Monday, March 25, 2013

Keeping The Surprise

When we were house hunting, our goal was to minimize work and maximize play so we shopped with eventual retirement and personal entertainment in mind looking for a level entry unit with enough square footage to live comfortably, spaces for our children and future grandchildren to visit, a den for Howard, a studio for me, and way less yard work - plus a double garage - which narrowed the possibilities significantly since most condos in our area have single garages.




We moved here a year ago this past weekend and as you know, it's been an interesting move. Howard was happy right away. He was so done with the yard and loves coming home from work to dinner and relaxation. For me, the little garden in the front is just enough to be pretty without overwhelming and the house is easy to maintain and even so, the move has been hard because my studio space wasn't what I was used to nor what we'd planned for. I spend the majority of my time in the studio. It needs to be a good fit. It wasn't. If you've been reading the blog for the last year, you know that I've moved spaces three times - actually - make that four because...




...a week ago, we did it again only the painting, shelves, doors, and a few other things weren't finished yet so I've spent a week keeping the surprise. The French doors just went up yesterday and it's WONDERFUL. Here's what happened...




In February, I was happily working in the studio with the blinds nicely tipped for privacy while enjoying the sunshine when my neighbour walked by and waved. That was so nice of him but it meant the blinds were not actually nicely tipped for privacy and that whenever I'd thought I was invisible, I was actually quite visible which is why...




... shortly after when I needed a good cry, I sat on the floor in the dark because if I turned the lights on, I would have had to close the blinds and closing the blinds would have made me feel trapped and trapped and crying are not a good combo. Howard thought that was both hilariously funny and not good at all so we had a state of our union discussion and decided that a studio was more important than a family room and shuffled everything around again.




It sounds like I'm constantly gushing about my husband lately but I am so thankful that he was willing to redistribute funds from another goal to finish this space for me and that he and his friend Dave and our boys were willing to move and set up my studio yet, still, once again. I baked a big batch of butter tarts for them even though it's not December ! ! ! 




Now the guest room is where the guest room was supposed to be, Howard's den is where Howard's den was supposed to be, and my studio is where my studio was supposed to be - with a few changes - like a stash closet, doors, and vinyl flooring. The room is 12' x 20' with a jog out of the one end by the exterior door which I'll paint purple like the closet doors once the weather warms up. Things will be coming in and out through that door occasionally and any time we barbeque, it's on the deck just outside BUT...




... that's a small inconvenience for such a wonderful space. I've spent a lot of time this past week on my curl-up couch and it is so fabulous to have that resting place in the studio again.




This is the view from the couch. Perfect for studing, journal writing, knitting, reading, and even a good cry if needed - VBG. There are still more things to finish but they're little and it's functional now. I'm looking forward to putting up art work, and settling in further and I'm REALLY looking forward to sewing.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - a studio that feels like home

20 comments:

  1. Welcome home, again. I'm glad you are back in the space you desired and that you have such wonderful support at home to get it all arranged. I also have a wonderfully supportive husband and it is a great blessing. I'm hoping you get to the sewing soon.

    Lois K

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    1. Thank you. I'm sewing already and learning the flow and it feels great.

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  2. This is so motivational, Myrna. My sewing/jewellery/craft studio has been in the basement for the last five years. Though I have huge windows and the drop is only four feet, it seems every winter has gotten darker and longer. I think I now know why, having read your post: I need to move my space! Since we are a couple of years from retirement, I will probably wait until we decide on a "retirement dwelling", but knowledge is power. Just have to convince hubby that MY studio needs to be Job One... but heck, I've got lots of time to work on that! Thanks for sharing (butter tarts are a small price to pay)!

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    1. A couple years will give you time to really think through what you want from your studio - size, location, what will be included, functional centers, and so on. How fun! Enjoy thinking it through and good luck with the search.

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  3. Many people, when discussing 'creative journey,' are referring to the essential reordering of thought process and redefining context. You, however, take this a step further and physically journey,,,even within the context of your own home. I can totally relate. I understand. When it is not right, it is not right and IT can cripple the creative process. I hope you have found your space again. Best of luck!

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    1. It's interesting to me how much more environmentally sensitive I've become as I've aged. I sometimes wonder if my younger self was insensitive or shut down or... ? I think that's been part of what was so disconcerting about this move. Many of the ideas I had for the spaces didn't work out because I wasn't seeing them correctly in my head which had never happened before. Normally I'm very spacial. It probably points to the stress levels at that time BUT... it is working out now. The whole house feels more like home with the studio settled.

      We started the work on March 3rd and each day since - and especially this last week since moving into the space - has felt far more energized and positive. At one point just the couch was in here and I was sitting and reading and Howard commented about how incredibly happy I seemed. YES! It was just right.

      He said last night that he's glad to have the studio just down the hall from his den because it's a short walk, no stairs, to see me which is both emotional and physical for him. YEAH. And our son's room is just next door so I'm more with my family than ever. YES YES!

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  4. what a fabulous new space! glad it all worked out and that your husband truly "gets" you...

    (and you must let us know when a neighbor comments on not being able to see you working any more...)

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    1. LOL - yes!

      The one neighbour up the street has commented about how early I'm up because the lights were on in the studio (blinds closed) so I'm expecting him to be first. We'll see. Only the gardners and the maintenance man can see into this current space and they are not around very often.

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  5. Good you have found your space. We are currently house-hunting, and our needs are difficult to find also. I need a room for sewing and my husband needs a workshop. However, I hope to NOT move my room 4 times!

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    1. Good luck finding the right place. It does happen. This unit is perhaps one room too small at the moment but when our son moves out, it'll be about right. My studio is back in the original, this is where we were going to put it, space only we did the extra work to make it a closed off room with a closet and got rid of the carpet which is really bad in a studio. I know I've had carpet before but... LOL... apparently I'm too old for that now.

      Let us know how it goes.

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  6. Oh my... I find this move from space to space wonderfully baffling. I have no idea how or if I would be up to making all these changes as you have. I often "make do and mend" (so to speak) because I can't always define what I do want, what needs to change. You clearly know what suits you and when it's not working. The other side is that I see the work involved with changing a room and it overwhelms me easily so I stay put. So please take this as a positive thing of being wonderfully baffling, the posts about the search for the perfect studio are quite thought provoking. I hope this truly is the last move and it's all you need it to be!

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    1. LOL - the why of it is baffling to me too. I just know that everything calms down and improves with the right space. Clutter does something similar. It's very agitating which is why I lean toward minimalism and prefer closed storage. This moving around and looking for the best situation has been a lot of work and thankfully it's only been this one time where I couldn't settle in a house. Now that it's all fixed, I'm sewing away steadily and having a delightful time.

      All of the friends that have dropped by have commented that this space is so much more me. They can feel it too. Fun. My friend Francine and I were discussing the bafflement of it earlier and we think the fact that Howard and I intend to retire in this house was part of the problem because if I was here to stay, I didn't want to make do and now that I know it's wonderful, I can stay. My movers will be thankful ! ! ! I think they had backroom bets on how soon I'd say we were moving if I couldn't settle.

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  7. I'm glad you finally feel settled and it only took a year! LOL You're lucky you have enough space to change rooms as many times as you did.

    We're in a smaller home and your new studio is almost the same size as our LR/DR combined. I'd be happy with half that size.

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    1. We used to have a LR/DR about this size too, just slightly bigger, a few houses ago, and it was wonderfully cozy. There was a fireplace in the middle.

      I've had three studios about this size and it seems to be my favourite although I could condense slightly without a problem - maybe 50 sq ft if I took a 4' chunk off the end. Luckily I don't need to; I just need to allow access to the exterior door.

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  8. Ahhh...now that's a room I could be creative in! Love the wall colour, and I love that there's blank spaces on the walls - someplace to rest one's eyes.

    I can't wait to see what comes out of your studio!

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    1. Definitely I need resting places. I've hung a textile piece over the book shelves that's a bit busier but that are did need something although the closet doors are up for debate. They may end up white in both as a resting place and as a backdrop for photos. I haven't managed to figure out another place to take those yet.

      LOL - I can't wait to see what comes out of my studio either. Too fun.

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  9. I like the purple doors...sort of :-) They look good with the green walls, but they do stand out a bit. Would painting them with a glaze help? You'd still have the colour, but it would not be such an intense shade of purple.

    Just a thought...

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    1. I'll live with them for a while and see what I think and how the room works and then decide. Glazes can be so beautiful but I find them busy looking so I doubt I'd go in that direction.

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  10. I love your space! What a great place to work in, think in and just relax in especially with that view! Enjoy your space.

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    1. Thank you. I am really enjoying it. There's room to breathe and think and home feels so much more like home now.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.