Today I will look for my indigo fabric; the two bundles of indigo that I bought at the Houston Quilt show when we were visiting Bailey last year.
It is in there. Where did I hide it? That is the question. I also want to get out my snowman quilt stuff and put it on the wall where I can see it.
And I can get rid of old yarn. I can get rid of old thread. I can get rid of old scissors that no longer work. I can get rid of clothes I will never finish. All this is prep work just to get in the room.
I have been telling myself that the only way to get stuff out is to use it up. This goes back to the ‘you can make that yourself’ ethos that I grew up with. Always the words I hear when I see something that I like, “Oh you can make that,” but there never was the space or time or materials, or lunch. And lately I realized I was expected to do all of this with no instruction, no help or guidance. Just conjure shit up.
So I recreate that container only it is the obverse. I have a room of art and craft supplies and it is so full that I have to use the time and energy that I do have to organize it to the point where I can use any of it. and this seems to be the case no matter how much space I have.
It is so ME to have either not enough or too much.
So I begin with a list of things or ways I can make the space useful and inviting. I need a bin for the rolls of paper patterns I have made. I need to clear off my desk – find a home for the thread rack and find some space for the bags of yarn on the floor.
There once was a room. Quite a nice room actually. It had a bed and a desk. the walls were ultramarine blue. There were lots of shelves loaded with books and knick knacks, and yarn and pictures – there were pictures everywhere -on the walls and in the shelves and leaning up against the shelves and walls, one rather large one wedged somewhat uncomfortably between the cubbies and the ubiquitous rolling cart from Ikea which was filled with knitting notions.
That very cart that alsohad the colorful beaded mobile dangling from it, left here by a friend. First I hung it by the front door, then off of a window frame, then off of the ubiquitous IKEA rolling cart full of knitting needles, crochet hooks, stitch markers and tape measures. Twinkly little bells and bright plastic beads tinkling and jangling every time I moved the cart in order to get to the yarn cubbies, well yarn and books and the pictures leaning against them,
So I have moved from that room. It is quite cluttered as you might have surmised. A lot of potential in all that stuff. If you can find what you need.
I went into the room with a notebook ( this one in fact ) and a pen, with the intention of making a list of what I need to do in there to make it less jangly, less impossible to navigate, to be able to work in there, if it can even be called work to fill one’s notebooks with page after page that no one ever reads.
There there, do not pity me. You are here, are you not? If “here” is any place where you are reading this page and nodding slightly when you identify with that hoarding quality that many artists share. Artists. I quail at that word. It is a badly fitting garment that calls attention to my flaws. It does not cover a multitude of sins. Thank you, Tennessee Williams for those words that I have often used, hoping desperately that who ever heard them would be literate enough to get the reference. Alas, I will never know.
Back to my notes about how I can improve the utility and grace of the room. For that is what I need. Both utility and grace to make me feel like I can create something worthy of your time. Perhaps to paint small watercolor as I gaze out the window at our sadly dysfunctional young apple tree that we planted in our garden a couple of years ago. I say dysfunctional because the fruit it bore was infested and inedible. It still delights me to look out and see it there. Especially in the spring, and maybe in the late summer when you can see the bumpy inedible orbs dangling from the boughs. I fear I am a hapless farmer– or not one at all. We would starve on a farm.
But back to the room. You see the problem, don’t you? It’s bad Feng Shui to have too many functions in one room. My expectations are unachievable. It cannot be storage closet, guest room, sewing atelier, and writing nook. And gallery, water color studio, and library – well you can see the problem. My hopes are too high. It is bound to disappoint.
But it does not. It can be all these things, but the one thing I need is a chair that is comfortable. I think I have hit upon the problem. Or maybe I am sitting on the problem.
We bought a respectably cheap bewheeled office chair from IKEA. It begins to roll down the slanted floor as you sit on it. Did I mention we have slanted floors? You almost have to use one hand to hold onto the table to keep yourself from rolling down the floor away from your work. It is hilarious, really, and if hilarity is your goal then so be it. Alas ( never use the word “Alas” more than once in an essay – it presumes too much.) Alas, my goal is to write things of a more serious nature.
This chair problem occurred to me as I sat in my little comfortably overstuffed room with my pen and notebook poised to take heed as I thought about or listened to what the ultramarine blue room needed. It never before had occurred to me that the only problem was the lack of a comfy chair.
Well done, little notebook. Well done.