.  I sort of understood because eastern South Dakota where we grew up is pretty much prairie.  But this weekend, I found that I was continually drawn to the sky, the clouds, the mountainous silhouettes, and the dramatic strokes of color.  I don't have a fancy camera, and many of the shots were through the windshield, but here is a small feel for what I saw.

September 25: Beyond the Show

Kevin and the other students spent most of the weekend in the booth or wandering the show talking to various woodworkers.  It was a great learning experience.  I, also, talked with a number of the vendors and found myself thinking about what will be the next step in this new journey of ours.  I do not intend to become a woodworker, and many of my family are probably thinking that since I am a bit accident-prone it is best that I don't want to constantly play with the power tools and sharp edges.  I know how they all work and have used some, but I am content with my own quilting tools (Some of them are sharp, too!)

While Kevin was pondering all kinds of new thoughts about opening a woodworking business, I was considering where I want to take my quilting efforts.  I do a number of comfort quilts that are donated to various people or causes and I make quilts for many babies and family.  At times I have also done quilting for others, but what do I want to do with what I know and what do I want to focus on while we are in Vermont.  Those are the probing questions for me.

I took my laptop and my travel quilt blocks to work on when I was at the show.  I created a new design on the EQ6 and finished the last of the blocks needed to start attaching the borders to my "Mystic Blues" quilt.  Then I started making a list of things that I want to do and learn about quilting in the next 6 months.  The list overwhelmed me, so I tucked it away and decided that I would think about it tomorrow.  (Yes, sometimes I feel just like Scarlett!)

September 25: Hurricane Irene's Leftovers

We drove around on Friday night and again on Sunday looking at the ruins that Hurricane Irene left.  We could see evidence that a great deal of clean up and repair had already been done, but here are a few shots taken close to the place the woodworking show was held.  I have to say that there was no whining or complaining about what was not being done to help those who were hit so hard.  There were signs around town for FEMA info sharing, volunteer centers, donation centers, etc, but there were no signs that indicated these Vermonters needed pity.  We were impressed with what we experienced but saddened by the destruction that is still so evident.

September 24: 8th Annual Vermont fine Woodworking & Forest Festival

The first two photos are of the booth that the Vermont Woodworking School set up.  All the pieces, with the exception of the coffee table on the very left were created by students.  The work was impressive.  The desk and side table in the front won 1st place in the student-apprentice division.  The calligraphy wall cabinet was awarded 2nd place.  A floating hall desk was awarded 3rd place.  All the student-apprentice entries were from the woodworking school.  The other photos are of some of the booths.  I think that Kevin and I decided that we are more traditional in our personal choices, but there were many gorgeous pieces that will definitely look perfect in some one's home or business.

Did we learn anything from our time in Woodstock?  I think we did.  We have more questions than answers, but we now have an idea about some of the things we need to consider if Kevin is really going to open a shop to build custom furniture and other fine woodworking pieces.

These clocks and furnishings are made by the McGuire Family.

The featured guest was Stephen Saint-Onge.  He is a native of
Vermont and has appeared on TV many times doing home
makeovers and has written for several magazines. He talked
about the woodworking but he also talked about the fact that
Vermonters have a resiliency that shows in the fact that the show
still took place even though there was so much damage in the area
after Hurricane Irene tried to have her way.  Nobody is whining and
asking for handouts.

Friday, September 23, 2011

September 23: The Learning Box -- 1st Project

Kevin finished his first project and entered it into the student competition at the wood show in Woodstock, VT.  The box with legs finally has a name: The Learning Box. He said he called it that because he learned so much making it.

We drove to Woodstock today so Kevin and others from the wood school could set up their booth for the show.  The drive was beautiful.  The leaves are changing, so next weekend we will need to do some more sightseeing. 

Despite the changing colors, we saw some sights tonight that were hard to accept as real.  When we drove to dinner tonight we saw some of the awful devastation left by Hurricane Irene.  We did not have this kind of damage in our area of Vermont.  We did not have any idea it was this bad.  We will get some photos and add them to the blog on Monday. 

September 23: Quick Quilts for Dad

As many of you know, my father-in-law does a great deal of machine embroidery.  He makes me sets of blocks and then I  try to turn them into quilts.  Generally I make them simple ones so tht the embroidery is the main focus, but I have some sets of blocks that require something special and I have not decided how to approach them, yet.  These are a couple of simple ones that I cut out today.  I will sew them when I get back from the wood show in Woodstock, VT.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September 22: Food, Conversation and Laughter

We went to dinner at Connie and Bob's home tonight.  Bob is one of the instructors/mentors/ woodworkers at the school.  That is the original connection, but I discovered that Connie is one of those people that just knows how to make people comfortable and welcomed.  I hope there will be more nights like this.

What was on the menu?  We had a vegan meal.  The food was mainly from their garden.  The sauce/gravy was unbelievable and was good on everything.  We had Swiss Chard, curly kale, and a very interesting veggie called a ground cherry.  The main course was so delicious that I asked for the recipe and will be adding it to my menu in the near future.  Kevin managed to even get his ice cream fix -- vegan chocolate ice cream, vegan chocolate sauce, and vegan whipped topping.  Although it was not Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia he would not turn down another dish the next time it was offered.

September 22: More Rag Quilt Sewing and Clipping, Plus EQ Time

I can't show you the rag quilt I am working on yet because it needs to have a little element of surprise for my little buddy's birthday.  However, I want to show you that I really must love the child because this thumb is raw from clipping.  I think back to when Kevin offered to buy me an Accu Cut and I told him it was not necessary.  I am almost done and ready to wash and dry, but my thumb says we are going to take a break very soon!

I am working up some designs that will help me take 19 + 1 t-shirts and turn them into a full-size quilt.  My friend Ronda, in Tennessee, asked me to consider it, and I am feeling up for the challenge, but not until the end of October. I am going to finish up Aleah's place mats and napkins; then there are some other quilt tops and table runners that have been waiting very patiently for me until we arrived in Vermont.  Now they are beginning to chatter every time I enter the studio.  I want to avoid the moment when they start screaming even when I am sleeping.

Because the t-shirts are all women's small, I can't just cut them huge and make it work.  The first one design has very large borders and sashing, but might have smaller ones if I can cut the t-shirts a little bigger than I am thinking.  The next one works but the designs might need to be tipped different directions.  The other two work, but the t-shirt portion only measures about 10.75 inches square. Removing the borders only ups the squares by about an inch.  I know the colors are not what one would think of as my normal choices but I was playing and know that orange is one of the school colors. 

Anyone else ever try to make 20 t-shirts into a full size quilt?  If there were 40 shirts I would do it without sashing, extra colors or large borders, but using the woven interfacing and cotton fabrics, will make construction simpler and more stable, so I am willing to work with what I am given.  Once I actually find out what the largest and smallest designs measure I will work to make the measurements more exacting.  Love playing with the EQ6!

Tomorrow we are headed to a wood show, but I will blog at some point in the day.  I am taking my hand quilting and my computer along for the drive.  There is a very strong possibility I will also be taking the 5th book in the Chesapeake Shores series written by Sheryl Woods.  (Jamie, Dad seemed to think that I should limit reading these to one or two a week since I get so involved, but I will probably always be that kind of reader.  Thanks for contributing to my delinquency!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September 21: Where has September gone????

I sat out on the step cutting on the birthday quilt's ragged edge and thought about how fast this month is speeding along.  Won't be long until the fall foliage is here and then sadly gone.

I spent a fair amount this morning and the early part of the afternoon putting together the first few rows of the ragged quilt.  I decided that it was a perfect day to go outside and do the snipping rather than have all the bits in here screaming for a vacumm.  I would share what the quilt looks like but the little person who asked me for it does check the blog, so I want to keep it a bit of a surprise. 

Sorry, Zoe, but it is not for you. Maybe you will want me to help with decorating your new bedroom, or maybe you have something else in mind.  We'll talk.

Since I opened my own can of worms by stating that I was trying to get myself back to a normal, healthier size, I am going to sneak in a comment about it.  I am still doing a pretty good job of following a plan and have just had to purchase new jeans and shirts.  Did not get carried away because I am planning to need to do this again by the end of October and then again at the end of November.  After that we will see, but more exercise is needed and I am still looking for the kind that I really will love and do all by myself even if Kevin is busy.  Wish I could be as big an exercise geek as my sister Becky but I do not think I am programed for it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 20: Sprocket and Digitizing Updates

 YES! These are the three sprockets that I need to get my HQ up and running.  I am not too excited about them, or anything!!!  However, Kevin is working hard on a project for the wood show this weekend, so I think I will just be content knowing that they have arrived and fit the poles.  I can do some of the set-up myself, but it is better to have the two of us work together on this kind of project.

I am going to accept that this is the best digitizing that I can do at the moment.  I have not cleaned off the extra threads, but I do have this logo saved and ready to go.  Will I end up getting the shirts done for the weekend?  Don't think so because I need other stabilizer and more shirts, but it is done.  **Have lots of stabilizer, just don't have what I need for working on t-shirt fabric.  I have figured out how to use the large hoop and could get these done if everything was here, but I am still going to order the medium hoop.

The actual digitizing was much easier than creating a clean graphic, but I will spend time learning more about this process!

September 20: Rainy with 100% Chance of Stitching

I did not know that it rained as much as it does in Vermont.  Maybe this is a freak year, but I think I am starting to get used to the sound of rain on the tin roof.  Can't see the mountains today, but I am going to be focused in the studio, anyway, so it does not really matter.

I am heading in to do just a little more tweaking of the digitized logo and then I am going to stitch out two shirts.  If all goes well, I will be making a few more this week, but not today. 

After I stitch the shirts I am going to work on a ragged birthday quilt.  I am thinking that is is one of those times when an Accu-cutter would be nice, but I cut the denim several years ago and will just do the snipping by hand.  I remember doing a row at a time and snipping the joined edges before sewing the rows together.  Saved on the hand, so that is how I am going to do it again this time.  It is a twin-size, so I am thinking that it will be finished in plenty of time even if I do only a few rows every few days.  ***Sandi, I can do the cutting when you are here to visit again.  Just like you, I like to keep my hands busy.

Once the HQ is operational I really have to get cracking on a couple of waiting projects, but I am going to vary my stitching with some work on the serger while I wait.  I have napkins planned and might try a lap quilt with it, as well.  Saw that someone alternated brights and denim to make a fun kid quilt and when they were done serging, they were actually done with the quilt as well.  I am going to use leftover batting that is cut just a little smaller than the denim and cotton.  I will sew an "X' across the sqaures before serging just so the batting stays in place.  Depending on how the number of pre-cut denim squares hold up and how the process goes, I will probably make more than one lap quilt.  Once the denim is gone, I will have another empty container.  ***** If the first serged one does not work out, I am going to either offer up the squares to others or just get rid of them because it is time to use them or lose them!!!

Aleah, your chicken placemats are the first items on the agenda once the HQ is operational.

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19: Digitizing,Laundry, and a Side of Ice Cream

 I was given my Bernina 440 for Christmas and then the embroidery module for my birthday.  I took the mastery classes for the sewing, but could only fit one embroidery class in before the move.   Did get the handouts from the dealer for the 2nd class.  I had a Decco 330 so I did not have any real issues with straightforward designs and adding words, but I had only digitized two times before and those were designs that were part of the tutorial. 

I have Artista software that allows me to do many different things with my sewing machine, but I have not had made time to really learn more than what I have needed at the time.  I am pretty good at working through written instructions, but I do spend a lot of time playing around making myself comfortable with what I am trying to accomplish.  The difference between the tutorial and starting from scratch may seem small, but it  is big for a novice. The project I am working on is creating logos for the woodworking school t-shirts that Kevin would like for this weekend's wood show. (This may or may not happen, but I always try to accomplish what I set out to do.)  I am using the letterhead which looked crisp and clean until I started digitizing.   I needed to clean up the picture which meant I needed to use the paint program on the computer.  That was pretty much a first for me.  I love a challenge though, so I continued improving things even today.

Another challenge to this project is that I would rather have the medium hoop for doing the shirts, but I live in an area where there is only one Bernina dealer.  She has one on order, but that does not help with this week's project.  Finding a hoop was one of Saturday's errands.

This is what I have so far.  I have used the same hooped fabric to make a couple of test pieces.  Each one is better than the last, but this design is not ready for shirts, yet.  I also need to get some spray to temporarily tack down the fabric since the building stitching is so dense and tends to push the knit fabric.  I am getting close.  A little more tinkering and I should have it.  Who would have thought that I would enjoy this challenge so much.  I am not going into the embroidering business, but I do have a few ideas that I might try just to build my skills.

Last but not least, here is a photo of my dear husband enjoying his Ben and Jerry's treat.  This is a man who loves his ice cream!!

September 18: Our Little Apartment

Some of you have been asking if I was ever going to share photos of this place.  It has begun to grow on us.  There might be some real bonding based on the close contact we have had with the walls, windows, heating units, and floors as we scrubbed and scrubbed. lol As shocking as it may seem, I have also cleaned each and every window and that is unheard of - My standard line is that I don't do windows, I just move.  Yesterday we actually felt that we were ready to replace the initial vacuum filters and let the old tenants filth and grime rest in peace.  Anyway, except for painting the kitchen, we feel like this place is cozy enough for our short year in Vermont.  The tour begins now.

This is where we live.  It is an old converted farmhouse. 
We live upstairs.  Notice that we have added
a welcome flag to our pot of mums.

As you enter the apartment, you have a choice
of laundry or the 16 steps.  Our landlord
was very quick to change the stair and hall
carpets, and it sure did brighten up the place.

Once you reach the top of the stairs you are
looking directly into the bathroom or into the
hall.  Note that I have my cutting table set up
here.  It works.

If you go one direction you are in the living room.  Kevin and
I decided to bring minimal furniture, so these chairs are going
to get quite a work out.  We each have a basket next to our
chairs.  Mine is messier than Kevin's but not always.

We did bring a TV, but we use it for Wii and Netflixs.
Decided to skip cable at least for the moment.  Once the
long cold winter sets in, we may rethink things, but we do
have lots of books on the Nook, hand sewing for me, and
homework (like sketching) for Kevin.  The photo frame
holds many precious photos of grandkids, kids, family
and friends.  We knew we would miss you.

If we have company, we have one more comfy chair.  At
the moment, it is generally the backdrop for Kevin's school
bag and drawings.  If you know us, I am guessing that you
are amazed at the small number of books on the shelves.
The other books are in storage.  We have a Nook with us.

This is not a big bathroom, but it is MUCH LARGER than
the one we had in married student housing 35+ years ago.

We decided to go minimal in the kitchen, as well.  We packed
4 full place settings of dishes and a few pots and pans.  There
are actually quite a few empty cupboards.  Have not missed
any of my other dishes, yet.

The table and chairs are basically fancy card table
and folding chairs.  We have 2 other chairs in use
in the studio and in the bedroom.  Walls need to be
painted, but that won't happen until next week.

When I am laying in bed, I can reach the door
handle and light switch.  School provided the
bed, and it is a comfortable one, so...

We did bring the dresser.  The closet is small,
but we only brought clothes that we knew we
would wear.  Even our coats fit in with room
to spare.

If you have not figured it out yet, the bedroom
is very narrow and small.  I could not avoid
the bed being in all the photos.  Drapes are not
fancy, but they are room-darkening and that
is important since the windows face east.

I have already shared some photos of the studio
but thought I would let you see my window
treatments.  Soon I will also have my HQ up
and running and I will share a few more photos.