Last week I managed what some would consider an Heroic Effort and (mostly) cleaned my studio. I do not consider the effort heroic, because if I'd just clean it up each day, it wouldn't take a week!
That wide expanse of work table, clear and ready to create, is captivating, motivating, and thrilling. You'd think I would want to keep it that way, so I can create any time I want. Why don't I? That's probably a question best left to the professionals.
Perhaps it's this: each time I do The Overhaul, maybe once a quarter (optimistically), I rediscover all the different crafts, materials, and creative potential in that room. I can make so many things there! My mind spins circles with ideas. I actually dream about them at night. And all the projects shout; "Pick ME!" In this one 11 x 12 ft room, I have materials for;
Quilting: (I did cull a good many books, planning some basic quilts and throws for our new house.)
General sewing: (garments, house goods, pet gear, doll clothes, you name it)
Rug Hooking: (books, TWO strip cutters, hooks, background fabric and shoes boxes of worms)
Wool applique: (bins of wool, freezer paper, and four giant shoe boxes of pearl cotton)
Doll making: (of course) with bins of fabric, little hats, glasses, baskets, even limb joints I've never learned how to use. This includes material for cloth dolls with clay heads, mohair bears and critters, rag dolls with a giant bin of cotton stuffing, and another bin of poly stuffing. Wooden bits for jointed dolls (dowel rods and toy blocks and sticks--oh my!) Wigs, eyes, shoes. I even still have the cedar wood shavings my friend Sheri Farley sent me a decade ago because I loved my Sheri-made Tansy Butternut doll so much. Husband wouldn't quit smelling it--he's a fan of cedar.
Jewelry making: (and I don't even wear jewelry--but the dolls do, and daughters/friends)
Crochet: (knitting--someday) has recently added a great deal to the chaos with bins of yarn, and more than one loom for hats, socks, cords, and some long skinny loom, but I'm not sure what it's for.
Punch Needle: (with a small box of several sizes of needles and lots of embroidery hoops).
Hand Embroidery: (along with the pearl cotton, there is a rainbow of DMC).
Felting: A whole drawer with mohair for dolls and felting. What, exactly, am I going to felt?
Pin-cushion and Make Do supplies: I have this vision of tiny embroidered wool pin cushions, each in its own miniature tart pan. Yes, I have a basket of tiny tart pans. Also washed tuna and pea cans to make little sewing caddies for my Sewing Ladies who meet once a month. What about needle cases and scissors pockets?
Stencils: I usually free-hand most of my furniture painting, but I have a small collection of stencils that I am planning to use for the new house. Nothing big or busy, but yeah--stencils.
Wood Burning: Why? The last time I did any wood burning was eleven years ago when I did Celtic Knot Work patterns on our new cedar mail box post. (Drawn there, thank you, using stencils.) The post was beautiful, but why do I still have this???
Gourd Art: Try as I might, and I have tried, I can't get rid of the gourds. I put them in the Going to Sell Bin. I even put them in the Donate to Thrift bin. And each time I stole them out and put them back. Because the potential of them calls to me.
Painting, Painting, Painting: I could paint anything with the paint I have. From miniatures to houses. Furniture, walls, floors--even art canvases. Water color, Gouache, Oil, Acrylic, Chalk. Do you need something painted? Come to my house, and we'll get started. Want a particular finish or some antiquing? Ooh--how about glitter?
Sculpting: Of course. Creative paper clay has long been my favorite, so I have culled supplies down to that for sculpting. Except for a roll of cotton so (when I get to it) I can try spun cotton sculpting. Because, you know--sculpting! Only one set of sculpting tools, but I have armatures--foil, styrofoam balls, paper mache cones, you name it. Sanding materials, of course.
Clay Molds and Cookie Cutters: Don't forget those. Because you never know when you'll need to make an ornament. Or ten.
Stamping and card making: I gave away half the stamps and all the scrap booking stuff at least. But stamps are just so...clever and versatile!
I saw a bumper sticker that read; She Who Dies With The Most Fabric--Wins! But, when I do a quarterly clean and discover purse patterns I may never use, I have to doubt this is healthy. Seriously! I culled a good deal of material out of this room just this year! Minimalism reigns in the rest of the house now. But in the studio...is there such thing as Maximalism?
My bumper sticker would read; "Hello. My name is Jan, and I'm a craft supplies junky."
But I have a new pile after last week's overhaul. If you know anyone who wants to buy a wood burning tool, send 'em my way--otherwise it's going to charity. Really!