Office progress – almost there!

I’ve been diligently working to get my office/studio in good working order, and I’m almost there.

I have a comfortable recliner to sit in while working on my computer, and for stitching. (Note: the Sheltie sleeping is not a permanent fixture!) I still have a few boxes to unpack and get my sewing machine/serger together, but we’re close.

I have my thread cabinets all lined up. I need to go through them to do some culling and organizing, but they’re usable as is for the time being.

It’s amazing how much thread I have, and yet I still have trouble finding just exactly the right thing for the current project!

My working table is set up on a cushioned mat, which makes it easier to stand and put kits together, or cut canvas, or bind the edges of the canvas.

I still have to go through A LOT of the tubs lined up against the wall. I’ve been through some of them, and have managed to get rid of some things, but I still need to get through the rest of them. One box at a time!

For now, I have a nice workable space. It looks a bit cluttered still, but I’ll get that in hand eventually. I still have to set up my video space, and I’m eager to do that so I can move on to the next projects I’m wanting to do. But progress has been made!

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Making progress in the chaos

I’ve started moving some things around and planning the organization for my new office space. It’s very slow going!

The first thing I did was to move all of my tubs of models. I have over 200 models, and need some place to store them. Only a couple of them are framed, so hanging them is not really an option. And, I can’t get rid of them. Maybe someday, but not today!

I started with the models because I knew what I was going to do with them. The rest of the stuff, not so much.

The next thing I tackled was the stores of printed charts (not a whole lot since I print on demand), threads for kits, kit supplies, and some other things. And I discovered something very important: it’s more important that I bring about some order, than culling and getting rid of stuff. I can do that another time, a little at a time. Right now, I need to get things off the floor, in some semblance of order, so I can move some furniture and tables around. Some of the furniture is going to different rooms, and tables are being swapped from one room to another. My husband’s office needs to be brought to order as well as mine. So I revamped my priorities a little, just to get things stored away. I was able to empty several boxes, combine some things and get rid of some things, just not the wholesale cleansing that’s needed.

So the racks now contain my printed charts, supplies for kits and some other things that will be gone through later. The red containers at the end are my rolls of canvas. The large cabinet will contain beading supplies and some other things eventually. Progress is being made!

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Making a studio space part 1

I shared recently that we moved to a different state June 1. Since we moved I’ve been to Rogers, AR; Charleston, WV; Chicago, IL; Baltimore, MD (twice!), and Houston, TX, all for teaching assignments. That has left little time to get things organized and orderly. I’m through with teaching assignments for a little while, so it’s time to tackle the mess!

Wow, what a mess! It’s a nice big room, with lots of possibilities, but bringing order out of the chaos will take some time.

Some of what’s currently in the room will be moved to storage, like shipping boxes. Some of the boxes belong to my husband and will be finding a different home shortly. There are a couple of tables that will be moved to a new home as well. The rest – well, the rest needs to be culled and organized into a workable space.

Once all this stuff gets moved around I plan to have a lovely chair with a table, so I can do computer work and stitch. The chair is already bought, a high-leg recliner that my System 4 stand will slide under. But I have to move some of the stuff out of the way in order to put the chair in the window. Hidden under all of the boxes in the corner are my sewing machine and serger. I hope to have them accessible for finishing.

The picture boxes will be emptied, and the contents hung around my office space. It’s amazing how many picture boxes still need to be emptied! I have a lot of needlework, and I love to have it hanging for inspiration.

The floor under my cutting table is one of those jigsaw mats, very cushy, and nice for standing to assemble kits and cut canvas. I hope to have storage for the all the paper close to the printer and binding equipment, with threads and other supplies on the opposite wall.

I have a plan, now to execute it! I’ll keep you posted as to my progress.

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Moving Day!

DebBee’s Designs is moving! We’re leaving Conway, AR after 23 years, and headed to western Oklahoma to help take care of mother-in-law.

The good news! I’ll have a dedicated studio space, about 500 sq. ft, which is about triple the space I have now. It will be awesome to not be spread out all over, to have everything in one place. I’ll probably take some time to get things organized and arranged, but I’m excited about the possibilities!

The bad news. I’m leaving my fabulous local needlework shop, The Stitcher’s Garden. I’m leaving my stitching groups. I don’t know if there will be any stitchers where I’m going, but I’ll try my best to find them.

Moving is always hard, but it’s also a time of exploration. When I moved to Conway, all I knew was cross stitch on Aida. I had done a little stitching on linen, with no instruction, but counted canvas wasn’t even on my radar. I had never seen or heard of Hardanger. Goldwork and other surface embroidery didn’t exist as far as I knew.

I met some wonderful stitchers in Conway when I was model stitching for Leisure Arts. Thanks to my friends, I saw counted canvas and Hardanger for the first time, learned about ANG and EGA, went to the Spirit of Cross Stitch Festivals. They encouraged me to design, to publish and sell my designs, and to teach. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their influence.

Perhaps there will be similar experiences in western Oklahoma. I hope so anyway! I’ll still be designing, teaching, traveling, and all the things I’m doing now. DebBee’s Designs is not closing, just moving.

All you western Oklahoma stitchers, give me a shout out! I’d love to get together to stitch! And a fond farewell to all my friends in Arkansas. Hopefully we’ll see each other around!

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Wemyss School of Needlework part 2

I went back to the school the next week for my private class with Louise Dawson, a lovely young woman with a certificate from the Royal School. We set it up for the afternoon, so I got to spend the morning with the other stitchers. More coffee, more cake! I asked them if they had cake every week and they said no, but we managed cake both times I was there!

Louise got everything set up for my class while I gobbled a sandwich I’d brought with me, and we got started shortly after lunch. I selected a small goldwork project, and Louise transferred the pattern to a lovely light blue silk, mounted the silk and backing fabric in a hoop, and I was ready to begin.

I’ve taken several goldwork classes before, but I always learn something new with every class I take. I learned how to secure my stitches with a pin stitch, a little differently than pin stitches on canvas. We started with chipped gold for the center of a little flower, then moved on from there.

For such a small project, there were a lot of different threads and techniques involved. Louise got everything assembled for me, since I wouldn’t have time to finish, and we went over everything so I could complete the project on my own when I got home.

Everything was beautifully packaged in these little envelopes, so I could easily see what everything was.

Louise even gave me a lovely beeswax swan! The logo for the Wemyss School of Needlework features a swan. I don’t know if this is included with every class project, but I was so happy to have it!

I learned several different things, including stitches and techniques I can apply to my design work, even without using gold. But I love this little project and hopefully will get it finished before too long, and can share the finished picture with you.

The Wemyss School has an extensive collection of stitched work. Not everything is on display because there isn’t room. But they serve as a repository for stitched pieces. Both Wednesdays while I was there, people brought in stitched work of all kinds that they found in attics and storage chests, and the Wemyss School takes it and saves it. Not everything is wonderful and awe-inspiring, but quite a few pieces were and I enjoyed being able to look at these lovely old stitched pieces.

The school is out of the way, but so well-worth the time to visit. With the public bus system it was very easy to get there, at a time when I wanted to visit, and easy to get back. The next time we visit Edinburgh you can be sure that I will return!

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