Project Remnant Redo’s Muse

room

office, oasis, studio, space, with cat

This week’s WordPress photo challenge is “Muse.” My muse is most often Grayzie the cat, sleeping there in the chair. I take more pictures of him than anything else, mostly because he’s so darn a-muse-ing. But hey, as far as muses go, this recent redo to my sewing room/home office has provided lots of creative inspiration.

I don’t have a “before” pic to show you, and if I did I might not post it because I don’t want to see it later as a Hoarder’s Worst Nightmare …

But it is a remnant redo project, too. My old desk, which was attached to the armoire there on the right, stretched to the corner then right-angled in an L shape along the back wall. That window on the right wall was almost completely blocked by the back of the desk, which had a shelf unit for CD’s, storage of all sorts. On top of the desk shelf were stacks of books, and baskets on top, which went almost all the way to the top of the window.

Proponents of feng shui might say that you should never have your desk facing the back of the room, you should have it situated so that when you are seated at your desk, you can see the door when someone comes in. But notice, there is a sunburst mirror on the wall, so that when I’m seated at the desk I can check the mirror and see if someone is sneaking up on me through the doorway. Plus, I can open the blinds and see the beautiful neighborhood while I’m working, which gives me a new sense of expansion, as if I’m part of the outside world as well as operating inside my cave of creativity. The best of both worlds…

The desk had a nice faux-granite top that was hard and sturdy. But the rest of it was particle-board with a paper-thin veneer on top, and when I moved it here, it didn’t survive the trip very well. Many of the bolts that held it together got jostled and ripped out chunks of particle board, so DH had to rig it with many shims and clamps and such. I actually worked at the desk for over a year, with a big pipe-clamp stretched across my keyboard from the window to the end of the armoire. If I ever had to open the armoire to retrieve something, my keyboard tray would fall to the floor with a loud, agonizing crash.

What I added:

3 filing cabinets

shelf even with top of armoire, moved plastic file boxes to this shelf

a new store-bought keyboard tray (hasn’t been installed yet)

new plastic chair mat

new ink for printer that has been spewing out documents in shades of pink lately

3 shelves and brackets on back wall (some of the brackets we already had)

white spray-painted cans on lower back shelf (cans were former Christmas gifts of popcorn or cookies or butter-rum life-savers)

corner shelf DH put together from desk remnants and spray-painted white

a new Clear Sounds phone DH got me from FTRI

 

In some ways it’s like a kindergarten classroom*, with “stations” for each activity: sewing, cutting, serging, embroidery, quilting, drawing, painting, photography, jewelry-making, knitting, other crafts, writing, the volunteer work that I do, genealogy, processing mail.

*This thought is distilled from my memories of a couple of organizational books by Julie Morganstern.

There’s a bookcase over to the right of the armoire, now filled about half and half with fabric and books. Why have books stacked up all over when they could be in the bookcase where they belong?

Grayzie loves the new redo. He has plenty of serene new surfaces to lie down on, and when he gets bored he can jump up to the serger table and mangle all the thread paths for a fun activity. And how quick can my hand travel across the room to his furry neck? J/K, he’s my muse.

Lovely Day 3 Roots Tech

Saturday was an especially lovely day! It was the last day of Roots Tech 2015, and would you believe that along with the Family Discovery Day crowd, over 20,000 people attended? It was unbelievable!

The keynote event kicked off in the early hours with A J Jacobs, who (I found out) happens to be my cousin (as well as everyone else’s!) Each member of the multitude who attended the session found this placard on their seat:

A J Jacobs

A J Jacobs Global Reunion


Later in the presentation we were asked to hold up our signs so he could take a selfie with all of us cousins! Jacobs is a very funny comedian and family history enthusiast who reminded me a little of Adam Sandler without the vulgarity. His presentation was eye-opening and hilarious, and his focus is currently to invite everyone to a global family reunion June 6, 2015 in New York City. Wow, would I love to participate, especially since all the proceeds from this go to charitable causes benefiting Alzheimer’s.
global family reunion

Global Family Reunion

He had the audience rolling with laughter as he showed segments of his “year of living Biblically” and his interviews with celebrity cousins. He said scientific sources say that our furthest-degree of relatedness to another living person on earth today is 70th cousin.

Next up was the appearance of the legendary Donny Osmond. I’ve never been a fainting, screaming, rabid fan of the Osmonds, but I now have a permanent warm spot in my heart for Donny after listening to his talk Saturday morning. A few choice tidbits about him that I’d never known before: 1) He went on a double date with one of his brothers and ended up stealing his brother’s date. He and that date have now been married for 38 years! 2) Despite the beautiful toothy smiles he and his siblings have made famous, his great grandmother had a scary, grouchy-looking frowny-face! 3) His two oldest brothers are deaf, and after they were born, a doctor advised the parents not to have any more children. 4) Donny is seriously dedicated to family and family history. His talk was funny, fascinating, and full of love. Why not; he is a Soldier of Love! He sang several songs for us, including “Moon River,” theme song for the Andy Williams Show, which gave the Osmond boys their early break into show business.

I didn’t quite get to any of the classes I really wanted to attend Saturday, but I had a wonderful time, overall. I got to participate in some Family Discovery Day hi-jinks and hang out with several cherished people. Thanks to everyone who made this whole experience so sublime!

Day 2 of Roots Tech (with link to sessions!)

Just a little summary of what we did at Roots Tech on the second day, Friday, February 13…
This day’s sponsor: Findmypast.com
Keynote speakers: D. Joshua Taylor (who is Family History Director at Findmypast) and his two co-hosts on Genealogy Roadshow, Kenyatta Berry and Mary Tedesco.
Laura Bush, former First Lady of the United States.

Laura Bush #rootstech

Laura Bush #rootstech 2015


And her daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, who is currently a presenter on NBC’s Today Show and an at-large editor for Southern Living magazine. Fascinating commentary from each of these popular stars in American culture and entertainment had the audience enthralled. Honestly, I came away feeling that Laura Bush, someone who is the closest thing to royalty in the US, and who has been right at the heart of some of the most shock-and-awe historical events of the past few decades, was everyone’s personal friend, neighbor, and down-home confidant. What a fantastic morning; I didn’t want it to end.

But I had to get to class and see what Roots Tech had in store to teach me.

My first class was called Impossible Immigrant, taught by Warren Bittner. It was my favorite class of the entire conference, because it spoke deep down into my heart and soul that Bittner found his seemingly untraceable ancestor from Germany, and therefore, I can hope to find some of mine, too! He presented the class as a case history, which format he tended to like as far as genealogy classes go. I liked it immensely.

Next, we had lunch with some great friends and co-workers from the mission.

We messed around in the Expo Hall, and [my fault entirely] missed the class we wanted to go to next. So we went to another class about Your Digital Afterlife, by John Wylie. By the time it was over, the crowd was growing into a crush outside, and it was a hassle getting anywhere. I heard people muttering “s’like salmon swimming upstream” en route to class more than once! So we skipped the last class of the day and went back to the room, where I hoisted my swollen ankles upward and caught up on some jet-lag induced sleep deprivation. Next on the agenda was the Cultural Event, which was supposedly an hour but we suspected it would be longer, and we were correct! We were treated to performances on the Expo Hall stage from a cowboy band, a Scottish pipe and drum troupe with adorable Highland dancers, and Chinese, Asian, and Polynesian dancers.

Peaches Bill Band at #rootstech

Back in the Saddle Again, with the Pecos Bill Band

Then we walked to the City Creek Mall and had dinner at the Blue Lemon, where we had fresh black bean ravioli, artichoke and tomato chicken, slow-braised short ribs with house-made demi-glace, and our meals were delicious–and so must have been the eventual meals of the hundreds of other diners, who were lined up waiting to get in.

BTW, if you want to view some of the sessions of Roots Tech 2105 that were recorded, you have only to go to the Rootstech.org link and click on the link “Previous Sessions” and then choose from many.

Roots Tech Simpatico

Goodbye Provo Canyon!

Provo Canyon

Carry on, carry on, carry on!

Back home in Florida, I will flesh out the Roots Tech 2014 blog-a-rama with Day 2, which I haven’t yet written about.

Keynotes blew me away: Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist, talked about Scots-Irish ancestors and their propensity for story telling. And the possibilities of searching in places where the chances are slim that you’ll find a gold nugget of info, then you do! I attended her Thursday class on Black Sheep (the one about ancestors who were in prison). Awesome! Dr. Spencer Wells, who does population migration studies for National Geographic, utilizing DNA samples, gave such a fascinating talk that I realized I had to jump on the DNA bandwagon.

A short interview après-speech: does his face look like Sundance might have been on his agenda recently?

ancestry.com DNA test kit

ancestry.com DNA test kit

I went to 2 Mac genealogy classes that day. Crazy, huh? I’m a neophyte Mac user and I took advantage of the chance to learn some arcane Apple tricks to supplement what I do on my PC. The most appealing thing I want to take back from Jimmy Zimmerman’s class is Alfred. Batman has Alfred, everyone needs an Alfred! The other class was by taught by Nancy E. Loe of Sassy Jane Genealogy.com. From that class I learned an easy tip for adding the accent grave in the above après: all you do is hold down the e key for a few seconds, and a pop-up menu with diacritical mark options will show up.

The other class I attended was Cartography for Genealogists by Pamela Weisberger, who also taught the Jewish Roots class. Weisberger showed many great sites and sources, including her Gesher Galicia Map Room and the amazing David Rumsey Collection.

I found a sewing book that is simpatico with this conference.

fashion patterns c. 1900

Historical Costumes

Mastering Genealogical Proof

Dr. Jones’ book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went to Dr. Jones’ class Thursday, and was so impressed with his work I snagged a copy of his recent book.

Roots Tech Techie

Temple Square, Salt Lake City view

Greetings from Salt Lake City

Guess what the “object” is here for Weekly Photo challenge? This photo might also be considered for the next day Weekly Photo Challenge theme “Selfie.” Selfie being rather loosely, creatively defined…

I greet you from the tenth floor of the Joseph Smith building on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, with the stunningly beautiful Salt Lake City temple in the background.

I’ve been enjoying Roots Tech 2014, a genealogy conference with 11,000 attendees on site at the Salt Palace Convention Center, and thousands more attending each of the 3 days via webcast. Go to rootstech.org for info if you’d like to tune in to the daily courses that are being streamed live, and for recordings coming up.

So far I’ve seen some terrific presentations and had fun with friends. Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, gave a heart-warming talk at yesterday’s keynote, relating how she got started blogging and how she developed her blog as a tool for doing family history.
Inspiration for all us tiny cogs in the blogiverse-machine! She started as a mom blogging day-to-day events on her farm with her family, and moved up to authoring cook books, children’s books, and starring in her own television show on the Food Network.

At the keynote address, Dennis Brimhall, the CEO of Family Search, gave a rousing speech about future upgrades to the program. Technology is rolling ahead like never before. Another speaker, Anneliese Van den Belt, CEO of findmypast.org, spoke of “happy moments” that drive and fulfill us as we search for our relatives.

ON the agenda: a class on internet genealogy by Tom Jones, author of Mastering Genealogical Proof and lecturer at Boston U; a little exploring Jewish Roots with Pamela Weisberger, program chair for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles; and searching for records of ancestors who may have been in prison, with Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist. All were excellent presentations with much audience participation.

A couple of great receptions. First, a welcome with food and entertainment by Voice Male, a beat-box ensemble. Second night was another beat-boxing group from BYU, Vocal Point.

(this is not what Vocal Point sang for us, but a recent you tube)

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