Home Improvement – Vivian Unearths Her Garage And Wonders, ‘Are These Gadgets Collectors’ Items?’

Home Improvement – Vivian Unearths Her Garage And Wonders, ‘Are These Gadgets Collectors’ Items?’

TIP OF THE WEEK: Once you accomplish the broad strokes of cleaning your garage, go back and delve into the details. That will make it easier to keep the space organized. For instance, spend some time with a filing cabinet, it probably has files no longer needed, and you can restructure it to suit your present needs.

I have purged nearly every nonessential item in my garage. It’s now a tidy space that’s ready to be repurposed. Yet, first I need to get into the nitty gritty. It’s time to figure out the deep details of organizing the items I decided to keep as well as the elements I’ll use for an art studio. The goal, after all, is to turn the garage into a space for me to paint and sell my works. And that, in turn, means I need to actually commit myself to being an artist—although selling homes will always come first.

Here’s a way to stall. Before I finalize the whereabouts of files, boxes and tools, I’m determined to sort through the piles of belongings I tossed into the dining room when clearing out the garage. I’m referring to photographs, books and mementos. I raised a family here so I have a whole lot of these things.

Saturday morning was booked, as I was honored to be one of only nine members participating in a bar mitzvah ceremony. Covid-19, of course, slashed the guest list. That means I couldn’t start sorting through the mountains of stuff until afternoon. It’s hot in Florida in August, hence my excuse for choosing to do tasks in the air-conditioned inside. I was able to pack up partial boxes to ship to loved ones. I quit before finishing and am committed to wrapping, taping and shipping before week’s end.

Back to present tense. But Sunday! I get up early and head back to the garage before the midday sun makes it too steamy—and I reap unexpected inspiration: my past passions that created artwork and that feeling was still within me. I venture into the drawers of my art tables. They’re filled with relics of past productions. Like, um, a roll of registration marks used for printing four-color graphics in printing plates used for magazine or book layouts. I won’t be needing those anymore.

Also archaic: a handheld waxer, used pre-computer to wax the backs of galleys (what would become printed columns of magazine type) then paste them onto boards, which were the basis for what got printed. The system involved burnishing the galleys next, so of course I discovered decades-old burnishing tools too. I’d bought all this gear for a 1983 job with Billboard magazine, which was fun because I got to read (quickly) about the latest music trends before articles they were published.

It’s official. I am (let’s go for was) a hoarder. Here are my old tools for intaglio and lithography printing from undergraduate school. These are still used in fine art making though I haven’t in years. I will hold on to them as they take up very little space and when we start to congregate again, I may be able to sign up with a fine art printing facility and use them again.

Finally, I uncover art tools I will start using again soon. First, I unwrap sewn cloth holders for my brushes and woodworking tools. These holders date back to high school, and they’re still in good enough shape to use. The textile was from my grandfather’s fabric business in New York City. I had a bulk of this red and black swirling design textile, as I first took it to reupholster my high school boyfriend’s car, a 1946 Fleetwood Cadillac Limousine, a gift from his grandfather, who collected old cars.

It was a battle axe, that auto, since it was made from surplus metal produced for World War II when it ended. This baby was was hit by a truck and didn’t dent! But I am getting was off topic.

Here’s the point: I realize that I once had an organized studio, and want to have one again. The nostalgic items made me feel in my element and I was again exposed to the world of being an artist. Yea, I taught ArtyFacts classes to local public school students for awhile, but mostly I put my efforts into an graphic design-related management job the past two decades instead of pursuing my passion for painting.

The garage isn’t ready yet. I still have a lot to do to get it completely cleaned up and organized—not to mention all those photos and the like in the dining room. I reached the art goods, though, so I am closing in on my goal.