Where do you do most of your needlework? Do you sit in a comfortable chair in your living room, stitching in front of the TV? A sunny corner next to a window? Outside in the garden?
There are lots of places I’d like to embroider, but in fact, there’s only one place where I really get a lot of needlework and associated tasks done, and that’s in my workroom. Sometimes, I call it a studio (by definition, it is – classes go on there, I do art-related work there); sometimes, I call it the garage. It really is a garage, but it’s revamped into a workroom and storage area.
My garage-gone-studio/workroom (there must be a way to combine those into a clever name) is not part of the house. It shares a joining wall on the back of the house, but I have to go outside to get into the place. While this may seem inconvenient, especially in inclement weather, it’s nice to be separated from the rest of the house. That way, when I do go to “work” out there, I actually feel as if I’m going somewhere to work!
(Why am I calling it work?! It’s fun!)
In case you haven’t seen it before, I thought I’d show you my workroom on a good day! I took most of these photos on Memorial Day at the beginning of this summer, when I cleaned up the workroom.
The size of the room is approximately the size of a single car garage, except along both long walls, there are 24″ deep floor-to-ceiling cabinets, making the center of the room about 5 feet narrower than a typical single-car garage. The little window you see in the photo above shares that west wall with a door, which is to the left out of the picture. In the middle of the room, I have a standard 6-foot table, where I do most of my work. Under the window, there’s another small table, where I stack stuff and where I usually have some kind of photography equipment set up for taking blog photos. It was all put away that day. I was feeling organized! (Briefly.)
It’s always a bad idea, by the way, to have extra little tables about the place, where you can “stack stuff.” These become “hot spots” where Disorganized Mess tends to accumulate. This box I just rummaged through, that stack of books, this bolt of fabric, these bags of thread…. I’ll put that away later… Not a good idea!
Looking east in the room, there’s a good-sized window, under which I have a drafting table, which ends up serving as a desk. It also serves as another place where I tend to stack stuff. (Did I mention this is a bad idea?) To the left of that table, is my ancient sewing machine, which I love to death. They don’t make them like they used to! To the right, you can see my ironing board and a step ladder. There’s a door farther to the right (out of the picture), on the south wall, right where it joins the east wall. This leads to the back yard and a walkway to the house. (There’s also a freezer on that south wall. But we’ll just keep that between you and me. I don’t really like telling people that I share my workroom with a freezer!)
With the exception of the freezer and door on the south wall, both the north and the south walls are made up of floor-to-ceiling cabinets full of shelves, where (incidentally) I stack stuff. The inside of the cabinets do have some organizational structure to them.
I keep needlework books & magazines all in one place, for example, loosely organized according to type.
It does not take long for things to get a bit cluttered. This is stuff I pulled out of the cabinets in order to make a decision on one aspect of one project.
When I was growing up, when Memorial Day weekend rolled around (heralding the summer vacation), or Labor Day Weekend regretfully arrived (ending the summer vacation!), we pretty much had one thing to look forward to on the holiday. While most people enjoyed a three-day respite from work, with beginning or end-of-summer bar-b-ques and whatnot, we …. cleaned the garage.
Old habits die hard. After a summer of working out in the garworkrudio, here it is, Labor Day. And what better way to celebrate than … to labor? Today, I’m doing it again – I’m cleaning the garage!
But I pretty much figure that work is what you make of it. When we were kids, one of my mom’s favorite statements was “Work is fun!” There was an age when I didn’t buy that, no matter how many times she said it. But as I got older and wiser, I realized what she really meant. Work is fun – if you make it fun. And this kind of work really IS fun!
So I’m going to go have some fun! I hope, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing today, you’re having fun, too!