Friday, August 18, 2017

Odds and Ends

Yesterday we spent our afternoon at the race track for our once-a-year day at the track.  I lost more than I have in the past (under $10), and D came home the modest winner of an Exacta.

Today it's pouring, and we were scheduled to take our daughter and grandson to a local baseball game.  But when we talked with them this morning, we suggested they visit next weekend.  Grandson just got home from a trip to D.C., and when the rain came down as it did when we were at the Yankees' game, they decided to stay home.  Smart move!

However, as this game and the picnic before hand is a fundraiser for our local library, since we have already bought the tickets, we will go anyway.  At least for the picnic (as soon as I finished that sentence, the skies opened up again!) . . .

Reporting in on my list of six things I need to accomplish:  One more bin for the dining room was emptied and contents put away this morning.  Now there is just a small bin (of the size one can put under a bed) to tackle and the dining room will be back in order.

This afternoon, I planned to work on the painting side of the studio.  Planned to but didn't do.  I was lured to the fabric side (it's much prettier than paint brushes and easels!) and spent a couple of hours in more organizing.  Actually, I was looking for some stencils I had purchased to use as embroidery designs for dish towels, but I couldn't find them.  At least not yet!  I did find a small box of items I had set aside to use on the crazy quilt block I'm working on that honors my sister.  It will be fun to check that out tonight when we return from the ballpark (though it's beginning to look more doubtful that we'll go).

Another day on the plus side of getting the studio organized!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Progress Made

Another day of following my plan to get some things done that have been hanging fire for too long.  First I took a look at the yarn I had recently purchased.  That reminded me that I had yarn downstairs that needed to be sorted through also.  One of the problems I face, with the yarn I have, is that there is lovely yarn bought for specific projects, but I can't remember what the projects are!  So I took the time to find the patterns and match it to the yarn.  Once matched up, I put the yarn in a bag with the pattern or (if the pattern was going to be used with other yarn also) with a note with the specific pattern's name.  That took over an hour but was not on my list so I can't really count it.

Then after lunch, I went back to the studio where I spent almost three hours.  I could get more done in more quickly if I merely put things away without bothering to organize, to figure how items were going to be used, and most importantly, to decide whether I really wanted/needed the objects I was sorting through. I did fill a garbage bag with things that I didn't want and that could not, for a variety of reasons, be given to others.  Other things were organized and will be ready to be either put in a bin (if it isn't going to be used soon) or put on a shelf.

All this time is being spent on only the first item on my list of things I want to do.  If I merely work around the disorder to sew or paint, the mess will not only stay in the same place, it's more likely that it will grow.  

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sharing a List of Chores

All right, I have to admit it; my phone and I are at cross purposes simply because I don't know how to upload photos from my phone directly onto my computer.  Well, I knew I needed to attach my phone's cord to the computer, but then?  I thought it would be simple - that I would receive a prompt or icon to click on and presto! my photos would be uploaded and easy to use.  Not so! and I still haven't figured it out so I'll have to trek back to the phone store and humbly admit my ignorance.  Until then, the photos I promised from my phone will remain among the missing.

Instead today I took photos using my camera which I do know how to use (okay, I know a little!) and took photographs that I will share shortly.  First though, the background to this story.  Since we started our most recent renovation, I have exclaimed and complained about the untidiness that goes along with such an endeavor.  So much of my time has been spent re-organizing that I haven't had time to do much else.  Enter Best Friend (known hereafter as BF). She also was having some trouble getting things done.  Putting our heads together, we decided that by joining forces we might conquer the problem.

Last night we exchanged lists of what we wanted to accomplish and thought we might be able to do in one month's time - give or take a bit (the amount of time was not critical, completion of listed tasks is the focus).  First on BF's list was a particular quilt, and first on mine was tidying my studio.  Today she and I met to run an errand and promised that we would check in on our progress daily.  As I left her, she reminded my that I had to do an hour (a manageable and reasonable period of time) of work in the studio while I reminded her that she had to focus on her first project.

Shortly after arriving home, I repaired to the studio and put in two hours of tidying/organizing.  Much of that time was spent putting fabrics in a bin but . . . keeping in mind that my task had to be organized in such a way that I could locate the fabrics easily in the future.  Usually I type out a list of contents and put 2 copies facing out on the inside of the bin - one copy in the front and one on a side. While this has been helpful in the past, I thought I'd try something new today.

So I took photographs of the fabrics and will add them to the list of contents.  Remembering the fabric line a year later by name alone or by proposed use doesn't always work.  

Here are a some of those photos:

When you look at these few pictures of fabrics and see how different the fabrics are, you can understand how hard it might be to describe them briefly but succinctly enough for recognition after the passage of time.

Yet, the real point is that something was accomplished today that had been so overwhelming to me that I had been unable to get started on it before now.  I'll bet that some of you have experienced the same issue.  My advice?  Ask a friend like my BF who will encourage you and/or nag you when necessary to share a list of projects you want to do. 

Believe me, it's working so far.  I'll keep you posted about my progress.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Summer Time"

Do you ever find yourself singing the song "Summer Time"?  Well, the living may be easy, but it is also busy, isn't it!   This past week D and I had a super time with SiL A in Corning and in Austerlitz, NY.  No photos, alas; my phone and I aren't on speaking terms right now.

We went to Corning to go to the glass museum where we took a guided tour that was absolutely top notch with a docent who not only knew her "stuff" but was truly enthusiastic and happy to be there sharing her knowledge.  Taking that tour allowed us to hone in on areas that we wanted to re-visit the next day which was a good thing because it is a large museum with many different areas that appeal to different interests.  

We also went to two demonstrations of glassblowing and of how Tiffany glass is made.  Wow!  If you go, you absolutely have to go to the demonstrations.  First, we learned a lot, and second, the demos were fascinating!!!

We also took a "glass class".  That, too, proved to be fun.    More about that in good time.

The next morning we took the free bus from the glass museum to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art in downtown Corning first.  What a surprise that turned out to be!  None of us expected the wealth of fine works (from early to contemporary) that took our breath away!  The museum store is small but had some fine items.  Don't worry; I think I spent under $20.  Oh, and fabulous building, too.  We highly recommend that museum!

From there we climbed back on the bus (not a long ride but welcome transportation on a hot summer day) and returned to the glass museum.  Once there we returned to some of our favorite displays and found many new ones to amaze us.  And of course, we also visited the HUGE museum store there, too, where I picked up a few small gifts).  We had lunch, and visited some more displays before leaving for home.

And of course, among all those activities, we did pick up the results of our glass class the previous day.  By unanimous acclaim, SiL A won!  She made a picture frame that is really good - bright colored squares on a white background - very eye-catching.  D came in second with his night-light; we plugged it in when we returned home, and it is a happy scene with shining sun, trees and grass.  We all agreed that the less said about my attempt at glass design the better.  Frankly, it was downright UGGG-ly!

Don't worry; I swallowed my chagrin with Brooks barbecued chicken that we bought as we passed through Oneonta on our way home.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

August Update

It is truly August - already!  We have had a terrific time with daughter and grandson at a Yankee vs Tiger game in NYC (Tigers won - D happy; daughter and grandson good sports) despite the absolute deluge at the end of the 7th inning. Didn't get home until after 1:00 a.m. - groans all around. Company in the late afternoon today for quiet drinks in the backyard.  Painter to come Monday to work on more odds and ends, and (we hope) start on the front porch.  Next up?  SiL coming this week for a trip to Corning to visit the glassworks and take a class!  Then on to visit the home of Edna St. Vincent Millay (a favorite of mine since my teen years).

In between those busy and happy times, we have been managing to find and gradually return various items that had been put away during laying wood floors, painting, and carpeting.  Lovely jobs like locating the bins with the china cabinet's contents and putting all that away while deciding which things could be passed on to charities.  Finding lamps and vacuuming their shades, putting new ones together, and trying to remember where we wanted to put them!  Realizing that closet doors can't be put up because new carpet is too high and having to call construction guys back to shave doors.  Cleaning the garage where construction guys had to cut floor boards on rainy days (and they all were rainy!), dusting every inch of every piece of furniture stored in garage so floor could be put in, and then carrying everything back into the house.

But hey, the car is back in the garage, the house is a little closer to habitable, and D and I are still married!