Posts Tagged ‘cleaning’

Projects For Fidgety Fingers

February 8, 2017

Last month I attended an all-day writing workshop with some friends. I filled my tote bag with notebooks and pens. Then, for reasons I barely understand myself, I threw in a beading project.

So far, this is untitled with pearls

So far, this is untitled with pearls

My friends asked what the project was for. I said I wasn’t sure, but the truth is I knew my fingers would get fidgety. The workshop included a lot of time for discussion, and we all know that quilters/beaders/knitters/needleworkers can run both the mouth and the fingers at the same time. Sure enough, by the afternoon I was desperate for something to do with my hands when we weren’t actually writing.

When I got home, I noticed once again all the little boxes and bags I’ve collected over the years for portable projects. I opened a few and discovered that while I had indeed used all of them at one time or another, I had never cleaned out a single one.

A darning box for socks I no longer own

A darning box for socks I no longer own

Some of the boxes are big enough to hold several projects. This plastic stacking bin is a good example.

Lani Longshore small tote

I have no idea why I didn’t put another project in the bin. Heaven knows I have enough work in various stages of completion.

A cupcake container makes a wonderful sorting tool

A cupcake container makes a wonderful sorting tool

I’ve collected fabrics that I think would work well together so that when the need arises for a quick gift I can grab a bag and get started. This year, one of my goals will be to clean out the bring-along boxes, and have projects ready to pick and go when I suspect I’ll get a case of fidgety fingers.

Lani Longshore fabric collections

Luck and wisdom!

Next Steps

November 16, 2016

Before the holidays really kick in, I’ve sorta kinda maybe vowed to clear off my sewing table. I do this every year, sometimes successfully. This is the season when my studio turns into the scary room. We clear out stacks and piles in other rooms to accommodate guests and the Christmas tree and presents needing to be wrapped and extra supplies and . . . anyway, I did finish the tree project

A few beads, a little silk cord, and done!

A few beads, a little silk cord, and done!

I also made a project for myself with another patch from my collection.

Lani Longshore celtic horse

While I was rearranging piles, I found a painted block of Cannon Beach. The block will go on top of a pile for inspiration once the holidays are over and I need something to distract me before I check on all my new deadlines.

Lani Longshore Cannon Beach

Luck and wisdom!

You Know You’re Sick When Cleaning Takes Priority

March 23, 2016

I am now on my second week of blowing off almost everything but sleeping. Whatever is blooming must be tapping into me for extra energy, because I certainly don’t have any.

The pollen from this one tree has turned our sidewalk green

The pollen from this one tree has turned our sidewalk green

There were bills that needed to be paid, and I managed to get to the grocery before we completely ran out of food. I have also done a load of laundry and some cleaning. I’m hoping that clearing some of the pollen out of the house will help. Seriously, that’s been the most creative thought I’ve had all week – get rid of the pollen.

Lani Longshore buffalo collage

Meanwhile, my national parks projects are calling me. Faint, yes, but they’re trying to make their presence known. I thought if I made a collage from the buffalo fabrics I might be able to find enough energy to embroider the edges. This is as far as I got.

Lani Longshore buffalo collage detail

My husband is also sick, although he is a few days behind me. He bought food and medicine before we both became unsafe at any speed, giving me enough time to recover for my shopping trip. With luck, we’ll be back to our normal routines soon. Until then, buy stock in Kleenex – we’re pushing up the second quarter sales all by ourselves.

Luck and wisdom!

Forward, Backward, Sideways

August 20, 2014

I made some progress, had a set-back, and slid to the side in my on-going battle of the piles. The step forward is we rearranged some of the furniture we are minding for our daughter while she is in graduate school (or at least until she moves to a larger space).

My purple plate collection

My purple plate collection

This collection of dishes began with a purple plate that Margaret Misegades gave me. The top bowl is from a Progressive Party outing to the local paint-your-own ceramics place to celebrate Maya Madhavan’s birthday. The collection used to live on my ironing board. Now it can be admired.

Unknown bags - maybe mine, maybe not

Unknown bags – maybe mine, maybe not

The step backward was discovering another collection of bags in our daughter’s room. Two of them are mine, I think. It’s been so long since I’ve seen them that I can’t remember acquiring them.

Something more to sort

Something more to sort

The sideways step is this new pile of my stuff that had been road-hogging our daughter’s closet. Now it is in a corner of her former room. My husband has rearranged that room to suit himself, which is only fair as I have colonized almost every other room in the house. The new pile is at least tidy, and I don’t have a deadline to sort it.

Of course, given that I’m pathetic without deadlines, he might regret telling me I can deal with the pile at my leisure.

Luck and wisdom!

Transitions

October 16, 2013

The prison quilting class began a new phase this week. I conducted my last class as leader and passed the program on to new teachers.

 

My last load of kits and class projects

My last load of kits and class projects

 

Whenever I let go of one project – rare times, but they do happen – I imagine all the new projects I’ll tackle with the extra time in my schedule. One would think by now I’d have accepted the reality of transition time. One would think.

 

This is the notebook I re-purposed for the FCI quilters manual.

 

Lani Longshore notebook

 

Since I had been a committee of one, the manual was in my head. Part of my transition time was occupied by writing down the things in my head, which is always a scary business.

 

Lani Longshore title page

 

There is also the scary business of transferring all the stuff I still have for the program to the new teachers.

 

Stuff that must leave my house

Stuff that must leave my house

 

Admittedly, it will be scarier for them.

 

More stuff that must leave my house

More stuff that must leave my house

 

When all that is finished, I need to finish up my Christmas projects. Mom and I bought the fabric for her gifts together. Here is the block for one of the three dresser scarves I’m making for her.

 

One block, just one little block

One block, just one little block

 

This is what all three look like on my design wall.

 

What do the blocks say to you?

What do the blocks say to you?

 

I think there is some kimono work in my future, when I really do have that extra time I’m imagining.

 

 

Empty Boxes

January 30, 2013

For the first time since September, I have empty boxes. No, not here:

sewing room

The empty boxes are on my calendar.

calendar

Of course, that won’t last. Just yesterday I agreed to take the lead on writing a grant proposal. It’s due March 1. Nevertheless, I have no pressing deadlines this week.

The reason I have a few free days is that I am finished with the manuscript for When Chenille Is Not Enough, the sequel to Death By Chenille.

The manuscript is finished!

The manuscript is finished!

I vowed to have it finished by January so we could get it to the printers in time for its unveiling in April at theĀ SAQA conference in Santa Fe, which is the weekend before Art Quilt Santa Fe. Until my co-author Ann Anastasio gets back to me with her edits, I can focus on other things.

Yesterday, I focused on the sewing room. I cut kits, cut scraps, and put fabric away. This morning I consolidated two boxes, freeing up one whole cubby for embroidery projects. I’d sing about how great I feel, but I don’t want the efficiency gods to think I’m getting uppity. They can be so petty. Still, I’m going to relish the joy for as long as I can.

I might even have time to bake some cookies to celebrate Ground Hog Day.

 

Life Happens

January 3, 2013

I had every intention of putting things in boxes last week. It didn’t happen. Like the darkness before the dawn, my sewing room got more crowded. It seemed the only solution would be to rent a dumpster.

My studio, my scary room

My studio, my scary room

Then I had a moment of clarity, and realized this was just another good news-bad news situation. The bad news is I’ve been blogging about organizing my sewing room for three years and it’s still a mess. The good news is, the mess changes. I do make progress, but then life happens and I’ve got another mess. They key words in that sentence are life happens. I’m alive, and I’m being creative. If occasional chaos is the price of creativity, I’m happy to pay.

In another good news-bad news situation, other members of the family decided to include clear-outs, clean-ups and reorganizations in their New Year to-do lists.

I need to find another place for these

I need to find another place for these

The bad news is some of those clear-outs – such as the book collection cull – will require my attention. The good news is that I might be able to take advantage of the mess to disguise some of my piles as I’m sorting them. In chaos, there is profit.

Finally, we still have the Christmas mess to contend with.

Santa filled the stockings, then left the wrapping supplies

Santa filled the stockings, then left the wrapping supplies

So, chaos rules in my house on the first days of 2013. We will do battle, chaos and I. Don’t tell me if you bet on chaos to win.