It feels like we're in the middle of a winter twilight this morning. In the yard the air smells like the rainy woods. It's been raining on and off for days, and the light is so dim all I can see in my house are the bright spots of windows. My neighbor's black and white kitters watches me from her back porch every morning as I make my coffee in our kitchen. It occurs to me that I could head back upstairs and climb back under the covers with Andy and Clover (Clover, who is sitting under the quilt that Andy made for himself! Guest post?). But I've got so much going on downstairs these days that it has been making me anxious, and I know I'd better begin my week. Today, we're going to continue cleaning out and painting Andy's office, which is half-filled with Posie stuff: probably two dozen bolts of wool felt, shipping boxes, embroidery supplies, kits, yarn, fabric. Craft stuff takes up so much space. We don't have that much space. Well, it's more like we need to use our space efficiently, and the poor office has been neglected. Nanny Katie and Eileen Beatrix, my trusty assistants, have both gone on to find full-time jobs; I am very happy for them, though we all miss them around here. Their friend Greta has come to help, and she is amazing, and is getting me all whipped into shape. We tore my studio apart a few weeks ago and put it back together piece by piece, in a much more organized way. Andy's office is still in turmoil, but we're getting there. Greta will be completely taking over the assembly of past-years' ornament kits, and is in the process of counting every skein of embroidery floss and every cut piece of felt we have left over in preparation. I'm thrilled to have the help, nervous about how it will all go, but also filled with new ideas as a result.
It's a funny little business, this little business. It requires you to be both artistically creative but also mired in the details — of pattern writing, of order filling, of supply ordering, of financial balancing, of kit assembling, of proofreading, of space managing, of web site programming. Most of this stuff never makes it to the blog, though in real life I can talk my head off about it (usually to Andy) and it takes up the bulk of my working time. I am a fairly organized person but my systems are seriously archaic, and lately I have been having trouble managing the systems while making time to work on new things. This summer that's changing: newly organized storage spaces, new filing system, new web site (I do my own so it's seriously flawed and jerry-rigged), new shipping module (THANK GOODNESS), new shopping cart (OH THANK GOODNESS), new things (photo prints), awesome new assistant to take over some of the old things, new supplies, and eventually new ideas. It will get worse before it gets better, but I really think it's going to get so much better, and it will free up my time to design more. And that is what I really want to do.
Against the backdrop of all this chaos: My Mrs. Delany–inspired cross-stitch sampler on black was finished and framed and pleased me beyond words. Should you care to view it at a larger size, click on the image and a bigger view onto its buzzing little world will open. I call it my Summersprigs sampler and I think it came out right cool, if I do say. I'm working on the pattern/chart for this, but in the chaos of our reorganization I won't be doing a kit for it at this time. I want to, but I think it will be too much for us to manage right now. Since this is a summer-themed project, I want you to at least have the pattern in this sumer, and that will be finished in a couple of weeks. I'll point you toward sources for materials and will eventually have them available a la cart myself when the new web site is finished. My goal is to be able to carry the supplies — at least, the special supplies — that anyone would need to make most of my patterns.
Slowly but surely, I think I'll get there. I usually do. Right now I feel like there are six or seven things going on all at the same time, and I'd like to whittle that list down these next few weeks, as I am not a natural multi-tasker. I am a natural single-tasker. And you know what offce reorganization means: IKEA TRIP!!! My happy place. I really wish that specific Ikea-cinnamon-roll smell stayed permanently embedded in the furniture. Nothing makes me happier than to open that cardboard box of boards that will become shelves at home and have that wave of cinnamony scent remind me of my happy moments sitting in fake Ikea living rooms (and, I guess, also the time I blew a fuse and put myself in time-out in the Poang chair, which was also in its own, weird, semi-conscious way pretty damn nice). They should sell Ikea-scented candles for meditation.