Five Questions Friday: Business Moves Back in the Kitchen

Rims-Garden-Basket-Ohio-wood Rims-Garden-Basket-Ohio


Q: I see that Eric Taylor Basketry has moved into the kitchen again today.
Eric: Well, yeah. I had to bend some wood and our stove with gas works best to get the wood boiled and hot. Should I buy a new stove and install a gas hookup for the workshop?
Uh, no. Use the kitchen.

Q: What are you working on and for who?
Eric: Bending Rims and Handles for my Cottage Garden Basket that I’m teaching in a couple weeks at Winter Weave in Ohio.

Q: How ’bout that Super Bowl and don’t you feel bad for Jud? I mean, we watched the Super Bowl at his house, in Falcons’ territory, and ate all his food.
Eric: Ate all his food? I don’t feel bad for eating all his food. And I don’t feel bad for winning the game either. We all got along and there were no fights. That “super bowl” contract you drafted and tried to get us to sign was not necessary. 

Q: Now that you bought a new projector for our movie room, am I not going to see you anymore?
Eric: Oh. Well. Ah. No. I mean, won’t you come and watch more movies with me?

Q: What aggravated you this week?
Eric: You finding out that I bought a brand new projector.

The Kind of Convo’s You May Have When You Work at Home

hand-palm-print-finger-lengthSo my brother, who is also self-employed, called me for a short chat earlier today. Nothing too important. One item that came up during our conversation was that he happened to come across an article about how the lengths of our fingers can predict our personalities and lifestyle.

However, he didn’t really read the article so he couldn’t tell me what, if any, life-changing significance there is to the unique length of my digits. His point was that he wanted to know if my hand was like his, because his wife’s was not. And we discovered it must be genetic, since we both have our ring fingers longer than our index finger.

Before hanging up he told me to text him a pic of my hand and he would do the same, so we could visually confirm it. (You know… the usual kind of stuff that self-employed people who work from home, do…)

Eric happened to call at the moment I was taking my hand pic to send to my brother. Great timing, I thought, since I had the opportunity to ask him which finger was the longest, 2nd longest, etc. on his hand. And he said “I’m glad to know you both are working so hard today.” Point taken.

Nonetheless, his finger lengths are similar to my brother’s wife’s hands. So what does it mean?

Well, I did do some quick research and here’s what I found out. (Disclaimer: this is not any scientific explanation at all… so don’t use my words if you’re writing a thesis or something!)

My synopsis: It really doesn’t matter!! There were so many differing opinions amongst the various websites. But one thing remained the same — how our fingers get their lengths while in the womb. During this time, our fingers sprout and elongate, their growth is affected by the prevalence of the hormones testosterone and estrogen. The fetal ring finger has many receptors for both hormones on it, and the index finger has fewer receptors. Therefore, the testosterone lengthens the fetal fingers, while estrogen stops their growth.

Ah, what? So my hands, with its long fingers, depict a more masculine inclination? And Eric… well his is opposite. I called my brother and said, “How can Eric be feminine? That’s like impossible… just look at him.” And he said, “Well, Lynne, he is a basketmaker after all.” Another point taken.

(just teasing Mr. Basketmaker y’all….)

To conclude, we both decided that all the supposedly “scientific studies” were bunk. Except for the Italian study that said because of my ring finger length, I would tend to be the more successful entrepreneur and be a real go-getter. I like that. Especially since while Eric is working hard at his convention, I’ve pretty much been lounging in the lounge chair all day, snacking on things I shouldn’t be snacking on and watching things I shouldn’t be watching. Now I don’t feel so guilty for being a slug… my fingers clearly depict a hard-working woman! I must relax…

A New Meaning to Working-at-Home

As most of you already know, we found this property in Tennessee that had a 1950s farmhouse, a large industrial building (that was operating as a church) and a tiny little barn. It was perfect for us. Eric could have his workshop in the industrial building and I could have my painting studio in the front area and then we would live in the farmhouse and my office would be in one of the rooms off of the main house. And we have plenty of extra storage in that little barn. Finally, we could separate the workshop from our living quarters!

But whmcminnville-workshop-splinten we closed on the property, and despite having a thorough home inspection, we decided that we would gut out about 50 percent of the farmhouse and rehab the entire structure. When we started to take down the drywall in some areas, we were not happy with how things were built in the interior.

For instance, some walls had almost a foot of empty space behind the drywall and behind it was gorgeous, old tongue-and-groove wood! Since we  believe in doing things right, we wanted to expose the wood and fix what the prior owner had done in his “renovations.”

Initially, we thought we would live in it and rehab at the same time. But after some thought, we decided on living in the industrial building instead and Eric would set up his workshop, temporarily, in the main house. That way, his workshop wouldn’t be a hindrance when we are rehabbing. We don’t exactly need to cover up or protect machinery and equipment to sand a wood wall!

So now that the splint is unpacked and stacked, and the planer is running, I thought I would give a really quick tour of Eric’s new temporary workshop in a few pics. He’s been working two weeks straight now getting ready for his upcoming classes the next two weeks.


Above is our future kitchen! Eric took off all the doors and currently, it’s holding some of his molds. He also set up his wood bending station on the counter which happens to be tiled. We definitely will be removing that! I don’t want to think about how many germs get into all that grout on a kitchen counter!

mcminnville-workshop-fireplaceEric’s bandsaw is sitting next to the fireplace that we already started ripping apart. Here you can see the wood wall that we discovered after removing uneven drywall and layers of old wallpaper.


Here’s more of the wood wall. I slightly have an affinity for  this vintage wallpaper we discovered underneath. But I liked the wood wall better. So we will continue the tedious task of removing paper and ancient glue.


Now onto the master bedroom. What? Well of course! He is using every room in this house as his workshop. His planer, sander, dust collector machine and all his other heavy “dust making” equipment are located here. We ripped up the ugly red carpet and now it’s a great space for Eric to work in. See all those boxes and parts over there in the back? They’re sitting on top of a large jacuzzi tub. I’m not kidding. There really is a gigantic tub back there and Eric is using it for storage.

I cannot wait until we remove that monstrosity and replace it with a simple soaking tub. Ahhhhh….


Finally, we have his large workstation that sits in the middle of the living room. I think it’s nice and at least he has a great view with the wall of windows! I didn’t show you where he was storing all his shipping supplies—they are in the den sitting on the stone platform where the wood stove is. Best to not reveal everything!

I know Eric wishes he could really spread out in the industrial building like we originally planned. But he, I mean “we” (Freudian slip) will eventually finish the house and then do a “swap.” Until then, Chance and I are really loving living in this huge building! Plenty of space to play around in.