Monday, July 9, 2012

New Space

Have I mentioned recently what a lucky girl I am?  I have a fantastic husband who happens to be my very best friend. There is nothing that he would not do for his girls               and our joy is his joy.  

I have been thinking about a new space in my home for some time.  My art journaling classes are happening once a week and they are one of the highlights of my week.  I love having children in my home talking, creating, sharing and bonding together over art and writing. What I don’t enjoy is the space.   We are outgrowing my dining room.  I have supplies out constantly, folding chairs strewn in various rooms and my dining room table must be protected as it was a gift from my parents and is very special to me.  
I tried holding class in our back room once but the space was too cluttered with furniture to hold 8 children comfortably.  I crave comfort for my art journaling class.  I need a space that is organized, comfortable, has access to music, my supplies, the printer and the kitchen.  I need the space to be conducive to creativity and conversation.  My dining room had all these things.  
In the fall I would like to open up my class to the homeschooling community at large and hold a weekly class.  It would give the girls a chance to meet new people while providing me a bit of income.  In order to do this, I need a studio space that meets all my criteria.  Greg and I spent days discussing how to make this happen.  We kept coming back to the back family room.  Where would be put the furniture?  How would we create working space for 8 children?  How would we store supplies?
My Dad came over and helped move a behemoth of a television out of our entertainment center.  This frees up more than enough space to hold my art books, writing books, grammar books, and all my art supplies.  

Borrowing an idea from my friend over at Wholeschoolers, we purchased two tables on casters.  The girls think they are desks, but they are really work spaces.  These desks can be rolled together in front of my windows, or in the center of the room where they can hold 6 or 8 children comfortably.  IKEA is my best friend for inexpensive room transformations.  I bought 8 stools at $5.99 each, so that I no longer have to lug folding chairs up from the basement every week.  The stools stack and are very handy as side tables to hold my coffee in the morning as I type away on my favorite chair!

I bought frames to hold the girl’s felting projects from coop last year.  I really wanted to hang these in my bedroom but I was overruled.  

The piano lives in this room as well.  Our family room is the only room in the house (other than bathrooms and bedrooms) with a door.  We use this room as a space to keep the dogs when we go out and the door allows for privacy when piano practice is taking place.  While I love the sound of our old piano, it can be hard to do other things, like have a conversation on the telephone while practice is taking place.  Moving the piano was the best thing we did for the girl's need to practice and my peace of mind.  

I am very excited for my class Friday to see if my thinking and planning make the grade.  Much work still needs to be done.  My supplies are not all organized yet.  Another trip to IKEA may be necessary for more wire bins but first I will go through my basement searching for bins and storage units that can be used in this space.
This would not be possible without the help of Greg.  He is always 100% supportive of the ideas I come up with and he always finds a way to improve on my idea and turn it from an idea into a reality.  Unbeknownst to him, he also gave Lilah a gift.  She has wanted an art studio for years; as long as I can remember actually.  Last night was like Christmas to her.  She could have stayed up all night if we let her.  I hope to see the walls lined with her sketches and her sketchbook filled with new manga pictures.  

This is a beautiful space.  I am very thankful.

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