This here is my backyard studio. We’ll be holding our first workshop in it this Thursday, January 22nd. This studio is the reason I bought (and overpaid for) this house. I’m going to be honest… this is the most amazing the studio has ever looked. Because it’s the most of the studio that I’ve ever been able to physically see. I think I can speak for the entire nation when I confess to having too much ridiculous shit. And all of my ridiculous shit lived in this studio, rendering it completely useless as the space it was intended to be. When we bought the house, I imagined having craft time with my (then non-existent) babies every day, double doors open to the back yard, breeze ruffling our hair, birds chirping in the background while we snacked on homemade kale chips. Sensing a trend here? Had I been at all in touch with reality, I could have taken a look at the “guest room/office” in the rental we occupied and gotten a glimpse into my actual future. What’s the quote about past behavior serving as a fairly accurate measure of future outcomes, or something? Anyway, my disastrous pig tendencies in my “workspaces” were likely not going to be remedied just because the house I was about to inhabit was legitimately mine. And, they weren’t. Same ca-ca, different channel. So I resigned to tripping over bags of pigeon feed (another subject for another post) and cascading piles of untouched fabric and notions on the way to the washer and dryer on laundry days, and did a very good job ignoring the fact that I was letting my dreams die on the vine.
Sometimes the things we do to pay the mortgage on our dream house don’t exactly align with our dream life. And so, I went to my stupid job every day (I’ll just be real here – I don’t think anyone at my old job could have confused my working there as a conscious career choice), and tried to manage dinner on most days, and collapsed on the couch with a beer and crap TV absolutely every night (guaranteed). And the studio was used for little projects once in a while, where I would get up the gumption to clear out a space and make room enough to get something productive done. For a minute, I even managed to keep the floors swept enough to host a couple craft nights with my best friends. Then I got pregnant back-to-back with Children 1 & 2. Time passed, and babies grew out of infancy and into phases that involved chewing actual food and being more portable for people who aren’t me to take them places that are away from my house. I came up for air about 3 months ago, and my focus fell once again on the studio. I knew that something had to be done to reclaim a little bit of the dream.
About 80% of the nonsense had to go. Among the perhaps thousands of pounds of things sold or donated or schlepped to locations undisclosed were:
- A grip of jewelry making supplies – because I’m over beading. Beading can suck it.
- About 40lbs of fabric, in colors exclusively to the left of yellow on the spectrum
- At least a dozen cans of spray paint, again, in red only
- A quarter package each of literally every color ever made of original Sculpey (if you don’t know what this is, you just aren’t hardcore)
- The coolest vintage wood-trimmed, black vinyl-topped card table ever. That one hurt.
- A ton of circa 1998 re-issue My Melody swag
- A particleboard bookcase I’ve owned since I was 4
- A corpse-sized bin of duck decoys (Mr. Dude, your sacrifices don’t go unnoticed)
- A bin labeled “Dress Up Clothes.” From before I had children.
- A LOT of old blankets and sheets. Apparently, I have a problem letting go of anything that qualifies as a textile.
- Every baby-themed gift bag issued for purchase in the United States between June of 2011 and November of 2013
I’ll just give it to you straight: getting the studio to this modest state took 6 weeks of logistical planning, a 6-hour yard sale, an intervention from a friend, sideways glances from my mother, a serious network of child wranglers, the looming deadline of the soap workshop, and more hours invested in Craigslist than I’d care to admit. It’s not palatial, it’s not state-of-the-art, it’s not even what I’d call adequately sized. But it’s my dream. And it’s mine again. The babes and I had craft time in here yesterday, doors open to the yard, breeze and all that (except for the kale chips – can’t peak too soon, you know?)… and it was freaking amazing.
I’ll face the storage unit down the alley next week. Anyone interested in a dollhouse?