irons in the fire . . .

Without giving it much thought I’ve always had a number of creative and/or personal projects on the go; attending to what grabs my interest in what spare time I have. In the past week quite a few flagged their presence.

As I read Ardys’ post do your work, then step back… vis-à-vis the genealogy scrapbook she created for her daughter, I thought of the wedding photo book I’d started, and decided to employ similar parameters.

Photo Book
Nothing exceeds like excess…

I’d gotten as far as importing the photos and placing about two-thirds. I placed the rest of the photos. It looked stark. I decided to flagrantly abandon the parameters. Forsaking restraint, I downloaded wedding theme embellishments, and an eclectic mix of others, splashing them across the pages. My inner Oscar Wilde “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess” was pleased.

We’ve purchased an elegant formal album for the 40 printed photos taken by Loving Images Photography. That project, affixing the photos and congratulatory cards within the album belongs to the oh-so-neat-and-patient G.O. Not a task for slapdash EllaDee.

There’s method, rather than madness, behind my pick-it-up-put-it-put-it-down style. If I work continually on a project, I stop seeing detail and perspective. I put it aside, park it in the back of my mind and while it’s in hiatus jot down ideas, then return to it afresh.

That method also camouflages procrastination… as in the case of our “if you’re reading this, we’re no longer with you” letters. Upon marriage legal wills are revoked, so the day before our nuptials we signed new wills but the accompanying personal wishes + useful information missives could do with refreshing to make them current. Sigh.

Love Who You Are
Love Who You Are

Late in the week I stumbled across a tangible prompt: a Love Who You Are  banner, which complements a project along those lines I’ve been nurturing for too-many-years. My Saturday morning meditation affirmed it should be on my radar and provided insights of how I could develop it further.

The same meditation also yielded a suggestion to compile EllaDee’s Photo Library. I use only my own photos in my creative work. I’m pretty good at backing up (more so after the smartphone debacle resulting in the loss of photos of the G.O.’s grandmother’s old house…) particularly now I’m linked to OneDrive, and Google Photos is set to automatically back up my phone. Much like my email and tax filing, it’s all there but there is no order and I regularly search extensively the various repositories. Sigh.

Amongst Indie and book club reading and reviews, I read and reviewed Letters for my Little Sister.

“… I thought I would read it fast, eager to know all the information and experience it conveys. However, I’m savouring it; enjoying each essay and the personality of the woman who wrote it. When I’m weary or stressed, whether it’s due to peri-menopause or just life… reading it lifts me up, makes me smile and connects me with wonderful real, thoughtful community.”

Elements of Love Who You Are  also feed into Celi’s Second Fellowship Book: Letters for my Baby Girl, which I’ve signed up for, and begun composing a letter to contribute. Of course I’ve mislaid my writing- do’s-and-don’ts checklist. Sigh.

And there’s the family history, mine or anyone else’s, I explore. I’ve lost count of the strands I’m following. It’s difficult not to get side-tracked. I lose endless time clicking on sources leading to various snippets of information, saving links and excerpts within the labyrinth of my electronic filing for sometime-in-the-future reference. Sigh.

However, last weekend we lunched with the G.O.’s visiting aunt & uncle plus family I hadn’t met before who live on the far side of Sydney. We got to chatting about family stories and history, the G.O. enthusiastically sharing the information of their mutual convict ancestry. In a generous weak moment I offered to email the info I’d amassed. Which means locating and sorting it. Sigh.

Looking through the files reminded me of a blog post on the third convict ancestor I’d not finished, and old family photos I’d agreed to send to a newly discovered distant cousin from Dad’s mum’s Button family. As she is a prodigious online sharer, I want to watermark them first. Sigh.

Blog posts… Sigh. What on earth was I thinking in December 2011 when I created not a single but THREE WordPress blogs? Since sanity prevailed via my April 2014 blog consolidation exercise I’ve barely managed to keep up with one.

As well as Pinterest and Instagram, you can also find me on Goodreads and Etsy.

“The old proverb about having too many irons in the fire is an abominable old lie.
Have all in, shovel, tongs, and poker.”
―Adam Clarke

25 thoughts on “irons in the fire . . .

  1. You’ve reminded me that I may, perhaps, be a tad too linear, insisting on finishing projects before I start the next one. That isn’t working so well right now, with a million things pulling at my attention, but boosts the satisfaction ratio when I do actually get to tick the Done box! If I had to vote for one of your projects, I’d vote for the Wedding album. We’ve been married over a year and a half, and I STILL don’t have any photos printed out and framed, let alone stuck in albums…


    1. I admire your efficient approach but could never emulate it, although when pressed to finish something find my best comes out! Part of our elopement package was printed photos, and I opted for a CD copy as well so I could combine them with our happy snaps in a photo book. None of it was ever going to happen quickly… although the extended process of compiling it has made me feel more married, as the actual event passed in a blur 🙂


  2. Having too many irons in the fire- this is a life, a life that is full and creative. Like you, I have too much going on most of the time, and the ‘irons in the fire’ wake me up at 3 AM when I do my best work! I remind myself of the old Leunig cartoon, ” The 3 AM whale of doom becomes a sardine on toast at 7.30 AM”
    I loved reading about your approach to the wedding album project and your embracing of your inner Oscar Wilde.
    Should I also add Instagram to my cluttered life? Having added Pininterest last week, my fantasy levels are soaring.


    1. Ah yes, I’m familiar with 3 am, and the subsequent task of deciphering bedside notes written in the dark! I was persuaded to Instagram by FB friends who rather than posting their photography efforts in that forum, moved across. Since I shelved the elladee_images blog, some of my images end up there. And Pinterest is a great storehouse and shared source of ideas & inspiration 🙂


  3. You’ve reminded me that maybe I shouldn’t chuckle as I seem to be in the same boat half the time. It sounds as though the advice from, Ardys worked and you stood back a bit before downloading all the embellishments in creation. I bet it looks good now though.
    Have a Great Weekend
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx


    1. I think “shovel, tongs and poker” as well as irons applies to you 🙂 I really did need to consider the “Ardys parameters” before proceeding in my own style.


  4. [big smile on my face!] I don’t know how you manage!! Am myself a typical Gemini with a hundred interests which only seem to get finished if the urgency claxon sounds! Even got out of Facebook when two friends [most my ‘real’ friends do not seem to be interested] became some 750 in a year and ended in six foodie groups and a couple defriended me for not ‘caring enough’ an ‘not being there more quickly’! Not true and that actually bothered me!! And, yes, we both work fulltime and I study bigtime and am in a lot of orgs and panels but . . . . and I have my garden there 24/7 and night times are mine and private time!! Perhaps that is everyone’s ‘secret’ ? Have also promised to write for the second Fellowship book: big problems . . .fun and happy occasions are definitely easier to put down on paper than problems and tragedies life may bestow upon one . . . have a restful weekend . . .


    1. Dividing my life into time chunks: work, sleep, G.O., life, projects, online, exercise… seems to work with some happy overlaps. I have a modest FB footprint, separate to blogging, but converging somewhat via Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and no-one expects too much of me and too bad if they did. Life comes first 🙂
      I feel honoured to be part of The Fellowship that encompasses and welcomes our many and varied experiences.


      1. Methinks most of us feel that way about The Fellowship . . . what a magical thing to have happened . . . but I have to admit I still have a lot to learn about life coming first 🙂 ! Hmm, have just paid [two minutes ago] for four courses on ‘Great Courses’ for the ‘quieter’ holiday period!!!!! [laughter] now where on earth shall I fit that one in 🙂 !!! And rather an expensive Yule gift for myself but one in four came ‘free’ . . . but Modern History from the Stuarts thru’ the Vikings thru’ Napoleon . . . . that will be incredible fun!!!!!!


      2. You will notice the sub-head on my blog is ‘surrender to yourself’. I love that my post has you thinking and acting, please enjoy your ‘enthusiasms’, as our friend Celia says.


        1. It was a useful exercise to consider & set some parameters, even if I adjusted them later: one I will now repeat for future projects rather than my usual ad hoc approach. I keep myself quite entertained with my ‘enthusiasms’ 🙂


  5. This post put a big smile on my face – not because of all the things you’ve got going on, but because we’re so similar! I think our GO’s are similar as well. Mine will not do something unless it’s perfect (when he builds anything I always joke about the amount of elephants it will keep out). I slap things around and just get a job done because it has to be done, whereas he ‘plans’. lol

    Now, I’d better get back to the ten things I was supposed to do today 😀


  6. Oh Gosh. The on going battle….I have just dragged myself out of bed at 5am on a Saturday morning to try and get to the blogging that I just don’t do anymore because honestly, between schooling my kids and the odd bit of exercise if I am lucky, coupled with intense periods of catch up when Eric is home – where is the time? And there is your post which I just couldn’t resist. Wonderful. Sigh…. I feel more at peace now and anyway, (she says to herself…).reading the posts of your favourite bloggers is an important part of the process! Have fun EllaDee.


    1. Thank you 🙂 I spend far more time (often at 5 am-ish) reading blog posts than I do writing them! And get so engrossed my morning walk becomes a very fast morning walk to compensate. But it’s such a wonderful community, we can pop in and out and catch up in an instant.


    1. I love that family histories are being shared online. Some of my research is easily done via that forum, and other I have the thrill of the chase, capture… and expense of obtaining birth, marriage & death certificates. It’s something I’ll get into more when I have corresponding availability of time.
      Currently I’m an Etsy browser/follower/inspiration gleaner but an Etsy “store” is something I’m considering for “one day”. Apparently there are pro’s and cons to be considered for it, Zazzle, etc. Right now not on my agenda but good to be aware of.


  7. EllaDee, your organization hurts my head, your efficiency pains me in general. Because ohhh do I wish I could entertain all the thoughts and projects that you do, and actually complete most of them! I especially dig the thought of your inner Oscar Wilde—one cool dude, him—and the pizzazz he wrought through you. Awesome glimpse of your wedding photo book : )


    1. Thank you 🙂 My “organization” hurts my head sometimes, but possibly not in the way you mean… It’s good enough but I often feel its lack. It’s a fine balance between longer term projects which are somewhat of a creative comfort zone… like always having a book to read, I like to have a fallback project… and more immediate shorter term projects that entertain amongst the stuff of day-to-day life.


  8. Love this EllaDee. We will never be bored with all of our passions to pursue! I have been on Instagram for three years and if you want to follow I am Amosthemagicdog,then I will know your account name and can follow you. 😊xx


    1. Thank you for the inspiration… My ‘enthusiasms’ were rudderless until I read your post! Self sufficiency in entertaining one’s self is a fine thing. But exchange of inspiration and ideas from time to time is most enjoyable. Followed you on Instagram 🙂


  9. If you ever find a way to cut down on the time spent blogging — save turning off the PC and leaving the room — let me know. I, too, tend to have too many irons in the fire. Each started with great enthusiasm but which lasts about as long as it takes me to find another iron. I am sorely in need of a schedule — if only I can find the time to create one. 🙂


    1. I write less blog posts, follow less blogs (some via email notification some via Reader) and from time to time comment less… I’m less pedantic than I was and fit it to my time rather than the other way round 🙂 That said, there a core group of bloggers who’s presence I miss when I or they are away… yourself among them.
      That’s an interesting concept… an enthusiasm that “lasts about as long as it takes me to find another iron”… I may tick off personal projects but I haven’t dropped an enthusiasm in a while…


  10. I like having 3-5 projects that I’m working on each day. When I’m setting up an event, I get a break from drafting. When I’m editing, I’m not worrying about promoting. When I’m querying, I’m putting out more possibilities. I find that rotating through projects keeps my mind fresh. 🙂


    1. Me too 🙂 Even at work, if a single project consumes my time it feels like it’s consuming me, there’s no stimulus from variation, or sense of fulfilment completing smaller tasks while others take longer.


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