What a beautiful Sunday morning it is! The temperature is cool, the sun is shining and there is a soft and gentle breeze. It is so quiet and peaceful, I can hear the river across the road. Even the birds are quiet this morning, with only one mourning dove cooing periodically. It is certainly going to be a wonderful day.
We finished cutting the pieces yesterday for the 250 kits. As expected, it only took a couple of hours and we were finished by dinner time. We made a kind of game of it, with both Keith and I seeing who could cut their piece faster. Both of us have high standards for accuracy, so we didn’t let things get sloppy, but the friendly competition made the work kind of fun, and the time passed quickly and the pieces piled up.
I am going to be diplomatic and say we both came out about even. I had the more aggressive saw, which was to my advantage, but I also removed the pattern pieces as I cut, so that slowed me down a bit. In between pieces, we took turns running the shop vac, keeping everything much cleaner than you would think. Staying on top of the mess took only a few seconds but the result was profound.
When we were done, we spent half an hour or so cleaning. We bagged up and removed all the scraps, boxed all the pieces up neatly and vacuumed and dusted everything from the floors to the ceiling to the tops of the kitchen cabinets. Yes – it is much cleaner than you could imagine and if anyone were to walk in for dinner, they would never have known that we cut 3200 pieces of wood here over the last three days. I am proud.
There are ways to make things work if you have a will to do so. I think the most important thing that helps keep our place clean is that we really do try to minimize clutter. Before this recent marathon of cutting, I cleared all that I could from the kitchen counters. That left little to collect the dust and made the clean up a breeze. A quick vac with the shop vac and a wipe down of the counters and they were good to go in literally minutes from being done. By stopping every 20 minutes or so (each time I finished a 10” x 10” sheet of about a dozen ornaments) and running the vac around the saw and floor, it kept my work area clean and made for a pleasant environment. Then if I had to make a trip to the washroom or to change the paper in the printer, I wasn’t dragging the mess with me. It just makes sense.
I receive lots of letters and notes asking how we manage to keep things clean while we are doing woodworking in our living space, but I can honestly say that it is probably cleaner here when we do our cutting than when we do not. Keeping up after thing is really the key. It takes only a few seconds and makes a huge difference.
After dinner I kind of just relaxed and fooled around on the computer for a bit. I know I have stuff to do, but I needed to take a breath and regroup after the marathon of cutting. It was good to sit with the various cats in my lap (they took turns) and just read the news and watch a show. Usually I am multi-tasking, but I didn’t feel like doing so last night. I think we earned a ‘night off.’
Today I will be working on writing patterns and also catching up on posting my receipts. I have been pretty good keeping up with my finances so that next year at tax time it would take little effort to get things in order. That is one thing about the business growing that commands my attention. I don’t want to be behind on that.
We still need to drill the holes in the 3200 pieces, but I think I will save that until tomorrow. We can’t even begin to pack the kits up until Tuesday the earliest when the packaging bags will arrive. It will be good to focus on something else for today and move the other piles in a positive direction. The important part is that the cutting is done, and the patterns are just about done printing. We are well on our way to getting this order out.
I know I am going to enjoy the day today. I can work at a leisurely pace and not feel pressured by anything. Perhaps we can even try to take a walk in the woods, as it has been a while since we have done that I am sorry to say. I want to enjoy the beauty of the day while I have the chance to take a breath. After all, that is what makes life so good, isn’t it?
I wish you all a wonderful Sunday today!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"