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Needlework Work Ethic

You have a great many irons in the fire. How do you manage to get your needlework done? You have shown pictures of your work room. Do you always go there to do needlework? Do you keep music playing or a TV on while in that room? Do you do needlework at night?

In my situation, I have to put everything away every 2 weeks. I then find it takes me a great while to get around to getting it all back out again. During that time, no needlework gets done.

Also, I have been looking for an effective floor lamp for doing needlework. Do you have any recommendations? I have a good table lamp, but thought I might accomplish more if I weren't limited to working where the table is.
Pauline H
Joined: 1/16/2012 9:19 am
Posts: 2

Re: Needlework Work Ethic

Hi, Pauline -

Let's see if I can cover everything...!

Yes, I always work in my workroom, except for the occasional "casual" or "fun" project. These are usually very simple projects - maybe towels or household linens or a simple monogram project or something like that. They're the type of projects that can be stored in one bag with everything I need to complete it, and grabbed at a moment's notice. I can keep the "clutter" they create contained in one package. But other than those, all my projects are worked in my workroom, where I have supplies and tools on hand and can spread out on a worktable.

My workroom is not what most people would call a "cozy" environment, but it is completely functional, isolated (so I don't get interrupted as often when I'm working), sunny, and it looks out on two wooded areas that have lots of birds and wildlife muddling about. It's warm in the winter and cool in the summer, clean, and, except when I'm kitting projects up, it's generally neat and roomy enough, so I think it's a great environment for the type of work I do. I love my workroom!

I'm not a TV watcher, but I listen to music and audio books, or sometimes, I just work in silence. It's a good time to think and to be calm.

Yes, I do needlework at night - mostly late afternoon and early evening, though. Later in the evening (and on Saturdays for a chunk of time), I write website content, edit photos, and stuff like that.

I try to get in 3 hours a day of stitching (doesn't always happen, but I still try!). Four days a week right now (and sometimes a little longer on the weekend), I concentrate on the Medallion project (a commission piece). One day a week, I use that time to concentrate on a "website" project (something I want to develop specifically to provide instruction & content on Needle 'n Thread - though I do use the Medallion in the same way), taking photos and notes for articles. And one day a week, I use the time to concentrate on future projects and idea development. I'm flexible, though - so sometimes I spend more time, and sometimes, I spend less time, because life has its demands.

For a light, I use an old "Ultralux" floor lamp. The new version of that is the BlueMax (HD full spectrum) lamp. I haven't tried the new version yet, but I'm saving for one right now. What I like about the Ultralux (and the BlueMax has the same feature) is that not only does it have a steady light (no flicker) and not only is it very bright, but it also has the capability of dimming, which is nice (you can't dim Ott lights and other "craft" lamps). I don't always need the highest setting, so I like having control over the brightness. In addition to the floor lamp, I have a tabletop Ott light and a portable Ott light, both of which get used when I'm teaching a class in my workroom. But my preference is the old Ultralux floor lamp. It was $2 at a thrift store, because the bulb didn't work - I bought a replacement bulb for $25, and have been using the light for years now with great satisfaction!

If you have to put everything away every two weeks, is it possible to keep out at least a "little" project that can be contained in a small bag, that you can dabble with? I find if I can contain everything I need for a fun project in one bag, I'm more likely to take it out and get some stitching done on it, even when I can't get to a big project or drag out a big mess.

Whew. I hope that answers some questions! :-)

Joined: 6/1/2011 9:45 am
Posts: 437
Location: Kansas
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Re: Needlework Work Ethic

Thank you, Mary. That was a lot of good information. I see that I really need to carve out a bit of space where things can be left out--not easy the way my house is laid out (a very open floor plan), but maybe I can use the guest bedroom. The problem with putting things away regularly is that I lose enthusiasm for working on the project. It becomes an out of sight, out of mind kind of thing.

I really like the idea of audio books. I find that if a TV is on near me (and one is always on in my house as my husband is retired), that I am easily distracted by it.

I'm gone a lot during the day which means I often work on needlework in the evenings. Lighting in the evenings has been a big problem for me. I end up working at the dining table with a portable OTT light--hence the need to be constantly putting things away. I thought I wanted a magnifying floor lamp, but after reading through all the comments here, I'm seriously considering a BlueMax floor lamp instead.

Thank you for all your input and for this wonderful website. You do an outstanding job and are very much appreciated. Everyone I have told about your site loves it and we all look forward to each days newsletter.
Pauline H
Joined: 1/16/2012 9:19 am
Posts: 2