"Are you going to be working like this from now on?" asked my husband, the other day.
"What?" I asked, not looking up from my sewing. But I heard him. My glasses are perched on top of my head because lately, I can't focus on near objects with them, things like needlework. I don't have the time (or truth be told, the inclination) to go get a prescription for some needed bi-focals. In front of me on the table are littered scraps of fabric, thread, and wisps of fibrefill. I, too, am covered with scraps of fabric, thread, and wisps of fibrefill. They cling to my clothes, like cat hair.
Behind me, my husband continues to stand there, watching me work.
I look up.
"Well, um, yeah, I guess so, probably-definitely until December."
"Working like this" means right after dropping my son at school, I head home to my "studio" to work on softies, which may include walking to the nearby store to buy fabric, answering e-mails, taking photographs of toys, writing out receipts, wrapping up toys, labelling parcels, and blogging-all day, every day including the week-end. It's been non-stop softie-making for the last couple of months. Sometimes, when I finish an order, I relax a bit and revel in the feeling of a job done before I start looking at the next child's drawing.
But I like it. Every aspect of it. I like working at home, alone, while listening to the radio. I like the projects, each one different, each one with a beginning and an end. I like interacting with people from around the world via e-mail and the Internet. I like looking at the drawings, figuring out how to execute certain details and watching the soft toys take shape. I like making customers happy and I like feeling that I've brought some joy to them. And although I may not like as much softie flops and less-than-satisfied customers, I have come to appreciate these as valuable learning experiences. I like seeing my handiwork get better and faster over the years. I like it all.
My family, on the other hand, is a little concerned. My son worries that I'll get stressed by too many projects or that I'll forget about him. He is right to be worried, because I have forgotten to pick him up from school, a couple of times. But now I set an alarm. Because the day flies by and suddenly it's time for me to go and pick up this smiling boy from school. We chat about our day over a snack or while he works on his homework. And when he goes off to play with his friends, I head back to my studio to resume my softiemaking.
robot and cat drawing by James G.