When I start something new, I start accumulating stuff: books, tools, raw materials, clothing. Whatever it takes to immerse myself in the new venture, I start accumulating it.
Twenty years ago, gardening captivated my interest. I transformed my weedy and humble front and back yards into fertile and fragrant oases that produced an abundance of my favorite flowers and fruit and vegetables. Many years of weekends were spent creating and maintaining my beautiful gardens and I loved every minute of it. I learned how to do it by reading many books. In addition to books, I accumulated a lot of other stuff–sprinklers, hoses, drip systems, tools for maintaining sprinklers and hoses and drip systems; rakes and shovels, gloves, pruning shears. I bought a truck so that I could haul fertilizer and bricks and potted plants and trees.
After awhile my gardens were in great shape and easy to maintain so I turned my attention to the inside of the house and started my home remodeling phase. My husband & I took a class in home construction and bought lots of books. We gutted a bathroom and rebuilt it from the ground (literally) up. We went on to removing a wall between 2 bedrooms. I began to learn woodworking and built 2 walls of lovely oak bookcases and cabinets. My favorite addition was a built in jewelry cabinet with secret storage. During that phase, I refaced a fireplace, installed recessed lighting, replaced our kitchen cabinets doors, ripped out the kitchen floor and replaced it with sheet vinyl with coved baseboards. All of which required lots of books and tools and wood and sheetrock and mortar and joint compound and more stuff.
When we sold that house, we moved into a bigger house so we were able to take all our stuff. Our new house was a dream come true for me. It sat on a half an acre in a pine and oak forest–so lovely and quiet. We didn’t mind leaving most of the land fairly natural which was a good thing. My efforts at gardening were most appreciated by the deer as they love roses, thorns and all. But planting anything there was very frustrating for me, so I lost interest in it pretty quick. However, I did use some of my building skills while we lived there. I created a lovely laundry room in the garage and in the process, learned to use a tile saw–cuts like butta. Also, I installed a custom stainless steel sink and cabinets and rewired all the lighting and switches and some of the outlets in the garage.
Oh, and I replaced a 17′ x 30′ deck with all new foundation, decking, posts, rails, stairs and lighting on timers. While building the deck, I discovered why Gorilla Glue has that name–wherever it gets on your body, it turns black. At some point, I got it all over the palms of my hands. By this time I was well involved with my next consuming interest–bellydancing. For a few days, my gorilla hands were a bit incongruent with the rest of my costume.
In 2000, I discovered that bellydancing was a fun way to exercise. And I loved dressing up in sparkly, feminine costumes–more stuff! And Zora was born. I started making my own costumes which led to starting my costuming business in 2002: Zora’s Personal Seamstress. For eight years, I was immersed in the bellydancing and costuming world and accumulated a lot of stuff. In addition to sewing machines and books, lots of books, I have fabric and trim and beads, jewelry and costumes. During that time, I started dying silk for veils and had fun creating some abstract silk paintings and tie-dyed T-shirts. I love the colors and wild patterns of the dyes on silk and cotton.
Currently, I’m passionate about indoor rock climbing and quilting–and yes, more stuff–rock shoes, climbing harness, carabiners and a closet full of fabric. Lily Street Quilts, my longarm quilting business is going very well and keeping me busy. Had to add one more activity though. In April, I got my HAM Radio license and have joined the San Jose ARES/RACES team. So far I’m happy with a hand-held radio. But who knows, maybe there is a high powered antenna in my future.
Marci Gore, June 2012