Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mission: Managing the Dream Come True!

I have had a particular dream for many years. I dreamed of having a very large space in which to create all the craft desires of my heart. This room would be set up like a store or a kindergarten room, very organized, a place for everything, and stations to work on each particular craft idea so that supplies didn't get all mixed up with one another. There is a large, counter-high cutting table in the center of the room. Not only is the spot to cut fabric but a place where crafty friends and visitors can sit on stools and do projects together or have classes. The walls are filled with bookshelves and cubbies housing books, fabric, yarns, embroidery supplies, and work spaces for gift wrapping, scrapbooking and paper art, beading, painting, etc. A long table would be offset in the place just right for a couple sewing machines and room to manipulate the fabrics and house sewing supplies underneath.

Sounds good and a little bit over the top, huh? Well, it turns out that dream space came true nearly five years ago this week. We were looking for a home that housed an apartment for our family and my grandmother to live in together. We had been searching for a while and were just about to visit an architect to work on plans, when someone from church brought us a flyer of a home in his neighborhood that sounded like just what we were looking for. It was. Within a week, we had a contact on the house and then moved in the first of April 2003.

My husband, children, and I have the main floor, which is very roomy. My grandmother had the two-bedroom apartment on the bottom floor with a nice front door, foyer, full kitchen, bath, laundry, and her own driveway. That's the bottom corner above. However, the most lush part of the house was the "basement" area that was the rest of the bottom floor - my craft studio! I was thrilled. An affordable opportunity to have it all!

Anyway, for five years off and on now, I have worked on organizing my studio and had my husband build these fabulous shelves as specified by a seamstress in a sewing magazine a couple of years ago. I fold all the fabric in a particular way, and it looks beautiful - Just like the t-shirt display at the Gap. I can keep that pretty much organized because there is a plan.

However, the rest is a crazy jumble due to a harried lifestyle this last year, and now I am in the process of moving sections around. Another reason all is not put together is it seemed too vain to spend to much time or money on this area when there was landscaping to do, which is in the final stages, just beautification needed this spring, appliances to buy, my grandmother's apartment to make perfect in decor style for her, children's needs, plus I have to work, and there have been about 20 - yes, 20, I believe - hospitalizations and procedures for my husband, grandmother, and son over the past four years. It was an intense time ending in my generally healthy and hip grandmother passing away in October 2007 from a totally surprising bout of cancer.

Okay, back to the future now. I have the location, the equipment, the ideas, a handy husband, about a million magazines for ideas, and I am so stuck. I don't know how to get started. I feel like I keep pushing everything around. The time has come, though, when this isn't a selfish idea anymore. I'm actually building a business with my sewing and embroidery and I have come to a crossroads of use it or lose it. So, I'm diving in. I think all I really need is a plan of configuration. Putting it together and staying relatively organized will be easier for me once it is all in place. I wish a magazine editor or organization show would want to use me for an example! I've turned in some pictures before, but I might have to try it again.

Now, as a bonus, I have decided to make the front room of the apartment a studio office where I can greet clients, design on the computer, and show off my finished products. This is the room I want to make look like
Alicia's studio or even Creative Little Daisy's room (I mean to e-mail them regarding color choices).

This is my grandmother's library, office, and scrapbooking room. She has tons of supplies I must go through. It's a mess right now because I'm moving books in and taking other things out. Remember my idea above of wanting to set up the craft room like a store? Well, I heard about a "fixture" company - a company that sells store displays and fixtures both used and new - that just recently bought out a failed scrapbook store, so I went by, and look what I put together!

This is me - 20 years older than the last post! along with my baby, Jip.

This grid station has all kinds of things you can hang on it, and I know you recognize this from paper stores. So, I have start with this. I have some paper shelving, some baskets, and some shelf holders on which I can put wooden shelves. I figure this can hold the paper, supplies, and the many untouched albums there are. This way, everything won't be shoved in a box and forgotten and squished. I can display it nicely, check out what I might use or other family may like to have, and then carefully store what can be sold or given away. You should check out a used fixture company in your area, as it might be a great solution for your craft supply storage, too.

Some neater areas of the upper house: The front sitting room and the dining room.

The lesson to this story is that dreams do come true, but one must then work hard to keep worthy and deserving of having it. I need to organize and maintain all this while working my transcription business, helping with landscape decisions, decorating the upstairs (hardwood floors or carpets? / laminate or granite countertops? / tile or Pergo? / fireplace mantle / occasional chairs and new couch? / finally paint the kids' rooms / re-do the bathrooms), pay attention to the kids, continue outside activities. However, I think this should be more manageable now because it is just material things and the business of everyday life. With all the previous health issues now at a lull and the importance of caring for another person through her last years now complete, I need to calm down and enjoy the process. I just don't know how. I have had offers from friends to help paint and decorate, so I am going to be taking them up on the offer. I wanted to have a clean place for them to get started on, however, I think I will have to humble myself and just ask for help in every way, even the cleaning, of this great project. That is the most lovely part of my dream come true, though. Not only do I have the space I have dreamed of since a girl but wonderful friends and family to share it with.


oliver rain said...

It's so much fun to have your own workspace. Good luck with the organizing and designing. I'll look forward to seeing your work. I still have to post your beautiful apron on my blog. I was admiring it again yesterday. Are you joining the summer swap?

Also, I tagged you for a meme. Have a look at my blog for details.

Erna said...

Wow that's a lot of work to do.. remember : 'a journey of a thousand miles, starts with the first step!' (sorry forgot who said this) but once you're started....that's the most difficult thing about it I think how to start! good luck :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new work space! I know how hard it is to relax and enjoy the process. I am going through the same thing! As we fix up the home we purchased 6 months ago I've been taking photos along the way so I can see that yes, I am actually making progress! The photos enable me to savor that a bit more.
Oh, and your front sitting room is just the most delightful color!

Michelle Frae Cummings said...

wow, what a amazing spav=ce and great job on keeping your dream alive!

Sheree said...

What a great space, Michele! And lots of gorgeous fabric too!