I made a pillow! Isn’t it nice? I think it will look super lovely on my someday new gray couch.
(Maggie, I’ve got one for you too.) (Feet!)
Then I recovered this garage sale ottoman/footstool/bench. I’m pretty much totally in love with this fabric. I want to order about a thousand yards of it and cover everything I own in it.
(Yeah, floors! What a lovely job Erik did on those floors.)
I’d show you a picture of the new china cabinet fabric window cover, but that project isn’t going too well.
People ask me all the time how I find the time to do all these projects, so here’s a quick guess, from my perspective:
1. I watch almost no television. In fact I am an extremely boring person and essentially all I do is I work on my house, read, and cook. If I want to exercise or go for a walk, I don’t get stuff done on my house. Also, I am a terrible return emailer.
Sometimes I garden. But pretty much the only stuff I watch on TV are Jersey Shore, Top Chef, and Project Runway. Sometimes I’ll watch House Hunters if I’m bored. This is not because I am some kind of elitist who hates TV, I just have a super short attention span and I just don’t really like TV that much. I blame the internet.
2. I don’t really “play” with my kids, and I don’t really do that much stuff with them outside of the house. Sometimes we’ll go on outings, but generally they are either to Home Depot or fraught with disaster. I’ve come to realize that I am not a floor sitter. I hate the park. And I don’t do imaginary games with my kids, and no amount of trying to make myself into a person who sits and plays with kids has ever worked, so now I don’t sweat it. Usually if I am doing something active, like a house project, they are pretty content to hang out on the periphery. What they hate is when I am on the computer, but regardless, they often play with each other or entertain themselves because they know by now that I am not going to.
3. My husband IS a carpet sitter. We call him the baby whisperer. When he gets home from work, he takes over a lot of the childcare duties while I do stuff like laundry and paint dressers and cook dinner. He’s pretty much a giant kid. It’s good to see someone in action who comes by it naturally. It highlights the futility of faking it.
4. I LIKE doing this stuff. You really can’t discount the fact that this stuff is fun for me. If you have to MAKE yourself go paint something, you’re never going to get it done. If you want to do it, you’ll find the time. If gardening is a wretched chore for you, it’s always going to get pushed to the back of the list, because having fun doing something is the best motivator there is. This is why I have such a beef with all these life lists – you can put “grow a garden” on all the lists you want, but if it sucks for you, why are you making yourself do it? Is making yourself do something you don’t like doing just because the rest of the world thinks it’s cool going to make you a better person? I really doubt it.
5. Most of the projects I do are quick things that can be done in stages or at night, and so I will almost never get something done all at once. I painted that dresser for three weeks, a little bit at a time. Kate Face still takes two naps a day, and Eli and I have a deal that he gets to watch movies while she naps and then he also goes to preschool twice a week, so in those four hours I can get a lot of stuff done.
6. Also, I am a maniac and I have way too much anxious energy. If I am not working on something or crossing stuff off a list or obsessing over at three projects, I get crazy. Although you should see my mother. I come by it honestly, let me put it that way. As my friend Sara says “Elizabeth is a doer. Give her something to do!” and that is very true. If am not doing something I am not happy. This is why if you set it down in my house, it will get tidied or thrown out. Very unfortunate for anyone with the bad habit of leaving copies of Entertainment Weekly lying around.
7. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I bought the ottoman easily two or three months ago. Then I ordered the fabric for it a couple of weeks ago, and then I had to wash the fabric and then today I finally got around to actually recovering it.
8. I have a lot of supplies already. Today for my ottoman I used a cordless drill, a staple gun, a hack saw, some fabric, some random screws, a few screwdrivers, a hammer, and some oil rubbed bronze spray paint. I’ve got all those things sitting out in my garage. I must have 15 kinds of spray paint on my paint shelf, boxes and boxes of screws, saws, all that good stuff. If I had to go buy paint and tools and screws, projects would take a lot longer. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, just that at this stage of the game we’ve accumulated a lot of household repair stuff and so it makes things go more quickly. But if you don’t have one, might I STRONGLY recommend you go buy a cordless drill? And then learn how to use it? Ours is totally awesome and it makes a great present for someone moving into their first new house.
And now I am going to go work on my favorite project of all – mixing up a nice tall G&T. Smell ya later!
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