Saturday, March 28, 2009


Bless Maggy for regularly sending me fun things to think about. Not that I don't already have enough to think about - but I'm pretty burned out on cell tower technology and alkaline hydrolysis. So this week's ideas from Maggy (which I saved for today) are Taking Up a Hobby and the love/hate topic of Personal Organizing.

I was a bit put off by Slatella's introduction of the hobby as a distraction from tough economic times. (Keep in mind this article is in the Fashion section of the Times.)

"I’ve been spending my time, like everyone else I know, obsessing over bigger problems — how will I pay for two kids in college and still be able to buy white wine ($9 a day)."

As I read on, I realized I'm not like the obsessed writer. I'm the friend who drags her into the hobby:

"She’s my competent friend, the one who has all kinds of practical skills. She knows how to make pies and how to cut fabric on the bias. She even knows what a “bias” is. What does she have to worry about? If a giant meteor hit the earth and debris from the impact blocked the sun, she’d survive just fine in some homespun coat she made out of super-warm wool. And the coat would be cute, too."
Maggy knows I've recently started making jewelry. I haven't worn jewelry for years. It turns out my new-found interest is more about the look and feel of beads and wire.

But a decade or two ago I did wear beads on a regular basis and people gave me many lovely necklaces. Now every single one of those looks to me like a source of beads to remake into new jewelry.

Beads aren't just ornamentation for the body. They're equally decorative on the wall. Ideas are beginning to form in the back of my mind for spectacular beaded embroidery artwork.

Which brings us to Personal Organizing. The only empty desktop space you see in this photo is the spot where my camera was before I picked it up to take the picture. Maggy and I share an ADD type organizing challenge. We both need to be able to see our stuff. And we share a sense that "She who dies with the most organizing books wins."

Rimer's organizer thinks the key to organizing is the label maker. I have a label maker. I'm not exactly sure where it is, but I'm pretty sure it's still in the package. B gave it to me a year or two ago for my birthday or Christmas or some such. Apparently owning a tool isn't really the answer. There always seems to be actual work involved.

The real thread these two articles have in common is the need for distraction.

Ms. Whited came to the label maker a few years ago, when she had a major health scare, and one of her first worries was about her husband and three small children: “How is Pete going to know where everything is?”

She began labeling everything she thought her husband might need to find in her absence: children's medicine, cat treats, paint thinner, bread... Bread? Doesn't bread come with its own label? The fact is, the labels may have helped her husband, but they really helped her endure the time while she waited for her medical test results. Happily the results were negative. By the time she got the news, the label maker was her new best friend. I think I'll go find mine now.

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