So, the move went surprisingly well, thanks to lots of help from my friend Anne, who spent a whole day helping me pack my kitchen and living room in advance, and my friends Talia and Aaron, who carried boxes and furniture on the day of the move. Bryan, of course, gets the MVP award (and he had the sore neck, back, and legs to prove it, since he and I unloaded the truck on our own in Bowie (which meant he unloaded all the heavy things!)). My mom, who helped pack the truck and the final odds and ends that are always impossible to deal with, gets the runner-up MVP award. It was definitely a team effort! We managed to get out of the apartment with a day to spare and very positive comments on the condition of the apartment from my landlord. I'm fairly certain I left it cleaner than I received it, which was my intent. Karma and all that!
In advance of the move, Bryan and I spent a lot of time completely clearing out the room formerly known as the guest room. There was a lot of stuff in there, so it was a big job, but we removed literally everything (even the blinds and old shelf in the closet!), and then set out to clean and repaint it. After priming everything and then painting the ceiling "Extra white" flat paint, the walls in "Morning Sun" "Eg-Shel" (that is how Sherwin Williams spells it!), and the trim in "Extra White" semi-gloss, it looks really fantastic! We used Sherwin Williams Harmony Paint, and I was really surprised at how pleasant it was to paint for many, many hours at a time thanks to the low odor and no VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
I'm so pleased with how the Woman-cave came out! We removed the closet doors to create a larger nook for my studio, and this past week we bought new shelf boards, brackets, and 2x4s to fix the old shelf and install a second shelf, along with a hanging rack in the closet. After priming and painting them white, they are ready for installation. I can't wait for the weekend to put it all up and to start unpacking fabric and getting everything situated! My old bedroom furniture is also in the room, so we still have a guest space, but I suspect the bed will be most useful as a laundry folding area/place for Bryan to lay and read/play Angry Birds by me while I'm creating.
And wow - I have so many things that I can't wait to create. I've been having such fun reading several modern quilting blogs, including www.filminthefridge.com, www.sewmamasew.com, http://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/, and www.handmadebyalissa.com/. It is really neat to see women who are actively making and selling quilts that are so modern and interesting. I have a lot of ideas on how I would construct certain designs differently, so I'm anxious to try it out and see why they work in certain ways and whether my concept would work equally well. I suspect some of the differences have to do with the size of the fabric that they are starting from in some instances - a charm pack or fat quarter instead of a larger piece of fabric. I'm also intrigued by the use of Kona solids - something I've really avoided in the past. I'm a batik-girl, and I tend to like everything to have a bit of a pattern/printed texture (aka I'll go for a Moda Marble when I need a "solid"), so I'm excited to try to expand my horizons a bit.
My immediate projects include finishing a nursery collection for my friend Kelly, finishing a t-shirt quilt for my Aunt Casey, and finishing a storm-at-sea quilt that was supposed to be a wedding present for Talia and Aaron. I also need to make some things for around the house. I am going to be using a former shoe shelf to house fabric on one of my two sewing tables, and in order to keep it clean/free of cat hair, I want to create a zippered cover for the whole thing - I'll take pictures as I go, since I think it could be a useful concept for many types of storage solutions. I also want to finish several other UFOs (unfinished objects), including several random baby quilts, a t-shirt quilt for me, several t-shirt quilts for Bryan, a queen sized quilt for my bed out of the most gorgeous batik ever made (I'm thinking of a French Braid quilt for this one), and a few modern lap quilts. I also want to make some new placemats and napkins, as well. So...my studio will see lots of action as soon as it is set up. More details to come...