Work Days - One way to get projects done and have fun doing them!By Janet (imapigeon) on October 23, 2010
|If you’re like me, you have a lot of items on your To Do list. For the past five years, some friends and I have been able to cross a lot of them off by helping each other with projects one day a month.|
It really all started when Rene volunteered to help me dig out bermuda grass---at the time, she was living in an apartment and missed having a garden. I was SO grateful for her help with that awful job; I told her whenever she had a yard again, I owed her a day. Then Greg and Daryl moved to a home with a garden that needed some TLC to return it to its former glory. My husband and I offered to share our tools and DIY skills in exchange for their help at our place. We agreed to alternate houses and work together one Saturday a month. After four months the two men decided this really wasn’t how they wanted to spend their Saturdays, and our “Women’s Work Days” (WWDs) began. When Rene moved to a place with a yard, we invited her to join us. After working with us for four years, she bought nine acres, and recently left the team to spend weekends working on her big dream property. Megan, our newest member, is a beginning gardener with boundless enthusiasm, fantastic ideas, and a yard that’s a blank canvas.
In the early days, I kept a spreadsheet of how many hours each of us had put in, because I was concerned about “coming out even”. But it quickly became obvious that was unnecessary---we all worked as hard as we could, and we always got a lot more than any of us could do on our own. Since 2005 we’ve completed a tremendous number of tasks, learned new skills, and finished projects we might not otherwise have even started. Using the team as a sounding board, I’ve made decisions about things (like the tile design for my fountain, and whether or not to cut down a tree) that had me in “analysis paralysis” for weeks!
Although we don’t confine ourselves to gardening projects, they have comprised about 75% of what we’ve done. We’ve also refinished furniture, painted (inside and out), mortared tiles, built walls, set fence posts, and painted/assembled lawn chairs. We’ve also become better friends, and take a lot of personal pride in what we’ve done at each others’ houses. I occasionally drive a passenger past Daryl’s beautiful front garden to show it off; and she and Rene know as much about the plants in my yard as I do!
Two critical elements to our success are complementary work styles, and a good process that we’ve developed over time. Here are the basics:
If you like the sound of the WWD concept, forward this article to someone you think you might work well with, and give it a try!
Here are some more photos of projects we've completed on our Women's Work Days:
|projects, teamwork, Women's Work Days|
|I've been involved with clay off and on since 1972----I love getting my hands in the mud! I've taken classes at several colleges, managed ceramic shops, and taught many students. After retiring in 2009 from environmental, health and safety, I began dedicating several hours a week to clay projects in my little studio. I especially like throwing planters, bowls and lidded jars, and I've made hundreds of handpainted tiles for my house. I do much of my firing at home, where I have both electric and gas kilns.|
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