Big art room changes. The summer of studio shock and awe, really. What was a chaotic mess of fabric piles, cat hair, a few unmentionables, paper scraps, and buried sewing machines has been restored. My little sewing room was updated with a beautiful rolling chalk board / bulletin board salvaged from the trash, and it has inspired a major clean out and reorg of the space that had become completely uninspiring and almost uninhabitable (unless you are a cat, in which case the places to sleep and shed were innumerable, so it was heaven.) I always think of this space as a good sized room, because it served as my parents' bedroom growing up, but it is really a small space. Maybe 12x8, not counting the path needed to walk through to get to the upstairs of my house. It is bright and sunny, right on the street, with uncovered windows unlike when my parents used it, and feels like a good space when it is cleaned up.
Now every piece of fabric has been folded, sorted, and revived. And oh-my-God is there fabric. Many piecves of cotton have been washed to remove the felted fur layer that Theo has built up by sneakily sleeping in the fabric drawers. All the silky, snake like pieces of dress fabric have been bagged in uniform little sandwich zippies and are (almost) stored so they won’t escape. Most important, all my favorite and beautiful silk lame from Borovick’s Fabrics in London (the only place I’ve ever been able to find the stuff) is organized -- and it’s reassuring to know there is a healthy supply of it ready to go in numerous shades.
I’ve dumped things, moved shelves and furniture around, and have added a special feature to the room. Last year I fell in love with a rocking chair at Pier One. Being hesitant to add anything of value to the decor due to the dogs and birds, I waited. I buckled this spring and charged it (lol - oops!) and it now sits in my art room, in the fabric corner. With a wonderful kilim covered footstool that my incredibly generous neighbors gave me. There are rugs to match, but thanks to Toby, no. So, if I behave myself and stay organized, I have a place to park my behind comfortably and read, hand stitch, draw, or think. For a small space, it now can handle a lot of doing! All because of a piece of Parker nostalgia that I couldn’t bear to see stay in the dumpster. Feels really motivating, and as soon as I can straighten out all the other rooms that have incurred fallout from the restructuring of this one, I’ll be creating with enthusiasm.
One problem I have is scrap bags. There are so many. They accumulate and sit in plastic bags like jewels, combining serendipitously and creating inspiring bundles of texture, color, and pattern. I’ve tried every way to save and store these little guys over the past umpteen years with limited success. It’s handy to have a bag of stuff ready to go for classes and workshops, but it seems like these things breed like bunnies and the bags turn up all over the art room. I’ve tried sorting by color, or just keeping random bags around. Since I am on a plastic baggie kick, I am trying something new. Instead of leaving all the scraps in bigger bags, I am going through them and making little grab bags of interesting pieces that feel good together. When the bag is full, I close it and it is now a grab bag for times when I don’t know what to sew, and need a challenge. I love to make little mummy dolls, so maybe they will become these. Or small collages. Or. Or. Or, The quantity is manageable and the variety in each bag is visually exciting. Will give it a try, and hope it works to contain the creative craziness!
Vacation is going well, I am trying to work hard and push myself to get the most out of each long day. It is easier to respond to the demands of RA when I am not working and I do get more done, yet trying to accept the delays and downtime is still challenging. One of the pain meds I’ve been asked to take is suddenly unavailable, and I think my body is adjusting to the change. Push, push, push. Time is so precious. Cheers.