Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Next, On "Life Styles of the Weird & Demented"…

When we moved into the Haus of Manna, I knew for certain that I would need a sewing space in one of the common areas. My bedroom is small, strange and has a door that goes to the laundry in the basement (but that’s another story). Original Manna & I successfully arranged the living room to serve our purposes; she has her computer desk, there’s a butt-swallowing couch right across from the TV, and I have a work space. 
I'll admit: I staged this. It's never this tidy

Over here is my standing work table. It was a butcher block construction from IKEA, but now it is an unfaltering plane of creation. Storage underneath is for craft materials and patterns. And stuffing. And some works in progress. In fact, how many works in progress (WIPs) can you see in this photo? The dress form is a vintage 60’s model my Aunt found for me. She named it Mathilde because the size on the box was “M”. 
Many WIPs is considered a badge of honor. Or distraction.

This is where the noisy magic happens. Yes, there are 3 machines in this photo. No, that’s not all the machines I have (there’s one more in the next photo). Yes, they have names. Also pictured is my inspiration bulletin board, my bag of knitting (only 2 works in progress!), my sewing box, the thread rack, and my Nerf gun. 
...Wait...Nerf gun?

This is my Nerf gun. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It’s for cat discipline. Original Manna’s cat likes to be on high places, including my work table. It also comes in handy for the occasional Roommate Nerf Skirmish.
Efficient, accurate, and looks like an alien laser.

At the end of the machine table is Minerva. At the moment Minerva is sporting the Carmen Miranda-inspired turban I made for a friend’s burlesque number. Naturally, the fabulous shades finishes the look in a glamorous, skin-less way. 
That Minerva...she's ahead of her time.

My library and notions are stored below. The last machine is there, also. Yes, it, too has a name. I love collecting books with information on any and every aspect of sewing or fashion design. That way I don’t really have to remember anything; as long as I know where it’s printed! I have several different boxes and bags in which to store my myriad groups of notions. I guess I like the idea of buying cute, clever, coordinated storage units, but I always believe that money would be better spent on more fabric. Or yarn. Or books about either.
I read "The Dictionary of Fashion" to Franco sometimes.

Speaking of fabric, I have lots (big surprise). It’s carefully organized into transparent boxes which are haphazardly stacked on our porch. In the past month, I’ve managed to edit out some fabric that I don’t need, and I need to do another pass to further narrow down my collection. “But why, Manna?! Why would you want to get rid of any fabric?” you might say. Well some of you. The ones whose stashes rival mine. You know who you are. 
Just looking at it makes me happy. Is that crazy? Maybe.

The short answer is: no space, no patience. If I only have so many boxes into which to cram future projects, I’m going to be picky. On the bright side, my friends will be able to pick up some new lovelies from me soon!

Sure, my work space has a sloped floor that makes it hard to sit at the high table with a rolling desk chair (but also makes it damn hilarious); sure, I have to share valuable elbow space with the modem-thinger; sure, it needs more light….but it’s mine. It’s how I want it. It lets me explore and repair wonderful, vintage coats such as this: 
A vintage faux-Persian lamb coat that needed lining repair.

I admired the hand stitching on a shoulder pad.

Some very close, neat machine stitching. It was a pleasure to
repair this coat and match the stitch styles used.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Neighbor is Building an Ark--Is That Bad?

It has been raining in Minneapolis for almost 3 weeks and it feels like it's been gray and wet FOREVAR. The saving grace of all this angel-snot is that everything is starting to turn green. The muddy yards are green, the treetops are green, my herb garden is green...

Wait, no, my herb garden is brown and soggy. Nothing has sprouted because there hasn't been any sunshine. I can't grow plants with thunder and lightning, Mother Nature!
I am this close to just pre-sprouted cheaters!

It's been cloudy and chilly, which saps my energy. I actually took a nap between this and the last paragraph. Even after drinking half a pot of french-press coffee, I just needed to be horizontal and unconscious. For 2 hours. ugh.
I just...I just need to a bit...

Motivation to work on sewing is scarce. I want to go sew, I think about sewing, I remind myself how happy I am when I do sew, I walk into the living room intending to sew...and then the couch swallows me up and I just end up binge-watching True Detective. Cozy things like knitting and naps and staying inside a blanket cocoon seem like such better ideas in place of working. I wish I could get paid to wrap myself in quilts and eat hummus and watch endless BBC America programming. But watching Ripper Street gives me ideas for costumes, and I start thinking about fabrics, and I feel the stirrings of creativity in my brain...
One more episode. Gotta finish this story arc.

Let's be honest. Blaming my procrastination on the weather is not gonna fly. I'm not getting paid to permanently imprint my butt into the couch cushions, I'm getting paid to make things. Which means putting on my big-girl pants, buttoning up my entrepreneur-shirt, and doing my hair in a getting-shit-done-twist. I have found the best way to help myself move on from crap feelings is to acknowledge them, feel them, and then say goodbye to them. Then jumping around a little to get my energy up seems to help, too. So here goes:

I know I feel sluggish because of the gray days.

I feel gloomy, I have moped, and indulged the Blerch** for long enough.

I am done with sluggish, mopey, gloom. I'm ready to be productive.

I'm going to go jump around now.

**The Blerch was created and is described here by The Oatmeal.