• the dailies: stephanie congdon-barnes.

    05.08.2008 / Miscellaneous

    One of the emails that landed in my spam folder was this lovely Daily from Stephanie Congdon-Barnes, FANTASTIC artisan and partner-in-crime of 3191, along with Mav from Port2Port Press, who has her daily right here.

    Anyway, I had NO idea I was sitting on such a treasure trove of daily activity! Apologies to Stephanie for posting this MONTHS after she had submitted it, but hey— better late than never, yes?

    6:04 am: Awaken when my eight-year-old daughter comes in our bedroom looking for a book. She’s a real early bird and often gets up hours before everyone else. Doze off again.

    6:30 am: My cat Chester tells me it’s time to get up. I head downstairs, feed him and put water on to boil for coffee. I’m pretty useless until I have coffee. Once I’ve had a cup, I make breakfast for my daughter and cook and pack lunches (they’re having pesto pasta, apples and trail mix today). I check my email and 3191 to see how the last night’s pairing turned out — always exciting and fun. Peek outside at the weather. Frost on the ground means clear skies today! A welcome change after a week of snow/hail/rain.

    7:30 am: Head upstairs to wake up my six-year-old son (he has a completely different internal clock than his sister). My husband Jack makes him breakfast. I nag everybody to get dressed, brush teeth, find coats and hats, etc. Spend a good amount of time tracking down school fundraising paperwork that’s due.
    8:30 am: Jack leaves to take the kids to school and go to work. He’s also self-employed (as an architect), but has an office a few blocks away. I have the house to myself! Time to get cleaned up and dressed. Even though I spend most of my days at home, I always get completely dressed every day. I’m much more productive that way.

    9:00 am: Head to my office/studio which is a spare room adjacent to the kitchen. Put on some music first thing. Today it’s Bon Iver which is my latest obsession and seems to get me in the mood for my next collection of soft toys and sculptures called “Picnic“. Due to travel, visiting family, and a round of the flu, I haven’t had a day to sew in weeks, and I’m really excited to get started. I gather some fabric and materials together that I’d like to use for the collection including some eyelet I picked up yesterday. As I play around, the idea of slipcovering rocks in the eyelet comes to me. It’s the perfect match of hard/soft and organic/handmade that I love. My first attempt with exposed seams looks really sloppy, and I toss it aside and start work on an animal design. Something makes me come back to it, however, and I figure out a way to hand sew the eyelet with hidden seams. I am really pleased and make two more. I photograph them to share on Flickr and create a post on my shop blog.

    11:15 am: Realize I never ate breakfast! Make some tea in the teapot that my sister just gave me for my birthday and have a homemade marionberry-oatmeal bar to hold me over until lunchtime. Answer a few emails (I am always hopelessly behind!) and browse Flickr a bit.

    11:45 am: Jack calls to say that he’s having lunch with a colleague. He usually comes home for lunch, and I’ll miss him, but now I can go ahead and eat. Which I do, sitting on the back stoop in the sunshine.

    12:00 pm: Look through the first pass of the design of the Year of Mornings book which I just received yesterday. Exciting! Make notes so I can go over changes with Maria tomorrow by phone.
    12:30 pm: Spend 15 minutes looking for my phone. Find it buried under fabric on my work table. I spend a lot of my life looking for things.
    12:45 pm: Call my sister and chat about life, family, health, trying to survive financially, and ideas for working on a collaborative project. Always grateful for her!
    1:30 pm: Back to work on the book and some household accounting.

    2:00 pm: Our weekly organic produce delivery is here! The radishes look especially good.

    2:15 pm: Head out to walk to the market for a few things and get my kids from school. It’s a *beautiful* day and I really enjoy my walk. Spring in Portland is exceptional. I love seeing the blossoming trees against the gray skies, but blue skies aren’t too bad either!

    3:00 pm: Collect my kids from school, visit with friends on the playground and make plans to go on a hike the next day. Walk the mile plus home which takes much longer with two hungry and distracted kids.
    4:00 pm: Home again and time for a snack. The kids go back outside to play (love this weather!) while I prep dinner. Put some Beirut on the stereo. We’re having cider-glazed pork chops, brussel sprouts, asparagus, and cheddar-chive biscuits. I’m not sure what my kids are doing, but it involves rope, bricks and a hammer. Nobody gets hurt.

    When Chester gets bored he likes to go to the basement and rummage through the storage and bring things upstairs (his favorite are the Christmas decorations). As I’m cooking he shows up with a giant piece of wool blanketing from my fabric scraps. Wish I could have captured him carrying it up the steep basement steps in his mouth. Silly cat.

    5:15 pm: Call my son in to set the table and snap a photo of my daughter in a tree that I will use later for 3191.
    5:30 pm: Jack’s home! We finish up making dinner and eat. Kids go back outside to play. Jack and I clean up and share our days.
    7:00 pm: Everyone inside to get cleaned up and ready for bed.
    8:00 pm: Kids in bed. Sigh. Time to revisit all the work that I didn’t finish earlier including some accounting. Some nights, Jack and I relax and watch TV or a DVD, but most weeknights we both have our laptops or sewing needles out.
    9:00 pm: Meet with Jack to go over some financial stuff. Being self-employed means always having to stay on top of things, and tax time is no fun, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We love our freedom and autonomy!

    10:00 pm: Reward myself with a glass of zin and some chocolate with sea salt given to me by my friend Shari. Seeing the chocolate reminds me that I was supposed to send her a photo for a project. Return to my laptop to email the photo. Respond to a few more time-sensitive emails (including sending my 3191 photo to Maria), browse Flickr and make a few Scrabulous moves against Jack. He wins the game. [editor’s note: CUTEST. COUPLE. EVER.]
    11:00 pm: Time for bed. Read a chapter in my book club book (TC Boyle’s “Drop City”) and then it’s lights out. G’night!

    Stephanie—- I can’t thank you enough! Your day has been SO inspiring. THANK YOU!
    • Alan Roberta

      Great stuff…………I am a sculptures manufacturer supplier and looking for partners globally. If any one interest please contact me through this website.

    • kosenrufu mama

      nice post, i love it!

    • […] after 2 weeks of sewing abstinence, we started with this little guy today. He´s the first of a new viking tribe. It was not that easy making this one, as he was required to be very similar to that viking, who was my second viking ever, which I had made about 2 years ago. […]

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