There are diversions and then there are DIVERSIONS! Organizing can be one of those. I finished the BIG piece I’ve been working on and instead of leaping into something new, I got sidetracked with organizing. Organizing my work space, it’s pretty small so it takes some doing to spend more than a few hours on this one, organizing my threads, I’ve got a LOT of thread, so this one is easy to lose oneself for a day or two or week or month, and organizing my materials, again there’s a lot of stuff, some of which I use often, others not so much, still it’s a sink hole.
It all began with a YouTube video, doesn’t it always, though?
See that huge bag filled with thread winders? That’s only some of them. I did another video for my Patrons over on Patreon and had a little give-away. Five lucky patrons are receiving a nice package of those thread winders from me. I haven’t sent them yet, because I keep finding cleverly hidden stashes of OH, so that’s where those were! threads that I then rewind onto those large cardboard bobbins and put in those 16″ long plastic refrigerator shelves. It makes my life so much easier when I can see everything easily and quickly.
But now I’m nearing the end of my reorganization efforts, not that one is ever really done organizing, it’s like laundry, AND I have a lengthy to-do list that is calling to me as well, but the nagging thought that I need to start a new piece has been buzzing around making life feel a bit more fraught than usual. A friend of mine used to say that she was both the team of horses pulling the carriage AND was also the driver with the whip beating those horses on. It’s all a bit like that. Still there’s good that comes from it. Organizing makes me breathe easier, having a to-do list calms that voice that screams at me, and knowing I will not feel calmer until I begin a new project, propels me on.
It’s all good, as they say.
The stoics suggest that each day is best lived as though it were your last. But if I did that, I wouldn’t get all that much done, because I’d just spend every moment that they’d allow with my children and husband and cat. So yeah, there’s that.
Now I have some fabric kits for one of my upcoming workshops to pull together… did I mention those?
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I know, I know. You’re wondering if you stumbled upon the wrong blog. You’re thinking – what has she done? Where are all her beautiful threads that I so covet? What’s going on around here?
Never fear. My threads, and everything else hand stitching related, are all, somewhat, neatly stacked on the floor out of view and then not so neatly shoved into various corners, like just to the left of my sewing machine.
It kind of reminds me of Santorini where there’s one view that one can capture by photograph that is exquisite and magical and just beyond beautiful, like a fairy tale, really.
But then, if you turn just a little, you get a very different view where things aren’t quite so glistening and white, there’s garbage, the houses aren’t all pristine, and the land isn’t landscaped, but rugged and without flowers.
That’s what my studio looks like right now. There’s only one shot where everything is neat and tidy. Everything else is pretty haphazard.
The reason for all of this is that I’m taking a 2-day workshop with my friend, Pat Pauly, who is fabulous and a really wonderful teacher! I’m not much of a quilter, so this is definitely a stretch for me, but I love her work and she’s pretty terrific, so here I am, preparing for her workshop, which will begin in just a couple of hours.
Pat Pauly is also the one who sent me this piece of linen, which I’m working away on…
Someone commented on my Youtube channel about messiness, saying that she was happy my work area isn’t pristine as that would be intimidating. And it made me think about the various stages of messiness.
The gradient scale of messiness, because this is important.
1. Kind of “messy”, but it’s not a problem and anyway to my mind, this is actually incredibly neat. Everything has its place, I know where things are, it’s easy to work on my current project and all is well with the world.
2. Okay, okay, things are getting “messy” but really it’s all subjective and yes, I’m having trouble finding things, but nothing I can’t handle. Besides, I’m working here and a certain degree of messiness is to be expected and even necessary.
3. Messy is to some, what neat is to others, I tell myself, and I’m working and anyway I just grab whatever is easiest and closest and call it a “prompt”. However if I’m being honest it’s starting to be a problem and I can’t find things I want to use, though I will never admit this out loud.
4. The tipping point: things have gotten out of control. I know it, in my heart, but I still continue to work, despite the mess, because the work takes priority and anyway I know what happens once I start “cleaning” things up. Still this has gotten beyond “messy” and I’m spending more time looking for things than actually stitching.
5. Clearly something has to change. I can’t even find the piece I’m working on and so resolve to clean everything up… tomorrow.
6. A thorough cleaning is done. I carefully put things in places that seem reasonable and make sense to me at that moment. It’s all so neat and tidy, I hardly know where to start!
7. My work area is clear of everything but the piece I’m working on, only now I can’t find anything and spend hours looking for things that I knew were “just over there”.
8. Begin ripping the place apart in search of various much needed items.
Repeat steps 1-8.
You’ll be relieved to know I’m currently hovering at around a 3. Totally doable!
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Please browse and look at our patterns available. We also offer Workshops! ~Ariane