Sunday, February 05, 2006

In which one thing leads to another...

My sister gave me this wonderful book for my birthday last week, and I've spent a lot of enjoyable time pouring over it. The book shows the creative work spaces of some interesting and talented women, many of whom I've admired for ages: Claudine Hellmuth, Freddy Moran, Leslie Riley, Wendy Addison, and more. It's a very fun book, with all sorts of different spaces: large studios, attics, professional offices. It has reminded me that clutter and a big assortment of "stuff" just goes along with the territory of being creative (which has made me feel better about my big collection of "stuff") but it also reminded me that it isn't that hard to organize it and keep it reasonably tidy.

So, with those inspirational images in mind, I've been looking around my tiny, cluttered studio/office with dissatisfaction. Yes, I remind myself, I'm lucky to have a room of my own to contain my creative activities in, where I can retreat and close the door and play whatever music I want. Still, it's been a mess, and this weekend I decided to tackle it and make it look, well, a bit tidy.

First, I tackled the fabric half of the closet, and folded and organized. My hand-dyed fabrics are all together now.

I cleaned off the CD shelf and moved things around, so now the CDs and stereo are tidy and accessible.

And once I got the cds off of an upper shelf, I was able to sort out the book shelves where I was no longer able to cram in one more book...and that meant that I'd made room to put all my beloved Japanese quilting magazines together...with room to add more.

My big wall of shelves is still sort of jumbly, but it's a happy and reasonably neat jumble now. By the way, see that funny sculptural thing hanging on the wall over the TV, between the shelf and that big daisy? That's a woman, made my Caroline when she was 5 in a garden art class...Her body is an old computer motherboard. I debated moving her (to the garden, even, maybe...) but I just like her too much so for now she stays with me.

The desk area is still fairly cluttery, but it's a lot better than it was. I've got a big pile of paperwork to sort and file, and a case of computer disks that I want to go through and transfer stuff off of so I can get rid of them... but heck, it's an improvement.

I did get creative and make a magnetic board for the wall. I'd found these great magnets, made from reproduction Bingo tiles... so I got a piece of galvanized tin from the hardware store and now I have this on the wall over my desk:

Even my sewing area is tidy!

Most amazingly, the other side of the closet -- which before this weekend was the repository for EVERYTHING ELSE -- is now decently organized, so I have room for tubs with "projects in progress" (you know, so they don't have to be piled on the floor or on the sewing table under another project in progress) , scraps, and other important stuff.

By the way, it was at this point that I hit that inevitable stage during any massive cleaning process where I was overwhelmed by the piles of stuff that had come OUT of the closet and needed to go, well, SOMEWHERE... I was tired and I wanted to cry. But I persevered... Okay, now there's a pile of stuff in the garage to go to the Salvation Army, and a bag of fabric and such to go to the guild's sale pile...But it's out of my closet!

Oh! Notice that next to the closet is my quilt postcard gallery -- most of which were made by Gerrie. And look, a new one arrived as a birthday greeting to be added to the collection!

I'm tired but rather pleased. Now I'll just sit and look at it ... I'll mess it back up tomorrow!


  1. Everything looks wonderful! I so need to do that too. And I soSO don't feel like it. Sigh.

  2. It looks wonderful and ready to be photographed for a cool magazine. I wondered if you got the postcard in good condition! We are in Redding and will be home tomorrow. We have to celebrate your b-day!!

  3. Beautiful studio space, Diane. I envy you your shelves. You are very organized and neat, something I strive to be.

  4. Wow! It looks beautiful! What a nice space to work. Your hard work was worth the effort. Now I think I need to get back to my room and clean it up again. If only I could bring myself to get rid of more!
    Caroline's sculpture is pretty cool, and to think she was only 5 when she made it. Jen

  5. I'm with mary m. I envy you space. IT looks great. Uusally when I get so organized I want to MAKE SOMETHING QUICK!

  6. Diane, It looks great to me. Good job perservering!

  7. Your studio should be another chapter in this book. Wonderful.
    I loved this book, an "eye spy" book for adults.