It has been a crazy couple of weeks! Even though I didn't get much 'work' done, I don't think I have ever worked harder in my life. Perhaps it is because I am a touch older now (EGADS!) Or maybe it was because this was the first time that I had to not only move myself, but a moderately successful business as well. It certainly entailed much more than I had anticipated.
But all went well and there were barely any hiccups in the process. We were fortunate in so many respects. The house we moved into is a lovely two-story home over 100 years old. It has a history that we are learning more about every day. The owners are wonderful and kind people who are a joy to deal with. (We are renting this home long-term, as the family moved to another town two hours away) We look forward to a long and lasting relationship with them not only as landlords, but also as friends. We have increased our living and working area to over four times as much space as we had at our old place. I can't tell you how good it feels to stretch our legs and really be organized. I am sure that our productivity will surely increase tremendously just by having this extra room. It is all good.
The owners had the house decorated lovely, but it was suited to their own purpose. They had a teen aged son and a lifestyle that was quite different from ours. It is only natural for us to want to 'nest' and make the home personal to us and conducive to our business and needs. We are very grateful that they pretty much gave us a free hand in making these changes. It is one of the reasons that we were so excited about the move. We have known for the past three months that we would be coming here and have had time to plan and to figure out how things would be set up. For us, the excitement came after the first meeting with them way back in March. Since then we have been planning and shopping and waiting for the day to come to finally move our things in. That is when the real work began.
Over the next several months, I will show you our progress for each room as we finish things up. One thing that I am realizing with this move is that nothing happens instantly. Things take lots of time and planning and work to complete. We are still awaiting five large storage pieces of furniture that we are having made for our main floor. Until we get them (hopefully within a week or so) there will be neat piles of boxes sitting in their place, waiting to be put away. The good part about that is that everything is sorted. (And I mean EVERYTHING!) That is where the 'grunt work' came into play, as we needed to migrate supplies from several locations into one. I think that was the most difficult part, yet will be the most improved part of our lives. We will no longer have things here, there and everywhere. Everything will be in centralized locations so when we don't see something that we are seeking, it will probably mean that we don't have it. This alone will make a huge difference in productivity for us. No more buying duplicates or searching here and there for something we need. I can't stress the importance of the impact of that enough.
Here is a photo of our home:
It is located on a large plot of land not too far from the old mill on the river that I frequently show. We were thrilled to find something so close to our old place (less than a kilometer) and it made the move that much easier for us.
I will show each room as I see fit. Naturally I can't show everything at once. Since most rooms are still 'works in progress' it wouldn't make sense anyway. There are loads of makeover projects that I have in mind. I will have a great time focusing on those as I do them. And finally, I hope to get back to work designing and creating patterns. It seems like forever since I have done that. But blogging again is a good start. Things will get back to normal soon.
Among other things, we decided to make our main scroll saw 'shop' in one of the upstairs bedrooms. The upstairs consists of two large bedrooms and a powder room, which made it ideal for a bright and beautiful working space. We chose the western bedroom as our shop and scroll saw room. It has two nice windows and lots of natural light throughout the afternoon.
We decided to paint the room and put a new light fixture in. The hanging one was over a bed, but was too low for Keith and he kept hitting his head on it. (doh!)
We liked the pine floors and also liked that we had access to the powder room at the front of the house. Not having to travel downstairs to the bathroom was a real plus:
Our tool box and scroll saw cabinet fit in nicely. For now, we are storing my shipping boxes up there as well. Keith is working on the basement and I think eventually they will be stored down there.
Along that back wall, my work table will reside. We still haven't brought it from Keith's mom's where it was shipped. We need to get a truck to do that. There is also a matching storage cabinet that will go under it, allowing room for me to store finished pieces to sell. (They are in the aqua bins in the photo now). It will be nice to have a place to store my kits to ship and hopefully I will be able to keep some more in stock for immediate shipping. Those boxes against the wall will go as well, as we will sort them into place as soon as the other pieces arrive.
Here is the view of the other side of the room:
The closet is a great storage spot for our dressed wood – ready to cut. The door is to the powder room and the large cabinets hold my craft magazines and books.
Every magazine is in 'date-issued' order and they are all divided by publication and type of crafts. These were scattered all over the house at our old place and some were on high shelves buried behind other things. I can't tell you how much better it is for me to have every issue at hand where I can put my finger on it immediately!
You can also see that I added some of that foam flooring. Not only does this make things a bit more quiet, but it makes them more comfortable to work on and will help protect the floor. I just love it.
Yesterday (Sunday) was my first opportunity to actually work in my new environment on orders. What a lovely difference having such a wonderful, large space to do my work! I sometimes read that others think that a clean shop is unproductive, but I beg to differ. I find that keeping things neat and organized offers far more productivity than a cluttered mess. It is so pleasant to work in such a wonderful place. I took a break and came down to make dinner in between my cutting and sanding and I can't begin to express the JOY of not having to clean the dust off of the counters or step over the scroll saw to do so. (For those of you who don't know, I have been scrolling in my kitchen for years! I don't think I have EVER had a designated area in the main house for my woodworking. What a TREAT to have that now!) Look at the result:
I would say that it was a very good day! It felt GREAT to be back at work!
I promise to keep you all updated and show you all the new things as they are put into place. Keith's basement project is in itself amazing. Over the past several days, he wired our computers so that the main units will be housed downstairs. Everything is networked to each other and not only will they run cooler in the summer, but we don't have the clutter of the units here in our main living area. I will blog about that in another post, but here is a photo of the finished wiring:
So that is all for today. I am dying to get at it and get some more accomplished. I missed you all and hope you all stop by to see what I am up to. I hope to start writing regularly again and share my creative journey with you every day. There is so much fun to come!
Happy Monday to you all!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"