Thursday, August 24, 2006

House stuff,back soon I hope

Today is my first day back at my DayJob in nearly a week, well, 5 days anyhow. IT seems longer, perhaps because I was working non-stop, often until 10 or 11 at night and waking at 9 to repeat he process over again. My hands are stiff and sore from sanding and ripping out carpet, the process of pulling out staples with vise grips is strenuous, particularly since it’s easier if one is standing and bent over- you get better leverage than if you sit on the floor and pull, but its easier on your back if you sit. Catch-22?

Anyhow, we managed to finish the kitchen, almost last night. We did a glazed ragging technique to give it some depth of color and some interest. We also did it because it’s old 1970’s paneling and we wanted to cover it. It took more work than anything else we’ve tackled, except the carpet.

Needless to say, thus far the place looks great and I can’t wait to get our stuff in there and start actually living there. I hate half being here in Wakefield and half being in our new home.

My next project is the upstairs bedroom. Some of the walls are a mess and eventually need to be removed. However much of it is in good condition. So I’m torn between the coolness of the old fashioned walls and having them ripped the hell out.

After we get the bedroom in order I can then start thinking about the studio. It’s going to be less work than the other rooms, especially as I’m not finishing the basement I’m just making it workable. The hardest thing is going to be mounting the paper storage areas. I’m not sure what I’m going to use for it. I want to reuse as much of the existing materials as I can. There’s a workbench down there that I can rip the front off and mount some shelves to store large quantities of big paper. I also want to rip the doors off the cabinet and cut the doors to size and make shelves out of them that I can store my smaller boxes of paper on. The workbench itself is very rough but I like it. I need to do something so that the top of its clean and workable, otherwise the century of ground in dirt is going to mar every book I make. Perhaps I’ll fill in the major holes with wood putty and then cover it with some glossy finish. IT will be a work in progress.

Anyway, just a quick update on the house and the stuff that goes with it. BTW, I'll post pics as I finish rooms.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I realize the style of art that I used to make when I was younger- meditative, tiny little details and massive amounts of ink, line and texture, and color don’t forget color, still draws me in.

I was looking on Flikr at some art and I realize it’s still in me. I can still go after those large meditative and small meditative pieces that I used to love so much.

I have some experimentation to do when we finish this move.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

WEbsite and House and Studio

The website is back online. I’ve taken everything off because I know I won’t be able to take any orders until we are done moving. I’m looking forward to the move and what it means for me as an artist. I’ll have a dedicated studio, which I can fill with art supplies and not have any complaints, not that C complains much now but it will be different.

I hope to also have an area set up where I can paint, in addition to the area dedicated to bookbinding. It will also be nice to have the computer out of the studio. Not that it takes up much space but it’s a definite distraction for me.


Comfortable Shoes Studio will be offline for an undetermined amount of time while I update the site and roll out the new look. Bear with me.

Friday, August 04, 2006

the planner

It’s time I posted some pics here about my planner. You could term this a moleskine hack, or a love affair. I’m not sure which it is. All I know is that as my DayJob became more and more stressful I forgot more and more of the stuff I needed to do and complete through the day. It also started to permeate into my studio life and my personal life. Suddenly I was forgetting to pick up eggs, zip lock baggies and milk after work. At work I would forget to place important orders and would screw up simple things.

I started to make lists, it worked until I lost the list or didn’t refer to it. So that helped for a while but it didn’t help with the shambles that my studio was becoming or the important little long term things I had to complete wit my DayJob. It was falling short of my needs. I knew I needed a planner of some sort, but they never worked well for me Plus I hated to turn pages and not use the paper. Being a treehugger at heart it killed me to not use the full page. I have also tried the Palm PDA. It was a heavy and expensive address book, that never had juice when I needed it.

I’m fascinated by the GTD systems. I also like the idea of the Hipster PDA but can’t get into carrying loose card in my pocket. I lose them. (read above) I discovered some time ago. The idea of it worked for me. It wasn’t rigid and didn’t have any particular date tied to it. It us a full page for ideas and working out projects. I decided that I would adapt this system to my needs.

I tie dates to each of my entries, I don’t need to be so specific about time and all that but if some thing is time sensitive than it gets a RED entry and a time written into the entry. I use post-it flags to really draw my attention to something. These tend to go onto things I’m avoiding or putting off, or meetings that I need to remember. I have a stack of post-it bookmarkers in the front so that I flag things like the grocery list, and put it on the front of the notebook. Here’s a pic of front pages:

The set up is such:
The cover holds a PenSlip, and post it notes on the inside page.
The end sheet gets to hold my address, contact info and business cards. I use a fiskars corner photo punch to make the slots for my biz cards.
The backside of the end sheet gets a pasted in calendar, indispensable.
The next page gets a short print out of my most used business contacts for work.
The next page is for personal contacts.
The next page holds interesting websites and other information I don’t want to lose.

The next 2 pages get set up like a PigPog PDA, I draw a line on the fore-edge of each page, about ½ inch in. The left page is for my DayJob and the right for at related and studio items. I tend to go through the Studio page far faster than the DayJob page. So if I find that I’m filling the Studio page fast, I fill it in and then use what’s left of the DayJob page. Only I use a regular opening moleskine (volant in this case), 2 pens, and 2 open pages for doodles and ideas that don’t need a time line.

Here are the planner pages, one finished and one in progress:

The 2 pages after that are what I call IDEA pages. It includes doodles for spine designs, new ideas for penslips, mortgage crap and other odd information that I need to know but doesn’t need a date and time for completion, or will need to be referenced at some point.

After filling the PigPog area, I move to the net 2 pages. I find that I pretty much equally fill the 4 pages and I’m ready for the next 4 pages. I leave the pages blank in the notebook so that if I have an idea that takes up more space have room for it, no need to cramp my style.

I find that thus far it has really helped me think out ideas- mortgage, work and studio, and also to follow through on many ideas. I forget less of the smaller things that are needed for life to run smoothly.

I’ve found it works best if I sit down every morning and think of the things that I think I need to do and write them down. Then at the end of the night I do the same, review everything and then write down what I needed to do that I forgot or that I think I need to do in the next day.

I’m using a moleskine Volant that I happened to find on my last trip to charrette. I love when places clear out old back stock and aren’t sure what something is or isn’t. I’ve tried a few things to make my own and I plan on doing so after finish my Volants. This was just a really faster way for me to try this out and see if it works. I’ve got a tack of paper already cut to make my own. And replicate the waterproofed nature of the Volant cover I have some old ad signs from the store that have a study vinyl coating on them that will make perfect little covers. I can’t wait to try them out.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

More house/studio information

We’ll we close on the house in about 2 weeks. I’ll post more information about it as I know more. I’ll be off line f a little bit around that time too, probably 2 or 3 days. Every time we move we set things up in a certain way- electrical and other utilities get set up before we move, then the first thing we set up in the house is something to play music and something to chill drinks. That first night the first thing we set up is the bed and then we set up the internet. I’m not sure why we do things in that order, but it has almost always been the case. The music I get, we’re all into music. It makes moving so much better.

The studio is going to be an ongoing project for me. The first thing I’m going to do is get in the basement and paint. At some point, after many ebay and etsy sales I’ll need to level the floor, which I’ll do by putting in a platform with a plywood top. It’ll kick butt. I have some shelving units to put in, and I’m going to need to set up a nice spot to take pictures. I’m also going to need some decent light down there. Currently there are only 2 bar light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. I’ll have to put in some other lights.

I’ll update more as time goes on.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

biz-nas cards

I am a moron sometimes. I have limited tie off from the DayJob these next few precious weeks. So I’m trying to structure the items t I need to do on my time off with the things I WANT to do, my trusty planner has been helpful. I’m a list-maker.

Today on my list was to make some new biz cards. I’ve been 3 or 4 cards from out for a month and a half. (Biz cards are an indispensable resource for arts and craft people. I think we should all have our own. It’s the easiest way to allow a client to recommend me to other people.)

Some how my old card template had disappeared and I was stuck making a new one this morning. Strike one- what the heck happened to my cards? Unknown. I spent a half hour remaking my cards and ended up with something that I liked and had plenty of room on it for all my info. I printed a few copies and tweaked it so it was just so. Then I proceeded to make 200 copies of my card. I hand tear the edge so it looks deckled, and then cut them.

So after about an hour and a half I was done. Or so I thought.

I reviewed my cards as I was flipping through pages on the net, and guess what, while not a typo I totally put in the wrong address for my etsy account. It was a total mind burp on my account. I know my etsy account is but my mind didn’t think that this morning. So now I have a stack of biz cards with incorrect information and a wasted 15 sheets of expensive cardstock. *&^*&^&^%^%$ I bought some new and I’m going to reprint in a few minutes.

PenSlips in fabric

I need 3 volunteers to test my fabric penslips and email me reviews after a week of use. As well as any pics of wear and tear and ponts of failure. I need people who are willing to abuse them.

I switched from my leather slip to a fabric one and after a week of use and abuse I can say that they are pretty sturdy. I've been carying them on my volant in my back pocket and in the thigh pocket of my cargoes and they seem to work well. However I'd like to see how they respond to a week of being tossed in a bag with a pen or two shoved in them.


Since they are in testing I have only a few made. One is redfabric with purple flowers and green vine, anotehr is a magenta fabric with batik flowers (think colorful daisies). i'll post pics so people can see them. After the trial period is over you get to keep them.

I've had 3 people sign up! Thanks for all the interest! I really appreciate it.