Tuesday 25 September 2012

Cleaning up my workspace & bead organisation...

Yes, a long silence -- many apologies. I have been typing like a mad fiend for months, and every week I think just get to the end of this week and I'll have time to breathe... then more files come flying over the virtual transom. I'm swamped now until next Wednesday.

However, in the meantime, in preparation for a massive sort and pricing of the huge turquoise order on its way that I'll be offering at the Grand River Bead Society show (Guelph, October 27th & 28th), as well as another large bead order from Nelson Gemstones, I have been cleaning up the front room where I do all of my work. Note that this means my junk room out back is filling up even more, so I'm not so very virtuous. Years ago I discovered the worth of having a dedicated junk room -- but with decent functional shelving so things are more or less accessible and off the floor.

Remember the 5-Minute Manager concept from... the late '80s or early '90s? I learned one thing: handle everything once. Then there was a cleaning/clutter-busting tip from somewhere: keep stuff off the floors and rooms will automatically appear much tidier. Now if I could just STOP covering every flat surface with a foot of all that stuff from the floors... and PAPER. I hate paper. Whatever happened to that old saw that computers would do away with paper? Phhht. What I can't figure out how to deal with is the out-of-sight, out-of-mind conundrum. I'm forever putting things in "logical" places, but then they are lost forever as my logic defies... everything.

My pal Lynn (who will very shortly be offering her organisation services to all of you virtually via Skype and I'm the guinea pig) helped me do a massive cleaning yesterday (all 1/4 of my front room, whoo hoo, but progress nonetheless) -- she likes to clean and she ordered me to keep going, telling me that when she gets started she can't stop (very weird, I know). I did all the moving stuff around, the sweeping and mopping: we were a cleaning machine. Then we went to the dollar store and I got some more shallow semi-see-through bins.

This organising by shallow bin seems to be the way to go for me. I tried doing the hanging-beads-in-order-of-colour-on-a-grid next to my table the way many of my online pals do and who post pictures of their studios and working methods, but I've found I can't work that way. It may be that the bin method I've come up with will become bead soup (this truly was the breakthrough for me) writ large and yet be physically somewhat organised: I figured out that to make something I have to see what I have jumbled up and see random patterns and colour, rather than see the strings all laid out, essentially fixed to the wall, thence to deliberately put colours together in my mind. I need serendipity. It may be that with all my strings in bins sorted by colour only, showing multiple textures and graduations of that colour, that I can then I can put bins of complementary and split complementary side by side and fine tune after that.

If nothing else, I finally can see all the beads I have and stop buying duplicates. Slowly, slowly, progress is being made:

Phht... who has time to watch television anyway?

The contents of this grid shelf ended up on the floor (gack) in the bedroom closet. I was thinking that I could hang some strings from the front of the shelves, as well...

How do you work?

Big show coming up, if you're anywhere close by: the annual Ancaster Gem Show is this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 28, 29 and 30th. I'm not sure -- check before you drive out, but I believe the Friday is for school groups. Lots of fossils and dinosaur bones and raw crystal formations along with beads galore and finished jewellery.

Thanks for looking.

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