Sewing Room

Air Conditioning FTW

The summer heat has been intolerable, and after a horrible mishap with the 2nd floor AC unit (in which dramatic flooding through the attic ceiling all over our beautiful wood floors revealed that the previous owner's installation job included 1) a too-small AC unit, 2) too-large duct work, and 3) incorrect installation) we finally called in some experts to install a wall unit in the dining room. 

Installation took half a day and the unit keeps or dining room and living room dry and cool, and does a decent job of making the kitchen--if not cool--at least comfortable.

The installers even cleaned up some of the wiring on the outside of the house when they placed the AC unit, which made me very happy.

It's a glorious change from the 85+ degree misery of a few weeks ago, although the upstairs is still kind of awful. We're still debating whether to fix the totally inadequate system already in place, or to go for another wall unit.

In the meantime, Bill did cave to my incessant nagging and install a small window unit in my sewing room. Hurray! That, combined with the new TiVo Mini that he installed (which gives me perfect access to cable, Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video) has significantly increased the amount of time I spend in that room. 

Of course, getting 11 kittens from the local Humane Society also had an impact. We committed to keeping them until they were big enough to be adopted. Six of them tipped the scales after two weeks, and we're most of the way through a second 2 week period. They are so cute, and stuck a great excuse to nap in front of the TV.

Happy New Year!

I'm finally catching my breath after a couple of last-minute business trips in December, and then the hustle and bustle of the holidays. The kids are with my parents for the week, so Bill and I have had several glorious days to ourselves. I had grand plans to accomplish around The Manor, but ended up mostly watching TV, taking naps, and sewing. It has been glorious.

I do have a few small updates to share in the furniture department. So let's get started.

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New Sewing Room, New Footstools, New Television

We got two new footstools for my sewing room. 

Sidenote: the sunroom in the photo used to be my office. Over the Christmas holiday we decided to take apart my office and reconstitute it as my sewing room. I wasn't using my office at all, and we wanted a second guest room upstairs. So we moved all of my sewing and craft stuff into the much-smaller sunroom and now it is a cozy nook that I love to spend time in. My only gripe is that the loveseat is a bit too short for a comfortable nap. (Not that being slightly uncomfortable stops me.)

We also got another internet booster (bringing our tally up to approximately nine thousand) so that I can stream Netflix on the new TV. With the baseboard heater on, the room is warm and toasty, with unlimited streaming movies and access to a fabric store's worth of patterns and cloth. I might never leave.

New Game Table, with Room for Eight

During one of the days the kids were gone, Bill and I took a drive around Southern Virginia to look at some of the antique stores in neighboring towns. Most of them were a huge bust (as I have no interest in creepy old dolls or in depression-era glass), but on the last stop we found a fabulous table.

We've been looking for some additional small furniture pieces to fill out the library/parlor, and this was the perfect ticket. Folded up, it looks like a small side table. With the three leaves in place, it easily fits 8 people. In fact, it's significantly bigger than our current dining room table -- which means that we'll likely pull it out for dinner parties in the near future, at least until we upgrade the dining room pieces.

(Also note: always ask if there is any flexibility on the price for estate furniture. They offered a 10% discount and I told them we'd take it for $400 (a 20% discount) and they made a quick call to the owner, who agreed to our offer.)

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New Cabinet Looking for a Home

While spending our New Years Eve partying like rock stars (read: watching movies) we happened across a charming cabinet on Craigslist. A few email exchanges and a turn of the calendar page, and it was ours! (Weirdly, it came from a house about 200 yards away from us, right around the corner. I think I might have made a new friend in the bargain!)

It's relatively shallow, but perfect for storing linens. We're still debating it's final location (hence it sitting in the middle of our second floor landing, with the obligatory cat for protection), but I think we've narrowed it down to either the new guest bedroom or directly outside the master bedroom. 

That's it for us for now. We continue to stalk Craigslist each day, looking for additional pieces to fill The Manor. And tomorrow we're going with another couple to Black Dog Salvage, a much-anticipated trip! Keep your fingers crossed that we find a dresser for a 4-year old with a penchant for markers on walls.

My Domain

Today there were six children in my house -- and even though they were three floors away I could hear every piercing shriek of glee. Sadly, it was not a moment to wistfully smile and remember my own childhood, but rather a moment in which I gritted my teeth and wondered what was being broken. 

So instead of showcasing the newly unpacked basement (where the above-mentioned children were frolicking) I am instead choosing to share new pictures of my own domain -- my sewing room and office. While these rooms were highlighted in the video tour, they have since been improved with the arrival of a carload of office "stuff" -- mainly plants and computer equipment.

Let's take a photo tour, shall we?

My sewing room is just waiting to be used...

I want so badly to start making summer dresses and quilts and cloth napkins for summer picnics. But somehow there just hasn't been time. I suppose I've been legitimately busy, but it still feels like I've been slacking. The cold weather (notice the sleety drizzle out the window) has also been putting a cramp in my creative juices.

Bill is gone this week, and now that the house is totally unpacked (hurray!) I will have lots of time to kill in the evenings after the kids are in bed. Maybe I'll finally break out the rotary cutter and finish the three projects I had to stop midway through because of the move.

And office.

Of course, the real place I should be spending time this week is in my office. There are just no excuses left -- I have the proper computer, all the right peripherals, my complete files, and of course, a laundry list of tasks and emails that have been put off for the last month. 

I've been struggling a bit with temperature control in this room -- it's actually a sunroom that was added on at a later date and no connected to to the rest of the house's HVAC system. Instead, it has baseboard heaters, which are kind of hit-or-miss. I've also dragged in an electric radiator. Between the two heat sources, I'm generally able to get the room up to a comfortable temperature, but I have a tendency to ignore the temperate air until it heats up to "sauna levels". So then I turn the heaters off and don't notice until its frigid again. And so the cycle begins anew.

It's mine. All mine.

Despite any challenges, I can't complain. Because it is my own space, where I don't have to be responsible for anyone and where people have to knock to enter. Can I ask for more than that?

Maybe for the screaming children to keep it down in the basement.

Yeah, like that's going to happen.