The Working Waterfront

May’s mayhem includes jewelry making, study and travel

‘To do’ list has columnist’s head spinning

Barbara Fernald
Posted 2016-05-23
Last Modified 2016-05-23

Last November and December I made plans to be away from Little Cranberry Island during the first two weekends in May. It all sounded so great at the time, and actually, it still is, but right now I am mired in all I have left to do before I leave.

I am a jeweler. Designing and making jewelry occupies most of my time, especially in March, April and May as I prepare inventory for seasonal galleries. The upcoming May weekends are also jewelry-related, which is in addition to my usual work at this time of year. The second weekend in May I will be attending the Maine Craft Association Workshop Weekend at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle.

Haystack is one of my favorite places to be in the world, ranking only second to the island I call home. I will be taking a course to learn the technique of anticlastic raising, taught by Michael Good of Camden. See The only thing I need to do to be ready for this class is to clear my schedule for three days and show up with some sheet metal and warm layers of clothes. (May in Maine on any island is usually still cold.)

The week before I go to Deer Isle, I will be participating in a fund raising event at the St. Barnabas Church in Greenwich, Conn. Over a dozen vendors will have items for sale, donating a portion of our proceeds to benefit several local causes. Making jewelry for this show has kept me focused all through March and April.

On my way south, I will also be dropping off new necklaces at the Center for Maine Craft in Gardiner. (A quick shout out for this amazing gallery. It’s at the Service Plaza just south of Augusta. The Service Plaza! It’s easily accessible from I-95 and I-295 in either direction. You can gas up, make a comfort stop, get something to eat, and see a large representation of beautiful work by Maine craftspeople, all in one stop. Islesford potters Kaitlyn Duggan and Marian Baker also have work there.)

Preparations for the first trip are what have me hyperventilating as I sit at my computer in the studio. It’s nearing noon on Sunday and I leave on the 8:15 a.m. boat on Tuesday. I have so much left to do, I am starting to be overwrought. Not the least of which is to write this column. My deadline is not until May 9, but I know I won’t sit down to write once I am away. I’ll be visiting my friend Susie after the show in Greenwich and we have things to do!

By deadline date I’ll be on the road heading home. The antidote to my panic is to be as efficient as possible with my multitasking. A list will help. In the next day and a half I need/want to:

  • Write the Cranberry Report
  • Do laundry
  • Figure out what to wear in Connecticut and New York and pack accordingly (huge anxiety)
  • Finish 10 bracelets
  • Photograph as many pieces of recent jewelry as possible
  • Price and pack jewelry for Center for Maine Craft
  • Pay bills
  • Water plants
  • Make signs for the display in Greenwich
  • Attach leaves to bare display trees for show
  • Price and pack jewelry for Greenwich
  • Take a walk
  • Plant the seeds for seedlings I’m starting indoors
  • Write and hide notes for Bruce to find while I am away
  • Send back hiking boots left by the unexpected two-night house guests last week
  • Pick out lobster meat and make lobster cakes for Susie
  • Make sourdough bread to take to Val and Cliff.

Halfway through writing the list I was thinking, “Not so bad.” Now, at the end, my panic is starting to resurface. I want to remember to take the 2016 parking sticker to the car in Northeast Harbor. I also need to locate the large cooler and several ice packs.

As an island resident, I try to accomplish as much as possible in any trip to the mainland. Rarely does an islander come home on the boat empty handed. Seriously.

On a trip to New York I’ll be picking up food items I don’t get to buy around home. I know Susie and I will be visiting our favorite butcher and the cheese store on Arthur Avenue after a trip to the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. We will likely go to Costco for some lamb chops and other bargains. On my return trip to Maine I’ll be sure to save time for a stop at Trader Joe’s. (I actually just stopped writing this to put the large cooler in the entryway.)

Last Saturday, when the tide was high, I took my display units, lighting and boxes of packaging over to the car. (I was going off for a meeting anyway.) That means less to carry on Tuesday when it might be raining. Somehow I’ll find time to accomplish everything else and remind myself not to suffer through it. After all, I’ll have the satisfaction of crossing things off my list. Like this!

As you read this, Barbara Fernald should be back home in the relative quiet of Islesford (Little Cranberry Island).