t h e s t u d i o
I am actually sitting in my studio blogging! I got my desk all set up in here yesterday. The wifi isn't great since my studio is pretty far from my home, so I might actually have my provider put in a second line out here just for me since it is strictly for business. I have to slow myself down with the studio revamp and look back to see how much I accomplished this month with it. I also have to ask myself what do I want from it?
We moved into this house 8 years ago. It took us 18 months to sell our suburban home. I knew I wanted to move to North Tacoma. I loved the old homes and charm of the northend. It was, and still is somewhat, a secret to a lot of north westerners. When our house sold and we moved here, we rented. The market then was in a spiral so we decided to rent until the market stabilized. We rented a house two doors down from us now. I was at work, sitting at my desk one day, browsing CL ads for rentals. Because I am crazy and we just moved, who does that? But I love old homes and real estate. I found that the house on the corner with all the windows was for rent. I just about died. It was my favorite home in the area but it wasn't taken care of. I asked Saint what he thought if we moved again and he said yes, let's go for it. If we are moving again let's move two doors down.
I was so excited to move into my house. I got up before everyone else that day, in the dark and took loads of stuff on a big platform mover I borrowed. Click clack down the street at dawn with my furniture, by myself. We moved in all in one day and haven't left since! About two years after we lived here, we were ready to buy again. We started looking and our landlords asked us if we wanted to buy this house. Absolutely! I didn't think they were going to sell it. We knew everything wrong and right with it. I also wanted to fix it up. We lived here 2 1/2 years before we bought it in a private sale.
The house has a very detached 1910 garage. It looks more like a carriage house though. It is long and narrow, sort of shotgun style. But oh, so cute. Once side opens to my yard. It has a charming 12 paned window and small antique door. The front opens up to a private driveway completely separate from my house. I have moved 1000s of pieces into and out of this space in the last 8 years. I painted for myself and friends here years before I created MCC. I have struggled to keep it clean. It was so uninspiring for most of those 8 years. I never really cared because I always had to focus more on churning out the furniture and bringing it to my shop(s).
About a year ago I finally got a storage unit. I have no idea why I didn't do this years earlier. It has kept my sanity this year. I go to my storage once a week and pull out what I am going to work on. You see, I am the type of person, if I have 30 pieces in front of me, I think in my mind I must get them all done immediately. I know it is neurotic but I am a bit type A that way. So now I just take home what I know I can get finished in a week.
When I decided two months ago to close my shop, I knew immediately I needed to revamp my studio. I am not sure why, but I just knew. It has actually given me something to focus on other than closing that shop. I also did not want to spend any money. Especially after closing my shop. I had a fairly good steady amount coming in a month for years and now that was gone(ish). Well, slowed down to 1/3 of what it was. I have to rebuild the income with custom, design, co-running Clementine Home, and staging. I am completely restructuring my business.
Thank goodness my friend Michelle can build. I am surprised she offered but she did and she built my carriage doors in one day here while I puttered around. We had 80s music on and I eventually went and got beer and wine for us. Because that is what you do when you build stuff in my studio. You drink beer and listen to 80s :) and you get dirty and move big stuff around. This is my life. All the while wearing flip flops and paint clothes (some days it is PJs).
Slowly I started demoing crazy walls in the space that were installed over the pretty siding and took 2 loads of junk to the landfill that were stored on my rafters. This is while watching my kids so I would sneak out here when they were occupied. I might mention here that the guys at the landfill know me. In the big city of Tacoma, they know me. They don't even give me the rundown of questions anymore. It is weird since I keep so much furniture out of the landfill that I would be going there. But I get so many boxes a month and I deconstruct a lot of pieces and rebuild them way more that you know. I am pretty handy with rebuilding antiques now. So I go to the landfill at least 3 times a month. Weird, I know. I kind of like it though, I am an antihoarder. I like getting rid of stuff. This job is SO not glamorous.
I bought a sprayer for $150 that turned out to be crap, but I had a really funny day with my mom covered in white paint and we got the space painted while Saint was home to watch the kids. The crappy sprayer is worthless and guess what?! It is in the landfill pile :) But my studio is all white!
So what is this studio to me? I don't know yet. I really feel like I am back where I was 6 years ago with MCC. I have days I am SO excited and days I let the fear sneak in big time. I am starting over and it is up to me. What if I mess it up? This week I have been all over the place. I am so excited for how cute my studio is, then I have a lot of moments when I tear up, what am I doing? I have to help support my family. Why don't I go back to work full time, and why I am fixing up my studio? I am completely giving it up to God. I feel so excited by where I am at but not in control. So I am going to take it day by day. I am craving stability and it is up to me to create it. I can do it. And it the process I get to recreate neglected pieces and bring them back to life. I am hoping to do the same within myself. Something about last year broke me, and I need to get me back.
So that is what my studio is to me. It is hope. It is mine. It is rustic, old and rebuilt by me.