Friday, June 3, 2011

Miles to go... I get there eventually.

If any of this is actually coherent, I'll be a bit surprised. It's one in the morning and for the last two nights my sleep has been interrupted by a bat doing laps in my bedroom. I think I may have pinpointed the bat hole (a loose board in the built-in bookcase), and have covered the entire area in duct tape. If there are no more bat excursions, then I will be filling it up with expandable foam sealant. I am a handy man I am.

Of course, to get to the hole I had to move many stacks of fabric and balls of yarn. Some how I convinced myself I could pass on the yarn to a friend who knits (and if she doesn't want it, it's ALL going to the thrift store), and the wire mesh baskets they sat in went away as well.  I was able to get most of the good fabric into the cabinet with the other linens and wools. The rest went into the Tub-o-Stuff to be later organized and gone through. But that cleared up two large shelves that now house my sewing machines, laptop, camera box, paint tins, and sewing box. It looks like there's so much more space in that corner now. And I can see my desk, the previous home to said sewing machines, etc, again.

Also, I don't have to worry quite as much that the bat will take up residence in my fabric stash. Ugh.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Everything is better with wine and ice cream.

It's June 1st today, which means that I am moving in exactly 2 and a half months. I have no idea where I will be living yet; I certainly haven't signed a lease. I'll be using the stipend from the show I'm designing this summer for a security deposit and moving costs. And I won't get paid until after the show is over. The hazards of a freelance artist's life.

But something seemed to ease inside of me when I made that decision to wait until I had money in my hands, instead of trying to borrow it from somewhere else. Friends have enthusiastically offered up both storage space and a place to crash/transition in. I have no idea what August will bring, but now I'm excited.

So to get myself, and my space, ready I really have to crack down on all the cleaning and de-cluttering. I don't want to drag around all the boxes of old papers and bill statements and flotsam and jetsam. Some of the stuff I've started to go through is at least ten years old... It's a bit stunning to realize how much physical stuff I carry around. And yet, I can never seem to "find the time" to go through it all. As much as my inner Negative Nancy would like to guilty me into believing the opposite, it's a very emotionally and psychologically trying process.  It's really, really hard! So much of who I am somehow got caught up in "stuff" and it's hard to divide from that.

To help with the process, I'm buckling down and finally doing the Apartment Therapy "8-step Home Cure" and "create a home that works for [me] - physically, emotionally, and spiritually". Or at least get my stuff together enough to be ready for anything.  This week? Making a list of needed repairs, remove one item from your apartment, vacuum/mop floors, etc. Essentially getting a plan together and gettin' right in there.

And I'm going to blog it all... the whole process. Accountability and all that. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Welcome to Summer!

...sort of.

It's still maybe 45 or 50 degrees (Fahrenheit) around here, but it's been getting sunnier. So last night my house-mate H--- showed me how to change the tire on my bike and check it over, so that it would be road worthy. Biking around is definitely one of those signs of summer (even if we're not there yet), and I love how it feels like flying. I think that no matter where I live, I will always make sure that I have a bike. With a basket on the back. Mine is actually a black milk crate, which reminds me I need to add a couple more zip ties to secure it better...

I also feel much better about trying bike repairs on my own, now that he's walked me through it once. I always feel most nervous about things I've never attempted before. Perhaps I fear that I will completely ruin things beyond repair? But all it takes it one person to show me once (with the occasional reminders) and I'm fearless. I've got a new skill and and instant boost to my confidence. I may have to start going to the women's bike nights at Revolution Cycles... or, OOOH! The Full Moon Bike Ride is next week!

Further Bike Improvement Check List:

  • Fenders (for rainy weather)
  • Batteries for the bike light (for riding in the dark)
  • one of those bike multi-tools with all the handy wrenches and things?
  • a DIY cuff grabber thingy so I don't have to roll my pants legs up or get them stuck in the gears
  • Maybe a little handlebar-purse for when I don't have a bag?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

But I had a cupcake anyway.

No cleaning done today... and none yesterday. But I've hardly been home, so I haven't made any new messes either.

Accomplishment 1: The bed has been made every morning now for the last few days.

It's funny how making your bed can lead to such a sense of accomplishment. It's always been one of those details that's fallen by the wayside. But even the way the sheets and things lay all straight makes such a difference in how open and calm the room feels. I am such a perfectionist...

Accomplishment 2: The vast majority of all my bad clutter has been corralled into one spot.

It's a rather large spot, but it's just the one BAD spot. There's plenty of other little things that could be organized/arranged better, but it's not BAD. Again, this makes everything feel much more open and calm. I can find things. (Like my back up sewing machine that was 'lost' in the BAD spot.) I can move around with out worrying so much that I'm going to knock something over.

God, I make it sound like an episode of Hoarder's. It wasn't quite that bad, but when you're living in such a small space things get crowded quickly. And it's rather hard to escape the analogy that the 'clutter' in my space reflected how overwhelmed I feel/felt by all the stressors in my life. I've long suspected that if I could get my physical space "together" then the rest of my life would just fall into place.

Let's test this theory, shall we?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hello, Floor!

Since this seams like it may be my last, full, free weekend for a while, I made the decision to not go anywhere, not spend anything and just clean. I started a new job, and several new projects are in the works, so I really needed to banish some clutter and get everything set. It had gotten pretty bad since I came back from vacation a couple weeks ago. There was still a lot to be unpacked and laundry to be done... not to mention the still disorganized fabric and art supplies strewn liberally all over.

Yes, the smug grin on my face does mean that "was" is the optimal word.  I haven't finished every thing, but a big chunk of the every day sorts of clutter has been banished. Yesterday was full of laundry and sweeping and taking out of the trash. It also involved some procrastinating inspirational blog viewing which made me want to run out on a tour of the thrift stores to see if I could find a new bookshelf, or some kitschy china to decorate with. But I held firm. I only left the house to put the rugs out on the porch in the sun.

Today's plan involves brunch with the house-mates and re-organizing the fabric "pantry". Also, I have managed to "misplace" my back-up sewing machine... It may just be under the pile of fabric. Keep your fingers crossed for me? With the other one in the shop, waiting for a tune-up, I'm going to need this one soon.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Sweet! #1 and #3 checked off the Ta-Da list before noon.  Now on to organizing the mess-under-the-bed.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Hurrah! Tomorrow is a day off... and the only place I have to be is a couple hour stint volunteering at the Historical Society in the afternoon. Which means I can get some house work done. It's Ta-Da list time!

Thing 1: Sweep under the bed. (This includes pulling out anything that may have become shoved underneath, intentionally or unintentionally.)

Thing 2: Pull everything out of the under-the-bed box. Put the pictures in big manila envelopes and then put the pictures and the kid-me stuff in the old red suitcase in the closet.

Thing 3: Put the pretty new bed skirt on the box-spring.

Three things should be enough. The rest of the day should be hooray-for-me time. Maybe I'll paint my toes?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I had a conversation the other day with friends about the idea that each simple, household item represents some great piece of spiritual truth. I had just been reading the same thing in A Home for the Soul. So obviously something I should be paying attention to, yes? Granted, sometimes a teapot is just a tea pot...

... and sometimes the laundry you seem to dread putting away for no good reason, represents your fear of being rejected for how you look.  Huh.


I managed to last a whole two days at the new job before buying anything. I broke myself in easy, I swear. Working in a home/bedding outlet is not going to make it any easier to get out of bed in the morning. I already have plans to replace my pillows, down comforter, and buy as many super soft sheets as I can.  I am still cash poor* right now, which means that all of that's going to have to stay on the wish list for a while. But I did bring home a bed skirt.

A bed skirt seems like such a paltry detail. If it wasn't for the dust bunnies I pro'lly wouldn't care as much. But, I think that this antiqued gold bed skirt, with it's tailored pleats, will help to ground the look of my bed. Root it to the floor, instead of leaving it floating there. Give it the gravitas to be taken seriously. I think it will look more finished. Intentional.

I'm sure it won't stop the dust bunnies from holding fertility festivals under my bed. Or keep me from stubbing my toes against the caster wheels (that's a project for another day).

I do hope think it will be the kind of detail that will help me live with more intent and purpose.

*I really like my choice of the phrase "cash poor".  I almost used "broke", which I don't think is quite right, though I would be the first to agree that I feel "broken" for various reasons on any given day of the week. And the word "poor", alone, isn't right either since I am very wealthy in loved ones, stories, and fabric. "Cash poor" helps remind me that I still have many, many things to be rich in.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Maybe she's born with it...?

Bought two things in the last couple weeks guaranteed to make me feel like an adult: new sheets and a new tube of red lipstick. Sometimes you've just gotta.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hypothetical Imperatives, Your Home, and You

I should really articulate what it is that I'm trying to accomplish here. (If only for myself.) Otherwise, I'll be lucky to get in the one post a month that's becoming the trend lately.

I am keeping this blog as an exploration. In a way, the spaces we inhabit are an extention of ourselves. They can describe us, and sometimes even define us (socio-economics and all that). Without going into some academic diatribe, I'm trying to parse out why I'm living in chaos and how to fix it. Hopefully, with the added effect of straightening out my life as well as my 'sock drawer'.

More importantly, I chose "Faites Maison" as the second portion of my blog title, not only because it means "home-made" but because I liked the idea of using the phrase to mean "making home" as well (in my very broken understanding of French). Breaking home, making home. I don't just want to take up space. I want to make myself at home.

There's, of course, always the fear that treating the symptom won't do much more than that... but if nothing else, maybe this blog will get me out of my head more. And if the verbosity so far hasn't scared you... well, let's see if we can't get a little more hands on.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Everyone loves a good wrench.

My car decided that I should stay home tonight. And there's not many who can disagree with a car that won't start. This meant that instead of a night of productive sewing at a friend's, turned into many hours in front of the computer screen. Again.

Somewhere after eleven, I decided I needed to have a talk with myself, Havi style.
Negotiator Me: Hey, so this non-productivity thing... What's going on here?
Little Me*: *lots of flailing* Too much! TOO MUCH!!!
Negotiator Me: I agree. There's definitely too much stuff in this room. It's a bit overwhelming, isn't it. How can we make you feel better about this?
Little Me: *blink blink* I want the candy. (grabbing at a couple pieces of Christmas left-overs)
Negotiator Me: Sure. Go right ahead. Would you mind picking up that wrapper that just fell on the floor, too, and putting it in the trash? Oh, and make sure to grab your self a glass of water. And why don't you take the leftovers Tupperware down to the kitchen with you when you get the water.
Little Me: *runs off on errands eagerly*

Managed to get a few things picked up after that, though there's still the clean laundry to be put away. It's getting late. I need to sleep some time.

Little Me was right though. The sheer amount of stuff contained in my room is kind of overwhelming, not to mention the process of organizing whatever I want to keep. I keep looking at pictures of other people's houses and I sometimes long for all that space that others seem to just have lying around. Yet, space comes with it's own set of anxieties (which is a whole 'nother kettle of worms).

One day at a time, girlfriend, one day at a time.

*Apparently a three-year old prone to violent acts of non-verbal communication. ie crying, screaming, and much flailing.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

There's an H in 'orchata.

My housemates are frequently both the blessing and bane of my existence. Often at the same time. For example, Horchata. As in the yummy yummy homemade rice milk with cinnamon and sugar that I hold in my hands right now. Seriously goodness in a cup and all that is comforting in a drink that is not hot. Example two, coming home tonight after, literally, nine hours on my feet-dealing-with-customers-and-inventory-all-day shift, to find that there was hardly any dinner left. Tuesdays are my looong days and I never feel like cooking. Which makes it all to the better that we have organized dinners where in we take turns cooking. (Well, I actually clean the first floor this time around instead of cooking.)

Except that dinner is always at seven, and I don't get home until just after 7:30. And I have twenty-five housemates. Which means that unless the cook really really really plans well, there's never very much left when I get home. Even when I make my self a really good lunch and snack all day, this seems to leave me at turns wanting to break something or cry. Sometimes both.

Somehow today I managed to get there in time for the last of the taco meat, and found more tortillas and cheese, which meant I didn't have to do too much. But it was enough to set me on edge and make me want to cry. Arrrrggg! I get sooooo frustrated just by feeling so frustrated! And I totally wanted to punch three people in the face by the time I finished cleaning up my dinner dishes.

But I didn't. [Insert secret smile here.]

I tried very hard to calmly explain that I was feeling stressed and very much not okay, and that little things were making me feel upset that normally wouldn't. And some expressed concern. Which was very nice. It's nice to know that people want you to have a better day tomorrow, and so on.

It's also nice to have a BIIIG cup of Horchata.