An empire of small spaces.

I’ve moved from my studio this week, so it’s all been rather busy. I had quite a lot of stuff there; it was a large space. I don’t have huge stocks of fabric, but do have a lot of work in progress.

At least at home I will not be accumulating so much wip, but I have been working hard moving furniture and shelves back into the house from the garage, to accommodate my materials. This is good as I like to use what we already own, although I do admit to the purchase of a plan chest, which seems to be taking quite a while to arrive, from an educational supply company. I imagine them sitting in their office, having a good long think before despatching each ordered item. I’m hoping this will swallow much work, paper, and bondawebbed fabric.

So although the title suggests I intend to take over the house, this isn’t actually the case, although I do have a work presence in most rooms, excepting the loo and my daughter’s bedroom. I must admit that a couple of years ago I had had a studio for 2 years and fully intended give it up and work at home again, but wasn’t ready. So I hired another space for 2 years, but this time round have no doubts about where I want to be. All that wip has been good too, as I am just working away at it, without having to start new work; one thing at a time, but see below, all plans have to be flexible…

I have a good space in our small but light knocked through conservatory, I’ve made a messy paint/print area in the garage, the wee box room has new [old] shelves and a cleared desk for drawing, the plan chest is going in the bay window of the bedroom, and when that is done, things will mostly be sorted. I’ve always done the hand stitching in the living room, so that seems to me to be a good use of a house! The family are happy; I thought they may disturb me, you know, when I was having great artistic thoughts, but I like people around these days, and the noise I make when I’m machine stitching is more likely disturb them. It’s great not to commute, and of course, not to pay the rent.

The’ new’ conservatory studio.

It’s no longer this tidy, however.

We’ve had this cupboard for 34 years, it’s been in and out of the garage like a yo yo.

A good space to be, a view of the garden, rather than my previous very urban view. Saw a nuthatch yesterday.

Just to prove I am working, a piece of work from my Found project, poised and ready to be stitched.

Now, my new discipline of one thing at a time has naturally slipped, and I don’t care, as this is an emergency project I have to do…

It’s a recycled textile project, and I have gone through my collection of fabrics, taking out only those which are truly recycled. All these were, in fact I didn’t pay for any of them, they were all old clothes, pillowcases, and fabric that was being given away. I’m being very strict about this project. The first 2 images are of the reject pile, however, and the third is of some bits and pieces I want to incorporate into 2 new rain forest pieces. [But not the basket lid, it’s too large.]

These fabrics are those I have chosen to use. Some are painted and printed already, others will be soon.

This piece and the one below are the laid down pieces, in very early stages. They are A2 size.

Now it’s up the garden path to our glorious heap of a garage, damp, and with much interior plant growth. However, it’s a good place for messes. I made ceramics in here for 14 years, it’s worked hard as a space. It has no sink, it’s all down to buckets. Naturally we’ve never put the car in it.

It’s a shared space, as you can see, with tools and the odd garden implement, and my husband’s wood workshop behind a wooden dividing wall. But actually the table is a good size, not quite as weedy as it looks here, hiding in the corner.

The two pieces have been painted and printed, with two helpful hosta leaves. I’ve also painted some map pages and paper to use in these works,of which I will post the progress.

10 thoughts on “An empire of small spaces.

  1. Steph – it all looks so very organised to me! I love the idea of a cupboard yo – yoing in and out of the garage!

    I hope when winter arrives you will be able to work in these spaces. The energy efficiency side of me is a bit worried that you’ll be a bit chilsome. Thermal underwear! That’ll be the secret.

    Hilary G


    1. Yes, it only yo yos with the help of two people though, you would think by now it would manage it alone. The garage can be chilly [freezing] but the other rooms are in the house, so that will be warm enough. The conservatory [ it’s no longer a separate room ] is ok up to 1 pm at the height of summer, then it does get too warm. Fortunately it’s north facing so it is very usable for most of the year, and our summers aren’t noted for being that summery are they?

  2. What a wonderful post Steph. So organised & efficient. I would be ashamed to post my spaces / dumps. I also have taken over the house, there are even magazines in the bathroom!
    Our garage is full of my childrens stuff so is unusable – at the moment- but seeing your space for messy work has spaked an ‘I want to get rid of all the appliances’ moment lol What is the new recycled work for?

    1. Go on Shelagh, post all your spaces. I love to see other people’s work areas etc, from the spectacular to the ingenious. The garage is a very handy area, as you don’t have to think about the floor etc, so consequently you never drop anything on it. If I were painting in the house, the carpet would be covered, I am a messy beast.
      The work is for possible inclusion in a book, but will have another life as I will exhibit the pieces too. Sx

  3. Looks fabby Stephers – I just love that garden studio and want to come and work in it too. Yolande(she needed a name) is bit of a gorgeous girl – she looks very smart in her new position and well up to the task in hand….. how long will that very chic arrangemnet of baskets on her top last though? I am deeply envious of the pending plan chest … I have yearned for one of those beauties for years … lovely lovely big drawers (always such a pull for a girl). Not enough room though, but must admit hadn’t considerd the bedroom … mmmmm(ponders)..The work looks gorgeous too – I love the blues and yellows in your recycled bits. Do post an image when you have made a mess of it all won’t you! – Hils xx

    1. Ha, you spotted my posed baskets! They are of course no longer posed, Y’s top is covered with stuff! I so need big drawers, it’s the only way. The chest is a new pale wood one, so it will go happily in the bedroom. Well, let’s put it like this, it will have to. I will certainly post messy images too, must be true to life.

    1. I know, it’s weird isn’t it, I’m sure I’ve seen cars in people’s garages. We bought this house 31 years ago thinking the garage would make a great work space. The car didn’t get a look in. We didn’t intend to stay for 31 years though, but there we go.

  4. I’m tempted to take photos of my shed Steph but it looks a real mess. I seem to be a terminal hoarder of ‘stuff’ but as you know, I am trying to reduce the scale of it all. Perhaps in the empty space I might create I could finally achieve my desire to have a plan chest too. My heart did a flutter when I read that line. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve looked at Ebay thinking I’d found the perfect piece only to realise that the transit costs to the middle of nowhere outweighed the cost of the chest! Please don’t post any photos of it as I will get serious ‘chest’ envy. The spaces you’re making look very inviting. Enjoy the new adventure.

    1. Lesley, you need that plan chest! I too have dreamed of one for years, but now it is a necessity, honestly… I am buying a new one, free delivery, as the e bay ones were all a bit pricey at the time of searching, and as you say there’s delivery too. I wanted new and sleek, to fit in with the room, although actually nothing in our house could be described as sleek, and the plan chest will be the newest thing. You are right to call it an adventure, that’s just the way it feels.

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