Saturday, January 26, 2013

On a good day --a very, very good day -- this is how my office/studio could look.  I say "could" because it would have required extreme effort on my part to keep the work table clean, and to keep that spot on the left next to my computer monitor free of papers and miscellaneous stuff waiting for handling. 

But, as I've mentioned, I now have the room to expand.  The computer desk you see on the left there (a big corner unit), and a table that you don't see, has been moved to another bedroom down the hall.  So I have two dedicated spaces: one for sewing, and the other for work, computer business -- but wait, there's more!  That office now holds a table which I hope to use as a dedicated space for painting.  I can hardly believe it.

Yesterday, the main project was to wrestle the furniture out of one room into the other, and to get the computer hooked up and running.  I will add that, in preparation for that, I painted the office a lovely color and touched up all of the white trim.  As long as I had the trim painting in hand, I went around the house, touching up nicks and dents and scrapes so things like all white and clean.   As it turned out, moving the furniture required taking the doors off of the hinges, removing the feet and some miscellaneous parts from the desk, and basically shoving it through at one point.  But here are a few lessons learned: 1) Move furniture first, THEN do the paint touch up.  I'll have to get out the paint again to deal with a few (ahem) gouges at the edge of the door frame.  2) A silicone ironing sheet does not work as a furniture slider.  Yes, I tried, and no, it didn't really make a difference.  Good idea, though, huh?

Today was dedicated to taking the studio from a full-out disaster zone to reasonably tidy.  No, I didn't take pictures.  But I did fill a whole lot of garbage bags, and in case you need a picture, here you go:
At some point, mystified by some marks on the work table that wouldn't come clean, I remembered I had some of these Mr Clean eraser thingies downstairs.  I went and fetched one, and lo and behold, it worked miraculously.  I don't know what magic product these sponges have in them, but they clean amazing things.  And so that lead me to a somewhat frenzied excursion around the house, swiping away with a Mr Clean eraser and chortling gleefully at how stains or marks I had resigned to being permanent just wiped away.

Cleaning with these is weirdly addictive, and I say that as someone who is decidedly NOT a good cleaner.  The weird rust-like stains on my white enameled bread box?  Gone like magic.  The scuff marks at the bottom of the door to the hall closet?  Vanished.  At one point Miss C came downstairs to remind me it was time for our trip to the animal shelter for volunteer kitty time, and I found it hard to stop cleaning.

Hah.  I know.  I think I'll have to check at Costco to see if they sell these things in bulk.  If you don't hear from me in a week or two, send help -- I might be doing laps around the house, eraser in hand, scanning for marks to clean.

I will post pictures when things are settled.  But for now, I'm enjoying the new space and feeling proud of myself for all of the stuff I'm purging and the dirt I'm erasing. 

I think I deserve a hot bath and a brownie tonight.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In the Pink

Apparently there are people who can paint a room and end up with all of the paint on their walls, instead of on their bodies and clothes.  I see them on HGTV all the time -- they toss on an apron over lovely clothes and start painting and by the time they're done, they look just the same.

Me?  Not so much.  When I titled this post "In the Pink," I was speaking literally.  I have spent the last few days painting the room I'm converting to my work and computer office.  It's a small room -- 10x11, maybe, nothing complicated.  Still, I managed to get paint EVERYwhere.  On my clothes.  On my arms and legs and glasses and feet.  There was one exciting (and I mean that in a bad way) moment when I knocked the paint tray off of the ladder and it fell straight down, landing upside down of course.  Thank goodness I'd taken my messiness into consideration and covered the floor liberally with plastic-backed drop cloths.  And how many times did I then STEP into the spilled paint splotch?  Once is bad enough, but yes, I did it more than that. 

Sheesh.  How do those HGTV folks do it?

I can at least report that I did not get a single speck of paint on my Ipad, which I had in there to listen to NPR and TED talks while I painted. 

At any rate, aside from a tiny bit of touching up on the white trim (which I'll do tomorrow), I am DONE. 

 I can hardly wait to start moving furniture in and organizing the office.  And then that will lead to re-organizing my sewing room to take advantage of the space vacated by the desk.  So more excitement ahead, but at least the painting is done. 

And, by the way, I now remember why I vowed after painting the family room and kitchen a few years ago that from then on I'd hire painters. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

A New Sense of Well-Being

There are times in one's life that present opportunities for reinvention.  Sometimes we recognize them, as with the start of a new job, or a move to a new place; sometimes they seem like part of life's progression, and only in retrospect do we recognize how much our lives and our roles in them evolved.  Graduating from school and transitioning to the working world, getting married, adopting a child -- I look back at those times and while I knew those were big milestone events that would change my life, I didn't appreciate how much they'd change me and my sense of myself.

I've been in transition over the last year, and I'm glad to report that I've entered a new and contented phase.  It's definitely a time of reinvention -- I'm viewing myself and my life in a new way, not quite sure what will come, but feeling hopeful and peaceful and energized.  I feel a bit like that branch in the photo up there -- something has been lopped off, but something new is starting to bloom, too.  It's odd, and a bit scary at times, but mainly it feels good.

So I've been working on cleaning house -- literally and figuratively.  I feel the need to get the space around me tidied up and uncluttered and serene.  (Okay, I'll confess that I've got a long way to go before things get to "serene" around here -- I just have too much stuff around me that I love and get pleasure from seeing!  But it's getting better!)  On the literal side, I've hauled boxes of clothes and shoes and household items to the Salvation Army, and I've weeded books from the shelves to donate to the library for its next sale.  I'm moving things around, and I've even begun painting the room that will soon be my working office in a delicate ballet slipper peachy-pink, so I can work in a rosy glowing space.  My sewing space will expand a bit (moving the desk out gives me a few more precious feet of space -- hurray) and I'm creating a corner that will be dedicated to drawing and painting so I don't have to put away the sewing things before I can break out the watercolors. 

And I'm making lists, lots of lists-- and setting some new paths for myself (I'll avoid the dreaded Resolution word) to get back to things I have loved and missed (like blogging here more regularly).  When the weather warms up a bit, I'll get out to the garden, too. 

Oh, so much to do, so many ideas and plans ... and it feels very good.