I'm almost there!  After much relocation and rearranging of my many stashes (fabric, beads, yarn, paper.....) I am almost settled into my new sewing/work room!  I really have to get everything into its proper place and then take a few decent photos--the above pic was snapped with my cellphone, so forgive the quality.  Better to come!

See the panel on the worktable?  I was completely inspired by a quilt I saw online and decided that my next pillow cover (to cover the world's ugliest cushion #2, brother to the world's ugliest cushion #1) would be birdhouses.  I sat down, drafted a pattern, tweaked it, added inlays, and broke out my fabric scrap stash.  Have I mentioned recently how much I love my fabric scrap stash? 

Notice the stepladder that I'm currently using as a stool?  Yup.  A stepladder.  I have to find a stool that is just the right height for the worktable, so I'm improvising for the moment.  As I said, this is a work in progress...  but I love it!
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My worktable was just over 8' long and flooded with natural light from the big windows. My sewing machine and serger had a permanent home at one end and I used the other to do everything from cut out patterns to wrap Christmas gifts.
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The beautiful windows were bigger than they appear in these photos, and my kitty girl Bingy could usually be found lounging on the wide window ledge of the left hand window--her blanket stayed there permanently. The squirrels in the overhanging trees were constant entertainment for all four kitties!
Many of you will remember me talking longingly about my sewing room in my home back in Canada.  Sadly, my house was contaminated with furnace fuel in a flood a year ago and the beautiful old lady who was built well over 150 years ago had to be demolished. 

It broke my heart.

Literally. 

When I think about that house my eyes well up and I feel a heaviness in my chest.  It's something I work on every single day.

The above photos were taken after everything was cleaned out of the house shortly before it was demolished.  I had the room custom-built into an existing attic space above the kitchen, and my carpenter worked with me tirelessly to create a workspace exactly as I wanted it.  There were custom storage cabinets built into the space under the eaves where the ceiling sloped down to almost meet the floor.  The space under the eaves of the opposite wall was empty...  waiting for cabinets that would never be built. 

My carpenter's name was Jim and he was the most marvelous man--a tireless worker who carefully and quietly constructed amazingly beautiful pieces with his calloused hands.  His father had been a builder as well, and he took after him in his ability to take rough wood and nails and create spectacular pieces of furniture and cabinetry constructed from the blueprints in his mind.  His talent was astrounding and yet he was humble.  Such great ability in such an unassuming individual.  If anyone asked Jim how he was doing on a particular day, he would smile and say, 'The very best!'  His love for his wife, children, and grandchildren was as well-known as his love of Pepsi and Worther's Originals candies.  He was truly a lovely human being. 

Sadly, we lost Jim to a tragic hunting accident in late September, 2010.  The loss was shocking and the event sent a ripple through the whole community.  Everyone knew and loved Jim, and his death made us all stop and evaluate our lives.  Our reality can completely change in a split-second, and that is a frightening realization. 

On a sun-drenched Friday afternoon I spoke with him for a few minutes before he walked out to meet the weekend head-on.  He was looking forward to heading out with his wife and friends for a weekend spent in the woods--hunting season had just opened.  I wished him a happy weekend and we said we would see each-other on Monday.  The next morning a friend's truck pulled into my driveway, and he came walking up the pathway with tears in his eyes.  The unthinkable had happened... Jim was gone.
I honestly think that everyone in our circle was in shock.  I walked through the house, touching the cabinets made lovingly by his hands just months before, feeling the cool tile of the bathroom that he had laid just that past month.  I stood in my almost-finished sewing room and looked around me, pictured him standing by the window painting the woodwork carefully, his hat casting a shadow down over his face as he concentrated on his work.  

I cried uncontrollably and wondered why...
There was a box sitting in the corner where the last set of cabinets should have been until the day more than two years after his death when I cleaned out that room before demolition.  Jim had left the paint for the room in a box with other odds and ends that he would use later to finish and touch-up everything.  I couldn't bring myself to move it.  Silly, but somehow with that box still sitting there Jim wasn't really gone--he would be back to finish my room. 
The box contained half a can of pale yellow wall paint, a container of ceiling paint, woodscrews, a paintbrush, a cloth rag...  and an empty Pepsi can as well as an assortment of shiny golden candy wrappers.  Simple little reminders of the man he was, and the legacy he left behind.
The very best, Jim... you'll always be the very best. 
 


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