Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Working at Home

When we moved into our co-op apartment, my husband and I had a discussion about who would get the second bedroom and who would get the den. Each of us requires an office -- and cannot share one. My husband is incredibly organized and cannot work in chaos; I am very messy and can’t stand constantly breaking off work to put things away. I took the den because all I do in my office is write and stitch, while my husband has a number of hobbies. Besides, if I took the room with a window, I would lose hours of work while I stared out at the trees, birds, and squirrels. I know this because in our last place I had a window, and finally had to turn my desk away from it and its distractions.

Because space is limited, and because I tend to cover every flat surface with paper, I was thrilled to find this small, vertical desk. It was on deeply-discounted sale at Office Max, a floor model, and it came without assembly directions. I studied it awhile before the floor personnel came to dismantle it for the trip home, but it still took hours before we got it figured out at home. I think it’s very attractive and it does limit my capacity for messes. Elsewhere in this small space I have an old-fashioned, gray-steel filing cabinet, a chest of three drawers, a very comfortable overstuffed chair and two bookshelves. Oh, and one of those little stoves that seems to have a flaming fire in it, but is actually an electric heater -- I sometimes catch a chill and this thing is an attractive solution. (We had a wonderful wood-burning fireplace in our old townhouse, which I dearly miss, and the builders gave us the option of a gas fireplace in our new one, but I figured, if you’re going to have a fake fireplace, have a *fake* fireplace!)

I have some artwork (some of it needlework) on the walls and a key-wound pendulum clock. All my watches end up on my desk because I can’t stand to wear a watch while I’m typing. I like cute "stuff." For example, I have a “piggy bank” which is a pottery statue of Uncle Scrooge with a glare on his face and his arms around a bag of money twice his size. He resides on top of my filing cabinet. Standing braced behind a nearby votive-candle holder is one of the Beagle Boys with a greedy grin on his face. My pencil holder is one of those foam rubber holders meant to keep a can of beer or soda cool. It is shaped like the head of a big fish, painted in living colors. His mouth is full of pens, pencils, an envelope opener and a pair of scissors.

Tucked behind the overstuffed chair are several stitchery projects in process and a sweater I started knitting years ago and intend to get back to, one of these days.

It would be interesting to find out who has the oldest unfinished-but-not-abandoned crafting project. I think the unfinished sweater dates back to 1998. Can you beat that?


Linda O. Johnston said...

I empathize with attempting to avoid distractions, Monica--but no matter which room I work in, I don't always succeed. One of my biggest distractions is the Internet!

Monica Ferris said...

Oh, Linda, sometimes I think I should cut my Internet connection off when I'm writing -- but it's so useful for research! (That's what I tell myself, but a lot of my "research" hasn't got anything to do with what I'm writing.)

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Yes, sad to say, I have a needlepoint pillow that I ran out of gold thread for its border. So it's somewhere, waiting, since about 1982. Sad, isn't it?

Betty Hechtman said...

Somewhere I have a dress I started to make for the Grammy Awards in 1984.