Some of you might remember the plans I had for a studio above the barn when we first moved here. It was a matter of time and budget (and a baby on the way!) that we didn't do it right away. But as time went on and that space began to be used by the kids, I wondered whether it was the right place for me after all. I so love that they have a space all their own, a space to play loud music and be alone or gather with friends and, as the case may be, build an indoor skating ramp/music studio. I love that. We all do. And so, instead of my studio above the barn, I began to dream about a yurt tucked back just a ways into the woods. We marked out a spot and sought out a yurt, and I started daydreaming about that little studio yurt in the woods with a wood stove and peace and quiet. And then construction began rather quickly on an addition on the house for Gram. By the time that was done, my thoughts had shifted from yurt to tiny house, something a bit more permanent than a yurt. We found the plans. Staked out the space once again. Sourced lumber.
And in the meantime, and as time has a way of doing, more than four years have come and gone. Those four years I've spent working in this "temporary" studio of mine - in the front of the house, at the bottom of the stairs, just across from the kids' library. And somewhere along the way, in the past six months or so, it slowly started to dawn on me that I don't want to go anywhere else to work. That while a cozy cabin in the woods would be far away from family and quiet.....it would also be far away from family and quiet! These children of mine are growing older, and with that comes a level of understanding for the work that Mama does, and the respect for a closed door. For the most part, that's really honored here. And now that they are older and we find them doing much of their own work at the same time that I am doing my own, I truly appreciate (most of the time) the interruptions as we share our days. "Mom, I'm forgetting how to adjust white balance, can you help?" says Calvin. Or "Do you have any green bulky yarn, Mama?" will come from Adelaide. I pause what I'm doing, we chat, we work on something together, and then we all get back to it. Parallel play, I guess you could call it. All of that - one of the greatest joys of the way that I work at home - would be lost if I were to go even 500 feet out the back door.
Add to that the cost of building (and wiring and plumbing), and the reality that all of these children of mine will likely not always be living in this house, and it's rather large enough as it is without adding any more square footage to heat and take care of when someday there may be far fewer than eight living here....and well, I had myself a turn of mind. Maybe here, where I've been all along, is just where I should be working. Aha! What a delightful moment it was when I realized that. Relief! Peace! I was able then to look at this space entirely differently - a bathroom, a hundred and fifty square feet of my own, and a lock on the door for when I absolutely need no interruptions. Everything I need! Right here! And with that in mind, everything looked different. I began to look at the space from scratch, so to speak. Without the "temporary" furniture and bits and pieces that we threw in here to begin with just to 'make do'. But instead imagining and day dreaming just what we could create that would perfectly suit the needs of my work. And with my new found confidence in building things with wood, well my goodness, it seemed like the possibilities were endless!
A new rug, a new chair, some milk paint, and two new tables. Alongside clearing out a whole lot of this and that that just wasn't needed or used anymore. For the desk table, I built Ana White's Vanessa's X Picnic Table. Easy peasy, made in pine, and finished with Vermont Natural Coatings. Next to it, I painted over my old sewing table with white milk paint (from Miss Mustard Seed) to give myself a little more room for laying out papers and magazine proofs and all that kind of thing. And my work table - ah! Steve built that for me from the plans for Michaela's Kitchen Island, though we made quite a few modifications to make it larger and more suited for my needs. It has drawers. Drawers! And deep deep shelving for storage. Oh gosh, I love it so.
And really that was all it took. Moving things around just a bit. Creating a more open space in the middle, along with a chair for rug hooking and spinning, helps enormously. I feel like I have so much more room to move around and do the things I do in my studio now. And plenty of room for company too, for I really do love my visitors.
It's funny how plans change and evolve as they do sometimes, isn't it? I thought we were headed in one direction with all of this, circled all around our options, and ended up exactly where I am with what I already have. I kind of love that. I love that it worked out that way. I love the work that I do, and goodness you know I love my family. What a privilege and a joy to keep the two together.
Oh, I can't wait to see what gets made in this space in 2015!