Sunday, December 21, 2014

Let's get focused!!!!

Wow - it is amazing what one can get done when there are no interruptions (OK - letting the dogs in and out doesn't count - that's my exercise!), no appointments, no meals to make, no shopping to do, no errands.  Yes - I know I am lucky but it is by choice!   I am VERY selfish with my along time.

Let me start by sharing some pictures of Erin Mills Town Center.  These pictures were taken a couple of days ago!

The new entrance to the Food Court (the entrance facing Erin Mills Parkway).  I love this picture - it looks so inviting so I went in!   Even though I didn't need to go in that entrance - I wanted to go in that entrance.  I know - I am worse than a kid, but I'm OK with that. I mostly live in my own little world and I love it!

You can see into the food court area from the inside - hopefully it won't be too long before it will be open!  Looking to the right at the top of the temporary stairs

Looking to the left of the temporary stairs

Just inside the front door looking up the escalator (you can see the top of this escalator in my first inside picture above)

M and I are both excited about all the upcoming changes - not just at the mall, but in the area. It is going to be awesome!!!!   And who said - people don't like change?   Well depends on the change I guess.

Since I was at the mall - I had to stop in to say HI to my kid who was working at Teavana!!!!  She was hard at work making a sale when I arrived so I got to browse for a bit!

There is my worker bee M - all decked out in her Teavana apron.  We did a GREAT job of posing this picture!!!  Hide the hand cart, but cover up the store logo!!!!   Anyway - I love her theory on how she dresses affects her sales of the day.  Interesting, but could be true!!!   Apparently, this is a good sales outfit!!!!

OK - back to the studio and let's see what the heck is happening.  I swear I spend more time organizing and moving stuff than I get time to actually work!!!!   I think the professional organizers say - minimize your stuff - then there is less maintenance. While I am totally aware of that statement - I am intentionally ignoring it because I CAN DO IT ALL in my lifetime!!!!   Remember my T-shirt that says that???  

Anyway - after the embroidery club left on Wednesday - it was time to get organized. I needed to organize and prioritize. So I got all the stuff out of the storage room that had been crammed in there for the Sit n Sew days. Then I pulled some stuff off the 2014 shelf and there was stuff everywhere!!!!

One set of work tables

The other set of work tables

The 2014 shelf - see that big hole in the middle???

I am far from getting organized, BUT there was a purpose to what I did.  There were a few things that HAVE to be done by Christmas (all mine). All those projects got put into one big bag.

The "HAS to be done by Christmas" bag. See - that is focused AND prioritized

I am happy to report that THREE of the projects in the bag got finished yesterday and another one is well on the way to completion!!!!!   Oh yes - I am in very good shape to get everything done for Christmas that has to be done!!!!!  So yes - there are TWO more projects in the bag that HAVE to be done, one that is half done and another project that I would LIKE to get done. All very doable - none of them are big. Two days at most.

Next up was the basket of quilts that need borders, bindings and backings.

A basket of quilt tops and fabric for the borders, bindings and backings.  This is probably TWO days worth of work. No urgency - but would be nice to get it done and use the basket for something else!!!!   AH - the next round of quilts that need borders, backings and bindings!!!!   There are lots of those around here. 
 You see - I am very good at going out and buying MORE storage boxes or baskets, but I have to start emptying what I have and get the projects done!!!!!   Even if they get to the quilting state with a backing, border and binding - I am OK with that. Although that pile is getting HUGE and will need to be addressed soon.

This bag is also pretty urgent.  It is stuff that I have to do for customers (NOT quilting - that is in another area). Yes - it is big - bigger than I would like so it MUST become a focus and a priority!!!!!   These are complete quilts that I have to make. In total - we are looking at about 10 days worth of work.  A BIG guestimate. 

Then I sorted through some of the other stuff and this is what else I have............

This pile is BAGS - bags that re half together in most cases. Bags take a bit longer to put together so there is probably THREE days of work here. 

I know I know - when I say THREE days of work - it is more likely SIX!!!!!   But if I am left alone (which I love) I can be VERY productive.   Don't worry - I like company, but when I am on my own - I can sew up a storm.

The next category was store samples!!!!   Oh yes - there are a "number" of samples that need to be made/finished.

Store samples that need to be made/finished  - notice I am not putting any numbers on each category - let's just say that each has a NUMBER of projects.   This pile will takes weeks to get through. Well maybe not weeks - but it won't get cleared up over night!!!!
 Essentially I went through the stuff out in the open and picked up ALL the projects that NEED to be done or those that I WANT to get done in the near future. How fast I can work through them - well that will remain to be seen.

But here is an example of how close things are to being done.  I found these wildly pieced blocks from scraps.  There were THREE blocks missing because I had run out of scraps.

A very scrappy I Spy quilt - now all blocks (99) are done

Grabbed my I Spy scrap box and made the missing three blocks. 

Now that top just needs to be sewn together!!!    Hmmm - add that to the seven others that just need to be sewn together!!!

Then I also sorted through some of the fabric that I inherited this past week.  I found HUGE quantities of fleece sample squares. I sorted them -

funky stuff in one pile

plaids in another

There is enough in each pile to serge together to get a nice scrappy quilt top.  Those would be easy and fast to do.  I might do that later today - just for a break.

I also got one more quilt quilted yesterday.

Charity quilt - DONE

Tried out a new pattern - Lyrical - not bad

Then I got the quilt trimmed, made the binding and got it sewn on

Trimmed the quilt I quilted a couple of days ago - made the binding and sewed that binding on as well. 

Just wanted to share with you my sewing table.  Oh yes - it is nice and clear because I am trying to be productive and if I can keep that sewing area clear - I will sew. If it gets messed up - I won't!!!!

Sewing area - CLEAR!!!!!

I also made the binding and sewed it onto another quilt as well and I don't have a picture. Drat!

Now I bet you want to know the progress of the Storm at Sea (which is a store sample).   Well............

Storm at Sea - top almost done!!!!!!!!!   It measures about 75 inches squares
 I want to add TWO borders to it and I am struggling with the fabric. I don't have much in this colour way left in my stash and I went to Ruti's to buy the outer border. I only bought a meter because I wasn't sure it would be the right colour. Well the other day - I decided that YES - it was the right colour. When I went back to get more, it was gone. It is really an ordinary blue but it was gone. So I have enough for a scrappy first border, a solid second border and well I found something in my stash for the binding.  Good grief!!!   But this is what I love - solving problems with the sewing!!!!

The first scrappy border

And my long shoe horn went missing a while back.  Not sure what happened to it, but very hard to replace. It was just a plain old plastic thing, but I loved it for my boots. Well I have looked everywhere and no luck finding one.  I told M to find one in the mall on her break yesterday and this is what I got!!!!

A fancy long shoe horn!!!!

The other thing and this was a bit of a wake up call.  Well I knew the problem was there. It is my 50,000 pictures.  I found the picture I was looking for - but it took a LONG time. So I have decided that I need to do something about it. Part of the problem was HOW to organize those pictures.  After locating the missing photo - I have decided that they will get downloaded into folders by year and within year - by date of the photo being taken. Then each photo will be tagged TO DEATH so that if I want to find something - it will be a snap.  Now this is going to take a bit of time, but I will do it because I want to use my pictures.

So here is the plan of action.

  1. ALL memory cards MUST be downloaded. Just one left to download. 
  2. Make TWO backups of the external hard disk. 
  3. Delete all memory cards.  That will clear up that mess. 
  4. Move all the folders around so that the pictures are in ONE folder per year and then by date (which they are automatically) so that sounds like a big job, but I don`t think it is huge. 
  5. Make TWO new backups of the external hard disk. 

Then it should be easy to take a couple of folders (by date) each day, cull the duds and tag the rest.  Oh yes - it sounds easy!!!!   Well - I am off to download the last memory card - the one in the camera - oh yes - I must set up a routine for pictures for the new year so I don`t end up with a mess again.

Don't make lists - unless you want to. If I wrote down all the projects I had to do - well I would faint and it would take days to make the list, so that is a waste of time. However I sorted the current projects - what HAS to be done for me, what has to be done for customers, what has to be done for store samples. I have a couple of other categories as well, but those are three critical ones. There are deadlines attached to those projects.  The rest of the stuff technically can be shoved into bags and put away.  No sense cluttering up the space with stuff that I know I won't get a chance to work on for a while.

I hope to make that shelf work for me this year. Instead of putting things on it that I would LIKE to do - I am putting things on the shelf that I HAVE to do.  Then I can keep my tables clear and coming into a clean space is so much more welcoming than coming into one that is cluttered beyond belief.  I am giving myself until the end of the year - I am hoping to get a LOT accomplished in that time frame so that I might be able to sneak a couple of "I would LIKE to do" back on the shelf.  BUT I must be able to clear all the tables and the floor - that is my goal by the end of the year. EVERYTHING must have a home - even if the home is a bag in storage. I hope those bags will not be huge!!!!!  

Now here is YOUR assignment. 

Everyone is different for this - so you have to be flexible. 

Sort through your projects - which ones have a deadline?????   Start by pulling out all those. How many are there????   Take a generous guess at how much time it will take to get them done. 

Sort them in piles or bags that are easy to get to. 

Put the REST OF THE STUFF AWAY!!!!!   It is just going to clutter your brain and prevent you from working!!!!

Get that step done and let`s see how it goes.   How many projects with deadlines do you have?????   

On that note - I am out of here because I have a LOT of work I would like to do today!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!



  1. Good God. Energizer Bunny. I'm tired just listening to you! I found your blog through Robin's FB link. Personally, I keep a LARGE calendar (from Staples) in my workroom and I pencil in my jobs. That way I can keep to a schedule. I'm not sure I could organize my projects as creatively as you, though. :-)

    1. Welcome Helen-Mary! Oh I like the idea of the LARGE and I would need a large calendar. I am just not so good at sticking to what I write!