Thursday, January 22, 2009

In the mist

Or in the weeds. Or why I've been mostly AWOL.

Here's the scoop. I'm in the middle of a bunch of big projects, muddling around in a fog, in the midst of all this fog we've been having here, and not in any kind of mindset to chat cheerfully with my online gang. I apologize for the long breaks between posts, but it's probably going to continue for the next month or so.

The business - I'm trying so hard to get the spring stuff together, and it's not quite how I wanted it to go. I'm working on the newsletter, putting finishing touches on the new products and finalizing just one more soap scent.

But what is really messing things up, is that we decided to remodel the basement where my studio is located. I'm working on a refinance of the house, which is also running into obstacles as the market jumps around during this inauguration week. I'm trying to get contractor estimates and timing finished up, which is another headache. I'm also up to my armpits in clean up - a dozen years of just stuffing all the bits into little storage spots is now becoming overwhelming to empty out. All the leftover ribbons and containers and packaging pieces. And files and piles of ideas and experiments. I'm a visual person, so I like to have magazine pages and sketches and notes of ideas - some on the wall, some in folders, some in piles to go in folders or on the wall, or whatever. It's a long process of letting go of it all. And then there's Ebay.

I've bought plenty of things at Ebay over the years. But as much as I talked about selling my old stuff, I never got around to it. Now there's no choice - I just have to do it. So I thought I'd start small and do about 10 things for the first round. I gathered it all up. I took photos. Then took more photos because I didn't think they were good enough. Then I wrote a little introduction paragraph. Then I wrote little descriptions for each of them. Then I had to figure out the differences in all the forms for posting, work out the postage calculator wizard . . . which meant boxing it all up and then weighing each item. Then I started to do the actual posting. And realized that I needed to re-edit all the photos to a smaller size. And whoa. Suddenly, it's like two days later and I'm still glued to my chair and haven't showered. That Ebay thing is so time consuming, all for just a few bucks back, hopefully, if it sells and after they take out all the fees and commissions. It's not pretty.

A lot more stuff is going to just get pitched or sent off to Goodwill. The last couple of weeks have been a huge mess and I'm headed into a lot more. We're optimistically looking at February for the demolition and rebuild construction. By March I might have a space that actually functions that way it's supposed to, instead of a mouse in a maze running circles. That's the dream.

In between then, I'm taking a short vacation while the walls come down. And I'll be working out of the kitchen and the most awful packed-full dining room you've ever seen. I still need to re-locate my office into one tiny corner of my bedroom or something. It's going to be the biggest challenge ever. Especially because I'll be sending out my spring mailing in the middle of all that, and trying to do a flurry of orders while the place is demolished. And still be making a bunch of soap etc. Sounds like so much fun, eh? It just has to happen that way. I can't stop work - I need the money to be coming in now more than ever.

Oh, and I'm figuring out the whole show calendar for the year, prettying up my jury photos, filling out applications, and planning out the whole year ahead too. There are less spring shows this year than ever before. Not because I'm not doing them, but because the organizers aren't doing them - they just aren't happening at all. So it looks like April before I'll be back out on the road again. I'll need mail orders to survive. Oh, I hope this crazy plan works out. It's scary and hard work. I'll try to keep you up-to-date on the happenings - but not the play-by-play and the whining. I'll do all the whimpering and crying under the covers over here alone, kay? Send cookies.