I spent some time this morning cleaning up several loose ends to things I don't use or need anymore. If it detracts or creates problems, physical or otherwise, it's going away. The disconnect has value. It helped distance me from several things I find problematic. It also makes room for more important things - things that aren't necessarily practical. Being practical is rarely my style anyway. In a few minutes, I'll start grinding through some problem solving related to my contract until late afternoon. But in the evening, I'll be able to start work on several other projects. With that said, I'm moving into a phase where I focus on my goals - nothing else.
The hunt through the thrift shops for a sewing machine has not been successful. The only machine I've found in moderate condition was a Kenmore 6 stitch but it didn't have a power cord, control pedal or the foot. Buying them separately would make the entire purchase of questionable value so I'll bide my time and look for something more complete. This will slow the progress on the hot air balloon project. Update: someone already bought the 6 stitch from the thrift store so bye bye chances of picking it up for parts on $1.29 day. Oh well, I can still try to obtain a roll of tissue paper to use for making gore patterns on though. The most cost effective solution is using the same rolls of tissue paper used on examination tables in a doctor's office. Price wise, I found a retailer named Nancy's Notions who sells it for about nine dollars a roll. Compared to the next lowest price of about thirty dollars, it's a moderate difference.
As I wait, I'll work on building a frame to affix my sketch paper onto. The sketch paper measures in at 18x24 inches. Large to be certain. The intent is to clamp a drawing surface into the easel for doing some graffiti style sketches. I recall seeing a broken drafting board in one of the thrift stores. In its former unbroken life, the board had a wire and pulley arrangement for guiding a straight edge which is no longer present. If the price is cheap enough, I'll gut the residuals and re-purpose the board for the needs at hand. Update: someone bought the drawing board too. Such is life.
As if I don't have enough to do, I'm considering the pursuit of another avenue for learning. The same neighbor who talked about the sewing machine triggered a near deja vu situation but this time it was related to the skills for welding. He mentioned doing some repair work on a chair with a TIG welder. Wonderful things those TIGs are. Especially for thin metals. Considering I'm starting to work with wire forms to build sculpture armatures and such, it's a skill I could use. For that matter, the pre-Columbian style garden bench I want to build will require a strong framework inside the cast forms which will require welding. A quick check of the local colleges revealed a continuing ed class I can take. Learning to use a TIG means I need to shave time away from other things. If all else fails, I might convince sibling number three to give me some pointers as he worked as a welder in his younger days. One way or another, I'll figure out a way to make things happen.