It is amazing how far behind one can get by just getting away for a day or so! I have no regrets though and I hope to spend the day finishing getting caught up and back to working 'normally.'
I spent the day yesterday cleaning and organizing things. It is funny how even getting a few new things for the house can trigger an entire avalanche of events to sort and reorganize. My bedding and door mat arrived via FedEx just after noon (less than 24 hours from when I purchased it!) and I was anxious to set everything up. That meant several loads of laundry and cleaning and all kinds of things of that nature. I think I finally hit "spring cleaning" mode.
While Keith and I were on our 'fact finding mission' as I call it, we saw many ideas for using the small space we have here more effectively. We decided to add some shelves in a large closet we have here to better utilize the space. Keith loves taking on jobs like this and spent the day figuring and measuring and planning.
For those of you who are new to reading – we live in a small but beautiful and comfortable one bedroom place here. It is a segregated apartment from a sprawling house here on the bank of the Meteghan River in rural Nova Scotia. Our area is one wing of the house and there is one more 'apartment' to the rear of us, which is also completely independent of the house. Keith's (and now my) long time friend Lee lives in that apartment behind us with his five cats. He is very active in rescuing cats and visits the Meteghan wharf daily to care for the colony of cats there. He has a kind heart and many, many cats owe him their lives.
While we sometimes wish we had more space, we love it here for many reasons. It is very quiet and our landlord is not only nice, but supportive to our business. She and her significant other know we care for our place well and are very open to pretty much any requests we have. In turn, we are very respectful of them and we keep our 'noisy work' to respectable hours and we keep our place neat and clean. Most people who come in (including her) can't believe we do the majority of our woodworking from our place here – or that we have three cats for that matter. We find that keeping neat and organized is the key to a productive and pleasant home. In turn, our home is well-maintained and modern and the location is just beautiful. Our rent is reasonable as well which makes it the perfect place for us to be. I honestly think it is the best place I have ever lived.
But every once in a while, we get the urge to change things up a bit. As our business grows and changes, so do our needs. What may have been important to us a year or so ago may not be so much so now. Periodically, it is good to re-evaluate and reassess what we have and use and set up our storage accordingly. Our main existence is centered around our scroll saw workstation at the side of our kitchen:
While many think that scrolling in a kitchen or in the main house would be a messy disaster, we feel that it doesn't have to be the case. We find that keeping our area clean and organized makes it very possible to do so, and even our fussiest friends are usually impressed with how clean we keep things and the amount of work we accomplish. But having the right set up is imperative to that.
If you all would like, I can take "before" and "after" pictures of our place so you can follow along with the improvements. It may take several weeks to complete, as we need to weave things into the time frame in between our regular work, but seeing what we will be doing may give you some ideas of your own for organizing. Let me know what you think and I will continue to blog the progress as I see fit.
Today, I am going to take some preliminary pictures so we have a good starting point. Other than that, I plan on working on my emails and computer and then perhaps doing some painting or embroidery. We have a dinner tomorrow with Keith's Mom and my "Canadian parents" and I have some baking to do and don't know how much I will accomplish 'work wise.' I ask those of you who emailed me or messaged me to please be patient with me because between being gone and working on the house yesterday there is a bit of a back log. I promise to get back to everyone soon.
So that is my plan for the short term. While it may not be directly related to my work and creating new patterns, I believe that indirectly it is very important. I am so often asked how I accomplish so much, and my answer to that is that I have a pleasant and well-organized workplace and it makes a huge difference.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We have overcast skies here and they are calling for rain for the next few days. I am very glad we got away when we did. It was a much needed and very functional break.
Have a wonderful Saturday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"