That’s kind of how I’ve felt, lately. There always seems to be something I need to do, or start to do and something else gets my attention and there it went. I had plans for a couple of other posts, but that damn squirrel ran by and I had to chase it. Of course, I didn’t catch it. But I’ve decided to learn from my shop dog, Holly. Stay on task till the job is finished or someone makes you come inside. In her case, it usually involves camping out under a tree, with a squirrel or a possum in it, staring straight up till I make her come in. Even then, she doesn’t always budge.
I know, you’re asking yourself; “Where is he going with all this about dogs and treed possums and squirrels?” Well it’s got to do with staying on task. My shop is full of projects that are half complete or in pieces. They are that way because something else got my attention and distracted me. Mind you it was probably one of the other unfinished projects that distracted me. But you get my point. Focus is what I’ve been lacking. Focus is what I need to find.
I just started reading Mike Pekovich’s book The Why and How of Woodworking. While I’m not ready to give a review, I’m only on a couple of chapters, it looks like a fascinating book. I just finished the chapter titled “Make Shop Time Matter” and let me say it hit me like a ton of bricks. Words that I need to hear to get myself focused on the task at hand. Even telling me that it’s okay to occasionally set a project aside and come back to it later, or maybe, not at all. The main theme that I took from it was get to the shop every day, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes.
This made me take stock of the unfinished projects in my shop and decide how to proceed. There’s the cradle I started, for my daughter, after she told me she was pregnant with her first child. All the pieces were cut out of some beautiful curly cherry. The joinery was never done so the pieces are taking up valuable room in my shop. And besides that, my granddaughter is now 8 years old. In the words of Homer Simpson “DOH!”
There’s a gift project, that I started for my oldest granddaughter, 9 years ago. Luckily, if I get it finished, she can still enjoy it. Her birthday comes up in July and I hope to have it ready for her then. I won’t say what it is, because I don’t know if she reads her grandpa’s blog or not. Who knows what a high school junior reads nowadays?
I’m taking a class, from Mr. Pekovich, next month, at the Kansas City Woodworkers’ Guild. I am really looking forward to it, for many reasons. The class is building a Wall Hanging Kumiko Cabinet. Kumiko is an awesome looking art. I’m looking forward to learning the skill. I hope these crooked hands can manage it. I also look forward to discussing Zen and the Art of Woodworking. Kumiko seems very Zen. I had to get permission from the wife before signing up for the class. When she saw a photo of the Kumiko cabinet, she was sold.
And it starts again. I start on one topic and I got sidetracked by another. It’s even invaded my blogging. So, before I chase that rabbit too far down the hole, I’m going to sign off for this post. If possible, I hope to post a couple of times, during the class with Mr. Pekovich. It may be a short post, but I’ll give it a genuine effort. So, until next time, keep making sawdust.