Friday, August 11, 2017

Thursday thoughts and a tad bit of wishful Wednesday

in which our plucky heroine cogitates about home improvement...

It is great good fortune to have more cubic than just the minimum, and I never stop being grateful. Years of living in one small space makes it a challenge to figure out how to create larger spaces that function well. Acorn Cottage has several rooms, and the small bedroom is used for textile storage and as a guest space, and sometimes as a sewing space, which was the intended use of that room in the first place. But I don't really like being in there, or sewing in there, and end up setting up to sew in the workroom, or on the dining table, instead. So I've been spending time this week just thinking about the space:

The lighting in the room is okay for a guest space, and not very good for a work space. To be a good work space it would need more lighting overall, and also better task lighting. What it has now is one overhead light, and one wee next to the bed lamp.

There is no real room in there for anything other than the futon couch/bed. However, I can sit comfortably on it, and the folding sewing tables are a good height to use when sitting there. The other tasks of sewing (laying out fabric for cutting, and using an ironing board) need to happen in a different, larger, room, usually the workroom, which has a big worktable with adjustable height, and plenty of outlets to plug in the iron, and good lighting.

The guest/textile room has only one window. It also feels very messy to me all the time, even when it is "cleaned up". This is sort of claustrophobic. The rooms I LIKE to spend time in have windows on two walls, and are not closed in. I really disliked my workroom when it had only one window, and it felt entirely different and much more welcoming when I was finally able to put in two small windows on another wall as well.

So... here is what I came up with for my vision for that room... What is a more appealing space for me: Less stuff on the walls, and what is on the walls less visually cluttered. High windows on the east wall and a built in wall fan. A plain bright overhead light fixture. Walls painted light grey, with decoration near the ceiling. There is a shelf lined with neat canvas box totes for WIP's, There is enough fabric, but not too much, in categories according to future use. The sewing tools are organised and accessible. The notions are organised and accessible. The room is full of guidance and inspiration. Nothing is obstructed. There is beauty.

Some of this I can do, without needing additional resource. Some of this I can do with minimal additional resources. Some of this needs more than I can access currently.

What I can do now is:

to begin and ongoing pull, cull, and sort the fabric I have. I don't need more storage areas, I have plenty of space, but I have more in it that is not useful to me that can be culled. I can sort fabric into "what is this for" rather than what is this similar to, and decide on an upper limit of how much of each to keep.

I can find a nice plain light fixture and remove and replace the useless ceiling fan. (I could do this in my bedroom too. I hate ceiling fans, they are terrible dust catchers and don't work well)

I can remove things from the walls that are not being used but just stored there, and decide what if any of that to keep, and what to discard.

I can sort and cull the notions, and once I have a sense of how much I want to keep and what it is, I can choose or create organised storage for them. (boxes, or bins, or a small chest of drawers?)

I can locate and sort all the sewing tools, and once I have a sense of how much I want to keep and what it is, I can choose or create organised storage for them. (pegs on the wall. magnet strips, bins?)

I can paint the walls, once I can clear each wall in turn.

I can use some of my fabric to make sturdy box totes for projects. 8x10x10 would fit neatly on the shelves I already have.

The only part of what I envision that I cannot do myself or with the resources I have now is to add windows and a wall fan to the room...but I can do a lot to make it better, with what I can do


  1. You have a nice talent for envisioning beauty and the practical planning to achieve it. Along with your planning for guest/sewing room improvements, your European style metalworking bench is a fine example of combining good engineering and grace. I'm not an engineer,but that desk looks both appealing and very user-friendly. And your sewing shows the same skills - good construction with unique decorative trims. You set such a good example.

    1. Aw thanks Dot... I get frustrated at how long it takes to change things up. Need to remember that if I don't make a start, then nothing ever changes!

  2. It is useful to me to use cardboard to make mock-ups of what I want. At one time I collected matching-size cardboard boxes from a nearby liquor store, trimmed them to the size I wanted, and used them to categorize and store fabrics and other things.

    It can be so hard to part with things I collected over the years, even after I remind myself that at one time I didn't have those things and was just fine.