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Decluttering: Studio Progress

Through this whole decluttering process, my beautiful studio became a dumping ground for all things that fell into the “art supplies” category. In my house, that’s a large category: candle-making supplies, misc. soap stuff, yarn, looms, wool, markers, fabric, paint. Anything that didn’t go in the kid’s art supplies got tossed in my studio to be sorted all at the same time.

Getting through it all was a huge job. It has taken multiple passes through my little 8 x 15 sun room, but over the last few days, I have made major progress.

Here’s the Before:

The other side of my studio, filled with badly stacked boxes, leaving just enough room for my bike and indoor trainer.
The other side of my studio, filled with badly stacked boxes, leaving just enough room for my bike and indoor trainer.

One whole side of the room was covered in boxes and the bike trainer was set up in here, taking up the rest of the floor space. I couldn’t get to my sewing table because of the bike, and my desk got so covered up in stuff that didn’t belong anywhere else, that there was no using that either.

Here’s what it looks like now:

From the doorway, a place to spin
From the doorway, a place to spin (and mint from the garden tied to the ceiling fan to dry)

How I Cut My Art Supplies in Half

  • Paired down my yarn so it would fit into my large set of rubbermaid drawers and put that in the closet. This still leaves me with TONS of yarn. I’m a little afraid I’ll never knit it all.
  • Paired down knitting needles, sewing notions, weaving supplies and shipping materials so that they fit in one of the smaller set of rubbermaid drawers. That fit in the closet also.
  • Also in the closet are my Ashford SampleIt! loom and my homemade Inkle loom, my Foldio.
  • Sorted through all of my WIPs and frogged the ones I was never going to complete and rewound the yarn
  • Organized my spinning fiber and accessories into two baskets. If I can see it, I am more likely to spin it.
  • There is a third set of small rubbermaid drawers in the corner where the iron is living. Inside are candle making supplies and a few misc. packaging and shipping supplies like raffia and tissue paper that didn’t really fit anywhere else.
  • Threw out any paints, ink, or markers that were old and dried out.

Getting rid of any art supplies is an emotional journey. To admit that I was never going to use some old, crusty fabric paint again was a hard decision. And trying to part with spinning fiber? Gut-wrenching. But in the end, I only kept the things I really loved and actually saw myself using in the near future.

 

The Sewing and Art Table
The Sewing and Art Table

I contemplated putting the sewing machine away and making this into a soaping table, but I came to the conclusion that this room is too small to house everything, though that would be fun to do someday! There are a few projects that could contribute to my soap business where I could take advantage of the sewing machine and the printing supplies. Little draw string bags with my logo on them maybe?

The desk
The desk

I’m still using my old Luke’s Diner table as my desk. I love the clean white work space. It’s perfect for spreading out with notebooks and devices, and when I keep it clean, it’s easy to clear off and use as a daytime photo backdrop. In fact, the green bowl in the lower right hand corner of the has a pile of stuff waiting for me to photograph.

Not pictured is a wire wrack next to the desk stuffed with notebooks and business guides and my file folders. I’d like to get a bookshelf for that eventually, but right now we’re working with what we’ve got.

I’m so excited to have this room in working order again. It’s lined on three side with windows, and has beautiful natural light. I hope to spend plenty of time in here over the next few months as I get my soap business off the ground and continue writing.

My next project for this room is decorate it. I found a photographer on etsy, and I’d love to cover my walls with her work.

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I am Beat or Acknowledging How Much Time You Put in To Your Craft Business

I am swamped at my day job. I am the kind of busy where I am days behind on all of my projects, I accomplishing my daily tasks at an almost feverish pace, and my office is a mess because cleaning stuff up as I go takes too long. (I realize I will likely have to spend two hours cleaning it at the end of the month, but it will be two hours well-spent, let me tell you.) Then I grab the kiddo from school and try to give him my full attention til dinnertime, and then it’s back to work on Tiny Dino Studios.

While I am sure I have mentioned it before, I am trying to spend as much time on my yarn business as I do on my day job. It’s a lot easier to quantify the day job as 30 hours a week, because I am scheduled to be there. This yarn thing is another story. When a so-called hobby overlaps so closely with work, it can sometimes be difficult to draw the line between work and play. I think about it this way: if I am knitting a sock for myself out of yarn I dyed, that is not work. If I am photographing pictures of said sock and yarn for the blog, that is work. If I am designing a sock, any time I touch it anything to do with it, it’s work. I have never quite reached 30 hours a week yet, I am averaging closer to 20. Since I never seem to make it 30, I always feel like I am not doing enough. I could always be doing more, and I feel guilty for taking some time off.

This is stupid, and I am trying to stop.

I have a pretty full schedule most of the time. Yesterday, for instance was day job from 8-3, doing yarny work on my lunch break, picking Athrun up from school, Athrun time for two hours, Athrun off to his dad’s so I can go write at the coffee shop for an hour and a half and then I spent two hours teaching a knitting class. Then home for a glass of wine and bed.

It’s no wonder I’m tired today. In 13 hours, I had a two hour break with my kiddo–and while writing and knitting classes are all totally and completely fun for me to do, they are still work.

Today, I feel like sitting on the sofa and doing nothing–but I have put in 6 hours of day job and 3 1/2 hours of knitting job so far, and I feel like I should keep going. To admit that I just don’t have it in me is a battle I don’t usually win. Normally when I feel like this, I tell myself I am going to relax and do something not work related after dinner, I get through an hour before I start to feel lazy and pick up something work related to do.

The thing is, I have no reason to feel guilty or lazy.

So tonight, I am going to revel in my non-working, and congratulate myself on everything I have accomplished over the last couple of days. (And eat some damn ice cream.)