State of the Studio

Posted by marshmueller on

I am in the process of switching my studio with The Boy’s room.

Currently, The Boy occupies the smallest bedroom in the house, complete with French doors with access to the backyard. While this room was perfect when he was a non-mobile babe, he runs, jumps, tumbles, and now knows how to open the French doors if they’re unlocked. Yay for an Andersen door and its three-deadbolt design. Try to kick that in, burglar bastards!*

But The Boy is growing, and despite all the excuses I try to hurl at Rob while stalling packing up my room, The Boy is not going to stay this small or this young. And he needs room to grow in our tiny 900-square-foot house.

Where’s the room going to come from?

My studio.

Aka sewing room, aka crap corner, aka hoarder hovel.

But it’s not that easy. I’m trying to run a business here. I’ve got orders to fulfill and new items to sew. I can’t just pack up the room for a month! Well, I could…I could put the ‘ol Etsy shop in Vacation Mode, but I’m not out of town, and this is far from a vacation.




First, I took the opportunity to collect my “skeleton crew” of supplies and materials while Rob and The Boy were enjoying a weeknight Timbers Reserves match, and carved a corner of the living room into a makeshift studio where I could sew and pack up orders.

And then I took the room underneath our kitchen counter to store inventory, supplies, and tools.

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Everything’s labeled and organized. See? Hoarders don’t label their shit.



Now all that’s left is to pack up the rest of my room.

Seems simple enough, right?

Oh, no.

As I’ve started packing, I’ve become more and more overwhelmed with the sheer amount of CRAP hidden in every cubby, shelf, and bin. I already have a box full for Goodwill.

It could be two boxes, but that’s the difficulty of this seemingly insurmountable task.



They are the most difficult to purge. Last weekend I accomplished the task of cleaning out my closets, wardrobes, drawers, and underbed seasonal storage after THREE YEARS of neglect (yay for having children?). I took out four boxes and three bags of shoes and clothing. That’s another post for another time, but my point is that I had NO qualms about giving six pairs of boots the boot (who needs SIX pairs of boots?), plus a boatload of other shoes, but if I’m tasked with paring down my scrapbook paper collection, I nearly break out into hives.

Am I currently scrapbooking?


“But wait,” you ask, “If you don’t have time for scrapbooking or card making, or other crafty paper activities, why the hell are you keeping all of those supplies? You just got rid of SIX pairs of boots and a ton of shoes!”

I blame it on the 1970s Singer I sold back in 2004.

Rob and I had just married. We were moving into a tiny 500-square-foot apartment in downtown Portland. We had a garage sale to get rid of items from our days at Washington State University.

I made the ill-fated choice to choose between the two hobbies that tend to take up a lot of space: Scrapbooking and Sewing.

At the time, I chose Scrapbooking.

I had an old Singer sewing machine from the 1970s that my mom had given me. It was a fucking tank. It was extremely heavy, but impossible to thread properly. I think had it been easier to thread, I may have kept it.

So out in the garage sale it went, and it was sold to a happy new owner for $10.

Fast-forward six years and I got into sewing again. My awesome mother-in-law bought me my current sewing machine, a Janome Hello Kitty machine.

Do I hope to get back into scrapbooking?

Yes. I really enjoyed doing it, and actually completed albums (versus my incomplete crochet and knitting projects taking up space in the studio).

Hence why it is overwhelming to sort and pack up all those items. They take up space in my studio, yet my interests have changed, but I’m not willing to get rid of everything.

But I’m carefully packing and labeling everything into boxes, moving said boxes into the garage, where I can panic about where it’s all going to fit into a much smaller space with less walls (yay for the goddamn French doors). I’m under the gun to pack up my room, as we still need to paint the room and let it air out well before we start moving The Boy into it.

Instead of suppressing the stress this is causing me, I’m determined to concentrate on the awesome huge room we’re curating for my son, the potentially amazing and organized new studio space for my shop, and the fact that no, our living room will NOT be forever occupied in a sea of 100% cotton fabrics.


*Our house was broken into in May 2009. The burglar, who was totally caught, kicked in our old cheapo French doors. No one was hurt, and they only took shit that was easily replaced. But we reinforced Fort MarshMueller with more secure Andersen doors.


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