Wednesday, March 09, 2005

If You Want Something Done, Ask a Busy Person

I was talking with the Dowager Empress Odie-Bird this weekend past, and she asked me if, with my myriad passions (writing, knitting, and now ATC’s), one or another took a back seat when a new and nifty thing came up.

And really, that’s a yes and no answer. (How like life.) Yes, a minute that I spend making a card is not a minute spent writing, or a minute spent knitting, and versa vice. But it really comes down to priorities. (Uh-oh, she said the “p” word.)

You have to decide what’s important to you, I said. You have to see where the scraps of time are in your world, and then grab them and do something with them. I take my knitting everywhere with me—I always have a simple project in the car. I’ve been known to whip it out and get a few stitches in at stoplights in rush hour, when you know you’ll be sitting there for two or three cycles. You learn to watch the catty-corner light from the corner of your eye, and drop the knitting when it turns amber. And I've carved out a chunk in the morning, where I get to work fifteen minutes to half an hour early, and I sit in the lobby of the building and I knit. I just finished the Thriller shawl--blocking pix to follow.

I will begin a post at work, thinking of a topic while doing a routine job, then typing out little blips between other tasks or on the fringes of lunch and coffee breaks. Blogging has greased the wheels a lot—ideas puddle out and spread like red wine on heirloom linens.

The only thing that’s really fallen down is the bookbinding, and that’s only because I have four handbound journals waiting for me to begin working their pages. One has lasted me the better part of a year, and I just sent 2 to the Dowager Empress her own bad self because I didn’t want to wrestle with the Japanese stab binding between hard covers any more. I found myself really really looking for ward to the Coptics, lying so nice and flat with zero gutter (yes! Remember spiral notebooks, and how you could write all the way to the spring in the center? Coptics do that too, and they don’t snag your sweaters.) So I decided to give them to someone who’d enjoy them and use them. The pages are thick enough to mount stuff to, and already decorated so clippings end up framed.

And insofaras ATC’s are concerned, each one uses up bits of material, so you can pour an hour into creating a vast well of supplies. An 8.5 x 11.5 sheet of paper makes 10 cards in a few minutes. So do something to decorate the whole sheet, and then zip zip zip you have backgrounds ready made to do stuff with. When I find a logo I really like and may use often (for example, I found some kanji for the five elements of feng shui) I make a stencil with a plain bit of cardstock, and now all I have to do is find a nifty element to cut the foreground motif out of, adhere it to the background, et voila! A card is born. Plus, you don’t have to hover over them while the glue/varnish/paint dries, you can be working with something else in a minute.

If that’s what you decide to do.

1 comment:

blogdog said...

Love your writing and all your works-in-progress. Are you really a synaesthete? I am, but not strongly. I rarely taste or smell, but I see colors.