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Focusing On The Main Things

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Y’all, I can’t believe that we’re already in the month of November. Not only that, but Thanksgiving is this week! This year has absolutely flown by for me! And now that we’re at that time of year for more gatherings, family time, and down time (I like to take the last week of the year to rest and get ready for the new year), I’ve had to face the reality that there’s no way I’ll be able to finish my studio by the end of the year.

That doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop working on it. I’m going to keep plugging away and see just how much I can get done. But as one who generally sets very unrealistic goals and rarely meets those goals, even I can look around my studio and know that setting a goal of finishing the studio by the end of the year is laughable.

The main thing I’d like to focus on in my studio is cleaning up and getting things put away. If you’ve been around here for long, you know that I’m a very messy worker, and when a project is still “in progress”, I have a very high tolerance for disorder. I’ve never been one to clean up at the end of the day and start with a clean work area the next day. I generally just wait until the project is nearing completion before cleaning up and organizing. I know that drives some people absolutely batty to see my disorganized work areas, but I’ve been that way all my life, and there’s about a 0.5% chance that I’ll change. 😀

But with that said, there’s always been something a bit special about the beginning of a new year to me. It’s a fresh start, and an opportunity to start with a clean slate. So I’d really rather not drag my current studio mess into the new year. So starting with a clean slate in the studio in the new year is going to be a time-consuming task of getting all of this mess cleaned up, organized, and put away. I took this picture this morning…

And while this picture was taken a while back (before I got the paint swatch cabinet finished), my work tables look pretty much the same right now.

So my main goal between now and the end of the year is cleaning, organizing, and putting things away. The fun part is that I’ll finally start organizing my things in the cabinets. I have this entire bank of cabinets on the front wall of the studio that has been finished for a few weeks now, and yet most of the cabinets and drawers are still completely empty.

And now I also have my large paint swatch cabinet that is completely empty and just waiting to be filled up and organized.

So storage space isn’t really a problem anymore. Now the only problem is finding the time and the motivation to actually go through everything and put things away without getting overwhelmed and walking away after 30 minutes. Because I’ve tried focusing on this two times before, and that’s exactly what happened. After about 30 minutes, I decided that I’d rather focus on a fun project and leave the sorting and organizing for a later time when I’m in a better mindset for it, but if I keep allowing myself to do that, that time will never come. There will never be a time when I’ll want to choose sorting, organizing and cleaning over a fun building, painting, or home improvement project.

After that, my second priority before the end of the year is to finish painting the walls and ceiling in the studio. I’ve been painting sections of walls and ceiling on an “as needed” basis depending on what project I wanted to work on. Before I installed the cabinets on the mural wall, I painted just enough of the walls and ceiling for that project. I did the same thing on the office section of the studio before I installed those cabinets. And again, I did that before building the paint swatch cabinet.

So right now, the walls and ceiling look like a random patchwork of paint colors.

I put off finishing it because of my dread of having to climb up and down the tall ladder to do the cutting in on the walls around the ceiling, but now that I have my scaffolding, I’m not dreading it anymore. Now it’s just a matter of having enough space to move the scaffolding around the room.

My third goal before the end of the year is to finish the doors in the back entry. I’ve been wrestling with a decision regarding what to do with those doors, and at the end of last week, I finally decided that I want the two side doors to be wood, and the exterior French doors to be painted white. This was my vision.

But now I feel like I’ve exhausted my options for real walnut doors. Purchasing doors that are already walnut is out of the question. They’re way too expensive, and there’s no way I can justify that cost for my studio. I could maybe see splurging on something special like that for our new addition (although I have no need or want for walnut doors in any of those areas), but not for a room that’s pretty much just all mine. I can stick with inexpensive DIY versions of things for my own use.

And that pretty much rules out walnut veneer as well. Not only is walnut veneer expensive, but the idea of having to remove two pocket doors that are already trimmed out just seems like busy work to me.

So in the end, I decided to try the Retique It primer for the two side doors — the bathroom door and the storage closet door. It’ll be a fun DIY project using a new-to-me product, and it’ll be a challenge to see if I can get it to look like real wood. And I like challenges!

And my final goal for the end of the year is to get the walls in the studio bathroom repaired, primed, and wallpapered. I’ve already removed all of the yellow tile, the chair rail, and part of the mirror trim, and that left some areas on the wall that will now need to be skim coated with drywall mud and sanded smooth before I can prime the walls and put up the new wallpaper.

Once I get that done, there won’t be much left to finish in the bathroom except for some decorative things like installing a new window shade, figuring out what to hang over the toilet (shelves again, or maybe some artwork?), finding a new mirror, etc. But if I have to wait to finish those things at the beginning of the year, I’ll be fine with that just as long as I can get the wallpaper up and finish the wall trim.

So those are the four main things I want to finish before the end of the year.

  1. Cleaning up, putting things away, and organizing things in the new cabinets;
  2. Painting the rest of the walls and ceiling in the main area of the studio;
  3. Painting the doors in the back entry;
  4. Repairing, priming, and wallpapering the walls in the bathroom, and then finishing the trim on the wainscoting.

If I can get those finished, I think I’ll be in a very good position to get the room completely finished very early next year.

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