So, here’s something that’s been on my mind for a while.
I prefer goal-setting much more than New Year’s Resolutions. But the first of the year is such a great time to set new goals! It’s a new year! New starts! A good time to start moving towards new things, new levels!
I believe in the power of science more than the power of prayer. But I also think that what you put out comes back to you — if you go around always a Grumpy Sourpuss, people around you also seem grumpy and short-tempered. If you go around with a positive attitude, people and events around you seem to reflect that positive outlook. If you say that you want something but never move towards it, you never get it. If you say that you want something and you take steps to move towards it, it moves towards you.
If you move towards something and it moves away, maybe you weren’t meant to have it. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
In the words of Zoe from Firefly, “I’m not so afraid of losing something that I won’t try havin’ it.”
So what is it, you ask, that I want? I want a larger and/or more functionally laid-out workspace. Right now I have three rooms in my house 100% devoted to HaldeCraft, and part of the back porch, and half the time I take over the living room for hours a day. Why is this awkward? Well, let me show you the layout of our house:
Our house was designed by crack addicts! Or by Old Lady Winchester! Seriously, though, most of this house is add-ons. It’s a pretty generous square footage (about 1550, and I’m using about 650 for HaldeCraft) but because half of it was added on bit-by-bit by the previous owners, most of it are tiny rooms that started off as “the new porch” and was eventually filled in. The original house footprint was everything from Tim’s office, to the room labeled “cat room”, back to the kitchen. My dye/soap room, the room marked “library”, my office, the back porch, and the laundry room are all added on. In the original layout, what’s labeled as the “library” was the back porch (the door to the cat room opened into the living room — the door has since been moved), my office was the carport, and the laundry room was a little lean-to type thing that only had the washer and dryer. Then the owner walled in the porch/library, and poured a new porch that is where what my dye/soap room is now. Then they walled in the carport, including the laundry room, and adding a half-bath. Then they walled in the porch that is now the dye/soap room, and poured a new back porch. Then I bought the house.
SO. Now. Keeping in mind that I’m the luckiest MoFo ever, that I get to do this, and I never ever want to do anything else other than HaldeCraft, here are some frustrations I have with my work layout.
The ceramics room, where I pour greenware, store greenware, bisque, finished objects, and miscellaneous supplies, is about as far away from the kiln as it’s possible to be. So for me to fill the kiln with greenware, I have to carry it delicately one piece at a time through the whole house, opening and closing two doors, trying not to trip over cats, to the back porch. I can’t tell you how many pieces I’ve broken on that trip. Additionally, there’s not room enough in the ceramic room for me to actually *work* — I have enough space to clean greenware, but if I want to paint, I have to do that in my office, and if I want to handbuild, I have to do that on the dining room table in the living room (which means I have to be finished and have it cleaned off every day before 6 PM because that’s also where we eat). And if you notice, the slab roller only fits in the little room where I also dye yarn, and make soap. Three things in one room, and I can’t do all three at once. I can’t make soap or slabroll clay when I’m dyeing yarn, I can’t dye yarn or make soap if I have the slab roller set up, everything I’m not using is always in precarious piles when I’m using one of the other things. Shipping supplies are stored in the closet in my ceramic room, but I don’t have room to pack in there so every couple of weeks I bring out a couple weeks of supplies and keep them in piles in my office.
This has all been a great way to start HaldeCraft. Being able to funnel profit back into HaldeCraft stock rather than worry about rent of an outside studio/electricity/phone/internet/insurance, has been a huge boon. If I’d had to pay for all that along with what we pay for the house, HaldeCraft would have folded a long time ago.
But now it’s getting to the point where I only see HaldeCraft growing, but I’m bursting to the seams at the house. I can’t bring something in (hand-building) without letting something go (hand lotion and lip balm) because I just don’t have room. Well, and time. But mostly, room. I’m still making it work right now, but what about in six months? A year? Can I see myself working like this, shuffling things around, having to completely rearrange during ceramics week if a customer needs yarn wound because I can’t have both things set up at the same time… for the rest of my life? ::sobs::
I love what I do. I’m passionate about HaldeCraft in a way I’ve never been about any of my jobs (and I’ve had a lot of jobs). I want this to work. I need this to work. It is working, and will continue to, work. I love working at home. I love being able to start firing the kiln, or starting the dye crock pots, when I’m making my coffee, working without really working, early in the morning. I couldn’t do that if I rented outside studio space — I’d have to drive to the studio, turn the kiln on, go home, shower, come back to the studio… and so on. I love that the dogs don’t have to be kenneled all day; if I had an outside studio I’d either have to take them with me or keep them shut up all day. I love that I’m home, and everything I need for work is at hand. Yet I also am starting to want to close the door on work some days — wanting to get to the end of the work day and step away from it, without seeing things I’ve not finished during the day, staring at me as I eat dinner or try to relax at the end of the day.
How can I have both those things? How can I work at home and be able to shut the door on it at the same time? An easy way would be to have a back yard studio. But. There’s no way I could build a nice 50’x25′ workshop/studio in the back yard. That almost *is* the size of our back yard, not to mention the problems with trees being there, and permits, and whatnot. Inside? There’s no way to rearrange the inside of this house any more. Without breaking down and moving walls, there is no way to make this house more functional than we’ve already done. Tim and I both believe that if you get to that point in your house renovations, if you’re moving walls because the house doesn’t fit your needs, maybe you’re just not in the right house.
Maybe we’re not in the right house any more. Maybe we should start thinking about what we want. Maybe we should start looking around. Maybe we should start moving towards what we want.
To that end, about three months ago, I started doodling on graph paper what I’d do with a 50’x25′ workshop. I’ve gone through three or four studio doodles, as I think about where I’d want things, what I’d want to add, what isn’t working about what we have now and how it would work better. Tim and I started actively talking about it, because I said that if I didn’t start talking about it, I wasn’t going to start moving towards it. If I didn’t admit to the universe that I wanted it, the universe wasn’t going to just… give it to me. I have to ask. Think. Plan. I mean, can you imagine it? A workshop where everything is in the same place — slab roller, work space, shelves for storage, and kiln?! I’d probably save an hour a day just not having to walk from room to room!
Now I hesitate to even say this, for fear of jinxing it, but the universe may be listening. We might have our eye on something, and it might be a pretty damn good situation. We’re working hard right now to make ourselves look better, on paper, to banks. If this happens, it’ll be a time frame of about two months from now. I want to tell you everything, but I don’t want to jinx it — which is silly, because how can I believe in both “if you don’t say it out loud the universe will never hear that you want it” and “don’t say it out loud, it’ll never happen if you announce it”. STUPID BRAINS.
Anyway. Like I said, I’m too much of an agnostic to get in with the traditional power of prayer, but I do believe in energy. So if you could, for us, in the words of Peter Pan, “think lovely thoughts”, well, I wouldn’t turn that energy way.