Thursday, October 9, 2014

Days of Reckoning: Cleaning Months of Messes

This has been quite a year. The past three months in particular have been busy and hectic. I spent over 135 hours working on a clients catalog price list, a PDF version of same, then an Excel Spreadsheet that his dealers can enter their discount in and know what it will cost them. And finally, using Quark to make changes to their color product catalog creating a PDF version. Every single one of these items took hours of time and usually took me away from my craft and fine art painting. In fact, I haven't done a fine art painting in months!

The sad remnants of past projects!
It was creating the invoice today that I looked around my office and work bench and realized what a mess. While I continued to do a few new birdhouses and such, I would move on to the next one leaving the debris of the last one. I just put new "stuff" over it. My office was even worse. Really. Drafts of the same things and finally printouts to compare. I was stunned at the changes that were not caught and so that had to be rectified as well.

Of course there were many other events happening. I fired the gardener when they laughed at my instructions to lock the gate not once but two weeks in a row. I told them when my dog got out it was I who would have to hunt her down not them. On their last day the gate was locked.

Getting ready for the Elton John concert our tankless water heater quit. I took a cold shower bringing back memories of my days in the Peace Corps. Then the air conditioning quit the night before a party my wife was giving at our home. With endless days of 90-100ยบ here in Southern California (the new Anasazi Chaco Canyon and the disappeared?), there was no way we could invite people to come over and sweat into their wine glasses. Though my trusty A/C guy did make it and fixed the air in good time, even better than before, the housekeeper didn't. No call, no answer of her phone all week. Must be nice to not have to work.  I vacuumed and dusted paying a price with my back. It looked nice and everyone was happy.

In the midst of all this, I displayed my art at the Second Story Gallery in San Dimas. In many ways it was very disappointing to both the gallery and the three artists showing there as there were no sales. However, it was awesome to see my paintings displayed salon style on the walls. At first I couldn't believe what I was seeing was mine. Really. You see them when you paint but displayed together was stunning. The colors simply shimmered on the walls and while many came and looked none of us had sales. Yet after four evenings of displaying and chatting with the people who visited us, the fact there were no sales was depressing. In fact there was a week when I didn't touch a paint brush and left everything were it was. I even entertained the idea of packing up painted and unpainted items and just taking to Good Will. Maybe someone would enjoy them. It at the time an emotional drag.

Because the city was having "Western Days" they asked us to leave our art in place. I had about 20 paintings and about 20 birdhouses painted in a variety of styles. In fact I ended up selling two mini birdhouses and while not much money it was interesting and fascinating to talk to people. They had never seen work such as this and a few took my brochure and business cards. You never know.

Then because I have two Etsy stores, I battle my Charter Cable modem each and every day because no matter what their modems are, they can't hold a signal more more than about 5 minutes, I swear. Are they the worst? Possibly. They sure have no problems charging more. In frustration I told the customer service person to get it when you can because everyone is moving to the cloud. We will have no need for their restrictive polices, something our FCC hasn't figured out either. My daughter hasn't watched a show on TV in years. She may watch DVD's but everything else is on her laptop. I do the same on my iPad.

Its been a trying past few months but I can see counter tops devoid of stacks of papers today. As as soon as I get my two overly involved birdhouses done, that will be cleaned and the paints put away.

Please visit my craft store at and my fine art store at Thank you for stopping by and reading!

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