Thursday, September 21, 2017

State of the Shambles

I didn’t get much more sorting done in the dining room during the weekdays last week. But on Saturday I slogged through stuff on the floor, and found the floor! Things were moved around (cleaning: lots of moving things around). Things were thrown out. Many rolls of leather were put on shelves (were previously living by the sewing machine, but that spot wasn’t easily accessible), and the top of the drafting table was gone through. I think I have the majority of the hardware in need of sorting located. The top of the drafting table is not exactly clean, but it’s more orderly now. I’ve decided the Workmate-clone can go back to the basement (after several years of use as a small workbench), and hopefully Robin will remember to do so. 

On Sunday I packed up the molds for hard pouches we don’t make any more, and the pieces for a miniature western saddle, clearing space on a set of shelves and in the scrap bins. After that, I sorted through scrap, and packed up the shearling we don’t use very often any more (was in a bin). And then I remembered another big bag of scrap that I had just moved on Saturday, and sorted through *that*. I sorted scrap into three types - straps, garment, and everything else, and by size - large enough to be potentially useful vs. too small/mangy to bother with. I also set a small pile aside for possible use as small soft pouch fronts, along with pieces from a pretty bison side that I want to keep together (and am having ideas for). 

And then I swept the floor for the Nth time with the new broom. 

The box of shearling went under the drafting table, and can be pushed back into the corner, as it’s light. The box of molds and saddle parts will probably also go back there, but not as far back. There’s still room in the box, which I expect to be able to fill - there’s another couple old molds that may turn up (or may have already been banished to the basement, we’ll see as I clean), and if they don’t, I’ll probably find other things that can rationally go in the box. 

Looking at the multiple shelves that go up to the ceiling, I briefly wondered what in the world I was thinking. Oh, yeah, I had no idea when we ran them up that high that I wouldn’t have Ron around regularly to retrieve things off the highest ones. Fortunately, we have a good stepladder. I think I’ll probably re-arrange what’s on which shelves, with additional consideration of what can go in the depths behind/below the drafting table, so I have the things I’m more likely to want within reach without the stepladder, and lighter things up higher (so it’ll hurt less when (not if) I test gravity.). 

Meanwhile, Robin has started working on the spare bedroom. It’s got a ways to go, but there’s improvement there, too. I’m thinking my bookbinding equipment may go up there to live. This would be rational, as it’s where the letterpress equipment lives. I’m not sure there’s room, we’ll have to see how it goes. 

Once I find my squares, of which I have two somewhere in the dining room, I need to go through the scrap bin(s) again and make reinforcements for soft pouch bottoms, belt loops, and straps for the dees that go on pouches with the belt loops. I’ve got a lot of light-colored belt loops already, but some people don’t like light-colored loops on black pouches. Ok, whatever.  

I’ve been meaning to sort hardware and put the belt-related things away in Max for days now. May or may not happen tonight, but I expect it will happen by the end of the weekend. 

Summary: The dining room is less shambolic. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Change of Plans!

Remember how on Sunday I said that the first step on the project to re-arrange the dining room was to go through all the stuff on shelves and see what could be gotten rid of? And that I needed to sort all the hardware from The Grinch that had ended up dumped in the dining room - with the definite implication that hardware-from-Grinch-sorting would come before shelf-content-sorting? 

Yeah . . . not so much.

Yesterday morning I was thinking of the dining room planning, and had an idea. I quickly pulled out my paper models and shuffled things, and left a note for Ron and Robin asking if it might be possible to swap the drafting table and the shelves the splitter is mounted to by the end of the day (since Ron went back on duty this morning)

Ron said yes, and while he was eating lunch with me, stated that he would be pulling up the dining room carpet while things were moving around - we’d talked about it Sunday evening.

When I got home from work the kitchen was pretty much impassible. I found the dog bowls and food bin and fed the dogs dinner outside. Puppy porch picnic party!  Fortunately, by that time Ron and Robin were down to cleanup stage, so I retired to the living room while they got everything back into the dining room, then I was able to finish making dinner (started in the morning in the crock-pot, fortunately).

The dining room is now a complete disaster. Everything that was on the floor is still on the floor, and even more higgledy-piggledy. They ran the shop-vac, but Robin and I both remarked, independently, that it looked like it was going to take about a half-dozen more times. And we’re still finding mouse poop from the (expletive) fugitive that we had for a while. Tonight I decided to sweep, as I thought it would kick up less dust than the shop-vac. Good idea, but we don’t seem to have a broom. Must procure one tomorrow.

Looks like I can get reasonably sturdy laminate flooring for as little as 99 cents per square foot from Lumber Liquidators, if I’m not fussy about color. I’m not fussy about color.

This morning I had another idea, although one less likely to as much upheaval. I’m thinking of moving the leather splitter from the shelving unit that its currently bolted to over to The Grinch, if it will fit next to the small tool drawers I was going to stack on The Grinch. Max has enough dead space between the top drawer and the top surface, AFAIK The Grinch has the same general design and also would have space.

All that will have to wait, though, for the all-the-crap-on-the-floor sorting, stuff-on-shelves sorting, and brush-pile-destruction. Brush is scheduled to be dealt with this weekend. Sorting to begin Real Soon Now and continue . . . until I slog through it all. Started sorting the crap on the floor and hardware tonight. I considered putting belt hardware (which is most of the hardware I found and sorted) away in Max, but I decided to wait and see how much more I turns up as I keep cleaning. But that hardware is sorted into little tool drawer tray thingies and packed in a Rubbermaid bin, so short of a gravity test it should stay sorted. 

I also kinda committed to helping Robin make room in the spare bedroom for a painting station - which shouldn’t be a huge project, as it will mean straightening up the room and shifting contents so he can open up at least one leaf of the drop-leaf table that’s already in there and get to it. Which needs to be done Real Soon Now, as Robin should be ready to test for his CDL by the end of the month, and moving his painting to the spare bedroom is part of dog-proofing his room and making it easier for me to get in for skink-care.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Still Working

Oops, got a little behind blog-wise.

Labor Day weekend I finished changing out rings on belts, listed them on Etsy, and got them put away. In order to do so I got four small bins, a lot like milk crates, but a bit smaller, and lids for two of them - nice bins, feel sturdy, and stack either with or without the lids. My plan was to put belts to go to craft fairs in three of the bins and use the fourth for other things, but I’ve got enough belts that some that won’t go to craft fairs got packed in the fourth. 

The new bins and the bins from the Things that pouches are packed in are a bit wider the top of Max, which has a lip, so I got a board to put on the top of Max. Unfortunately, Home Depot’s panel saw (the board is 18” wide) was broken, so Ron and Robin cut it for me while they were trimming lumber for Gimli-proofing the fence yesterday. 

After dinner yesterday I measured the dining room and all the furniture, leather carts, etc. Today I drew the room to scale, and drew and cut out all the furniture, etc., and started sliding things around. I’m thinking of taking down the shelving made with two-by lumber and half cinder blocks, and bringing in Max instead, and would like to rearrange the room so the space is more usable. I’m also starting to consider pulling up the carpet, which would make it easier to move the leather carts and other things with wheels. That would, in turn, give me more options when rearranging. 

Whatever I end up doing with the dining room, the first step is going through what’s on the various selves and determining what can stay and what can go (not necessarily disposed of, but moved out of the room). Probably won’t start that for a bit, next weekend Robin and I need to rent a chipper/shredder and deal with the back yard full of brush piles. 

This afternoon Ron and Robin helped me spelunk in the trailer. They pulled out The Grinch and the two Things, and I rooted around in the Things. I pulled out jingle bells, satchels, and purses to take to craft fairs; and more pouches to list on Etsy. The first craft fair we’re scheduled for isn’t until November, but I didn’t want to wait to pull stuff and have the weather and yard conditions turn bad. I also moved all the remaining pouches and other merchandise into one of the Things, and we put two of the three big bins of glassware into the other. I also emptied out The Grinch. The Grinch went into the trailer first, then the Thing with the glass bins, then the Thing with the pouches, etc. Bringing The Grinch into the house isn’t a given, far enough away in time that it made sense to put in the back of the trailer. 

Next up on my to-do list for Otter is to sort the hardware out of The Grinch, and move some of the belt hardware to the shallow drawer in Max. Also putting away the merchandise to go to craft fairs. Then photographing and listing more pouches, and figuring out where to put these.