Monday, September 21, 2009

this just up: whimsy discovers A WHOLE OTHER ROOM in her house

This weekend I took part in the Somewhat Annual Great Whimsy Studio Clean-Up Tour.

As indicated, it doesn't take place on a regular basis, and I always feel sorry for that fact when I'm on this side of the Clean-Up. I love that room. It contains some of my best-loved things, reminders, remembrances, pictures, and teeny tiny objet d'art. It's a comfortable place. It's full of light, soft, and good-smelling (all Whimsy-approved, of course).

The cats hang out there most days. I, on the other hand, do not. Or at least, I haven't. Mostly because it hasn't been an Alice-friendly zone. Within Alice-height and sight have been razor blades and cutting tools, precious un-babyfriendly paper, and stacks and stacks of fabric only too ready for Alice hands to unfurl them in terrible piles.

Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

So this weekend I declared a Studio Clean-Up, my attempt to make the space more Alice-accommodating, and thus more Whimsy-accommodating. I'm happy with the results, though there's nothing like a picture to remind you of all the odds and ends that still need to find a home.

I give Chip a hard time about being squirrelly--- his great ability to hide bits and pieces of the odds and ends into the nooks and crannies that one cannot fathom. I've found highway maps behind desks and a particularly precious newspaper (not just an article, but the Whole. Darn. Thing.) tucked up behind a bookcase- is what I'm saying. Squirrelly. The man has a talent for it. It struck me late Saturday night when I was going through the ephemera that had gathered in a ceramic bowl--- that I am my own version of squirrelly. I gather these bits of life that tell the story of who I am and what's important to me, what strikes me as beautiful, and I hold them close in this room I love.

There's a line in The Time Traveler's Wife where Henry and Claire have moved into their first apartment. It is tiny and cramped, but Claire does what she can to continue to make art in the space. As time passes, her pieces get more intricate and detailed - and also smaller and smaller - hanging from the walls and ceiling, pushing Claire from one room into another, crowding her deep into herself. Henry realizes what's happening, the story Claire is trying to tell him: she is being crushed in this too-small space.

I think I do this sometimes: allow myself to be crowded out of my studio, the table piled high with half-done projects and things that need to be put away somewhere. And then I'm doing the sewing at the kitchen table and using the studio as an enlarged (and scary) closet. Months pass and the piles get higher and deeper, putting it all away becomes a project of Epic Proportions. The things I create become less focused, cobbled together with the items I can reach in the Studio Mess.

Then comes the day of the Great Studio Clean-Up. This time I vow to keep it more organized. This time I promise that I'm going to put things away when I'm done with them.

We'll see how it goes.

So, my peeps. Today is the last day to enter the drawing for the Sock Pod (deadline 5pm PST). Comment on this post and I'll do the Random Number Magic tonight - winner announced tomorrow!

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