Honey Do Lists

Ever since I completed the House in a House (HIH) project I have been on a mission to do more work around the house. My newly remodeled shop is one. The shop became a repository for all things that became refugees from the remodel job. I couldn’t stand to work in the space because it was crowded, cluttered, and disorganized. Before I could even think about adding the final step of the HIH, which is a drop ceiling, restoring order to my personal workspace became the number one priority. At this point, the shop is 80% converted back to a working space. There is still one wall that needs a cleaning, purging and organization, but it is usable as is.

The final step will be completed once my honey-do list is completed. In my case I am the honey, and all the do’s are mine. One thing that happened during the HIH process was a move-in by my step grandson. He unloaded seven trailer loads of personal belongings into our living space. The entire house was decorated in simplistic modern, now it looks like an antique shop. One piece, an old TV cabinet found a home under my two hanging art-glass plates. The cabinet is a 1950’s Zenith TV console, and looked okay under the plates, but I could’t stand to see the aged finish. Refinishing it became the number one job on my list.

I uncovered a cute little table lamp with touch control in the piles of stuff moved in. It has potential as an accent piece. The trouble was that when I touched it to turn it off and walked away it turned back on. It became another line on the list.

After providing shelving in my shop for all the miscellaneous tools and materials for projects I decided it was time for better organization. I bought a dozen plastic bins that fit nicely on the shelves and sorted all my shit into visible bins; measuring tools are in one, tape and adhesives in another, chisels and sharpening tools in a third, files and rasps in a fourth, and so on. Soon the place developed an appeal for work, I love what I have done.

The sliding glass door in my bathroom was sticky and leaking. I hate cleaning the floor each time I shower, and the thought of not showering as a solution does not appeal to me, so I ordered a set of new wheels to install. They were made in China, and on the surface they looked acceptable. In practice, however, I began to wonder which Chinese MORON eliminated the hex nut on the inside of the wheels? It took me considerable effort to hold the wheel hub stationary while I screwed the axle into place. I’ll remember shoddy Chinese engineering for the remainder of my life. Little things matter and the Chinese lack any common sense toward providing those details to make life easier. Instead of stealing and extorting American engineering they should decide to go the route of Japan who decided to adopt American Quality control processes, and are now world leaders in product quality and reliability.

So, the to-do list is getting shorter, and I have begun a list of actual build projects. My old bird feeder fell apart from decay, and I still like to attract birds to my window, so I will build a new one. The same goes for replacing the four supporting legs of the tower of three bird units that have decayed. The tower became the Leaning Tower of Joe in the yard so, I took it down. I miss the family of wrens who raised a family in middle condo for the past five years. This spring they will have a remodeled home to move into. For such a tiny bird their call is very loud, and I want to enjoy listening to it once again.

Last, but not really the last ever, are two new intarsia projects. Last week I received a 2023 calendar from the Heritage Foundation and the January picture is a Bald Eagle with his wings fully extended and arched, his talons spread open to drop, and latch onto his next meal. I will develop a pattern from this photo and turn it into an almost life size Intarsia work. The previous eagle which I stopped working on when the HIH project began will be scrapped. The second Intarsia piece will be a rendition of cat tails from the fall garden. The colors will be suitable in wood and the outcome should be very natural. All I have to do is to learn how to make paper thin foliage that is twisted and bent naturally.

New Project

My winter is booked.

The Countdown Begins

Writing with regularity has to become a habit. This morning, I sit here before my computer with a great challenge. What topic shall I cover? So, taking the advice of my writing coach in college, I begin by writing non-sense. Eventually a topic will become evident. In the meantime I write only words.

The display I am working on for the weekend art mart is completed and standing in the garage waiting for me to disassemble for transport to the event. I sit here with a good case of jitter-shitters hoping I follow through with the project. I am told that performers get nervous before going on stage. They suddenly question their talents. They only have to walk on stage to overcome the fear. Once in place, they perform as well or better than their capabilities deem. Meanwhile I will complete a couple more steps I need before I step on stage. I lack simple things like a chair to sit on while waiting for customers, lookers, art aficionados, and critics to pass by and comment, or better yet to buy.

I have deliberately priced each piece of art very high for the simple reason that the price reflects what I believe the specific piece is worth. I have several favorites which are priced in the 3-5 thousand dollar range and nothing less than two hundred dollars. I have made the mistake of recording the time I spend on pieces and using a nominal rate of $15/hr the listed price is a bargain. What is more important to me than getting paid for my time it is getting recognition for the beauty, precision, craftsmanship, and artfulness of the work.

Time will tell whether I have begun a new life journey as an artist or whether I continue as I have for the past twenty years as an obscure producer of heirloom art destined to collect dust on the walls of my beautiful grandchildren.