Tag Archives: studio

My Own Magnificent Clutter

IMG_1124Thank you for all the bed bug wisdom and sympathy! I deleted a few things here and have moved on to my own mess. The bed bug professionals are up in Salem today, taking care of business and my sister is here visiting. It’s a beautiful fall day.

You might be shocked to know that this disarray of fabric is AFTER giving away about 25 LARGE bags of fabric over the course of the last two years. Furthermore, the picture above shows only three of six shelves. Further, there are seven dressers with their drawers full and bins on the floor!!

IMG_1125This is to the right of the picture above. That glorious paper shelving was a garbage pick. Over the years I have found so many wonderful things on the curb, but this bed bug event of my sister’s may have forever changed my view on that, sad to say.
IMG_1126These shelves were thrown up the week we moved in as temporary storage. They’ve been useful for twenty plus years. But I had K remove these two so that I could move in a dresser from the garage. This killed two birds with one tiger saw — making more space in the basement AND the garage.

  All empty!!! When did less start to feel so good?
  There is the ‘after’ shot. Not a huge “TA DA!”, but something.Enjoy the day! I plan to.This book will occupy some of my morning. Pad and paper the rest. We are going back to 1744 – the year of Eliza’s marriage to Charles Pinckney. Hmmmm, I wonder what she wore…

techno bumps

DONE – FIXED.  So, I couldn’t post the little felt disk photo that I took with my phone a little while ago right from flickr, which is what I wanted to do — Instead, here is a picture of a tray from the basement, which I shot a few days ago.

Our basement is currently riddled with mice, and my general tolerance for the critters has been worn away.  This winter has been characterized by finding their nests and food stores in so many of my fabric bins, that even I am a little grossed out (we have been killing three-four-five a week with traps).  At least the dog food now lives in a mouse-proof bin, so that they aren’t busy transporting those nuggets into little caches all over my studio.

Even WITH my tolerance at an all time low, I see this dead baby and wince.  What killed it, I wonder?  How can I throw it out?  Even as it begins to stink, I can’t bring myself to dispose of the tiny body, curled into death… so vulnerable, so small!

Idiosyncratic sorting

Lest people get the wrong idea from yesterday’s discussion on mess, let me clarify.  I sort my fabric.  It is not heaped in any old way.

I have big bins sorted by color (eg. yellow, pales, blues, greens) and others that capture fabric types (eg. linen, upholstery, denim, gauze/nets/tulle) (actually a lot of my tulle and years-worth of collected onion-bag-netting live in a plastic, huge former pretzel jar).  I also maintain smaller boxes labeled by subject matter, such as:

** small geometrics;
** tropical prints (mostly palm leaf shapes, which I adore);
** creatures;
** farm (chickens, sunflowers, cheery ginghams);
** WIPs (currently I have a small suitcase for Global Warming fabrics; a basket for Ghost House);
** I Spy (prints with subjects suitable for children’s blankets – things like lighthouses, trains, frogs, maps, chopsticks).

To name a few.  Then there are drawers.  In March of 2010, my studio flooded with four inches of water and I used the ‘opportunity’ to buy six IKEA dressers, replacing saw horse supports with STORAGE, and also inserting a couple under the table where previously there had only been laundry bins.  Drawers are ALSO sorted, some by fabric type, others by how fabric was recently used, for example:

** Shirts — even though these could be sorted by color bin, I find it easiest to find them if they have their own drawer;
** Half-assembled little ‘sketch quilts’ along with landscape prints (you know, like the Capri pants with scenes of Paris?);
** Plaids and ticking;
** Felt scraps (actually there are TWO drawers of these and three large under-table bins)
** Silk scraps;
** Christmas fabrics (and two drawers of finished Christmas pillows);
** Christmas photo-transfers waiting for inclusion in a project;
** Sheers and gauze and PFD silk;
** Doll stuff.

To name a few.  And then there are the laundry bins.  Here’s where things can get a little out of control.  Laundry bins generally become catch-alls, in part because they are the links between upstairs/downstairs and stuff gets piled in.  I have a bin for batting (and a milk crate for batting scraps); another bin full of large pieces of upholstery fabric; another bin with recently-used or about-to-be-used teaching supplies.  But then there are at least four more that should be gone through.

Precious scraps generally live in clementine boxes, which I love because they can be stacked like Lincoln Logs, and transport easily for an upstairs sewing session.  I also spray painted the sides of some tray-like boxes from Costco, and labeled them.  What’s in these trays doesn’t necessarily correspond to their labels anymore, but they hold things like strips cut for string quilting or binding; pressed scraps; fabric with words printed on them.  I like ‘trays’ because they can be slid into the shelving above a fabric bin.

I just went to the cellar to take some pictures and I have to say – it is TIME to put some effort into sorting (again!).  Wow.

But here’s progress – I finally took the time (less than five minutes) to learn how to single space on wordpress between hard returns!!  Yes, progress.  (Part of why I wanted to make a few lists here).