Thursday, August 27, 2015

5 tips from a professional organizer

I spent a day recently working in my studio along side a professional organizer. It was great to have some fresh eyes in my space. Her ideas about arranging the rooms were fabulous. I laughingly argued with her on a couple of points. Our minds work so differently.  Here are 5 of the tips I took away from that day. It has actually been fun to implement them. I am very close to a full reveal of the new space. Meanwhile this gives you a peek and some helpful tips.

#1 Avoid stashing stuff where you can't see it.

 Say goodbye to the table skirts that allowed me to pile up all kinds of fabric scraps and items I wanted to maybe do something with someday. I could fill a basket or a box with stuff and then set it under the skirt and forget about it. Obviously, that is a bad habit. I am finally ready to be done with that one. I bought the book about life changing magic of tidying up, but I haven't cracked it open. I think the life changing art of making a decision is what is important for me.

Our goal is to know what we have so we can use it, right?

I got a little more ruthless about what I was going to use and what needed to get tossed or donated. Cindy, my organizer, was kind enough to drop off my donations on her way home. That way, they were gone for good. It's nice to have a built-in way to keep me from changing my mind.  I am sure I will have more purging to do before I feel like I am done.

#2  Organize by task.

Pattern making, cutting, sewing, ironing, shipping, writing, photography, I have a lot to keep straight everyday.  I was a little mixed up and random before, but I am starting to see the wisdom of this directive. I will show you photos in the final reveal. My studio has zones now which really work.

#3  Use the shallowest container possible. 

I think the photo illustrates it well. Cute Jar vs. Drawers - Which container makes more sense for ease of use?  I love having the single layer drawers of thread within reach as I am sewing. No more digging around for the right color.  My zippers are separated and labeled now too. No more digging through one large bin to find the right color zipper and the pulls that go with it. Now I just pull out the one box I need. So simple. The drawers are from target. This one looks great too.  The mini photo boxes for zippers are from Michael's. I bought them all.

#4 Keep frequently used items handy but contained. 

That means scissors are not left (and lost) on the table tops. I found this silverware organizer at Ross for $5.99. Now my cutting implements are easy to locate and grab, and blade refills are in one of the pockets too. (Notice how this is organized by task?)

#5 Keep working surfaces clear.

That is the goal. Yearly, I work myself into a standstill by having too many projects going at once, all taking up space on my tables. We have planned a place for all of those projects now, and I can't wait to show you.

What is working for you in your creative space? Checkout my pinterest board for more organization ideas.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

How to Have a Yoga Body Part 4

How to have a yoga body: take the body you have to the yoga studio, and do yoga with it.
Beth Galis captured this cool angle on my savasana. In the Bikram style of Hatha yoga that we do at Yarrow, there are many opportunities to practise this pose. I like to think of it as letting go. During the standing half of the class, we do very short - probably 5 second - savasanas between each pose. It is the chance to let go of the previous pose and move into the next pose empty of judgement (if I felt weak in the last pose) and empty of pride (if I felt strong in it.) The goal is to be present for each pose. I often find that thinking too much, dwelling on the past or even the future, keeps me from being present. Savasana to the rescue. Time to simply be. Honestly, when we get to the floor, I sometimes think that the studio must be built on top of a lava flow. The floor feels hotter than the air. I have a trick that I use when I am having thoughts of the heat, or anything really that is other than the simple joy of being in the room. I imagine that I am lying on a bridge - like the suspension bridge at Bowl and Pitcher - there is a cool river flowing below me and the space between the boards allows air and sometimes water to cool me. I imagine my thoughts flowing out of me and being carried away by the river, so I can remain as empty and present as possible. Sometimes, I imagine I have a tail that reaches into the river to play in the cool water. We get 20 seconds between each floor pose to lie in savasana. It is here that we soak up all of the benefits of the class. I will gather my thoughts and write more about letting go at some point. It has been transformative for me this Spring and Summer. Thank you to Beth and all of the instructors at Yarrow for teaching me how to benefit from savasana. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Working at Home

Here I am in my work at home pajamas. I don't often wear pj's all day but I could. I was keeping these a secret until after my sister's birthday because I made her a silky rayon set with shorts. Next time I work with delicate easily frayed fabrics, I must remember to add extra seam allowance to make french seams or Hong Kong finish. When I do release this it will be the set, pants, shorts and top. I may have to include a tee shirt as an option since the shirt is so bare.
That puts my patterns in process count at 12, I think.  I did get an intern to learn the Cameo digital pattern making software. Unfortunately she is having as hard a time as I did with it. That means my patterns may be hand drawn for a while yet. I would love to find someone who has a real passion for starting a sewing pattern digitizing business and help them get started. Let me know if you know of someone. My intern is still in high school and I could do other things with her. She is not as motivated as I need for the pattern digitizing.
As you can imagine, the process of working up a dozen different patterns has worked me into a standstill in my studio. I just have never been organized enough spatially to keep up will all of the work I can actually juggle. When my cutting table is covered, it is time to stop and regroup.
This Summer has been all about taking time to regroup. My divorce was final on July 2nd. Before you say "I'm sorry," don't. I am happy. It is something I needed and have wanted for a very long time.
I had a great appointment with a professional organizer, and we have a plan. I am looking forward to showing you my newly organized space. The goal is to make it worthy of the cover of Where Women Create. Hopefully, the work we do here getting me organized will inspire you to tweak your space if you need it. I will post progress on Facebook for sure and maybe here too. Friend me over there and like my page so you don't miss anything.
 Meanwhile, my students at Craftsy continue to impress me with their professional looking slipcovers. If you have furniture to cover, I invite you to join us in my online classes and dazzle me. This link is half off my Wingback slipcover class and this one is half off my chairs class that has dining chairs and arm chairs.
One of the many successful student projects from my Craftsy classes