Monday, December 14, 2009

Cleaning...And Stuff to Think About

It's a bright and brisk Monday morning...I am looking down into the maw. And being very, very. Scared. 

You see, the entire downstairs of our 7000-plus sq. ft. house holds the Brickworks offices, including my cubbyhole, a cutting area, shelving for inventory and extras, and so on. A huge schrunk (a German sort-of walled closet or armoire) runs the length of one room, and stores quilts used for teaching and current projects. One of the rooms in our living area holds shipping materials, stacks of books, extra goodies. The struggle: the work gradually -- and persistently -- overflows into the personal areas. (If you're thinking we should move, and get a separate building for the business, you're right. We're working on that for 2010.)

After the last gig finished up in mid-November, I boxed up the quilts and other samples, items for sale, and misc. flotsam and jetsam. Then I left the boxes in messy piles, upstairs and down. (Yes, I know. Shame.) When The Mama arrived last Wednesday, she announced that we -- the Great Mess-Maker, plus her innocent self -- were going to concentrate on whipping downstairs inventory back in shape, as well as put away all the samples, separate out the fabrics and embellishments used for kits, etc. etc.

When we finish, I figure there will be a bright new area, just the right size for teaching a small group -- or relaxing by the fireplace while I finish up a new design -- or there will actually be room to store the boxes of Hanky Panky Crazy Quilts that I know are showing up today or tomorrow.

The Mama is down there now, folding quilts (inside out) and fussing. I figure two long or three short days to finish, including the help of a brave staffer who will be here this afternoon. Poor women. Hopefully the Monsters Under the Boxes will not eat them. (As for me, if they do -- the monsters, that is! -- well, I deserve it.)

Before I trudge downstairs, a few things you may find interesting:

Money-saving tips -- 95 of them -- that are practical, and can be used right now. (Thanks so much to Gather Little by Little, whose blog is consistently interesting.)

Quilts of the Golden West was reviewed in yesterday's Denver Post! Here's the link, from Sandra Dallas's Regional Nonfiction column, and here's the review:

Quilts of the Golden West: Mining the History of the Gold and Silver Rush, by Cindy Brick, $28.95. 

An early Western gold seeker once wrote home to his wife who was preparing to join him, "Don't bring quilts. They get tore too easy." But women would have as soon left their children behind as their precious handiwork. A couple of years ago, well-known quilt teacher and appraiser Cindy Brick put together a traveling show of some of those prized Western quilts. 

Now Brick, who lives in Castle Rock, has compiled a book of Western quilts, old and new.
"Quilts of the Golden West" includes a brief history of the gold and silver rushes, historical photographs, pictures of old quilts, and photos and instructions for making a Western quilt. The most ambitious is a Golden Girls of the West quilt with portraits of western women, such as Baby Doe Tabor and Molly Brown.
The colorful volume also includes facts about pioneer garments and jewelry, brief histories of redwork and the sewing machine. And there is information about fabrics, such as the popular dull yellow California Gold designs, and where to purchase them. 

You can find the book at the Kansas City Star's bookstore, or on the Brickworks website.

Climate Warming: Pros and Cons -- Much has been made of the recently hacked e-mails of scientists dedicated to the idea of climate warning...but admitting that research results don't completely back their theories up. (See one view on this subject. Here's another.) Not only that, but they're adamant (in the e-mails, anyways) that they will not be sharing any data with anyone in the scientific community who's skeptical of their conclusions.
    The Denver Post had a fascinating editorial on this, wherein it decided that they were wrong (bad scientists! bad scientists!) not to share their findings...but perfectly right to fudge because it was All For A Good Cause. (I'm not making this up. Read the editorial for yourself.) "Potential ethical breaches," says the AP headline, "but not faulty science." Huh? I thought science prided itself on its clean, pure approach!
    Today, Al Gore told the U.N. climate conference, currently meeting in Copenhagen, that the polar ice cap will be gone in 5-7 years from now. (I'm not making this up, either. Set your watches.) This, from the man who loves to trumpet about energy use gone amuck (and has cut back very little from his personal energy hog habits) and ate an endangered fish entree at his daughter's wedding feast. (Hey, it was tasty!)

    Talk is cheap. Believing it is harder -- actually living your beliefs hardest of all.
    Hopping off the soapbox now.
    I do believe that there is some climate warming going on -- but I am not convinced that it's as serious, or as widespread, as portrayed. I do think, however, that our world regularly goes through climate pattern changes -- and this is one of those periods.
   Question: Are a good share of the people making a fuss about this making the same changes in their personal lives that they're screaming for others to do? Next question: Do the people making the most fuss have a financial stake in promoting global warming? (Will their companies turn a greater profit, get more grants, and so on? Will they personally sell more books, get paid to speak at dinners, win more recognition?)  Uh-huh. Hmmm.

And on the lighter side: some of the funniest fishing bloopers ever! (Thanks so much, Marcie.)

   (Sigh)  The basement awaits. Have yourself a great Monday!

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