Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Michele Whines About Her Workroom 2013

Welcome to this year's installment of "Michele Whines About Her Workroom". It seems that once a year, pretty much like clockwork, I do a post where I complain about the shortcomings of my workroom: it's in the basement, it's too cold, it's too dark, it's too messy, blah-dy blah-dy blah...

This year is no different. Except that last year I thought I'd pretty much licked the problem. Alas... no. The dream of creating a bright space down there, just for working, died within a couple months. After that, it was back to the same old patterns. The mess takes over. Plant-like Michele, seeks out light every day. Awkward mounds of craft supplies and half-finished work materialize along the perimeter of the dining room, living room, kitchen, in fact the whole of our tiny little house. The feeling that work follows me where ever I go in my home, and no matter the time nor the place, it tugs at me, calls to me, guilts me for never quite paying close enough attention attention attention...

So, yes. I need a buffer zone. A natural separation. I need to be able to walk away. I need my workroom to work for me not against me. (Sorry. I know you've heard this all before.)

But what to do?

Well... Brace yourself. I have some news. I HAVE FOUND A SOLUTION. I haven't done anything about it yet, true enough. But I'm undaunted! One has to start somewhere, and I'm starting with a plan!

I've unilaterally decided to take possession of The Boy's seldom-used basement play area. He maybe goes down there once a year to get a toy. He's afraid of the monsters that live in the darkness, and I don't blame him one bit. They are awful and slimy and mean and hairy and ugly and should be avoided at all cost. Fortunately, I myself don't mind the monsters so much. I've gotten used to their ways. Aside from the house centipedes who move a little quickly for my taste, I kind of like them. They give the place character.

So his play area will be moved to my cold, dark, windowless spot in the basement, and my workroom will move over to his bright, warm spot where there are two small windows that allow in plenty of daylight. Yes. That's correct. Actual DAYlight! Essentially, we're swapping spots.

Does this make me an awful mother?... It probably does. Be that as it may, I AM DOING IT.

I'll keep you posted on actual progress.



  1. Ciao Michele...sul mio blog c'è un premio per te

  2. Here, Michelle, for the monsters.


    Of course, you could invite them to work with you. That might yield some interesting collaborations.

  3. It makes you a great mother. I took over our office years ago. Lots of light, and I have never regretted the decision.

  4. My workroom has plenty of light - and plenty of mess, mess, mess! It's unworkable.

    Your workroom looks awesome but windows are a necessity, absolutely. Best of luck with the renovation.

  5. Você tem o meu apoio!
    Minha oficina é grande, bem iluminada e arejada e ... está sempre uma bagunça!Quanto mais produzo mais bagunça faço! É assim mesmo, não se desespere!
    Um abraço!


  6. That sounds like the most perfect solution you have! I was going to suggest swapping the dining room or some other space because when you just know a space isn't working for you it's hard to FORCE it to work. Your a good mama, he wasn't using the space!

  7. Fantastic! I just did the same thing but even worse!! I took over the kids playroom and didn't even find them a new place. (they used it so rarely and there toys are already strewn all over the house anyway!). It's made an amazing difference for me already. I sing more while I sew and I mean I belt it out! This is your work! You need an office you love! Bravo to you!

  8. On the contrary! It makes you a very smart Mama!
    I can't wait to see what you do with it!

  9. I'm in the basement too! We have so many lights that it stay pretty bright, but it does start to feel cavelike after spending too much time down there! :) I think you're fine to scoot The Boy over a bit!

  10. I do remember last year's post. I think this swap is a good idea. Obviously, the old space isn't conducive to your production & creativity if you keep avoiding it. Good luck with all that rearranging! More sunlight? Oh, yes!!!

  11. You will be so happy! I switched sewing room/bedroom with my daughter over the Christmas holidays and now I have a view and everything. I lost out on 18 sq. ft. but I gained a lot more light and it forced me to get rid of fabric I will never use. Most of it was cut up into 2 1/2" square from which I've already made 2 quilts. Score! Good luck with the move (at least no stairs are involved!) and enjoy your new bright and warm work room!

  12. Chère Michele,

    j’ai suivi avec beucoup d’intérêt la création de ta “work room”, j’ai admiré ta salle de travail, l’ordre perfect des matériaux, les boîtes, la machine à coudre, les coulers de toutes les choses que tu sais créer si merveilleusement. Moi aussi je voudrais une pièce ou mettre “mes jeux” (c’est comme ça que les appelle mon mari), parce-que j’aime dessiner, peindre, faire des petites choses avec du matériel simple que je trouve dans mon jardin ou en coupant une robe vieille ou les pages d’un livre. Je travaille (si on peut l’appeler travail, mais pour moi c’est une vraie passion) sur la moitié de ma grande table de cuisine, mais en famille nous sommes en deux, non, en trois avec mon chien et heureusement mon mari (il s’appelle Michele, c’est curieux n’est pas?) est très, très patient! Dans toutes les chambres de ma maison il y a “mes jeux” et je n’arrive pas à faire ordre, lorsque je m’arrête d’un coup et je ne suis pas à même de creér, j’ai besoin de mettre les choses au clair. J’aimerai avoir ma “workroom”, mais, en même temps, je ne suis pas sùre de la vouloir…je ne veux pas être seule. Je travaille en cuisine, qui est une pièce très grande, où on mange, on lit, on voit la TV. Le soir, pendant que M. regarde la TV, je fais “mes jeux”.

    Ce discours pour te dire: “ Ce n’est pas possible que ne veux-tu pas rester seule dans ta merveilleuse “work room” et tu trouve un prétexte pour changer de pièce?”

    Est-ce possible que tu aimes faire tes crèations fantastiques en compagnie?

    Pardonnes-moi pour mon français, il y a depuis longtemps que je ne fais pas exercice de traduction.

    J’aime ton blog, merci.



    (Padova – Italia)

  13. Bravo you! Go for it! And keep us posted!

  14. Brilliant idea! You will make a wonderful workroom here and if he rarely uses this space then you're being totally pragmatic. Now if only houses in Australia had basements......

  15. Michelle, I love your blog! I was wondering if I can have your old workroom? lol - honestly, I have my own room and my kids share a bedroom so I have to use it or else I feel like a selfish mommy. It is so small though. I feel like I'm working inside of a messy compact car. When I get grumpy about being squished (which is often) b/c I'm tripping over my Cricut or I have to put my trimmer on my trash can so I have a small to put my work, I have to remind myself to just be grateful i have a space and that I have so many excellent supplies that I get cramped in there... But the centipedes.... Yikes....oh but that space is divine. You have to move in!


  16. This makes you an awesome mother! You're using the space most wisely =) Happier moms = happier kids!

  17. Great decision-you need the natural light!
    You will feel the difference, I have my machine near the window
    and I see better.

  18. You definitely need a space you are happy in. I keep trying different bedrooms in my house as work areas, but there isn't enough room in a guest bedroom for much of anything, but the sewing machine. I have stuff stashed in everyone's closets and under beds all over the house, and I end up working in the kitchen, anyway. One day, when the kids are all gone, I will have my own space. Or, my husband will ask me why we are living in a house with bedrooms we don't use, and we will move to a smaller house and I will keep working in the kitchen, going from room to room looking for my "stuff"! We had a basement once, in Cleveland, OH, and I would love to have one again! Even if it is dark! But, alas, they don't work in Texas -- the water table is too high for basements!


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