Thursday, October 29, 2015

Accidentally On Trend

Yesterday, when I wanted to write a posting, the computer was on the other side of the studio across the painted and drying floor so I napped on the couch instead since I'd spent the day before unpacking the stash which was apparently still too much. Hmm...

Thanks for all the encouragement to take it easy and to accept help. The reality is that I've just moved to a new town where I don't know anyone and my family lives an hour plus away so there isn't a lot of help to accept but I have gratefully accepted what has come my way and I've been - attempting - to pace myself. The healing is coming along well and when I feel like complaining, I remind myself it's only been three weeks and I could still be in traction or a cast if things had gone worse. Thankfully they didn't which means that I can....

... slowly get things together in the studio and the stash room. Originally, I intended to paint the stash room my favourite shade of green but realized quite quickly that without a window it was going to too dark so I reverted to the same white that I'd painted in the studio which appears to be a choice accidentally on trend. Benjamin Moore is announcing Simply White as the colour of the year for 2016. Who knew.

White is not a colour I'd normally choose but it is working quite well in the studio as a blending agent and I like the pops of colour that are appearing now as I unpack and organize things. In both the studio and the stash room, I've painted the floor grey with two coats of clear polyurethane. Again, it's clean and works well and again, it seems that painted floors are on trend.

On the weekend, Howard put up the shelves so I could unpack the stash. It was a lovely treat since my wrist still isn't up to twisting and lifting. There is enough room for my fabric but not enough for the "possibility" boxes of things to be recycled and while the room is big, it's not all usable square footage since it is a pass through space from the hallway to the studio. The "hole" to the right of the shelves is for the second fridge - it came with the house and will be good for holidays - and the two end walls are for access. Across the room...

... I currently have some bookshelves and baskets. There's a lot more vertical space on that wall but I don't want to add more shelves. I'm looking into other solutions with doors. Originally, that wall was ugly painted paneling. I covered it with paintable wallpaper in a tile pattern and that really cleaned up the look. There is space in the middle of the room for a narrow surface for auditioning fabrics so I may move my pattern cabinet in here.

I'm grateful for the space and the shelves and at the same time I'm aware that my preference is for closed storage. Some people like everything out in the open and others - like me - like it neatly tucked behind doors or else it feels like our lingerie is on display. Yes. Definitely. Just like that. And it will especially feel that way when I have students coming to the studio and walking through that space however... that's the way it is for now. I'm lucky to have what I have and eventually - as in when I can afford it and it makes it to the top of the list - I'll have a closet built and tuck things away.

It's looking like I may - just maybe - be back to some kind of regular schedule next week. Howard has a long weekend so he'll be here Monday but unless something happens to shift things, on Tuesday morning I plan to start with my hour in the studio and see how things go from there.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - shelves and an unpacked studio, a supportive husband

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Quite A While

On Monday morning, I drove into Kamloops to vote in the federal election, to visit the chiropractor and have my back adjusted, and to visit the doctor and have the stitches by my eye removed. I stopped at Starbucks to journal and ran two other errands before heading back to Salmon Arm. Lunch with a friend would have been fabulous only I was way too exhausted. All I wanted to do was get back to my couch.

When I got home, I could barely get out of the car for the pain which added a ring of truth to my doctor's opinion that healing from this fall is going to take "quite a while" particularly with the substantial swelling in my hip. I didn't ask her to define what "quite a while" meant. It seemed better that I didn't know.

Monday night, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I didn't move to Salmon Arm to sleep on the couch and watch reruns on HGTV. I have things to do and I want to get to doing them however... one does have to be realistic. I decided to sleep until I woke up in the mornings in order to give my body every opportunity to heal and after that to stop waiting, get off the couch, and do what I can do.

Often when I have a thought I want to think about, I'll send up a quick "can we talk about this tomorrow" prayer and the next day in my study something always shows up. This time it was - good emotions come from good decisions and good thoughts. Don't get up each day and wait to see how you feel, letting those feelings dictate the course of your day. Instead, set your mind in the right direction ahead of time and make decisions you know will produce emotions you can enjoy. - page 293, Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer. 

Work on the house is obviously going to have to take a back seat until I'm in better shape but the number one thing preventing me from moving forward in the studio is storing the stash. It's in my way. SO... yesterday I worked on the stash closet... slowly but surely. Today, I should be able to finish painting the walls and by the weekend - hopefully-  the shelves can be up and I can start unpacking. We'll see. It's somewhat dependent on my wrist. My doctor sent me for an x-ray yesterday because rotating motions are extremely painful. Luckily painting is not a rotating motion - LOL.

Another project that took "quite a while" is the tree that my knitting group here in Salmon Arm put together. It was the dream of one member and took two years to finish with over 300 contributors... including myself. I came in at the leaf stage and - I hope - did my fair share. I knit about 100 leaves.

A knitted tree sounds a bit kitchy but when you see it in the gallery, it's actually quite magical. A lot of people come in, take off their shoes, and step around the roots looking at them, the bark, and the leaves in detail. There are two spider webs, a butterfly, a snail, and a squirrel perched among the branches along with all sorts of other surprises. It's very fun.

After the display is over, the branches are going to be auctioned off as a fund raiser, the roots will be sewn into a carpet for children's functions, and the bark is going somewhere but I can't remember where. The support is one of the pillars in the gallery so the tree is a very site specific piece and won't be touring to other galleries. The display is on until November 7th so if you have time to visit, I'm sure you'll enjoy the exhibit. I'm glad I was a part of it.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - as doom and gloom as "quite a while" sounds, I still have much to be thankful for and much I still can do even with somewhat limited mobility. YES YES!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pretty Stitches

Last Wednesday, when I had nothing new to report about the studio, I decided that work on the house needed to be downgraded to project status and work on (and in) the studio needed to be upgraded to priority status. That didn't quite go the way I'd planned however, today - over a month since taking possession - the studio is finally sew-able. I still need space to store my fabric but this morning I finished unpacking all the thread, patterns, books, and other supplies that go on shelves or in cupboards, drawers, or baskets and I set up the machines and I can sew. YES YES!

Typically when I move, I set up the kitchen and the studio a few days before, set up the bedrooms on moving day, and put things into the closets as they arrive. After that, life functions fairly well. However... I've always moved around town and never to another town. That changes things. This time, the kitchen is still not set up, the studio is just barely set up, and it took almost three weeks to sleep in our bed off the floor. The bedroom is not completely finished but it's warm and cozy and quite lovely none-the-less.

The paint I used on the studio floor takes about three weeks to cure. I didn't have that long so I painted one coat and then - last Thursday - dragged the furniture around to find the best layout that would allow me a good view of the pond from the window. Now that everything is in place I'm going to do something I've never done before and paint the second coat around the furniture. Later, if and when I move the furniture, I can resolve that issue. At some point...

... we want to build out the basement and that will change the flooring as well as impact the current studio layout. For now, one half is empty. There is space for four to six tables for students with plenty of working room for each. I feel very strongly that one part of this move is a return to teaching and I'm excited to see how that unfolds. I'm planning to put an exterior entrance into the studio so that when I do have students and open studio times there is direct access without everyone coming through the house. LOL - I may need to teach a few classes first to pay for that. Meanwhile, that far corner of the "empty" side will be my learn to paint corner. I recently purchased...

... Painting Abstracts: Ideas, Projects and Techniques by Rolina van Vliet. It contains almost seventy assignments that focus on learning through play. An assignment example would be to work with primary colors only, to mix the paints on the canvas, and to use only a palette knife. The assignments sound like fun and the emphasize is on learning and not on creating sell-able masterpieces. Since that's my preferred approach, if I do the work, this should work.

The laundry room is just off of the studio. It's quite narrow with just the washer and dryer. This is where we'd like to make some changes and expand to the right into the studio where the bookshelves and work island are now. The house has one full bathroom upstairs and one downstairs in the suite. When the suite is rented, that washroom is not accessible so rather than expand the master bedroom and add an ensuite, we think it would be far more useful to have a second full bathroom and a workable laundry room including a sink for dyeing fabric.  My plan is to add a toilet and a bathtub as well as a vanity with a larger sink and to put the washer and dryer in a closet so we don't feel like we're taking a bath in the laundry. The washer and dryer came with the house. They're good quality and the washer is the "old" kind where you can lift the lid while it's washing which is PERFECT for dyeing fabric. I was more than happy to take it.

It was a good thing I arranged the studio on Thursday so that Howard was able to screw together the computer desk and work island this past weekend. He's about to leave on a business trip and this isn't something I could easily do alone. I helped with one hand only. I'm injured.

On Friday, I had just ripped the old, dirty, ugly, smells like smoke, runner off the stairs and was cleaning up the paint supplies. They're stored in the basement, as is the hammer, which I planned to get and use to remove the exposed nails on the way back up the stairs only on the way down, my left sock got caught on a nail. All I remember is thinking I am going to fall with a bit of shock since I'm not at all accident prone. The next thing I knew, I was on the ground in a pile of paint supplies with the bifold doors that had been leaning against the wall now on top of me and blood everywhere. My glasses broke and the arm gouged into the skin beside my eye. I have six "pretty stitches" in a star shaped pattern.

My eye and elbow are the least dramatic bruises. They get worse. The rhythm of the fall is evident down my right side with bruises at the eye, elbow, wrist, hip, thigh, calf, and ankle. I don't remember exactly but I think I hit the noses of the stairs quite hard with my right side before rolling over to the left. I didn't pass out but I did have blurred vision and a bit of confusion at first. I couldn't remember my husband's phone number. Thankfully, I was able to make it up the stairs and to the phone and my friend and realtor came, took me to the hospital, brought me back home, and stayed with me until Howard arrived.

I'm doing much better now although my hip is severely swollen and still at least five inches bigger than normal with a "moat" of bruises all the way around the joint. I'm sure I hit it straight on with the most impact. This is the most severe injury I've ever had. It has certainly given me a new understanding of pain and exhaustion. I spend about twenty minutes doing some small thing followed by two hours napping on the couch. It's been five days and today is the first time that I've driven my (standard) car and gone to journal. This is good. I'm healing and very lucky.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - I'm not dead, paralyzed, or broken and visibly on the mend.