I live in a small city with a population of 400,000 people. Its urban core is a peninsula that is bound by the ocean around it. This has shaped the way we live and what creativity means in our home. It looks small.
We are fortunate to live in a neighbourhood that is highly walkable. My husband walks to work. My kids walk to school. Our closest grocery store is a block and a half away. I walk to my LQS on when I teach there. When I was working at an office, it was a 15-minute bus ride. Because our house is older and closer to the city centre, it means it is small. Affordable, but small. In a variety of ways, creativity looks small in our house.
My kids are not especially drawn to creativity like we would normally imagine. They don’t like colouring, drawing, or painting. They’re not especially into Lego even (which kills my architect heart a little bit!). For them, creativity takes the form of reinventing a sport to work in a small living room in winter with the only thing they’re allowed to throw around: a plushie ball. It looks like creating an imaginary basketball league with teams from disparate places, including Cape Breton and Houston. It looks like making jerseys by cutting up pieces of paper, numbering them and taping them to their backs. It’s not always obvious, but I search for their own small brand of creativity.
My creative space is small. When I started quilting more seriously a couple of years ago, I was coming off the early motherhood years. Those long days with little sleep and where your little humans are completely dependent on you for everything. It felt like a fog. I had never had a dedicated sewing space, so I decided to take over some space in the attic. This became my sanctuary amidst the fog of the everyday.
My studio is amongst off-season clothing and footwear, and clothes that are too small for one son, but too big for the other. There is a luggage that shoved along one wall. But I’ve carved out a 6′ x 8′ space to create. I have tucked away storage in every nook and cranny that I can find. I’ve recently revamped it with a few new storage solutions, and paid special attention to the way I sort my waste. I am really grateful that I can have this 3rd Story Workshop to retreat to, and not have to put everything away every day like I used to.
Creating big things in small spaces, creating in small ways with big imagination. This is what my creative home looks like. That’s why my house block for the Modern Sewcialites this month is small, finishing at 2″ square. This will become a needlebook for someone in my guild next month.