Monday, 17 June 2013

Look, a free workspace!

Nowadays I mostly work with needle and thread, which can be done in the comfort of a bed or sofa or pretty much anywhere it's cozy and relatively cat free. That means I don't need a designated workplace like when working with e.g. metal, but I still do like to work with metal sometimes. It's a nice contrast, moving from embroidery floss and tiny beads to metal and other techniques that demand the use of tools in a way working with needle and thread doesn't.

So a workspace is important and I have to luxury to have one, or even two, in a room just for creating. For a long time, my sis had filled it with stuff she didn't have time to organize so it was hard even to try to get through the door. Nagging didn't work and I sure as hell wasn't going to clean up her mess. Well, now she has tidied up which means I can access my workspace without being frustrated by all the crap she filled the floor with. Which also meant I could see my workspace and the state it was in and had been in for more than half a year.

There's a fine line between creative chaos and clutter. Creative chaos is great: it means surrounding yourself with and emerging yourself in all your lovely supplies. Inspiring colours, shapes, textures and perhaps even scents. It's not supertidy, but it's more or less organized though it might not look like it for an outsider. It can also make you feel productive as it shows that things are happening here. But it can grow into the complete opposite. It can become clutter and clutter removes energy where the creative chaos can infuse you with it. Clutter hide things instead of letting you see them, even if they still are right in front of you. And the longer you let clutter grow, the worse it get as it is easy to abandon the workspace or find it hopeless to even start to untangle the mess.

So while I don't think clutter is the reason I've felt uncreative for a long time, it does add to the situation and this weekend I felt ready to do something about it. A long work day on Saturday gave me a boost of energy (yes, I do believe in the positive effects of exercise an manual labour, letting the body work invigorates both body and brain so not being very physically active, a day of farm labour can recharge my batteries even if it makes me physically tired). And on Sunday I managed to tidy up quite a bit, which also included sorting beads -- a great way to be inspired by colours and rediscovering beads you've forgot you had or put aside for projects that never were realised.

No before photos, but I can tell it looked worse than in these photos (the second set -- the first one's from when the room was new). That's more before crossing the clutter line. Just before, but still not too bad. No, nothing like it's been lately with more or less no free space at all, which is particularly bad if you want to solder or do any kind of metalwork. Either you end up setting something on fire or all the lightweight stuff you put away on the table bounces off it as you try to texture some pendants. So this is a huge improvement. Still need to put away the paint tubes and jars and sort a few things -- and thing of a better way to organize my tools or at least get a bigger box for them there on the table -- but there's open table space now. Places to work. I don't remember the table being that big! So much space!

Also tidied up the beading table (which once had nothing more than a tablecloth and fruit bowl on it so it could be used for boardgames, eating at and just generally invite friends to join). For some reason my half of the table has gotten smaller while my sis' side has enlarged... Not going to fight over it, though. At least not until I need that extra decimetre. That's her organized mess you can see beyond my paper plate, black box filled with pearls and the beading wire tower.

I didn't choose those vinyl tablecloths -- but free is not to frown upon.

Now the only thing remaining is getting more bead storage so I can't empty that cardboard box I call a bead box (sadly my chosen bead storing system is really expensive, but now that I began using it I want to keep it uniform) and finally decide to destash the culled beads. Some are nice enough to swap or give to someone, others are either very basic or a tad boring to gift someone with. Unsure about whether to sell the former or keep it for swaps and bead soup parties. It's useful to have a "swap stash" when you can't always buy new things, but it could also equal money to buy beads I want more.

But that's for another day. Now there's space to breathe and work and that should be enjoyed now instead of filling the head with new things to feel guilty about not having done. You must have time to enjoy the things you do, not just see the things still not done because there'll always be things to do, things you keep feeling you ought to do and feel bad about not having done yet.

And, no, I haven't forgot it's a meowy monday today. Coming soon!


Update: I reorganized the tools too. That part did look kind of messy in the first pic. I found a tray to put some of them in and just kept the hammers in the original "tool box". Also took out the knives and scissors from a box and added them to the tray. And tidied up the plier holder (which I also use for scissors etc).

Plus I removed jewellery from half of the shelves on the left side wall and filled them with paints, media, inks and glues instead so I now have them closer to me -- and I can see them all: I'd forgotten a few of those paint bottles...

Uhm, the paint is from when I painted the seaside pendant. As it's just acrylics, which are easy to remove, I haven't bothered to clean it up yet. Will do it next time I need the workspace instead. The pieces of blue tape are left from one time when I needed to measure something I think. Also something I haven't bothered to remove as they're A) easy to get off at any time and B) they don't bother me -- not until I show a pic of the worktable for everyone to see...

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