Well, it’s been 18 months, but I think I’m finally finished!
We started this garage “renovation lite” project in September 2013. I say “renovation lite” because it didn’t involve any destroying of walls, demolition of floors, or anything very exciting or fun. It did involve several trips to Ikea, a lot of curse words (because on the little ladder I’m still about 2″ too short to attach anything to the ceiling, which means getting out the big ladder, which means way more trouble than just waiting until someone taller comes home), and many, many exclamations of, “There’s so much room for activities!” by the kids. Over, and over, and over again. If you’re unfamiliar with this quote, at the risk of revealing how not evolved we are in this family by sharing what we find funny, check out the video below (or go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulwUkaKjgY0). There is one curse word in it, so skip the first 30 seconds if you’re near someone who wilts at the sound of one of the most perfectly dropped F-bombs in cinematic history (OK not really, but it’s still pretty awesome).
Anyway, so with all my newly acquired room for activities came newly acquired space for the kids’ crap. I managed to keep the space pretty nice until Christmas, when it was a magnet for kid #1’s excess college junk when he came home for a couple weeks. Then it became the landing spot for so much camp stuff (so, so, so much camp stuff). Then when it was clean again, kid #1 came home for the summer. Kid #3 waited about ten minutes after kid #2 left for college to move into his bedroom, vacating his completely. Then we waited about ten minutes to turn kid #3’s bedroom into an office. This meant that when kid #1 returned home for the summer, we no longer had space for his paraphernalia. We were careful to be sure that we still maintained enough beds for all four kids (there’s a sofabed in the office), but we neglected to reserve space for their entourage of boxes, books, and the mounds of laundry they brought home and continued to create throughout the summer. Thus, my newly acquired activity space became the repository for anything and everything that required even one tiny shred of brain energy to find an appropriate spot for in the house.
I had to do something. I’d lost my beautiful work space to piles of camp files, stuffed animals, boy laundry, duffel bags and first-apartment-Ikea-accoutrements. To make things worse, I couldn’t put away stuff that actually did belong in the shop, so bags of scraps, leotards, fitting supplies, and general sewing junk were now stacked atop kid #1’s piles. When I had to cut out a few dresses on the dining room table, I knew things had gotten completely out of hand.
Camp ended, kids #1 and #2 left for college, a gigantic Christmas party came and went, and still I lacked all motivation to dig into the piles that had taken over the workspace. The thing that should have pushed me over the edge was a huge project in February for the Claremont Colleges Dance Team, that ended up leaving what felt like millions of green sequins everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I’m still finding the tiny, doughnut-shaped metal pieces all over the place. The dog even had one on her foot the other day. I knew I needed to get rid of the sequins once and for all, so I started what felt like an archaeological dig to clean up the place.
But what really pushed me to finally finish this project, however, was a request for photos of my “studio.” My studio? You mean, the cobwebby corner of the garage where kid #4 and I move piles of crap around until we find enough space to maybe sew a little and watch a few episodes of “Dance Moms?” I needed to make a change, and it needed to happen quickly. All the right pieces were there, buried under scraps and bags of fabric that needed to be folded and put away. So this is what I ended up with at the end of spring break. No before pictures, because they would be too embarrassing…but here’s the “after:”
I’ll post more about my tracking system and travel fitting system in my next posts. I know many of you couldn’t care less about these things, but I’m in several professional sewing organizations now, and consumer products compliance is a HUGE issue there — so the tracking system and travel fitting system are extremely relevant in that arena. Also coming up is my saga with trademarking my name and logo, so I know those folks will be checking out this blog in the coming months, too. Hoping that maybe one of them might be a fan of Stepbrothers…you never know…
I've been designing and sewing custom skatewear for almost thirty years. This blog is about the design process, the ups, the (many) downs of running your own creative/service business, the insanity of trying to finish six skating dresses in two days -- that sort of thing.
View all posts by Danielle Storm