Friday, October 3, 2008

another little pincushion & TIF first thoughts

I'm still playing with bottlecap pincushions (between migraines and bill paying--it's that season for me (variable weather) and the first of the month). Here's a little fall pumpkin. The stem is detached buttonhole (I'm not sure what the metallic thread it--it was a scrap). It looks more tomato colored here but the felt is a burnt-orange color in reality. I'm now working on a Christmas tree and another creepy eye with green skin.

I couldn't bring myself to put pins in the eye I made. It's now living with a friend who loves Hallowe'en, didn't have a pincushion and will have no problems at all with the pins.

I've been thinking about this month's Take It Further--about my textile work space. Or more to the point, my lack of one. Things are a bit out of hand at our home. Too. Much. Stuff.

And it's exacerbated because I don't have a place for myself and my textile work. Usually I sit in my lovely recliner with my good light and stitch. Which means many of my materials and projects are piled around the area. If it's painting, messy or needs flat space, then I set up the ironing board in the kitchen. I made a cover for it years ago with elastic around an ironing board shape cut from an inexpensive plastic shower curtain.

The problem is the ironing board takes the entire open space in our (tiny) kitchen. But it's adjustable for sitting or standing and it's a very old ironing board so it's heavy and stable. If I need really firm I add a cutting board or cookie tin on top and off I go. It really works quite well (until someone else wants to get into the space for silly things like lunch!).

I do an awful lot of thinking and some note making here in my office at work. I also use Photoshop and the Internet here, after hours. Here's my messy desk, with my monitor and word for the year (focus), birthday card, calendar and piles of work. Caramels for the students (but it's mostly the professors who stop by and grab them). The bowl under the monitor is a gift from China. Next to and below the candy bowl is my coaster collection. In front of the candy bowl is my box of little 2" art squares.

Here's the file cabinet I sit next to, with some of my magnets, photos, friends, and ancestors stuck on. The quilt is a little piece I made in a class with Laura Wasilowski. On top is an encaustic screen I purchased recently from artist Jenny Learner. Quite a hodge-podge. The cabinets face me. The side that faces out is properly plain and blank and only the artful encaustic screen shows to passers by.

As you can see, I don't quite fit into the minimalistic and paperless image that is being promoted here.

I'm far from minimalistic at home, too, and after 30 years in a small house with another pack rat, it's become interesting to say the least!

My immediate thoughts about the topic were pretty negative. I want a pretty, clean, empty, big studio, too! (stamping foot here!) I am feeling unhappy and frustrated with our lack of space and my lack of a place to keep things and to work. A short exchange with Jane reminded me of other things and I realized that in reality I have mixed feelings about a studio.

I would like more space. I would like more bookshelves for the books piled about and nice cabinets for the lovely laces and trims I have. I'd like a big permanent table and a place for my sewing machine. And I have a feeling that I'd go in there to do specific tasks on occasion, but that I'd still end up most nights where I am now--in my comfy recliner with my hubby nearby stitching by hand.

Once upon a time we had a big ole farm house (it needed more renovation and tlc than we could provide) and I had a room upstairs that was designated the sewing room and my boxes of stuff went up there and my sewing machine. But the sewing machine made it's way downstairs, to a corner of the dining room, within a pretty short time, and the ironing board ended up next to it. And I spent most of my time sitting in the living room with my hubby nearby stitching by hand.

So for now I have my office as my "get away" spot--the place with a door I can close. I think this may become more of an issue if I can ever retire (and with the way the economy is going, that date keeps getting farther and farther away!). But for now, I've realized I'm more content than I'd realized (thanks, Jane!)

My immediate visualization for my journal page is a crazy quilt. I'm feeling rather crazy and disordered, but there are a lot of good things in the mix (laces and trims and buttons!). I had the thought of piles of yo-yos to represent some of the piles of projects in bags I have around. I haven't gone very far with this yet but I think that's the start.


Jane said...

I didn't realize my comments would have such an effect!

Would it be possible to set up a nice storage area in the room you have available? I know you don't like plastic, but you could build a nice set of shelves that would hold boxes to organize everything. JAT

My workroom is getting too full to turn around in as well.


Lelia said...

I feel your space pain. I have a small corner desk -- and an ironing board. thats it. And, all my "stuff" is put away. it takes forever to get out what I'm looking for.

If you are looking for a more sturdy ironing board - the Martha Stewart brand are on sale at K-Mart. Sturdy, and can adjust height.