Thursday, October 23, 2008

step by step

this week's topic for 'theme thursday' was inspired by a challenge junk posed earlier this week in his post 'show me yours, I'll show you mine' junk posted a photo of his neat, organized and tastefully appointed workspace and challenged readers to post photos of their workspace.

I love looking at people's workspaces. in fact I find it quite thrilling and inspiring to visit the studios and homes of artists and writers.

like many folks I have multiple workspaces....at home, my workspaces include the space pictured above - this space I use for pursuits involving words and images. this room is where my computer and internet connection is located (since I have yet to advance to a laptop I'm still anchored to a particular location at home when interfacing with cyberspace). you have heard of 'a room with a view' this is a room with a purr - if there is a human in the room, there will also be at least one cat, but more likely two or even three.

there are two very special pieces of furniture in this room - one is the green desk, a small part is seen on the right. my grandfather made this desk. the desk resided in a corner of my grandmother's large eat-in kitchen for as long as I can remember. this was where the checkbook lived, the bills to be paid were stored, and it was where my grandmother kept her special papers - she always had a pile of clippings with news about friends or the community, a stack of holy cards, her address book, a box of greeting cards (for all occassions) and a cache of stamps and stationery; most importantly on this desk was where the telephone was stationed. in all practicality this simple green desk was the center for communication with the outside world. when my grandmother had to leave her home and was moved into a nursing home I 'inherited' this desk - I treasure this desk as much as if it were an antique chippendale piec e - in terms of family memory it is priceless. the second special piece in my workspace is a new addition. this is the white chest pictured behind the green desk along the wall. I just received this piece from a friend who is moving from her home of 40 years to an apartment. the move means she has to downsize and is seeking homes for some of her furniture with family and friends. this piece of furniture is another handcrafted piece which was made specifically for her mother. I don't know if I'm alone in this but I find there is so much power imbued in such objects as my grandmother's desk and mj's mother's chest - the power of memory and handcraftsmanship.

then there's the space pictured below (which actually is above the space which is shown above). this is the space I refer to as 'my studio' I use it when I am playing - I mean working - with cloth and/or children - the east end of the room is devoted to quilting and the west end to kids. this room also has two very special and powerful pieces of furniture. the first is the bench in front of the sewing machine. I sit on this bench when I sew with my sewing machine. what makes this bench so beautiful and powerful for me is that it is the very same seat that my grandmother used to sit on when she worked on stitching her quilts. unlike me who uses a sewing machine for piecing, my grandmother did all of the work on her quilts by hand - no machines! the second special piece of furniture is the rocking chair - a bit of it can be seen in the last photo. this rocking chair was my mother-in-law's chair. we brought it home the year she had to move into a nursing home. when I sit in either of these chairs, I often find myself thinking of these two wonderful women who I loved and cherished so much and who both taught me much. I hope they can feel my love and prayers for them when I sit in these seats they once occupied.

I like when my workspaces are neat - but unfortunately neatness is always a very transitory state.

can you find tsuki in the photo above? below ms t dressing up and happily occupied by whatever thoughts occupy the mind of an imaginative 3 year old!

at monday's concert the song 'step by step' was sung.... ever since the concert, this song has been an earworm.... even if there is no one in our workspace but ourselves, we are far from alone....for we are all steps, stones or drops......

the number of the day - 8 as it is junk's favorite number and remember you 8 never alone!

Step by step, the longest march can be won, can be won
Many stones can form an arch, singly none, singly none
And in union what we will, can be accomplished still
Drops of water turn a mill, singly none, singly none

step by step written by pete seeger & waldemar hille and performed by jackson browne.

16 comments:

lettuce said...

these are such peaceful inspiring workspaces, lovely light and full of interesting things...

i know just what you mean about old family furniture like that, its very precious

Barbara said...

These spaces have such a welcome feeling to them. I can envision camping out in your craft alcove hoping to soak up your creativity by osmosis. The fish quilt on the wall is to die for! Any post with Ms. T in it is a winner!

P.S. I hate the new Blogger drill for making a comment. Is this progress???

Dumdad said...

Oh, I do like having a nose round other people's space! Great spaces - and love the wooden floor. I earlier visited Lettuce's workspace; I'm afraid my workspace is a bit squashed - and in the basement.

tut-tut said...

Wow! I've only got a minute (you didn't come up on my reader thing today; v. odd), so I'll be back to read the post properly. What great spaces you've got there! I can see myself and L fitting right in . . .

New commenting gismo, too.

R.L. Bourges said...

what great spaces. And the song is wonderful.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

lettuce - from one nosey parker to another, I'm so happy you posted on your workshop... and love it that a few other buds have played along!

barbara - I'm in your neck of the woods - with the fish quilt - brought it down to work on it but don't know if I have time. I finished the top just prior to heading out of cleveland, but didn't have time to make the back or layer - thought I might do that while I'm here, but forgot to bring along my cutting board...oh well... I'd love for you to camp out in the studio should you ever make it to cleveland! it triple duties as a comfortable guest room (as long as the guest doesn't mind sharing space with stella the studio cat!)

dumdad - ah you space is relegated to the basement you sound just like my f - who states that yes, he has his 'own room' too bad it's the basement.... but one can do wonders with basement space! and heck you can always grow mushrooms down there too...

tut - weird that the new commenting thing popped up for you, one never knows what to expect with blogger! I'm so happy you played along.... I love you space....actually speaking of blogger, I wonder now if my comment made it...blogger was not up for a while earlier this afternoon....

rlb - I'm so glad you listened to the song...I think I'm adopting it as my theme song!! it has infected my brain for the last few days! bises.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I like your work spots. My progress on having a "job" workspace and personal workspace has been slow. Also, I know that it's hard to define exactly what is workspace and play space. I've read several books about making places sacred and building shrines to different activities in a non-religious sense. That always helps me focus more, and I agree that ultimately coming to some sense of order makes more production. The delicate dance between chaos and control has always been in my life. I never want to be at the complete end of either pole, and it's hard to find that "just right" spot somewhere in between.

Premium T. said...

My current workspace is the dining room table, which constantly changes because we like to entertain....hopefully I'll move to a dedicated space sometime this year!
("Move" as into another room in the house, but then I won't be at the center of activity anymore. Alas. I want it all.)

Megan said...

Thank you for allowing us in to your beautiful space!

Every time I see a shot of Ms. T, I just want to pick her up and kiss her to death!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Oh I love your workspaces, each has it's own very distinct sense of character!

alicesg said...

You have a beautiful work place. My work place is all over my house...lol. Have a nice weekend.

R.L. Bourges said...

listening to it again, as a matter of fact.

ha! word verif spells restera (will stay in French)

:-)

WAT said...

Now that's a lovely little work area/office at home. Thanks for sharing! It looks most comfy. You're a Cancer, of course you're gonna make it so!

:)

jenclair said...

I especially enjoyed the provenance of your grandmother's desk! I love looking at other people's work spaces,too.

K. said...

Great video!

Have you heard Jackson's new CD?

Salty Miss Jill said...

What a terrific space. I'm envious!