Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Race is On! Week 1

I am actually doing "it."  

The "it" is the de-cluttering that I have lusted after for so many years now.  In the week since my last post, I have managed to remove one trash bag of junk to throw out every day.  Well, almost.  I had one day that I just simply crashed.  My momentum had been rising and I was so proud of  myself that I went ahead and ordered the Ott light that I chose for my work table.  I found exactly what I wanted from Lowe's.  It is so perfect that I am giddy waiting for it's delivery. It has a 38" reach so that I can have it well out of the way of my work and tools and still provide bright, full-spectrum light.  It's LED and I won't be sweating under it.  When I am working with the Dremel Flex Shaft I can position it so I won't catch it with the cord. On tracking delivery of my light, I see it will arrive on Monday and not Wednesday, as expected, so I really need to ramp up the clearing process because I planned that it would arrive when I was ready to place the table and I am not ready yet.  It's my carrot.

I have had "carrots" before this, but nothing helped much.  I was never able to get past a small amount of organizing one thing and at the same time making another mess in the process.  ...Like the time I organized all my yarn.  I bought hanging closet shelves and stashed like colors in different shelves.  That was great, but I continued to buy more yarn and didn't have room for more.  Then there were boxes and bags piling up and scattered around the floor in front of the closet, making it harder to get to the organized yarn.  You get the picture.

In all fairness to myself, I have not had it easy in this room.  I have a business, my husband has a business and we have yet another between the both of us.  I have several hobbies.  Combine all that in a 10 X 10 room, and have it all organized and I will be awestruck.  In the book,  Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie recommends the kindergarten classroom approach of having distinct areas for each activity.  Well, I decided to boot a few to another room.  I will make it work, and am happy with the prospect of having the business stuff in another room.  The book makes it such a simple vision to hold onto.

I began reading about the emotional aspects of why people hold on to the stuff.  I can relate to many of them.  Our past is often filled with wonderful memories and memorabilia that it is hard to let go of.  Mostly, I go about organizing in a very attention deficit way.  I read one author who described it as the "butterfly" approach.  The butterfly starts out in one spot, then flies to another (perhaps to put something away in another room) and then gets distracted there until the same thing happens again.  The result is I make a mess everywhere I end up and I am totally overwhelmed.

Julie's solution is to begin sorting through the clutter as a first step in the hands on approach.  In sorting, I keep a trash bag at hand to get rid of the all the old papers and junk that has no current or future purpose.  ...As I said, a bag each day is going to the trash!  I am so grateful for this slow but steady progress.  Because I stay in one place, I am not making messes all over the house, and slowly I am clearing both those vertical and horizontal square feet. 



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Choices & Facing Demons

I have not been posting for quite a while now.  I have not been creative either.  It seems they go hand in hand.  After the respite, I had to get ready for company.  Now, I hate to admit, but I am a messy artisan.  I get tunnel-vision and tear threw projects like  a tornado and make the biggest messes.  SO, getting ready for company is a "deer-in-the-headlights" moment for me.  Big reality check!!!!  To use another animal phrase, I had the "elephant in the living room" look.  Cleaning up after myself is fraught with decisions and such a bore because there is so much more fun to be had than the drudgery of housework.  However, once I got the living areas of the house looking company ready, I felt so much better about the view, and have determined that I am going to keep them clear and re-organize my everything room into a real studio.  I have been reading a very helpful book by Julie Morgenstern, named Organizing From the Inside Out.  I am such a hopeless case that I have to admit that I started this books years ago and never got beyond the third chapter.  For several years now, I have had a reminder on my bulletin board that "This will be the year that will end my clutter!"  I took it down this January 1 because I didn't want it nagging at me ANY MORE.  Little did I know what was in store for me just a few months ahead.

The thing I like about this author is that her story is just like mine.  She found a way to tackle her problem, and that gives me hope.  I also really really really really really want to have a beautiful clean and ready space to work in and to be able to walk into my studio without twisting and turning around piles and boxes of things that got there from previous quick clears for company visits.

Looking ahead, I have been planning out the new workspace on Pinterest and getting excited about having an optimum place to work with my supplies and tools all at hand with good lighting and and and and and.....

But in the meantime, I am struggling.  I pace the floors because I am not being creative and making jewelry, or sewing items I need, or knitting garments I want , and all those other projects that I have set for myself on Pinterest and that is just a start.  Julie suggests that we start setting up the space as soon as enough clearing will allow because it sets up a feeling of progress and reward.  This would be the solution for me, but I need to clear out the corner of the room, find someplace for all the clutter on the worktable and move a heavy 60" table, that has been used for paperwork, over by the window where it will be a craft table instead.

Anyway, here I am, publicly declaring to be a clutter addict ...resolving to change my ways.  I will post my progress every week until I get there, and be proud to share my new space at that time.  As I go, I will share my plans and dreams with you for my perfect space. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Respite

It had been a very long time since my Sweetie and I were off to ourselves.  Last week, the hospice team arranged for a five day time out for me and took my mom into their care.  We left the same day, heading for the hills.  ...Mountains actually near Asheville, North Carolina.  I captured a haul of gemstone beads at Beads & Beyond.  The store used to be in the historic downtown area of Asheville, but has recently moved to a small town a few miles away.  I say town but it really is off in the boonies on a winding mountain road.  We thought we were lost but kept going and eventually found it.  We had an educational  and red-carpet tour of the new store by it's owner, Barry, who loves talking about his treasures from all over the world and ancient beads were in abundance.  I loved the patina that time that had left.  Some of the beads were worn smooth and had a luster from hands passing over them countless times.  I came away with beads I had been wanting to work with ...lapis lazuli, faceted quartz nuggets, ocean jasper, lovely larimer, faceted crystal beads, ancient glass, cinnabar, and several other gorgeous stones and beads.  Not many in count, just a good handful, but I like to use just one or a few in a piece.  I think it features their special beauty better than large numbers in repetition.  ...And did I mention that I even got an assortment of Freebies?



In the Historic Downtown, we found street performers on every corner.  We especially enjoyed this musician playing his steel drum and didgeridoo...

video 


I had a great time spending my pocket of fun money.  Terrible thing what shopping deprivation can do when one is set free in an extraordinary place intended to make one's purse strings get loose.  I found fabulous leather scraps, to include some jade ostrich leather that I drool over, a soft beautiful olive green, textured chocolatey brown and metallic silver as well as natural linen cord at Earth Guild ...an institution for artisan weaving and textile supplies.  I grabbed aromatic incense at their next door neighbor, The Open Door, where you can find lots of hippie style clothing and jewelry.  ...'scuse me while I go light up a stick of Jasmine and get heady....


I was hoping for a perfect trip, but began to feel ill the afternoon of the second day.   ...Digestive tract.  The following morning, I noticed that the manager of the Quality Inn Motel where we stayed was handling the food for the Continental breakfast with his hands.  BIG UGH!!!!  Ya just don't know where those paws were last!  ...And what does that say for the behind the scenes preparation?  So, it may have been a bit of a bacterial thing and/or eating strange foods.  It took 24 hours to get myself right using my trusty oregano essential oil.  I haven't traveled without it for years.  Anyway, my plan for non-stop feasting and marauding though stores and sightseeing was stopped dead in it's tracks.

All in all, it was a delicious trip and the hubby and I find ourselves wishing we could return very soon.  That's all in greater hands than ours however, so we are just very grateful for the time and adventure we had.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Soulful Fill-ment

...Or soul fulfillment. ...Which ever way you want to look at it, it's not usually something that any one of us really wants to delve into.  Why?  ...Because after all, it is one of the scariest things we can do.  No one wants to fail, and Heaven forbid that we fail at that which is meant to really make us feel nurtured and whole.  If we have but one chance to achieve personal success and we miss it, what then?  Do we fall into a Black Hole of the Universe and disappear into a Void of Nothingness because that's where all failed humans go?   Is it a sort of Hell where everyone floats about in suspended animation with a dull stupid look on their face as if they were about to say something but forgot what it was?

O-o-o-o-o-h-h-h-h!

I shudder to think of it!  But if you do think of it, doesn't it feel as if that is where we are and what we do if we DON'T pursue our dreams and fulfill our souls?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Epiphany

There's nothing like going through life, passing Middle Ages and getting into the "Senior" category and still you don't really know what you want to be when you grow up.  In my case, I just enjoyed doing so many things that I haven't been able to decide.  So, the other day I made myself one of "those" lists and wrote down all the things I like that could be considered my Artisan ID.   In case you are head-scratching now, that's when you can be exposed to a created piece and know who did it.  Whether it is music or art or a fashion style, you just know who created it.  That's what I have been trying to figure out for months now.  However, even the list didn't help much to clarify my own definition, but the following morning whilst showering, I was hit with one of those thoughts that often come while I am relaxing and letting the hot water pour over me.  Why had I never thought of this in relation to my wardrobe?  My sewing over the decades has really defined me.  I know exactly what styles I like and will wear, and when I applied that same criteria to the jewelry making, my brain lit up like the fireworks on July 4th.  I have been excited about discovering myself ever since!

Inspiration hit me then too.  After looking over my boards on Pinterest for a few hours, I started to get ideas on what I wanted to put together, and here is what happened....  


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring is here!

With every end of the month I take inventory and ask myself what I most want to accomplish before the next month sets in.  It's about completion and feeling good about myself.  March winds seemed to blow hard on us symbolically here and brought chaos and changes that were not expected.  Even though last weeks Bad Business was a nightmare, it held within it the opportunity to spend longer moments with my passion.  Interrupted too often with endless aggravations, concentrating on taxes was out of the question.  So, I worked on jewelry.  Not only did it keep me calmer and more in control, but it was possible to finish a piece I began several weeks ago.  
I have been lusting over the idea of a lime green bracelet for ages and this little birdie sang an inspirational song to me.  I can hardly believe that I created this piece because it is so very different from anything I have ever done to date.  I used new skills that I picked up in Stephanie LeBaron Lee's Homesteaders Metalsmithing e-course.  There was such a wealth of information in it that I have barely touched the surface yet.  Just get me through taxes and will I ever have fun!!!




Monday, March 31, 2014

Bad Business!

Last week really was!  ...Naughty, bad hospice company!

Some of you know that I am a caregiver for my mother who has Alzheimer's Disease.  She is now bedridden, and is in a bad way mentally and in rapid decline, but her nearly 99 year old body is still pretty healthy.  Anyway, I had been very dis-satisfied for a few months now with the hospice company that has been providing services for her.  They changed over leadership, and have been so corrupted by greed that they were making good, solid experienced employees leave and the others were fired, and have hired less satisfying employees to replace them.   Care has been a chore with the new people, and supplies were not brought in sufficiently or appropriately.  So, last week I decided to change to a new company.  Well, there is huge $$$ in hospice care.  Medicare pays an average of $150 per day for patients and my mother requires so little additional care that they only met the basic requirements of one nurse visit per week and one social worker visit per month and a re-certification visit each 60 days.  That means for around 4-1/2 hours per month they get about $4500.  Do I wish that the government was putting all that in my pocket!  My mom is a "cash cow" in other words.  Minimal care and cost and maximum $$moola$$.  Long story short:  they made all the trouble for me to switch that they could, including withholding transfer forms and trying to get Mom bumped out of the system  They wanted to pick up the bed and all her equipment the very next morning at 9 AM.  Considering she sleeps about 20 hours a day now I had to tell them I was not home and wouldn't be able to accommodate them until later in the afternoon.  Luckily, the new company jumped through a lot of hoops and we had a bed and other equipment by 7:30 that evening.  I don't think Tidewater is done with me yet, as I plan to let a few people know like the referring doctor, Medicare and the Better Business Bureau.