Studio Disasters


My sewing and crafting space is a wreck. I’m not talking about the I-just-finished-the-most-awesome-baby-quilt-and-I-have-the-scraps-and-magazine-clippings-and-random-threads-everywhere-to-prove-it kind of mess. I’m talking about an unholy, untenable disaster wherein I can barely enter the room and certainly cannot work. And most sad of all — it will be this way for several more weeks.

Temporary storage

Dear husband got whipped up into a Green Frenzy a few weeks ago when we got a bill from our energy company that showed we were using slightly more energy than our neighbors. My reaction? Meh. We have central air conditioning and they don’t. My son and I are home all day and need to run the air all day when it’s 96 degrees day after day. The neighbors work and only turn on their window units between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. Of course we are using more energy.

Husband’s reaction? We must have an energy audit immediately! We must find out why we are so greedy and wasteful! We must reduce our bill to be more in line with everyone else! This is an amusing reversal of roles. I have a Master’s Degree in Environmental Journalism from the 1990s, when we all celebrated the anniversary of Earth Day with festivals, organized the first ever plastic milk jug recycling event, and refused to take jobs at advertising agencies that promoted disposable diapers. I didn’t own a car or a television for several years there, until I moved in with him. But I digress. As I usually do.

Now, I can get behind the energy audit, and I can get behind spending some (more) money on improving the leaky windows and doors and installing more insulation in the attic. However, what I am not terribly excited about is that the scuttlehole to the attic is in the closet in my craft room. The access to two three kneewalls is, again, in my craft room. This means, the brunt of the energy updates will take place in MY space.

I tried to smile and play nice. I took the opportunity to buy some organizing shelves and containers, and I dutifully sorted each and every item in my room. I gave away loads of old fabrics, patterns, yarns and books. I threw away useless tearsheets of dresses I thought I would sew in 2004. I folded all my fat quarters into perfect squares to fit in sweet baskets upon my new, shiny shelf units. I removed every last thing I could out of the closet and piled it up in the craft room. Husband even hung an old bedsheet in the closet to protect the remaining items.

Then the energy auditor came. He moved the ceiling tile aside and crawled in the attic. He performed some bizarre blower test that resulted in a wind tunnel through my closet. He closely inspected the strange window in the closet. He was not impressed. The results: we need to double the amount of insulation in the attic and kneewalls. We need to replace the window in the closet. We need to tear the walls of the closet out entirely, cover the openings to the kneewalls, replace the closet walls, and caulk around every crack and crevice that remains.

These shelves must come down. The walls behind them too.

Doing this will require me to completely empty the closet and take down the shelving system that I just installed one year ago. (I have the scar to prove it.) It will also require me to take down my desk “system” in the craft room itself, which consists of kitchen cabinets that have been sawed down to the correct height and a 6-foot countertop. The cabinets are loaded with, yes, you guessed it, all the sewing supplies I just diligently moved there during the organization. Mother of God.

Desk system covering kneewall + sweet baskets of fat quarters

I am going to have to suck it up and unload it all, take it all down, and move it all temporarily until this job is done. In the meantime, there will be no sewing. There will be no ironing. There will be no scrapbooking. It’s going to be a long month. I just hope we can schedule it sooner than later. Good thing I never bothered to clean up after the audit was done. I’m at least 1/3 of the way there.

Initial organizing efforts. Note the portal to hell.

And to end on a cheerful note, today for Self-Stitched September, I wore my peacock peasant top New Look 6179 and my trusty Target capri jeans.



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