Friday, September 30, 2011

Letting It All Hang Out -- Creativity is Messy!

The wonderful thing about a blog is that you can frame your world any way you want.  On my blog I can be smart, clever, creative, tidy, witty, young, and happy all the time.  I only have to show what I want to show.  I get to put whatever spin I want on whatever I show.  I get to play God (a little).

The happy corollary to that principle is that, in figuring out what I want to show and what I want say about things and who I want to be on the blog, I usually end up influencing my life for the better.  The process of living the dream of writing a blog and being the person in the blog transports me into really living the dream every time I write a post.  Just thinking about writing a post is usually beneficial in itself.  It's all a very healthy process that has greatly enriched my experience of my life.  It's magical to wake up in the morning with a blog post in my head.  Sometimes I go through life framing things in terms of blog posts -- which is a also blessing!

The bad thing about blogging is that, sometimes, a blog can, inadvertently, make other people feel bad about themselves.  For example, I almost exclusively show photos of clean spaces.  Some people think their houses pale in comparison to my (feigned) tidiness.  Unless you peer into the background on some of the in-process shots, you might think that I live in the magazine house that I want desperately to live in but can never seem to achieve.  The truth is, I hurl all sorts of junk out of the way before I take most of my photos!  There!  I said it!

I've recently gotten hooked on Pinterest (  If you you're the creative sort and you haven't checked it out  you're missing out!  On Pinterest are many photos of fantasy craft rooms.  Perfect, neat, tidy, colorful, glorious craft rooms.  Positively dreamy.  Here's a sample:

I am very lucky to have a craft room.  I call it my "project room".  I designed it myself.  I love it.  It has many of the elements of the "perfect" craft rooms.  It has a huge closet lined with shelves, a big worktable, cubbies, cabinets and shelves galore, double and quadruple French doors, display shelves over the doors, a workspace for my sewing machine, and it's own little patio and garden area.  Plus it's crammed with historical artifacts from my life and family.  It's a good day when I get to play in there!

I've wanted to post a piece on my project room for weeks now.  Except I can never get it clean enough.  I'll make some progress and then I'll get into a project (or twelve!) and the room gets strewn with stuff on top of the stuff that was there already.  And the walls are only partially painted.  And I haven't painted the faux bricks on the floor yet.  And I just recently finished painting the French doors and the trim -- a task I started a  horrifying NINE years ago!  And then I started the flea market booth and now I make even more messes than before!

Soooo... in the interest of being real and unintimidating, I've decided to just show it to you the way it is.  If I ever get it cleaned up and perfect, I'll post photos and you can be happy for my accomplishment.  In the meantime, and at the risk of making myself look like a total slob and positively shabby in comparison to the Pinterest craft rooms, here is a photo tour of my playroom -- with abundant evidence of play!
Cabinets, cubbies, and projects in progress (for example, the green frame awaiting it's fabric center).

The fabric that will be in the green frame.
I adore my sage cabinets and the vintage barkcloth
 (on the right - that's been in the family since it was new)
that curtains off the area under my sewing machine.

My work table and a bit of a view of the windows. 
Drawers for gifts and wrapping supplies under the table. 
Cubby for knitting yarn bottom left. 
In the far corner (out of sight, unfortunately) is the off-white velvet armchair
that was in my mother's room when I was a baby.  I love having it.

The worktable is made from two sets of cubbies
(free from the curb after someone tore them out of their closet)
with a counter on top (repurposed from elsewhere in the house)
 that still needs a bit of trim.

My sewing space. 
Lower cabinets are stock cabinets just set in place with a counter laid on top of them. 
Upper shelves are just cheap shelving units from Walmart. 
All are painted sage green to unify them.
Above is my collection of vintage chenille for making baby quilts.
They are on a vintage store fixture that was used for displaying men's shirts --
but I always think of it as a vintage pie shelf! 
Love my french doors! 
The stained glass window is just hanging there for safe storage -- but I love getting to look at it! 
The blackboard on the right was always in my grandmother's laundry room during my childhood. 

My  "Yellow Stuff".  An accumulation of history (from left) my childhood sewing basket, my high school/college sewing basket, my mother's sewing basket, my grandparents' ice chopper, fun juice glass and foil/wrap dispenser, my Aunt Margaret's treat tin, my grandmother's flour tin, my ex-father-in-law's chicken plate, plus a few miscellaneous acquisitions to the right. 

The right half of the glorious closet.  Pretty close to being labelled-bin-heaven once again with just a bit of tidying!

I hope you feel all tidy by comparison now.  And now I must go dream of achieving perfection while I clean my project room to reclaim my pride.


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