Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Disturbing documentary

This is so sad . . . I certainly knew of Kenneth Clark's early study, but I admit to surprise that the results are still so similar in this small sample today.

More Valentine cards

I finished two more cards this afternoon:

So much fun!

Snow day fun

I got a snow day today (both of the colleges I had classes at today were closed for the day) -- yippee! Of course, I should be spending the day grading papers or working on all the house tasks, but instead I am making valentines. What fun! I've made two so far:

I'm in the middle of my third . . . I'll post more when I've finished. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Random musings and fiber studio thoughts

What's going on with me, you ask?

I am at the tail end of a wicked, awful, horrible cold that knocked me out this week. It happens at least once a year, and hopefully this will be it for this season. My voice was sexily husky for a day or so, then creakily unpredictable for a day or so, and was often accompanied by coughing and sneezing (oh, so attractive!). On Friday I was so lethargic that I couldn't do more than sit on the futon and watch DVDs, a rare feeling for me. Thankfully, I got other dancers to sub for me at the restaurant this week, because performing would have been hard. Hopefully I'm really on the mend.

I'm in the midst of coaching/rehearsals for the yearly V-Day campus production of Eve Ensler's play, the Vagina Monologues. It's always very intense to put it together, but it's a great show and the students really love the production. There's one show on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 8:00pm in Rockville, MD and one on Friday, Feb. 16 at 8:00pm in Germantown, MD. Tickets are $12, or $7 for students/seniors. All proceeds go to organizations working to end violence against women. Check out the press release for more information or to reserve tickets.

I'm also almost done with the first major wave of fiber studio reorganization. This involved reorganizing how I was storing fabric and patterns. (The second part will probably involve different furniture/storage solutions, painting the walls, etc.)

I have been using a large, wooden entertainment armoire for storing my fabric, but it's not a great solution, since it's too deep and has too few shelves. It also doesn't have enough space for my current fabric stash, so some of it was going into plastic bins which I put under the tables. This made things a bit scattered and disorganized in nature. So I decided that all the quilting cottons would be organized into file boxes, and the garment fabric would go into the armoire. I have been ironing quilting cottons, folding them, and organizing them by color or style into boxes for months now (I started in August). I also organized the smaller pieces, fat quarters and scraps, into boxes by color and style. I basically finished that part of the job this week. Yippee!

I cleared out the fabric from the plastic bins and reorganized it. I put the costume fabric back in the bins and other garment fabric in the armoire. I also cleared out part of a second entertainment armoire (that previously held my herbs) for more space for the garment fabrics.

My patterns had been jumbled together in big plastic bins, which really wasn't working for me. I put all my patterns in clear 9"X12" envelopes (excellent suggestion by Q -- we found them at Staples). This makes all the patterns the same size (pattern envelopes vary WILDLY by size), allows for more space to put the pattern pieces away (the tiny envelopes are so annoying in that respect) and it means they all fit well into file boxes. So I put each pattern into a plastic envelope and organized them by type into file boxes. Later on, these will be transferred into file cabinets, when we get them.

I also put works-in-progress into plastic bins -- one bin per project. That way, all the elements of the project (fabric, thread, pattern, beads) are all together, and I can pull out the project, work on it for a while, and then put it all away.

I also spent some time just clearing off the tables and putting all the stuff away, which I hadn't done in a while, and I found a better spinning caddy for scissors and rotary cutters.

So it's pretty much as organized as it can get without adding additional furniture or shelving. What I have learned from this endeavor:
  • A major reorganization takes a long time.
  • I have a LOT of fabric. The quilting fabrics filled 10 file boxes, with an additional 9 photo boxes of fat quarters, and ~7 document boxes of small scraps. The garment fabrics filled up 1 1/2 entertainment armoires, along with 3 medium plastic bins and 2 large Rubbermaid bins.
  • I don't enjoy ironing fabric for hours on end, although television helps.
  • I have a LOT of unfinished projects.
  • I have a LOT of patterns. It took 5 file boxes to fit all the patterns.
  • I have too much stuff for the current space/storage solutions to fit. :( I was really hoping the reorganization would allow me to put everything away somewhere, but it is not possible at the moment, so there are still bins which have no place to go, and it makes the place look messy. :(
  • Did I mention that I have a LOT of fabric? I may even have . . . too much fabric . . . although it pains me to even consider such a possibility.
  • I really still like most of my supplies -- there were very few things I really wanted to get rid of or couldn't imagine myself ever using. I like most of my fabric. I like most of my patterns. I have pretty beads. Although there is too much of everything, I'm still attached to it and unwilling to get rid of it.

The conclusion is clearly that I need to actually make more time to sew and use some of these wonderful supplies I have amassed. And I shouldn't buy any more fabric unless there is a very very VERY good justification for it. One of the good things about the new organization system is that it means that every new piece of fabric requires a certain amount of work (ironing, folding) in order to come into the studio. Since I basically dislike that part of the work, maybe I won't be so eager to buy anything new for a while.

Now back to grading student papers, and then out to dinner with Q. The latter is far more fun than the former.

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Happy Anniverary Q! 18 years together . . . and that's just the beginning. I love you.