Thursday, March 11, 2010

What a Mess!

crime scene

Photo by Ian Britton

I didn’t really make any New Year’s resolutions this year, but if I had, one would have been to keep my studio neat and tidy all the time. And in the tradition of New Year’s resolutions, that resolution would be broken (many times) by now. I just don’t think it’s possible…keeping my studio neat as a pin all the time, that is.

It is neat some of the time, but this is what happens. It looks so inviting, all orderly and organized, that I go in to admire my surroundings. There is a sofa bed in there for when we have extra house guests, or it gets too hot in the summer to sleep upstairs.

So I stretch out on the sofa bed and look at my barkcloth which is in easy view of where I am. I start thinking how one particular barkcloth might go well with a certain lining fabric, and the so and so buttons would look great too. Before I know it I am laying fabric out on the sofa bed, ironing board, work table, or any other clear spot, and pulling out buttons and patterns. Then I might grab my sketch book and do a quick drawing of an idea to see if I think it might work or not.

By this time I’m getting really excited about the new bag I want to make and I have to clear a spot for the cutting out process. Then there is the rummaging through the thread to find the right color, turning on the iron and all the other details I must attend to-all the while shifting piles of stuff around the room as I go so that I can work.

Once I do start sewing, bits of thread and fabric are flung everywhere as I snip and trim. And yes, there are two trash cans in the room, but never in the right place at the right time.

The solution is obvious-clean up, and put away as I go. Put about 25 trash cans around the room. Try not to start a project until every work area is ready for action. And clean up right away when I finish something.

One of my most embarrassing moments (and one that should have spurred me into making the resolution to keep my studio clean) happened one evening when a friend of mine showed up unannounced with a friend of hers. They’d heard about my bags and wanted to come see them. I was horrified! My friend is an easy going woman, but the friend she brought along was very prim and proper and I can still see her standing precariously on one leg among the mess on the floor-trying to pull off a wad of packing tape that was stuck to the bottom of her shoe (I’d sold a bag and had all of my packing stuff out too!)

I do eventually clean my room up…and once again it looks soooo inviting to be in…and well, now you know where that leads!


  1. This is so funny Valerie! I have just tidied my workroom today, and I am just like you, I don't even know I am making a mess, it just goes the same way. I start getting things out to look at. Oooh, what would that fabric look like with it? oooh and that one, etc. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly I can make a mess! The trouble is that once it is tidy again, we just have to get something out, and it all happens again! Suzie xxx

  2. Classic post! I can SO relate. Sometimes when I am finished with a project, it looks like a hurricane blew through.

    Don't you find those hundreds of little strings that fray off the raw edge of the barkcloth so annoying? My vacuum really gets punishment with those!!