Friday, May 20, 2022

FOCUS is Key

Never say never. You know what I mean. For years, I would zip from one project to another and often worked on several projects at a time. The studio was a mess, and so was my brain, apparently. Lately, I've been trying to focus on one thing at a time. OK -- that's not true because when I'm working in the studio, I often have one of the automated machines working simultaneously -- either the long arm or the embroidery machine. So that's not one project at a time. 

However, the workspace is much neater, and I'm primarily only sewing on ONE project per machine. It's incredible how much more I seem to get done! I think part of it is that you can call a project (or the monthly assignment) for it done! And that feels great! Let's also say how satisfying it is to check these items off the ToDo list. 

Needless to say, I made tremendous progress yesterday, but alas, I can't share any of it with you today. But soon! 

I was so focused that I forgot we had a small group session at 10 AM. It was only at 9:50 when one of the participants called me to ask where the Zoom link was. Since my phone wouldn't work well in the house, I didn't answer, but FLEW to the computer and forwarded the link. The presentation wasn't even prepped, but it's a small group, so it didn't take long. 

Right on the dot of 10 AM, I was on the call! I want to be able to spend more time working on our Mixed Media projects, but it has gotten pushed to the back burner for months. The calendar and the TODO lists are clearing up, so that will happen, and let's not forget all the exciting things with the Scan and Cut. 

As we were chatting and had some spare time, we talked about my phone, suggesting that I reboot it. DUH -- why didn't I think of that. That's usually the first thing one must do. So I rebooted and then had a conversation, and all seemed to be OK. Let's hope that's all it needs. 

I don't think my tulips even opened up, and maybe this is all I get from them. Anyway, the rabbits didn't get all the buds, and I'm not sure how that happened. But sadly, these will be disappearing soon, although I should dig up the bulbs and put them in the backyard. Can I do that now, I wonder? Well, in two weeks? 

My tulips

I spotted this bag beside the garbage bin in the forest. There's a sign to NOT put garbage bags from your household into these bins. It happens, which boggles my mind considering we have "free" garbage pickup at our curb. It's included in our taxes, so it's not free. 

An extra bag of garbage

Anyway, it turns out that some team is in the forest pulling out some invasive plants. What I find strange is why didn't they take it with them? I guess it goes in the landfill, so that's probably why they left it there. 

Bad stuff! 

I just checked out what garlic mustard looks like, and I realize I see it all the time but never knew what that plant was called, but it's all over the forest floor. 

I spent the entire day in Studio B - probably a 16-hour day with a few breaks here and there. I'm under the gun for some heavy deadlines, and this is the LAST time for a long time, or so I hope. I had company from time to time! Thanks, Murphy -- all she wants is for me to play ball with her! Poor girl! But we did play ball, just not long enough for her. 

Murphy keeping me company

So I'm frugal. You get a smidgen left on the prewound bobbins from time to time. Do I throw those out? Of course, I don't. I use them for machine applique. And I had some applique to finish off, so I managed to empty one of those almost finished bobbins. It's surprising how quickly we are to throw out the small bits, whether fabric, thread, stabilizer, or whatever. I save those bits and almost always find a use for them. Because everything has a home, it's easy to find those bits, and so they get used before I pull out new stuff. I don't think I've cracked a new bobbin for machine applique in a long time!

Many people call this fiddly, but seriously -- you put the almost empty bobbin in the machine and run it until it's empty! Super simple. People don't like fiddly, but I love it! And I seem to get a huge thrill out of using up bits and pieces. 

Use up the bits

So this is why the cutting table should be kept clean. When I DO NEED some space to work, there is space! I had my project of the day spread out on the table, and there was no need to search for a spot to put everything. 

The cutting table is hard at work when I need it

And I did a wee bit of tidying up as well. Now that almost every spot, except for the current project table, is clear or nearly clear, I'm gathering up the few remaining homeless bits that went on the table yesterday. 

Those bits are still on the table, and my intention is to tackle those when I need to take a break from the sewing machine. The next project is out and ready to cut, and I did not switch those cutting mats around yet. 

The next project on the cutting mats

And I can't begin to tell you how good it feels to be able to walk to ANY SPOT in that studio and not trip over something or have to jump over something to get what I want. Trust me, it used to be an everyday thing. I'll be sharing some photos with you soon as it is such an excellent spot to sew in, and as I use up stuff and make more room, I'll continue to shift things around to make that space even better! 

Yep -- before I went to bed last night, I tidied up the sewing table, and it looks like this. 

My sewing table is ready for today's project

I'll be starting to sew on a new project today. Seriously, doesn't that look inviting? This is how I should have been all along as I'm a Virgo, and apparently, they like things neat and tidy. But somewhere along the line, my brain got rewired, and I couldn't work unless I was in a mess. Now, I'm seeing the light!

This is the serger area with two sergers and two projects that need to be serged. I hope to get both of those done before the weekend is over. Both jobs are small and won't take long. 

The sergers are at the ready as well

I can't imagine opening my space to in-person sewing days again. While there is room to move everything, moving all those machines would be a pain. I like Zoom for sewing! 

Keep in mind that there is a virtual retreat on May 28 and 29. I can't wait as I'm going to be able to sew on whatever I want that day, and I don't think I'll have anything that I HAVE to sew. Although I do have some quilt sleeves to stitch on, and since I do that by hand, that would be the perfect opportunity to get that done. 

I'm not sure if the audiobooks have taught me to focus more? But when I put my headphones on, I'm in a zone. If I need to do something that requires concentration, I turn the book off while figuring out what I need to do. I have a couple of books that NEED to be finished this coming week, so lots of focus will be required for the next couple of days.  

So this arrived yesterday. The doorbell rang, and I wondered who it was. Then DH said, there's a package for me. What? I don't remember ordering anything. 

As soon as I saw the box, I remembered that I ordered batting and sateen fabric to make a jacket. 

The box from Stitch by Stitch

I love the box with the big logo on it. I love that it was sent by Canada Post, who rings my doorbell when they drop off a package. I love that I ordered it from a local shop, but too far away to drive there. And I love that I received the package in less than two days with a cost of $15 to ship. Now that's impressive customer service. Thanks to Heather and the gang at Stitch by Stitch for the fantastic customer service. 

And here's the sateen for the lining of my jacket. I only need to figure out what the outside will look like and make the jacket, and I have about three weeks to make that happen. I do have the pattern!

Batting and sateen for my jacket

Oh, there's that Murphy dog in her favorite space. The more loose leaves and crude she can lie in, the better. She's a veritable pigpen, to say the least. I sweep the kitchen floor, and within minutes it looks like the floor of the forest with everything she has brought in. Why bother! OK -- so it's not that bad, but there are leaves on the floor, and well, it's just us, and we're used to it now. 

Murphy in her glory

And that's it for today. It's going to be hot, so that'll be perfect for hiding in Studio B as it's going to be another intense day of sewing and prepping for the weekend. 

Have a super day!!!


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