Monday, November 18, 2013

My space to create

I’ve been busy putting together a space to create visual art.
I already have a writing space. In a room off our den, I have my desk, computer, scanner and printer set up, and that’s where I write and process photos. It’s where I’ll do my editing work.
I’m not a visual artist, so why do I need a space to create such art?
A wonderful thing happened over the last several months, even longer. I read a lot of blogs. A lot of you create art and crafts and do so beautifully. I love seeing what you have created, and I admire and appreciate you sharing your work.
It has inspired me. And deep inside, that part of me that has always wanted to create with paint and paper and other art supplies woke up after a long nap.
I’ve never had any confidence in my artistic ability. I’ve taken only one art class in my life. I figured I had no gift for it, so why bother?
I’ve done some work with collages, but it was hit and miss. I had fun, but again, lack of confidence made me think I was wasting my time.
I’ve thought about my relationship with words. I love words. I love putting them together, working with them on paper or on the screen, making them fit together to mean something.
I rarely sit down and write something exactly the way I want it to sound. I nearly always have to work over it.
I’ve practiced writing for most of my life. With practice, it has gotten better.
And I love the process. I don’t worry if I can’t get the words down just right immediately. I trust in the process. I trust that the right words, the right order, will come.
I’ve learned that the creating process itself is just as important, sometimes more important, than the finished product.
So why not apply that same attitude toward visual art?
I decided I wanted to try. I had been browsing through a book I have about collages, and I wanted to go deeper.
I also decided that I needed a designated space for it.
Larry has a workshop in a building behind our house. He has all his tools and his workbench out there. He creates things with wood. He loves being in his workshop.
I already had sort of a space in the basement, but it had gradually gathered other stuff on top and around it.
So I rearranged, dusted, swept and cleaned. It was hard for me to get started. My OCD didn’t want to face the task of cleaning. I was afraid I would turn it into a compulsive ritual. But I did just fine.
And I made myself a studio. Here are the results.

These two drawer units hold my sewing, cross stitch, crochet and jewelry making supplies.

On the left is a sewing box/basket that I received when I was a little girl. On the right is a needlework bag that my mother made when I was a little girl.

On the left is my basket of embroidery thread. On the right is a bag that I usually use for cross stitch projects.

Over the years, I’ve collected leftover thread from various projects in this basket. I love seeing all the colors available.

The round table is my main work area. I’ve had this table for about 25 years. I bought it from a friend in Bowling Green, Ohio, as she was preparing to move. I think I paid about $10 for it. It has withstood many moves. The surface withstands just about everything I do to it.

On top of the work table, I have a vase that I filled with beads. I love the different colors in the clear container. Next to it is a measuring tape that a friend gave me. It has a cat on the front. When you pull the tail, you find that it’s the end of the tape measure.

In this photo, you can see my sewing machine covered up. Next to it are two drawer units on wheels where I keep my art supplies—paint, clay, colored pens, colored pencils, stickers, and paper—lots of paper. On the far right is a bookcase where I keep my art and craft books, including books on crochet, needlework and making mandalas. I can roll out the unit next to it to reach the books. On top of the bookcase is a photo of Larry and some keepsakes.

This is a container that holds my adhesives, including my glue gun.

This container holds my cutting tools and my paint brushes. In the front left side, in front of the brushes, you can see a little box with a collage on top. A friend made it and gave it to me many years ago.

This vase that holds the brushes is one that my mother made in ceramics class. It’s dated February 1970.

I’m keeping my small collection of buttons in this blue and white dish that a friend gave to me years ago.

I have a camp table that I bought when I was health educator and needed something to carry with me to health fairs. It’s now a place where I can cut material or paper. The basket/tray on top is where I’m keeping my templates and fragile papers until I find a container for them. I’m also keeping my rulers and cutting board on this table.

So thus ends my tour. I’m excited about working in this space.
Next step? Organizing my writing workspace the way I want it. I’m continuing to work towards my freelance editing business. I have an appointment with our CPA this week to talk taxes.

Do you have a space where you do whatever work you’re passionate about?


  1. Thanks for the tour of your creative space, Tina. You sure have all the supplies and have it organized so nicely. I hope you have much enjoyment there.

  2. How lovely to see your creative I space, Tina! Everything is organized so well! Since the things that I am passionate about involve taking my walks (taking photos with my camera and walking in nature), I don't really have a set space for them, but I love to read and I mostly read while sitting on my sofa. :)

  3. I love how u have so many tools, supplies, containers that hold a personal meaning. Looks like an awesome space!

  4. Great spaces and so well organized, very impressive Tina! I have my computer room & a painting/craft room-but I tend to move about with my hobbies so loose things, mess other areas up I need more self discipline mostly because I don't mind a mess lying about until the day it really bothers me then I tidy, if I stayed in my space I'd not be constantly loosing things nor being embarrassed when company drops in.

  5. Oh Tina surrounded by all those special memento's from the ones you love are going to inspire. I love your Moms vase.I love your creative space Tina and I cannot wait to see what it inspires. Hug B

  6. How exciting that you have a creative space to call your own. I really love your mom's vase - so pretty! And the cat tape measure is very unique!

  7. That is a lovely space to be creative in. I hope it brings you many hours of pleasure, and results in beautiful artistic projects!

  8. Good for you, Tina! I love how you are combining your workspace with good storage (essential), things that are special to you and fairy lights! I believe everyone needs a space of their own to create whatever it is they love, or simply to "be" and I'm glad you claimed yours. I do have a space that is combo writing office and art room (although right now it has too much stuff in it and I am working on the organizational scheme!). When I am doing messy art, I put things on a tray or in a basket and head to the kitchen and dining area where the table is bigger and the sink is handy! But I try hard to get everything back in its place. Right now I'm in purging mode, but this too will pass. I'm hoping to post some pix in the new year!

  9. I am envious of your space...all of my craft supplies are stuffed here and there...I really need to get organized!

  10. Good for you. I hope you enjoy many collage and craft projects there. My studio sprawls between two full rooms!

  11. that's awesome. i love how you have keepsakes all around you. the vase your mother made is most special!

  12. What a cozy, wonderful space you've created with lots of meaningful things surrounding you. Good luck as you get started!

  13. LOVE your space... most especially the paint brushes...

  14. The question is, will your space stay neat and organized? My sewing area is a wreck right now...I usually straighten up between projects, but didn't this time. But I keep thinking I am going to take the time to do something, yet I go down and start sewing.

  15. I smiled the whole time I read this post Tina. What a lovely space you created and I am very proud of you for proceeding with doing something that is fun for you. I have a sewing space in our hobby room which is directly across from the space where my husband works on his hobby which is rod building. I love the space because if I have an hour or so I can just pop in and sew and don't have to take the time to set my machine and ironing board and everything up. My husband is messier than I am and it is funny because my side is very neat and organized and his side is cluttered. At least I can laugh about it. I will never be an accomplished seamstress but I enjoy sewing and that is all that matters. Just like you enjoy looking at the colors of your threads in the basket, I love looking at my fabrics and I have a bag of buttons that give me delight. When I travel out of the country I always look for interesting buttons (and rocks too by the way) and bring them home.. My husband always teases me because he says he doesn't know anyone else who would keep room in their suitcase open to bring rocks home. Krystallynn

  16. You Space is a Total Work of Art - I look forward to reading more of this ongoing story . . .
    Super impressive=YOU!

  17. what a nice little space you have all for yourself...i love the things from when you were little and that little kitty tape measurer is so whimsical! i also like the little string of tiny lights...those little lights always make me happy :)

  18. oooohhhh tina, i love it!!

    just today, i went to michaels and bought a ton of orgainizing supplies for a little spot i am fixing up. all the supplies were 40% off, i got sooooooo excited.

    i can "feel" creative changes in your blog. it's funny, it's not a "thing" it's just a feeling!!

  19. What are you going to create first?

  20. I need to get some inspiration from you. My sewing room used to be organized but has dissolved into a true quagmire. You did a great job getting organized!! And the heck with confidence! Have at it and post your stuff on here so we can see what you're up to.

  21. What a lovely space to create your art Tina! I love it, and i hope you share some of your creations with us! You'll have such fun! I'm happy for you that you'll be letting your creative side show more. :). This is such an inspiring post, and i'm learning a lesson from it!

  22. You go, girl! I love the way you have surrounded yourself with items that bring up memories or remind you of close relationships.

    In the living room, I write and have a knitting basket (so I can take my knitting downstairs in the evening. In the front bedroom, I have a sewing machine, fabric, and a set of drawers for needles, thread, etc. Downstairs, tucked away in a small room, I have my yarn stash. And, of course, in front of the TV downstairs I do my knitting in the evening. Oh, yes, in the corner of that room is my spinning wheel and fiber. Help! It's taking over the house!

  23. Just last night I was thinking about trying cross stitch again. You have inspired me!

  24. wow, looks like a great place to play around - & let that creative mind take over. i have a space ... but would enjoy adding more tidbits here & there for sure. ( :

  25. Tina, this is just great! Look how you've organized everything and have all that space in which to create. Isn't it inspiring? I really like how you incorporated the special things you've been given over the years, like the sewing basket, bag and vase from your mother, and the little blue and white button dish from your friend. It just feels so good to see things you love all around you as you work. I do finally have my own space to create, and I enjoy it so much. Have fun, Tina!

  26. How I wish I was as organized and had some space to spread out -- most everything I do is done on the dining room table which is why it's always covered with my stuff. :)

  27. Love seeing your spaces, Tina. I too have a visual arts itch I want to scratch. Now that my memoir is written, I want to take painting and photography classes.

  28. Love your space! My writing space is the same as my sewing space, although the only thing that gets done anymore is writing. :)

  29. It looks like you are ready to do just about anything your heart desires. I can't wait to see what you turn out.
    I have a room set aside for sewing and scrapbooking.... oh yes, bill paying. Is that an art? I do believe that it is.

  30. It's so true the way you describe the writing process and your willingness to work at it, yet not seeing visual art the same way. This looks like a wonderful space to explore and create and have fun with your creativity in a different art form. Enjoy!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.