On the Docket

The view from our back porch after the sunset
With April right around the corner (even though it's snowing outside my window as I write this), I've been a Vermont resident for a little over 2 months. Of course, for almost one month of that I was studying for the bar, and for 10 days of it, I was out of the country. So my time actually in this apartment has been somewhat limited. But aside from some weekend trips here and there, I'm looking forward to a long stretch of settling in. 

I love that phrase - settling in. People keep asking me - how are you settling in up there? Are you all settled in? Are you feeling more settled in? 

The image I have every time I get the question is of sitting on our couch and wriggling my butt and back into the cushions to get just the right squishy, cuddly, settled in position. Ah, yes. That's it. Now where's my cup of tea?

But that is kind of what it's like - settling in, I mean. It's about finding the place (both physically and mentally) that feels right and comfortable and appropriately supportive but not so much so that you can't raise yourself up out of it to get some stuff done. 

I'm still doing it, still learning this town, still getting used to this apartment, still settling in. I love it here, but I'm not settled yet. 

Some of that will come from outside our house - specifically, a job. Not knowing how I'm going to be spending my days is decidedly unsettling. As is the accompanying ambivalence about any job I might get - I do not want to re-live my old job in DC

But some of the settling comes from inside the house. And that's where I've got a zillion and one projects all flurrying around in my head fighting for front and center. 

I hope that April will bring both a job and some headway on a lot of these projects. And perhaps also some of the settling in that comes from inside inside - from slowing down and letting go and taking time to breathe - all those cliched phrases that stick around because they're right on the money.

But until then - projects!

Here's what's on the docket for the coming weeks:

Some easy children's tote bags that I've been working on, using the kitenge fabric that I brought back from Africa. There will be a tutorial coming up on that!

Recovering a floor pillow that's been hanging around since we moved. It's actually an extra back cushion for our couch that we don't need on the couch (long story). I love floor cushions, though - mainly because sitting on the floor seems cozy to me - so I wanted to cover this one and make it into a bonafide accessory to the room. 

I found this great fabric store right down the road from us - Rags & Riches. They sell home fabrics - drapery and upholstery fabrics mostly. I'm so proud of myself for bringing home four swatches. I used to just buy the fabrics and hope they worked, but blogs like Young House Love are encouraging me to take my time and make sure I'm getting what I want before I put the cash on the table. So I'm deciding between these four swatches. 

I came home thinking that the bottom swatch would be the winner. It has a gorgeous, whimsical motif. Here's a full picture that I took at the store. 

It would be a nice touch of nature in a room that's shaping up to be pretty modern with mostly geometric designs. But after looking at it for a while, I'm not sure that it's the right yellow. And since the love seat that we have coming is red (in the red-orange family), I'm worried that the colors might compete too much. So now I'm leaning towards the cream background with the little stick trees and a contrasting color piping. But I'm going to sit with it for at least a day.

Votes from the crowd?

This behemoth table. 

Do you remember back from when I first showed you the dining room?

Dining room

Yep. Just a tiny little table, which is now on our front porch. 

We picked the new guy up for $45 at a local thrift store that specializes in home goods - Recycle North

We've been keeping him covered with a tablecloth because his appearance under there is less than stellar. Shall we have a look?

 And my personal favorite. 

Or is my favorite the shag carpeting that's stuck to the bottom of the legs?

We only buy classy furniture here, folks. 

Navah was very hesitant, but I prevailed upon her that it was a good solid piece that could sit at least 8 people (if not more) and that I'd be able to refinish it and make it gorgeous. And I still think I can. Of course, after practicing with my new sander on a little end table with a friend last weekend, I'm realizing it's probably a much bigger job than I expected. But that's okay - I'm up to the task!

The only part I'm really concerned about is the pieces that stick out underneath, which appear to have been excellent chew toys for a dog. 
Wood putty perhaps? I'll have to look into that more.

One of the neatest things is that we found a manufacturer stamp underneath, and after doing a little google searching, found information about the Vermont company that made this table sometime between 1957 and 1982. And we learned that it's probably pine (if it's older) or oak (if it's newer), information that will help me when I start staining. 

New gallery wall!

I'm doing something a little different this time, and I'm really excited about it. Stay tuned for more on that soon.

And there are a few projects that I don't have photos of yet: 

Painting a foam mat for the kitchen floor.

I've already begun this project, but after two cans of white spray paint + primer and a mat that's definitely not white, I'm taking a wee break before I throw the whole thing over the deck. 

I think things have been a bit too windy for the painting to work out as planned (or I'm just totally inept with a can of spray paint?), so I may resort to regular 'ol paint and brush and avoid myself some angst.

Looking for deck furniture for our front porch, which will also likely involve recovering some cushions.

Buying some herb and veggie plants for our back porch container garden

And I'm continuing to work on our save the dates, but that's a secret! 

As with all these projects and the ones I have sitting in drawers and on desks waiting to be finished, you'll be the first to know about them. 

April's going to be a busy month! And I can't wait to share it with you!