November 18, 2010

What I've been doing while not blogging

I don't really have a life outside of blogging and mail art, but I do live in a house with a tall man, a big dog, and a little dog; and we're messy as hell. Or maybe we're just untidy.  In any case, I've been working for three weeks now to create an orderly environment -- you know what I mean.  One of those in which the kitchen is always tidy and the papers are filed and people have room to do the things they want to do with no gigantic messes obvious except when they're actually working.

I'd started this project a week or two  before I read The Emotional House: How Redesigning Your Home Can Change Your Life by Kathryn L. Robyn and Dawn Ritchie.  (Incidentally, this book has been grouped under decorating books, which is really not the right category.  It has more to do with the philosophy of making your homestead your own, effectively.  But that's not a category, so let's call it a Spirituality of the Hearth instead.)

In any case, their philosophy -- the Emotional House Program -- is that there are four cornerstones for making decisions on how to live in/decorate/arrange your house/brain/relationships.  The cornerstones are Harmony, Balance, Support, and Stress-Free Environment.  It's that last cornerstone -- Stress-Free Environment -- that's actually kept me slogging along, making improvements slowly but steadily. 

Michael and I are both ADD (I also have a ton of H in my make-up); my year has been a series of linked disasters beginning with the nearly contemporaneous death of my father and diagnosis of breast cancer, through which Michael supported me with no sleep except what he got in waiting rooms.  (I think he stayed awake at night to be sure I was breathing, the way you do with a baby.)

Now I'm well, and he's quit smoking and on Monday began a new, improved job.  If anybody can benefit from -- and need and enjoy -- a stress-free environment, it is we.

Creating such a space, though, takes forever, especially when you haven't filed any papers in several years except tax returns, and you also do things like quilting and embroidery and mail art. Paints and brushes and Sharpies; a ridiculous amount of fabric; cardboard and watercolor paper and freezer paper; fixatives beyond measure; my new laminator; needles and threads and sewing machines; and mail -- lots and lots of mail, both incoming and outgoing.

I'm an upcycling mail artist; I usually cut my 4x6 postcard bases from cereal boxes. Two drawers were full of said boxes; and I have about 90,000 other things that could logically go into those drawers.  Thus for three days I cut up boxes. And THAT'S what 's occupied my time while not blogging.

Crazy as hell if you ask me.  But I adore the photo below showing what tidiness looks like:

And here's a view from the top. Each of those little numbered spaces has between ten and fifteen pieces in it, for a grand total in the neighborhood of 250. And I have (well, had; I already put stuff into them) two empty drawers.
On a different note, before I decided to free myself from the boxes, I built another tower of objects that I'd emptied, including a big plastic tub, a small bookshelf (I think I rescued it from beside a dumpster one evening) and a wire thingamajig that holds stuff.

Here's another view.   Be amazed. Be very amazed.  It will help me overcome the feelings of utter futility this kind of work stirs in my breast (or, actually, breasts).

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