I suddenly remembered (yesterday) that I had planned to figure out the details of my seed starting, buy everything, and set it up by now. Oops. Clearly, I've been a bit distracted. Not that I mind being distracted, but these things need to get done!
So what I did was figure out that I need to start 68 plants (I'm started a third more plants than I need of each variety), and then, given that they will be grown in 3 inch pots, I figured out the dimensions of the space I would need (3 pots by 23 pots is 9"x68", 4 pots by 17 pots is 12"x51" and so on). then I went and measured every available surface I had in the house (I don't want to build shelves) and found that the desk I NEVER use in my bedroom is not only a good bit larger than the necessary area, but is in the warmest spot in the house and is close enough to a low ceiling to easily accommodate a florescent light with adjustable chains for height without any other rigging. As for cat-proofing - we'll just have to hope, for now. if it gets bad, I'll make a chicken wire cage around the plants. I'll cover the surface of the desk with plastic so as not to hurt the pretty wood.
So that means I need to purchase:
1 florescent light fixture and bulb (about 40" long)
2 chains - 40" and 30" (it's a sloped ceiling)
2 ceiling hooks that can take the weight
...which really isn't bad at all.
I will make a bunch of little pots out of newspaper. Tutorial to follow.
Added bonus: that desk was a mess and during the lovely snow day I had this morning, I got a chance to finally (and for the first time, I think) clean it off.