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153 year old Pennsylvania church converted to a home & artist workshop studio

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The heat is ON!

It really feels amazing looking back at pictures of The 1870 from a year ago and seeing how far we have came. Yes, we still have a million miles to go on this project, but you can actually SEE the progress in the photos.

The one thing you can't see is the fact that the church now has a working furnace, repaired frozen & burst pipes (I lost track of how many of them there were) and this winter, for the first time since we bought this lovely place, I won't see my breath while I'm working inside. It's amazing!

The furnace is oil and we have 4 massive tanks in one of the basements. It's a scary proposition and we have no idea how much this winter is going to cost, but the comfort it is already giving is so nice. Plus I'll be able to paint inside this winter! That a is a real bonus with the amount of painting I still have to do here.

Today was unseasonably warm with the temperature hitting 72 degrees and the sun popping out from time to time, but tonight the low is going to be 37. The furnace will kick quietly on and thankfully it just runs a few minutes, usually five, before the 19 radiators get toasty warm. So far it's been running about twice an hour, which really isn't bad. The lowest temperature we've had so far has been 29 with frost. I know it will get much, much colder.

While the leaves are still flying and not the snowflakes, I'm bringing lots of the outside in. We've got so many bittersweet vines inside that it feels a little bit like we're in a forest! It's wonderful. We also have a little greenhouse right beside my stained glass studio that is hiding behind the pipe organs. The window faces the west and we are going to be adding growing lights to help the tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, zucchini, beans and sweet peas all to grow big and strong! Even though we have lots of ladybugs that are inside now, I'm still going to help the blooms by using a paint brush to pollinate when the blooms come.

There is an upholstery project that I'm going to start on this week as well as the mural on the stage with the autumn scene.  I've been working up my sketch and will do a small watercolor to test the colors and balance.

Wildlife has been going just crazy here! We have three bird feeders outside our entrance door and we have seen about 20 different kinds of birds so far. Plus the squirrels! So many squirrels!!! They are so fun to watch and we really don't mind them eating too. For the most part, they get along fine with the birds, except for a very greedy blue jay. He swoops in, tries to chase the squirrel and it's just really fun to watch!!!

We also seem to have a pet deer that comes in for the apple tree in the neighbor's yard. She's lovely, so timid and I'm hoping she makes it through hunting season.

The Ladies Creative Club has met now twice and I have to say, I really love it! It's a great way to meet people in the area. Since I work inside the church mostly, it's difficult meeting people. The schedule is posted on our Facebook page and on here. If you're able, please stop in sometime for the fun!

It's getting gloomy enough in here to turn on some twinkling lights and I think I'll put on a movie on the big wall. Hope you have a Happy Halloween and get more treats than tricks!
See you in November!

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