Some progress this weekend, but mostly about organization. You ever have those ‘little things’ on your ToDo list that never seem to get done and drive you crazy?

First, some major cleanup and organizing of the furniture projects. Since there is one really big project that is this close to being done but has to wait on one final piece, I wanted to get it out of harm’s way (and my foyer)… so the project of the day on Saturday was to get the garages organized. The weather was gorgeous! I think it was about the only way to get The Kid out there to help!

Anyway, we took everything out of the garages and put it on the driveway. In the middle of all of it, we had a couple stop by thinking we were having a garage sale! I suppose from the fact that I use those plastic tables for everything. (Its the only way to work if your knees are unable to bend!) They were supposed to come back and take two dressers that I had identified for a CraigsList giveaway, but alas, they never returned. It actually might be okay, as I found a project that I had printed out some time ago to do, but never did. The larger of the two dressers might be perfect for this!

The garages were swept and vacuumed and all counters were dusted to remove sawdust. I find that if I don’t do this periodically, it starts to gnaw on my nerves and I don’t want to be in the garage. About 4 to 6 times a years seems to do the trick. I am an organizing freak, but not TOO much! I’ve collected old rugs from CraigsList to lay down on the garage floors. I like the feel of them and they help cut down on noise and keep the garage warmer in the winter. Since they are ‘throwaways’, it doesn’t matter what spills and I have a shop vac that can almost sucks the color out of the rugs. I like to be able to work in bare feet or run out to the garage for a minute without having to put my shoes on.

Then everything went back into the garages in a nice and orderly way. The smaller garage now holds the ‘finished’ projects and we pared down the ToDo projects to a workable amount. And my foyer is (mostly) clear! When I actually got things all done, I realized that I really don’t have many projects left to do, which is great, as 1) winter weather is just around the corner and 2) I am probably going to be going to work soon. 😦

That only left the deck. I don’t know how much of this blog you’ve read, but I compost on the back deck (just off the kitchen). It started with one simple barrel and has since moved to four! I get the most beautiful black dirt out of it and I keep all that stuff out of the garbage. When you pay for garbage and recycling, composting really cuts down the bill!

I replant tree saplings that I find in the yard to the bins on the deck for later transplant to the yard. My dream one day is to have the back yard completely lined with trees such that you can’t even see the neighbors. Its a many year project, but it is coming along nicely.

My tomatoes that I’ve been growing in containers, have finally(!) been producing tomatoes! The only thing is the tomatoes are all different sizes, but taste very sweet. I think what I did wrong was plant too late in the season. I am hoping all these tomatoes make it to ripe before the first frost.

The Kid and “my other son” (this is a sweet kid who has been best friends with my son since we moved here 11 years ago… he has spent almost as much time in my house as his, so early on I started calling him my “other son”) moved the large barrels from the deck to the backyard. As the only way off the deck is down some rickety stairs (next spring’s project), I opted to have the boys take them through the house and out the front door, then around to the back. Whew! Stinky!

They then dumped the contents into the former garden. It doesn’t look like much from the picture, but this is the contents of two 55 gallon barrels! And just look at how beautifully black!

IMG_2100Recently, our neighbor was planting trees in his backyard adjacent to ours and I asked if he would auger two holes for trees that we’ve been growing on the deck. I love our neighbors! We don’t know our neighbors all that well, but they always wave and we get visits from their little dog Cody from time to time.

IMG_2990The tree in the foreground is Ashla’s tree – for our puppy dog we lost nearly two years ago. Right after she died, I found this tiny little elm growing in an barren pot near the the area she used to lounge in the front yard. It seemed right that it appeared right after she left us. So, I transferred it to the back deck and thought little more about it. Two years later (almost) it was still growing strong, so it became her tree. In the spring, we plan to add a little bench behind it and some puppy paw print stepping stones and a little plaque with her name. Then we’ll sprinkle her ashes there.

Streeter & AshlaThe Kid And His DogWith the neighbor’s new trees and our two new trees, this will become a beautiful reflecting space. She was a pretty special little dog and my son’s only pet and I know it was hard for him when she died. We are only now starting to think about a new pet and it really is more me than him.

I also, (almost) finished up my “couch” project – what I work on while watching movies. I’ll show you that tomorrow. And then I cleaned up that area. Whew! Sometimes it feels good just to stop, take a break, assess what is going on and clean things up!

So, after all that work this weekend, I kind of feel like I need a break! Ha!

julie

Frustration On The Creative Endeavors – When You Can’t Get Anything Finished!

Ever have one of those days? Well, I am having one of those months! I have about ten projects all going at the same time and it seems that for one reason or another, I cannot get a single one finished! Timing or materials or weather, something seems to stand in the way of completing the project.

My big project and the one I am most excited about is now 99.9% complete! I am waiting on one more simple (or I hope simple) finishing touch and a nice day of weather to get the project photographed. Argh! It is so frustrating to be so close to completion that I have nightmares about it! No joke!

I’ve stopped picking up project pieces since the weather is going to soon become the kind of weather that prevents me from driving my little sports car. When that happens, I usually drive it into the third garage stall, cover him and put him into hibernation. Well, in order to do that, I have to get that stall cleaned out, so I have been a busy little beaver trying to get things done. It is either that or get rid of them. And I am trying to do both.

I picked up this awesome antique bench thinking it would be an easy project, but it has turned out to be anything but. Sigh. I work on it a little and then get frustrated or tired of fighting with the four million staples/nails/tacks and move to something else.

I am close to finishing the four poster bed frame that I am painting in the same pink ombré style, but of course, I had to spend an inordinate amount of time to find the right connectors for the side boards, so it too has taken a place at the back of the line.

I picked up this not-so-little entertainment center for the express purpose of harvesting pieces – like the doors and drawers and shelves – as I am planning on building a gun cabinet for The Kid’s personal collection of antique fire arms. They are very nice pieces, so the cabinet needs to be of the same quality. This thing weighed like two thousand pounds when we picked it up and much of it is turning out to be real wood (as opposed to the junk compressed wood in many) so I am harvesting much more than I thought I would be. And of course, it too, was well made with about a ton of glue, staples, screws and nails so it is taking much more effort to get it apart than hoped.

The end table to dog crate too, is almost complete. It has turned out to be a bit heavy, so as an added bonus, I am planning on adding wheels (found on the entertainment center) to make it easier to move around. Of course, the wheels are on the bottom of the entertainment center, so they are close to last in coming off, but maybe – just maybe – that can be completed today.

As I said, the weather is starting to turn which is just raising havoc with the arthritis in both knees. Did I mention that I am tentatively scheduled for dual knee replacement surgery in January? Something tells me that work with come to a screeching halt in the garage for a while then. 🙂

photo 4As a consequence of the weather and knees, I’ve been back to sewing some. I made a personal vow not to make any more quilts until I can get some of the tops completed quilted. My best guess is that there is between 200 and 300 waiting for someone to do this step and then I do the binding. I just cringe each time I think about the money that will be needed to do this. So, they wait.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on using up my scraps. I just put on a good movie and sew, really without much thinking. I’ve also been working on a postage stamp baby quilt (I think I might be able to do the quilting on my sewing machine) just to use up these last few hundred pieces. A few years ago, I ordered this box of charm pieces (2000!) that are 1.5″ squares and used a good deal of them in several quilts. I just can’t bring myself to toss the remaining, although they are what I call “the uglies”!! Does anyone else here have this issue?

I’ve also been working with felt pieces while I ice then heat my knees. I’ve made a bunch of Christmas decorations (although we don’t really celebrate or decorate in the house), as well as working on another needle book. I need to just need to finish the cover. Of course over in the corner next to the fireplace is that great big hulking needlepoint project… just sitting there mocking me.

I’ve resisted writing just this post – the one where I admit that I can’t seem to get anything completed! Its just so aggravating and humbling to have to admit to all this incompleteness! I really try to hold myself to a higher standard, but sometimes it is so overwhelming – and I realized that it has been quite a while since I last posted. But to have to post and say I’ve got nothing! Argh!

Best intentions aside, time to get on with the day. I really need to assess what is left and what still needs to be done and what is required to get to that point. And then just start tackling them, one by one.

Wish me luck! And to all those out there who think us bloggers just get things done out of discipline and attention? We’re just people too and infallible. So don’t worry that you’re project(s) isn’t getting done. It happens to all of us!

julie

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