Monday, August 28, 2006


This piece of art left on Saturday morning headed back to its owner in New Zealand. An ATC for a swap-bot swap.

I love projects that have some constraints, especially if I am feeling less than creative. The swap was organized in such a way that you were sent a package of materials with one item labeled "mandatory" and all the others were optional. I was so overwhelmed initially with the selection in my package. So I returned to my tried and true method, I started a tray. I added the mandatory item, then I went through all the items and sorted the ones I loved into the tray. Back and forth these materials go every time I walked past this tray. Finally I sat down and really thought about what I was doing. This is the result and I am really happy with it. In the mail it went. I hope its owner is happy with the outcome as well.

I sell plumbing fixtures for my everyday job. I see this overwhelming feeling occur all the time. People come in my store and see so many selections available, then find themselves unable to make a decision. My job in that case is to help them narrow it all down. So we start in this way.

1. list every thing needed by room.
2. break this list down into smaller sections that we all can manage.
3. I listen,listen,listen as a homeowner describes what they are thinking. (pictures from magazines, the blueprints, budget information are applied here too)
4. come up with a list of materials for their home.

As I was thinking about this post, I realized that life can be handled in the same way. List every thing you need to get done, break it into smaller sections, plan the approach, then listen, listen, listen to yourself as you try to make decision, and go into action. When I do this, I am often surprised at how much I have gotten myself into when my time budget absolutely cannot accomodate the action. (I suffer from OVERYES syndrome.) Applying this approach will help me and others live more fully, rather than reacting to the demands we and others have placed on our time.

I have spent 28 days using what I had. My stash is a little smaller. I have several packages that I am building to go to new homes. I have finished some projects that I needed to. I have almost completed a project that I really want to. My checkbook is happier and I have a sense of accomplishment. Three more days to go.

I have been reading on others blogs about cleaning up, reorganizing, general spruce up, etc of homes and studio spaces. So I have a September challenge for myself and for anyone who would like to join me. I will clean up, sort out, organize one space everyday in September, AND give away one item for everyday in September AND toss one clutter creating junk item every day in Sept as well. How to define a space --- you decide. I my hectic life it may be the top shelf of the medicine cabinet and I may give away an unused bottle of hand lotion and I may toss one outdated bottle of make up. You get the idea. Any takers on this challenge?????

As I continue the plans and process of the new studio, I think this general cleanup will be a great start to only having items I really use and need in my life. Now if we could only do this kind of thing with troublesome people.

Have a beautiful day.


Robyn said...

This brings to mind a quote from an educator named Seymour Papet. He devised a computer progamming language for children that teaches them to break a task into small parts that he called 'mind-sized bites'. I love it but find it very difficult to apply to my home life. I would love to join your challenge.

vicci said...

Okay...I am cleaning my art space! It's taking me forever! I have tons of great paper for collage...atc's etc. and who knows what else! As I go along I will throw some things in to a bag (things I think you will like) and send them to you at the end of the month...(September) how does this sound? If you want to talk about this with me go to my blog at
leave a comment...I will get it from my e-mail...sounds good to me!