Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fine Points


Set a bed pillow with the open end of the case facing away from the entrance to the room.

Raise roller shades completely or level with the sash. 

Keep the yard free of toys and human-powered vehicles.

Close cupboard doors and drawers as you work.

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More after the jump.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Paper Table Cover


I go round and round about how to use the dining room. It’s a dynamite work space, but using it for production displaces my social life. The long table is a good piece of wood that’s been waxed to protect the open grain. The surface is convenient, gorgeous when fresh, resilient, and easy to restore. I do not, however, want to challenge it with the ink that is my life’s blood.

In my modest neck of the arts, thick white paper is the standard for protecting work surfaces. I learned to call it butcher paper, but the nomenclature has morphed into craft paper. It’s a ritual joy to cover a work surface with a couple of layers of fresh paper. I now use double-sticky tape to adhere the paper to the edges of the work surface. I could use a gritty nail buffer along the outer edge to abrade/trim surplus paper into a soft edge, although this time I simply used an X-Acto knife.

I realized that topping the table with a fresh piece of craft paper will do for a casual meal, and any tablecloth will serve as easily over paper as it does over the wood itself. A paper cover develops a personal history, like a pair of jeans. It’s a joy to write on the tablecloth at mealtime. Doing so used to be standard procedure at business lunches served on white cotton tablecloths, until ballpoint ink replaced fount and it became impossible to get a cloth clean.

It’s bad form to eat in a studio-the risk is to the work and to the health of the eater. However, I use no toxins and plan to keep the butter, mortal enemy of paper art, under control.

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More after the jump.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Steering The Garden


Record drought coupled with drastic changes in solar exposure left both grass and moss in full retreat. Only yarrow shows green, and that’s just fine with me. Yarrow is one of the components of the classic Victorian lawn. In the nineteenth century, managers of English estates set small boys loose with tweezers to pull up blades of grass on the lawn.

I moseyed around the lot with a small bottle of time-release fertilizer beads, sprinkling a few on each patch of yarrow. That will give oomph to the established plants. I’ll mow the flower heads when the seed is ripe, and that should spread the patches wide for next spring.

This is a ridiculously easy way to garden that takes only patience. Coupled with benign herbicide, I can foster or edit at will.

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More after the jump.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Paper Blitz


I loathe paperwork. Not doing paperwork makes me crazy. Here’s how I inadvertently slew the monsters in my in-basket. Working standing on a waist-high surface, I fished a mercifully small pile of unresolved clerical yoga out of a drawer and dealt it out under sticky note headings written in bold marker. The technique resolved sulky days of detail into a few manageable hours of calls and filing.

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More after the jump.