Thursday, January 31, 2013

3 year Dreadiversary

Here they are. My babies made it to 3 years old.  

Overall, they are quite long. Some have gotten thin spots, so I knotted a few of them to see if that would help bulk them up over time. Then a few weeks ago, I notice one very short dread near the front. I couldn't remember it being so much shorter than the rest so I thought maybe it broke. As far as I know, I haven't had any break, but I thought maybe it was one that I knotted and possibly got caught on something and ripped. Surely I would have noticed that, but I guess it could have happened in my sleep? Well, I pretty much convinced myself it must have broke. So a few days ago, when a dread on the other side was getting super thin where I had knotted it, I decided (with a little push) to just rip it the rest of the way off. I gave it a little tug and it surprisingly didn't break. It was still quite strong, but at that point I had committed to ripping it off. I really had to yanked on it to rip it off.

And yes, I do sort of regret doing it now. But oh well. I wont be doing that again. Next time, I think I might try sewing in some extra thickness. Oh, and I looked back at some of my older pics...and I'm pretty sure, that first short dread didn't break off.  

My next goal is to try and make them softer. 

To see how they've changed over the last few years, check out these past posts.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tribute to my Workshop

Years ago, I lived in a tiny studio apartment that felt more like I was living in a storage unit. I had boxes piled on top of boxes piled on top of furniture. I didn't mind so much. It was cozy and cheap, and I had it all to myself. I did however day dream about having a space where I could work on projects, make a mess, and then close the door. Instead, my desk/kitchen table was the only work surface in site and with all it's duties from hobbies to freelance work to ...well 'entertaining' might be a stretch, but I'm going with that... it was a lot of work just to keep it in the right mode. The process of taking out and setting up a project and then putting it away again took more time then I typically had to actually work on them in one setting and therefore projects got strung out and put off.

So yeah, I day dreamed a lot about space. To organize. To inspire. To create. To be myself. And maybe actually be productive and a little more efficient.

The idea of living in a loft above a commercial space started to intrigue me more than ever. I started looking. There wasn't anything that really jumped out at me. Purchasing a commercial building didn't seem to be the answer, so I started looking for a house...with a workshop of course. It didn't take too long before I found just that, fell in love, and made it mine. All mine.

Three rooms inside. One to sleep in....the bedroom. One to work in...the office. One to do fun crafty projects in...the playroom. I was in heaven. So much space. So organized, each with it's own designated purpose.


 (I couldn't find any pics of the office set up.
Not the most picturesque space, anyway.)


Then there was the outside space. A separate detached garage that already had a gas heater and ac unit. With help, I was able to turn this space into my workshop. Lots of shelving. A large workbench. Added natural light. And even a custom drawing table...made out of parts salvaged from the original garage door we removed to transform into a wall. Dream come true!

I painted one wall the same color as the main wall in one of my favorite galleries. I found a vintage orange drafting table and eventually collected probably over a 100 frames. (Most of them are still sitting there...all neatly stacked...and empty.)

(This is a current picture showing garage type items are also now residing in the workshop. 
Those are hidden shutters that slide into the wall, allowing in more natural light. When they are shut, it looks like a framed painting from the outside.)

Like most, I had to make a living to afford this dream. A living that was not only uncreative, but seriously sucked the creative juices right out of me. It would take me so much time to try and re-coop from work and transition into creative mode, that I rarely set foot in the workshop. Don't get me wrong. I loved it in there. And I did do some painting in there....just not much.

Five years passed, and I was given the opportunity to quit said creative sucking J O B, hit the road, explore new places and ways of life, and best of all...paint. And in case you weren't around then, or just haven't figured it out yet...that's when this little bloggy blog started. Hence the name.

So I closed up the workshop. Packed it full of personal items. Locked the door. And off I went.

I have lived in so many different places over the past three years. Some had amazingly huge spaces for me to paint. Some gave me my own room. Some were dinky and I literally painted in the living room under the TV, on the floor, or at the kitchen table. But I painted all the same.

This past July, I returned to my house with the intention to find new renters, but a couple months later I was emotionally ready to let go. Let go of my very own little space in this world. Let go of my very own bedroom. office.  playroom.  workshop.  back yard.  deck.  brick path.  custom painted backboard.  and so many things I had worked long and hard to create. I was finally ready to let go of this dream. This dream I made reality.

But not without taking advantage of the time that was left in this reality. I cleared out most of the personal belongings from the workshop, dusted off my drawing table, thanked the gods who helped create it all, and headed to the store to buy some paints (because I didn't think to bring any with me on this 'little trip').

One of those first nights, when it was still warm and sunny out, I decided to sit down on the patio and paint. It was quiet. Peaceful. I looked around and saw a squirrel running across the fence. Happiness and gratitude filled me up as I realized how perfect that moment was. I was doing something I loved, in a place I loved, in my very own little piece of the world. My home. Happy and grateful to have had the experience and then a gentle sadness settled in as I knew it would soon be over.

I've been drawing and painting out in the workshop these past few months. And I continue to be grateful.