The Desk

Until yesterday my sewing machine sat on a utilitarian table, sturdy and serviceable but not very pretty.  I’m all about pretty in the sewing room.

full-room-b

The Sewing Machine Before the Room Reno

 This table and three others were given to me 20 some odd years ago in lieu of a few weeks salary when the start-up company I had been working for closed its doors. Despite its age, and the fond (?) memories I associate with it, I have been searching for a more elegant table for my machine for some time.

Old Desk

The Sewing Machine, After Painting the Room, Still on the Table

At first, I planned to build a row of built-ins under the bay window, but alas, that vision was not to be.    And noo matter how hard I looked, no money dropped from the sky to pay for custom cabinets. I needed a plan B.

I considered a regular desk, but that didn’t seem right in that space.

 My next move was to stalk the furniture section of Craigslist.  (Boy, that guy Craig owns a lot of stuff.)   On January 17th I found it: (cue symphonic music rising to a crescendo). My writing desk!

 I took the plunge and called . I called and I called and I called.  On the sixth try I finally reached the desk’s owner, SUSAN. Susan’s voice was melodic and quiet. I pictured a plump lady with short curly hair, a sweet smile and a plate of warm cookies. Susan confirmed she still had the desk and would save it for me.  We made plans to speak on Saturday to set a pick-up time.

 Pick-up didn’t happen on Saturday. Or Sunday, or Monday, or… the whole rest of the week. After 6 or 7 calls I finally caught Susan. I told her I had my keys in my hand and would arrive in an hour.

 Sixty minutes later I pulled into a neighborhood of sweet little houses with perfectly groomed yards, probably each filled with an elderly white haired lady with curly hair and a sweet smile. One house didn’t match the rest. One was different.  This house had piles of boxes, heaps of trash,and  a spattering of ragged furniture. The yard included multiple cats and dead grass. Of course, that was the house.

 The doorbell set off a chorus of barking dogs, lots of barking dogs and a muffled voice asking me to wait while the dogs were put out back. After a little fussing, the door opened and I met Susan. Despite the yard, I still expected my curly haired angel with the plate of warm cookies. But no, this Susan was had brassy hair a slightly lopsided face and a cigarette hanging from her lip. I think I’d seen her on an episode of Reno 911 or maybe Jerry Springer.

 Behind Susan was a house that rivaled any house featured on Hoarders. The living room was filled with piles of furniture, boxes and trash and a BAD smell, a really bad smell, a stench.

 Despite her having placed the desk by the door, it was obvious that Susan was struggling with letting go. I was just hoping that she wouldn’t slam the door in my face. She told me up front that she had changed her mind several times and only proceeded with the sale because of my persistence. I think it hurt her heart to let go of anything.

 The hoarder trance broke when I pulled out the cash.  I didn’t see her move, but the bills were out of my hand and out of sight in a flash.  I started dragging the desk out of her house and soon it was in my van and Susan gone, presumably back to let her dogs and cats back into the house. I took a deep breath of clean, animal free air and put the van in gear.

 The New Desk

The Sewing Machine on the New Desk

I love my new desk and I even love my exposure to a true hoarder. This adventure put a lot in perspective.  So many  of my friends complain about cluttered homes and compare themselves to hoarders. Not so, friends, bite your tongues.  What you have is not even close.

Now the desk is in my studio. I am exultant! One more step towards my sewing studio transformation. Yippee!

This desk really does need to live with me and not in the horrid hoarder hovel.

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Back in the Saddle Again

Been a while since I’ve blogged, nine months to be exact. Gestation time.

It’s not like I don’t think about blogging. I think about it all the time. Something odd will happen and I’ll think, wow, that would be funny for the blog. But… obviously it’s a long journey between the thought and the action.

So what have I been doing? I’m spending a lot of time renovating my sewing studio. And, although I haven’t published them yet, I have been writing blog posts about the renovation.  I won’t publish until I’m can show the pictures of the completed room.   Showing you the steps without being able to show the finished product seems wrong.

Anyway, the inspiration for today’s blog came from reading an article from Houzz,  a checklist of things to do to prepare your house for the holidays.

The list is excellent including a wide variety of suggestions, most of which don’t apply to my home at all. I don’t have a chimney to have cleaned or a sump pump to check and the only way I could add storage to my mudroom would be to add a mud room.

The first item on the list did catch my attention, the thing  about deep cleaning the kitchen, especially cleaning under the refrigerator.

Let me clarify. I do clean under my refrigerator. I do it every ninety days using a special brush made to run under the coils. I actually feel quite righteous about cleaning under the refrigerator, as this is the only place that I clean better than the average person. For the few minutes I kneel in front of the refrigerator, brush in hand I feel like a regular June Cleaver. Of course, that dream shatters the minute I get up and look at the rest of the kitchen.

Well, it seems that cleaning from the front isn’t enough. The author of this list is very clear. To clean under the fridge, one should pull the fridge away from the wall and clean from the back.  As I wasn’t ready to turn in my June C badge, I marched up to that refrigerator and pulled it away from the wall. Wow! What an eye opener. There were things under that fridge that I didn’t even know were lost.  I found old bills and a photo or two and quarters and balls of aluminum foil and bills and … things that cannot be named. Who knew, my refrigerator is a hoarder. : )

This cleaning  experience was particularly good for one thing. It sent me right to the computer to re-start my blogging career.

And, just to keep your attention, here’s a teaser of the sewing room renovation blog. Here are pictures of the before. Pretty grewsome. And… I didn’t make it worse just to show a dramatic change. This is what the room looked like.

IMG_3507 shelves_old

Watch this space for the magnificent transformation.

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