Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ikea Gave Me Hope

My studio could have qualified for an episode of Hoarders. About 3 1/2 years ago I developed a negative association with it because of some stuff I was dealing with and couldn't stand to be in there for long. By the time I felt like I wanted to get back in there and work, I couldn't. The furniture I had was always inadequate to my needs and, because I would only go in to grab or dump, things got out of control.

Then Ikea moved to Denver.

I have a friend who might almost be accused of idolatry in reference to her love of Ikea. So naturally I had to see if they were all that.

I got online to see what their desks and tables looked like and, lo and behold, I discovered the Expedit Workstation. An answer to one of my main problems. Not enough work surface and not enough storage. Then I found the Lack Coffee Table, an answer to another main problem. My flat drawers sat on the floor, taking up floor space and minimizing my storage space. The flat drawers are just the right size to sit on top of the coffee table. The coffee table raises them to work surface height and provides additional storage below the flat drawers.

So I've spent August reclaiming my studio space and I'm almost done. I promise to post photos when I am.

I now have a work table that has a 30"x45" surface. I also have a desk with the same dimensions. Each has a shelf where I can put tools and stuff that is relevant to that workspace. I have a new work space because I was able to raise the height of my flat drawers from 24" to 42" and more storage underneath.

I have a little more of the original mess to sort through, but I'm almost done. I've gotten this far by taking small bites at a time, but taking bites almost every day.

Hallelujah!

Monday, August 08, 2011

How to Tell if You're Doing Your Life's Work

"When you’re on auto-pilot, no problem. You’ve done it before, so you recognize every pattern you’re in and there’s no need to worry.

But this also means you’re going the wrong way. You’re getting no new input, so you’re not recognizing any new patterns. If this is the way your life is going, you are actually actually becoming more useless. In an increasingly chaotic world, the best pattern recognizers win.

So the way to have an amazing life is to be constantly fearing failure, but driving forward anyway. It’s  difficult to be doing this all the time. You need to pick your battles." Julien Smith, from his blog post "How to Tell if You're Doing Your Life's Work."

Monday, August 01, 2011

Slow Movement

In a previous post I talked about Continuous Partial Attention and Slow Cloth. While I don't encourage the use of Wikipedia as a source for scholarly research, it is useful for general questions and research.

I really like their entry about the Slow Movement. It lists many of the "slow" movements going on right now. It's not just happening in the craft world. It's happening everywhere.

There's not a day goes by that I don't resent the fast pace of American culture. It's damaging in so many ways. So when I see people rediscovering the value of a slower lifestyle, it makes me happy.