Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Darn! I Could Have Had a V8!

Again... I have come to the realization that I need to be creative and have fun daily. When I take the time for non-work-related creativity, I'm more...

  • Happy
  • Productive
  • Energetic
  • Satisfied
  • Sociable
  • Emotionally/Spiritually Healthy

I can't count the number of times I've had to relearn this lesson. It is so easy to get caught up in the business of responsibilities that never get finished but must be done. I fall into the trap of progressing from one boring, have-to-do task to another. It's depressing and frustrating and makes life bleak. I end up seeking pleasure in unhealthy ways that never really satisfy.

Then one day I will create something in visual art and the time flies by. I am totally immersed in the creating, visualizing and imagining. The end results really don't matter; all of a sudden I feel better. It's like that commercial of the person drinking the soda, pausing, then hitting the palm of their hand on their forehead while exclaiming, "I could have had a V8!" Each time this happens in my life, I tell myself that I shouldn't/couldn't/wouldn't forget this lesson ever again. But then weeks, months or even years later, I find myself back in the same dark hole.

If I'm really honest with myself, I have to admit I sabotaged these experiences in my life. Creating was not easy, fast or convenient in my home. I would schedule myself in overload. Plus, my art supplies were stored all over the house - in my office, in my husband's office, in the guestroom closet, in the sewing room upstairs, in the storage room, the in attic - everywhere. When I would finally find time to work on something I would have to gather the supplies (trying first to remember IF I actually owned them and then where they were stored) and then live with the cluttered and disorganized kitchen or dining room while the project progressed. I couldn't have on-going projects and feel organized.

I decided to do something drastic. Besides ease of access, a physical daily reminder was needed. I (with the help of my willing and talented husband) dismantled our formal living room (pictured above) - sold all the furniture, tore up the carpet, installed wooden floors, ordered new furniture, and moved my sewing, knitting, crochet, bookbinding, painting, drawing, journaling, sculpting and collage supplies into one place. It's still not completely finished even after nine months of planning and work but I now have a wonderful space in which to create. I can walk away from and return to projects on a moment's notice. The space encourages me to be there and create, and my supplies call my name.  #CMC11

You can see my workspace is well used
in this first photo.

Only half of the material has
 made it to the studio.

This is the cart that sits beside my stool where I work.

Space for quilting & fiber art.

I love my flat files from Martha Stewart. I need something
large on the wall over them but not sure what it will be yet.

I used thin CD/DVD shelving from Ikea to
fill in small spaces and to store fat quarters
and small items.

I've tried to label everything.

All my art books, magazines & handmade
books are here along with an extra chair for
guests who come to play.

My puppies join me in the studio. There's a place
for them under the island so they don't get
stepped on.

The last photo. You can see my yarn in bins in the side
of the island.


  1. What beautiful new studio, Nancy! I think you need a new painting to go on the wall above those flat files!

  2. FABULOUS! I've heard the talk, now you are living the walk! It's beautiful. You are ready for the magazine photos for the article you should be writing. LOL

  3. Can I move in??? lol Looks GREAT! I only wish I could be that organized. One day, when the kids are out of the house!! LOL

  4. Would love to create with you in your studio!! Can I bring a sleeping bag? It really is lovely what you did with your space! I love it!

  5. first comment failed for some reason - but it's easy to remember what I said:

    I think that space on the wall is SCREAMING for an original Nancy work of art that reminds you DAILY of exactly why you need to make/take time to be creative!!!

    Love your space...the room is so open and inviting and makes me want to visit and spend time crafting with you!

  6. First, keep blogging! You have so much to share, and it requires you to grow.

    You created this studio. creative space. We can craft anywhere. Creating art (no matter what the medium) cries for it's own space.

    I bet you will find that when people walk into your studio, they will feel your creative energy splattering everywhere and know it is 'your' space.


  7. Nancy... I'm so in awe of your space! It is wonderful! I think many of us struggle with the knowing and forgetting that we need to be creative-- that creating centers our souls and gives us peace. I'm so glad that you've made it something that reminds you every day of your talents and desires!

  8. WOW! I am taking the MOOCer and happened to pass by your blog which I enjoyed reading btw! keep up the good work :)


  9. What a marvelous space for your creative climate! Thanks so much for posting the photos and your thoughts on the transformation ... I am inspired.

    We are looking forward to seeing some of the creations that spring forth and hope you will share your visions (and the results).

  10. WOW! This is a super cool art space!
    Much fun in it!

  11. Thanks for looking at it, Rita. It is a dream-come-true for me.

  12. fabulous and wonderful. I'm glad you finally decided to have that V-8! I know that I often end up feeling the same way. Creating my separate space helped, but I still need a slap upside the head now and then to remind myself that I love to be in the studio!

  13. Nancy, this post makes me so extremely happy for you. Looks like heaven to have a studio as that. Kudos to your husband for his support. HAPPY CREATING!!

  14. Thank you, Barb. I never could have made this wonderful art haven without him. He has tried to convince me to do this for years. I never saw myself as an artist, just a crafter and dabbler, so I didn't think I deserved a room for my art.

  15. Hellooooooooooo you are an ARTIST!!!!! Love!!!!

  16. What a wonderful room. You have space for everything and room to spread out. We should all have a place this great. Happy arting and sewing.

  17. Shari, thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. You're so right! Everyone should have space for their passions! :)

  18. Your room is delightful. I had no idea you lived in Oregon...where? I grew up in Oregon, moved to So. Calif, moved back to Oregon, we just moved back to So. Calif for good two years ago. We had dreams of moving to Bend at one time.I'm so glad you are sharing what you are doing in your other classes! I'm putting you in my Google Reader so I dont miss anything.

    1. Thanks! I live about 30 minutes east of Roseburg (up the Umpqua River). It's about 4 hours to Bend over the mountains. I would love all the sunshine in southern CA. I get really hungry for sunshine in Oregon this time of year.