Patience in the Studio

Patience in the Studio

If you popped by my place during the Melrose Open Studio Tour, perhaps you noticed that it was not a sparse space. A large design surface held tidbits of several projects in hibernation. Fabric sprung from the wire drawers, disguised by a fabric curtain. Wool roving fluffed out of boxes, with screen and bubble wrap rolled under the work table and bottles of soapy water stood at the ready. Pencils, ink tense and HB2, mending, ephemera and of course my sewing and felting machines covered my other table. The space was… busy?

While keeping my tools at my fingertips makes sense, the idea to sort, clean and paint hibernated the winter. After vacation in February, I decided it was time to shake up my fiber den.

Easily said. Done without difficulty, but it did require infinitely more time and patience than expected. Touching everything in drawers, bins, shelves took time. Nostalgic, restless, ebullient, anxious moments rolled into hours. Patience, Alanna, patience.

Fortunately, friends offered to help with the painting, so there was a deadline to get through it all. As they arrived, the remaining items were stuffed, pushed away, and boxed up. Let the wall prep and painting begin – both ceiling and floors. Thank you Sandra and Laurena!

Eventually, the chaos relented, but there were days like this!

With everything boxed up, I took the time to think about the components of my practice. Felting, sewing, knitting, stitched together with writing and marketing shape my creative life. It felt good to recognize all of these components, and give space for each in my studio.

It also feels good to keep only necessary materials at hand. I’ve decided to keep it that way. There are so many possibilities and yet so little time! Patience, Alanna, patience.

The studio “shake up” coincided with COVID-19 social distancing kick up. On the day that Sandra and Laurena came over, a WhatsApp message from a friend who lives in Hong Kong warned, “I worry about the US not taking this virus seriously. Do what you can to stay safe.” March 11 was my last regular day. Patience, Alanna, patience.

Meanwhile, I’m participating in a weekly seminar organized by Creative Capital, “Building Community for a Sustainable Creative Life,” led by Sharon Louden. There’s plenty of material to soak up, ideas to consider and connections to make in the next few weeks.

Clearly this year teaches me to reexamine my creative space – both physical and mental. Balancing enthusiasm and patience is a good exercise for me. This spring, I’m patiently feeding the future of my studio. Let it be a fertile place!

Melrose Open Studio Tour December 3, 2017

Melrose Open Studio Tour December 3, 2017

Alanna Nelson Fiber Art MOST Open StudiosMelrose, Massachusetts (my fair town) has a vibrant art community and festival. We even have a community arts calendar. As a member of the Cultural Council for six years, my appreciation of the reality and possibilities grew. So when Demi Dubois asked me if I thought we could put together an Open Studio Tour in six weeks, it didn’t take for me to respond, “Yes.”

In three weeks, with help from Ellen Rolli and Adrian Johnston, she gathered many artists, a logo so I’m whipping together a web site for the first Melrose Open Studio Tour.

You heard it here first!

I’m running upstairs to get my fiber den ready for visitors. See you there?

Can it really be August?

Once Boston Sailing Center‘s season opens in May, time flies by! If you catch my Instagram feed, water, wind and yarn photos reflect the days.

#summer #boston

A photo posted by Alanna Nelson (@tactiletravels) on

That doesn’t mean my stitch and glow lifestyle stops. I just don’t take time to blog about it. After all, there’s only so many hours in a day!

There was no sailing for me over the last weekend. All other activities were structured around relocating my studio space from the attic to better digs. There was definitely chaos before catharsis.

Holy cats! Moving my studio out of the attic. #notfortheweak #knittersofinstagram #quiltersofinstagram

A photo posted by Alanna Nelson (@tactiletravels) on

A few other unexpected movements in the house mean I won’t move into my new space until after our summer cruise, which is right after we head up to Montreal for the weekend.

AAAH! No wonder it seems incredible that it’s already August. The last three months have flown by, one great thing after another. Never fear, I decided that blogging is a good way to document all of the fibery goodness that speeds through my life.