Sunday, July 7, 2013

How I Spent my Summer Vacation....

by Moi!

Or rather, How I Finally Organized My Studio.  
I took this week off. We had Thursday and Friday off anyway so might as well take the whole week. It was a much needed break. In the studio - this is the nightmare I was dealing with. Yes, of my own creation, but only because I was working with what I had. Four shelves on lath and plaster and drywall. Not a great support to hang heavy books.  But I'd finally had enough. I knew I had fantastic books in there and I couldn't find them! So I cleaned everything off:
and did something smart. I put everything in front of the flat files that I constantly need to get into. This accomplished two things: 1. I didn't get sidetracked with stuff in there and 2. I had to get on this project because very soon I NEED to get in there.
 Took down the boards, stained and polyurethaned them. And mind you, this was all that the beginning of the week when it was still raining every afternoon. I'm surprised they dried so quickly. It was incredibly humid.  In between coats while waiting for them to dry, I sorted books by subject. 
The only place to put them was lined up down the hallway. The art history/art information books by far outnumber the rest. But subjects of catalogs, (museum, and artist), metaphysical, cartography, shoes, origami and fiction, all made respectable piles as well. 
Then to work:
Thank to the fabulous West Philly Tool Library, I checked out a miter saw, table saw, and circular saw for the week. The drill is mine - don't think I could function with out it. I did have to go to Home Depot and buy new drill bits. Mine are almost 20 years old and are dull as dish water.
And a few days and a lot of sweat later (there's no air conditioning on the first floor), voila! Shelves!

 And loading them back up:
 There are still some empty spaces and then there are some places where some more shelves could be added. We'll have to see when I want to tackle that - drilling holes for anchors causes so much dust! and I'm not looking forward to pulling all the books out again.  I did realize I needed one more shelf on the bottom. So I have added that, just haven't taken pictures yet. But that space is all filled in too. 
I'm so happy every time I look at those nice neat shelves! Progress! :) Then of course the cleaning had to happen so I mopped the whole front of the studio and the floors are practically sparkling. And while I was at it, I took the circular saw out and chopped down all of the plywood from the kitchen demolition so I can put it out on the curb bits at a time so the garbage will take it. It's nice to have that consolidated a little bit too. 
And then when I came to a particularly large piece of ply wood, I walked past the basement entrance. A few years ago I painted this door but it sure didn't hold up. I figured it was pretty rotten and tried to test it -
promptly poked a hole right through the wood with my finger.  
Since I had all of the tools and a 4x8ft sheet of kitchen floor linoleum covered plywood, I thought - hmm, maybe I should take this opportunity to put a new layer on this door:

haha -  just kidding! Of course I didn't put it on that side up! How dreadful! I flipped it over so the wood side is up.
There are a few nail holes in it, and I need to put some weather sealant on it too. Just one more project to put on the list. 
 Jacques inspected and approved - I just didn't have my camera out fast enough. 
 I was also supposed to have some friends over for grilling, but for many reasons that didn't materialize. However since I was all prepped and ready to go, I grilled anyway.  Outside in the garden the wind was blowing really well and so it was rather pleasant.  Towards the end of the evening I was cleaning up and I spied this beautiful web on the laundry line. It had to be close to two feet in diameter. She wasn't quite finished so I watched for a while and tried to take pictures, but it's hard to see those things especially in the dark. 
 I hope you all had a happy healthy and relaxing 4th of July!

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