Posted in Knitting
May 18, 2009

Daily surroundings

In taking a photo of my ‘studio’ space for Vickie Howell’s upcoming book, I was torn. Do I go for honesty, or pretty pretty? See, I have 3 main spaces in which I work. There’s

a. the couch (90% of the time),
b. at Stitch Cleveland, my studio-away-from-home (8% of the time) and
c. my “real” studio, which is in the basement and which accounts for 2% of my time, usually the “where can I cram this so it isn’t sitting in the dining room” type of time instead of proper work.

Come on, I’m usually knitting or writing something on the laptop — couch wins, bigtime.

So I was thinking about the nature of creativity, and how our overall surroundings influence us more than just our workspaces ever do. (Yes, these are the kinds of awake-at-5:00 a.m. conversations I have with myself). Our house contains 2 artsy people and 3 beasts (1 dachshund, 2 black cats). There are books and supplies related to our various passions EVERYWHERE. I won’t show you all of the dining room, which is currently under siege from bagsfull of couch-pillow-making supplies, but just some of the things I see while I’m working every day are in this new set on Flickr, annotated with notes.

And for the curious, here’s the living room where it all comes together… slipcovers in the laundry, half-finished Amy Butler fabric-covered pillows and all…

Admission: I do not sew as well as I knit. But, I could not resist the Martha Negley coleus print fabric below and started work on a giant quilt with it (just do it — this from the person who learned to spin by ordering a wheel and buying a fleece). I also have mermaid and sushi print Heather Ross fabric coming, and now…bad me, I have discovered a dangerous Etsy shop: susiecraft. She has tasty Kaffe Fassett bundles (we carry predominantly Amy Butler at Stitch Cleveland, so…). Now quilt #3 is coming together in my ridiculously color-addicted head.

Quilts are addictive since you can throw a million colors at one and if you have good color sense (which I do), it comes out gorgeous. This book is the hyper-enabler of all wannabe quilters. If only I didn’t find changing the bobbin on my sewing machine such a pain…while we’re ‘fessing up, might as well be honest.

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  • RacineDKringle

    You have a leopard throw!!!

    Completely. Awesome!!

    (Go for *honesty* for your workspace photo, for sure. Because when you see a staged photo of a ‘studio’ that’s neat, tidy, with no dust or animal fur, you feel the eyes start to ROLllll because creativity almost always breeds a little chaos in the surroundings!!)

    Reply to RacineDKringle
  • Felix

    You know how much I love The Reality. Here’s why:

    Go for honesty; nobody who is genuinely creative will actually care about whether or not your workspace is tidy and anyone who is inhibited in their creativity will only be intimidated by ‘perfect’ photos of ‘perfect’ workspaces. Nothing is an enemy to the imagination like the idea that you don’t come up to scratch and I think that’s where the ‘look at my perfect studio’ idea really falls down; it just isn’t permissive and celebratory about the realities of making stuff. Making is messy; the more honesty we have about that, the more we can all relax and get on with the fun part: the making, and the less energy we can waste on wondering if our workspace/our skills/our ideas, come up to scratch.

    Reply to Felix
  • claire

    I am in exactly the same boat as you – 90% (or more) time spent on couch, unfortunately for my poor back and two creative people working from home – my house is more studio than home and it looks it. Incidently, my basement is yarn storage (me) studio light storage (him) and no spare space to pretend it is for anything else!
    In IC went half honest – I tidied up the living room to look like I spent less time on the couch (thought it would somehow make me look more organised) and chucked all the junk by the desk so it became my main workspace – but the couch is just next to the desk so still made it into the picture!!

    Reply to claire

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