Brought a lotta flowers into the house today.
I don’t know what sort of life we are living.
We have an AirBNB guest this month. He is staying in our guest room for several weeks. Most of our AirBNB guests stay 1 or 2 nights, but we’ve had a few long bookings. This summer we are hosting a guest May-August, our longest booking yet.
Today I tidied the guests bathroom: wiped down the fixtures, cleaned the soap dish, polished smudges off the mirror. Dusted the succulent. Arranged the complimentary toiletries on the toilet tank.
Then I tided my studio and sat down to answer emails and cruise the web and make a to do list.
Later tonight I will fix the basement, which exploded a few weeks ago and hasn’t been reset yet. Doing that will allow me to reset the family room, which has been hosting stuff that belongs in the basement in the meantime.
I will clean and rearrange that exploded half of the basement to create supply storage and a mail prep zone. Everything in the house will fit together better when we have a place to put extra blank CDs and paper reams and safety pins and vintage buttons, and a place for the postage scale to land.
And later I have band practice. My AirBNB guest will come home and chat and play with the cats. We’ll work quietly and intensely in between, and sometimes we’ll take a break to dance to loud music.
Housekeeping is becoming a hobby. It is one of the things I do to take a break from work. It is not always pleasant (hello washing out litter boxes) but it is enjoyable and even rewarding. Sometimes it’s nice to feel great about myself for the scrub down I gave the tub, when I haven’t been able to write or draw for three days. When a project falls through. When I hit a bump on the road to wherever we are going.
Successful experiment: floor desk
This is me, at my desk. Which is basically me sitting on the floor in front of my computer.
ON THE FLOOR IS WHERE IT IS AT.
I built my studio around a desk on the floor. My workspace, where I write and draw. I do most of my job at my desk.
I tried a drafting table. Finding it uncomfortable, I tried another drafting table. I tried a child-sized desk (which is about my size because I am very short). I was unable to find a comfortable way to work in my studio.
I thought back to my office job, and to desks in previous studios, and realized I’ve never had a work station that was comfortable, allowed the space I needed, and aided my work.
So I moved everything out of my office, put my iMac on an overturned basket, and sat on the floor. It was perfect: I could spread my work out around me — draft drawings, markers and pens, works in progress — and sitting on the floor allowed greater leverage for me to really lean in over big drawings.
It’s been more than two years since I made my floor desk. I’ve arranged my studio around it. Crouching into my desk feels like sinking into a good couch. I feel relieved to come into my studio and flop at my desk (and pick up the last project I left off)(or browse Tumblr).
Took this photo using iPhone’s panorama setting
I use a backjack for support, hold a my keyboard and mouse on a lap desk, and my computer stands on a laid-down blueprint locker. When I draw I hold the sketchbook in my lap or on a clipboard. It all works pretty well.
Now I need to work on a better organizational experiment than “keeping things in vaguely related piles”.
Often, inhabitants of a punk house will break furniture, dishware, or other household items for little or no reason. Many inhabitants engage in giving each other mohawk haircuts.
How do you welcome guests into your office when your office is in your home?
I often host meetings, and clients stop by to pick up purchases or see new work. Our front door opens into a large, seldom-used room. After I sensed some people seemed unsure about how to react after they entered my home under business pretenses, we did a little rearranging.
The temple pews are now a room divider and waiting area. They provide a nice place to sit and remove shoes, or even read a magazine in the event a guest must wait on me.
Creating an entry area gave guests a place to plant themselves upon entry. I don’t have to feel the need to lead them immediately to another part of the house, and they feel less awkward about being in my home for the first time.
Blocking eye lines helped with this, too. The room is still very open, but the coat rack creates a visual obstacle and lends a sense of privacy to the space as well.
It is winter and I have thought many times about coming to write longer posts for this blog. For today, an update will do.
We managed to tuck the house away pretty well this fall, so we feel good about ignoring all things outside until it gets warmer. Inside, we’re staying alive with the help of lots of risottos and broccoli casseroles and eggy bakes. We’re continuing to make the basement a workspace. We’re repairing and tinkering and improving as much as we can.
In winter, the house seems like a protector. Our mama bear, keeping us warm during hibernation. We play little games and do lots of puzzles and we are very very glad we rarely have to go outside.
That’s it. Update over. Rockethaus preservers through the long winter months.
It is full on winter in Rockethaus. You can tell by how my studio has become not a room but a 10x10 box of blankets. A fuzzy rug, a crisp muslin blanket, a pink and grey striped wool throw, and two cats hidden somewhere in the stacks.
The blinds are pulled, all the time. Maybe if it gets real sunny and above 25, we’ll open them for a few minutes, so a cat can find purchase in a triangle of sun.
Speaking of cats, the cats are either sleeping or yelling. They are cold, and we are warm. If we don’t let them sleep on us, they cry.
Garbage piles up inside the door. It’s too cold to jog out to the trash. Not just garbage, also signs, bins, things to go out to the garage. They will get moved eventually, in a burst of bundled energy.
We are trying to be cozy. We are doing a pretty good job.
Took out three softening pumpkins and left the front yard with this.
Also spent the afternoon lining the garden with bricks. Lifted a lot of bricks today. Kiiiiiinda don’t feel like doing anything else, so I’m waiting for these burritos Scott made to kick in and get me re-motivated.
Cleaned my house, mostly. That is what I did all night, and now I nap.
Spring is springing in our basement. So far onions, basil, Brussels sprouts, nasturtiums have sprung. Sun berries and grapes, not yet.
Still to be planted: eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, etc.
This week! Got my new gardening gloves in the mail (lower left), mended some sheets what needed mending (lower right), and installed a grow light in the basement kitchen for all my itty bitty seedlings.
Not pictured: I’m also priming and hanging a picture rail in our library, so I can host viewings of my art at home.
Have I mentioned lately how neat it is to have a house?
I like Mondays.
They always feel like a fresh start, a fresh week. Last week is gone and the weekend is over and whatever I did or didn’t do or get done is in the past.
So I can make a new try, and I can’t rest on my laurels. There is always another Monday coming!
- reset the house
- put away blankets and dishes from last night
- trashed my pile of doodles from watching the Oscars
- picked up cookie wrappers from late night snacking
- troubleshot a cat problem
- did two thirds of a yoga session
- did laundry
- got groceries
- troubleshot an AirBNB guest problem
- Set up a new chair thanks Rachel, Veronica and Fuku!
Sigh. What a morning*
Now I will show my studio some love she is messy and needs sorting. I’ll start with cleaning my brushes.