Big Clean Sigh

As you may know because I have already posted to Facebook, my sweet Arrow passed away. This animal wrapped his double paws right around my heart, he taught me to love him, to communicate with and listen to him, he loved me deep into my bones. I felt as though no day were complete without lap time. For the last two days of his life, I watched him pass, poured love and care into him, told him all the things he taught me, told him all the ways I loved him.

I made an appointment to have the vet come and help him pass. I told him the plan, told him what time David would return home. I encouraged him to stay if he wanted to, or pass if he needed to. Arrow waited.

Arrow was a gift, a true gentle cat. He is sorely missed. I grieve deeply for him. I am glad he no longer suffers and I feel proud to have been his companion.

Farewell, little man.

Because I turn to large cleaning projects when I am at a loss for true direction, I have decided to clean, deeply clean, my studio space. Creative organization is conducive to productivity and we tend to forget this. Over the next few posts, I will discuss overall organizational ideas as well as specific tips and ideas to get you and your space hopping.

I have had terrific studio space and passable space, but I don’t think the space is as important as how you maintain it and intend to use it. The space I am working in now is passable, workable, but not ideal. My husband and I live in a classic New York City apartment. We have three main rooms plus what might serve as a walk-in closet or child’s room. My art supplies, sewing machines, cloth and workbench take up about 1/3 the total living space that we take up. So my supplies need to be organized, at the ready and easily available, so that there are no impediments to engaging with the creative process.

I inserted the above photo of my mother in laws sewing kit because it contains everything she needed to repair and label her families clothing. Thread in every color, pins and needles, a piece of wax, and woven labels (my father in law was in the service and all clothing needed labels sewn into them). So, as far as her sewing kit was concerned she had everything at the ready to help her Man out.

So, are you ready to go on an organizational journey with me? I hope so. Lets get obsessive compulsive together!

First things first:
Make a list of the creative things you do
Make a list of things you would like to do

Use dye
Machine sew
Acrylic paint
Hand sew

Right now I am not acrylic painting because I use my workbench too often to dye and hand sew, I would like to remedy this.

In my next post, I will discuss assessing your space and ideas that will help you see through the mess. If you want to go on this journey with me and are interested in sharing photos of your workspace, exploring ideas to change things up together, comment on this post. I would love to feature your photos (use Flickr) and/or blog, here. Lets link up.

11 thoughts on “Big Clean Sigh

  1. I’m so, so sorry for your loss of your friend and companion Arrow. What a beautiful cat, with obviously a beautiful personality. Having recently lost two of my three cats, at age 13, I can grieve with you.
    Your decision to use cleaning/organizing as a way of dealing with your sadness is an inspiration to me, and I’m sure to many others. Blessings.


  2. I am very sorry for your loss of beautiful Arrow. It is always so hard to say goodbye to a special friend.

    My workspace is in a terrible state so I really should join in with you and may well follow along. If I get my act together I will email you and get the link going.


  3. I’m with ya’. I have sorted, PITCHED, and rearranged all sorts of things. You have inspired me to rethink the drawbacks of my studio and the ways in which I work —- some of it will change, some of it won’t, but can improve. Thanks once again, Melly, for your inspirational nature. You are a sweet, neat friend.

    (And by the way, I can finally look at your testimony photos of Arrow without falling into tears. Those of us with fur babies know all too well what you went through, and what they mean to us. What a beautiful tribute to your pretty companion.)

    Check out my blog to see where I’m at with the swiffer. :))


  4. I too am sad to hear of Arrow’s passing. I remember how excitedly you talked about him at QBL. Such a sweet little boy! I know he will be missed.

    I’m thrilled to join in your studio organization project. It is much needed here! My art studio is large and incredibly messy. It was under control at one point but I went on trips and took classes that required me to gather up supplies so that now a lot of stuff is in bags, one or two for each class I took. There are random art supplies scattered around the kitchen and dining room as well. Plus all those things I have recently purchased that have not yet found a home.

    I have the additional challenge that I will be moving in about six months. The more organized I get now, the easier the move. And I am hoping to sell some books and fabric and other random things. By the way, the yahoo group “sewitsforsale” is a great place to sell online. And there is always amazon for selling books and DVDs. Plus I have some collectibles that will go best on eBay.

    My current projects are: dyeing fabric and working on my art journal.

    Future projects are: taking a goal setting class with Lisa Call starting in January, making two quilts to submit to the “Sacred Threads” call for entries with deadline in March, snow-dyeing once it snows, and creating a website and blog.

    I will upload some pictures of my space on Flickr tomorrow!



  5. As Pat said, this is the first time I saw a photo of Arrow and didn’t burst into tears. He looks so peaceful and handsome in the photo. Bobcat is in mourning. He goes out to Annie’s blanket and looks all around for her. Tear my heart out and serve it on a platter! On to the creative clean up! I am in! I will be slow. I know in my heart there is a better way, I just have never spent the time and energy to figure it out. Like you, space is limited. My area also doubles as storage for some of Carl’s things he is not ready to deal with yet. I don’t mind, but I have to remember to keep space for Frank and Martha. 🙂
    The idea of making a list of what I do and what I want to learn to do is excellent! It is focused and will help me sort through what can go and what needs to stay. I have already sent boxes of supplies and fabrics to new homes, but I know I can dig deeper. 40+ years of creating doesn’t mean I need to keep the yarn I bought in 1975~ LOL!


  6. Hi Mellie,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I am down to 1 geriatric cat (15yo) of my 4 that I had 4 years ago and have had another cat join my family who is just 2 years old. It’s sad to lose a companion that has been with you for 15 years (1 of the 3 I’ve lost), but equally sad to lose the ones who find you late in their life (the other 2). I fully intend to create a shrine for all of them as soon as I get my studio space cleaned out.
    That’s not why I sought out your blog though. I saw your book on Amazon yesterday and lucked out with it in my local B&N. It is beautiful! The journal pages you’ve highlighted are gorgeous as always and even though I’ve sadly neglected my journal this year, I pick up any book on art journalling I find. Thanks for the treasure I’ve added to my collection!


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