Are you good at keeping your workspace neat and tidy? If so, can I borrow you for a week or two? When I get busy, I tend to pile stuff on any and every horizontal surface. In Multiple Layers. (Just ask my husband, who knows that entering my office or studio can be hazardous to his health during said busy times!)
But, even I have my limits when it comes to piling stuff higher and deeper. When that moment comes, I call a Timeout, and do as much Studio Cleanup as fast as I can. On a lark, I took some photos and made a list of everything I put away in the space of 1 ½ hours.
Here’s the (unbelievably long) list of stuff piled on that work table…
- 1 Piping Hot zip bag from my friend Deb
- 1 turtle that holds the big pins for my Design Wall
- 3 rulers
- 1 X-acto knife — without the cover (accident waiting to happen)
- 2 rotary cutters
- 1 grip-n-grip mat
- 2 cutting mats
- 2 Silhouette cutting mats (one uncovered gathering dust and lint)
- 1 roll of freezer paper
- 1 tape measure
That was progress, but it was just on the first end of the table! There was more… lots more…
- 8 different masks and the associated cutouts for my Whole Cloth Collage course
- 1 bag of sewing supplies from a class I took 10 days ago
- painted velcro pieces I made for a Quilting Arts TV segment (100 years ago, perhaps?)
- 3 pads of palette paper
- yet another ruler
- various pens and markers
- 3 pieces of batik I’m using for a Whole Cloth Collage lesson
- Clay matrix and roller from my Clay Prints class with Zahava Sherez a couple of weeks ago
- Olfa Circle Cutter
- mechanical pencil
- a set of new rubbing plates from Roylco that I need to test with paintstiks and fabric (of course)
- a step stool that needs to be put away before I break my neck
- a pile of painted samples from my Whole Cloth Collage class
- a pile of painted sales from the Totally Textured class that need a permanent home
- a few painted samples that I THINK I want to doodle on with embroidery (maybe, someday…)
- samples from testing color combinations for a big project a Long, Long time ago.
No, I still wasn’t done, but I could see a whole lot more of the table top!
- An unfinished quilt that needs to go back into the closet for another day
- a stack of embroidered pieces I acquired during my last trip to Mexico
- 3 strips of shaped Frog Tape that I want to play with for a blog post
- 2 pins of embroidery thread that needs to be wrapped onto floss bobbins
- a stack of fabric for an unfinished challenge — that shall remain unfinished for a while
Mission accomplished! The only things left on the table top are for the lessons in my Whole Cloth Collage class. Woohoo!
I was on a roll, so I tackled the sewing island as well. After putting my machine back in the cabinet and re-stringing the cords, I had another pile of stuff that needed to be put away.
- a roll of masking tape
- 2 boxes of beading supplies
- packing tape
- super glue, and
- a spray bottle that belongs by the iron
And did I mention that I’m married to the most wonderful guy? Jack hauled out the vacuum cleaner and sucked up all the dust bunnies while I was off running errands. What a sweetie!
Alas, my studio will never be neat and tidy all the time. At least not in my lifetime. It will get piled higher and deeper again, and I’ll blow the whistle for another Studio Cleanup Timeout. (Sigh. Very heavy sigh.)
What’s the thing that makes you call a Timeout in your creative space? One too many things missing? No visible table space? Leave your confessions below. I promise I won’t tell a soul!
You struck a cord with the studio clean up…cut paper is my medium and I save every little scrap…it seems every time I throw one away….it’s always the last piece to the puzzle. I made a clean sweep of all the bits and pieces the other day and I realized how much it was weighting down my creative spirit….Now how to use those dust bunnies creatively ….mraz
Good for you, Mraz! I love your thought about how the extra stuff is weighing down your creative spirit. That’s it exactly.
By the way, skip the dust bunnies. Or at least don’t look at them under a microscope… yuck!
Shelly, you ROCK! I’m up for a studio re-org once the Collage class is done. I’ve never had dedicated studio space, and I’m taking over the basement foot by foot. lol As we progress with the class, I’m thinking how I want my studio space to look. I want yours, I think.:D
I have always coveted your cutting table/storage space. We’ll see….
Well thanks, Kathy! I love having a space of my own, and am totally spoiled in that I was able to build it the way I wanted it. For most of my life, that was not even a possibility. That 4×8 table is a blessing, but a mixed blessing. As you could see from the list, it can collect wayyyyyy too much junk before I cave in and clean it off. 😉
Dusty (Sandra) Huxford says
Way to go Shelly. I am in the process of moving my studio downstairs in my home. I will have more than twice the space I have now and hopefully get unburied at the same time. I recently retired and will now have more time for the creative side of my life. I am a quilter, beader, rubber stamper and stencil user. I am very interested in mixed media and art quilting, which will combine some of my interest. I have been receiving your newsletter for sometime and look forward to playing more with my paint sticks. Thanks for all your teaching and sharing. I look forwards hearing and learning more now that I have more time.
That’s fabulous, Dusty! It’s so exciting to move into a new creative space. Plus, the actual moving is a great time to sort through stuff and let go of things that no longer float your boat. I wish I had done more pruning when I moved into my space. It’s very intimidating to think about emptying bins and drawers and hidey-holes to sort stuff out. Easier to leave it hidden away — but not terribly helpful.