Creating Space For Creativity

I have an office space for my creative writing and doing the bills.  I was an avid seamstress in my “old life”.  There was a time during this illness that I thought I would never be able to sew again.  I couldn’t focus or concentrate.  Looking at printed fabric and trying to place pattern pieces in different shapes caused severe anxiety.  It was even worse if I wanted to make something that required two coordinating fabrics which only increased the visual overstimulation and the level of anxiety and panic I suffered.  I kept trying only to suffer and give up.  Finally one day I was determined to make my first grandchild a simple sundress.  I chose a simple stripe and a very simple pattern.  It took me twice as long as it should have but I managed to get it done.  Eventually I braved a little more complex pattern and fabric with more color.  I still am scared to death of the zipper even though I put many in before becoming ill and losing my self confidence.  I am going to set aside a morning very soon and take some scraps and a zipper and practice until I can get it right.  It is a matter of retraining my self and letting go of the fear of messing up.  After all, it is just a zipper and some scrap cloth.

I have set my sewing machine up in the kitchen and my cutting table up in the living room but the clutter leads to anxiety as well.  I always felt the need to have everything picked up even if my plans were to finish the project the next day.

Lately, I have been sharing the playroom for my grandchildren with my sewing table and my cutting table.  This hasn’t been very successful.  Every time I get started on a project they come to visit and my stuff gets in the way of their toys or they get so many of their toys out that I can’t get back into my table to sew and be creative unless I spend a good deal of time picking up and putting away toys. Usually by that time the creative urge is over.  Meanwhile my sauna room has doubled as a bedroom where I keep the small air mattress for my grandson to sleep on or put the larger one down when my daughter is here for a visit.

Today, I decided that I have had it with all the mess.  I spent the greater part of today moving the air mattresses out of the sauna room and moving my sewing stuff into the sauna room.  I think I can finally get started again on the quilts for the children’s hospital and some school dresses for my granddaughters.

The fabric for the quilts.

The fabric for the quilts.

My Sewing and Cutting Table.

My Sewing and Cutting Table.

Tomorrow I will turn this into a playroom with space for an air mattress.  The crib will be gone as it is way too small for my grandson.  It was fine when they were all little.  I purchased the all metal crib because I didn’t want to deal with wood and wanted something I could easily safe and not worry about from grandchild to grandchild.  I think there will be some toys I can get rid of.

The playroom after everything else is removed.

The playroom after everything else is removed.

Where do you do your creative work?  Does the room do double duty?  If so, how do you manage that?

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6 responses to “Creating Space For Creativity

  1. Love the article, made me think of all the fun I could be having if the downstairs was finished 17 years and no walls yet one day . otherwise some stuff gets done on the dining table. I miss my craft space.

  2. Sauna/sewing room combination sounds like a great solution – your very own personal space and you won’t have to clean up when you are in the middle of a project because the grandchildren are visiting.

  3. Living in a one-room apartment is brutal. If I want to sew, is becomes a sewing room. If we watch TV, it becomes a living room. I’m lucky to have a hubby who doesn’t mind pushing stuff around, but the clutter is crazy. And it’s worst when I’m in a flare – the apartment becomes one big sickbed. Oy. Soon we’ll have a house, though, and who knows what we’ll do!

    • Yes, that does make it difficult. While I have more space than you, it is far from what I used to have. I am just glad that I am able to make it work. Now I just need to get in the mood to sew. It hasn’t happened yet.

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