I’ve been working in the new place for about a week and half now. I. LOVE. IT. Renting this place is one of the best things I’ve done for my art and mental health. Ok, so maybe the mental health part sounds a little over-dramatic, but read on and you’ll get what I mean. I really feel excited every day to go to work. I have a completely renewed sense of creative energy that has actually kept me up at night thinking of what I’m going to make the next day.
There’s so many things about working here that I love.
One, fresh air!! At the shop, it’s 100% necessary to have the A/C on all day. Don’t get me wrong, in this heat, it feels good, but I’m a fresh air kinda’ gal. I feel cooped up when I’m in the A/C all day. I’ve discovered that it distracts me from working because I keep feeling like I need to get up and go outside for a bit. This cuts into my creative flow. The lil’ casita, on the other hand, has windows and doors all the way around so the cross breeze is awesome and keeps it remarkably cool inside all day. I have a fan and that’s more than sufficient.
Two, watching the sky. Sounds strange I know but I sit right in front of the left window in the photo above. I’m situated up on a hill and in front of me is nothing but jungle. All day the clouds move across the sky above the lush green jungle setting. I sit there working, watching them develop, dissipate and their remnants, move on. Sounds goofey maybe, but there is something very soothing about this. Since we’re still technically in the rainy season – there is a constant flow of big fluffy, often threatening looking clouds passing by.
Three, space!! Since I first launched my shop here 7.5 years ago, I’ve been working in a cramped space of about 6′ x 4′. It’s sufficient, but it takes a lot of creative placement of tools and supplies. My work desk at the shop is only about 20″ deep so it means that anything that I’m not using at that exact moment needs to be put back in it’s place somewhere in the cramped shelving below. This means a constant up and down searching for things in the semi-organized chaos below and behind my desk. In the new place, I have a huge work bench and lots of easily accessible shelves directly below. There is a second room with shelving where I put all the things I don’t use on a daily basis. All my big leather pieces, packing supplies, beads and findings that I use but infrequently. Everything is organized. It’s amazing how something as simple (and perhaps obvious) has made a difference in my productivity.
Four, room to lay out my designs. In the shop, I just don’t have the space to work out a whole collection. I have room to put about 15 finished pieces behind me but the rest needs to be put out for sale right away because I have no place to store it. Right now, I’m working on a whole new collection and it’s great to be able to hang out everything in an open space and see how they all come together. This helps with imagining pieces that would work well with the developing collection. I used an old, weathered board that was one of the first shelves in my shop as a wall hanging and have all the necklaces on that. We found that board on the beach after a storm and it’s been with me ever since. Wonder Woman (on the chair) is a great creative assistant! Who knew?!
I also hung up the triangle shelf that also used to be a shop display on the other wall and there I’ve placed all the cuffs and earrings. Seeing everything laid out this way is helping me to better envision what I need to make to complete a look.
If you follow me on FB and/or Instagram then you’ve already read my little schpeal about the chickens. If not….meet the alarm clock. This couple lives next door – along with their extended family of maybe 10 or so other feathery friends. One of the best parts of working in the new place is watching these guys make their rounds of the neighborhood all day (i.e, our yards), pecking, scratching and for the rooster, the frequent Tourette’s like syndrome COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO. There’s about 5 baby chicks which make THE sweetest “cheep-cheep-cheep” sound all day. At 5:30 p.m. (almost on the dot!) as the sun is slowing setting, the whole crew starts walking up the driveway towards the fence right outside my window.
After a series of hop-ups, they make their way into the tree and by 5:45 p.m. all is quiet and they are fast asleep. It’s been a long day for them. Dad’s first stretch, yawn, flap your wings and bellow COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO is anywhere between 2:30-3:30 a.m. Luckily, I’ve learned to sleep through it until at least 5:30 a.m.
This list could get very lengthy so I’ll finish it (for now) with five, the patio.
I love going up there with my afternoon coffee and just looking out over the jungle. It’s especially nice if a storm is moving in over the mountain and you can hear the deep, rumbling thunder heading in.
So, it’s kinda’ obvious that this was a really great idea and opportunity for me. Now I need to start looking for a part-time employee to start working the shop in December. I definitely have lost my desire to go back and work in the cramped, air-conditioning 6 days a week. Stay tuned…..