Monday, October 25, 2010

From Under The Clutter

Welcome to my "Studio"!  I have been asked how big my space is that I work in, what do I have...are you unpacked yet?  So, even though I am embarassed to actually post these pictures, I hope they answer some of your questions....

Question 1:  How big is my space?  Answer....Not big enough! but I will make do for now.

My space is in the basement.  I am not really sure what the previous owners used it for...maybe storage, their freezer, and the office.  I have tried various configurations and this seems to work best.  At first, the sewing machine was at the cutting table and the cutting table was against the wall, but I couldn't stand sitting and staring at a wall.  Now, I can look out the window with hopes of planting some flowers there to inspire me. (My sewing machine typically doesn't look that bad...I had to "erase" a Christmas project under construction)  Ian put a shelf up on the wall to give me some more space, last week.  The bins have my fat quarters and remnants ( all colour coordinated of course ).  The larger bins on the floor are full of raw fleece, rovings, etc....I have a lot more than I realized.  Maybe I need to wash it up, dye it and sell it!  Hmmmm...will work on that thought once I re-purchase pots for dyeing and an outdoor cooking stand.

My shelving unit from IKEA is saving me.  Until this arrived I had a tall narrow bookshelf and another shelf with doors...pretty; not practical.  Those shelves are now blessing the home of a friend while this new one is blessing me!  Yup, that is the extent of most of my fabric these days.  I gave away two large boxes before the move.  Now with the larger shelf the stash is looking rather bleak and there isn't much hope of it growing anytime soon.  The doorway is the furnace room...charming, I know.  I need to have a door placed there so I don't have to see it; it isn't very inspiring.  I need something to help with the smell too....I have a low tolerance for the smell of oil, machinery, chemicals...ick!

Question 2:  What do I have?  Answer....some would say "Too Much" but really I do use most of this...when I have time. 

That being said, I have gotten rid of a lot prior to our move and I am still getting rid of stuff (but it seems to be reproducing).  On the right sewing stuff; on the left, my loom.  There is another one dismantled on the floor; the third is still in Ottawa and I will probably sell that one.  It would take up most of this wall.  My cutting table is actually just a table top from IKEA that is sitting on four of those RubberMaid trolleys.  I used to have a table but I saw it as a complete waste of space.  At least with the trolleys, I have multiple drawers that I store fleece, spinning wheel bobbins and replacement parts, felting needles, scales, guages, etc, etc, etc.  They were my best addition to my sewing room a couple of years ago....wish I had done it sooner!  My rulers are in a stand that came with picture frames.  I tossed the frames; kept the stand!  Not the best way to store them as they can warp over time or fall and chip but my wall space is limited so again I need to make do with what I have.
My lovely tolleys!  As you can see, I am still sorting through things.  Typically I don't like stuff left out (although this seems to be the way that it has looked the past few years).  When I first set up the room I was staring at this wall...not inspiring so that is why my machine is where I can look out the window.  That wall has a future as my design wall....once the hallway is cleared out.

Question 3:  Am I unpacked yet?, NO! 

One of the perks of this move was the relocation company also provided unpackers on this end.  YAY!, I thought....that is until they started unpacking.  When they unpack they don't put away; they leave out on any poor unsuspecting surface.  This would be great if all your shelves had arrived with your stuff and IF you had as much cupboard, shelving, and built-ins that you had in your previous home AND IF the packers had packed only things from the sewing room in sewing room boxes.....sigh!  See below:
Yes, this is what I am still dealing with; the reason why I have done absolutely nothing creative all summer. Not just here but throughout my house.  I clean one area then the mess migrates to the clean is that possible?? This is the entrance to my sewing room and the hallway to the basement area where the kids practice their music.  Eek you say....yes, eek BUT this is a lot better than when we first moved in.  Now, we can actually see the floor in some spots.  What a nightmare!  Mind you, this is not all stuff from the sewing room.  We found in those boxes toiletries (I have the stain on my antique quilt to prove
it), oatmeal (because everyone stores oatmeal in their sewing room), dishes...the list goes on. 
MY GOAL:  To have this hallway cleared out by the end of the week THEN to have a drop ceiling with better lighting installed (the single bulb above the cutting table isn't quite doing it for me, a door on the furnace room, 10,000 room fresheners installed to get rid of oil smell, design wall up, a flowerbed outside the window, find someone that has a source of used wall cupboards, and some creativity taking place DAILY....okay, maybe every other day for now!   Will keep you posted! 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Welcome To Fibre Heaven

Last weekend I was feeling a bit blue.  There has been a lot going on this summer; the biggest of all was our move from Ontario to Nova Scotia.  There have been a lot of changes for my whole family.  Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE it here.  It feels like home and we have made many amazing friends this summer.  We did, however, give up on unpacking early in the summer so it is still lingering, festering, driving me crazy.  The whole moving experience was not one that we care to remember.  Many of you have heard my rant.  I thought it would get the frustration out of my system and yet, I am still amazed that packing liquids with art books and antique quilts would be considered okay; I am still picking oatmeal out of quilting fabric and spinning fleece.  I decided that I would enjoy the summer with my family then finish the unpacking once the girls went back to school.  I have made progress...very slow progress.  However, even with all that going on I have been riding the wave of our new move and discovering all the beautiful areas around us.  Our home is like a cottage in the middle of the woods (complete with bears, coyotes, deer, and a dwindling bunny population....due to the increasing coyote population)....we are permanent staycationers!!! 
As I wandered around the house I noticed that I was constantly drawn to my “Studio”.  I use the term Studio quite loosely at this is a work in progress.  As I dug through a box I discovered some felting needles and soon after some of my spinning fibres.  Soon I was in heaven.  Discovery....I have done absolutely nothing all summer that keeps me grounded; no spinning, no quilting....NOTHING!  This is not a healthy thing for me obviously!!!  A dear friend of mine gave me a quick tutorial in needle felting years ago....then life got in the way and I never had a chance to give it a go on my own.  As I felted, I thought of my friends and all their talents that they have shared with me over the years then, when my daughters got home, I sat and taught my children how to felt.  (My thumb was grazed only once by an errant needle strike...not bad!)  Things didn’t look so blue was more orange and green!

Peanut's pumpkin on the lt; Rosie's pumpkin rt front.

Then my DH walked in the door and stated, “You know how we keep talking about one day building an addition for a garage....when have we ever used a garage for our car?!?  We should build an addition with a wet studio downstairs where you can paint, dye, felt...whatever you and the girls want and a loft upstairs for your spinning wheels, looms, and quilting stuff!”  After 12 yrs of marriage we are finally figuring it out!!
Today, he took us on a road trip to Wolfville.  I absolutely love the drive there.  The colours are beautiful (and make me want to take up painting again).  We visited a shop called Gaspereau Valley Fibres.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect as I knew that they were at a spinning retreat in PEI with the bulk of their inventory, but let me tell you I was not disappointed.  Just pulling up to the shop brought me joy; stepping through the door was entering fibre heaven.  Thank goodness I have been blessed with a patient and loving (tolerant) family!  They curled up by the wood stove as I wandered and touched (and yes, occasionally hugged then rubbed a roving against my cheek).  I think I am going to be spending a lot of time in Wolfville.  Thank you Gaspereau Valley Fibres!!!!  If you have never been, then it must be added to your "To Visit" list...the inventory is amazing, the staff wonderful, and don't forget to say Hi to Kitty (the resident cat).
Just a few new friends that just had to come home with me! 
Beautiful 100% Merino (and a little tuft of Mohair)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Enter The 21st Century

I admire creative people; I have never thought of myself as being one of them.  My friends disagree and have been asking me, for quite some time, to blog about what I am working on.  I told them that I would never blog...I am not technologically inclined.  I have always felt that I was born in the wrong era.  When they were buying flat screen televisions or little phones with touch screens and apps, I was buying spinning wheels, looms, and sewing machines.  Today, I am entering the 21st century and trying to figure out how to set up a blog (and what gadgets are).     I am hoping that this will motivate me to make progress (rather than nemesis) and at the same time, maybe inspire someone to try something new.