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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Weekend Projects... because authors can have hobbies too!

Allison Winn Scotch posed a very thoughtful question to her readers Thursday: What Else Do You Do? That's a very good question. Most of us have full-time jobs, we juggle careers, parenting, bill paying, and writing. Many authors struggle to find time to write their novels! So who has time for hobbies?

Um... that would be me again.

I feel so guilty. I was whining the other week about how horrible life was treating me, only to take a deep breath and realize I'm a very lucky girl. In the chaos I sometimes forget to be thankful that I have a roof over my head, wonderful children, a loving husband, the world's greatest beta-readers (yes I am sucking up - don't judge me), and the chance to pursue my career in writing without putting my life on hold. That makes me one in a million.

And since I've been jabbering on Twitter about all the projects currently hiding in my barn I figured I better do the promised blog post on all my work that has absolutely nothing to do with writing (really).

Project 1... A New Kitchen Table (cue the theme music for A New Hope)

Remember my blog post about the state park? This is the wood I gleefully collected for the tabletop. Off to the side I have a stack of timbers to make benches, table legs, and book cases! I need book cases!!! We've found ten more plastic tubs filled with books in the garage while we were unpacking. I swear books multiple if you read them after midnight. They're worse than gremlins!

Project 2... Decorating My Work Space

You think I'd post photos of my study in it's current state? Aren't you adorable! Not going to happen. Right now my study looks like the AFTER picture of a natural disaster. Boxes, wreckage, a dead dog... oh, wait, the dog is alive. He just sleeps like the dead.

We move a lot. Six official moves in the past ten years. Every time we pick up and go we run into a storage problem. As in: Why didn't anybody put a closet in this house??? I dream of having a perfectly organized, perfectly portable house. Built-in shelves that can travel as much as we do. These shelves were built using Ana White's $10 Ledge design and are the first step to achieving my dream. It also means having a shelf so high Bambino can't reach, but I digress...

Project 3... Somewhere to Hang the Fan Mail

My last kitchen table didn't survive the move. Glass table tops and incompetent movers don't mix. The frame arrived at our new house, but the glass game in a million sharp slivers. Being the Eco-concious, penny-pinching person that I am I stuffed the frame in the barn and hoped I wound find a use for it someday. We considered buying new glass, but Bambino likes to jump on the table after dinner and I'd rather he use the reincarnated foot bridge for his antics than a glass top that might slice his legs to ribbons. And then I found a tutorial by Megan Brooke on making chicken wire frames (with a photo by Lemonade Makin' Mama that I am happy to share).

Perfect for hanging everything from kid's art projects to outlining paraphernalia to fan mail (in case I feel like printing out an email I guess?). I'm enchanted by the teal color here. It matches some Moroccan lanterns I have.

That's what's in my wood pile right now. The shelves need about three hours to go from start to finish, and it's taken me a month to put them together. They aren't even on my wall yet! The framing project means sanding, painting, and stapling... And the table is a monster project. I don't expect to finish either any time soon, but they're there. Slowly but surely, here a little bit and there a little bit, I get things done.

What are you up to?


  1. Really liked this post. Could make a neat magazine article with a little work.."The Hazards of Moving" or something...A little here and little there does work, as long as we keep moving forward. I have a barn 116 years old and originally the Monroe City Livery stable..Anyhow I am working on putting in skylights to make a loft in what was the hay loft. I noticed in winter the old metal building heats up and it is tolerable in the loft even on 30 degree days if they are sunny...Want to do my crafts up there...Make Bird house, feeders and wind chimes from recycled materials....Enjoy your projects..

  2. P.S. I am not obsessing on you. My blog only has four links so far and you are by far the most active and I just like to let you know someone is reading it....

  3. I appreciate comments of any kind. :o)

  4. I'm going to do a poster-size drawing of the Iron Maiden "Killers" album cover for a friend's b-day. And working on fall house cleaning. ugh.

  5. Brooklyn - You have my admiration. I can't draw, and I hate to clean. Accomplishing either will put you way ahead of me.