Almost there.

craft-room

This room… it’s been long neglected since we moved in. Originally the stepson’s room, we ran out of time (and money) to do much with it, so he was stuck with ugly old red carpet and half-assed painted walls left from the previous residents. When he moved out, the room was shut up and ignored except for the handful of times I shoved a thing or two in there to store until later (namely, the twin bed that was in the former guest/craft room until I was booted out to make room for kids). It felt weird to take it over right away – I didn’t know if he’d want to move back and I didn’t want the room clean out to happen too quickly and hurt his feelings. I’m not sure what the etiquette is on cleaning out an empty room, but it’s been a few years so it feels more okay now.

It started with paint. Fresh paint was the easy part, and I’m saying that as someone who totally hates painting. Then I pulled up a corner of the carpet, which was a ridiculous disaster! I’ve ripped out carpet before, but I’ve never ripped out this particular type with the padding and carpet in one, and glued down to the wood floors. With one portion pulled up, it just felt like I might as well get it over with and put all new carpet in before I put furniture back. Much scraping and cursing and sweeping ensued with about 4 trash bags full of the remnants of the padding. But! Joy! New carpet is so lovely and really does make this room the place I envisioned when I started picking colors. I scored a remnant piece at a local carpet store, which saved me several hundred dollars. I have about $450 in this room so far with paint, spackle, carpet, etc – that’s it. Not too shabby, really.

I’ve purged TONS of things this last week cleaning this room out. We took a kids-type couch thing to the husband’s workplace for their teen room, plus several car loads of Goodwill donations (a TV, bags of clothes, decorative things, etc) And I still have more to go tomorrow. I’m trying to purposefully keep this room minimalistic, partially because hi, I don’t need half the stuff I already have, and partially because it’s all fresh and clean at the moment and I want to keep that feeling.

There’s definitely irony in wanting to be more minimalist yet having a room dedicated to crafts. I know that. Is it necessary? Definitely not. Could I make do with where my crafts are now and just purge more to free up space? Absolutely. But… we have this 4th bedroom. I can’t make it disappear, and moving to a smaller house isn’t an option at the moment. And it seems like an absolute waste to just keep the room shut up and never used, never looked at, etc. So, it’s a compromise. And it’s certainly getting me to let go of a lot of things we don’t use/need, so I think it balances out.

Casting on something new

solaris

I probably should finish something I’ve already started, but instead I’ve cast on for a Solaris cardigan. I wanted something easy and not really finicky as far as charts and weird shaping and whatnot and this fits the bill perfectly. Also? No buttons! The pattern is broken rib so it isn’t quite as tedious as normal ribbing. I suspect, were this an in-the-round sweater, it’d be even less so since I could do knits instead of purls. I’m using some Ultra Alpaca from my stash, which I haven’t used before but I’m already planning on buying more providing I like how it wears once the sweater is done and there’s some weight pulling on it.

Tour de Fleece is nearly over and I’m afraid I haven’t finished spinning my second bobbin, let alone plied all of it up. So I guess I’ll make a big push to finish the bobbin tonight and ply it up… Sunday, maybe? I might be able to ply it all up in one evening… possibly. Or maybe I’ll just say screw it and do it later. I guess I’ll just have to see how it goes. And hope that next year the kid isn’t quite so attention-needy that I can sit and spin while he plays.

When I should be working

image

Being back at work after maternity leave has been rough. Not just because of trying to balance everything, but because work is now different and it isn’t even me. Literally, my job is different. I had a set of tasks to do weekly, then one day I went into labor. Eight weeks later, I go back to work and things have all changed. We had a new full time employee hired on, leaving work scarce for me. No longer do I have a steady stream of invoices to work on.

To say this sucks is an understatement. I thrive on large workloads. I love having piles of things to do and keeping busy and using my brain. When that’s not the case, I get bored and, therefore, lazy. I’ve been given things here and there to do, but it all feels like shit work. Filing and scanning, for example. OR, conversely, I’m given a proper task to do but only half trained and when I need to ask questions the person I need is never there or completely fails to give me even 5 minutes of undivided attention. It quite honestly feels like I took 8 weeks off and was relegated to starting over when no one else here has ever had that pulled on them. The new person has more work to do than I do. I’m over paid and under utilized. I’m miserable.

I’ve contemplated quitting but there’s that pesky health insurance issue. Also, retirement benefits, which I guess is something I have to plan for now. So I try to make my day go by as much as I can alternating work with pure procrastination because I don’t know what else to do. If I work too hard/too fast I’ll end up with nothing to do at all. And I worry that they’ll realize they don’t have enough for me and they’ll use it as an excuse to let me go. And while I’m miserable, this isn’t the worst place I’ve worked so I know things could be much worse.

I end up daydreaming a lot. About gardening and canning and baking. I think about knitting and shop online for yarn and fiber (never buying because who am I kidding? I don’t have much time anymore for knitting what I already have). I think about being a stay at home mom even though I know that’s not the answer for me. I look at the internet for far too many craft project ideas. I dream about building a house. About having a farm and chickens and goats and sheep. About living in a big city with a cool apartment.

I saw a quote once about how what you dream about while working is what you’re supposed to be doing with your life. That’s probably true if you’re thinking about a different kind of job, but I’m not sure that applies to a serial hobbyist like myself. Unless I can monetize my hobbies, at least. And I’m not sure how to do that to make a proper living.

Summer, finally

sprinkler

With so much rain and dreary days it hasn’t much felt like summer on the days I’m home. Today, though… today is different. Today is officially a summer day. Hot, sunny, with the sun beating on your back. Finally I could blow up the baby pool and go outside with the Little Mr and play. He wasn’t much interested in sitting in the pool, and that’s probably my fault because I didn’t fill it up this morning for the water to warm until now, but it turns out he really wanted to play in the sprinkler setting on our hose attachment. So we sat there while he ran his hands through and picked up the hose and waved it around, splashing himself in the face and then getting angry about it and throwing it back down on the ground. Then it was back inside for something cold – frozen pureed pear in a mesh feeder for him, and coconut cream pie ice cream for me.