Sunday, December 14, 2008

What your workroom says about you behind your back

There's truth in the long list of sayings about quilters and fabrics. You know at least one of those like 'she who dies with the most wins....'

We must amass fabric so that we have the materials we need to create. We need the pieces to put together to take our inspired ideas from mere thought into something we can touch and enjoy with all of our senses. So for most of us a workspace must include storage. LOTS of storage. Jan Krentz gave me a new love for IKEA when she gave viewers a tour of her studio at the end of her teaching CD "Jan Krentz Teaches You to Make Lone Star Quilts."

But the more we amass, the more we must organize or we have chaos. And that chaos eats away at our creative spirit.

On the DIY website, a discussion of the psychology of clutter reveals what lies beneath that clutter. It may or may not apply to you, but when approaching a new year, it is usually the time we decide to make a change. Maybe this is a change worth looking into?

Some things to think about when you look around your 'cluttered' studio or sewing space.
  • Clutter can be a manifestation of either depression or anxiety
  • Clutter can be a way to isolate oneself from others
  • Clutter is an act of replacing people with things
  • There is clutter and then there is hoarding
  • There is emotional attachment to things in that clutter
  • Clutterers are usually intelligent, educated individuals
  • Clutter hinders a productive life

I seem to work better in a space where I can reach out and find exactly what I need without search and rescue tactics. This first photo represents the type of workspace I have in my home. Short on storage and space, my room is decorated with stacks and stacks and STACKS that are even less organized than this space. In the spirit of full disclosure, we have downsized, a problem many people encounter. And many of the boxes in my workspace hold family items. Items that belonged to loved ones living and dead.

I need neat, tidy, inviting, pleasing aesthetics that soothe my spirit rather than irritate it. I immediately know which of these two workplaces would promote my productivity and creativity. Roberta -- I adore your workspace. So organized, so inviting, so full of everything needed to create. Diana McClune's studio gives me a case of the screaming green envies.

Real Sewing Rooms, a website devoted to home studios can help you find ideas to include in your own workspace. I particularly liked this site that shows organization tips and equipment. Drawer organizers, foot rests (sewing machine feet that is), tool caddies, stash drawers, visual ways to display yet protect fabrics, organization for rulers, and simple ways to make a room inviting -- some expensive, some not so much.

Recycling furniture and items for a new use, maybe in your future. One site shows using those old spice racks that never seemed to work in the kitchen. Now they hold spools of thread.

There is definitely a difference between a 'studio' and a 'sewing room.' But whichever you have, the needs are often the same and the basic need is organization for the materials as well as an environment conducive to creativity. Dreading to enter your workspace is your first clue that you need an intervention.

Maybe the new year is the time to work on your sewing space. Another site has drawn together several more sites where you can look at sewing spaces and get ideas for your own.


nightsmusic said...

Put a baby grand and a computer desk in YOUR room and that would be my office...


What can I say. And yes, that second picture is awesome! But so unrealistic for paraphrase Harry Callahan,

"Woman's got to know her limitations"

Casey Dukes said...

I lurve looking at people's studios, offices, craft rooms. I tell myself it's just an issue of time because I'm able to keep a meticulously clean desk area at work but at home, it's...yikes. I don't even want to think about it!

By the way, I feel the same way about Jan Krentz's studio. What a great use of free-standing kitchen furniture!