Happenin’

Studio RedoneIt’s finally happenin’! After a very fruitful summer season of quilt making, the design wall is finally bare and has come down. Fabric bins have been moved downstairs. Pictures and art work have come off the walls. My two 8′ work tables have been re-positioned 90° in front of the storage shelves. Holes have been spackled and painted. A tall dresser, two nesting tables and an elegant lamp have been moved upstairs. I’m condensing almost 400 square feet of sewing studio and computer office into a 140 square foot room. As the guest room is relocated upstairs I’m on the verge of learning to live as an artist and writer in a smaller space.

All in all, I’ve enjoyed the process. If I’d had a blue collar job it would have been as a corporate relocation packer and unpacker. I love organizing, rearranging, and make sense out of what other folks avoid if humanly possible. It’s the orderly part of my inner artist that likes to make beauty out of chaos. I’ve appreciated the purposeful opportunity to go through bin after bin of fabric and art supplies. Cleaning, sorting, measuring, labeling, rearranging, imagining, giving away, throwing out…hesitating…acting decisively…taking things out of the trash. I’ve done it all.

And there was all sorts of discovering! Especially the portfolio lodged behind some big stacking fabric bins that contained all my homework projects for the Color & Design for Quilters class taught by Hiroko Yoshimoto in the late 90’s. It was one of the most helpful classes I’ve ever taken bar none teaching me how to read colors more accurately, purposefully choose color combinations that are more dynamic, and make fewer mistakes purchasing the wrong color of fabric.

I’ve enjoyed rearranging art work and books on the shelves upstairs in what will become our very spacious guest room. Art supplies remain along with empty file boxes awaiting new contents. But I’m a little stumped about how office supplies and other art resources will get rearranged. Perhaps that will become clearer when all the furniture magically finds its new locations in a week or so.

But I must also admit to a rising waterline of tears at the prospect of leaving this grand studio space which has been the hub of my creativity for the past twenty-five years. Over the last few months I’ve slide into home base with my cleats up sewing up a storm. And enjoying every moment at the large cutting and design tables that will stay upstairs. The space is not completely lost to me, or my creativity. It will just be different than it was. I am grateful for the years that it was such a happenin’ place!

If you’ve moved from a larger to a smaller space, creative or otherwise, what was that like for you? What were the surprises that you found in the process? What would you do differently if you were to do it again?

4 comments to Happenin’

  • Jan

    I’m trying to picture you without that lovely room as your primary creative space.

    My basement sewing room is a nightmare. My partner refers to my time down there as “going into the hole.” He kindly doesn’t call it a hell hole. Everytime I try to destash or downsize my collection of supplies and materials, I get stuck. “Oh wait, I want to try that. And that …”

    How I wish you could come knock some sense into me and help me organize this space!! Send me good wishes, please. 😉

  • As you know, I have “downsized ” several times in the past 3 years, and I guess it all comes under simplifying your life. Part of aging gracefully is realizing that “you can’t take it with you” , but it is a struggle, nonetheless. I think you should count your blessings that now you have a spacious guest room!I envy you that! Melinda

  • Less can be so much more! You’re amazing at making changes!! xoxox

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