Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shaping of a Studio

My photographs of my studio-in-process need no explanation, no apology.  I have always been an artist and while I have structure, I am also a very patient person and rarely much in a hurry to adopt all structure.  I would rather sit with a mess while I sort it out in my head and dream on it than rush the process.  I post these pictures because I want YOU to feel better about being a person of process.  Once we arrive at the product, we often find it not nearly as enchanting as the process of creating.

Having studied every publication I could find of studios, I am further in how to tackle my own studio. As I looked at pictures, I gauged how important it was to me to have this element or that.  The most key features to me are light, aesthetic beauty, organization and the ability to share my space with others.

I can only control my penchant for ample light just so much with having two windows and French doors and that wall being the smallest wall space in the room.  I put my cutting station in front of one window with the ironing board nearby.  The other window is the location for my main sewing machine.  I angled that Koala Studio so that I could advantage both the window and the French doors.  I am going to put a desk in the corner behind my main sewing area.  Unlike when I started sewing many years ago, a computer nearby is crucial to my sewing experience.  Using my computer for research, machine embroidery and communicating to others is all part of my sewing and creating experience.   I need a window nearby as I need variety when I am working on my computer (laptops have changed the world for me).

Beauty of my room is important to me.  Feeling a calm in my room brings out the best in me.   I don't need Better Homes & Gardens beauty.  I need a room to feel happy and peaceful and inspiring.  I am not big into painting and usually accept the wall coloring as it is and texture a room with layout and wall art.   Currently my sewing room has walls that are working as storage units...easier to store the pictures, clocks, etc on the wall lest they be broken sitting on the floor.  This will take time as I see where I am sitting in the room.

I think I am wired with an organizing gene.   I suspect we all are a little better functioning when we have some structure around us.  Raising five kids didn't make me more organized, it made me prioritize that which was important to them and to good functioning of our family in our daily tasks.  Shoes went in the closet not because it was neater but rather because it was easier to remember where shoes were as the bus was sitting outside waiting if they were in the closet rather than kicked off next to the sofa.  I am definitely a peace-seeking unit, always have been.  I am not so prone to complain as I am like to embrace change.  I need to be able to find my many tools and books and fabrics, easily.  The Koala studios have ample drawers for my tools.  Now, I need to take the time to sort them out as to how I will use them.  I start that by just getting working on things a bit at a time.  If I don't like where the presser feet are, I can change it as I go along.  I cannot wait until I have everything put away until I sew.  I need to keep sewing to feel the room and decide if that is actually WHERE I want  those tools.

It was working in the room that has made me move the furniture around many times.  Every piece of furniture in my room has enjoyed a view of the room from every corner and space of the room.  It has taken me weeks to get that feeling.

Realizing that I don't have storage space that will work for my fabrics and books, I will begin putting together shelves in the next few weeks.  As I have all this wonderful wood grain in the room, I am adding white shelves to the room for variety.  Along with sewing, I am a drawer, colored pencil junkie, decoupage groupie, knitter and computer graphic fan (and I am sorta an author).  I have never had room for all of my "other toys" in my studio.  I am adding a desk and ample storage for all of my stuff to be in ways that I can see most of it.  If I can't see it or easily access it, I won't use it. 

Will everything be out?  Doubt it.  I have no shame to say I am a fabric lover.  I buy fabric because I love the texture and vision what it might be later on.  I have t-shirt knits from the pajamas I made when my kids were little.  I can't get rid of it because every time I see it, I still remember how much joy I had making their favorite jammies for them and how much I enjoyed watching them grow out of the jammies and pass them on to the younger siblings and then on to their cousins.

As our children have grown and moved the fabric into a closet in one of their vacated bedrooms, I still love to go into that room and touch the things that my son left in "his room", open the closet and love the fabric all over again.

If my room were just my own, I might have had this finished much sooner.   With each step, I have been careful to respect my husband's pool table.  He loves to spend time with the kids playing pool.  I have worked hard to keep a cozy sitting place for Henry to sit and enjoy a book or his favorite movie while I am working in my sewing room.  I have room in my sewing room for at least five people to sew.  I want to make sure there is ample room for when our kids come home to feel welcome to sew with me or feel they can come and just escape the hub-bub of a house full of many people (at holidays).  

You still can't really walk around my sewing room but it is getting happier each day I live in it a little more.

The best part is I actually got to sew today...making my next installment in the Party With Patrick...applique project.   I am presenting this topic at our next VIP coming up.  This is unbelieveable.  I am presenting something in six days and have the project done and the slides for my presentation ready to go.  While this looks like a simple thing to do, I am going to show you how you can make this in less than two hours.  I used satin stitch applique for the shamrocks and did a fun embellished binding on mine.  I love this new fabric from Benartex.  It is subtle coloring and has one of my favorite pieces in it....paisley.

The brain cells are rockin' and rollin' now!
all the best to you, jill

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