Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ordinary Time in the Studio, Seasonal Tasks and "The Stupendous Steve N. Garage and Kitchen Project"

It is "Ordinary Time" in my studio.  This is time between sales, when I have planned and cut out many projects and am now simply stitching--some machine stitching, and then some hand-sewing, and sometimes moving between projects to keep me motivated. I still have quilt blocks cut and they are calling me to be laid out and stitched up to create quilt tops, though my focus for now has been to prepare items  for my holiday sales that will start in October and finish in December.
Assorted Varieties of Tomato Needlebooks

Hat and Strawberry needlebooks

Variety of Pumpkin Needlebooks

Wool Fruit and Vegetable Pincushions

Yet more fleece socks?
Ordinary Time in the summer brings seasonal tasks and projects that need to be done before winter. Hannah's garden is producing well and so there is always something to put up by canning or freezing. Hannah has been out picking strawberries and blueberries and freezing them, and she has just put up a large batch of roasted tomatoes that will be added to tomato sauces.  She has even done a batch of garlic dill pickles.
This summer we also are taking time to tackle cleaning out the garage, a job that was so overwhelming that we have put it off for two years. It is a seriously out-of-control mess. We have faced a similar accumulation when we first moved into our house.  The basement rooms were being finished off and all that went into them was stored in the garage, along with the remnants of our move.

This time it is what is left of items that were stored in our sheds, when their roofs caved in under the weight of too much snow two winters ago, along with items from my youngest daughter's move from one apartment and to another, leaving behind what she didn't have room for, thinking we did? There are also items taken from cars brought into the garage but not put away. We are serious collectors, though some would say that we boarder on being hoarders? We have certainly reached our limit to store anything else and so we will organize what stays and the rest must go. I am eager to have the garage function again as a garage. I can only dream of keeping my car in it again, making snow removal unnecessary in winter weather!

Pinterest has been a great resource that has given us many ideas for better organizing and storing equipment of all sorts. Because much of what is in the garage is what others use, I am being the follower versus the leader, besides which, I am not brave enough to face this task by myself.  It is a job that will have to be undertaken incrementally with my husband and daughters' busy work schedules. I consider my job to be much like a sheep herding dog...rounding up the workers and nipping at their heels to keep the process going, along with scheduling the incremental tasks that will take only brief periods of time and keep us chipping away at the bigger goal until it is done. Did I fail to mention that I will also be getting rid of a few of my accumulations that are merely taking up space?

Beginning is always the hardest part of any large undertaking and literally I sat in the garage to study what was there, what to get rid of and how to organize and consolidate what is to be stored. My mind couldn't begin to make any sense of this mess and so I snapped pictures of it instead. They are less than artistic shots. They will serve to remind me of what there there is to sort and/or dispose of. Afterwards I faced the wall attached to the house, trying to find a place to start and how to best use this wall for storage. I talked over ideas with my daughter and then made sketches that look like maps of what will go where. I made lists and will be thrilled when any single task gets done and can be checked off, though at this pace, it may take us years to complete the overall goal.

My daughter has a business trip this next week, and will stay on for a few days to visit friends, and so it will be a pause for me to put all of our ideas and plans together in a notebook, jot down short-term objectives to complete this goal. We WILL work hard when she returns. With faith and prayers completing small tasks, we will get the job done by October!  I have a friend visiting then and it is my goal to have it completed by the Friday before Columbus Day.  I am dedicating this job to this friend, Steve N. who is a friend from high school.  Who knows if I will be at my best, but my garage will be!! I hope to have our kitchen curtains dry-cleaned by October as well.  Who is stupid enough to make curtains in their kitchen that have to be dry-cleaned anyway?? Visits motivate me to take pride in my surroundings that I might not otherwise and this will be known as "The Stupendous Steve N. Garage and Kitchen Project". My last projects were "The Exciting Emmett McCarthy Painted Doors and Studio Storage Project".
Work  faster and we will soon have pictures of a clean garage to post?

I think I will have to schedule another important guest to get our deck sanded and painted next summer! Anyone want to come? Of course there are other projects as well that perhaps someone would like their name attached to, like The Rooting Out of My Daughter's Rooms Project?  Think of the fame and glory having your name attached to such an undertaking....not unlike the creation of the Grand Coulee Dam, I think? You will note that I added nice adjectives to these projects, so as to add fame to those names that are attached to them!Perhaps there should be a contest to name the redoing of my deck project, complete with a prize of coming to visit this grand location?

I dedicate this writing to T.B. Dodd who was one of my dad's best friends as well as his insurance agent. He knew first hand of my dad's anguish and grief while being the contractor for the form work for the unusual tent-like construction of Denver's airport years ago. In good humor, he had a clear plastic plaque engraved with "The Disaster That Did Not Happen at Stapleton International Airport Concourse B 1962". My dad disliked architects that designed difficult buildings to build, and this project proved to be a major headache for him! Perhaps I need special plaques created for each of my rooms where major accomplishments have been undertaken and completed and perhaps special ones to be attached to my children as well?