Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ain't No Mountain High Enough...

...No Valley Low keep me from sewing!

A few weeks ago, Henry and Joel brought in my new Koala sewing studio to my current sewing space. Since I was gone when they did this, they "stacked" all the notions and fabrics and stuff on the pool table and any horizontal surface to move the old stuff out and make room for my new and fabulously beautiful studio. I have done my best to not wait until it is all in place before I started sewing. If I wait that long, I'll be a wreck.

Plus, you know how it goes when you get new furniture. You measure and vision and are sure it will work this way and then it arrives and it has the wrong "feel" in that configuration. So for the past two weeks, I have moved these four fabulous pieces around my sewing space. I have tried nearly every configuration, drawn it out and dreamed about it. I go to sleep thinking, "if this piece is here and I move that there...." A couple of times I got up and went to my sewing room in my pajamas and started re-arranging furniture.

Most of the time I kept shoving stuff around and moving stacks of books, patterns and notions around. Knowing that if I start putting it in the drawers, I won't have a good feel of where everything goes until everything is sitting where I want it. And, even with that I can't set it all up because in early December I am having the carpets cleaned. It will all be upended again!

So why the hurry to do anything? It is my dream space. It is my getaway and all it does right now is scream "Get Away!" With Thanksgiving coming, I don't want our guests to enjoy every notion, thread, fabric and publication I have ever purchased being spread out all over the pool table and the air hockey table. (Those are my room companions.) Feeling the crunch of time, I decided to implement plan B. That would entail shoving stuff into storage. Since the closest storage is the room for the house electrical, that seems obvious to me. I am sure my husband Henry will veto it when (and if) he sees it. Nonetheless, in the relief of having some of the mountains of stuff out of the way, I visioned a new way for the sewing room to sit. Poor Johanna (my 17 year young daughter) got recruited for yet another move around the sewing room. She has her own studio piece in the room; so, she is a bit motivated to assist me. And magic happened! I had been trying to take up as little space in the room to save space for a TV for Henry and ample space for the kids to play pool and air hocket. Then it dawned on me...this is really my room and I am just letting them share it with me. So, I spread out a bit more and found a lovely configuration to the room. I selected the studio pieces that my family can all sew together when they come home at holiday times. With the newest piece from Koala, I have a cutting station that can also be fitted into TWO sewing spaces. I absolutely love these pieces. They are heavy critters but they are so manageable and functional. I selected the tallest pieces of them that I could have ample shelving for my publications, fabrics, notions and even my knitting stuff. I also like the higher height with the adjustable foot rests. On top of that, they are so pretty. Mine are the cherry finish. When I get the room all "set" and decorated, I will certainly share those pictures. However, I always think it is great to share with my friends the process pictures. The pictures in progress should make you feel a little better about your creating space.

The process is what is the most fun and the most invigorating. The product brings closure and sets balance for me. However, it is the process that gives me the energy and the inspiration to go. That I get so excited about configuring my sewing room gives one a glimpse of how I think. Imagine what happens when I vision sewing and creating?!

A couple of my favorite magazines Where Women Create and Studios by Cloth, Paper, Scissors really speak to the creative in each of us. I study the way the rooms are set up and love to see personalities blooming from those spaces. Not usually highly stylized spaces many are so functional and normal....perhaps tubs for fabric, recycled dressers, shelving units borrowed from other places. Each of them speak of functionality and comfort for the designer. Then today a home design magazine came in the mail. While beautiful spaces with large open areas, I kept wondering where their "stuff" was. Where do they keep the magazines they are studying? Where are the notes, the artwork and the creations of clay from kids and grandkids? I wonder if they keep boxes of special things to sort and study. While I need enough order to find my things, my spaces are combination of who I am, who I was and who I love.

Occasionally my daughters will tease me about things mauve and blue or the many hand-woven basket, but I just cannot part with things that still have function and still bring me great joy as I remember their childhoods of growing up in a house of country blue and mauve and a lifetime of collecting their things and my things in baskets handmade by friends. With age, I just get more and more sentimental. However, just as it was when I considered the space I should take up for my creating time, I am old enough now to relinquish any sort of modesty about being inordinately tidy or organized. I doubt I will be much remembered for someone else's vision and will be more likely remembered for the passion for life that I have.

Affording ourselves a space and time and freedom from serious restrictions on our creative expression is the best form of self-care we can enjoy. Cultivating a healthy amount of self-expression and an avenue for us to keep touch with who we are is the most life-giving thing we can do to afford us each the chance to better serve others and to become who we are called to be in our daily walk.


Debbie at QP said...

Ok, you've ALMOST inspired me to clean my sewing room . . . LOL I applaud your bravery in showing pictures of your "stuff" all over everywhere. I don't have the guts to share my mess - err, sewing space!

BrendaLou said...

I haven't had a sewing space for 7 years at home....I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as we are re-doing the living room as a Music/sewing room. I'm getting built-ins (floor to ceiling cupboards) & Koala center too! Probably a year in the making, but I see it coming. Meanwhile I sew on the dining room table on my featherweight when I want to sew at home. Congratulations on your new space.

Elaine D. said...

Is this the time of year for reorganizing sewing rooms? I just finished revamping my area and am having a great time being able to (finally!) use the drop-leaf feature on my sewing table. Now working on a big quilt isn't as much of a hassle. However, as usually happens when I put things away where they belong, I've "lost" some items. Now that I bought replacements, I'm sure I'll find the old ones right away.

jillreicks said...

Why is sorting this all out so important? I don't think it is so important for aesthetics (although, it does feel good) but more for a feeling of well-being and being able to not look around and thing "I ought to clean it."